By Dayo Adesulu
The trio, Samuella Sam-Orlu from British Nigerian Academy, Abuja; Deborah Chinwendu Innocent of Enal International Schools, Abuja and Ya-Hofon Ettah Essien from Nigerian Christian Institute, Akwa Ibom have emerged first, second and third respectively at the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition 2017.
Just as it was in 2011, 2012 and 2013, out of over 1,000 entries for the contest, nine females were shortlisted among the 12 finalists. This year’s winners were all females.
While Sam-Orlu was rewarded with educational grant of N1,000,000 and laptop to study in any African university of her choice, Innocent and Essien got N750,000 and N500,000 and a laptop respectively.
Also, for making it to the final stage, the other nine finalists were rewarded each with a laptop, just as the 12 finalists also went home with certificates.
In his remark, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said that UBA as a bank was happy to touch lives through this competition and the grant it gives out to those who emerge winners.
He said: “Seeing past winners tell their stories on the impact the grants have made on their education and particularly how the financial burden was lifted off their parents, gives us joy that our foundation is unique and stands out from others in touching lives.’’
He explained that the essay competition had produced over 100 winners since its inception in 2011 in Nigeria, with winners studying varied courses in universities in Nigeria and within the African continent.
His words: “I must also state here that we want to make sure the grants are given to those who really need them. That is why we restrict the grant to schools within Africa alone. If by chance the parents of any winner sends his or her ward to an elite school outside Africa, we would not go ahead with that support, because what we are really after are those who need the grant as we contribute to the development of Africa.”