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In a thrilling finale to the 2023 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition, 15-year-old Onaro Adaeze Chukwuzolem, a student of Fountain Heights Secondary School, Surulere Lagos, triumphed as the overall winner beating the 11 other finalists.

 

L-R: Managing Director/CEO , United Bank for Africa(UBA) Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta; winner, 2023 UBA National Essay Competition and Student of Fountain Heights Secondary School, Adaeze Onaro and  Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Oliver Alawuba during the grand finale of the 2023 UBA National Essay Competition among senior school students in Nigeria at UBA House, Lagos, on Tuesday.

Her exuberant declaration, “Yes!!! I won!! I did it!!!,” echoed through the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre in UBA House during the Grand Finale. Adaeze’s victory marked a historic moment as the first of three girls to claim the top prizes in a competition that attracted nearly 12,000 entries from Senior Secondary School students across Nigeria, out of which 12 finalists were initially selected.

Following the second essay written by the 12 selected finalists, Adaeze emerged winner, and secured a prestigious scholarship worth N5 million to pursue her studies in any African university of her choice, along with a modern laptop and other prizes. Her elation and gratitude were evident as she expressed, “This opportunity has changed my life, and I really appreciate the UBA and the UBA Foundation for this.”


The UBA Foundation’s commitment to fostering education and transforming lives was further underscored through constant mentoring that Adaeze will receive throughout her educational journey.

Abdulhameed Khadijah Husna of Sweet Haven High School, Kano State, clinched the second prize -a N3 million educational grant, a laptop, and additional prizes. Meanwhile, Chukwuma-Okoh Naomi from Queens College, Yaba, Lagos, secured the third prize, which included a N2.5 million grant and a brand-new laptop. The remaining nine finalists, which included two boys, were not left empty-handed, receiving brand new laptops and consolation prizes.

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, emphasized the bank’s unwavering commitment to youth empowerment.

He stated, “UBA is proud to be associated with this event. Annually, we put aside a percentage of our profits to change lives, and we are committed to doing this annually.”

The National Essay Competition has become a pivotal platform for promoting education, literacy, and critical thinking among Nigerian youth, making a positive impact on their lives and society at large,” Alawuba said.

The Managing Director/CEO of UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, who commended the winners for their exceptional brilliance and encouraged those who did not secure top positions to view it as a challenge for improvement.

L-R: Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta; Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Oliver Alawuba; Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, UBA; 3rd Prize winner, 2023 UBA National Essay Competition and Student of Queens College Yaba; Grand Prize winner, and Student of Fountain Heights Secondary School, Adaeze Onaro  and 2nd Prize winner, student of Sweet Haven High School, Khadijah Abdulhameed during the grand finale of the 2023 UBA National Essay Competition among senior school students in Nigeria at UBA House, Lagos, on Tuesday.

She highlighted the Foundation’s dedication to extending this impactful competition to other African countries, reinforcing its commitment to socio-economic betterment through initiatives in Education, Environment, Economic Empowerment, and Special Projects.

“It is important to note at this point that this same competition is being replicated in some other African countries where UBA operates such as Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Senegal, Uganda, Cote D’Ivoire. Other countries like Zambia, Gabon, Chad and Benin Republic have plans to conduct the NEC in the first quarter of 2024,” Atta said.

UBA Foundation, the CSR arm of the UBA Group, is committed to the socio-economic betterment of the communities in which the bank operates, focusing on development in the areas of Education, Environment, Economic Empowerment and Special Projects.

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