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The Federal Government has awarded cash prizes worth 16 million Naira to winners of the Nigeria @60 branding competition. Winners were selected in slogan, poem, and photograph categories.

In the Poetry category, Kalu Chioma took the first position; Mustapha Dauda was second, while Usman Patrick placed third. In the slogan category, Nwakuba Ezinne took first position, Yusuf Mohammed second, while Sani Ibrahim placed third.

Amau Oluwadausimi came first in the photography category, Leke Adebule came second, while Sampson Emeka placed third.

Those who came first were presented with a N3 million cheque each, while those who took the second position got N1.5 million each. Those who placed third were presented with N1 million cheque each.

Presenting the cheques, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy and Chairman of the 60th Independence celebration Committee, Dr Isa Pantami said the competition was meant to create a platform for all Nigerians to participate in the Diamond anniversary.

Nigeria @60

He commended the winners of the Nigeria @60 branding competition for their creativity and innovative prowess and charged them to sustain the vision of patrotism.

‘‘What we did was to allow our citizens to be owners of the diamond celebration to own it up. We only opened it up for all our citizens to come up with innovative slogans, poetry and photography. Nigerians are highly innovative and have very creative minds and we feel it is better we allow our people to own the celebration.

“We will continue to encourage them to do so, it should be the beginning and not the end. I encouraged you to do more in future,’’ Pantami said.

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Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) earlier, said the event was designed to make the Nigerian Diamond celebration a more exciting and inclusive event with the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘‘We needed to come up with a platform to make it digitally-driven since we are in the digital age. We needed to come up with a platform to do a digital and innovative challenge, the first time we are using the digital platform, to engage Nigerians in the Independent Anniversary celebration,” he said.

The Chairman of the selection panel, Dr Usman Gambo said ‘‘opportunity was given to all Nigerians to participate in the contest.’’

Gambo said a total of 3,258 participants submitted entries for the challenge out of which 1,931 entries came for Poetry; 630 for Slogan and 689 for photography.

According to him, there are series of selection process by the panel that comprised of linguistic and poetry experts, who carried out the screening before arriving at 60 and finally at nine grand winners.

He added that some of the criteria used in the selection process included, relevance to the theme of the Diamond celebration; originality; creativity; impact and presentation by the innovators.

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