The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. (NLNG) has revealed in a statement that former president Olusegun Obasanjo will award the 2022 Nigerian Prize for Literature recipients.
The choice, according to a statement posted on the business' website on Friday, emphasised the main ideas and shared goals of the Nigeria Prize for Science and the Nigeria Prize for Literature, both of which will be awarded in 2022.
In a statement, it was noted that the former president represented a tenacious love of literature and farming, two pursuits that were secondary to his distinguished military career.
It added that Obasanjo represented the virtue of excellence expounded by the NLNG in building a better Nigeria.
“Incidentally, despite successful military and political careers that produced him as a Nigerian Head of State and President at different times, Obasanjo’s fame and glory are hosted in his investments in commercial farming and a pile of books that emerge from his creative endeavours,” it said.
According to the statement, the quest for food security formed the challenge for Nigerian scientists and innovators in the 2022 Nigeria Prize Science which produced the twin sets of winners.
“The first set of winners comprising Muhydideen Oyekunle and Shehu Ado worked on Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivated Under Drought and Well-Watered Conditions.
“The second set of winners comprising Sesan Ayodeji and Emmanuel Olatomilola worked on 'Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour'.
“According to the judges, the maize seeds produced in the breeding programme by Oyekunle and Ado have been tested to be high-yielding and water-stress tolerant.
“The judges said the hybrids they selected recorded yields of 1.73-2.51 t/ha in stress areas and 5-6 t/ha in areas with good rainfall distribution in farmers' fields.
“They also adjudged the process plant for plantain flour developed by Ayodeji and Olatomilola to be resourceful in scaling up from batch production to industrial scale continuous flour production relevant beyond plantain to other food items.”
According to the announcement, the two groups of Nigerian Prize for Science winners mostly focused on the issue of food security by looking into improved agricultural output and creating machinery for food processing and preservation.
The report says that Obasanjo Farms, which he owns and operates, uses cutting-edge technology and a smart strategy to increase food production and boost profitability.
The announcement disclosed that the reward was developed and launched by NLNG Limited as part of its corporate social responsibility programme to hone the writing abilities of writers in the media, literary, and theatre industries.
It said that a pronounced fall in the calibre of output from the sectors that depended on writers for their workforce made the intervention imperative.
“Then there are the great legacies of other Nigerian writers such as Ben Okri, Cyprian Ekwensi, Femi Osofisan, Gabriel Okara, Christopher Okigbo, Chukwuemeka Ike, Flora Nwapa, among others,” the statement said.
It added that their writings were compelling and helped to positively shape what people knew about Nigeria.
“It, therefore, became evident to us at the Nigeria LNG that a well-run literary prize with a transparent adjudication process, administered by respected academics, writers and lovers of literature, and with respectable monetary reward will spur creativity.
“It will also contribute to the improvement of the quality of writing, editing and publishing in Nigeria.
“Thus, with the challenge and rewards from the NLNG Limited, the muse has been reinvented and creative flow was reactivated, leading to 18 years of annual literary tournament that has churned out over 1,851 entries in 16 competitions that produced 12 winning manuscripts since its commencement in 2004.
“The flow of manuscripts is sustained by competing writers who are primarily motivated by the $100,000, or about N70 million, prize money to churn out innumerable print-worthy narrative endeavours.
“Whereas only the best works in the annual competitions win prizes, hundreds of entries have been declared excellent jobs by judges.
“The life-changing prize, the opportunity and spur for creative expression, the quest for recognition in a highly esteemed creative group and the contribution to preserving the reading culture all combine to transform the Nigeria Prize for Literature into a Nigerian intellectual brand with global standards.“
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