Another of Nigeria’s students abroad has done the nation proud as Miss Christiana Udoh is awarded the Dudley Newitt Prize for Experimental Excellence at the Imperial College in London, United Kingdom. The announcement was made on Monday during the Dudley Newitt Lecture, an annual event held on the university campus in commemoration of the work of Professor Dudley Newitt.
The university also offered Ms Udoh, the first Nigerian to receive the award, a scholarship grant for what it describes as her impressive performance during Advanced Masters studies in Chemical Engineering.
The achievement gained the recognition of the Akwa Ibom State Government as it also awarded a $20,000 scholarship prize to the brilliant scholar.
Governor Udom Emmanuel, while presenting the award, commended Ms Udoh for making the state proud through her diligence and excellent performance. He also thanked her father, Dr Esio Udoh, a former member of the House of Representatives, for investing in her education.
In reacting, Dr Udoh said the pleasant development shows Nigeria is “on course to favourably compete with any nation of the world”, and he called on the Federal Government to model the country’s educational system in line with Israel’s which trains brilliant students to promote technological advancement.
“The performance of our students is hampered by government’s failure to meaningfully invest in education. Illiteracy is the greatest enemy of mankind. If you eradicate illiteracy, then hunger, diseases and social vices will be drastically reduced and our society will be a better place,” he said.
This is not Ms Udoh’s first scholarship award. In 2015, she was offered a Doctorate scholarship after she emerged the best graduating student in her Master’s programme at the Imperial College, London. And before that, she was on a scholarship awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In 2012, as a student of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, she polled the best result ever scored by a female student since the institution was established in 1959. Christiana was also her set’s best pupil at Air Force Secondary School, Akwa Ibom, where she won 15 of the 21 available academic prizes and the NNPC Science Quiz, amongst other feats.