The Advisory Boards for The Nigeria Prize for Science, The Nigeria Prize for Literature and The Literary Criticism Prize, sponsored by Nigeria LNG (NLNG) Limited, have published the Call for Entries for the 2019 edition of the prizes, flagging off this year’s competitions.
The Science and Literature prizes, which are now in their 15th year, each come with a cash prize of $100, 000 while the Literary Criticism Prize has a prize money of N1 million.
The Science Prize, which recognises outstanding scientific achievements by Nigerians and non-Nigerians, will this year focus on Climate Change: Erosion, Drought and Desertification.
The Literature Prize, on the other hand, will focus on Children’s Literature. The prize which honours the author of the best book by a Nigerian rotates among four literary genres, namely Prose Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Children’s Literature. The Literary Criticism Prize, which also aims to promote Nigerian Literature, will receive entries on works in literary criticism of Nigerian Literature, especially critical essays on new writings in Nigerian Literature.
According to the publication in national dailies and online media, the Call for Entries for the Literature prize and Literary Criticism opened on February 15, 2019 and will close on April 5, 2019. The window for the science prize also opened on February 15, 2019 but will close on May 3, 2019.
Professor Obododinma Oha will chair the panel of judges for this year’s Literature and the Literary Criticism competition. Professor Oha, poet, editor and a translator, is a professor of Semiotics, Stylistics, and Creative Writing at the Department of English, University of Ibadan. He writes poems in English and Igbo.
Other members of the panel include Professor Asabe Usman Kabir and Dr. Patrick Okolo. Professor Kabir is a professor of Oral and African Literature at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto. Dr. Oloko, a Senior lecturer at the University of Lagos Nigeria, specialization in African postcolonial literature, gender and cultural studies.
The winners of the Literature and Literary Criticism prizes will be announced at an award ceremony in October 2019, to commemorate the anniversary of the first LNG export from the NLNG’s Plant on October 9, 1999. The Science Prize winner as usual will be revealed earlier in the year.
Three winners emerged in the prize categories in 2018. They were Soji Cole who clinched the Literature Prize award with his play, ‘Embers’, Dr. Peter Ngene was awarded the Science Prize, for his work in “Innovation in Electric Power”, and Professor Isidore Diala, a professor of African Literature at Imo State University, Owerri, took home the Literary Criticism Prize.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature has rewarded eminent writers such as the late Ikeogu Oke (2017, Poetry) with ‘The Heresiad’; Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (2016, Prose) with ‘Season of Crimson Blossoms’; Sam Ukala (2014; Drama) with ‘Iredi War’; Tade Ipadeola (2013; Poetry) with his collection of poems, ‘Sahara Testaments’; Chika Unigwe (2012 – prose), with her novel, ‘On Black Sister’s Street’; as well as Adeleke Adeyemi (2011, children’s literature) with his book, ‘ The Missing Clock’.
Other awardees are Esiaba Irobi (2010, drama) who clinched the prize posthumously with his book ‘Cemetery Road’; Kaine Agary (2008, prose) with “Yellow Yellow”; Mabel Segun (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her collection of short plays, ‘Reader’s Theatre’; Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) with her book, ‘My Cousin Sammy’; Ahmed Yerima (2006, drama) for his classic, ‘Hard Ground’; and Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2005, poetry) for his book Chants of a Minstrel and Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2005, poetry) for his book The Dreamer: His Vision.
Past winners of The Nigeria Prize for Science are Ikeoluwapo Ajayi, Ayodele Jegede, Bidemi Yusuf, Olugbenga Mokuolu and Chukwuma Agubata (2017), Professor Akii Ibhadode (2010); the late Professor Andrew Nok (2009); Dr. Ebenezer Meshida (2008); Professor Michael Adikwu (2006); and joint winners Professor Akpoveta Susu and his then doctoral student, Kingsley Abhulimen (2004). The Nigeria Prize for Literature and The Nigeria Prize for Science are part of Nigeria LNG Limited’s numerous contributions towards building a better Nigeria.