16 varsities to benefit from ExxonMobil lecture series
The lecture series is a new initiative under the Universities Assisted Programme (UAP), which was introduced in 2008 with the overall objective of enriching the quality of geosciences training in Nigerian universities.
Speaking at the launch of series, which was held at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Ibadan, General Manager, EEPNL, Mr. Andrew Ejayeriese, revealed that ExxonMobil plans to reach 16 public universities in the country in the first phase of the programme by December 2015.
According to him: “Ultimately, we hope to reach every public university in Nigeria with the series.”
Ejayeriese noted that under the initiative, senior geosciences professional from ExxonMobil upstream companies would be presenting lectures at selected universities free of charge, “sharing their wealth of experience and depth of technical knowledge, with both students and academic staff of these universities.
“A total of 24 lectures, covering geosciences and non-technical topics will be presented at a 3-day workshops for each university selected for the series.
Represented by Mr. Gilber Odior, ExxonMobil Geosciences Coordinator, he said that exercise was one of many initiatives the company has introduced over the years towards improving the quality of geosciences education in Nigeria to globally competitive levels.
“In fact, it is the fourth programme we are adding to our UAP since its inception seven years ago. So far, 17 universities across all geo-political zones of the country have benefited from the three UAP programmes including the University of Ibadan with over N2bn committed by ExxonMobil.
In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole, said the lectures series would go a long way in building the capacity Nigerian students and lecturers that form the bedrock of the university system.
“We are thanking you for the support all across the years, because we do know how much you have pumped into the university system; over 2.8bn as at the last count and nothing less than 60 per cent of that has come to the University of Ibadan in form of grants.
Represented by the Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Ibadan, Prof. Abiodun Onilude, he said, “So far we have improved and maintained whatever it is that you have been able to give us. If you compare what we had in University of Ibadan in the 1980’s to what we have now, I believe you will also give credit for upholding what you have been able to give to us.
On his part, President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Professor Gbenga Okunlola, stated that ExxonMobil has transformed the outlook of fieldwork in Nigerian universities.
“Over the years, not only has it succeeded, it has helped the Nigerian university system to rediscover the zeal for fieldwork and it has added value to geological outlook by producing 12 optic maps in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the HOD, Geology Department, Musiliu Tijani appealed to ExxonMobil to sustain the initiative by providing equipment to universities in order for them to deliver more practical oriented programme for the students.