In keeping with its policy of good community relations and advancing Education of Host Communities, a leading indigenous oil company in the Niger Delta, Belemaoil Producing Ltd has awarded an annual scholarship worth over N100 million to 374 indigent students in its areas of operation for the 2017 session.
Out of the 374 beneficiaries, 78 are post-graduate students, 175 undergraduates while 121 are post-primary students drawn from Kula, Idama, Bonny, Elem Ifoko, Abuloma, Okuru, Okujagu and Peni Peni-Ama, communities.
The scholarship, was awarded under the NNPC/Belemaoil Joint Venture (JV) as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Speaking during the official handing over of the scholarship awards to beneficiaries at the Hotel Presidential, in Port Harcourt, the Founder/President of Belemaoil Producing Ltd., Mr Jack-Rich Tein Jr, stated that the scholarship is in recognition of the important role education plays in the lives of the young ones and the host communities.
“We are here not just to celebrate the success that has come to them, but to also honour the privilege given to us as a company to serve. And we recoignise very importantly that if you joke with education then you are joking with the future and if you fail to grab these young ones who have the enthusiasm and that flair to pursue their academic dreams you are limiting the unraveling of future opportunities that they would have used to grow themselves and as well as society.
“And I believe very strongly that what we have come here to celebrate is not just a display of so much wealth but a display of interest, that believing in the young ones of today is unlocking the future of tomorrow and that is making the society a better place”, he said.
The President/Founder of Belemaoil Producing Ltd, who thanked all the partners, including, NAPIMS, NNPC, host communities, youths, the bank and as well as the state government and President Muhammadu Buhari, for their support, charged beneficiaries to see the scholarship as opportunity to develop themselves. He further called on the beneficiaries to use the scholarship and unlock their future potentials rather than use it for misplaced priorities.
Tein Jr, who also fielded questions from journalists shortly after the programme, explained that the scholarship is worth over one hundred million naira annually, pointing out that it is both for students in Nigerian schools and overseas.
He said: “The total scholarship per annum is over a hundred million naira. What we have given today is over seventy million naira cheques and we have other students in Cyprus, we have other students in the UK, America, Canada, Ghana, Malaysia, Phillipines and in Nigerian schools. And what we have done is not just to show wealth but so that they can in turn do same for society when they come out.”
He further stated that the company is also hoping to create about twelve thousand jobs if its proposal with the Presidency is approved.
According to him, the Belemaoil Model is aimed at making sure the company supports the local communities where it operates.
“The Belemaoil Model is all about making sure that the local communities where we operate and competent Niger Deltans are given technical opportunities to showcase their competences such as alliance with technical companies that provide specialised types of jobs where they can partner with them and begin to provide those services. We also make sure that we create strategic capacity development through training for the local communities. We have also awarded scholarships like you have seen today.
“Basically as we speak now, we have our offshore floating and offloading terminal sailing to Nigeria. We are expecting to build some pipeline, we are also expecting to create some opportunities based on proposal we put forward to Mr President and we believe very strongly that Mr. President is a man that loves the Niger Delta region and he wants to see employment everywhere, he wants to see peace return very quickly, he wants to make sure that the operating communities are in harmony with the operators and with the federal government so that wealth creation can begin to improve. So we have put forward a programme that we believe will create additional 12,000 employments which can turn around about 36,000 jobs. And we believe that as soon as he gives a nod to it, the employment will begin to roll out,” he added.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the occasion, Chief Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas, lauded the Founder/President of Belemaoil Producing Ltd, Mr Jack-Rich Tein Jr for his passion towards developing the host communities and the Niger Delta at large.
Chief Graham-Douglas, who is a former Minister of Aviation and a Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF) in Rivers State, charged Tein Jr to create a department to tackle environmental pollution in the company to help secure the environment.
He, however, charged the beneficiaries not to misuse the opportunity given them.
On his part, the Managing Director of National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, represented by Mrs Tolu Adefuwa, stated that NNPC is supporting Belemaoil in the scheme.
On the benefit of the scholarship to both the communities and the Nigerian economy, the NAPIMS MD said, “If you are able to educate the children at the young age you are rest assured that our future is sustained because it means we are raising the next leaders, we are raising the next generation. So we are encouraging them not just to be educated but take it to the next level.”
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Executive Vice President, Finance, Administration and Human Resources of Belemaoil Producing Ltd, Mrs Rosemary Asiegbu, called on the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity and emulate the President/Founder in his vision.
She said: “Aside the joint venture with NNPC, he has joint venture with the communities. So the young ones, this is not just another event of giving you scholarship, we want you to emulate and see him as your mentor and want to be like him so that all his efforts will not be in vain. Let it be as a challenge to all of you the benefactors that this is not another scholarship, but a scholarship that has an underlying tune of challenges of saying I want to be like him, I want to surpass him.”
When interviewed, some of the beneficiaries hailed Belemaoil for the opportunity, saying it would ease their financial challenges. According to Miss Kuromiema Oburamadim, a JSS One student of Government Girls Secondary School, Abuloma, “this scholarship will help me pay my school fees. I don’t have to think of how my school fees will be paid anymore and it will help my parents too. I want to say to Belemaoil thank you for what you have done for me.”
A post-graduate student, Alalibo Rita-Malley, said: “I feel very excited that this is coming at this time. They are an indigenous company. I think this is the first time an indigenous company is doing this. The companies that actually do this are IOCs and it is my prayer that God blesses them.”
Also, another Post-graduate student, Prince (Barr) Opunabo Ekine, said: “I must say that words will be inadequate to express how I feel. Personally, I feel very happy to be a beneficiary of this kind gesture. And no doubt it will go a long way to develop me as a person to also contribute to society. I will say to Belemaoil God bless you, I will also say to NNPC, God bless you. I’m from Kula community and I am also from Belema community and this is the reason why some of us are agitating for an indigenous company because of this kind of opportunity.”