For championing what it termed the biggest reform in any regulatory agency in Nigeria, Dr Dakuku Peterside has emerged as the Champion Newspapers Best Agency Manager of the Year 2019.
Dr. Peterside, who is the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was said to have been selected by readers and the editorial board of Champion newspapers, following his outstanding achievements that placed Nigeria on a high pedestal in the maritime world and for restoring fiscal sanity in the once-troubled Agency.
At a well-attended ceremony in Lagos, Champion newspapers described Dr. Peterside as a rare breed, integrity personified and a reformer, whose impact will be felt for a long time to come. Managing Director and Editor in Chief of Champion newspapers, Dr (Mrs.) Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, who alongside her husband, presented the award to Peterside described him as a beacon of hope for Nigeria.
While disclosing that he was selected from a shortlist of five public servants, the media house stated that Peterside wrought out the transformation from an agency known as cesspool of corruption to a respectable one, contributing to national development that commanded international respect.
It further acknowledged that the Rivers-born technocrat brought reforms never seen before in the nation's history to the maritime sector and restored integrity in public service.
Of particular milestone is the emergence of Nigeria as the first country in West and Central Africa to have a distinct Anti-Piracy Law, in addition to being the number one country in the West and Central Africa in Port State Control.
Also, under his watch, Nigeria became the first country in Africa to have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) fund approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Twice elected as the chairman of Association of African Maritime Administrations, the Champion newspapers acknowledged a record of more than 205 presentations across thirty-five countries where Peterside spoke on issues, topics and developments in oil and gas, maritime and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Expressing surprise at being named Nigeria's best Public Agency Manager of the Year for 2019, Peterside dedicated the award to the board, management and staff of NIMASA, who he said worked tirelessly to give Nigeria a positive image worldwide.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve Nigeria at such a critical period, adding that he was sure his successor would achieve even more milestones.