As part of its continuous Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) investments in the development of the educational sector in Nigeria, the Nigerian Breweries – Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust fund, recently held the grand finale of the 5th edition of the Maltina Teacher of the Year on Friday, October 19, 2019 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. At the glamorous event, a Civic Education and Christian Religious Studies teacher at the Royal Family Academy, Abuja, Ezem Collins emerged the overall winner of the prestigious honour as the 2019 Maltina Teacher of the Year.
For emerging the Maltina Teacher of the Year, the Nigerian Breweries – Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund will reward Collins with a total of N6.5 million in cash prize (N1.5 million immediately and N1 million annually for the next five years). He would also get an all-expense paid capacity development training abroad while a furnished block of six classrooms, a library and sanitary facilities worth about N20 million will be built for his school in his honour by the Fund.
Megbowon Soji, a teacher from Jakande Estate Comprehensive Senior College, Lagos State emerged the first runner-up winning a total of N1.5 Million while Atondo Fidelis, a teacher from Government Secondary School, Ingawa, Katsina emerged as second runner-up with a prize of N1, 250.000.00. Other 20 teachers from different part of the country who emerged as state champions were also rewarded with a sum of N500, 000.00 each.
Speaking at the event, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba applauded Nigerian Breweries Plc for being at the forefront of improving the education sector by continually investing not only in educational infrastructure but also motivating and inspiring teachers.
Osinbajo noted that the investment in a unique initiative such as the Maltina Teacher of the Year would obviously contribute to the improvement of education in Nigeria by recognizing and rewarding outstanding teachers in Nigeria.
“I am honoured to join this one-of-a-kind initiative to celebrate the Nigerian teacher. Whatever we have become is a direct outcome of what you, our teachers, have passed on to us,” he said.
While congratulating the overall winner and all the state champions whom he described as beacons of light, Osinbajo implored them to continue to be an example in their different states and impact the generation of young people entrusted into their care, whom the country needs to hold its own in the comity of nations.
Delivering his remarks, the Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo lauded the efforts of Nigerian Breweries Plc for creating a more befitting, learning and teaching environment for public schools in the country through some of its interventions. Sanwo-Olu urged other corporate organizations to take a cue from such gesture, as this would go a long way to improve education sector in Lagos and the entire country.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel affirmed that the initiative was designed to recognize, celebrate and motivate teachers in Nigeria for their invaluable contributions towards the overall development of our lives as individuals and society as a whole.
“There is no doubt that teachers play a vital role in sustainable national development by training, coaching and modeling students which is critical to determining the quality of education. However, everyone acknowledges that these teachers seldom get the recognition they deserve”, he added.
“I commend you for the countless lives you have touched and moulded in your own unique ways. We recognize the work you are doing and on behalf of Maltina and all of us at Nigerian Breweries Plc, I salute you for your exceptional efforts. I congratulate the winners today and charge those who do not win the top prize to hold their heads high for being a shining light for their profession,” he noted.
In her own remarks, the Corporate Affairs Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mrs. Sade Morgan stressed that this year’s edition recorded an unprecedented interest from teachers across the country as the record of participation for the initiative surpassed previous editions, an indication that the initiative has become widely accepted amongst teachers.
Morgan who commended all stakeholder groups, including the Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria and the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools for their support in ensuring this edition was a huge success thanked the teachers for their invaluable contributions to moulding lives and impacting the society as a whole.
While praising members of the jury for exhibiting high level of professionalism, transparency throughout the evaluation process, she noted that the initiative has further helped to improve standards in teaching, affirming that its impacts will ultimately result in better performance from students.
Speaking shortly after declaring him the winner, Collins expressed profound appreciation to Nigerian Breweries Plc, Maltina, his wife as well as the school for the support and honour.
Since inception, the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative has produced five grand winners; Rose Nkemdilim Obi, Anambra (2015), Imoh Essien, Akwa Ibom (2016), Felix Ariguzo, Delta State (2017), Olasunkanmi Opeifa, FCT (2018) and now, Ezem Collins (2019).