Nigeria Prize for Science sees surge in entries for 2024 cycle….53% increase in submissions marks 20-year high

Photo shows L-R: Members of the Nigeria Prize for Science Advisory Board, Professor Yusuf Abubakar, Professor Barth Nnaji (Chairman) and Chief Dr Nike Akande (far right) receive 153 entries for the 2024 edition of the prize from Andy Odeh, GM, External Relations and Sustainable Development (NLNG) during the symbolic handover ceremony…in Lagos on Thursday, May 9, 2024.

By Rose Moses

On May 9, 2024, the Advisory Board for the Nigeria Prize for Science announced that the 2024 cycle has received a record-breaking 153 entries - a 53% increase over the previous year. 

This marks the highest number of submissions in the 20-year history of the prestigious award.

The announcement was made at a ceremony in Lagos, where the entries were formally handed over to the Advisory Board to commence the adjudication process. The entries were collected and managed by the secretariat, which is operated by the sponsor of the prize, Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG).

The Nigeria Prize for Science is one of the country's most esteemed awards, recognizing outstanding achievements and innovations in the field of science. The surge in entries for the 2024 cycle underscores the growing interest and talent within Nigeria's scientific community.

NLNG’s General Manager for External Relations and Sustainable Development, Mr Andy Odeh, handed over the entries to the Chair of the Prize’s Advisory Board, Professor Barth Nnaji, marking a major milestone in the prize cycle.

A press statement signed by Iwokiri Aprioku, Ag. Manager, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs of NLNG,
states that this year, the entries will vie for recognition under the theme "Innovations and Technologies for Reducing the Effect of Climate Change," a choice reflecting the urgency of addressing environmental challenges.

Mr. Odeh, while underscoring the critical importance of this year's theme, emphasised that combating climate change is not only vital for Nigeria's future but also essential for the survival of humanity.

“You can agree with me that the theme of this year’s prize will be of unquantifiable monetary value to the nation as you know that climate change, arising from green gas emission, remains a major setback to development of human,” he said.

He stated further that 2024 was a special year for both The Nigeria Prize for Science, and its sister prize, The Nigeria Prize for Literature, as the prizes celebrate their 20 years’ anniversary.

Mr. Odeh emphasised that the Nigeria prize for Science was an annual prize aimed at stimulating the advancement and application of science and technology, adding that the quest for a prestigious prize in science is expected to improve science and technology in Nigeria, resolve issues that are germane to development of the country and help improve the standards of living.

"We are thrilled to see such a remarkable increase in the number of submissions for the 2024 Nigeria Prize for Science," said the Advisory Board Chair. "This is a testament to the immense scientific potential in our country, and we look forward to reviewing these entries and honoring the most groundbreaking work.”

With the development, the adjudication process for the 2024 Nigeria Prize for Science is now underway, with the winner set to be announced later this year. The prize carries a monetary award of $100,000, making it one of the most lucrative science awards in Africa, Prof Nnaji also explained.

Other members of the Advisory Board are Chief Dr Nike Akande, a two-time minister and former President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Professor Yusuf Abubakar, a professor of Animal Breeding and Quantitative Genetics and the Coordinator of Agriculture Group, R & D Standing Committee, at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

It’s worthy to note that as the world grapples with the escalating climate crisis, initiatives like the Nigeria Prize for Science play a crucial role in driving innovation and fostering solutions to mitigate environmental degradation. The increased participation in this year's cycle signals a growing recognition of the imperative to address climate change through scientific ingenuity and collaborative efforts.

The Nigeria Prize for Science, according to organizers, is arguably the most prestigious science prize in Africa and one of NLNG’s biggest social investment projects.
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