By Bamidele Salako
Leading tourism development and facility management company, Desigo, will today, present prizes to winners of the maiden edition of its National Essay Competition at Nanet Suites, Ekiti House Plot 1042, Kur Mohammed Street, Central Area, Abuja.
The competition is a major pivot of Desigo’s Youth Tourism Connect initiative which is designed to provide a culture and tourism value orientation for Nigerian youths by enlisting them in the exploration of Nigeria’s culture and tourism potentials through engagement, cross-cultural exchanges, information, sensitisation and exposure.
Entries for the competition were received in two categories from all across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory between October 2016 and August 2017 and assessed by a panel of examiners that comprised professionals carefully selected from within Nigeria and abroad.
The eventual winners were selected based on their ability to reason analytically, the intelligence of their ideas, writing style, compliance with the rules of Grammar, creativity and structure.
Three winners emerged in the hotly contested senior category for 19 to 35-year olds where participants were required to write an essay on the topic: “Citing major tourist attractions and products in your state, use one major attraction to discuss the comparative advantage of Nigeria’s tourism sector and how it can engineer economic boost for national development.”
24-year old Ogbaga Sunday from Ebonyi State came tops in this category while 24-year old Temitope Steve from Osun State came second. 28-year old Bello Sarafadeen from Kwara State will pick third prize.
15-year old Ikoabasi Iyang from Akwa Ibom State emerged as the sole winner in the Junior Category (11-18 years) having impressed the examiners with his essay on, “Citing major tourist attractions and products in your state, use one major attraction to discuss the role of internet/ICT in developing tourism in Nigeria.”
In a chat with TheBoss newspaper, Desigo CEO, Mrs. Abigail Olagbaye said, “We are excited at the success of the maiden edition of the National Essay Competition and are delighted at the response we got from all over the country. As players in Nigeria’s promising tourism sector, we are acquainted with the vast potential that the sector holds as well as the unexploited economic potential within our rich and diverse culture. We are excited to be playing a pioneering role in awakening this consciousness in Nigeria’s teeming youth population through this competition.”
“Young people are a major force for development and social change anywhere in the world. Through this initiative, we have succeeded in connecting many Nigerian youths who participated with knowledge about the tourism potentials of the country. We hope that the interest we have succeeded in stimulating will be sustained and that these youths will grow to become active participants in the future growth of Nigeria’s tourism sector. Ultimately, we would see the rise of a generation of youth tourism ambassadors and advocates with robust national pride,” Olagbaye added.
The winners of the competition are expected to receive bumper prizes including local travel to tourist destinations in the country, internet enabled devices and cash prizes of varying sums.
The National Essay Competition is supported by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), the Nigerian tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Exxon Mobil, Ovation International Magazine amongst others.