15-Year-Old Akwa Ibom Student Wins 2022 Uba National Essay Contest

Mon Nov 14th, 2022 -

A 15-year-old student of Federal Girl’s College, Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State, Otong Usuongobona Paul has emerged winner of this year’s National Essay Competition organised by the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc among senior secondary school students nationwide.

She was announced the winner at the grand finale of the competition and award ceremony held at UBA House, Marina, Lagos, on Monday.

She is the fourth female student to win the star prize in four years even as only one male student made it to the final stage of this year’s edition among the top 12 finalists invited to the award ceremony.

UBA National essay competition, which is an annual event and with this year’s edition, the 12th in the series, is one of the UBA intervention initiatives on education domiciled under its social arm, UBA Foundation.

Otong, an SS2 student and fourth child of her parents defeated Princess Sholabomi, a student of Value Spring College, Lagos and Sharon Uwajiaku, a student of Total Academy, Otta, Ogun State, to second and third prizes, respectively and also nine other finalists from among over 5,000 students who submitted entries nationwide.

While Otong is rewarded for her effort with a N5 million scholarship grant to study at any university of her choice in Africa, a trophy, laptop, certificate of merit, and a school bag, Princess and Sharon on their part, won N3 million and N2.5 million scholarship grants respectively also to study at their choice universities in Africa and equally received a laptop, certificate of merit, and a school bag each.

Otong, who is aspiring to become an ophthalmologist and was accompanied to the event by her teacher, Mrs Divine-Love Akanyere, told Tribune Online that winning the competition was really tasking as she burnt night candles to read and research to put down the winning essay.

It was her first attempt to participate in the competition and she had never won any major award before.

They all wrote on “ASUU strikes have often cost Nigerian students time. Advise the Nigerian government on how they can reach an agreement with ASUU to improve tertiary education in the country.”

While commending UBA Foundation for providing the platform, she said she had gained additional knowledge about contemporary issues in the education system and that hard work and commitment are certainly rewarding.

In his remark at the event, the Managing Director/CEO of UBA Plc, Mr Oliver Alawuba, said UBA is particularly happy to be using the platform to boost reading culture and encourage healthy competition among students, noting that the annual event has produced so many winners with many today contributing to national development.

He promised that the bank through the competition would continue to support the education of Nigerians who want to study in any of the African universities.

Also speaking, MD/CEO, UBA Foundation, Bola Atta congratulated and commended the winners for their exceptional performance, urging those who did not win the major prize this year not to be discouraged but be more focused and committed to enable them to do better in future.

She said the foundation had extended the competition to other African countries where UBA operates as a way of giving back to them.

In her part, the leader of the panel of jurists, who assessed all the entries, Prof Asabe Kabir from Usma Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, said many of the entries were actually poor as many students were not familiar with national issues around them let alone understand what they are about.

She said their entries showed that many of the students are too engrossed with social media and things that would not add value to them rather than be committed to their studies.

She, however, urged both winners and their colleagues not to rest on their oars but to give their studies more attention.





source: Tribune