Jude Idada wins $100,000 NLNG Literature Prize

The Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited, has announced “Boom Boom”, written by Jude Idada, as the winner of the $100,000 prize for 2019.

The book edged out Dunni Olatunde’s “Mystery at Ebenezer Lodge” and O.T. Begho’s “The Great Walls of Benin”, which are the other two books in the Shortlist of Three, to clinch the prize out of 173 books submitted for the competition in March this year.

The announcement was made on Saturday at NLNG’s 20-30 Anniversary Ball and Award Night in Abuja by the Chairman of the Advisory Board, Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo.

The event commemorates NLNG’s 30 years anniversary of incorporation, 20 years of safe and reliable production and delivery of LNG from its six-train plant on Bonny Island and 15 years of sponsoring the Nigeria Prize for Literature.

Dignitaries at the event included the Senate President, Ahmed Lawal; the Amanyanabo of Bonny Kingdom, His Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, Perekule XI; NLNG’s Board of Directors, led by Chief Osobonye R. Long John, the Board’s Chairman; NLNG’s past Managing Directors and Deputy Managing Directors of NLNG; NLNG’s Management Team led by Tony Attah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer and Sadeeq Mai-Bornu, Deputy Managing Director; as well as other dignitaries.

Also at the event, Professor Meihong Wang and Dr. Mathew Aneke were also awarded $100,000 as joint-winners of The Nigeria Prize for Science for Year 2019. Wang and Aneke were announced as winners in September 2019 by the prize’s Advisory Board for their work on Carbon Capture, Carbon Utilization, and Biomass Gasification and Energy Storage for Power Generation.

Speaking during his welcome address, NLNG’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tony Attah, said the management and staff of NLNG, inspired by the company’s vision of being a global LNG company, maintained international best practices in operations and safely and reliably delivered LNG cargoes around the world without harm to humans or the environment to earn a prominent place in the global market.

“We are here to celebrate the successes of this unique Nigerian brand which has recorded notable global recognitions, first, as the fastest growing LNG company in the world, in 2008 when we grew from a two-train plant complex in 1999 to a six-train plant just within nine years after start-up. At that time, we were also the fourth major supplier of LNG, contributing 4% of the nation’s GDP, until recently when our contribution was estimated at 1% following the rebasing of the nation’s GDP.

“Only last year, we were ranked first worldwide in plant reliability and we currently hold the fifth place in global market share, a position that we risk losing soon if we do not expand our capacity with the addition of more volumes. We are Africa’s leading supplier of LNG and the single largest industrial complex in the continent, third largest in the world, doing global business with a workforce that is more than 95% indigenous and a wholly Nigerian Senior Management Team,” he stated.

On the prizes, Attah remarked that the company was also celebrating 15 years of successful administration of the Science and Literature prizes, saying: “These past years has been an arduous journey but most definitely very fulfilling for us and I believe for the country as well. I say so unequivocally because thanks to the prizes, our nation now boasts of scientific breakthroughs and famous works on poetry, prose, drama and children’s literature that have earned the prizes a reputation as the most prestigious prizes in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The Deputy Managing Director, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu, in his remarks, expressed appreciation to all the company’s stakeholders for the successes recorded over the years, adding that through partnership with all the levels of government, NLNG has been able to progress towards achieving Train 7, as well as the advancement of Corporate Social Responsibility goals.

While delivering the judges’ report, Professor Banjo said: “Based on standard criteria such as literary merit, appeal of content to the target audience, social relevance of the subject matter explored, and a unique capacity to communicate pain and its relief as a human social and natural experience in a way that children can understand and relate with, Boom Boom, was declared as the winning entry.”

The Nigerian Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. 2020’s competition will focus on prose fiction.

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