The Annual Awokoya Memorial Chemistry Competition which was initiated by Nigeria National Petroleum Company/Chevron Joint Venture to promote the study of chemistry among secondary school student in the country is now achieving its objectives, says Mr Jeffrey Ewing, Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL.

Ewing made this observation at the weekend during the 2017  Awokoya Memorial Chemistry Competition/Award Ceremony for secondary schools  held at the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta state.

According to Ewing who was represented by Tony Emegere, PGPA Superintendent, CNL, Warri, the award ceremony organized by the NNPC/Chevron Joint venture in partnership with the Chemical Society of Nigeria (Delta State Chapter) and Delta State Ministry of Education has engendered great interest in the study of chemistry among secondary school students.

He added that some past winners of the competition have gone further to become national champions in other chemistry competition.

“Our findings reveal that 100% of past awardees proceeded to further their studies in science related discipline at the university both locally and intentionally and they are excelling in their academics.

While celebrating those who have excelled in the competition, Ewing said though hundred of students turn in entries only a few students could be accommodated for the price given ceremony.

Ewing added that over the years, NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture has shown commitment to qualitative education through investing in education infrastructures, sponsoring of manpower development programs and provision of scholarships to students across the state.

“We are committed to improving the quality of education Nigeria because education is important for the development of the country.

“Our corporate believe is that education remains a veritable tool for personal send social growth and sustainable development.

“We are pleased that our contributions to education are helping to improve the ability of Nigeria to develop quality manpower in different fields including, but not limited to, the oil and gas industry, Ewing said.

He added that apart from the fact that competitions such as the Awokoya memorial chemistry competition was helping to immortalize the persons they were named after, they have also helped students develop their mental aptitude for personal development and thus add more value to society.

“We are assured that with the support and commitment of the Delta State Ministry of Education and the Chemical Society of Nigeria, the Awokoya Memorial Competition in Chemistry will continue to stimulate student’s interest in the study of Chemistry and other science and technology subjects for a long time to come, Ewing noted.

Earlier, the Delta State Commissioner of Education (Basic/Secondary) Barrister Chiedu Ebie who was represented by Mrs Joy Biyibi-Godson, Director, Science, Vocational and Technical Education Department, commended NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture for sponsoring the programmes.

Ebie also thanked the Chemical Society of Nigeria for organizing the competition, promising to ensure that government provided all the necessary science laboratory equipment needed by all the government secondary schools in the state.

While also commending Miss Efemona Faith from Lords and Kings Academy, Warri for coming third in the National category of the competition, Ebie said the competition has helped to arouse and stimulate interest in the study of Chemistry among students from the state.

Ebie added that the competition was in line with the Delta State Government smart agenda for education.

The President, Chemical Society of Nigeria, Prof. Mrs. Gloria Obuzor promised that the winner of next years edition of the competition will be provided with full scholarship to study in any university of choice in the world, adding that the scholarship will be for only those who choose to study Chemistry as a course.

While noting that the competition does not condone any exam malpractices, Obuzor said that the aim of the competition was to encourage and reward hard work among the students.

“I want to thank NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture for sponsoring this competition. But like Oliver Twist, we are asking for more. We want Chevron to assist us so that the competition will be able to reach out to other remote schools who do not have the opportunity to feature in this competition,” Obuzor added.

She commended parents, teachers and principals of the various schools for making the competition possible, urging students in Delta State to take opportunity of the challenge to become great future leaders.

In her welcome address, Chairman, Chemical Society of Nigeria, Delta State Chapter, Dr. Mrs. Tinu Olubukola Isichie commended Chevron for sponsoring the competition over the years, stressing that Delta State was the only state in the country to that holds the colourful annual celebration of excellence made possible by Chevron.

She explained that the various competitions at the state and national level are aimed at sensitizing and encouraging the teaching and learning of Chemistry, a subject, according to her, is the bedrock of all sciences, among secondary school students.

“The competition is organized in two stages of rigorous, standardized examinations with a zero tolerance for examination malpractice to select the best two students who will compete with the best from other chapters across the country.

“We have monitored our prize winners over the years and they all have without exception proceeded to the university to further their education and they are excelling.

“We wish to appreciate the Delta state Ministry of Education for their role in making the competition a success,” Isichie said.

Ten winners emerged from the Delta state category of the competition. Esosouta Iroro Peter of Government College, Ughelli took the first position while Efemona Faith from Lords and Kings College, Warri, and Isioma Nelson from Federal Government College, Warri both took the second and the third positions respectively.