The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), the sponsor of the Nigeria Prize for Literature, has disclosed that it has given out over $USD1 million to 17 winners in the 19 years of administration of the prize, which is the biggest literature award in Africa.
The 17 winning works, which rotate yearly across four genres of poetry, prose, drama and children literature, according to the NLNG, reflect excellence, one of its core values, while the prize is aimed at promoting the Nigerian literary sector and empowering writers.
Andy Odeh, general manager, external relations and sustainable development, NLNG, disclosed the feat in literature sponsorship in his remarks at the CORA-NPL book party, which was held recently at MUSON Centre Lagos, where the 11 longlist of this year’s prize engaged with the literary community.
“This prize stands out as the biggest and most prestigious literary prize in Africa, and one of the world’s biggest and most reputable,” Odeh said.
Speaking further at the book party, Odeh noted that the event connects the NLNG with the literary community and provides an insight into the quality of works selected by the panel of judges.
He explained that NLNG instituted the Nigeria Prize for Literature and The Nigeria Prize for Science in 2004 due to its concern over the standard of reading, writing, editing, proof-reading and publishing that was drastically falling in Nigeria, a country that largely founded and dominated the African Writers Series and a country that was also known to have produced reputable writers and winning works.
Also speaking at the event, Kayode Aderinokun, chairman, Committee of Relevant Art (CORA), commended the NLNG for its continued support to the Nigerian literary community and give-back to the society.
The event witnessed readings from the books of the 11 longlisted authors, whose works were selected from 143 entries.
Meanwhile, the organisers are two steps away from announcing the winner of the $100,000 prize in October for this year’s prize, which is focused on the drama genre, as the judges set to prune the 11 longlist to 5 shortlist.