Eighteen students have emerged winners in the just-concluded zonal contests of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) National Science Quiz Competition held in the six geo-political zones of the country.
The successful participants will lock horns at the competition's grand finale scheduled to hold September 25 to September 26 in Abuja.
A statement by the NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, explained that of the 37 contestants who emerged from the state competitions and competed at the different zones across the country, 14 were from government schools while 23 were from private schools.
Only five females participated in the competition.
Mr Ughamadu said a breakdown of participants at the zonal level were - South-south Zone, Alikah Ehiagwina of Edo came top with 65 points, Ebute Adakole of Rivers came second with 55 points, while Ohwevwo Oghenetejiri of Delta came third with 50 points.
In the South-west zone, Ezeunala Franklin of Lagos State, Igban Emmanuel of Ogun and Owoseeni Olanlesi of Osun State, tied with 55 points each.
In the South-east zone, Okeke Kabilan of Enugu State came top with 65 points, Imo contestant, Okeke Elizabeth, came second with 55 points and Uzondu Emmanuel of Abia scored 45 points.
At the close of the competition for the North-central zone, held in Ilorin, Kwara, Okeke Favour of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) scored 65, Ezemba Confidence of Plateau also had 65, while Agada Vincent of Benue scored 75.
Kwara and Kogi states, represented by Femi Olufisayo and Ibrahim Wisdom respectively, equally tied to take 4th position with 50 points each, with Niger and Nasarawa states, represented by Olamilekan Oladapo and Ajogwu Benjamin, making the sixth and 7th positions with 35 and 20 points respectively.
In the North-west zonal competition, Kaduna State representative, Chijioke Mgbeobukwa, won the contest with 55 points, beating other contestants from Kebbi and Sokoto States who emerged 2nd and 3rd positions with 45 and 40 points respectively.
At the end of a keenly contested event for the North east zone held in Bauchi, Bauchi State representative emerged winner with 50 points while Gombe and Taraba tied with 45 points apiece. Adamawa scored 40 points while Borno and Yobe ended with 25 and 20 points respectively.
"All these students will represent their zones at the Grand Finale in Abuja later in the year," Mr Ughamadu said.
Mr Ughamadu said that several innovations were introduced last year to make the competition better and to help the corporation impact as many communities as possible.
He said that for the 2018 edition, which is the 16th, the aim was to build on the gains already recorded in previous editions.