Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nigeria LNG reveals judges

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And now to the main talk of today...

At last, the $50, 000 NLNG Prize reveals identities of past judges!

After years of controversy over who exactly is deciding these prizes, and why their identities are kept secret, the Nigeria LNG has this month finally revealed those who chose the books of Kaine Agary, Mabel Segun, Gabriel Okara and others.

The jury’s decision to withhold the award of the literature prize, last year, shook the literary and educational establishment. In a brief six page report, it re-echoed the self-evident fact that the decline in reading and writing standards, evident since the 1990s, had accelerated sharply between mid 2004 and 2009.

That decision also brought Nigeria LNG Limited a large and varied postbag. Many registered vehement opposition to the jury’s decision, but the NLNG has always maintained that the identity of the judges was discreet to allow them assess the entries received objectively and unencumbered free from influence and insisted that the judges were men and women of high integrity.

Now, that has changed.

In the first four years of the Prize, the panel of judges for the Literature prize was led by Prof. Dan Izevbaye of the University of Ibadan. Other members of the panel include Prof. Charles Nnolim, a retired Professor of English at the University of Port-Harcourt, a well respected international literary critic and member of the Order of the Niger, Prof. Zaynab Alkali, a literary critic and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Nassarawa State University, Prof. Rasheed Abubakar and Dr. Reuben Abati, a first class honours graduate of Theater Arts from the University of Calabar where he won the Vice-Chancellor’s prize for the best overall graduating student and presently the chairman of the editorial board of The Guardian newspapers.

In 2008, Prof. Mary Kolawole, Prof. of English, Obafemi Awolowo University and chair for African region in the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. replaced Prof. Zaynab Alkali. Dr. Reuben Abati was replaced by Prof. Tanimu Abubakar, of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria when their tenures were over. The other judges remained on the panel for continuity.

This year, a new set of judges have been appointed. Prof. Dapo Adelugba, one of Nigeria's foremost theatre arts teachers, and four other eminent scholars – Professor Kalu Uka, Professor John Illah, Professor Mary Kolawole and Professor Abubakar Tanimu – will decide the fate of the writers even as the competition gets keener both in numbers and geography. Many renowned foreign based writers are in the running for the prize.
The Adelugba panel was appointed in January 2010 by the Prof. Theo Vincent-led literature committee which has been administering the prize on behalf of the Nigerian Academy of Letters since inception. The committee is made up of distinguished professors and eminent writers and journalists. The judges have been seating in Lagos since March when they received the entries.
Forty scientists and 92 foreign and home based playwrights are competing for this year’s pre-eminent prizes in literature and science – The Nigeria Prizes for Science and The Nigeria Prize for Literature.
The Science entries are currently being assessed by a panel of judges headed by Prof. Emeritus Anya O. Anya, a chartered biologist with over 120 scholarly publications and the chairman of the Nigeria National Merit Award Committee. Other members of the Anya Panel are Professor Emeritus Grace Olaniyan-Taylor, Professor Awele Maduemezia, Professor Lateef Salako and Professor Gabriel Ogunmola, a former president of the Nigerian Academy of Science.

The science prize is administered by the Nigerian Academy of Science which also nominates the judges and members of the science committee.

Prof. Andrew Jonathan Nok, of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) who was recently appointed a visiting professor at Yale University, United States, won the science award, last year for his seminal work in discovering the gene responsible for the creation of Sialidase (SD), an enzyme which causes sleeping sickness. His work will form the baseline for developing DNA based vaccines against sleeping sickness, which killed an estimated 60million Africans in 2006. Other winners include Professor Michael Adikwu, formerly of University of Nigeria Nsukka, now with the World Bank, Dr. Ebenezer Meshida, Professor Akpoveta Susu and Dr. Kingsley Ahbulimen, all of University of Lagos

Winners of the Prize for Literature include the founding father of modern Nigerian poetry, Gabriel Okara, Ahmed Yerima, Ezenwa Ohaeto, Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Mabel Segun and Kaine Agary.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature and The Nigeria Prize for Science with a cash value of US$50, 000 each, the largest in Africa, now in its seventh year are registered charities (companies limited by guarantee) with the Corporate Affairs Commission and sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited.


  1. TALKAHOLIC!!!!Lol!!!!!
    Ok o, noted.

  2. This na student blog wetin carry this one come here? LOL


Oya you sef talk ya own!!!