A first year student of Electronics and Computer Technology at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, Mr. Ubon James, has emerged the winner of the second edition of the annual national oil and gas essay competition organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The essay submitted by the 27-year-old was adjudged the best amongst over 3000 entries contributed by first and second year students from universities across the country. He was rewarded with a cash prize of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000), a new laptop and a plaque.
The top four finalists included Mr. Peter Abegunde, a 200-level law student of Joseph Ayo Babalola University; Deseye Odubo, a 100 level Medical Student of Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State; Melex Tamaradoubra, a student of Medical Laboratory, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt and Osatohamen Ebhodaghe of the University of Benin. The top ten finalists received graduated cash prizes.
Receiving the prize, Ubon called on other government agencies and multinational companies in Nigeria to emulate the example of NCDMB to promote programmes that will bring out the best in youths. He also charged young people to shun vices and channel their energies towards positive endeavors.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote who was represented by the General Manager, Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah explained that the essay competition provides a good opportunity for the Board to engage Nigerian youths, especially the undergraduates and introduce them to the concept of Nigerian Content.
According to him, “it is important to conscientize the young ones on Nigerian Content and the nexus to developing and industrializing our economy. We decided to make the contest pan-Nigeria so as to create geographical balance and engender keen competition. We also wanted to make the point that Nigerian Content activities and implementation is open to Nigerians from all geopolitical zones.”
In his opening remarks, Manager, Corporate Communications, NCDMB, Barr. Naboth Onyesoh emphasized that enlightened citizenry is critical to local content growth and high performance in the oil and gas sector.
While congratulating the top ten finalists, Onyesoh encouraged them to continually improve their writing competencies because it comes with numerous benefits.
The Project Consultant, Mr. Eyinimi Omorozi said the project was conceived to promote academic excellence among university and polytechnic students. He added that it was also aimed at creating awareness for the youths on the need to build local capacities and competencies, for increased indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry.
Chairman of the occasion and Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Professor Seth Accra Jaja commended the NCDMB for various initiatives it had introduced to develop the youths of the country. He sought for closer synergy between universities and the industry, to enable the students gain requisite practical experiences and become employable upon graduation.