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Press Release

Bille Community Sponsors Students Overseas Under SPDC’S GMOU Project

Bille community in Rivers State has sent 12 youths for further studies abroad under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), it signed with The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) in March 2007. The beneficiaries, all indigenes of Bille, have left for the United Kingdom and United States for various undergraduate degree courses.

SPDC’s Government and Community Relations Manager, East Theo Wellington, said at the send-off ceremony: “What you have achieved by using the GMoU to fund human capital development marks a turning point in the development of Bille Kingdom.”

As part of the GMoU implementation, Bille had earlier awarded primary and post primary scholarships to indigenes within Nigeria, but expanded the programme to include the overseas awards. After a selection process that included aptitude tests and interviews, the 12 candidates emerged as the first beneficiaries of the overseas programme — one is studying in the UK, while the remaining 11 are in the United States.

Isreal Amaye, studying for a law degree at University of East London said: “We appreciate the change that the GMoU has brought to our lives”.  Anya Fredba, who is at Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, majoring in Biological Sciences, said: “I can assure our community and SPDC that we will face our studies, keep away from negative influences and return home with the golden fleece.”

Vincent Job, who has also started his course in Biological Sciences at Tillotson, said: “We promise to be good ambassadors…you will be proud of us.”  The other students are Iyalla Igani, Larry Benjamin, Nimi Kemuel, Stanley Dappa, Veronica Numesubo, Dumotein Dibgani, Dikibujiri Diri, Rita Dein and Tamuno-Ina Temebo.

SPDC introduced the GMoU initiative in 2006, whereby the company provides funds to a cluster of communities who plan and implement development programmes and projects within the five-year duration of the agreement. To date, 15 GMoUs have resulted in the implementation of some 115 projects, ranging from human capital development and solar water schemes with treatment facilities to micro-credit schemes, roads, electrification and skills acquisition programmes.

Bille is part of the Degema Cluster 1 GMoU which was signed in March 2007. The cluster has so far completed 15 projects and is currently implementing nine others.