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UNICAL Secondary School wins SAGE 2024, to represent Nigeria in Tokyo

University of Calabar (UNICAL) International Demonstration Secondary School has won the 2024 edition of the Students for the Advancement for Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) competition and will represent Nigeria in Tokyo at the global level.

The finals of the national competition which was held in Calabar saw Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Abuloma coming second with their project on bio-fortification of Cassava flour while FGGC Benin came third with their project on tomato powder.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SAGE which started in the United States of America in 2002 has had 17 international competitions in different countries and Nigeria has won 12 of these competitions.

NAN also reports that the theme for the 2024 edition of the competition was mobilising education for food security and Nigeria would be represented in Tokyo by the first three teams from the national competition, later in 2024.

Speaking during the award ceremony on Monday in Calabar, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, Deputy Governor of Cross River State said the theme of the competition in 2024 was apt as it concentrated on hunger, a major challenge in Nigeria.

Odey who was represented by Rt. Hon. Hilary Bisong, Member representing Boki II in the Cross River State House of Assembly, noted that nobody who consistently had three square meals would start thinking of crimes such as kidnapping.

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“Cross River is very fertile and the winning school has brought about solutions with their ECOSOL Storage System which has the capacity for food preservation.

“The area I come from in Boki, there is usually so much food after harvest but due to poor storage, a lot is wasted, we need to go beyond policy statements and carryout hands-on programmes by supporting initiatives like SAGE,” he said.

Similarly, President SAGE Nigeria, Mr Agwu Amogu said the whole essence of the initiative was to galvanise young people through entrepreneurship and community service to become solution providers.

Amogu said since the initiative started in Nigeria in 2005, they have impacted over 200,000 people both directly and indirectly and about 8,000 students, many of whom graduated and were now alumni of SAGE.

“Our goal is to move the mindset of young Nigerians from always expecting the government to give them everything, which is an entitlement mentality to being solutions and innovation providers that will not only create jobs for them but for others too,” he said.

On her part, 15-year-old Miss Victory Idiku, the team lead of UNICAL International Demonstration Secondary School said they were very delighted to win the competition and to represent Nigeria in Tokyo.

Idiku said it took weeks of sleepless nights to research to create their innovative project and to effectively present it to the audience and judges.

“Our product is the solar-powered Chi ECOSOL Freeze Storage System which is equipped with off-grid capacity for areas where traditional electricity may be limited or unreliable.

“This innovation uses high-efficiency cooling storage unit to preserve fresh produce and vegetables,” she said. (NAN)

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Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku is a journalist with an eye for stories that foster growth and development. His wealth of experience cannot be compared to any other as he is always on top of stories that bring about positive change in society.

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