Six Shell Sponsored Varsity Dons Recommit to National Technological Modules

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Six university dons have demonstrated commitment to strategies that would promote collaboration between Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and the academia to meet Nigeria’s technological aspirations.

The six senior lecturers are occupying academic chairs endowed in Nigerian universities by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria.

At a recent 2022 joint review with SPDC Joint venture professorial chairs and centres of excellence held in Port Harcourt, the professors discussed their work plans covering research, industry work experience for students in their care and schedule to meet technological needs in selected gap areas.

One of the professors, Difference Ogagarue, stated that the collaboration is envisioned to be an industry-supported centre for the training of industry-ready graduates.

While praising the achievements of the collaboration, he attested the centre in University of Benin had graduated seven sets with master’s degrees awarded to a total of 101 students.

“Of the 101 graduates, 91 percent are gainfully employed; 44% are on tenured technical positions in major oil and gas companies in Nigeria; 23% are in the academia; some are already senior lecturers in universities; and 25% are either in government establishments or private practice. The aim is to position the centre in line with the global energy trend,” he said.

SPDC head, corporate relations, Nigeria, Mr. Igo Weli, said the collaboration with Nigerian universities, along with other academic programmes like the annual sabbatical and research internship programmes, continues to form key aspects of SPDC’s effort to contribute to the development of higher education in Nigeria.

Weli, who was represented by SPDC social performance and social investment manager, Mr. Emmanuel Anyim, said the collaboration is a mutually beneficial relationship in which Shell obtains specialised services from the professorial chairs and centres of excellence, while they, in turn, acquire industry experience and exposure to new technologies, train industry-ready graduates and improve the university curriculum.

SPDC sponsors two centres of excellence in geosciences and petroleum engineering at the University of Benin; and in marine and offshore engineering at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.

The four professorial chairs are in environmental management and control, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; in petroleum engineering, University of Port Harcourt; in geophysics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; and in mechanical engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

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