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Nigerian Makes Top 10 For $.1m Global Student Prize

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Nigerian student, Oluwadamilola Akintewe has been named a top 10 finalist for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2021.
It is a new $100,000 award to be given to one exceptional student that has made a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.
Akintewe, a 22-year-old student at Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo, Nigeria, was selected from over 3,500 nominations and applications from 94 countries around the world.
The Varkey Foundation launched the Chegg.org Global Student Prize earlier this year, a sister award to its $1million Global Teacher Prize, to create a powerful new platform that shines a light on the efforts of extraordinary students everywhere who, together, are reshaping our world for the better.
The prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills programme.
Part time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.
Chegg.org has partnered with the Varkey Foundation to create the new Global Student Prize.
The CEO and President of Chegg, Dan Rosensweig, said: “While many stakeholders are busy debating, these students are busy doing. Congratulations to all the finalists of the Global Student Prize. They truly are the change makers our world needs.”
The Head of Chegg.org, Lila Thomas, said: “Oluwadamilola and all our finalists represent the courageous and hardworking students all over the world that are fighting for their future. “Despite the challenges of Covid, this generation of students have shown the kind of resilience and creativity that give us all hope as we confront the towering challenges ahead.
“The Global Student Prize has been launched to shine a light on their stories and listen to their voices. After all, it is their dreams and their talents that will light the path to a better tomorrow.”
Akintewe was inspired by her humble background to always be committed to improving the lives and empowerment chances of girls and women in Nigeria.
She launched LetGirlsLead to provide mentorship and support for secondary school girls in Ondo, her home state.
Working with youth organizations, they teach girls entrepreneurial, financial and digital skills, so that they may become self-sufficient, and she set up a scholarship list to help them apply for places at universities and gain further qualifications.
She also launched Project Rebirth, which uses entrepreneurial action to deliver financial equality and inclusion for low income and rural women in Ondo.
They take business development and financial literacy classes and learn sustainable and eco-friendly fashion design.
The 140 women who have been impacted by the project also get loans to buy sewing machines and launch their own businesses.
Using her growing confidence and connections, she messaged an Instagram model who she noticed supports social impact projects in the global south, pitched Project Rebirth to her and secured a $2,000 grant to deliver the training project to young women participating and directly benefiting.
In 2020, her team secured a $3,000 grant from Ford to expand implementation to women in agriculture and food production while combating global scarcity and hunger.
As a former victim of gender-based violence, Oluwadamilola has herself dealt with mental health issues and trauma, and is promoting a wider social change through gender advocacy.
Reacting to the alarming rate of sexual violence in Nigeria during the pandemic lockdown, with social distancing the new normal, she leveraged social media to raise awareness, founding the Forbidden Topics Facebook platform, now with over 1,100 followers, to amplify female voices against social injustices and break the silence.
Volunteering with many global organizations, Oluwadamilola also secured a $2,000 Wishwall Foundation grant to provide internally displaced girls in Northern Nigeria with free digital skills in coding with python, JavaScript, graphics design and digital marketing as income generation to further improve their lives.
Oluwadamilola has won a string of awards, praise and recognition for her work and achievements, including 30 under 30 Changemaker 2021 from Opportunity Desk Impact Challenge as well as the Inaugural winner of the Samantha Singh Memorial Award 2021 from the ONE Campaign and the 2021 Peter Drucker Global Challenge for Leadership.
The Founder of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey, said: “Congratulations to Oluwadamilola for reaching the final 10. Her story clearly highlights the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics. It is only by prioritizing education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”
The other top 10 finalists for the Global Student Prize 2021 are Amisa Rashid from Kenya, Elliott Lancaster from the UK, Jeremiah Thoronka from Sierra Leone, Kehkashan Basu from Canada, Lamya Butt from the UAE, Matine Khalighi from the US, Mirko Cazzato from Italy, Ana Julia Monteiro de Carvalho from Brazil, and Seema Kumari from India.
Applications and nominations for this year’s Global Student Prize opened on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, and closed on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
Students who applied for the Global Student Prize are being assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.
The winner will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.
If students were nominated, the person nominating them was asked to write a brief description online explaining why.
The student being nominated was then sent an email letting them know they had been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize.
Applicants were able to apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
The winner will be announced on November 10 via a virtual ceremony taking place at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

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Buhari Seeks Return To Family Values In Rebuilding Nigeria …Wike, Tambuwal, Other Govs Attend Ikpeazu’s Son’s Wedding

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the reason why there were so many problems in the Nigerian society was because of a diminishing emphasis placed on the importance of family values.
Buhari said this, yesterday, at the wedding of Mr. Jachimike Ikpeazu, son of Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Abia State.
At the event, the groom wedded his heartbeat, Miss Thelma Chidinma.
The wedding was also attended by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tanbuwal, and several other dignitaries.
Others present at the wedding service that was conducted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church were Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi; and Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Also at the event were the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and National Secretary-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Sam Anyanwu.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, decried the situation where parents and guardians who should have paid greater attention in inculcating good character in their wards, have abdicated that responsibility.
He sued for a collective effort across tribes and regions towards restoring family values and giving it its rightful place.
“Marriage is family value, character. The reasons why there are issues in the society, today, is because families are broken. When values are enshrined in families, the entire society will be good.”
Buhari charged the couple to build their family on the word of God, have a regular family altar of prayers, and give good attention to building enduring character.
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who was represented by wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, told the couple to know that marriage is where love is celebrated.
She urged them to continue in the training given to them by their parents, and learn to love themselves more so that their home can be a blessing and impact positively on others around them.
In his sermon, Pastor B. E. O. Udoh, admonished the couple not to allow their love for each other to diminish.
He further urged them to be tolerant, support each other to become their best, build and cultivate goodly character.
In his remarks, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said it was delightful to watch his son take a wife to himself, and prayed God to make their union fruitful.
Ikpeazu expressed gratitude to Buhari and his wife, his brother governors, political associates and friends who attended the event, for honouring him with their presence.

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Insurgents Planning To Attack Military Bases, DSS Alerts

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has issued an alert over planned attacks by insurgents on Ogun border communities and other border communities in Nigeria.
In a letter signed by the State Director of Security, Ogun State Command, M.B. Abdullahi, DSS warned that it has intelligence that the insurgents were plotting to attack military bases in border towns.
The DSS also advised customs and other security agencies in the country to put counter-measures in place to frustrate the plot by the insurgents.
The letter titled, ‘Plans by insurgents to launch attacks on military bases in various border communities’ read, “Available intelligence indicates plans by insurgents and criminal elements to carry out simultaneous attacks on military posts and bases in various border communities across the nation anytime from now.
“In view of the foregoing and the likelihood such attacks not limited to the military personnel only, all law enforcement and security agencies with operational bases at border communities are advised to take note of the above threat and emplace countermeasures with emphasis on personal security of operatives to frustrate the planned attack.”

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PAP Partners NNPC To Sustain Peace In N’Delta

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Towards attaining sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region, the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have agreed to work together to tackle pipeline insecurity, unemployment and other challenges in the region.
The agreement was reached when PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) led a delegation to visit the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja, over the weekend.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Acting Administrator, Mr Neotaobase Egbe, PAP said the meeting was strategic and in line with the objective of programme to partner with all relevant stakeholders for the full implementation of the amnesty programme.
He said PAP was courting willing partners to have robust synergy to drive the Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP) to fruition.
The statement noted that though PAP was executing its own role in reintegrating 30,000 ex-agitators captured by the Presidency, there was a need to strengthen partnership between sister agencies of government for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
He said the NNPC like other institutions of government had roles to play in oil assets redistribution, infrastructural development and environmental remediation.
Dikio said that there was a need to control disruptions in oil production, saying destructive energies could be channelled into productive ventures through re-orientation and sustained advocacy.
He also said that PAP had made efforts to cut down irrelevant trainings and had become intentional about successfully empowering its delegates.
He said trainings over the years had become contractor-driven and were not meeting the beneficiaries’ needs.
Dikio maintained that the PAP was targeting functional businesses that had the capacity to train, employ and mentor delegates into becoming successful business owners.
He said: “For instance, if we have someone that has a commercial poultry farm and we partner with them to train our delegates, they will be employed after their training. In the course of two years and five months they will be taken through the ropes of poultry farming before they are sent out to start their own poultry.
“It is a win-win for everybody. We did the research and we discovered that the cassava plant in Bayelsa needs about 20,000 metric tons of cassava daily, so there is ample opportunity for our delegates to go into that kind of business.
“Again, palm oil when sold in international markets is above $1,000 a ton, and here, we are in the region only focusing on oil and gas”.
Dikio further said there were arrays of businesses the PAP was looking to inject delegates into, adding that exceptional graduates under the PAP scholarship scheme had more opportunities for employment.
In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, commended Dikio for the efforts to ensure peace in the Niger Delta, and emphasised the need to sustain the peace through accommodation and inclusiveness of Niger Delta youths.
He bemoaned the inability of the oil industry to fulfil its obligations to the region over the years, saying that it was one of the reasons the amnesty programme had prolonged.
He said: “As we speak today, we have seen a number of increasing incidents of unrest; cases that remind us of the past we don’t want to recollect again.
“Therefore, everything you have said points to the fact that inclusion, support and empowerment for young people particularly in the Niger Delta will bring peace and development to the Niger Delta. No amount of resources available to you will give you peace except there is alignment with the respective players in the space”.
Kyari said the award of licences to investors to begin production on about 57 marginal oil fields within Niger Delta in 2022 was designed to support businesses that originated from the region because most of the beneficiaries from the marginal field programme were indigenes of the Niger Delta.
He said working together would bring lasting peace to the region, explaining that the number of experienced technical people produced from the programme, would easily fill employment opportunities.
He said: “Once you create opportunities and investments return, more employment opportunities will come. I think it is a good thing that we work together, both the amnesty programme and all other actors in this space to bring the lasting peace to the Niger Delta and across our country, where people can benefit because ultimately if we cannot give, there will be nothing to show in another five to ten years, that is the reality that we are in.”

By: Akujobi Amadi

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