Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

A total of 3,426 post-primary school students in Delta State participated in the 2018 edition of the annual late Chris Ikomi Memorial Essay Competition, organised by the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture, in partnership with the Delta State Ministry of Education.
The General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, who disclosed this at the award ceremony in Asaba recently, said the figure represented a significant increase from the 2,352 students that participated in the previous edition in 2017.

Brikinn, who was by Mr. Kayode Adeboye, Chevron’s Communications Coordinator, said the winner in the junior category was Master Duoye, a JS3 student of St. Brendan Catholic College, Bomadi.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Nigeria of My Dream’, Brikinn explained: “This theme enables our young scholars to exercise their fertile minds to envision an improved Nigeria and project their hopes and aspirations for the future. It is our desire that the theme would stimulate the youths to work towards a better Nigeria.”

While thanking Delta State for its consistent support and encouragement of the 17-year-old annual competition through its ministry of education, the general manager expressed the company’s unrelenting effort to contribute meaningfully to the development of Nigeria’s education sector because of the invaluable place of quality education towards the overall development of the country.

“We have demonstrated this commitment to qualitative education down the years through investments in educational infrastructure, sponsorship of manpower development programmes and provision of scholarships.

“Our corporate belief is that education remains a veritable tool for personal and societal growth and sustainable development. We take delight in the fact that our contributions to education are helping to improve the ability of Nigeria to develop quality manpower in different fields. To you, our esteem awardees today, on behalf of the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture, I say a big congratulation for your excellent performance. It is always fulfilling every time we come together to recognise those who have excelled in the competition.

“We are aware of the great interest secondary school students are showing in the study of English Language in Delta State. Although, only a few students can be accommodated for this ceremony, more than 3,400 students from the 25 local government areas of Delta State entered for this competition.”

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Secondary and Basic Education, Mr. Chiedu Ebie expressed delight that the annual competition has continued to generate interest among students, considering the fact that the entries have increased steadily, and described the theme as apt and thought-provoking.

“It is my profound pleasure to announce that the vision is gradually being achieved as more students have shown undiluted enthusiasm for the competition across the state. The success of any programme is dependent on its sustainability, which has been demonstrated time and time again by NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture since the inception of the competition in 2001.”

Trophies and cash prizes were presented to the winners in the two categories, as well as gifts to teachers and principals of the triumphant schools during the event, which was spiced by interludes of cultural dances from some secondary schools in Asaba and the NYSC Cultural Troupe from Lagos State.