By Alphonsus E.W
The trio of Abia, Cross-River and Osun State governments were the major winners at the first edition of the BusinessDay Newspaper Awards held on Wednesday, November 13 at Federal Palace Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The event, which was delayed for about a couple of hours due to the heavy downpour, kicked off in earnest at 7.30pm with the rendition of the national anthem.
Thereafter, the publisher of the newspaper, Mr. Frank Aigbogun delivered his opening remarks at about 7.55pm. Finally, the event sparked to life as the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi arrived the venue with his entourage.
After acknowledging the presence of the Governor, it was the turn of the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Mr. Phillip Isakpa to deliver his remarks. He extolled the efforts of the State Chief Executives who had performed excellently in the business of good governance. He said that that informed the decision of the newspaper to honour the Governors who had performed creditably well in delivering dividends of democracy.
He also went ahead to state the criteria and yardsticks that were used in nominating the State Governors.
As the evening wore on, more and more dignitaries arrived the event venue among who were the Executive Governors of Rivers, Osun and Gombe States, Chibuike Chibuike Amaechi, Rauf Aregbesola and Hassan Dankwambo respectively, the representatives of Edo State Governor, the inimitable Hon Patrick Obhiagbon, Kano State Governor, Alh. Rabiu Bichi, Abia State Governor, Sir. Emeka Anananba as well as those of Delta, Cross-River and Kwara States. Others included Prof. Tam David-West, Dr Nabbs Imegwu, Commisioner for Culture and Tourism, Rivers State, and Dr. Ipalibo Harry, Commissioner for Employment Generation and Empowerment among others.
The winners in the respective categories were as follows;
- Excellence in Governance- Lagos
- Transparency in Governance- Edo
- Best Governor in Urban and Rural Infrastructural Development- Osun
- Best Governor in Education Development- Rivers
- Best Governor in Healthcare Development- Abia and Anambra
- Agricultural Development- Kwara and Sokoto
- Tourism Development- Cross-River
- Fastest Growing State Economy- Ogun
- Best Governor in Housing Development- Enugu and Kano.
Other awards included
- Best State with Ease of Doing Business- Gombe
- Best State in Youth and Sports Development- Osun and Delta
- State with the most Improved Security- Abia
- Best State in ICT- Cross-River
The recipient Governors and the State Governors’ representatives, who expressed their appreciation for the awards, were very brief in their acceptance speeches as a cue to the event’s need for brevity considering the fact that it was a week day.
At the end of the presentation, the Publisher of the newspaper, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, in his closing remarks, expressed his thanks on behalf of BusinessDay to as many as carved out time to honour the invitation by the organizers of the event to grace the occasion especially the State Chief Executives.
The invited guests were later treated to music and a buffet dinner.