THE NIGERIA PRIZE FOR SCIENCE AND THE NIGERIA PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
The Nigeria Prize for Science and The Nigeria Prize for Literature are some of the most significant social contributions made by NLNG to Nigeria. We like to think of them as our gift to Nigeria. The prizes are registered charities (companies limited by guarantee) with Corporate Affairs Commission. The prizes are aimed at bringing Nigerian scientists and authors to public attention and celebrating excellence in scientific breakthroughs and literary craftsmanship in the nation.
NLNG believes that the science prize will save scientists from their current low rating in national estimation; provide leaders with answers to crucial issues in development; and improve standards of living.
And with the Nigeria Prize for Literature, it is expected that the quest for a prestigious prize will improve the quality of writing, editing, proof-reading, and publishing in the country with far-reaching positive effect on print and broadcast journalism.
The prizes are administered, on behalf of Nigeria LNG Limited, by the Nigerian Academy of Science and Nigerian Academy of Letters.
The prizes come with a prize money of $50,000 each. It started with $20,000 in 2004 and was increased in 2006 to $30,000. In 2008, it was again upped to the current amount to drive science and authorship.
The prizes are awarded at the NLNG Grand Award Night which holds in the second week of October, commemorating the first export of LNG cargo by the company on October 9, 1999. Six years on, the Grand Award Night has taken a revered place in the order of social events in the country whilst honouring ingenuity in a colourful ceremony deserving of the winners.
In 2004, Profesor Akpoveta Susu and his then doctoral student (now doctor) Kingsley Abhulimen, both of the University of Lagos, won the maiden edition of the science prize. They won based on their work - "Real-Time Computer Assisted Leak Detection/Location Reporting and Inventory Loss Monitoring System" - which was described by judges as an outstanding contribution to research in real-time leak detection ina network of pipelines, or other flow systems, carrying liquids. That year there was no winner for the literature prize for Prose Fiction. However, three authors, Bina Nengi-Ilagha, Omo Uwaifo and Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo received honourable mention for their efforts.
In 2005, there were no winners for the science prize whilst joint winners emerged fro the literature prize which focused on Poetry. Ezenwa Ohaeto and Gabriel Okara were awarded for their books Chants of a Minstrel and The Dreamer: His Vision respectively.
Professor Michael Adikwu in 2006 showed in his winning work, "Wound Healing Devices (Formulations) Containing Snail Mucin," that snails mucins can play a key role in the pharmaceutical industry as a drug delivery agent. Dr Ahmed Yerima claimed the prize in literature (drama) for his book Hard Ground.
Again, in 2007 there was no winner for the science prize and joint winners emerged for the litereature prize on children's literature. Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and Mabel Segun won with their books, My Cousin Sammy and Readers' Theatre: Twelve Plays for Young People.
Dr Ebenezer Meshida emerged winner of the 2008 science prize with his work "Solution to Road Pavement Destabilisation by the Invention of 'Lateralite': A Stabilisation Flux for Fine Grained Lateritic Soils" which will make Nigerian roads durable through the elimination of potholes, gullies and erosion. The literature prize in 2008 returned to Prose Fiction. In 2008, Kaine Agary won the prize with her first book, Yellow Yellow.
The 6th year of the prizes saw Professor Andrew Nok winning the science prize in 2009 for his ground-breaking discovery of the gene responsible for the creation of Sialidase (SD) an enzyme which causes sleeping sickness (Trypanosomiasis). No winner emerged for the Literature prize. An unprecendented media furor ensued as a result of the judges decision but Nigeria LNG Limited defended the judges decision insisting on standing by the NLNG core value of excellence.
In August 2010, Professor Akaehomen Ibhadode was announced as the winner for the Science Prize for his work entitled "Development of New Methods for Precision Die Design." In awarding the prize to Prof Ibhadode, the judges noted that he has made significant contributions to the field of cold forging. He developed a mathematical model for the design of forging die based on die expansion methods, an optimal procedure for the selection of the most cost effective die design.
According to the judges, “In an industrializing economy like Nigeria, the products of the precision die process are particularly important in the development of small and medium scale enterprises on which the economy depends for its accelerated growth. He has applied the methods not only for the steel industry but also for the development of aluminium products.”
The late Esiaba Irobi bagged a posthumous laurel for Cemetery Road in 2010 and Adeleke Adeyemi (writing under the pseudonym Mai Nasara) won the prize in 2011 for his children's book The Missing Clock. No prize was awarded for science in 2011. The 2012 Prize for Literature was awarded to Chika Unigwe for her novel On Black Sisters' Street about the lives of Nigerian women living as sex workers in Belgium. Once more the Science Prize was not awarded in 2012 which sparked-off a science community stakeholders' forum, culminating in the restructuring of the prize to now be awarded to scientists, any where in the world, who can proffer applicable solutions to an identified national problem as advertised every year by the Science Academy in The Economist, major scientific journals and national media.
The 2013 Literature prize was awarded to Tade Ipadeola for The Sahara Testaments.