APA – Lagos (Nigeria) The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) has trained three Nigerians in special seabed survey, a discipline largely dominated by expatriates in the country’s offshore exploration activities.
Iwinosa Aghedo, Peace Adepoju and Oluwapelumi Okewusi have completed master’s degrees in UK universities specialising in Geotechnical Engineering and Hydrography.
The training programme, designed to bolster Nigerian content and develop local capacity in specialised areas, was sponsored by SNEPCo, in collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Speaking on the successful completion of the studies by the beneficiaries in record time, the Managing Director of SNEPCo, Mr. Bayo Olulari, said: “From less than 10 percent Nigerian manpower when we started production at the Bonga field over 13 years ago, we have grown to over 95 percent and the new scholarship initiative is targeted at further increasing the Nigerian content of our manpower.”
One of the beneficiaries, Aghedo, who spoke at the reception to welcome them back to the country, said: “We promise to make the scholarship effective and be worthy ambassadors of the programme.”
Her colleague, Miss. Oluwapelumi Okewusi added: “Getting to the top is the easy part. Staying at the top is the hard work, we will put in the hard work.”
Local reports on Monday said that the General Manager, Business and Government Relations of Shell Nigeria, Bashir Bello, said in his remarks that the scholarship was the outcome of a 2012 vision when SNEPCO and NCDMB agreed to sponsor three Nigerian students to post graduate training in the United Kingdom to close identified gaps as part of NCDMB support for the SNEPCO Seabed Survey contract waiver in that year.
The scholarship is part of the regular SPDC JV Post Graduate Scholarships scheme launched in 2010 with the aim to build a talent pipeline in host communities.
The scheme offers successful applicants scholarship for all the direct and indirect activities leading up to the award, cost of foreign education until return to Nigeria.
Since the 2010 launch, except for 2016, SPDC has awarded 10 full scholarships annually to successful applicants for a one-year Master’s programmes in oil and gas-related disciplines at top United Kingdom universities.
The scheme has recorded 79 beneficiaries since inception.
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