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16-year-old wins N7.5m Interswitch SPAK 1.0 star prize

Published by The Nation on Mon, 11 Feb 2019

A 16-year-old, Akachukwu Anumudu of Apostolic Faith Secondary School, Anthony, Lagos, has emerged winner of the first edition of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition held in Lagos at the weekend.He beat eight other contestants in a quiz session to win the star prize of N7.5 million worth of tertiary education scholarship spread over five years, a laptop and a monthly stipend during the course of the scholarship.The first runner-up was 16-year-old Henry Umunna of the Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja. Umunna won N4 million worth of scholarship spread over three years; while the second runner-up, 16-year-old Onyedikachi Kanu from Dority International School, Aba, got N1million worth of scholarship for one year.Akachukwu came tops after advancing through various levels of the competition. Expressing gratitude, Akachukwu said he never expected to make it that far, explaining that competitions like this would help in discovering brighter young stars in Nigeria.He said: Whenever I see people win at competitions, I always wondered if I could ever get that lucky. But now, I know its beyond luck and I am glad that all my sleepless nights and hardwork paid off. I am very grateful to Interswitch because they made me who I am today. Before now, I was very shy and reserved, but my whole experience at the InterswitchSPAK 1.0 has helped build my confidence and prepared me for the future.Another highlight of the day was the presentation of the Founders Award to Team Neptune- winners of the Innovation Challenge. The team made up of nine SS2 kids, collaborated to develop a technology-driven solution aimed at providing Nigerians with easier access to National Health Insurance. Each student was presented with a medal and a laptop. The nine students also get a chance to partake in a two-week internship programme at Interswitch Groups head office in Lagos during the holidays.Interswitch Group Managing Director/Founder, Mitchell Elegbe, said the firm is particularly passionate about the healthcare sector and is already working on the proposal that emerged from the Innovation Challenge.
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