The Bureau of Public Enterprises on Thursday presented cash prizes and other gift items to winners of its maiden essay writing competition.
The overall winner of the contest, Miss Onoh Chidiogo Jane, from Girls Secondary School, Abakpa-Nike, Enugu State, received the sum of N500,000.
Also, the first and second runners up, Miss Idem Roseline Etop of Topfaith International Secondary School, Mkpatak, Akwa Ibom State, and Miss Ngozi Deborah Ekwueme from Regina Pacis College, Garki Abuja, got N350,000 and N250,000 respectively.
The three students also received laptops in addition to the cash prizes.
Books were presented to the students’ schools, while some teachers who taught the students also got token cash rewards.
Parents of the students, who received the cash prizes on behalf of the winners, were urged to use the funds to pay their school fees.
A total of 94 entries were received from students of various schools across the country after the bureau announced the contest in July 2019. They wrote ‘The reason for government reforms and privatisation of public enterprises’.
The Director-General of the bureau, Mr Alex Okoh, said a team of evaluators assessed all the entries, using criteria such as content and technical argument, organisation/structure, grammatical accuracy and logical presentation to determine the winners.
Okoh noted that the competition was aimed at encouraging reading as a habit among students and other Nigerians at a time when the reading culture had dwindled in the country.
The BPE said the essay competition, which was in line with bureau’s Corporate Social Responsibility’s initiatives, was aimed at correcting “uninformed perceptions on privatisation by opponents of the programme.”
Meanwhile, Okoh has lauded the impact of the service compact (SERVICOM) unit at the bureau since it was inaugurated in 2008.
Speaking during the SERVICOM Day symposium and launch of the BPE’s service charter, Okoh, who was represented by the Director, Infrastructure and Public Private Partnership, Mallam Sanusi Sule, said the unit had keyed into actualising the bureau’s mandate.
He said, “Customer service is not only a department but has become everyone’s job, resulting in an organisational culture.”
“Our processes are constantly under scrutiny and review which allows us to identify areas of lapses both internally amongst staff and with our external stakeholders.”