UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has commenced the 2021 edition of its annual National Essay Competition (NEC) in Nigeria with a call for entries.
The Head, External & Media Relations at UBA, Ramon Nasir, disclosed that the NEC has been rolled out in four other countries where UBA operates, with plans in place to cover 19 African countries in the next couple of years.
The competition is part of the foundation’s education initiative, which is aimed at promoting literacy and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition among senior secondary school students in Nigeria and across the continent.
This year’s competition has been modified to ensure ease of access and increased participation of students, as they can submit entries from homes and schools through the foundation’s digital submission.
Like the previous year, prizes for winners this year have increased by 33 per cent, with the first prize winner expected to receive an educational grant of N3m from the N2.5 million in 2020, to study at any African university of his or her choice.
The second and third prizes now stand at N2.5m and N2m educational grants respectively. Winners of the 12 best essays will also go home with state-of-the-art laptops to help them with their tertiary research work and other studies.
Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation, Mrs. Bola Atta, said the foundation scaled up prizes for the second year in a row, to accommodate the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and fluctuation in currency levels.
The essay topic for this year is: “What is the role of technology in educating the African youth?” All essays are to be handwritten and students have till October 29, 2021, to upload scanned copies of their handwritten entries as well as their IDs on the digital portal.
The entries will be evaluated by judges who are professors drawn from Nigerian universities. The judges will select top 12 finalists, who will write another supervised essay, where the top three winners will be announced at the grand finale scheduled to hold on November 30, at UBA’s head office in Lagos.