New Telegraph

Sanwo-Olu, Mbah, Diri, Others Renew Faith in Nigeria

Night of glitz

It was a night of glamour, elegance and an atmosphere of relaxation at the Balmoral Event Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos State, as the Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited, publishers of New Telegraph titles rewarded individuals and business- es in Nigeria, who have distinguished themselves through their remarkable contributions and dint of hard work to the development of the nation in the public and private sectors. Remarkably, the venue of the awards, the Balmoral Center, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos yesterday, was filled to capacity with dignitaries from all walks of life showed the uniqueness of the event. The event was anchored by versatile and experienced media personality, Mr. Gbenga Adeyinka (GCON), who piloted the event.

The awardees

Topping the bill in the New Telegraph Awards for 2024 is Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who won Governor of the Year in Infrastructural Development. Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State received the Governor of the Year in Courage in Leadership, while Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State won the Governor of the Year in Heath. Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State went home with the Governor of the Year in Human Capacity Development. Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya won Governor of the Year in Education; Kebbi State Governor Nasir Idris, received Governor of the Year in Agricultural Development.

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, went home with the Outstanding Minister of the Year, while the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zenith Bank, Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, won Bank CEO of the Year and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wema Bank, Mr Moruf Oseni, won Digital Bank MD of the Year. For his contributions in the advancement of the legal profession, Prof Mike Ozekhome was honoured with the Legal Icon of the Year. Dr Tayo Adiatu was also awarded as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Dr Chima Amadi as the Social Crusader of the Year. Apart from the governors and the outstanding individuals, others that were honoured by the prestigious newspapers are;

Fuad Atanda-Lawal as the Outstanding Local Government Chairman of the Year; Zenith Bank as the Most Sustainable Bank of the Year; UBA as the Bank of the Year; Unity Bank as the Friendly Bank of the Year; Transcorp as the Conglomerate of the Year; Bayo and Bunmi Babalola Foundation as the Outstanding NGO of the Year; and Airtel as the Telecoms Company of the Year. Others are Innoson Vehicle as the Automobile Company of the Year; the University of Ilorin as the Outstanding University of the Year; Tantita Security Services Limited as the Security Company of the Year; National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies as the Legislative Support Institute of the Year; Presidential Amnesty Programme as the Innovative Government Agency of the Year;

FBNHoldings as the Holding Company of the Year; Seplat Energy as the Outstanding Energy Company of the Year; ERISCO as the Indigenous Company of the Year; and Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) as the Outstanding Transmission and Distribution Company of the Year.

Award rekindles hope for Nigeria –Peterside

Chairman of the occasion and former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NI- MASA), Chief Dakuku Peterside, said that New Telegraph Newspaper remains a platform to propagate reforms and developments. Peterside said a glance at the list of awardees reinforced faith in the chances of the country to overcome his challenges. He added that the New Telegraph award recognizes and celebrates the best among the best in various fields of endeavour in Nigeria, and that whosoever has been selected for the awards must have deserved it. He said that the platform remains a veritable avenue to champion the desire development that Nigeria deserved. He said: “This event is remarkable because it is to celebrate media excellence and propagate the overall growth and development of Nigeria.”

Welcoming participants to what he described as a most memorable evening to celebrate the best of the best, Peterside said that the event was meant to recognise Nigerians, who have distinguished themselves in their various fields. ‘It is evident that none of the awardees was selected because he or she is superhuman, but because they have all distinguished themselves in an environment where the government is almost dominant.” While stating the pur- pose of the event, Dakuku said: “The Awards also celebrate some commercial brands which have made global footprints and have made the country proud over the years, saying that Nigerians want the likes of the awardees who would serve them

We’re not relenting –Aminu

In his welcome address, the Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited , Mr. Ayodele Aminu, welcomed dignitaries to the event, which he remarked remained un- paralled. Aminu also used the occasion to explain why the event was coming up in the new year, saying that it was largely because of the political state of the country late last year. The MD said that the newspaper, set up in 2014, had grown into an authoritative medium that has won many important awards and one that is competing with order brands. He expressed joy at the number of personalities that turned up for the awards ceremony, saying; “We are honoured by your presence. We are thrilled to see you. This company was set up in 2014 and has grown to become an authoritative voice and one that has won numerous important awards, and competing with older brands.”

He explained that the award ceremony was initially slated for November 2023, but that it had to postponed because of the off season elections held the same period, stressing that New Telegraph decided to recognise individuals, gov- ernment and public enterprises and NGOs that have made their marks in the field of their endeavours.

Responses from awardees

We want to be best in health, education – Sanwo-Olu In his comments at the awards ceremony, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said that the desire of his administration is to be the best in health and education in the next New Telegraph Award. Sanwo-Olu, represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hazmat, said that the state doesn’t want to be the best only in infrastructure. Hamzat said: “It is very gratifying and very nice to be here this evening and to be appreciated for our very little effort in improving infrastructure landscape in our state. “On behalf of the governor of the state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, we want to thank the New Tele- graph for their decision to do this award as a way to encourage other state governments and agencies of government, banks, private companies and so on to do well. “We appreciate it and it is a way to encourage us. We want to be the best in health, education and not just infrastructure.”

Mbah: I’m determined to make my people happy

Enugu State Governor, Ndubuisi Mbah, said that the New Telegraph award will continue to energise him in contributing to the development of Enugu State and Nigeria. Mbah added that his administration’s policies would also be channeled towards improving the living standard of the masses. The Governor said further that “I am happy for this award and I believe it’s for a greater impact for our people and Nigeria in general. There is hope and I know it would be better soon.”

Award’ll spur me to do more –Diri

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri said that his award as the Governor of the Year 2023 in the Human Capacity Development category will spur him to deepen his service to Bayel- sans and humanity. Diri, represented by his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrud- jakpo, said that he is honoured by the recognition and promised to change the developmental narrative of Bayelsa State. He said: “I wish to express sincere appreciation to the management of New Telegraph Newspapers for my nomination as Governor of the Year 2023 in the Human Capacity Develop- ment category. “I consider this recognition significant as it serves as an impetus to do more in the service of my state and humanity. I’m also encouraged that our modest effort in changing the deBayelsa State is attracting positive attention and recognition to our state.”

I’m deeply honoured –Mohammed

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, hailed the New Telegraph management for conferring the award on him. The governor noted that he was delighted and promised to work hard for the overall good of his people. He said: “It’s a delight to receive this award and I will do more for our people’s growth and development.”

Education remains a priority –Yahaya

Governor Inuwa Yahaya Mohammed of Gombe State received a plaque for the award of Best Governor in Nigeria for Education. Speaking after receiving the awards on his behalf, the Director of Media Affairs for Gombe State Gov- ernment, Alhaji Sumaila Uba appreciated the editorial board and management of New Telegraph Newspapers, for recognising the modest efforts of the state. “It gladdens our hearts and we do not take it for granted that assessors from far away in Lagos recognized and appreciated our modest effort in the area of education in Gombe, North West. Education is our key priority in Gombe State and this award can only spur us to do more,” he said.

Zenith Bank: We remain most sustainable bank

Dedicates award to customers Zenith Bank Plc was awarded as the Most Sustainable Bank of The Year 2023 at the awards ceremony. In his remarks at the event, the bank’s Executive Director, Mr. Anthony Ogunranti, thanked the management of New Tele- graph for the award, which he dedicated to the bank’s customers. He also said that the credit for the recognition should go to Zenith Bank’s Founder and Chairman, Jim Ovia as well as its Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu. It’s motivational-Innoson The Founder of Innoson Vehicles, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, described the award as a motivation for the expansion of the indigenous vehicle manufacturing company. Chukwuma, a notable philanthropist, commended the New Telegraph for recognising the company, adding that the company would continue to blaze the trail in indigenous vehicle manufacturing in the country.

I’ll always ensure justice is dispensed —Ozekhome

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome, expressed his determination to continue to ensure that no matter what it takes, he will always ensure that justice is dispensed in Nigeria judicially and judiciously. Speaking, while being presented with the award of the ‘Legal Icon Of The Year 2023,’ at the event, Ozekhome, who expressed his gratitude for the honour done to him, promised to champion the course of the masses and strengthen legal jurisprudence in the country.

We’ll win award again –Egbewole

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Kwara State, Professor Wahab Egbewole, has vowed that the Univer- sity of Ilorin will continue to win the prestigious New Telegraph Awards. He said: “As the Most Outstanding University of The Year, as long as the New Telegraph continues to use the parameters of excellence to choose the winners, we will continue to win the award.” Egbewole expressed happiness that UNILORIN was awarded the Most Outstanding University of the year 2024. He said: “I think we should start with the solid foundation the University has and the contributions of my predecessors. I also want to acknowledge the hardworking workforce that we have at the University of Ilorin. “There are values which we hold dear, which are integrity and excellence, which is why we are the most sought after university in Nigeria today. “We appreciate our friends and partners. We have MoUs across various sectors in Nigeria and very dedicated staff. We will continue to work harder to be the number one institution for university education in Nigeria.”

Amadi: Nigeria must work

A scholar, advocate of transparency, and good governance, Dr China Amadi, insisted that whether anybody likes it or not, Nigeria would work and attain heights. Expressing his appreciation, while being presented with the award as the Social Crusader Of The Year 2023, Amadi said that he was humbled by the recognition accorded him by the management of the New Telegraph.

Expect more quality service –Airtel

Airtel Nigeria, a leading telecommunications ser- vices provider, has promised to give its numerous customers improved service delivery in 2024 and beyond as it bagged the coveted Telecoms Company of the Year 2023 Award. Speaking after receiving the award on behalf of the company, the Director of Corporate Communications and CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Adeniran, said the telco had done well to deserve the award.

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