AKWA Ibom State Government has empowered 50 budding photographers and videographers in the state with cash prizes ranging between N100,000 and N500,000.
The exercise, which is an offshoot of the 35th anniversary celebration of Akwa Ibom State, is part of measures geared towards entrepreneurial development for young Akwa Ibom people with creative skills and potential.
Speaking during the cash presentation ceremony, on Wednesday, in Uyo, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Ini Ememobong, said the initiative was borne out of government’s desire to empower youths and create a platform through, which talented individuals can be encouraged to exhibit and develop their creativity.
According to him, Governor Udom Emmanuel approved the idea of the competition when he observed the number of youths taking to professional photography and videography, to promote entrepreneurship for youths in the creative industry.
The commissioner disclosed that following a call for entries by budding photographers and videographers, numerous entries were received for the contest, stressing that the beneficiaries were independently picked by a team of seasoned judges through a transparent process that focused on the quality of videos and photographs submitted by the contestants.
Emphasising that Akwa Ibom State Government is the sole sponsor of the competition, Ememobong called on the organised private sector to be involved in subsequent editions of the contest to encourage creativity and to fulfil part of their corporate social responsibility to the state and its’ citizens.
While setting the tone for the event, the Director of Public Relations, Mrs. Grace Akpan, said, the exercise was in keeping with the avowed promise of the Commissioner that all winning entries must be awarded cash prizes as a measure towards boosting the entrepreneurial drive of government for youths in the State.
She stressed that with the institutionalisation of the contest, a veritable platform is now opened for the celebration of more talented youths in the state in the field.
On his part, the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Professional Photography and Cinematography Guild ( ASPPACA ), Beniaiah Pius, commended the commissioner for facilitating the contest, adding that the innovation will encourage greater output and engender professionalism among creatives in the state.
One of the winners in the videography category, Udeme John, appreciated the governor for rewarding creativity, adding that with the latest development, more young people would be motivated to exert their talent.