By Our Correspondent
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, eulogised the Nigerian LNG Limited (NLNG) for helping to build a better Nigeria through its flagship corporate social responsibility initiative of the annual Nigeria Prizes for Literature, Science and Literary Criticism.
Obasanjo gave the commendation while speaking at the Grand Award Night, organised by NLNG at the Luxurious Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Obasanjo also praised the NLNG for its vision to be a globally competitive LNG Company helping to build a better Nigeria.
“You are helping in Nigeria’s development and its attainment to great and lofty heights, particularly, through your flagship, corporate social responsibility initiative – the ‘Nigeria Prize for Literature’, the ‘Nigeria Prize for Science’ and the ‘Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism’.
“We can adopt world-class best practices and leap with giant strides into the future.
“We can collaborate on exchanges of ideas and invest in research and development.
“We can focus on the education and mental development of our people so that we position the nation for the direction it should go,” the former president said.
He also spoke to the political class and all other segments of society, urging them to strive for the country to “rise to that place of willingness and do so, collectively’’.
“Today, as we celebrate literature and science, as instruments for national development, may we take on the broad sense, that literature is about books, writings and printed materials.”
In his address, Dr Philip Mshelbila, MD Nigeria LNG Limited said that NLNG, in its 33 years of existence, has become a world-class company, and now, is actively seeking its place in the future.
“What the future holds, may in some view, be left to time and chance, but we do know from the experiences of others, that when we future-proof our business, we get a say as to what should be beyond.
Mshelbila remarked that within the energy transition landscape, NLNG would be rightly positioned to bring Nigeria into a world giant.
“Furthermore, in deepening our resolve for Domestic LPG intervention, we received the support and approval of the Board of NLNG, to commit 100 per cent of our LPG production to the Nigerian market.
“While we compete globally with other LNG companies, our vision is balanced when we help to build a better Nigeria.
“It is in this line of envisioning, that the Nigeria Prizes for Literature and Science, were birthed.
According to him, the NLNG has always been at the forefront of stakeholder partnerships that strengthen Nigeria, its people and their sustainable future.
“While at it, we are also humble to recognise, that as a company, we need your invested loyalty and confidence to get to where we desire to.
Explaining details of the award, NLNG boss said the company chose to sponsor the `Nigeria Prize for Literature’ and the ‘Nigeria Prize for Science’, with monetary awards of $100,000 each.
“The Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism has an award of N1,000,000.
“The overall intent of these, is to place a bar of excellence and shun mediocrity in creativity and innovation’’.
This year, he said NLNG chose to celebrate the poetry genre.
According to him, a record 288 poetry submissions were received, out of which 11 entries were long-listed and later, three were finally shortlisted from where the winner emerged.
“I congratulate the shortlist of three; Romeo Oriogun, S’ueddie Agema and Saddiq Dzukoji.’’
Mshelbila explained that the Nigeria Prize for Science this year, speaks to food security.
“The United Nations Committee on World Food Security defines food security as a situation wherein all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.”
The NewsZenith reports that the recipients of the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Science were pair of Dr Muhydideen Oyekunle/Dr Shehu Ado and Dr Sesan Ayodeji/Dr Emmanuel Olatomilola.
Their respective works are entitled ‘Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivars under Drought and Well-Watered Conditions’ as well as ‘Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour’ respectively.
Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister of Science and Technology, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and representatives of Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police as well as traditioner rulers were among other dignitaries who attended the Grand Award Night.