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UBA Foundation’s National Essay Competition 2019 to Reward Schools with Highest Entries

Left to right: Group Head, Brand Management, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc, Mr. Lashe Osoba; English Teacher, Holy Child College, Ikoyi, Mrs Ezechukwu Ngozi; Managing Director/CEO, UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta; Group Head, Direct Sales Agency, UBA Plc, Ogechi Altraide; Group Head, Energy and Oil, UBA Plc, Mr. Ebele Ogbue, during the commencement Ceremony for the 2019 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for senior secondary school students in Nigeria held at UBA House on Tuesday
Managing Director /CEO, UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta; Group Head, Direct Sales Agency, United Bank for Africa(UBA)Plc, Mrs Ogechi Altraide; Group Head, Brand Management, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc, Mr. Lashe Osoba, flanked by students of some selected secondary schools in Lagos during the commencement Ceremony for the 2019 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for senior secondary school students in Nigeria held at UBA House on Tuesday
Left to right: Group Head, Brand Management, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc, Mr. Lashe Osoba; English Teacher, Holy Child College, Ikoyi, Mrs Ezechukwu Ngozi; Managing Director /CEO, UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta; Group Head, Direct Sales Agency, UBA Plc Ogechi Altraide; Group Head, External and Media Relations, UBA Plc, Mr. Ramon Nasir, flanked by students and teachers of some selected secondary schools in Lagos during the commencement Ceremony for the 2019 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for senior secondary school students in Nigeria held at UBA House on Tuesday

UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has commenced the 2019 edition of its annual National Essay Competition in Nigeria with a call for entries.

Now in its 9th year, the essay competition, targeted at senior secondary school students in Nigeria, is organised annually as part of UBA Foundation’s education initiative which is aimed at promoting the reading culture and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition amongst secondary school students in Nigeria and across Africa.

At the media launch which took place at UBA headquarters in Lagos, where the call for entries was announced today, he Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation, Mrs. Bola Atta, said the essay competition, which is in its ninth edition, will provide an opportunity for students in secondary schools across the country to put in their entries and to win prizes in the form of educational grants to study in any university of their choice on the African continent.

Beginning from last year, the prize money increased significantly as the UBA Foundation emphasises that education remains one of the foundation’s key initiatives.

The first prize for the UBA National Essay Competition is a N2 million educational grant, while the second and third prizes are N1.5 million and N1m educational grants respectively.

Bola Atta, stressing on the aim of the essay competition, said, “To us at the Foundation, this is our drive to improve the quality of education across the continent. It is also our way of giving back to the society. The competition is a key aspect of our investment drive in human capital, as we seek to improve knowledge base, allow students to express themselves and write creatively. We will continue to sustain the initiative because education is very important to UBA and we are more than committed to providing the necessary support for students in Nigeria and across the African continent.

“We are driven by the mantra to do well and do good and we will not relent in our efforts to touch lives through our various projects, and initiatives.”

Explaining the competition’s modalities, she stated that entries received from students for the competition will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges made up of professors from reputable Nigerian Universities, who will then shortlist 12 best essays for further assessment.

Subsequently, a second round of the competition will involve the 12 finalists who will write a second supervised essay from which three best essays will be selected as the overall winners from the 12 finalists emerged from the first round of the competition.

The essay topic for this year’s competition: “What do you think the government should do to control fraud in Nigeria?” is one that helps promote creative and analytical thinking in students and helps them to be problem solvers, the UBA Foundation’s CEO explained.

Indeed, it is important to note that apart from Nigeria, the national essay competition has been taken to other African countries including Ghana and Senegal. More countries, including Mozambique and Kenya will kick off the initiative this year.

Also speaking at the call for entries today, the Group Head, Direct Sales Agency, Ogechi Altraide, who spoke on the benefits of reading and writing essays, motivated the students to research into the topic and give it their best shot.

She added hat there is the need for them to focus on adapting themselves to happenings in their generation, and to have a growth mindset.

This, she explained, will ensure that they can apply themselves and conquer whatever challenges they are faced with.

According to her, reading and writing go hand in hand, and so it is important for students to keep abreast of how the economy can develop through reading and writing.

An English teacher from Holy Child College, Ikoyi, Mrs Ezechukwu Ngozi, gave the students tips on how to write good essays, and advised them to keep to the proper tenets of essay writing to come out tops in the competition.

As the CSR platform for the UBA Group, UBA Foundation embodies the Group’s CSR objectives and seeks to impact positively on societies through a number of laudable projects and initiatives.

Each year, the bank donates thousands of books to students in Nigeria and across Africa, under the ‘Read Africa’ initiative to encourage and promote the reading culture in secondary schools.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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