Winners have emerged in the third edition of the UBA National Essay Competition for Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria.
In a keenly contested competition, Master Ezenwa Joseph Okonkwo, a fifteen year old student of Ambol Comprehensive High School, Akesan-Igando, Lagos, won the coveted prize of N1m educational grant, from nearly 2000 entries received across the country.
Toluwase Adeagbo of Sharon Rose Schools College, Saki and Korie Ijeoma Jennifer of Air Force Secondary School, Port Harcourt emerged first and second runner ups, winning the sum of N750,000 and N500,000 as educational grants.
Speaking during the grand finale and prize presentation of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Secondary Schools, held at the Bank’s Headquarters in Lagos, Alkali Mohammed, President Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) commended UBA Foundation for the initiative and urged other institutions to emulate the educational initiative.
According to the ICAN President, the path towards sustainable development is through investment in the education of its youths, particularly in Nigeria.
Harping on the ideals behind the essay contest he said that “any competition such as this will certainly help to bring out the best in the youths, by kindling their competitive spirit and academic excellence”
Kennedy Uzoka, UBA’s deputy managing director explained that the initiative was not only to test the aptitude and knowledge of the students but has become a pipeline to groom future UBA Ambassadors.
Uzoka said the winners who would go to any university of their choice in Africa would remain part of the UBA family provided they are of good behaviour and remain focused.
“In UBA we appreciate and nurture talents. All the finalists here today have opportunity to excel in life and UBA is delighted to play a part in the process” he added.
Conceived three years ago, the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition was instituted as a follow up to the Read Africa Initiative of the Foundation.
“Winners each year receive educational grants to study in any university of their choice in Africa. We are encouraged to continue to do this and touch the lives of our children by so doing,” Uzoka stated.
The UBA National Essay competition which opened for entries in September and closed on November 1, 2013, received nearly 2000 entries from which 12 finalists were selected to write a supervised essay at the bank’s head office. The three winners emerged based on their performance at the supervised essay.
The 12 finalists chosen by a panel of four Nigeria Professors are: Victoria Aluko (Caleb International College, Magodo); Gloria Ayoola (St. John Comprehensive Academy, Ilesa); Korie Ijeoma Jennifer (Air Force Secondary School, Port Harcourt); Sarah Benson (Living Stone College); Esenwa Joseph Okonkwo (Sambol Comprehensive High School, Akesan-Igando) and Ayewunmi Bukola Ifesowapo Snr. High School, Aboru).
Others include Ogbo Ozioma (Kingsdale Schools, Akute); Toluwase S. Adeagbo (Sharon Rose Schools College, Gedu Estate, Saki); Adetona Miriam Omolayo (Oladipo Alayande School of Science, Oke-Bola, Ibadan); Ani Chisom Tochukwu (Krisbethel College, Ipaja); Mmesoma S. Enibe (University of Nigeria Secondary School, Nsukka) and Sunday K. Ikemsinchi (Dority International Secondary School, Aba).
Each of the 12 finalists received a laptop as a consolation prize for getting to the final of the competition.
As the CSR platform for the UBA Group, UBA Foundation works through four areas of focus, education, economic empowerment, environment and special project.