- Shipping World @25: Veteran Publishers, Past Editors bag awards
- Dapo Olawuni receives N1million ‘Jamoh prize for Best Maritime Reporter’
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri has described the emergence of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, as Maritime Man of the Year 2022 as a well-deserved honour.
Bayelsa State Governor made this remark at the award ceremony organized in Lagos on Monday night, by Maritime Media Limited, publishers of Shipping World magazine.
The Governor, who was represented by the State’s Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Churson Obosi, said that the special recognition for Tompolo was long overdue.
“This award for Tompolo is long overdue because he has been contributing to nation building by reducing oil theft and ensuring safety of the Niger-Delta riverine areas,” the Bayelsa Governor said.
Also noting that the event marked the 25th anniversary of Shipping World magazine, Senator Diri posited that the tenacity of the Publisher, Elder Asu Beks to sustain the media organization for 25 years is worthy of commendation.
While receiving the award, Tompolo, who was represented by Dr. Paul Bebenimibo, expressed delight at the accolade and thanked the Maritime Media Limited as well as the larger maritime community.
The Chief Executive of Maritime Media Limited, Elder Asu Beks explained that Tompolo’s activities also led to the discovery of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta and as a result Nigeria’s oil production has increased month on month to 1.8million barrels per day as at November 2022.
According to Asu Beks, this upward trajectory for Nigerian oil production can’t be quantified in relation to the celebration at the event on Monday.
“There is no celebration for Tompolo that would be enough in terms of monetary value of crude oil saved in the country. Tompolo comes from an area where crude oil is produced and he is better placed to secure the nation’s oil and gas resources. So, his success in protecting the nation’s maritime assets and oil resources isn’t a surprise,” Asu Beks posited.
In his paper titled, “Discovery of Black Gold in Nigeria: A blessing or a curse” the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Gen. Barry Ndiomu (Rtd) stressed that as the world moves away from dependence on fossil fuels and seeks more eco-friendly alternatives, Nigeria must begin to pursue a development paradigm that places emphasis on human capital.
“The reality today is that tech rules the world. Experts are constantly innovating and devising new ways to scale and improve the way we do things- this is the new “Gold”. ICT has become the advantage and organizational multiplier as its application criss-crosses industries and has proven to be the difference between success or failure. This is just one (amongst many) area and we must consider in seeking ways out of the oil dependency mentality that has plagued us as a people.”
“Both the government and the governed must seek other opportunities we have on land and in our waters. A lot is currently happening in the maritime space with the push towards the Blue Economy which not only seeks to explore and exploit resources in the waters, on the seabed and beneath the ocean floors, but also harness and integrate traditional maritime business frontiers. This novel space has boundless opportunities which the country must begin to aggressively pursue,” he said.
He, however, added that the eminent son of the Niger Delta being honoured, Tompolo, has been a towering figure and one of the key pillars of the PAP.
“Popular known as the “GOC” within the ex-agitator community his acceptance of the government’s offer of amnesty no doubt paved way for the success of the Programme. His continued support remains a vital asset to the programme as he stands out as a testament of what’s possible having emerged from the creeks and now a formidable force in the nation’s maritime space,” Ndiomu said.
As part of activities to mark Shipping World magazine’s silver jubilee, the event also featured the presentation of Iconic Maritime Media Partners awards to the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Chairman, Ailes Group, Chief Michael Onuoha; Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Chief Executive, Skelas Group, Prince Olayiwola Shittu; and the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime.
While former Editors of Shipping World magazine received awards; veteran media proprietors like; Prince Sam Amuka of Vanguard Newspapers; Late Prince Tony Momoh; Late Sam Ndah Isaiah; Chief Segun Osoba; among others were also honoured.
Meanwhile, the Publisher of DailyTrend online newspaper, Mr. Dapo Olawuni received a N1million prize as Dr. Bashir Jamoh prize for Best Maritime Reporter.