Funmi Ogundare

Winners have emerged at the grand finale of Young Ministers Competition, season five, organised by Kiddies Vision Magazine to assess how well Nigerian students know the country and enlighten them on the functions, organs and activities of government.

The programme, which was organised in collaboration with Huaxing Arts Troupe, Nigeria, is also aimed at ensuring that students know the facts, histories of the country to guide them towards societal values and good governance.

The 32-week television show focused on five selected ministerial seats and commissioner seats. The ministerial seats focused on selected federal portfolios and their policies which are competed for by secondary school students, while the commissioner seats which also focused on the same portfolios at the state level, are competed for by primary school pupils.

The five selected ministries were health, youth and sports, tourism, art and culture, finance and education.

The competition, which was divided into four phases, saw winners in the primary and secondary categories receiving cheques of N100,000, N50,000 and N30,000 for the first, second and third positions respectively.

Speaking at the ceremony in Lagos recently, the Director, Kiddies Vision Magazine, Mrs. Nnena Umeohia, who expressed delight about the keenly contested competition, said it was designed to educate the children on government policies and nurture them on excellent leadership qualities.

She highlighted the four phases of the competition, saying, “the first phase is a question and answer segment in which the contestants are asked questions based on their selected portfolios. The contestants with minimum of 30 points progress go the second phase of the competition.

“The second phase is where qualified contestants are to present their pre-manifestos within 25 seconds. The contestants were scored by the judges and programme viewers. The judges selected three most convincing contestants from each production group of all competing seats. The contestants progressed to the next phase while the viewers voted in three contestants from each production group of all competing ministries through SMS platform.

“For the third phase, the number of contestants was scaled down to 15 per seat. They were required to present their detailed manifestos within 60 seconds. Six contestants were selected from each seat. Three of whom were selected by the judges based on their scores, while the remaining were voted for by the viewers.

“The fourth phase is the defence which saw the six finalists in each of the ministerial seats answering questions based on points raised from their manifestos. The three contestants with the highest score (both the judges score and viewers votes) in each ministry are the ones that received cash prizes today.”

The Chairman, Association of Guangdong, Honking, Macau Citizens Friendship of Nigeria, Mr. Kelvin Cheng commended the organisers, saying that his country, China and Nigeria have a lot in common. “Education can project people towards improvement and build a peaceful society.”

An official of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs. Bunmi Akeju, while congratulating the winners, advised them to always stand out in whatever they do.

The Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, who was represented by the Coordinator, Lagos Office, Mrs. Ngozi Ekwueme, emphasised on standards and embracing product quality. He said educating the youths about the issue would help in catching them young. “Anything they do in life, they should stand for good products. There are standards for services and product. You must grow and abide by standard in whatever you are doing.”

He said the organisation established standards in conjunction with stakeholders and other regulatory bodies to discuss and come up with answers that will ensure quality.