The winners of the 10th edition of the UBA Foundation, the CSR arm of United Bank for Africa (UBA), annual National Essay Competition (NEC) for the year 2020 have been rewarded with N6 million education grants and laptop computers, among other prizes.
In the competition, which has been won by female students for the fourth consecutive years, 14-yearold Eshiet Abasiekeme, a student of Bright Stars Model Secondary School, Akwa-Ibom State, emerged the overall winner.
For leading the pack, Eshiet received the star prize of an education grant of N2.5 million to study in any African university of her choice, while the Foundation will also support her throughout her education career with constant mentoring.
Abasiekeme, who stated that she would like to study Law at the University of Uyo, said of her performance: “I feel honoured to be the winner of this year’s National Essay Competition (NEC), and I want to appreciate UBA and UBA Foundation as this will help towards my dream of becoming a lawyer.”
However, 14-year-old Mofoluwake Adesanya, a student of Spring Forte- Lead College, Lagos, who came second won N2 million education grant, while the third prize of N1.5 million was won by Abdulganiyy Habeebah, a 16-year-old student of International School, University of Lagos, who came third in the competition.
Other winners of the 12 finalists are Emenugha Hannah Amarachi (4th), Ibem Marylyn Anya (5th), Ehibor Favour (6th), Nwabueze Regina Ugochi (6th), Dimaro Tamarapreye (7th), Ozoke Melvin Damian Uchenna (8th), Enobong Flourish David (9th), Chukwuma Light E. C. (10th), and Stephen God’s Grant (11th).
For their brilliant performance, Eshiet and other 11 finalists went home with a new laptop computers each to enable them continue to work competitively in a world that is rapidly becoming fully digitalised.
While congratulating the winners, the Managing Director/ CEO of UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, applauded all the participants for their exceptional brilliance, explaining that the Foundation took into consideration the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and therefore increased the cash prize by 33 per cent this year in order to help cushion the negative or inflationary effects of the outbreak of the virus.
Atta, who reemphasised the driving force behind the annual NEC, said: “We are passionate about the competition because it changes lives and helps in improving the quality of lives of students and their families.
The NEC helps to improve the quality of writing and competitiveness among students.
“Already, we have launched the competition in more African countries this year and by the end of 2021, the Foundation would have launched the initiative in 20 countries. It is not just about writing essays, the ripple effect is really quite enormous, and we are glad that it is cascading to other countries where UBA operates.”
To him, the scholarship prizes were increased for the star winner from N2 million, last year to N2.5 million; while second position prize was also moved up from N1.5 million to N2 million, and third place will now receive N1.5 million against N1 million prize last year.
Also, the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, while announcing the winners during a virtual ceremony that was attended by high school students from across the nation, commended the 12 finalists, and expressed UBA’s delight in touching lives and making a solid impact through the National Essay Competition.