Oil giant, ExxonMobil said it has invested more than N300 million on the training and empowerment of 750 unemployed graduates from Akwa Ibom in the last six years.
It also said that it has committed more than N150 million on the secondary school scholarship programme in the 2015/2016 session.
ExxonMobil General Manager in charge of Public and Government Affairs, Mr. Paul Arinze made this known yesterday at the graduation of beneficiaries of the second phase of the Graduate Apprenticeship Programme, GAP, in Uyo yesterday.
Arinze explained that 450 unemployed graduates benefitted from the first phase of the programme with additional 300 taking part in the second phase with more than 95% of them coming from Akwa Ibom.
180 or 60% of the graduates in the second phase, according to the GM have already been gainfully engaged either in well paid employment or in the running of small scale businesses adding that the second phase was inspired by the success recorded in the first phase.
“Today it is indeed heart -warming to note that the second phase of GAP has already attained its key objective, as more than 60% of the 300 beneficiaries are now gainfully engaged. Some of these graduates were unemployed for upward of 10 years after University graduation,” he said.
He said that the secondary school scholarship programme which commenced with 20 beneficiaries in 2011 has been expanded to 194 to also include pupils in primary schools.
This gesture according to Arinze is intended to support the manpower development in the state and is consistent with the JV’s long term approach to educational advancement in its host communities.
In a remark, state commissioner for Science and technology, Dr. Elizabeth Okon commended the JV for efforts made in improving the quality of education especially at the primary and secondary levels in the state.
Obot said that the state government in addition to the free and compulsory education programme initiated various policies aimed at further boosting the skills of youths in the area.
“In this regard more than 1000 graduates have been sponsored by the state government in oracle database training with another 1000 already sent to Israel to learn modern skills in agriculture,” she said.
The commissioner stated that the efforts were geared toward making youths in the state self reliant and advised the beneficiaries to make the best use of the training and empowerment from the Joint Venture and their trainers.

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