Former Governor of Abia state, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief Whip, House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha and the executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Captain Adamu Biu will lead the crème de la crème of Nigeria’s political and maritime industry to the celebrity showcase which is being put together by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN).
Tagged “Maritime Industry Night of Honour”, the award ceremony will also witness the investiture of the director general, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Temi Omatseye as the patron of the association.
A statement that was issue in Lagos on Tuesday and which was signed by the chairman, organizing committee of the award ceremony, Mr. Sesan Onileimo disclosed that the awardees are in two categories.
According to the release, a total of 11 corporate organizations and individuals have been singled out for recognition for their exemplary accomplishments in specific areas within the maritime and allied sectors of the nation’s economy.
Corporate award recipients include: Slok Group (owned by Dr Orji Kalu), Diamond Bank Plc, Sifax Group, Cotecna Destination Inspection, Intels Nigeria Limited, APM Terminal, while individuals who will be honored at the red carpe event include: the Chief Whip House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, executive secretary , Shippers Council, Captain Adamu Biu and the newly-appointed Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, commandant, Customs Training College , Kano, Alhaji Ali Wakili as well as the first president of MARAN Mr. Alban Opara.
Explaining how the awardees were chosen, Mr. Onileimo explained that “the committee left the process in the hands of maritime industry stakeholders who made substantial inputs into the process that led to the emergence of the gentlemen and organizations that we are going to honour”.
“It is MARAN’s little way of showing appreciation on behalf of the maritime industry to them for being the best in what they are doing for the sector and the nation as a whole”, the statement stressed.
The committee chairman also disclosed that the event will hold at the prestigious Sheraton Hotel on Thursday, September 10, 2009, adding that MARAN has not only received letters of acceptance from the awardees, it has also received assurances that they will all be there physically to receive their awards.
He explained that unfolding the identities of the awardees about two weeks to the ceremony was strategic. “We received enquiries from some interested stakeholders who were eager to know the names of the award winners, but we decided to not to unfold their identities to the public earlier than now to protect the integrity of the award and the selection process”, he explained.
Explaining the rationale for the proposed investiture of the NIMASA director general as the patron of MARAN, the committee chairman disclosed that there was nothing out of place in the investiture, because according to him, “by MARAN tradition and every chief executive officer of NIMASA is automatically a patron of MARAN, what we are doing is to proverbially kill two birds with one stone. Instead of organizing a separate ceremony for the investiture, MARAN decided to incorporate the traditional honour which Mr. Omatseye should be bestowed upon as a part of the award ceremony”.