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Nigeria @60 challenge: FG splashes 16.5m on 9 winners

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By Emmanuel Elebeke

The Federal government on Tuesday rewarded winners of the Nigeria @60 Diamond and Innovation Challenge with a total of 16.5 million cash prize.

The Diamond and Innovation Challenge is an initiative  of the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up by President Mohammadu Buhari to encourage Nigerian youths on creativity and innovation.

The Challenge was segmented in three categories of Poetry, Slogan and Photography. Three winners were selected from each category.

In the Poetry category, Kalu Rejoice Chioma took the fist position; Mustapha Dauda 2nd Position and Usman Patrick came 3rd.

In the same order, Nwakuba Ezinne  took first position; Yusuf Mohammed second and Sani Ibrahim came third in the Slogan category, while, Amau Oluwadausimi; Leke Adebule and Sampson Emeka clinched  the laurels on the Photography category in the same order.

The third winners were presented with N1 million chegue each, second position winners got N1.5 million each, while the first position winners received N3 million each.

READ ALSO: 60th Independence: FG declares October 1st public holiday

Presenting the awards, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami said the challenge was thrown open  by the Inter-Ministerial Committee to all Nigerians  in line with the Presidential mandate to enable Nigerians own up the Diamond celebration.

He commended the winners for their creativity and innovative prowess and charged them to sustain the vision.

‘‘What we did was to allow our citizens to be owners of the diamond celebration to own it up. We only opened it up for all our citizens to come up with innovative slogans, poetry and photography.

‘Nigerians are highly innovative and have very creative minds. We feel it is better we allow our people to  own the celebration. We will continue to encourage them to do so, it should be the beginning and not the end. I encouraged you to do more in future,’’ the Minister said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General of NITDA,  Mallam Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi said the challenge was designed to make the Nigerian Diamond celebration  more exciting and inclusive under the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘‘We needed to come up with a platform to make it digitally driven since we are in digital age. So, we needed to come up with a platform to  do a digital  and innovative challenge, the first time  we are using digital platform, to engage Nigerians in Independent Anniversary celebration.  The process was seamless with many Nigerians participating.’’

The Chairman of the selection panel, Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi said  ‘‘opportunity was given to all Nigerians to participate in the contest.’’

He said a total of 3,258 participants submitted entries for the challenge and out this, 1,931 entries came for Poetry; 630 for Slogan and 689 for photography.

According to him, there were series of selection process by a jury that comprised linguistic and poetry experts, who carried out the screening  before arriving at 60 and finally at 9 grand winners.

Some of the criteria used in the selection process include: relevance to the theme of the Diamond celebration; originality; creativity; impact and presentation by the innovators.

Vanguard

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