Wednesday, 4 November 2020

200 Level OAU Student Wins N500,000 In NCDMB's Undergraduate Essay Competition


Oluwafela Oluwadamilola Elizabeth, a 200 level medical student of the Obafemi Awolowo University has emerged as the First Runner-up in this year's edition of the NCDMB Annual National Undergraduate Essay Competition. For this, she has been rewarded with a cash prize of N500,000 and a Plaque. 

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is an agency of government established by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act. Since 2017, NCDMB has been organizing the annual national oil and gas essay competition. The competition started as a project to encourage writing and the research ability of young Nigerian undergraduates in public and private-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The project also continued as a way to encourage the youths to build local capacities and competencies for effective participation in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry.

This year, which is the 4th edition started receiving entries sometime early September. The competition was opened to 100L and 200L students of private and public tertiary institutions. Entrants were required to write on a topic: Research and Development as a Key Lever for Local Content Implementation in Nigeria's’ Oil and Gas Industry.

The participants had to submit a maximum of 1,500 words on or before the 25th of September, 2020. According to the organizers, the contest received over 6000 submissions, which was first cut down to the best 50 and then 10 finalists. The 50-entrant shortlist and the list of the 10 finalists were both published on the competition page. 

The first prize winner, Abasiekeme Edet, a 200 Level Student of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt was awarded a Prize of N1,000,000. The first runner-up being OAU's Elizabeth. The second runner-up prize of N300,000 went to Eze Samson Somtochukwu, a Year 1 Medicine & Surgery Student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 4th – 10th place finishers received a laptop each.

Shortly after the prize-giving ceremony which held at the ultra-modern NCDMB headquarters in Yenagoa on Wednesday, 4th November 2020, OAU Peeps News Agency spoke with our champion from OAU, Oluwafela Oluwadamilola Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth said she got to know about the essay on September 4th, 2020. 

"My senior colleague in school sent it to me. I was skeptical about it at first because we might resume soon. I considered all the odds but in the end, I gave it a shot. I faced a lot of challenges because it was the first time I was entering a competition like this. So I did a lot of research online, I read how to write essays. I read a lot of materials, I watched YouTube videos. I studied some facts and figures and programs that would enhance the beauty of my essay and at the end of it, I compiled my information and came up with my essay.

Then about the referencing in my essay, I read on how to add references to an essay. When I was done with my compilation, I submitted and to God's glory, I was among the first 50 that was first shortlisted. I am just grateful to God. Only God could have made me go that far although I put in a lot of effort.

I made it to the third stage of the competition which was a blind assessment. I kept praying to God to favour me. The blind assessment means that the judges wouldn't know who that particular writer is. So, two weeks after the blind assessment, I was among the top 10 finalists. So, I proceeded to the final stage which was an interactive defense session. I was calm, confident, I read my essay thoroughly so, I was prepared for any question. During the defense session, I sat in between a panel of judges, professors, and board members. The defense went well, I was confident, although I was a little shaky, I was able to pass my message and today, I emerged the 2nd.

I feel so great, I'm so happy that I was able to participate. It's not by my power or hard work, it's just God's grace. I'm so grateful that I got a push from that senior colleague, God bless him so much. I'm just so happy," Elizabeth told OAU Peeps News Agency in an exclusive interview. 

The other 6 winners who placed 4th - 10th places include: 

4. UKALIZIBE GWEGWE
5.ACHADU JOSHUA
6.CHIAHANAM NWOBODO
7.CHIBUZOR VICTOR OBIORAH
8.OSATOHAMEN SYLVIA
9.KELVIN ERHABOR
10.GERALD ABAAGU
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