Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its Joint Venture partners invested about 5.2 million dollars in 2017 to develop the intellectual capacity of young Nigerians toward solving the nation’s challenges.

SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Mr Igo Weli, made this known at the ‘Shell Nigeria Nxplorers Exhibition Event 2018’ organised by the company in Port Harcourt.

Weli was represented by Emmanuel Anyi, SPDC’s Manager, Social Performance Sub-Saharan Africa.

He said that the company had trained and equipped (through scholarships) over 120 young Nigerian students and their teachers across 12 schools in Lagos and Rivers states.

“The students were trained in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and in other complex problem-solving skills.

“The beneficiaries have already been working on projects that aim to provide solutions in part or in full to challenges faced in the Niger Delta.”

According to Weli, the Nxplorers programme is a global initiative designed to equip young people with diverse range of tools and problem-solving skills to address the complex challenges affecting the food-water-energy nexus.’’

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“We are worried with current difficulty to accessing energy, food and water in several countries of the world.

Weli attributed the declining shortages of energy, food and access to potable water to rising population in the country and world population.

“Water is necessary for food production just as it is instrumemtal for the food supply and value chain.

“Energy on the other hand is required to produce and distribute water and food and for processing and transportation of food.

He said that the company had begun assisting the country to overcome the challenges through programmes designed for secondary school students.

“These challenges do not have set solutions but look to sustainable innovation to change the narrative. We have faith and confidence in young Nigerians to change the nation.”

The general manager maintained that young Nigerians had the intellectual capacity to impact the world as well as move the country to better economic fortunes.

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According to him, the Nxploerer programme exposes young people in Nigeria to complex challenges facing the country and the world while also teaching them how to tackle the problems.

In a lecture entitled ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, SPDC’s Senior Research Adviser, Environmental Team, Prof. Arthur Essaghah, said the use of bio-degradable plastics in Nigeria posed a serious danger to nation’s environment.