By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has called on local and International Oil Companies (IOCs) to give back to the communities where they operate for economic growth.
Sylva gave the charge at the Grand finale of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 2019 Science Quiz competition in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that the need for corporate organisations to give back to society was imperative to guarantee smooth operations.
The minister of state urged them to emulate what the NNPC was doing under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), especially with development of intellectuals.
“I am honoured to be part of what is happening here today, it is a world class initiative because it will help to shape the intellectuals of the youth, help them to interact and have sense of nationalism.
“What is happening here today will be remembered by these children with nostalgia in future.
“We commend NNPC for this giant stride and call on other agencies to emulate this initiative to give back to the community.
“Oil and gas companies are duty bound to give back to the communities where exploration is carried out to bring relief to the people,” he said.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari said that the corporation as an enabler company would continue to contribute to ensure a greater Nigeria.
He said that the competition was one aspect of the corporation’s effort to support nation building.
“Building a successful nation has to deal with talent management and as a corporation, we try to recognise them young and help them to development it well.
“NNPC will continue to use its CSR to develop intellects, develop talents, and build schools as an enabler,” he said.
He noted that for Nigeria to secure its place in global space, it requires sound intellectual capacity.
“This is why we are interested in the kids,” he added.
He urged the participants to put in their best and make their schools, parents, community and the country at large proud.
Also speaking, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said that the importance of education could not be over emphasised in nation building.
He said that since the inception of the competition in 2000, the NNPC had helped to found next generation of scientists in the country.
According to him, emerging economies like Nigeria need scientists that can think out of the box to solve problems.
“I encourage you to put in your best, at this stage, you all are already winners.