Taiye Abanika, a Technical Drawing teacher with James Hope College, Agbor, Delta State has emerged the winner of the 2021 Maltina Teacher of the Year. Abanika was declared the winner at the Grand Finale held on Friday, October 15, 2021, at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
With his emergence as the winner of the 7th edition of the initiative, Abanika will receive a total cash prize of N6.5 million (N1.5million immediately and N1million annually for the next five years) from the Nigerian Breweries – Felix Ohiwerei Trust Fund.
Apart from the cash gift, he would also be rewarded with other incentives including an all-expense-paid capacity development training abroad, a fully equipped computer laboratory or a six-classroom block worth N20 million to be built for his school in his honour by the Fund.
Isaac Terver Pev, a teacher with Government Day Secondary School, Yonko, Taraba State emerged as the first runner-up winning a total sum of N1.5 Million. Margaret Ngozi Ofordum, a teacher with Government Science & Technology College, Garki, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, emerged as the second runner-up with prize money of N1, 250.000.00 while other 30 teachers who emerged as state champions were also rewarded with a sum of N500, 000.00 each.
Speaking at the event, the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof.Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Honourable Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba lauded the company’s unwavering commitment to recognizing and rewarding teachers through the initiative. He noted that their immense support has contributed a great deal in motivating the teachers not only in expanding beyond borders (as witnessed in the representation of Nigeria at the global stage) but also in reaching their full potentials.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Hans Essaadi explained that the initiative was designed to recognize, celebrate and reward amazing men and women who through their daily work as teachers have contributed tremendously to building a solid foundation for society we live in.
“A good teacher inspires hope, ignites the imagination, and instils a love of learning – literally shaping and changing lives. As individuals, a great part of who we are today, and what we have achieved in life, can be traced back to the education we received from our teachers”, Essaadi added.
Also speaking at the event, the Honourable Commissioner of Education, Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo who represented the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu expressed appreciation to Nigerian Breweries Plc for their relentless effort and tenacity in celebrating exceptional teachers through the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative stating that such contribution would go a long way to improve performance among the students and motivate teachers generally to take pride in the profession.
In her remarks, the Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mrs. Sade Morgan who commended the invaluable contributions of teachers to shaping lives and grooming leaders stated that this year’s edition recorded an impressive number of entries from 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory as the initiative received a total of 1085 entries.
While applauding the panel of judges for their transparency, professionalism, rigour and tenacity in determining the winners, Morgan noted that the calibre of the top 10 finalists including the eventual winner truly attests to the creativity and practicality that were adopted in the evaluation process for this year’s edition.
Speaking shortly after he was announced as the winner of the coveted prize, Taiye Abanika expressed gratitude to Nigerian Breweries Plc for restoring pride to the teaching profession by recognizing and rewarding teachers through the initiative.
Since its inception, the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative has produced seven grand winners, Rose Nkemdilim Obi, Anambra (2015), Imoh Essien, Akwa Ibom (2016), Felix Ariguzo, Delta State (2017), Olasunkanmi Opeifa, FCT (2018), Ezem Collins (2019), Oluwabunmi Anani(2020) and now Abanika Taiye(2021).