GNPC, Aker Energy award scholarship to 150 students

MsVeronica	Amissah	(right)	receiving	her	award	from	Ogyeahohoo	Yaw	Gyebi	II,	Paramount	Chief	of	Sefwi	Wiaso	traditional	area

Ms Veronica Amissah (right) receiving her award from Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, Paramount Chief of Sefwi Wiaso traditional area

A total of 150 promising students from low-income backgrounds in six coastal districts in the Western Region were on Wednesday awarded scholarships under the Aker-Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Scholars Programme for 2018.

The programme, which began  in 2012, and covers school and examination fees, boarding costs, books and academic materials, had  transformed the  lives  of  794 students, who enrolled  in the high schools, technical,vocational and health  institutions.

Addressing the gathering at the launch, Jan Helge Skogen, Country Manager of Aker Energy in Ghana, an upstream oil and gas operator, said the company was ambitious to replicate in Ghana the successes Norway enjoyed from its oil and gas industry over the years.

He said the scholarship programme, supported by partners including Lukoil and Fueltrade, was in line with the company’s policy of developing local talents.

He said a rigourous needs assessment was conducted together with the relevant stakeholders in the coastal district and the conclusion was that education was the highest priority within the communities.

Mr Skogen said following the free SHS policy announced by the government last year, this year’s programme included a new strong emphasis on mentoring and counselling to improve the overall performance of the beneficiaries.

“Together with innovative scholar’s methods, we are confident that beneficiaries of the programme will continue to perform at the top of the respective classes,” he said.

Mr Skogen said another assistance given to qualified scholars “is the purchase of university application forms upon successful completion of senior high school as well as mentoring on the application process.”

He  was  proud that the programme had  achieved successes since its inception, noting that beneficiaries had regularly represented their schools at the National Science and Mathematics Quiz at the regional and national levels, while several of them had received Presidential awards for excellent academic performance.

Also, more than 40 nurses had been trained in midwifery,general nursing and clinical anesthesia with an additional 15 to be trained this year, he revealed.

The General Manager Sustainability at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr Kwame Amoah Baah-Nuako, noted that the scholarship programme had erased the fears of people particularly with the pulling out of Hess from the previous one, assuring that, “management is desirous and committed to improve education at all levels to transform the lives of Ghanaians, especially the people   in the Western Region.”

He said out of about 1,000 scholarships awarded last year, 300 was given to people from the Western Region, adding that, it would be doubled this year.

Dr Baah-Nuako said the GNPC had established a “research and professorial chair” with the University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), each getting $250,000 for four years.

Applauding the programme, the Western Regional Minister, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, stressed the importance of education, saying that, it was a major platform to harness talents.

Sandra Odoom, an Aker Energy-GNPC scholar, thanked the sponsors for reducing their financial burden as they pursued their future goals and ambition.


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