Enugu state has become one of the beneficiaries of an equipped Science Laboratory complex being sited in various parts of the country by some of the oil companies operating in the country, as part of their corporate social responsibility[CSR] in the Education sector.
The Science Laboratory Complex which is sited in Comprehensive Secondary School,Udi/Abia community in Udi local government area of the state is the 33rd so far constructed,equipped and sited in different parts of Nigeria by some oil companies collectively operating under the name of ‘Agbami Ventures’.
The oil companies are Chevron oil ltd,,Famfa oil ltd, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,NNPC, Statoil Nigeria Ltd and Petroleo Brasileiro Nigeria Ltd.
Speaking at the commissioning and handover ceremony of the Science laboratory complex at Comprehensive Secondary School Udi/Abia to the school management on Thursday,May 4, the Enugu state governor,Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi tasked the staff and students of the school to make optimal use of the well equipped science laboratory complex to improve their choice of science subjects.
Governor Ugwuanyi who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs Cecelia Ezeilo, also tasked the management of the school to ensure non pilfering of the equipment in the Science Laboratory complex. She cautioned that they must fine tune a serious internal security arrangement to secure the laboratory.
The state commissioner for Education, Professor Uche Eze who spoke in the same vein, pleaded with the companies to extend their gift of Science Laboratories to several other schools in the hinterland across the three senatorial zones of the state.
Representatives of the oil companies under the aegis of ‘Agbami Ventures,who sponsored the project, said the initiative to impact on the science education sector is based on the dwindling performance of students in science education.
The Director, Star Deepwater Petroleum Ltd, an extension of Chevron company, Mr Richard Kennedy, in his address delivered at the commissioning ceremony stated, ‘The underpinning philosophy behind our resolve to improve science education in Nigeria is the disturbing facts in the public domain. For instance,statistics from the 2016 West African examination Council, WAEC, exams shows that only 52 percent of total number of candidates obtained five credits and above including mathematics, which is the bedrock of science education. Although,this is an increase from the 38.68 percent recorded in 2015, yet it is still far below expectations.”
According to him the Agbami venturers recognize the importance of Science education as a catalyst for unlocking the technological advancement of a country and elevation among comity of nations.
The chairman of FAMFA oil Limited,Modupe Alakija,represented by Mr Obinna Iheonu stated,’The advancement of science education in Nigeria holds special attraction for us at FAMFA and we are happy that the over thirty-two science laboratories,which we have donated across Nigeria have helped to improve access to qualitative science education in our country’.
The Principal of Comprehensive Secondary School Udi/Abia,who was very delighted with the gesture said the science laboratory complex will enhance teaching of practicals in science subjects, expecting many of the students henceforth to enroll more of science subjects for their 0′ level examinations.