Heritage Bank Plc has partnered with Folio Media Group, publishers of the Daily Times, to organise the 60th anniversary of Miss Nigeria and the 2017 edition of the beauty pageant.
Miss Ehiguese Mildred Peace, representing Adamawa State, emerged Miss Nigeria at the grand finale of the beauty pageant held at Eko Convention Centre in Lagos. Miss Rita Chinedu, representing Delta State and Miss Benjamin Anne Ufuomanefe, (Ondo State) were first and second runners-up.
Miss Cross River, Ana Victoria Lawrence emerged as Miss Emerald Queen, after winning the task organised by Heritage Bank, which centred on assessing the contestants on their knowledge, complement, fluency, articulation, appearance based on ingenuity and creativity of the Nigerian contemporary hairstyles. Whilst, Miss Ifidon Sarah representing Edo State Miss Onyeabo Amarachi representing Abia State, emerged first and second runner ups, respectively.
The award given to her, which was an artefact (African queen bronze head in a moulded box), speaks of African culture and symbolic of the Bank?s pride of its heritage.
Miss Nigeria focuses on issues that affect Nigerian women; she is an ambassador of culture, of purpose, of the environment. The ambition of the new beauty queen is to provide medical and psychological help for women who are victims of rape as well as empower them.
Speaking with journalists immediately after the crowning of the new pageant queen, Fela Ibidapo, Head of Corporate Communications of Heritage Bank said, ?We are partnering with Folio Group to empower women?, adding that this is what the Daily Times used to be known for and we wants to help them to revive it.
?Our involvement in this is not because of beauty per se, it?s primarily to empower ladies and women generally; to encourage them to always put in their best in whatever they do to make a living.?
Ibidapo agreed that the impact of the initiative might not be so visible in the short-term period, but he was so optimistic that it would impact positively on their contributions to the nation-building process in the long run.
Also speaking, chairman of Folio Media Group, Mr. Fidelis Anosike said the group would use the Miss Nigeria pageant to create a strong female platform, remarking that the group has signed a partnership deal with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) over the next five years to tackle the scourge of human trafficking.