18-year old Sophia Oyibo Awajibene, yesterday, assumed office as the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication.
Her emergence according to The Guardian reports, followed an intensive essay competition in the state, where she clinched the first position scoring 79 percent to defeat 14 others.
Sophia was declared an Ambassador of the Rivers State Ministry of Information and Communication with a cash prize of N60,000 and a plaque.
According to the report, Paulinus Nsirim, who vacated the seat for the secondary school leaver for 30 minutes, said it was necessary to encourage young people, that they can become famous and earn good reputations through hard work, honesty and integrity and not just through ‘Big Brother Nigeria’.
Nsirim said: “I got feedback that made me feel very bad about the prizes we were to give the winners. People asked, why would the prizes for an intellectual competition be N50,000, N30,000 and N20,000.
“They said, didn’t I see how much they are getting in Big Brother? But that is a sad commentary about our country today; everything is monetised.”
Nsirim, however, noted that the ministry intends to inculcate the right values through essay competition and also showcase to the world that the right values can make someone become famous and a model to others.
The State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, and his Youths Development Counterpart, Prince Ohia, expressed delight at the performance of the winner, stating that education remains the bedrock of any society that desires advancement, the report says.