The sum of N1 million has been set aside for winner of the 2017 National Essay Competition organised by UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc.
At a well-attended press conference held last Tuesday at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos to announce the call for entries for the 2017 edition, Chief Executive Officer of UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta, said the essay competition, which is eligible for all senior secondary schools students across the country, provides an opportunity for students to win prizes in the form of educational grants to help them realise their goals in life.
The contest is to promote a reading culture and encourage healthy and intellectual competition amongst secondary school students in Nigeria and across Africa.
“We are well aware that if you help get one child educated, you help support an entire family as that child will eventually positively impact his/her community.
“The competition is a key aspect of our investment drive in human capital and we will continue to sustain the initiative because education is very important to UBA and we are more than committed to providing the necessary support for students in Nigeria and throughout the African continent,” she noted.
Mrs Atta also explained that each year, the bank donates thousands of books to students in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, under the ‘Read Africa’ initiative to encourage and promote the reading culture in secondary schools.
“We are driven by the mantra to do well and do good and we will not relent in our efforts at touching lives through our various projects, and initiatives,” she told the excited students.
According to her, the first prize for the UBA National Essay Competition is a N1 million educational grant for the winner to study in any African university of his or her choice while the second and third prizes are N750,000 and N500,000 educational grants respectively.
She explained that entries received from students for the competition will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges made up of professors from reputable Nigerian Universities, who will then shortlist 12 best essays for further assessment.
A second round of the competition will involve the 12 finalists who will write a second supervised essay from which three best essays will be selected. “Three best essays will be selected as the overall winners from 12 finalists that will emerge from the first round of the competition,” she noted.
Mrs Atta explained that the choice of essay for this year’s competition is one that helps promote creative and analytical thinking in students. The students are to develop a manual on any chosen form of technology or innovation (real or imagined) and make this manual discernable for the simplest of minds.
It is important to note that apart from Nigeria, the national essay competition is also held in other African countries including Ghana and Senegal with more countries to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2018.
Also Speaking at the event, Deputy CEO, Anglophone Africa, Mr Ebele Ogbue asserted that Knowledge is power and the only effective way to transform Africa is through Education.
“Undoubtedly, the future of any nation rests on the younger generation. Hence, the legacy passed on by the preceding generation could make a nation.
“Therefore, investing in the future of the youths is key to redeeming the economy for the collective good. This is why UBA’s support of education across Africa is relentless,” he stated.
As a the CSR platform for the UBA Group, UBA Foundation embodies the Group’s CSR objectives and seeks to impact positively on the society through a number of laudable projects and initiatives.