By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
An indigenous oil firm, Eroton Exploration and Production Limited has awarded scholarship to 40 students in junior and senior secondary schools in Rivers State. Recipients of the scholarship were drawn from the company’s host communities in the state.
Presenting the award to the students in Port Harcourt, the Chief Executive Officer of Eroton, Ebiaho Emafo, said the value of each beneficiary’s scholarships is between N100,000 to N150,000 annually.
He said the scholarships would continue until the students complete their secondary education, adding that the scholarships are awarded because education is one of the company’s pillars and serves as a way of giving back to the host communities.
“Eroton has been in operation since 2014 and so we decided that education is one of our pillars, one of the ways we show appreciation to the communities for accepting us to work within their environment. So we thought, education being one of our pillars, it would be good to give scholarship to young students who have done exceptionally well in their studies because we felt that the youth are the future.
“By giving them these scholarships, we hope that they will be able to complete their studies, go to the university and arm themselves for life.”
He promised scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and master’s degree students, saying that the scheme is sustainable.
“It is very sustainable; we are going to be working with the (host) communities for as long as our licenses are in operation. So we are going to continue to do this for the communities. There would be opportunity to sponsor university students – undergraduates. There would be opportunity to cover master’s students and we would continue doing secondary education sponsorship as well,” he said.
Responding, the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja, commended the company for the gesture, saying that the firm is giving back barely four years after it started operations.
“You have started on the right footing and I know you will go places. What happened to other companies will not happen to you; even the prayers of the parents of these children and the students themselves would cause you to excel.”
Represented by Mrs. Mae Solomon, a Director, Quality Assurance at the ministry, Jaja urged the students to make good use of the opportunity.
“There is no sacrifice too great for you to make to see that you succeed and I believe that some of you would be employed by this company. Tell your siblings, tell your friends; let them also read. This opportunity given to you would keep you out of the streets.
“Don’t allow yourselves to be derailed in any way. Keep away from cultism; keep away from any social friends that would make you to derail. Face your books, there would always be time to play and when the time comes you would know.”
Meanwhile, the company also presented a 22KVA soundproof generator to the Port Harcourt Children’s Home to solve the power challenge facing the orphanage.
Presenting the generator on behalf of the NNPC/Eroton Joint Venture, the Head, Business Development of Eroton, Dele Aikhionbare, said the company was moved by the plight of the children and embarked on the project as a way of giving back to the society.
The Matron of the home, Mrs. Gift Eke, said the generator would ease some of their challenges and also help to improve the health of the children.
The firm also donated refrigerator, gas cooker, wrappers and food items to the Home of the Elderly in Port Harcourt.
At the Compassion Centre for Physically Handicapped Children, Port Harcourt, Eroton also awarded N4 million to assist children with special needs undergo surgery.