By Chidi Opara
Imo Gov. Emeka Ihedioha says his government is set to refurbish and reconstruct all dilapidated schools in the state as part of efforts to improve quality of education.
Ihedioha made the promise on Wednesday at the final of the 2019 NNPC Annual National Quiz Competition in the South East Zone held at Government Secondary School, Owerri.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the 2019 NNPC quiz competition was “Sustaining the Gains of Corporate Social Responsibility.”
Ihedioha said that a committee had been set up to identify the dilapidated schools, while the committee members had already started work to meet up with the mandate.
Ihedioha, who was represented by Mrs Margret Obi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education in the state, commended NNPC for its vision of encouraging the study and knowledge of science subjects in Nigerian primary and secondary schools and urged them not to relent.
He described science as the stepping stone to development among nations of the world and which had impacted on people’s live and took them around the globe.
The governor also described education as one of the major thrusts of his government and as such he had concluded plans to refurbish, reconstruct and equip dilapidated infrastructure in various schools in the state.
He commended the participating schools and students for making it up to the zonal stage and wished them well in their future endeavours.
The NNPC Group General Manager (Public Affairs Division). Mr Ndu Ughamadu, said the national quiz started in 2000 with the aim of picking the best students in science subjects from the 774 local governments in the country.
He said the NNPC had empowered beneficiaries through monetary rewards and scholarships to further their education.
Ughamadu, who was represented by Mr Iheanyi Nnochiri, NNPC Deputy Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility NNPC, said that the corporation’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities covered projects in health, infrastructure, power generation, agriculture, sports and arts.
He said that the intervention in the education sector was the most important CSR activity of the corporation capped by the annual quiz competition.
Ughamadu said the NNPC understood the value of education in the growth and development of any nation.
“Furthermore, science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM education) which the NNPC National Science Quiz Competition encourages, plays a key role in sustaining our economy by providing us with tools to understand the world around us and innovations to solve everyday problems.
“Science is everywhere in the world and around us. Technology is continously expanding into every aspect of our lives, both the mundane and the complex.
“Without enginnering, there would be no houses to shelter us, no roads or bridges and certainly no cars and mathematics is the very foundation of them all,” he said.
Ughamadu explained that the 2019 edition of the competition and the 17th in series was aimed at building on the gains already recorded in the previous editions.
He commended the participating schools, parents and teachers, saying that: “we are all striving to do our part to build capable leaders who can lead our nation into tomorrow; leaders who will see that Nigeria’s potential is actulised.”
NAN reports that five students, representing Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi and Imo participated in the NNPC quiz competition with Imo, Ebonyi and Abia coming top at the competion and would be representing the south east zone in the final competition coming up in September in Abuja .
Imo and Ebonyi took the first position with 55 marks each and were followed by Abia which took the second position with 50 marks.
Miss Adaeze Ozuzu, a SS2 student from Logos International Secondary School, Oru East in Imo, on behalf of the participating students thanked the NNPC for initiating the programme.
She said the competition jwould encourage the study of science.
Ozuzu expressed gratitude to God, her parents and the school for helping her come this far in her academics and advised other students to always work hard and never give up on their dreams.