Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO) has donated four ultramodern science laboratories to Eruku Secondary Commercial School in Ekiti Local Government area of Kwara State. This is the latest effort by the Shell deep offshore company to spread its social investments across Nigeria and boost the study of science subjects among secondary school students. “The importance of science education cannot be over emphasized particularly in this age of rapid technology advancement. Government alone cannot do it which is why SNEPCo, its government and co-venture partners have continued to intervene in this critical area of youth development just as much as we do in the health sector,” said Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, at a ceremony in the school last week to handover the multimillion naira laboratories to the school management. Represented by SNEPCo’s General Manager, Deepwater Exploration, Adedayo Adewuyi, Ojulari charged the students to take maximum learning advantage offered by the well-equipped laboratories to develop their potential in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Deputy Manager, Community Development, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mrs Jolayemi Kolapo, said NAPIMS on behalf of NNPC was pleased to support SNEPCo’s focus on education across Nigeria as a proof-point of government’s commitment to people development in its partnership with oil and gas companies in the country. Kolapo, represented the Group General Manager of NAPIMS, Roland Ewubare, said: “We believe that our investments should not just be in the bolts and nuts but also in the people. Assisting the Government to provide quality Education delivery is a crucial aspect of our investment and that is why NAPIMS is pleased to partner with SNEPCo on the delivery of this project. We therefore encourage the school to make judicious use of the laboratories for the intended purpose. It is only by so doing that the huge investment made in putting this project in place would be justified.” The Kwara State Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Bilikisu Oniyangi, described the laboratories as world-class standard and charged parents and teachers to ‘deliberately encourage youths to have inquisitive minds that can help in carrying out research for solving modern day challenges that pose a threat to humanity.’ Oniyangi, who was represented by Director, Human Capital Development in the ministry, Mrs. Comfort Abioye, described SNEPCo’s intervention as timely noting that ‘the project supports the policy thrust of the state governor on the improvement of quality teaching and learning of science subjects aimed at facilitating development in technology and human development’. Management, staff, parents and students of the school, and community leaders who witnessed the handover of the laboratories were all full of praises for SNEPCo, NNPC and their partners for extending their social investment to their community, noting that the laboratories would go a long way in supporting the students’ preparation for internal and external examinations. They called on the statement government to complement SNEPCo’s gesture by providing qualified science teachers to the school. SNEPCo pioneered Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production at the Bonga field, a project that increased Nigeria’s oil capacity by 10% when output began in 2005. The company, working with its government and co-venture partners, has a long history of supporting education. About 267 sstudents are currently on SNEPCo’s full-board scholarship in top-rated secondary schools across Nigeria while another 100 students are in different universities on the company’s scholarship.