Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Abasiekeme Edet, a 200-level undergraduate student of the department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State has emerged winner in the 4th Edition of the Nigeria Content and Development Monitoring Board (NDCMB) Essay completion.
Edet whose piece on the topic: “Research & Development as a key lever for Local Content Implementation in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry” was adjudged the best by the judges went home with a cash prize of N1 million.
Oluwadamilola Oluwafela also a 200-level Medical student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Osun State was the first runner-up with a cash prize of N500,000 while Samson Somtochukwu Eze a 100-level student of Surgery from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State emerged second runner-up with a cash prize of N300,000.
The Executive Secretary of NDCMB, Mr Simbi Wabote in his welcome address at the event held at Ebis Hotel, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, explained that the competition was geared towards developing human and material capacities, which is one of the key mandates of the board.
Wabote who was represented by Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Patrick Obah, disclosed that board sponsored the contest to create local content awareness among the vibrant youths and make them advocates of Nigerian content, which according to him is crucial to the sustainable development of our local economy, job creation and national security.
According to him in furtherance of the vision of the current administration, the board identified some key initiatives under the R&D roadmap to include the establishment of a US$50 million Nigerian Content R&D Fund, sponsorship of research prototypes, commercialisation of research findings and setting up of R&D Centres of Excellence (CoE) in five Nigerian Universities.
Also speaking, General Manager, Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination, NCDMB, Dr. Ginah Ginah stated that the competition was one of the ways devised by the board to improve the standard of education in the country.
Ginah represented by Manager, Corporate Communication, Mr. Naboth Onyesoh said the essay competition was designed to enrich problem solving.
He said “Enlightened citizenry is required for local content advocacy and to nudge public institutions to be more accountable, transparent and alive to quality service delivery, hence this competition is oriented to encourage reading and writing, promote analytical and critical thinking among Nigerian youth”
In his remarks, the organiser, Mr Mr Eyinimi Omorozi commended NDCMB for raising the cash prize from N500,000 to N1million in its efforts to promote academic excellence and create awareness for Nigerian youths as the real drivers of the local content policy to build capacities and competencies.