A 22-year old research officer with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum [NGF] was among exceptional graduates who clinched top prizes at the University of Benin 39th and 40th Convocation Ceremonies held on November 19 and 23.
Uzochukwu Uchechukwu Alutu, who graduated from the University in 2012, with a First Class in Economic & Statistics, won seven top prizes at the ceremonies.
Mr. Alutu, who joined the NGF in 2013 as economic policy researcher, won the Deans Prize for Best Graduating Student in the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Departmental Prize for Best Graduating Student in the Department of Economics and Statistics, and the Professor S.E.N Okoh’s Foundation Prize for Best Graduating Student in the Faculty of Social Sciences.
He was also named winner of the Professor S.E.N Okoh’s Foundation Prize for Best Graduating Student in the Department of Economics and Statistics, the Zenith Bank Prize for Best Graduating Student in the Department of Economics and Statistics, the Chief James O. Ibori’s Prize for Best Graduating Student in the Department of Economics and Statistics and the Late Christopher Uzoka’s Prize for Best Graduating Student in the Department of Economics.
In a statement Tuesday, the Director General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, congratulated Mr. Alutu for the feat and urged him to continue to aim for excellence in his entire endeavour.
“We at NGF are exceedingly proud of Alutu who is clearly one of our many talents. We urge him to continue to work hard, to continue to aim for the best in everything he does. On our part, we will continue to encourage him, to spur him on to aim for the sky.
“He is the kind of talents Nigeria needs at this difficult time. We see him giving a lot back to his country, the African continent and the world in the years to come.”
Mr. Okauru said the recruitment system of the NGF has always been based on merit and excellence adding that Alutu’s accomplishment had shown that the Forum made no mistake in hiring him.
“But I must add that we have several great talents like him in our organization. They are young, committed and self-driven. We will continue to put their talents in the service of our country,” Mr. Okauru said.
Mr. Alutu has since won a Commonwealth scholarship and has been granted study leave by the NGF to study for a Masters degree in Applied Economics at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.
Speaking on his achievement, he said, “I’m definitely elated by the honours. But as you know, the reward for hard work is more work. I’m not resting on my oars at all.
“Right now, my aim is to make the best use of this Commonwealth scholarship to gather enough experience that would be necessary in tackling some of the developmental problems facing Nigeria and other developing countries.”
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