Winners of the Creativity Challenge ‘CATCH’ competition sponsored by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution, (PHED) in partnership with Innovate4Africa emerged on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Chief Executive Officer, CEO, PHED Plc, Dr. Henry Ajagabawa presented the cash prizes to the overall winner and 1st runner up at the grand finale.
He said the winners emerged after a transparent process and urged them to use the opportunity to innovate more.
A 27-year old final year student of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Miss Ruth Chikodi won the grand prize of N1 million with her innovative product that recycles bio-waste into organic fertilizer.
Chizom Wordu who came second with a bio-waste cooking gas went home with N500,000.
Ajagabawa, who was represented by the Chief Services Officer, Ochuko Amah, noted that there is an increasing need for innovation as the country glides towards a non-oil economy and as such there are high hopes that the platform is the beginning of a new dawn to honour societal need for value creation.
“PHED has been deeply involved in the CATCH competition from the initial stage to the final because of the firm belief that Innovate4Africa is a reputable organization.
“The organisation shares a similar value system with PHED in terms of impacting the lives of the citizens within the region directly or indirectly.
“As a responsive utility, we have a very robust Corporate Social Responsibility policy which propels us to identify and support sustainable initiatives with impactful results, hence the idea to partner Innovate4Africa,” he said.
The Chief Operating Officer, Innovate4Africa, Mrs. Cynthia Isang, in her remarks, said the prizes award presentation ceremony validates the authenticity of the competition.
She expressed confidence that more youths will embrace the innovative challenge in the next batch.
“We feel encouraged with the support from PHED and the participation of innovative youths, and it is our belief that there will never be enough white collar jobs to take care of unemployed youths.
“Therefore it is high time we start to innovate and support our creative youths and that is what we are trying to do,” she stated.
In her response, Chikodi the overall winner applauded the organisers for the platform provided to enable her transform her idea into a reality and a tangible product that will add value to the society.