Master Ikenna Ugwuegbulam, a Senior Secondary School student of International School, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State Tuesday emerged the overall winner of the 2012 edition of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Foundation National Essay Competition for Secondary Schools in Nigeria.
A statement yesterday said Ugwuegbulam, who clinched the first position at the grand finale and prize giving ceremony, held at the bank's head office in Lagos, got an educational grant of N1 million to study in any African university.
He emerged winner out of 11 other finalists in the essay competition in which students from Nigerian secondary schools were invited to write an essay titled: "As an African President, what would be your plans for the educational sector?
Arokoruba Cheetam-West of University of Calabar International Secondary School, Calabar, Cross River State, emerged as the first runner-up while the third position was taken by Nwaezuoke Anastasia of Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba, Lagos. They also won N750,000 and N500,000 respectively as educational grant to study in any African university. However, all the 12 finalists got a laptop gift each from the Foundation.
Speaking at the prize giving ceremony, Deputy Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the essay competition recorded an increase in the number of entries from 719 essays last year to over 2000 in 2012.
"The mission by UBA Foundation to rekindle the dwindling writing culture in Africa has started yielding results. We have seen the benefits of the essay competition going by the increase in the number of entries from what we received last year. Indeed, we received under 3,000 entries this year and we are impressed because we have seen entries even from remote areas which shows that UBA Foundation transcends different strata of the society," he said.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, who was the Chairman of the occasion, commended UBA Foundation for the initiative, adding that "UBA Group remains one of the institutions in Nigeria that is not only doing smart things but modern things."