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NNPC/MPN joint venture trains 300 graduates on ICT, donates laptop to all trainees

The Graduate Assistance Programme (GAP) was designed to enhance the employability and entrepreneurial capacity of unemployed graduates in the state by providing Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills and enterprise development know-how while also addressing the dearth of ICT manpower in Akwa Ibom State.

Approximatedly 300 graduates recently benefitted from the second phase of the GAP - a capacity development programsponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Joint Venture. The commemorative event for the youth empowerment initiative took place at the Ibom Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking at the event, the representative of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Elizabeth Obot commended the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture for investing in youth education and human capacity development through the sponsorship of the GAP programme.

“In our continuous quest to create a future for our youth in today’s knowledge based world economy, the Akwa Ibom State Government has found a reliable partner in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited wish to profoundly appreciate MPN for providing the funding that has driven this initiative over the years and for giving new laptops to the graduates,” she said.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Committee on Foreign Direct Investment, Gabriel Udeme described the initiative as laudable and called on other corporate organizations to emulate the footsteps of the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture.

Speaking during the event, the General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, MPN, Paul Arinze said that, “the Graduation Assistance Programme was designed to enhance the employability and entrepreneurial capacity of unemployed graduates in the state by providing Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills and enterprise development know-how while also addressing the dearth of ICT manpower in Akwa Ibom State.”

Arinze noted that the GAP, Phase II had already attained its key objective as more than 60 percent of the 300 beneficiaries are now gainfully engaged either in paid employment in public/private sector organizations or running their small businesses.

He hinted that in the course of the six years of both the first and second phases of the GAP, more than N300 million had been invested, 50 previously unemployed graduates benefitting from the programme.

The ceremony also featured the presentation of 6-year scholarship awards to 74 indigent students in public primary schools to top private secondary schools with boarding facilities within Akwa Ibom State. The total number of beneficiaries in the Joint Venture’s secondary school scholarship scheme currently stands at 194 students, the 2015 edition of the scholarship program has cost the JV over N150 million.

The sponsorship of the GAP and the secondary school scholarship programme are but a few of the Joint Venture’s contributions to the development of its operating state, Akwa Ibom and Nigeria.

Other recent sponsorships in the area of education and human capacity development include: the AKS/NNPC/MPN Science Quiz Competition for Secondary Schools in Akwa Ibom State, the AKS/NNPC/MPN Schools Athletics Championships, scholarship grants to undergraduates and post-graduate students, donation of assorted science equipment to secondary schools, academic excellence support initiative for more than 5,000 public primary school pupils as well as the recently concluded capacity building workshops for 800 primary/secondary school teachers in the State and that of the Akwa Ibom State Rural Women on Food Processing.

The JV has also substantially invested in other areas of development such as health, sports, water supply, electricity, roads, infrastructure, and economic empowerment amongst others.

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