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Edo, Delta Benefits As Seplat JV Empowers Additional 300 Teachers At STEP 3rd Edition

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Edo, Delta Benefits As Seplat JV Empowers Additional 300 Teachers At STEP 3rd Edition

“The initiative is designed to foster creative thinking; problem-solving abilities; teacher-student engagement and produce well-rounded educated students,”

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Seplat Energy Plc, a leading Nigerian independent energy company listed on both the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, has kicked off the 3rd edition of its Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP) in Benin City Edo State, empowering a total of 300 teachers from both Edo and the Delta States.

The STEP initiative launched in 2022 seeks to promote teachers’ creative thinking, allow for higher student engagement, and offer a well-rounded education for recipients of the program. 

The program empowers teachers by providing them with resources to support their delivery of quality teaching in Seplat Energy’s host states, Edo and Delta State.

The official kick-off of this year’s edition was preceded by a four-day residential workshop that provided leadership, self-improvement introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) training, and its application to teaching.

This year, 905 teachers wrote the online qualifying test, and 300 teachers qualified from both states for the 4 day-long residential training. The training which was a huge success will continue online for a further 3 months.

Edo, Delta Benefits As Seplat JV Empowers Additional 300 Teachers At STEP 3rd Edition
Left-Right: Grace Amadi, General Manager Sustainability, Seplat Energy; Clementina Ojuma, Director of Schools Department, Delta State Ministry of Education; Joan Osa Oviawe, Edo State Commissioner for Education; Joseph Ofili, Business Relations Manager, Seplat Energy; Esther Icha, CSR Manager, during the presentation of a tablet computer to a beneficiary at the 3rd edition of the Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme in Edo State.

In her opening remarks, Seplat Energy’s Director, External Affairs and Sustainability, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, represented by Joseph Ofili, Business Relations Manager, stated that Seplat Energy in conjunction with its JV partners, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology, decided to embark on this initiative to empower teachers towards providing a better education platform for students who are the future leaders.

“The initiative is designed to foster creative thinking; problem-solving abilities; teacher-student engagement and produce well-rounded educated students,” she said, adding that this year’s edition features the empowerment of 300 teachers from 90 qualifying schools across Edo and Delta States as well as Chief Inspectors of Education in the states and key personnel of the ministry of education to ensure impactful delivery of the program.

She further stated that the participant was split between 75% public sector, and 25% private sector, explaining that all participants had been issued electronic devices and internet data to continue the online training for the next 3 months.

Dr. Nwachuku noted that the success of the program was largely attributed to the support received from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology as well as Seplat Energy’s JV partner- Nigerian Exploration and Production Ltd (NEPL) formally Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd.

Responding to the opening remarks, the Edo State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Joan Osa Oviawe commended Seplat Energy for STEP Initiative which she branded as a transformative training program. She also commended the quality and robustness of courses being offered and urged the teachers to share the learnings from the program with their colleagues who were unable to be part of it. She also encouraged the teachers to ensure their schools and students benefit from the additional knowledge received from the STEP initiative.

Enumerating some of the immediate positive impacts of the STEP Initiative, Mrs. Oviawe stated that the commission will engage the STEP beneficiaries as Master Trainers to facilitate the planned digital learning training program for Edo State teachers, being set up by the Edo State government under its Education reform program- “Edo Best 2.0”

Mrs. Oviawe further reinstated the commitment of the Edo State Ministry of Education to continue the partnership with Seplat Energy and other agencies in delivering the transformative CSR initiative.

Also speaking at the event, the Delta State Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mrs. Rose Ezewu, represented by Mrs. Clementina Ojuma, Director of Schools Department, Delta State Ministry of Education, commended the efforts of Seplat Energy and NPDC “for the determination to continually uphold its corporate social responsibilities to its host states, which has sustained quality education in Edo and Delta States over time.”

She said: “You have been carefully selected for this training which is an uncommon opportunity for you to gain knowledge and become equipped with skills and tools in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, generally known as STEAM”. She noted that Delta State had witnessed an increase in students participating in local and national Science and Technology competitions since the launch of the STEP initiative whilst encouraging the teachers to ensure that their schools and students benefit from their learnings.

Over the last two editions, Seplat Energy has empowered 363 persons (inclusive of 49 Chief Inspectors of Education). The Ministry of Education of both Delta and the Edo States are very excited by the program because of the multiplier effect it had and will continue to have in secondary education. Both states, therefore, have continued to commend Seplat Energy for the feat whilst indicating their unwavering support for the program.

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The Nigeria Prize For Science 2022: NLNG Encourages Science Students, Awards Three Tier Scholarship Schemes

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(L-R) Ms. Funke Opeke, 2022 The Nigeria Prize for Science (NPS) Judge; Prof. Christian Agbo, Chairman, Panel of Judges; Prof. Barth Nnaji, Chairman, Advisory Board, NPS; Mr. Andy Odeh, NLNG’s GM, External Relations & Sustainable Development; Prof. Mohammed Magaji, NPS Judge; and Mrs. Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, Ag. Mgr Corporate Communications & Public Affairs during the announcement of winners for the 2022 edition of the prize…on 14th Sep 2022 in Lagos.

Theme: “Innovations in Sustainable Food Security”

…Records a high number of low-quality entries that do not meet the requisite criteria to merit the award

Olushola Okunlade Writes

NLNG has been solving national problems by encouraging science students through awarding three tiers of the scholarship scheme which are the Primary Scholarship Scheme, Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme, and Post-Graduate Scholarship Scheme.

NLNG has been consistent since 2004 and continued sponsorship of the prize in the face of Nigeria’s challenging economic and social landscape.

Interestingly, 99% Post-Graduate overseas scholarship schemes that have received support are from science

The Nigeria Prize For Science 2022 cycle has been very intense with 107 entries recorded, the Panel of Judges has evaluated all the entries received and submitted their report to the Advisory Board.

General Manager, External Relations, NLNG, Mr. Andy Odeh in his statement at the press conference on Wednesday reiterated that the dedicated website for the 3 Prizes; The Nigeria Prize for Literature, the Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism, and the Nigeria Prize for Science remains and is the ONLY platform through which information about the Prizes, process, governance, winning works, and winners will be made readily available to members of the public. 

Funke Opeke at the press conference on Wednesday said “We want more young women in science and technology, these careers are accessible to young women to pursue. I am certainly looking forward to the day seeing women scientists winners and I hope NLNG will invite me to witness the prize giving. That is the challenge to all our young female scientists, you need to participate and make yourself aware.

In February 2022, the Advisory Board of The Nigeria Prize for Science announced the call for entries for the annual prize, centred on the theme “Innovations in Sustainable Food Security”. By the deadline set for submission, the board had received One Hundred and Seven (107) entries – the highest number since the inception of the award.

The theme “Innovations in Sustainable Food Security” is significant because attaining food security is a key component of our national agenda. At the global level, Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security. This entails improving the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers by promoting equal access to land, technology, and markets, resilient agricultural practices, and sustainable food production systems.

A Panel of Judges was appointed to assess entries submitted for the Prize. The appointed judges are seasoned academics and innovators who have wide experience, peer recognition, good public image and command respect nationally and internationally. The choice of the judges reflects a multi-disciplinary approach relevant to the theme in focus. The entries for the 2022 prize were handed over to the Panel of Judges for independent evaluation. Each member of the Panel evaluated the entries individually and submitted them to the Prize Secretariat. Thereafter, the Panel convened, discussed, and harmonised the submissions.

The panel was conscious that innovation must be the underlying reason for qualification. To guide the adjudication process, the judges applied Assessment Criteria approved by the Advisory Board as follows:

  • Be patented
  • Have an academic track record
  • Be of high quality
  • Demonstrate evidence of originality/uniqueness
  • Have significant recognition/awards
  • Be sound
  • Have wide impact
  • Be free of ethical issues
  • Be reproducible and attractive to stakeholders

Prof. Barth Nnaji, Chairman, Advisory Board – The Nigeria Prize for Science 2022, yesterday at the press conference, in Lagos, announced the two most outstanding works after diligent consideration and objective application of the guidelines and criteria, the judges recommended two (2) most outstanding works on “Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivers under Drought and Well-Watered Conditions” by Muhyideen Oyekunle and Shehu Ado; and “Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour” by Sesan Peter Ayodeji and Emmanuel Olatunji Olatomilola, as winners of the $100,000 prize money.

Muhyideen Oyekunle and Shehu Ado’s work on “Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivers under Drought and Well-Watered Conditions” provides us with a unique opportunity. The maize seeds they selected through a breeding program have been tested to be high-yielding and water-stress tolerant. The hybrids they selected record yields of 1.73-2.51 t/ha in stress areas and 5-6 t/ha in areas with good rainfall distribution in farmers’ fields against an average yield of 2 t/ha available maize varieties in Nigeria in the last five years.

Sesan Peter Ayodeji and Emmanuel Olatunji Olatomilola’s work on “Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour” is an important innovation for reducing spoilage of farm products and packaging for distribution as well as a value addition for farm products. It is resourceful in scaling up from batch production to industrial-scale continuous flour production relevant beyond plantain to other food items.

Following the Judge’s recommendation and the ratification by the Advisory board, the recommended entries are hereby declared as the Nigeria Prize for Science 2022 Winners.

The Advisory Board in their statement said “Whilst we are excited about having a prize winner for 2022 as against 2020/2021, it is expedient we highlight the high number of low-quality entries that do not meet the requisite criteria to merit the award. This is disturbing considering the importance of the focus on our nation and indeed our world.”

The Advisory Board is optimistic that the award of this prize annually will continue to reinvigorate the passion of both budding and more established scientists and innovators in finding solutions to our everyday issues. We commend the Panel of judges for the diligence, which was apparent in the delivery of this assignment. We are particularly pleased that in evaluating the entries, they upheld the objectives of the Prize as it seeks to identify and promote excellence in utilizing scientific knowledge for the achievement of desired solutions. I also acknowledge and commend my colleagues on the Advisory Board for their invaluable contributions throughout the process.

Advisory Board applauds the Board and Management of Nigeria LNG for instituting and sustaining the biggest Science Prize in Africa. We hope that other corporate organisations will emulate them as they continue to demonstrate their passion for helping to build a better Nigeria and ultimately Africa.

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Two Scientific Works Win The Nigeria Prize For Science, 2022

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(L-R) Ms. Funke Opeke, 2022 The Nigeria Prize for Science (NPS) Judge; Prof. Christian Agbo, Chairman, Panel of Judges; Prof. Barth Nnaji, Chairman, Advisory Board, NPS; Mr. Andy Odeh, NLNG’s GM, External Relations & Sustainable Development; Prof. Mohammed Magaji, NPS Judge; and Mrs. Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, Ag. Mgr Corporate Communications & Public Affairs during the announcement of winners for the 2022 edition of the prize…on 14th Sep 2022 in Lagos.

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The 2022 edition of  The Nigeria Prize for Science today, announced the two most outstanding works on “Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivars under Drought and Well-Watered Conditions” by Muhydideen Oyekunle and Shehu Ado; and “Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour” by Sesan Peter Ayodeji and Emmanuel Olatunji Olatomilola, as winners of the $100,000 prize money.

The Prize’s Advisory Board, led by Professor Barth Nnaji, announced the judges’ verdict based on the 2022 theme “Innovations in Sustainable Food Security” at a press conference in Lagos. This is coming after the 2021 cycle, which was based on the same theme, ended without a winner.

In his remarks on the verdict, Mr. Andy Odeh, NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, said the Science Prize is growing in strength as the 2022 verdict depicts. He stated that the Advisory Board and NLNG are working behind the scenes to review the prize for a bigger impact and inclusiveness for the good of society. He emphasized that science can provide solutions to most of the country’s challenges and urged relevant stakeholders and the public to continue to support NLNG through the Nigeria Prize for Science to make scientific breakthroughs the biggest enabler of development in Nigeria, adding that industry and public investors should consider the commercial value of the winning works.

 (L-R) Ms. Funke Opeke, 2022 The Nigeria Prize for Science (NPS) Judge; Prof. Christian Agbo, Chairman, Panel of Judges; Prof. Barth Nnaji, Chairman, Advisory Board, NPS; Mr. Andy Odeh, NLNG’s GM, External Relations & Sustainable Development; Prof. Mohammed Magaji, NPS Judge; and Mrs. Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, Ag. Mgr Corporate Communications & Public Affairs during the announcement of winners for the 2022 edition of the prize…on 14th Sep 2022 in Lagos.
Left-Right: Ms. Funke Opeke, 2022 The Nigeria Prize for Science (NPS) Judge; Prof. Christian Agbo, Chairman, Panel of Judges; Prof. Barth Nnaji, Chairman, Advisory Board, NPS; Mr. Andy Odeh, NLNG’s GM, External Relations & Sustainable Development; Prof. Mohammed Magaji, NPS Judge; and Mrs. Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, Ag. Mgr Corporate Communications & Public Affairs during the announcement of winners for the 2022 edition of the prize on Wednesday 14th September 2022 in Lagos.

While commending the winners for the big feat, Mr. Odeh called on all past winners of the prize to synergize and become a think-tank that can generate and sustain the flow of ideas, innovation, and scientific advice to the public and private sectors, adding that this will make scientific ideas and innovations beneficial to Nigerians, thereby helping to build a better Nigeria, in line with NLNG’s vision.  

He stated further that the winning works have the potential to significantly impact the country’s food security positively, guaranteeing a stable, efficient, and sufficient system of food production.

Referring to the judges’ report, Professor Nnaji said the work(s) addressed food security which is a key component of our national agenda. “At the global level, Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security. This entails improving the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers by promoting equal access to land, technology and markets, resilient agricultural practices, and sustainable food production systems”, he stated.

Professor Nnaji said the choice of the judges reflects a multi-disciplinary approach relevant to the theme in focus. He added that “the advisory board is particularly pleased that in evaluating the entries, the judges upheld the objectives of the prize which seeks to identify and promote excellence in utilizing scientific knowledge for the achievement of desired solutions”.

Muhyideen Oyekunle and Shehu Ado’s work on “Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivars under Drought and Well-Watered Conditions” provides us with a unique opportunity. The maize seeds they selected courtesy of the breeding program have been tested to be high-yielding and water stress tolerant. The hybrids they selected record yields of 1.73-2.51 t/ha in stress areas and 5-6 t/ha in areas with good rainfall distribution in farmers’ fields.

Sesan Peter Ayodeji and Emmanuel Olatunji Olatomilola’s work on “Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour” is important for reducing spoilage of farm products and packaging for distribution as well as a value addition for farm products. It is resourceful in scaling up from batch production to industrial-scale continuous flour production relevant beyond plantain to other food items.

Two Scientific Works Win The Nigeria Prize For Science, 2022

He commended the Board and Management of Nigeria LNG for instituting, sponsoring, and sustaining what is arguably the biggest Science Prize in Africa.

Winners of this year’s edition of the prize are Muhyideen Oyekunle, a Maize Breeder and Lecturer at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, and his colleague Prof Shehu Garki Ado, an agricultural expert, eminent academic, and researcher of international repute. He is a professor of Genetics and Plant Breeding and is currently the vice-chancellor of Al-Qalam University Katsina.

Professor Sesan Peter Ayodeji is a professor of Machine & Process Design and Applied Ergonomics at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, and his colleague is Emmanuel Olatunji Olatomilola.

The decision on the winning entries was reached by a panel of judges, led by Professor Christian Ugwu Agbo. Professor Agbo is a professor in the Department of Agriculture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Other members of the panel are Ms. Funke Opeke and Prof Mohammed Magaji. Ms. Opeke is an experienced telecommunications executive and the founder/CEO of MainOne while Professor Magaji is a professor of Agronomy at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.

For the Advisory Board of the NigeriaPrize for Science, in addition to Professor Nnaji, are Chief Dr. Nike Akande, a two-time minister and former President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Professor Yusuf Abubakar, a professor of Animal Breeding and Quantitative Genetics and the Coordinator of Agriculture Group, R & D Standing Committee, at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

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Shell Enters $1bn LNG Sales Agreement With ZIM

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Industry Regulator Applauds Shell For Investing In Nigerian Gas Infrastructure

Oil major, Shell has entered into a 10-year marine liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales and purchase agreement with an Israeli container shipping company ZIM, valued at more than $1 billion.

The LNG is intended for 10 LNG-fueled vessels that will be deployed on ZIM’s flagship ZIM Container Service Pacific (ZCP), on Asia to USEC trade.

These ten 15,000 TEU vessels are expected to enter into service during 2023-2024 and will be transporting goods from China and South Korea to US East Coast and the Caribbean. The vessels have been chartered by Seaspan Corporation. The charter agreement, announced in February last year is also valued in excess of one billion dollars.

The construction of the vessels has already been launched with South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) completing the keel-laying for Sammy Ofer dual-fuel containership at its Geoje yard.

On the basis that LNG emits ~20 per cent less GHG emissions when compared to conventional marine fuels, using LNG on these 10 ships is equivalent to having two out of the 10 vessels in the fleet with zero emission, ZIM said in a statement.

“With the addition of significant LNG-powered capacity to our fleet, beginning in 2023, we have positioned ZIM as a leader in carbon intensity reduction among global liners.

“We are pleased to execute this long-term supply agreement with Shell to secure LNG at competitive terms and look forward to partnering with a global industry leader such as Shell as we take an important step to ensure our fuel sourcing is well planned and of the highest quality,” said Eli Glickman, ZIM President & CEO.

“We are delighted to collaborate with ZIM on their impressive efforts to reduce emissions in their maritime supply chain. Decarbonisation of the shipping industry must begin today, and LNG is a lower emission fuel choice currently available in meaningful volumes, and via liquefied biomethane and liquified e-methane, offers a credible pathway to net zero GHG emissions,” said Executive Vice President, Steve Hill,  Energy Marketing at Shell.

The agreement with Shell may also cover other trades where ZIM LNG vessels could be deployed, ZIM said.

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