When Maltina ‘Shared Happiness’ to Teachers
Maltina’s ‘flight’ to re-brand the status of teachers across the country took off five months ago. Speaking at the launch of the Maltina Teacher-of-the-Year on Wednesday, 20th May, 2015, Mr. Victor Famuyibo, Nigerian Breweries’ Human Resources Director, described teachers as builders of the wealth of nations who deserved to be recognised, encouraged and celebrated. “Everywhere in the world, teachers play a vital role in training, coaching and determining the quality of education and this is critical to sustainable national development,” he added.
Corroborating, Kufre Ekanem, the Company’s Corporate Affairs Adviser averred that “Everywhere in the world, Teachers play a vital role in training, coaching and determining the quality of education and this is critical to sustainable national development.”
However, Ekanem noted that these moulders of the society seldom get the recognition they deserve. To champion a movement to remedy this situation, the Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund established the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative with the aim to recognising and celebrating exceptional teachers from across the country. “As it is widely said, the children are the future of the nation and whatever you do for a child ultimately impacts the nation. Our objective is to create an avenue where exceptional teachers will be showcased and rewarded annually and continuously,” he said.
As teachers in Nigeria joined their counterparts in other parts of the world to mark this year’s World Teachers’ Day on October 5, 2015, the issue of welfare took a center stage. The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) reiterated its call for an improved welfare package for its members across the country.
The union called on individuals, institutions, industries and governments at national and state levels to rise up and uplift the status of teachers.
The long held belief that teachers’ reward is in heaven however gave way on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015, when the heaven opened to drop the reward on the occasion of the grand finale of the Maltina Teacher-of-the-Year in Lagos.
The award instituted by Maltina, the non-alcoholic malt brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc, is courtesy of Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund. It is aimed at restoring the pride of teachers and the dignity of the teaching profession.
The quest for the best teacher in public secondary schools in Nigeria however came to a glorious end inside the prestigious Oriental Hotel, Lekki-Lagos, when a 37 year-old teacher from Anambra State, Mrs. Rose Nkemdilim Obi emerged winner of the maiden edition of the Maltina Teacher-of-the-Year.
The first runner-up was Mrs. Binta Mohammed Lawan of Federal Government College Maiduguri, Borno State, in the war ravaged North East, while her counterpart from Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Daniel Sunday Udiong emerged as the second runner-up.
For their effort, the national winner got one million and another one million naira will be paid into her account annually for five years. Obi will also be sent abroad for professional training on the bill of Nigerian Breweries/Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund, just as the Federal Government Girls College Onitsha, Obi’s school, has also become an instant beneficiary of a block of six classrooms.
The first runner-up got one million naira plus another five hundred thousand naira finalists’ prize money, while the second runner-up took seven hundred and fifty naira and another five hundred thousand naira for getting to the finals.
In his welcome remark, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde explained that the company operates with a philosophy of “winning with Nigeria” and has championed causes that add value to the society since its inception in 1946. “In 1994, we raised the profile of our support of the education sector when we established the Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund to enable us to contribute to the development of the sector,” he said.