SPDC Awards Full Scholarships to New Batch of 60 Niger Delta students

A new batch of 60 children from the Niger Delta has been awarded the special
secondary school scholarship of The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint
Venture, Cradle to Career covering tuition and all other bills for six years in four
of the topmost private secondary schools in Port Harcourt.

Brookstone Secondary School, Jephthah Comprehensive College, Archdeacon Brown
Educational Centre (ABEC) and Bloombreed High School in Port Harcourt receive 60
beneficiaries each year from difficult to reach parts of the Niger Delta on full
scholarship for their secondary education, after a two-week orientation programme
with introductory courses in academics, character and psychology.

The 60 students are the seventh set of beneficiaries and they bring the total number
of beneficiaries since inception of the Cradle to Career programme to 410. The
Managing Director of SPDC and Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor,
said, “This year, the first set of beneficiaries completed their secondary education
and the report we have is that about all of them recorded excellent performance in
the school certificate and unified tertiary matriculation examinations. It means the
aims of the programme are being achieved.”
Represented by the General Manager External Relations at the award ceremony in Port
Harcourt on Friday, the MD said SPDC and its joint venture partners have sustained
the scholarship initiative despite the current economic challenges because they see
education as a right for every child and not a privilege.

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Dr Patricia Ogbonnaya, Mrs Elizabeth Alagoa and Dr Moses Onoriode Bragiwa,
representatives of the Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states Commissioners for Education
respectively, extolled the Cradle to Career scholarship scheme for complementing
their governments’ investments in education. They praised the transparent selection
process and the human capital development benefits of the programme to the region.

“SPDC has a passion for investing in people and we are happy to report that students
in the programme have over the years been on the top of their classes in their
respective schools. We thank Shell and their joint venture partners for helping to
ameliorate the problems of the Niger Delta,” said Dame Christie Toby, the
proprietress of one of the implementing schools.

The SPDC JV launched the Cradle to Career initiative in 2010 to provide for bright
indigent students and improve on the positive results of its other portfolio of
scholarship schemes for local and international undergraduate and postgraduate
Shell Companies in Nigeria have a long history of supporting education through
scholarships and other initiatives. In 2015, a total of $10.1 million was invested
in scholarships by the SPDC Joint Venture and Shell Nigeria Exploration and
Production Company (SNEPCo.) Grants were awarded to 930 secondary school students
and 638 university undergraduates in 2015, with a total of 10,401 (secondary) and
3,532 (university) grants given over the last five years.