Investing in education is the best legacy that oil and gas companies operating in the Ghana will leave behind, Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has said.
He said the GNPC was offering scholarships to over 500 Ghanaians to pursue courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the tertiary levels under the “GNPC Foundation”.
He explained this would help the smooth continuation of potential scholars after their second cycle education and continue the tertiary education without any hindrances.
Dr Koduah made these remarks in a statement read on his behalf at the 2017 HESS-GNPC Scholars inauguration in Takoradi to award 125 exceptional students who had passed the last BECE with flying colours but needed some financial assistance to pursue higher education.
So far with the addition of the 125 beneficiaries, this brings the total to 646.
The six beneficiary districts include Jomoro, Ellembelle, Nzema East Municipality, Ahanta West, Shama and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
As of 2016, the HESS-GNPC Scholarship covered the entire government-approved school costs (boarding fees, administrative fees, books, kits, uniforms) as well as other necessary expenses (such as trunk, chop box, mattress and pocket money) for three years of Senior High School (SHS), Vocational Training or Health Training (Nursing), depending on the student’s preference.
The 2017/2018 batch would receive all benefits except tuition fees in view of the Government’s Free SHS Policy rollout.
Dr Sarpong said scholarships such as the HESS-GNPC Scholar would impact positively on beneficiary communities; adding that it would be extended to those engaging in Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET) and special needs education in our polytechnics and universities.
He said the joint programme aims at providing an educational scholarship to ‘Brilliant but Needy’ students in three coastal districts of the Western Region under Hess Ghana Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy.
He noted that the impact of the programme had resulted in supporting as well as reducing the financial burdens of 646 beneficiaries and their parents /guardians.
“As a national oil company, we believe this is a good partnership to undertake with HESS since it has a long term effect to build the capacity of Ghanaians and improve lives,” he said.
“The most exciting part of this sixth intake is not only the number of scholars awarded scholarship to join the programme, but GNPC also plans to sustain the programme as well.
“What is also remarkable about this occasion is that even though the sixth intake marked the closure of this joint programme, the programme incidentally is in line with GNPC’s Sustainability agenda, which among others; seeks to build the capacity of Ghanaians under its three focal areas, namely: Education and Training, Economic Empowerment, and Environment and Social Amenities,” he added.
Dr Sarpong explained that these they believed would improve the lives of many Ghanaians and ensure even distribution of the petroleum revenue.
To the 125 beneficiaries, Dr Sarpong said: “I challenge you to maintain and possibly, surpass the excellent academic performance of previous scholars. We expect nothing less than dedication and higher commitment to your studies above your contemporaries.”
“Carrying the proud name that you are a ‘HESS-GNPC Scholar’ also means that we expect you to be disciplined and not to be involved in any vice whatsoever that may occur in your various schools,” he added.
The dignitaries which graced the occasion include Awulae Annor Adjeye III, the Omanhene of Western Nzema Traditional Area; Nana Kobina Nketsia V, the Omanhene of Essikado Traditional area; Mr Emmanuel Asmah, a representative of HESS; and Mrs Eugenia Gifty Kusi, the Deputy Western Regional Minister.