A Nigerian student, Miss Christiana Udoh, has been awarded the Dudley Newitt Prize for Experimental Excellence at the Imperial College in London, United Kingdom.
The award was announced on Monday during the Dudley Newitt Lecture held on the university campus.
Udoh, the first Nigerian to receive the award, was also offered scholarship by the institution for what the management described as her impressive performance during Advanced Masters studies in Chemical Engineering.
The feat attracted another scholarship award from the Akwa Ibom State Government to the tune of $20,000.
Presenting the award, Governor Udom Emmanuel commended Udoh for making the state proud through hard work and commitment to her studies. He also thanked her father, Dr Esio Udoh, for investing in her education.
Reacting to the development, the awardee’s father said, “Christiana has retained her number one position and we feel thrilled about it. This shows that Nigeria is on course to favourably compete with any nation of the world.”
Udoh called on the Federal Government to follow the example of the educational system of Isreal by training brilliant students exclusively to lead the country to technological advancement.
He referred Nigeria’s policy makers to countries like South Africa, Indonesia, and Malaysia that allocate 20 per cent of their GDPs, at least, to the education sector. He said that investment in models schools, which should have boarding facilities, qualified and well paid teachers, discipline, security and well equipped libraries and laboratories for effective teaching and learning, could help Akwa Ibom State to produce thousands of brilliant youths that could readily gain admissions into universities.
He said, “The performance of our students is hampered by government’s failure to meaningfully invest in education. Illiteracy is the greatest enemy of mankind. If you eradicate illiteracy, then hunger, diseases and social vices will be drastically reduced and our society will be a better place.”