Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it would award a full postgraduate scholarship up to doctorate level to the best graduating student of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Al-Amin Bashir Bugaje.
In a statement, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu said the corporationâ€™s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made the pledge when he delivered the universityâ€™s 40th convocation lecture in Zaria.
It said 23-year-old Bugaje graduated top of his class in the 2016/2017 academic session with a first class in Electrical Engineering. He also reportedly recorded the highest Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.93 to emerge the universityâ€™s overall best graduating student.
Baru promised that the NNPC would sponsor his education up to doctoral degree level in any higher institution in the world. â€œThis gesture was in line with NNPCâ€™s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of championing educational excellence nationwide.
â€œWe equally want to encourage other students who are still in school to also aspire towards achieving excellence in their academic pursuits.â€
He said the announcement of the scholarship was not the first for the NNPC, adding that the corporation has continued to support educational development of students in schools across Nigeria.
According to him, the NNPC a few weeks ago, awarded scholarships to deserving students at the grand finale of its annual national quiz competition.
Baru explained that: â€œAt 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.â€
The statement added that an elated Bugaje, thanked the NNPC for the scholarship.
He said: â€œI thank the NNPC for this wonderful opportunity to go and compete with the best of the best in the world. Hopefully, I will utilise this opportunity to go and groom myself the more and see how we can come back to contribute our quota to nation-building.â€
The statement also quoted the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba as saying that he was impressed with the support from the NNPC.
â€œThis is very encouraging on the part of NNPC as 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 nationâ€™s economy, but also a pillar in the nationâ€™s educational development,â€ Garba said.