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The Nigeria Prize for Science, Nigeria Prize for Literature call for entries

GM External Relations Nigeria LNG, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke; Managing Director, Mr. Babs Omotowa, and Deputy Managing Director, Mr Isa Inuwa, during presentation of Facts Behind the Figures to media executives at Eko Hotel, Lagos on Monday
GM External Relations Nigeria LNG, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke; Managing Director, Mr. Babs Omotowa, and Deputy Managing Director, Mr Isa Inuwa, during presentation of Facts Behind the Figures to media executives at Eko Hotel, Lagos on Monday

The Nigeria LNG Limited sponsors of the prestigious Nigeria Prize for Science and The Nigeria Prize for Literature has announced a call for entries into the 2016 edition of the prize.
Entries will close on April 15, this year, while the winner is expected to be announced in October.The $100, 000 star prize literary award is the highest in the country.
For the Literature category, the prize which rotates among the various genres of literature including drama, poetry, children’s literature will focus on Prose Fiction for this year’s edition. It will be for literary works published within the last four years. It, however, exclude works published before January 2012.
The Judging panel for this edition’s prize include: Prof Dan Izevbaye, as chairperson; Prof. Asabe Usman Kabir, as member; and Prof. Isisdore Diala, also as member.
The Science category has “Innovations in Malaria Control,” as its theme and is ‘open to Nigerians and non-Nigerians involved in application of science to proffer solutions to the malaria challenges confronting Nigeria.’
Though the Judging Panel is yet in place, the five-member Advisory Board mandated to set up the committee, is headed by Professor Alfred A. Susu, with Prof Barth Nnaji, Dr (Mrs) Nike Akande, Prof. Michael Adikwu, Prof. Elijah D. Mshelia as members.
The prizes are aimed at bringing Nigerian scientists and authors to public attention and celebrating excellence in scientific breakthroughs and literary accomplishments in the nation.
NLNG believes that the science prize will provide leaders with answers to crucial issues in development; improve the standards of living and re-energise the scientific community to seek solutions to national problems. With The Nigeria Prize for Literature, it is expected that the quest for a prestigious prize will improve the quality of writing, editing, proof-reading, and publishing in the country with far-reaching positive effect on print and broadcast journalism.
The prizes are administered, on behalf of Nigeria LNG Limited, by the Nigerian Academy of Science and the Advisory Board for Literature made up of members of Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) and the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). Winners are announced in October, commemorating the first export of LNG cargo by NLNG on October 9, 1999.
At inception in 2004, the monetary reward was USD20, 000, which was increased in 2006 to USD30, 000. In 2008, it was again upped to USD50,000. In 2011, yet another significant change in the administration led to the increment of the monetary reward to USD100, 000 for each of the prizes.
In 2004, Professor Akpoveta Susu and his then doctoral student (now doctor) Kingsley Abhulimen, both of the University of Lagos, won the maiden edition of the science prize. They won based on their work Real-Time Computer Assisted Leak Detection/Location Reporting and Inventory Loss Monitoring System which was described by the judges as an outstanding contribution to research in real-time leak detection in a network of pipelines, or other flow systems, carrying liquids. That year, there was no winner for the literature prize (Prose Fiction). However, three authors, Bina Nengi-Ilagha, Omo Uwaifo and Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, received honourable mention for their efforts.
In 2005, there was no winner for the science prize whilst joint winners emerged for the literature prize which focused on Poetry. Ezenwa Ohaeto and Gabriel Okara were rewarded for their books Chants of a Minstrel and The Dreamer: His Vision respectively.
Professor Micheal Adikwu in 2006 showed in his winning work, Wound Healing Devices (Formulations) Containing Snail Mucin, that snail mucins can play a key role in the pharmaceutical industry as a drug delivery agent. Dr Ahmed Yerima claimed the prize in literature (drama) for his book Hard Ground.
In 2007, as in 2005, there was no winner for the science prize and joint winners emerged for the children’s literature. Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and Mabel Segun emerged joint winners with their books, My Cousin Sammy and Readers’ Theatre: Twelve Plays for Young People respectively.
Dr Ebenezer Meshida emerged winner of the 2008 science prize with his work Solution to Road Pavement Destabilisaion by the Invention of ‘Lateralite’: A Stabilisation Flux for Fine Grained Lateritic Soils which will make Nigerian roads durable through the elimination of potholes and gullies. The literature prize in 2008 returned to Prose Fiction. Kaine Agary won with her first book, Yellow Yellow.
Professor Andrew Nok won the science prize in 2009 for his ground-breaking discovery of the gene responsible for the creation of Sialidase (SD), an enzyme which causes sleeping sickness (Trypanosomiasis). No winner emerged for the literature prize.
The decision of the judges not to award the literature prize in 2009 precipitated significant changes in its administration. Nine poets were shortlisted for the literature prize, but by the time the judges were done with their work that year, no winner emerged. This attracted reactions from the Nigerian literary community worldwide. Rising to the occasion as a truly listening company, Nigeria LNG Limited convened a stakeholders’ engagement forum to examine and improve the prize administration protocols. Consequently, the prize was opened up to Nigerians everywhere in the world and the names of the judges, hitherto kept secret, were made public. The Nigeria Prize for Literature has since grown to be Africa’s most prestigious reward for literary excellence. It is ranked among the world’s top 100 in prize money.
Professor Akahehomen O. Akii Ibhadode was crowned winner of the science prize in 2010 for his work on the development of a new method in Die Design. That year, the prize continued its circle with drama as the genre in focus. The literature prize got its first post-humous winner, Dr Esiaba Irobi, who won the prize with his play Cemetery Road. He died after submitting his work for the competition.
In 2011, Adeleke Adeyemi, emerged winner of the literature prize. Writing with the pen name, Mai Nasara, Mr. Adeyemi won with his book The Missing Clock in the children’s literature category, the genre in spotlight that year. The judges described the book as one that celebrates “ingenuity, hard work and sparkles in its prose.” There was no winner for science that year.
In 2012, prose fiction was back in the spotlight for the literature prize. Chika Unigwe beat 213 authors to the prize with her book On Black Sisters’ Street. She became the second foreign based author to win the prize. 2013 literature competition focused on poetry. From a total of 201 submissions, Tade Ipadeola’s The Sahara Testaments emerged the winning entry. No winner emerged for science in 2012. However, a stakeholder engagement session was organised by NLNG in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Science and the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja. At the moment, the science prize is undergoing reviews with the aim to re-position it as the award of choice among scientists.
In 2014, Iredi War by Sam Ukala was announced as the winning entry for the year’s edition of the prize. Iredi War emerged from a list of 124 entries in 2014.

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