Former prime minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga headlines LEADERSHIP Conference as all is set for the prestigious conference and awards ceremony today.
The LEADERSHIP Conference and Awards billed to take place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja today, at 10am is the 14th edition of the annual event organised by LEADERSHIP Group Limited to celebrate those considered by the media organisation as having distinguished themselves in the public and private sectors in the previous year.
According to a statement by the Editor-in-chief, Mr Azubuike Ishiekwene, this year’s conference and awards will be chaired by Prof Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, while the Keynote address will be delivered by former prime minister of Kenya, Raila Amolo Odinga.
Ishiekwene also disclosed that the royal father of the day is the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, while the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello is the chief host and Chairman of LEADERSHIP Group Limited, Mrs Zainab Nda- Isaiah is the host.
The epoch-making event brings together eminent personalities from across the globe and prominent Nigerians, including governors, legislators, members of the diplomatic corps and elder statesmen.
Odinga who is currently the opposition leader in Kenya will join other discussants to deliberate on this year’s Theme, “Credible Elections and Economy in Transition.”
The selection of the award recipients as usual followed a critical review of their various contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria as laid down by the founding chairman of the LEADERSHIP Newspaper Group, the late Sam Nda-Isaiah.
It would be recalled that LEADERSHIP had recently unveiled its 2022 awardees with the trio of the president of AfreximBank, Prof Benedict Oramah; the chairman/CEO of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig- Gen Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd), and world athletics champion, Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan, clinching the newspaper’s Persons of the Year award.
Prof Oramah jointly won the coveted award for his numerous noble accomplishments across the world, standing him out as an extraordinary ambassador of Nigeria, in his career and service to the country and the continent.
NDLEA boss, Marwa, who is currently a nightmare to drug barons in Nigeria, was also awarded Person of the Year along with Oramah for his giant strides in the war against drugs, particularly for making the biggest drug busts in the history of the country and repositioning a government agency that had been long moribund.
World athletics champion, Amusan, also made the prime honours roll for breaking Gail Devers’ 22-year-old record to defend the Diamond League 100 metres hurdle title in a winning time of 12.29secs, with her latest title, the Diamond League, adding to the plethora of records and titles she achieved in 2022.
Rivers State governor and arguably the most controversial Nigerian politician at the moment, Nyesom Wike, emerged the Politician of the Year while the trio of Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) are the Governors of the Year.
Governor El-Rufai, who was a nominee last year, jointly won the award for his leadership, especially his effort to transform Kaduna State by delivering a strong economy, unprecedented infrastructural development and reforming the state public service and institutions into a lean but effective civil service.
Governor Abiodun also won in the Governor of the Year category for his focused and audacious efforts at infrastructural development and his strides in expanding the business profile of the state.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi clinched the Governor of the Year 2022 award for putting the state on the path of economic independence and driving significant infrastructural development across the state, in spite of the security challenges in the region.
The LEADERSHIP Public Service Person of The Year was jointly won by chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Mamman Nami; director- general of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari, and Controller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Jere Idris.
LOTUS Bank clinched bank of the Year for its innovativeness and returns on shareholder value; LEADERSHIP Social Impact Person of the Year went to the proprietor of the Home for the Needy Foundation, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho, for his impact on the community in spite of very limited resources and Tunde Onakoya.
The Banker of the Year Award went to the Managing Director/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyealu-Ikpe, for the bank’s outstanding commitment in supporting small businesses and under-funded sectors; while the Managing Director/CEO of Mojec International Holdings, Ms. Chantelle Abdul, won the Business Person of the Year.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) won the Government Agency of the Year 2022 for the significant strides made by the corps in the last one year.
Other winners are Company of the Year, won by BUA Foods, adjudged “the company with the best performing stock on the Exchange this year”; Brand of the Year, Coleman Cable and Wire; and Telecoms Company of the Year won by MTN Nigeria, for its outstanding value proposition, and leading edge in product and service experience.
Mama Pride, one of the fastest-growing brands of household rice, won product of the Year.
The CEO of the Year went to the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, for his audaciously entrepreneurial spirit and also the dominance and resilience of the bank’s brand.
LEADERSHIP Oil & Gas Local Content Champion of the Year was clinched by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Simbi Wabote; while and the E-Commerce Company of the Year, which went to Pocket Money.
This year, the Artiste of the Year award went to Afro Pop RnB hip-hop music rave of the moment and ‘Buga’ crooner, Kizz Daniel.
The LEADERSHIP Sports Persons of the Year award went to FIFA Under-17 female world cup team, the Flamingoes of Nigeria who recently won several medals for Nigeria in the August 5-24, 2016 Summer Olympics Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; while a 13-year-old primary 4 talented boy from Borno, Musa Sani, who redesigned Maiduguri flyover using mud, won the LEADERSHIP Outstanding Young Person of the Year award.