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As NLNG Awards $200,000 for Science, Literature

Over the past 14 years, the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas (NLNG) has, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, awarded prizes for Nigeria’s Prize for Science and Nigeria’s Prize for Literature. The objective of the award is to encourage innovation and hard work in the areas of science and art. It is also a demonstration of NLNG’s commitment to help build a better Nigeria. The genre for the literature prize for 2018 is drama, whereas that for science focuses on ‘innovations in electric power solutions’.
NLNG sponsors this annual competition to recognize and reward excellent works by Nigerians in Literature and scientific innovations aimed at solving Nigeria’s problems. Since 2004, the year of the competition’s inception, the award has become and remains Africa’s biggest prizes, with monetary value of $100,000 each.
The 2018 edition of the award, which was held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos recently brought together a host of local and foreign dignitaries.
The MD, CEO of NLNG, Tony Attah, in his keynote address hinted that the world is changing at a faster pace than can be imagined. He said that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) forecasts that the population of the world will grow to 9 billion by the year 2040, and that the world will need more energy to support that growth. He added that the hope of Nigeria lies in its natural gas, stressing that the opportunity in that sector is immense. He concluded that gas is the future of Nigeria, and the future is now. He iterated NLNG’s support for innovators whose innovations will better Nigeria.
The science category was won by Dr. Peter Ngene. For the science category, there were 84 entries. Ngene’s was adjudged the best. Dr. Ngene’s innovation is on All Solid State Liquid Sulfur Battery. The benefit of Ngene’s innovation to Nigeria is that his innovation helps to store energy for a long while. This is an important innovation because Nigeria has indicated interest in alternative sources of power, including solar energy. Such an innovation could be the solution to Nigeria’s energy problem in the future.
Reacting to his win, Dr. Ngene gave God the glory for his success. He also thanked NLNG for not just thinking about making profit, but also investing its profit in people. He expressed his amazement in what NLNG does in corporate social responsibility, stressing that if you really want to do science the Nigerian environment can be a graveyard, and appreciated the NLNG for giving such encouragement. He added that even if he did not win he was certain that the panel of judges did a good job. He went further by thanking the panel of judges for thinking in the direction that people in other parts of the world do. He also thanked his late father for instilling in him the values of hard work and integrity, his professors for mentoring him, and his family for their unflinching support.
Professor Barth Nnaji, former Energy Minister of the Federal Republic, and Founder of Geometrics Energy, praised Ngene for his innovative way of storing and converting energy.
For the Literature Prize, Embers, by Soji Cole, published by Emotion Press, won the $100,000. For this category, which commenced in February, there were 89 entries. Following a thorough and time tested evaluation process, the judges and the advisory board concluded that Cole’s was the best.
In his victory speech, Cole, who lectures at the University of Ibadan, had prior to the event said that he would faint if he won the $100,000, did not faint, but was elated to be announced winner of the prestigious award. With a fine sense of humor, he said he had prepared a loser’s speech and was at a loss as to what speech to deliver as a winner. He thanked NLNG for the opportunity afforded to people like him. He also thanked his students, who he was sure were watching the programme live, for supporting him in various ways. He thanked his publisher, who he said is his former student, for encouraging him to join the contest, assuring him that his work is good enough to win the contest.
He also dedicated the prize to his family, who were conspicuously absent because, according to him, his wife and daughter are emotional, so he did not want them to be around to witness him lose in the eventuality of him losing the prize. He also dedicated the prize to a prophet. According to Soji, when he was a boy, a prophet came to his parents ’house and prophesied that there would be a disaster if he ever tried to acquire an education. He said he dedicated his Doctoral Thesis to the prophet, and also dedicated the Literature Prize Award to him.
Professor Barth Nnaji announced that the theme for Next Year’s competition will be Climate Change, Erosion, Drought and Desertification

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