Winners of the MMF Essay Competition

In line with the focus on Investing in Africa’s Future: unlocking the Potential of Our next Generation of Leaders the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) held the maiden edition of the ‘Education for Change’ Essay competition, which is in line with the Foundation’s Public Policy Dialogues aimed at increasing transparency, democracy, and accountability in government and the economy.

The topics for the Essay competition for the University and Polytechnic category was: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world’’ and the secondary school category was ‘’Education is that which remains when one has forgotten everything he learned in school’’.

The essay competition has promoted critical thinking, harnessed ideas and developed the talents, abilities, gifts and skills inherent in the youth which is expected to translate into awareness and provide a platform for growth for future leaders of Nigeria. Over five hundred applications were received from students in Nigeria for the competition. The awards for the University and Polytechnic category were presented at the conference.


The winners are :

(Otuyah Benita Isioma (First Prize N150,000, University of Lagos)

‘‘Sincerely, education provides the basis for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The detrimental effects of uneducated minds boils down to our societies, some of the damages are difficult to curtail. The socio-political and economical, challenges in our societies today, traced to illiteracy/ignorance. The menace of the Boko-Haram, kidnapping, communal clashes and militancy are jeopardizing lives, economic growth, posing threat internationally and distracting good governance. Sadly enough, most of these perpetrators are ignorant of the negative effect of their acts. For there is barely a learned mind who would prefer a dangerous option to a brighter future.’’ … (Excerpt from the Essay written by Otuyah Benita Isioma )


(Emeka Ezekwsiri Chigozie (Second Prize N100,000, University of Ibadan)

 ‘‘Consequently, education can be a tool in reducing poverty and unemployment. Scientific education should be more practical to promote inventive abilities in students, which will effectively turn graduates to job creators, and not merely seekers. Again, vocational and commercial subjects should be developed and well funded to teach skills aimed at self employment and empowerment. Such skills can include entrepreneurial skills, baking, tailoring, computer programming and engineering, phone repairs, artistic paintings and portrait drawings.’’ (Excerpt from the Essay written by Emeka Ezekwsiri Chigozie)


(Obioma Oluchukwu Precious (Third Prize N75,000, University of Nigeria Nsukka)

 ‘‘More so, education is the key to eliminating gender inequality, to reducing poverty, to creating a sustainable planet, and preventing needless deaths and illness. Education is also a vital weapon, a shield against the world by way of expressing freely one’s ideas.’’ (Excerpt from the Essay written by Obioma Oluchukwu Precious)