We are strongly committed to transforming lives in our host communities through our Corporate and Social Responsibility programme. We believe that we have a duty as a responsible member of the Nigerian business community to do our bit to help local people – by empowering them to grow their own businesses, to invest in their local communities, and also by supporting their education. To this end we’re proud to have invested heavily in everything from new classrooms to exercise books – all practical contributions that we believe have made a sizeable impact in those local communities. But yet another important way that we have been able to contribute is via our regular rounds of student scholarship – the most recent being for 42 students in Delta State in December last year.
“By helping students directly in this way, Midwestern Oil and Gas are investing not just in the future of our industry, but in the next generation who will drive the whole of the Nigerian economy in the coming decades,” says our Chairman Onajite Okoloko. “We believe firmly that this kind of investment only serves to strengthen the ties we have with our host communities at a local level, and helps to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and a shared sense of common purpose. These are crucial requirements for any kind of sustainable success.”
The 42 scholarships in Delta State were awarded to 13 students secondary school students and 29 university students. They had all previously taken written tests in order to qualify, and will now go on to be supported on an ongoing basis through the next stage of their education. We’ve been careful to make sure that the awardees come from a broad range of disciplines – the students who were chosen are studying everything from Medicine, Law, Engineering and Computer Science through to Pharmacy and Laboratory Technology.
The students will receive their scholarships while they are studying – N50,000 for each secondary school student for each session, and N150,000 for undergraduates for the 2017/2018 academic year – as long as they keep up a high level of academic performance.
Faith in our communities
Of course, this kind of investment in our people is absolutely central to our commitment to creating stronger links between Midwestern Oil and Gas and the communities we’re a part of. But we also see it as a real show of faith – not just in these particular individuals, but also in every generation of young Nigerians who comes through our education system. By investing in our young people, and by helping in particular those who come from poorer communities that may not have had the opportunity to study before, we believe that we’re playing a part in truly changing lives for the better. The skills that they learn and the knowledge that they are able to bring back to their communities enriches far more than just their own lives – it is a source of inspiration to others, and a driver that can transform local economies.
“When I see the difference that our scholarships can make – and we’ve been providing them in Delta State for the last 12 years – it makes me truly proud,” says Mr Okoloko. “It makes me proud, not just of what these young people are now empowered to do thanks to our help, but also of the positive impact that I know they will now be able to have on so many lives. In a sense, I see our scholarships as being an investment not just in one person, but in an entire community. That is a wonderful thing to be a part of.”