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Nigeria Prize for Literature

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Nigeria Prize for Literature
2018 winner, Soji Cole in his office with his plaque (2018)
Awarded forExcellence and literary craftsmanship
Sponsored byNigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited
Presented byNigerian Academy of Science with advisory board constituted from:
First awarded2005; 19 years ago (2005)
Latest recipientObari Gomba
WebsiteOfficial website

Nigeria Prize for Literature is a Nigerian literary award given annually since 2004 to honor literary erudition by Nigerian authors. The award rotates among four genres; fiction, poetry, drama and children's literature, repeating the cycle every four years. With the total prize value of US$100,000 to individual winner, it is the biggest literary award in Africa and one of the richest literary awards in the world.


The Prize was established in 2004 and sponsored by Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company. However the process and judging are administered by Nigerian Academy of Science with advisory board made up of members from Nigeria Academy of Letters and Association of Nigerian Authors.[1]

The Prize was initially $20,000. This was increased to $30,000 in 2006, and again to $50,000 in 2008. In 2011 the prize was increased to $100,000.[2]

Years with no winner[edit]

"...Unfortunately, the entries this year fall short of this expectation as each book was found to manifest incompetence in the use of language. Many of them showed very little or no evidence of good editing, ...Hence, there will be no winner this year."

–Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, Chairman, Prize Advisory Board, announcing no winner for 2015[3]

Since its inception, the award is normally awarded in October. However, for three non-consecutive years, the panel of the judges were unable to reach a conclusion on a winner, which resulted in the prize not being awarded in 2004, 2009[4] and 2015.[5][3]

Past recipients[edit]

Nigeria Prize for Literature
Year Recipient Book Genre Note
2023 Obari Gomba Grit Drama [6]
2022 Romeo Oriogun Nomad Poetry
2020/2021 Cheluchi Onyemelukwe The Son of the House Prose [7]
2019 Jude Idada Boom Boom Children's Literature [8]
2018 Soji Cole Embers Drama
2017 Ikeogu Oke[9] The Heresiad Poetry
2016 Abubakar Adam Ibrahim[10] Season of Crimson Blossoms Prose
2015 Children's literature No Winner.[5][a]
2014 Sam Ukala Iredi War Drama
2013 Tade Ipadeola[11] The Sahara Testaments Poetry
2012 Chika Unigwe On Black Sisters Street Prose
2011 Adeleke Adeyemi The Missing Clock Children's literature
2010 Esiaba Irobi Cemetery Road Drama Posthumous


2009 Poetry No Winner [4]
2008 Kaine Agary Yellow Yellow Prose
2007 (Shared prize) Mabel Segun Readers' Theatre: Twelve Plays for Young People Children's literature
Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo My Cousin Sammy Children's literature
2006 Ahmed Yerima Hard Ground Drama
2005 (Shared prize) Gabriel Okara The Dreamer: His Vision Poetry
Ezenwa Ohaeto Chants of Minstrel Poetry
2004 Prose No Winner.

See also[edit]

Notes and reference[edit]


  1. ^ Out of 109 shortlisted books, no winner emerges. The prize money was then used to fund a workshop for children’s literature authors later in the year.
  2. ^ Dr Esiaba Irobi, won the prize with his play Cemetery Road. However he died after submitting the work.


  1. ^ "Nigeria Prize for Literature". Nigeria LNG. 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  2. ^ "On the hundred thousand dollar prize". The Nigeria Prize for Literature. 26 June 2011. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b Zainab Quadri. "Entries assessed were all 'incompetent in the use of language". Pulse. Archived from the original on 13 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b Nuruddeen M Abdullahi (11 October 2009). "No Winner in 2009 NLNG Prize for Literature". Daily Trust. Archived from the original on 12 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b Evelyn Osagie (25 September 2015). "No winner for 2015 NLNG's Literature prize". The Nation Online. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  6. ^ Odeh, Nehru (13 October 2023). "Obari Gomba wins 2023 Nigeria Prize for Literature, carts home $100,000". P.M. News. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  7. ^ Damiete Braide (30 October 2021). "BREAKING: Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia wins Nigeria Prize for Literature 2021". The Sun Nigeria Newspaper.
  8. ^ "BREAKING: Jude Idada wins NLNG 2019 Nigeria literature prize of $100,000". Vanguard Newspaper. 11 October 2019.
  9. ^ Prisca Sam-Duru (10 October 2017). "Ikeogu Oke is 2017 winner of Nigeria Prize for Literature". Vanguard. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  10. ^ Bamas, Victoria (12 October 2016). "Abubakar Adam's A Season of Crimson Blossoms wins the 2016 NLNG literature prize". Daily Trust. Archived from the original on 21 November 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  11. ^ Japhet Alakam and Prisca Sam-Duru (10 October 2013). "Tade Ipadeola wins 2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature". Vanguard. Retrieved 11 January 2018.

External links[edit]