Otong Usonubong Paul, a student of Federal Government Girls College, Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa-Ibom State, has emerged as the winner of the 12th edition of the national essay competition organised by the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Paul, aged 15 and an SS2 student was announced the winner at the grand finale of the competition and award ceremony held at the Tony Elumelu amphitheatre in UBA House, Marina, Lagos State, on Monday.
Beating eleven other finalists to the grand prize, she smiled home with N5 million scholarship grant to study at any African university of her choice, a trophy, a laptop, a certificate of merit, and a school bag. She will also be supported throughout her educational career and beyond with constant mentoring by the UBA Foundation.
In her remarks, Paul said she was excited to have come tops in the competition, adding that the scholarship would assist her in her aspiration to become an ophthalmologist.
“I am so grateful to UBA Foundation for this opportunity. It has helped me to believe in myself and bolster my confidence. This scholarship will go a long way toward assisting in my dream to become an ophthalmologist. This opportunity has changed my life and I appreciate the UBA and the UBA Foundation for this,” she said.
The first-runner up was Princess Sholabomi, aged 15 of Value Spring College, Lagos. She won a N3 million scholarship grant to study at her choice university in Africa, a laptop, a certificate of merit, and a school bag.
15-year-old Sharon Nwajiaku of Ota Total Academy, Ogun State, emerged the second runner-up, winning a N2.5 million scholarship grant to study in any university in Africa, a laptop, a certificate of merit, and a school bag.
The other nine finalists, which included one boy, also received laptops as well as consolation prizes, including books and other learning materials.
The national essay competition, targeted at senior secondary students in Nigeria, is organised annually, as part of UBA Foundation’s education initiative which aims to promote the reading culture and encourage healthy and intellectual competition among secondary school students in Nigeria and across Africa.
The topic for this year’s national essay competition was: ‘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.’ Over 5,000 students applied for the competition nationwide.
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