The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the award of a full postgraduate scholarship to the 2016/17 best graduating student of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, announced the scholarship in a statement by NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu.
Baru said the recipient, Al-Amin Bugaje, would be sponsored to further his education up to Ph.D level in any institution in the world.
Bugaje, 23, bagged a First Class degree in Electrical Engineering with the highest Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.93 to emerge the university’s overall best graduating student.
”This gesture is in line with NNPC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of championing educational excellence nationwide.
”We equally want to encourage other students who are still in school to aspire towards achieving excellence in their academic pursuits,” Baru, himself a First-Class degree holder in Mechanical Engineering from the ABU said.
He noted that the NNPC recently held the grand finale of its Annual National Quiz Competition.
”At the end of that quiz, we rewarded the state winners with a one-off educational grant of N100,000 each, the national finals winners: first place (Delta), second (Abia) and third place (Ondo) won N300,000, N250,000 and N200,000 respectively as annual bursary support for the entire course of their tertiary education,” he added.
Responding, an elated Bugaje expressed his gratitude to the NNPC for giving him the opportunity to further his education, stressing that he was “shocked” to hear the GMD announce the scholarship gesture to him.
”I thank the NNPC for this wonderful opportunity to go and compete with the best of the best in the world.
”Hopefully, I will utilize this opportunity to go and groom myself the more and see how we can come back to contribute our quota to nation-building,” Bugaje said.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, lauded NNPC’s support to the institution’s best graduating student saying ”it is very encouraging on the part of the corporation.
”It would show the way to other corporate bodies to follow suit and invest in education.
”It also shows NNPC as not only a critical supporter of the nation’s economy, but also a pillar in the nation’s educational development,” the vice Chancellor said.
The vice chancellor also thanked the GMD for his gesture in supporting the university’s mini-petroleum refinery project, saying that most of the milestone achieved in the refinery initiative came from the NNPC.
NAN recalls that Baru delivered the Pre-Convocation Lecture where he harped on the need for Nigeria to diversify its economic base away from the vulnerability and fragility of oil and gas revenue.
A total of 50 of the 8,260 undergraduates bagged first degrees, 3,600 were awarded postgraduate diplomas, 256 graduated with Ph.D degrees and 2,300 obtained masters degrees across the university’s 13 faculties.