Nwobodo Chiahanam Joseph Wins 2022 CIPM Essay Competition

Recently updated on October 22nd, 2022 at 09:24 pm

Nwobodo Chiahanam Joseph, a Medicine & Surgery student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has emerged overall winner of the 2022 CIPM Essay Competition.

Agwuna Favour Obianuju, studying Pharmacy and Ibe Chijioke Kennedy, studying Medical Radiography and Radiological Sciences, both who are student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) emerged second and third respectively.

The awards ceremony was held during the CIPM 54th International Conference & Exhibitions at Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Nwobodo Chiahanam Joseph Wins 2022 CIPM Essay Competition

The annual essay competition by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) is designed to build research capabilities of the youth using the Nigeria’s tertiary institutions as a viable channel.

The theme of this year’s edition of the essay competition was titled “Building a Future-ready Workforce: Re-evaluating our Educational System”.

According to the Institute:

“The Institute has completed fourteen (14) editions of the competition successfully.

In 2022, we received Three hundred and thirteen (313) entries from Seventy (70) tertiary institutions across the six geo-political zones of the economy.”

The statement also revealed that the screening process involved the following for the 2022 CIPM Essay Competition:

  • Conduct plagiarism checks to determine the originality of each paper
  • Panel review and scoring of the papers with at least 75% originality status to arrive at the top seven (7) papers
  • Defence of papers by the top seven candidates
  • Scoring of the top seven papers by Independent Assessors
  • Validation and harmonization of scores by the Independent Assessors to arrive at the top three (3) winners.

Nwobodo Chiahanam Joseph, winner of the 2022 CIPM Essay Competition shared his experiences, thoughts and insights with PositiveNaija on October 22, 2022.

My motivation in achieving this feat

Nwobodo Chiahanam Joseph: My motivation was driven by the quest to get better at writing. The intellectual demands of the essay ensure an improvement in critical thinking and analytical performance. So I thought I should give the contest a try.

Factors that helped me

Nwobodo Chiahanam Joseph: The number one factor was the Almighty God. I owe everything to Him. Another very important factor that I must mention is UNEG (University of Nigeria Essayist Group). That association helped to build me into the essayist that I am today. I won’t forget to mention my parents and siblings whose encouragement has been a big factor in all I do. I remain forever indebted to my dear mentor, Dr. Chukwunonso Celestine Odenigbo. He is a prominent figure as far as this success story is concerned.

Your perspective on the relevance of your essay and its submissions to the Nigerian society

Nwobodo Chiahanam Joseph: The topic this year talks about the need to develop a future-ready workforce by paying heed to the structure of our educational system.

Education is a driver of productivity in any society. Unfortunately for the Nigerian society, the inadequacies of our educational system have not allowed us to enjoy the benefits that education is meant to ensure. These inadequacies have also caused our workforce so much. We must note that any development aimed at the sustainability of the workforce in Nigeria must grant education a prime position.

Writing this essay has exposed me to a wealth of knowledge that has made me different. I saw the concept of change from a broader perspective. As a student in the Nigerian educational system, I consider the exposure I received from writing the essay a privilege, as I have been equipped with details of what the workforce I would soon be facing demands from me.

Other areas you would like to put your thoughts on

Nwobodo Chiahanam Joseph: I would just want to use this medium to encourage every essayist hoping for a big win someday. Keep on working. Never get tired of trying. Do not look at the losses as failures. See them as stepping stones.


Agwuna Favour Obianuju, first runner-up winner of the 2022 CIPM Essay Competition shared her experiences, thoughts and insights with PositiveNaija on October 22, 2022.

Motivation in achieving this feat

Agwuna Favour Obianuju: CIPM Annual Essay Competition is no doubt, the most prestigious and toughest essay to write and even emerged as one of the top three (3) winners after a rigorous essay defence by the top seven (7) (although, this year, they shortlisted eight (8) students from different tertiary institutions after 2 persons had a tie in the first grading process by the judges).

First, my motivation was the topic of the essay which was, “Building a future-ready workforce: re-evaluating our educational system”.

Apparently, our educational system is indeed in a big mess after staying at home for about six (6) months within the period of essay writing. This is my biggest motivation and being someone that loves education and wants the status quo to change, that’s why I put in all my conatus in writing the essay and to God be the glory, I was among the top three (3) and the only female among the eight (8) shortlisted finalists.

Moreover, I am a member of one awesome non-governmental educational foundation christened, “Eduhelp foundation”. At Eduhelp, we see children across Africa who lack access to quality education become well-educated, literate, and technologically inclined.

Factors that helped me

Agwuna Favour Obianuju:

A. I am a young researcher who is passionate about sustainable development goals (SDGs) 3 & 4: Good health and well-being, and Quality Education respectively. Consequently, for you to do very well in the CIPM essay, you need to do thorough research that would wow the judges.

B. My determination: I did not participate in the last year’s competition, so, I said, I must particulate in this year’s competition because I know by next year, I may not have time for it due to the nature of my department. That’s why I put all my effort into it. (laughs)

C. University of Nigeria Essayists Group (UNEG) is the most hardworking and reputable group I have ever known. They make sure that every member of the organisation is carried along in whatever they do. I owe them a lot (of love).

Your perspective on the relevance of your essay and its submissions to the Nigerian society

Agwuna Favour Obianuju: My paper explicitly elucidated the strategies everyone (not only the government) would adopt to make our educational system be yo to standard and be future-ready to compete with changing global environment. Thus, embracing technology and digitalization methods of learning and teaching are sine qua non in our educational system.

Other areas you would like to put your thoughts on

Agwuna Favour Obianuju: As I said, I am passionate about health and education. So, my focus is mostly on the health and educational sectors. I co-founded a non-governmental health organisation known as, “Community Health Awareness Network (CHANET)”. Our vision is to be the best non-governmental health organisation in the world in terms of proffering solutions to health issues and also taking health to the grassroots (that’s rural communities who have little or no knowledge of healthcare).

Additionally, I would like every undergraduate that wants to participate in the essay next year to start now and embrace research because if you don’t know anything about research, I’m afraid, it may be laborious for the person to make it to the top 7 finalists. Also, every writer out there should not lose focus, that you didn’t make it in this year’s winners, does not mean the person cannot make it, No! You need to keep trying and learn from others, be connected to the past winners, and learn from them, ultimately, always put God first in whatever you want to do, He doesn’t fail. (smiles)

I’m sure, in the end, the victory is yours. And to my future self, I hope to see myself inspiring other people, especially women.

I am Agwuna Favour Obianuju, a 4th-year Pharmacy Student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). I am multilingual. Thank you for the interview.

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