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‘Don’t be discouraged’ 15yr old Otong Paul emerges 2022 UBA Foundation NEC winner

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Princess Sholabomi, Otong Usongobong Paul and Sharon Nwajiaku,

Sustainability

‘Don’t be discouraged’ 15yr old Otong Paul emerges 2022 UBA Foundation NEC winner

It was all joy and palpable excitement as 15-year old Usongobong Paul, from Akwa-Ibom State, emerged the overall winner of the 2022 Edition of the UBA Foundation’s annual National Essay Competition(NEC). Now in its 12th year, UBA Foundation’s Essay competition has positively impacted hundreds of students across Africa.

Usongobong Paul, a student of the Federal Government Girls College Ikot- Obio Itong, Akwa-Ibom beat 11 other finalists to clinch the best prize at the competition which had over 5,000 entries from students of Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria.

She takes home a scholarship worth five million naira to study at any African university of her choice. She also received a brand-new state-of the-art laptop amongst other goodies at the grand finale which was held at the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre, UBA House in Lagos on Monday.

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Usongobong who was escorted to the event by her ICT Teacher, Akanyere Divine Chigozie, said she was excited to have come top in the competition, adding that the experience has helped increase her confidence levels: “I am so grateful to UBA Foundation for this great opportunity. It has helped me believe in myself and bolstered my confidence. This scholarship will go a long way towards achieving my dream to become an ophthalmologist. The opportunity has changed my life and I really appreciate UBA and the UBA Foundation” she said.

She will also be supported throughout her educational career and beyond with constant mentoring by the UBA Foundation.

The second prize was awarded to Princess Sholabomi, a 15 year old student of Value Spring College, Lagos. She won a N3,000,000 educational grant and a laptop, whilst the third prize of N2,500,000 and a brand-new laptop went to 15-year old Sharon Nwajiaku of Ota Total Academy, Ogun State. The other 9 finalists, which included only one boy, also received brand new laptops as well as consolation prizes and learning materials.

UBA Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, who presented the prize to Usongobong, said the bank remains committed to the youth, who are the future of the continent.

“As a bank, we are interested in empowering our youth, and to do this, we must educate them and provide them with enabling avenues such as the UBA Foundation’s National Essay Competition. We have launched these initiatives in all the 20 countries where UBA has presence. I was in Sierra Leone a few weeks ago where the NEC was held, and I was really encouraged by the enthusiasm and participation I witnessed there. Since we at UBA know that our future lies with our kids, UBA will continue to provide the necessary enablement which will help them take Africa to the world where it needs to be;” the GMD stated.

The Chairman of the board of trustees of the UBA Foundation, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, congratulated the 12 finalists, adding that UBA has been touching lives and making a solid impact through the UBA Foundation and has produced hundreds of winners, some of who have long graduated from higher schools and who have continued to impact their communities.

He said, “I commend everyone for being a part of this event. We set up the NEC over 12 years ago, because we saw the need to allow students to express themselves and convey their ideas, and over the years, we have seen that we are doing something very unique and truly African. We have given scholarships to over a hundred students across Africa, and we have been able to produce Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers through this platform,” Uzoka said.

The MD/CEO, UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, who also congratulated the winners commended them for their exceptional brilliance. “Every student who sent in an entry is a winner. To be confident about your writing skills and ambitious enough to enter a competition to further enhance your educational path is laudable. For those that did not come first this year, I would say do not be discouraged. Take it as a challenge to perfect your writing skills and enter for the competition again next year” she said.

She explained that the UBA Foundation is committed to giving back to communities where it operates. Education in any capacity, she noted, remains one of the Foundation’s focus area as it is the bedrock of any nation. We have been focused on improving the reading culture amongst students, to foster growth and learning. So today, we would like to congratulate all 12 finalists, because you are all winners, having been selected from over 5,000 entries.

UBA Foundation is the corporate social responsibility(CSR) arm of Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. The UBA Foundation’s Education initiative has been changing lives for almost two decades, giving back to its communities and helping ease the way for those less privileged. The Foundation is focused on development in the areas of Education, the Environment, Economic Empowerment and Special Projects.

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UBA Foundation National Essay Competition 2: l-r: 1st Runner-up, 2022 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition and Student of Value Spring College, Lagos, Princess Sholabomi; Winner and student of Federal Government Girls College, Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Otong Usongobong Paul; and 2nd Runner-up, and Otta Total Academy, Otta, Ogun State, Sharon Nwajiaku, at the grand Finale of the12th Edition of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Schools in Nigeria held at the Bank’s Amphitheater in Lagos on Monday

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UBA Foundation National Essay Competition 1: l-r: 1st Runner-up, 2022 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition and Student of Value Spring College, Lagos, Princess Sholabomi; Winner and student of Federal Government Girls College, Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Otong Usongobong Paul; and 2nd Runner-up, and Otta Total Academy, Otta, Ogun State, Sharon Nwajiaku, at the grand Finale of the12th Edition of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Schools in Nigeria held at the Bank’s Amphitheater in Lagos on Monday

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UBA Foundation National Essay Competition 6: l-r: Managing Director, UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta; Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa(UBA), Mr. Oliver Alawuba; Winner,2022 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition and student of Federal Government Girls College, Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Otong Usongobong Paul; Tutor, FGGC, Ikot Obio Itong, Akanyere Divinelove Chigozie ; and Deputy Managing Director, UBA Group, Mr. Muyiwa Akinyemi; and Company Secretary, UBA Group, Mr. Bili Odum, at the grand Finale of the12th Edition of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Schools in Nigeria held at the Bank’s Amphitheater in Lagos on Monday

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UBA Foundation National Essay Competition 4: Managing Director, UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta(5th from left); 1st Runner-up and Student of Value Spring College, Lagos, Princess Sholabomi; Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa(UBA), Mr. Oliver Alawuba(7th from left); Winner,2022 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition and student of Federal Government Girls College, Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Otong Usongobong Paul(8th from left); 2nd Runner-up, and Otta Total Academy, Otta, Ogun State, Sharon Nwajiaku (9th from, left); and Deputy Managing Director, UBA Group, Mr. Muyiwa Akinyemi(10th from left) flanked by other finalists, at the grand Finale of the12th Edition of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Schools in Nigeria held at the Bank’s Amphitheater in Lagos on Monday

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UBA Foundation National Essay Competition 3: Judges, UBA Foundation National Essay Competition, Professors Samuel Onuigbo, Asabe Kabir and Ini Uko; Managing Director, UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta; 1st Runner-up and Student of Value Spring College, Lagos, Princess Sholabomi; Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa(UBA), Mr. Oliver Alawuba; Winner, 2022 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition and student of Federal Government Girls College, Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Otong Usongobong Paul; Trustee, UBA Foundation, Mary Udu-Ejembi; 2nd Runner-up, and Otta Total Academy, Otta, Ogun State, Sharon Nwajiaku; Deputy Managing Director, UBA Group, Mr. Muyiwa Akinyemi; and Trustee, UBA Foundation, Bala Magaji, at the grand Finale of the12th Edition of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Schools in Nigeria held at the Bank’s Amphitheater in Lagos on Monday

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UBA Foundation National Essay Competition 5: l-r: Company Secretary, UBA Group, Mr. Bili Odum; Managing Director, UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta; 1st Runner-up, 2022 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition and Student of Value Spring College, Lagos, Miss Princess Sholabomi; Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa(UBA), Mr. Oliver Alawuba; Winner, 2022 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition and student of Federal Government Girls College, Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Otong Usongobong Paul; 2nd Runner-up and Student, Otta Tota Academy, Otta, Ogun State, Miss Sharon Nwajiaku; and Deputy Managing Director, UBA Group, Mr. Muyiwa Akinyemi, at the grand Finale of the12th Edition of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Schools in Nigeria held at the Bank’s Amphitheater in Lagos on Monday

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Ojelabi, the publisher of Freelanews, is a professionally trained mass communicator, who writes ruthlessly about pop culture, religion, politics and entertainment.

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