By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The General Manager of Biased Palm Plantations Limited and Eyop Industries Limited, Mr. Nicholas Ahoy, has disclosed that 200 students from the 20 host communities have benefitted from its annual scholarship award since inception in 2014.
He made the disclosure while speaking at the 2018/2019 edition of PZ Wilmar Scholarship award ceremony at its headquarters at Mbarakom.
Ahoy while tracing the history of the initiative, said “the journey started fiv years ago in 2014 as part of our Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) initiative with the award to 35 beneficiaries, who have obtained enrichment into various higher institutions across the state”.
This, he said, “is a very pertinent step the company understood in our resolve to improve the standard of education within our Landlord communities around Akamkpa, Biased, Odukpani and Akpabuyo in Cross River state”.
According to him, “in the long term, this initiative will enhance efforts both by the company as well as the institutions of higher learning to bridge the gap between manpower requirements within our concession areas in particular and the state as a whole”.
He expressed hope that communities in its concessions n areas would continue to benefit from this initiative and support the students in their quest for knowledge and skills in their own way”.
Ahoy advised the students who have been selected for this year’s award to optimise on this initiative to improve themselves be I could n areas of academics, sports or any other extra curricular role so that they realize their true potential and get ready to face th outer world once they complete their school studies.
He expressed joy over reports that the beneficiaries we’re already performing and excelling in their respective areas of interests.
The general manager lauded th the chairman and members of the scholarship board for taking this initiative to a new level and creating a distinct path for the students to follow.
Also, he commended all the parents for joining PZ Wilmar for the effort in organising today’s ceremony and making it a success.
In his opening speech, the chairman Scholarship Board, Prof.A B.Arikpo, while congratulating the students, urged them to study hard to justify this scholarship from PZ Wilmar.
He “this is one scholarship that its management is efficient and reliable”.
Arikpo declared all the company need from you “is good performance, good behavior and to be responsible as long as this initiative last”.
In his own contribution, the former special adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanji, Hon. Barr .Venatius Ikem, said “Wilmar has changed the face of Cross River and in particular the host communities.
He appealed to the state governor to have a rethink on how to hand over both palm and Cocoa plantations to the management of PZ Wilmar because of their outstanding performance in the palm oil plantations.
Said he, “instead of thinking of how to replant the old Cocoa trees, our people in Boki are fighting, killing themselves”.
According to him, “if we have all these estates working like this,, it will reduce the rate of unemployment in the state. Our story has not ended, it has changed. We need help. I thank the management of Wilmar for this initiative. We need Wilmar in Boki very seriously”.
Earlier, Master Eto Sunday on behalf of the beneficiaries thanked the management of Wilmar and assured that they will leave up to expectations by studying very hard as well as to excel in all their endeavours to justify the scholarship award.
The Commissioner for Education, Hon. Etta, was represented by the chairman Secondary School Education Board, Chief Johnson Of or at the occasion.