NCDMB Essay Competition: Winner Receives N1m, Laptop

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By Kenechukwu Obiajuru, Yenagoa

A 200 level student of the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Enomfon Akpan who emerged winner of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) annual Undergraduate Essay Competition has won N1million as star prize, with a brand new laptop.

The 2021 edition of the competition with the topic “Ten Years of Local Content Implementation in Nigeria: Successes, Challenges and the Imperative of Expanding Beyond Oil and Gas,” is the 5th edition. Ten finalists contested for the star prize.

Also, Michael Williams, a 200 level student of the University of Lagos and indigene of Ogun state emerged second position with a cash award of N700,000 and a laptop. Similarly, Godstime Nwaeze, a 200 level law student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and a native of Ebonyi state clinched third position and went home with N500,000 and a laptop.

Other top ten finalists who won a laptop each include: Michael Agbaiza of Uni-Ben from Edo state, Ekiti state born Owolabi Oluwadare and student of University of Ibadan, Abosede Iyiola of UI and a native of Ogun state, Omotayo Ajibola, Oyo state and student of University of Ibadan, Adama Enenche of Benue state. Others finalists are: Gerald Abaagu, Benue state, and student of the University of Jos, Plateau state, and Eze Somtochukwu of Enugu state who is a student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Speaking at the award giving ceremony in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa state, the executive secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote said the undergraduates annual essay competition was deliberately conceptualized by the board as a strategic approach targeted at the youths who are the real drivers of the Nigerian Content Development initiative.

Simbi, who was represented by head of corporate communications, Barrister Naboth Nyesoh, explained that the idea was to enhance the understanding of the youths on local content drive, adding that this will effectively position them to explore the opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

The NCDMB chief executive informed that the board has created over 50,000 job opportunities for Nigerian youths, adding that the target of the Board was to increase local content participation in the oil and gas industry to seventy percent in year 2027.

The ES highlighted some of the achievements of the board for the past 10 years of its establishment to include: construction and completion of its 17-storey corporate headquarters in Yenagoa, construction and completion of 10 megawatts gas fired power plant at Elebele, catalyzing of the construction of modular refineries, launching of 350 million US dollars Nigerian Content Intervention Fund as well as the launch of 50 million US dollars research and development fund among others.

In his address, Mr. Eyinimi Omorozi, chief executive officer of Mahogany 21st Century Concept Limited, consultant for the essay competition, said 2,200 entries were received from undergraduates from different universities across the country out of which ten students made the top list.

He thanked the NCDMB for sustaining the sponsorship of the annual event for the past five years, pointing out that the programme was a strategic platform aimed at giving the youths the opportunity to excel and enhance their academic capabilities and deepen their understanding of local content in the oil and gas industry just as he commended the panel of judges for a job well done.

Responding, the overall winner of the competition, Enomfon Akpan who is a student of engineering from Abak local government area of Akwa Ibom state, thanked the NCDMB and organizers of the event for giving them and many other Nigerian youths the opportunity to have better understanding of local content in the oil and gas industry.

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