The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has awarded cash prizes worth N16.5million to nine Nigerians who emerged winners at the Nigeria@60 Challenge.
Recall that on Friday, September 4, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for an inclusive National Independence Day Celebration program with the theme: ‘Together at 60’, the communications ministry had called on creative Nigerians to submit entries on Slogan, Photography and Poetry.
Subsequently, a total of 3,258 entries were received, out of which 1,931 Slogan, 638 Poetry, and 689 Photography entries were submitted.
The outcome of the assessment saw the emergence of Nwakuba Ezinne (Slogan), Amao Daniel Oluwadarisimi (Photography) and Kalu Rejoice Chioma (Poetry) as winners who went home with N3million each.
Also, the First Runners-up: Yusuf Muhammad Ahmad (Slogan), Leke Adebule and Team (Photography), and Mustapha Dauda Gwary (Poetry) got N1.5million each.
The Second Runners-up: Sani Ibrahim (Slogan), Samson Mayor Emeka (Photography) and Umoru Patrick Eghiegbai (Poetry) also went home with N1million each.
Presenting the awards and cash prizes to the winners, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Chairman of the 60th Independence Celebration Sub-Committee, Dr. Isa Ali-Pantami, said the competition was meant to create a platform for all Nigerians to participate in the diamond jubilee anniversary.
He said: “The Federal Government provided this opportunity for Nigerians to choose their brand and harness the power of creative minds to create other elements that will form the brand of the anniversary.”
While congratulating the winners, Mr Pantami charged them to continue utilising their skills for the betterment of themselves and Nigeria at large, saying: “the nation will be proud of you”.
The minister also commended the jury for working day and night to ensure fairness in selecting the winners.
Delivering his welcome address, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa-Abdullahi, said the COVID-19 pandemic had brought another opportunity for Nigerians to celebrate 60th independence anniversary in style.
According to him, the competition is first of its kind, where citizens are engaged virtually to plan the celebration.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Independence Competition Judging Committee, Dr. Usman Gambo-Abdullahi, said the entries were evaluated based on the relevance to the theme, originality, creativity, impact and mode of presentation.
According to Mr Gambo-Abdullahi who is also the IT Infrastructure Solution Director at NITDA, the competition was meant to tap into the creative and innovative potential of the youths.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the Jury was made-up of Directors from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, and the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.