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Lancaster University Honours Valentine Ozigbo, MD/CEO Transcorp Hotels

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–University Vice Chancellor – He Makes Alma Mater Proud

The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, was on Friday conferred the award of a Distinguished Alumni of the Lancaster University. The award was conferred on him at a special convocation ceremony of the university held at its Ghana Campus.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mark Smith, who spoke during the event, praised Ozigbo for his laudable achievements recorded over the years since he graduated from the university.

He said, “Your extraordinary achievements in both the banking and luxury hospitality industries are impressive, as is your passion for promoting youth empowerment through initiatives such as youth leadership forums.

“This award is therefore to appreciate these achievements as we believe that your contribution to your field will be an inspiration to current Lancaster University students and their parents,” he noted.

Ozigbo who expressed delight over the honour accorded to him by his alma mater, commended the ideals of the school, which according to him contributed immensely towards molding him to the heights he had achieved till date.

He said, “My studies at Lancaster University laid a solid foundation in my life for the progress I achieved, because soon after my graduation, I started off with then Standard Trust Bank (which became United Bank for Africa), and was charged with the responsibilities that had global outlook in nature, including managing investment banking clients, embassies and multilaterals and later on global expansion.

“So, the fact that this was a top international University and the specialized discipline I majored in, among others, contributed to the decision to work in these international areas. I excelled in each of these areas because Lancaster University exposed and prepared me well. Therefore, I give credit to Lancaster University for my modest achievements,” he said.

Ozigbo, a Chevening Scholar, graduated in 2004 from the Lancaster University Management School England with an outstanding Masters Degree in Finance, with Distinction. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Accounting (1994), emerging the best Student in the faculty, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Banking and Finance (2000), both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

He is a fellow of many professional bodies, notably Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
Since leaving Lancaster University in 2004, Mr. Ozigbo has achieved a lot in both professional, personal and community life. He spent a total of 17 years in the banking industry rising to the level of General Manager before transitioning to the hospitality industry where he led the positive transformation of Transcorp Hotels Plc for over 7 years, winning many awards locally, regionally and globally, including Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality CEO of the Year Award (presented at a global event in Spain).

Ozigbo is also known for his youth empowerment works. Apart from leading the effort, with another friend of his in donating books from Lancaster University to the University of Nigeria, where they first graduated from, he has been involved in a number of mentorship, youth empowerment and community development initiatives.

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Search for Maths Champion begins as 2019 Cowbellpedia Mathematics Competition Opens

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The entry stage for this year’s Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand from Promasidor Nigeria Limited, the makers of Cowbell Milk opened in Lagos on Tuesday.

Briefing journalists at the press conference at the flag-off, the Managing Director of the company Mr. Anders Einarsson informed that the competition is free and open to students in JSS3 and SSS2 from ages 10 to 18 attending full time secondary education in both Public and Private Schools in the country.

The competition according to him, is divided into two phases: Stage 1 Qualifying Written Examination and Stage 2 TV Quiz Show.

“As part of the brand’s deliberate effort in encouraging Girl Child interest in STEM courses, Mr. Einarsson, reiterated the company’s appeal to mixed secondary schools to nominate a minimum of two female students for each category. As research has shown that a positive relationship exists between girl child education and the GDP of a nation,” he explained.

The Promasidor boss also disclosed that the ultimate prize for this year’s edition is N2 million and an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country. The first and second runners-up will go home with N1.5 million and N1 million respectively.

The teacher of the top prize winner will be awarded N500,000, while those of the first and second runners-up will get N400,000 and N300,000 respectively.

The Marketing Manager of Promasidor Nigeria, Mr. Abiodun Ayodeji explained that registration for this year is strictly online and the portal for registration, which opened on Monday, October1, 2018, would be closed on Sunday, February 3, 2019, while the qualifying examination would take place nationwide on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at designated centers.

He disclosed that contestants are required to register online at www.cowbellpedia.ng.

Ayodeji stated: “The guidelines require the candidates or schools to visit www.cowbellpedia.ng. click on link to register your school; fill all required fields in the form and submit. An email will be sent to the school and primary contact email addresses provided when filling the form. The link in the email received would be used to verify the email addresses

“On successful login, you click on the ‘Add Candidates’ under Candidate Management; fill in the candidates’ information on the form, upload the candidate’s picture and click the Save Draft button; save draft information for 5 candidates before you submit their registration.

“If your school is a mixed school, at least two of the candidates must be female.

After creating the draft registration for five candidates in a category (junior/senior), a button will be shown on the page to ‘Register junior/senior candidates’; click the button to complete the registration of the candidates for that category. A confirmation slip will be generated for download and will also be mailed to the school, candidate and parent/guardian email address. Print the confirmation slips and have it stamped and signed by the school principal as the confirmation slip will be required for admitting candidates at the examination venue.”

Each school, according to the Marketing Manager, is required to present its best 10 students in Mathematics (five from JSS3 and five from SSS2), irrespective of sex, religion, tribe or state of origin, to enhance its chance of qualifying for the next stage of the competition.

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Lagos announces Exclusive Partnership with P+ Measurement Services

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The Lagos State Chapter; the leading branch of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, has announced an exclusive partnership with the P+ Measurement Services to serve as the Official Media Monitoring and Evaluation Partner for the Chapter.

P+ Measurement Services is the leading independent communications/PR measurement and evaluation agency in Nigeria that specializes in delivering bespoke media monitoring, measurement, evaluation services and analysis across the full spread of media channels.

The exclusive partnership which commenced on Monday, December 17, 2018 will see the P+ Measurement Services handling the media monitoring and social listening activities of the Lagos NIPR across print, broadcast and online platforms during specific campaigns or events and provide the Chapter a performance Audit Report upon the completion of such activity, at no cost.

Lagos NIPR will allow P+ Measurement Services to leverage its brand properties to promote the company’s name and logo on all the Chapter’s campaigns and event communication materials, stating it as the Official Media Monitoring and Evaluation Partner.

Speaking during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding which was held at the Secretariat of the Chapter, the Chairman, Lagos NIPR, Olusegun McMedal, said that, “This exclusive partnership will help the Lagos State Chapter stay abreast of news mentions, helping it to track, analyze and respond to conversations across media platforms real time. The outcome will also serve as a source of strategic data and component of audience engagement going forward. P+ Measurement Services is the perfect partner to help us fully realize these capabilities”.

Also speaking during at the event, the Lead Consultant of P+ Measurement Services, Philip Odiakose, stated that, “P+ Measurement is very happy to partner with the Lagos State Chapter which is the leading branch of the regulatory body of the public relations industry in Nigeria and we are committed to helping the body grow in the region through independent media monitoring and evaluation services as we believe the PR industry is currently driven by data, hence the need for the body to have a data hub they can reach out to for factual figures. Then again, this means more work for the team, but we aim to deliver the best with precision, in line with the current market standard”.

Established in 1963, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) is the non-governmental, not-for-profit professional association of Public Relations practitioners chartered (by Decree 16 of June 1990 now an Act of Parliament) to regulate and develop the public relations, public affairs and communication practice in Nigeria with functioning Chapters in the 36 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

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Memories as Earnest Gems Clocks 60 – By Ingram Osigwe

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All is set for Reunion and Diamond Jubilee celebration of Earnest Gems, Grammar School, (EGGS) ( now renamed Akokwa High School). The school, one of the pioneer post primary schools in the defunct Eastern Region was founded in 1958 by the late Professor Elechukwu Nnadibugha Njaka.

The Diamond Jubilee which is being put together by the EGGS Alumni association will hold on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at the school’s premises, Akokwa in Ideato local government area of Imo state. The event will feature lectures, cultural dances, motions and resolutions, live bands among others. The organisers are optimistic that the reunion will afford EGGS’s old boys and girls the opportunity to reconnect and network. The event is open to all alumni members across class sets.

EGGS’s founder, the late Professor Njaka’s father, George Maduneme Njaka, had the benefit of contacts with early Christian missionaries and subsequently with Western education. This largely influenced his decision to send his son, the young Elechukwu to America to acquire the proverbial golden fleece. Elechukwu’s trip back to his native Akokwa to collect research material preparatory for his doctorate degree programme was to change the narratives for education in the then Eastern Region and for Akokwa in particular as the parlous state of education in the area, manifested by the high level of illiteracy among the people forced him to stay back and remedy the situation.

Thus early in 1958, EGGS was born. The foundation stone of the school was laid by an official of the United States Information Service (USIS) in Lagos. The school was designed as co-educational and the student strength at inception was 60. First classes held on February 22, 1958. According to the late founder, Professor, Njaka, “the school has been sustained by God and the goodwill of the people of the United States. Prominent among these are Mrs. Frances P. Bolton, a Washington Congresswoman who had donated a whopping sum of two thousand pounds (£2,000) worth of science equipment through Messrs Philip Harris of England”

Both Mrs. Bolton and Mrs. Eileen J. Garrett from New York had contributed substantially to the training of Professor Njaka during his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. A couple named Mr. and Mrs. E.R. Prugh, not only contributed money and equipment for the take-off of the EGGS but came to Nigeria and joined the pioneer staff of the school. There were also other expatriate pioneer staff such as Miss F.R. Schaible, Miss E.R. Scott, Mrs. Anne Crowe and Mrs. Martha Shapiro.

Due largely to Professor Njaka’s doggedness and dedication for the actualization of his secondary school project, foreign assistance became guaranteed from individuals and organizations. Books were donated in large qualities by Mr. G. Branan Ward and Mrs. Loring of California. Ranfurly library, English-speaking union of the Commonwealth, England, Mr. L. Hayness Speer of San Diego, California, donated books. The university from where Mr. Njaka obtained his Master’s degree in political science also donated over a ton of science equipment. In 1962, the first batch of students sat for the West African School Certificate Examination and scored 53% passes. Predictably, EGGS was determined to excel in line with the vision of its founder.

Situated on a hill between Umuopia and Owerre Akokwa and close to Iyiba Spring, EGG has achieved and continues to achieve the lofty objectives of its founder. The school, though renamed by the East Central State Government of the late Mr. Ukpabi Asika immediately after the Biafra – Nigeria civil war as Akokwa High School, has produced and continues to produce eminent citizens who have excelled in their various fields of human endeavours such as scholars of global repute, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers , Teachers, Sports Heroes/Heroines, Clergymen, Politicians, Seasoned Administrators, Businessmen, Scientists, Writers, Researchers, Inventors, Musicians, Pharmacists among others.

As the school clocks 60th  old students have nothing but effusive praises for the late founder, Professor Njaka, who for the love of fatherland and for the love of Akokwa and its people showed unparalled selflessness by foregoing his doctorate programme in America to ensure that his people benefited from quality education.

The late Professor Njaka who died few years ago was a member of the defunct Eastern Region’s Parliament.

Ingram Osigwe, an Alumni of EGGS is the MD/CEO of Full Page International Communications Ltd.

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