Agbugui A. Felicia Emerges Winner of 2016 UBA Foundation Nat Essay Contest

Sixteen year old Agbugui Amanosi Felicia of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja has emerged the overall winner of the 2016 edition of the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition, winning an educational grant of N1,000,000.00 to study in any African university of her choice, and a laptop.

Felicia clinched the first position at the grand finale, held on Thursday December 8, 2016 at the UBA House Marina Lagos, ahead of 12 finalists selected from numerous entries received by the UBA Foundation from students of senior secondary schools across Nigeria.

A visibly elated Felicia said winning the competition would propel her to do more in attaining her dreams of becoming an Engineer. “I am very thrilled, and thankful to God. I am grateful to UBA for this huge opportunity and for taking a huge financial burden off my parents especially at this trying time”

The second prize was bagged by Master Arigi Bill Beckley aged 16 of Global Kids Academy, Arkilla, Sokoto, who won N750,000 educational grant and a laptop while the third prize went to Sanni Mistura of Sacred Heart Catholic College, Ibara, Abeokuta, coveting a N500,000 educational grant and a laptop. The other 9 finalists were given laptops.

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Ijeoma Aso, the Managing Director/CEO of UBA Foundation congratulated the winners and commended all participants. “Every student who sent in an entry is a winner. It shows that he or she is confident about his or her writing skill. For those that did not win, I will say do not be discouraged. Take it as a challenge to perfect your writing and enter for the competition again in 2017, Ijeoma said.

According to Aso, UBA Foundation, being the CSR arm of UBA Plc., makes it a point of duty to give back to communities where UBA operates.  Education she noted is one of the Foundation’s focus areas.

In his remark, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA Plc Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said “we are encouraged by the impact that this initiative has had and as such we are extending it to other parts of Africa. Already we have replicated this in Ghana and Senegal with many more to come. He stated that the winners and indeed all finalists have become UBA Ambassadors, charging them to be of good character, study well and be of good behaviour.

One of the past winners, Orji Somtochukwu Phillipa who is in year 3, studying Medicine and Surgery at the Abia State University, said the grant has taken a huge burden off her parents financially.  “With heartfelt gratitude to UBA, I have kept the fire burning and I assure you that I will not be another unemployed graduate statistic,” Phillipa said  

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The judges, led by the Head of Department of Modern European Languages and Linguistics, Professor Asabe Kabir Usman of Usman Danfodio University Sokoto,  said, they  were  impressed with the participants who showed lots of promise as to what to expect of the future of Nigeria. She stated that the students wrote intelligently and their ideas were well articulated, new and refreshing. They were also encouraged that the students sent entries from all parts of the country.

At this year’s competition, over 3,000 senior secondary students submitted written essays with the topic “If you were in a position to help the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), what would you do?”  The eventual 12 finalists sat for supervised essay writing at UBA House and wrote on the topic Crude Oil; A Blessing or a Course?’