A student, Isioma Ifeanyichukwu, from the Federal Government College, Warri, who represented Delta State in the 2017 edition of the national quiz competition organised by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday emerged the overall winner, after beating 17 finalists from 17 others states in the competition’s grand finale in Abuja.

Ifeanyichukwu, would from his victory get an annual scholarship worth N300,000 from the NNPC to help him through his university education, while the second and third place winners will receive a scholarship award of N250,000 and N200,000 respectively per session. The scholarship would be for the duration of their tertiary education.

The annual competition had its preliminary stages across all the 774 local government areas and later moved to states and regional levels, and then the grand finale where Ifeanyichukwu emerged the winner.

Speaking at the grand finale, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed that the corporation has entered into a partnership with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) and the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) to help develop Nigeria’s science and technology education.

Baru’s disclosure also followed the commendations by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on NNPC’s contributions to Nigeria’s education sector.

Kachikwu, equally described the quiz competition as a unifying initiative that could strengthen the unity of the country.

According to Baru, the corporation understands the importance of education and has decided to work with relevant stakeholders keep the standards of its annual competition up.

He said it was in realisation of the importance of science and technology in national development that it decided to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, adding that these informed its establishment of the quiz competition.

“In this respect, our arc tilts towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) branches of knowledge, given the great roles they play in nation-building.

“For a reason, STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literary, and enables the next generation of innovators. Innovation is the pillars of any progressive economy,” said Baru.

He explained the 2017 edition was the 16th in the competition’s history, and that it had expanded its scope and offerings.

“Beginning from this year, the corporation will be providing a one-off educational grant of N100,000 each for all state winners of the competition. This means that everybody on this podium today, regardless of his or her final position is assured of N100,000 from the NNPC to help defray the costs of their tertiary education.

“For the overall winner of the competition, a scholarship award of N300,000 will be granted per session, while the second and third place winners will receive a scholarship award of N250,000 and N200,000 respectively per session for the duration of their tertiary education,” Baru, stated.

He said the prizes are redeemable by the winners upon presentation of evidence of their admission into tertiary institutions whenever it may be.