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Essay Competition 2014 In Nigeria Newspapers

As part of efforts to promote insurance practice and professionalism in the industry, Consolidated Hallmark Plc (CHI) has said it would continue to reward best students in the annual essay competition organised by the firm with job opportunities and other cash prizes.

The company’s Managing Director, Eddie Efekoha, stated this during the presentation of gifts to the best students from some tertiary institutions in the CHI essay competition.

He said, “This is the fourth series in the essay competition. The intention is to encourage insurance as a subject and profession and make the world know that we also have so much to give back to the society.

“For the industry to grow, we need to continuously grow and update the talent. Those who had been in the system for long are leaving, we want to continue to ensure constant inflow into the process, because as they are exiting, if we don’t have enough input, then you will find out that over time the process will run dry”.

The students wrote on the topic, “Impact of microinsurance on the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”

Miss Abiola Atinukeola Gbemisola from The Polytechnic, Ibadan won the best prize of N250,000 and an automatic employment in the company when she graduates.

Chukwuemeka Nwanne Nnaya from University of Lagos came second, winning N150,000, while the third prize went to Olaniyi Samson Opeyemi from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, who also won N100,000.

The company also extended the competition to its internal staff, by giving them the opportunity to write on another topic. In this category, the best three employees were equally rewarded.

Efekoha said Gbemisola has an automatic employment in the company when she graduates as the winner of the essay competition.

Speaking further, Efekoha informed that the company contacted all the schools in the country offering Insurance as a course to enter for the 2014 competition.

He emphasised that the monetary reward was increased significantly to motivate more students to participate in the essay competition.



Today, I’m publishing the compelling essay which clinched the first prize in the 2013 Young & Cerebral Essay Competition (yours sincerely emerged 3rd prize winner). It’s published here with the kind permission of the author, my very good friend, Abdul Abdullateef Olasubomi.

You can read the second prize winning essay here and the third prize winning essay here.

Abdul Abdullateef (L), yours sincerely (M) and Osita Crownwell (R).

You can read it below or download a PDF version of it here.




Nigeria marked its 53rd independence anniversary on October 1, 2013. A casual glance at the nation’s 53 years journey shows both betrayal of expectations of greatness and the irony of the nation. Despite the abundance of human and material resources, Nigeria remains an undeveloped country with clearly more than half of its population living below poverty line. It is also plagued by myriads of problems which continue to undermine its potentials.

Against this background, this essay examines the major problems embattling the nation at 53 whilst proffering lasting and workable solutions to those problems. This paper posits that the problems of the nation are multifaceted and any solution must be holistic and durable for it to yield maximum benefit. It is argued that hopes of development and greatness are not lost provided the nation steers its ship back on the right track.


Falowo (2013) said, ‘it is only the full understanding of the root causes of the problem we face today as a nation that will afford us the chances of discerning what solutions are possible, which can work and which cannot’. The problems besetting Nigeria today are many but the most critical ones are highlighted below.

The basic problem crippling the progress of the nation is failure of leadership (Achebe: 1984) Related to this is the problem of bad followership. Another core problem facing the nation is insecurity – insecurity of lives and property. Disunity also hinders Nigeria’s progress. There is also no doubt whatsoever that corruption is a major impediment to the nation’s success.

Other problems include poverty, unemployment, criminality, ethnic distrust, politicised judiciary, electoral fraud, religious tension, lack of basic amenities of life, epileptic power supply, poor infrastructure, pathetic education system, political crisis, commercialisation of public or government office, resource allocation, failed institutions (political, educational, economic etc), environmental degradation, spread of drastic disease, chronic frustration of citizens, collapse of national ideals and social values, a culture of impunity, widespread celebration of mediocrity, indiscipline and irresponsibility.


The first solution is social transformation and value reorientation. We must work towards establishing a society where people are judged not by their family background, ethnic or religious affiliation, but by merit and character and a society where people imbibe ideals of fairness, justice and honesty.

Secondly, we must ensure enthronement of Good leadership. According to Bola Tinubu (2013), “There is urgent need for a new generation of leaders that would clear the cobwebs of decadence and political scavengers. This new generation of leaders must take our dear country to its manifest destiny”.

Also, government must ensure provision of basic amenities of life such as food, clothing, water, road, power, education and employment. It must also ensure improvement in the standard of living.

Other recommendations include an independent and honest press, independent judiciary, strict enforcement of laws, accountability in public office, and policies implementation. Finally, we must uproot the tree of disunity and sow the seeds of unity.


At 53, Nigeria is far from its destiny. There is an overwhelming disparity between expectation and reality. Rectifying the anomalies is a joint task incumbent on all stakeholders not just the government. Therefore, all hands must be on deck!


  1. Emeka Obia, “Nigeria at 53: Making Progress or Remaining Stagnant” (October 4, 2013). Available online at  http://www.bellanaija.com/2013/10/04/nigeria-at-53-making-progress-or-remaining-stagnant-by-emeka-obia/
  2. Kunle Falowo, “THE PROBLEM OF NIGERIA (1)” (April 30, 2013). Available online at  http://nigeriaworld.com/articles/2013/apr/301.html
  3. Simon Kolawole, “Nigeria: Problems and Solutions” (Oct 2, 2011). Available online at http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/nigeria-problems-and-solutions/99645/
  4. Emmanuel Oladesu, “What is Nigeria celebrating at 53?” (Oct 1, 2013). Available online at http://thenationonlineng.net/new/what-is-nigeria-celebrating-at-53/
  5. Major problems facing Nigeria today. Available online at http://www.africaw.com/major-problems-facing-nigeria-today
  6. Lai Labode, “Corruption is NOT Nigeria’s biggest problem” (April 12, 2013). Available online at http://www.ynaija.com/lai-labode-corruption-is-not-nigerias-biggest-problem-y-politico/
  7. Benjamin Chuka Osisioma, “Combatting Fraud and White Collar Crimes: Lessons from Nigeria” (May 22, 2012). Available at http://www.managementnigeria.org/index.php/81-highlights/59-combatting-fraud-and-white-collar-crimes-lessons-from-nigeria

8.      Chinua Achebe, “the Trouble with Nigeria” (1984) Heinemann.

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