Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state and his counterparts from Kano and Ekiti states, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Kayode Fayemi respectively, were among recipients of the year 2012 Zik Prize for Good Governance Award.
The 2012 Zik Prize for Leadership Award was organized by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC) and held at the Civic Centre, Lagos, Saturday.
Uduaghan, in his speech, after he was conferred with the award, called on government at all levels in the country to depend less on oil revenue and harness their vast resources to develop their economies to ensure speedy development of the country.
Uduaghan said “Nigeria can be bouyant without the sole depenent on oil revenue as all states have vast mineral and other resources which they can develop and generate revenue from.
“When the late sage, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and his ilks were managing the affairs of the country, there was no oil revenue, yet the country was bouyant. Governments at all levels should look beyond oil revenue and develop their economies to ensure speedy development of the country. This is what we are doing presently in Delta State with the “Delta Beyond Oil” vision. We are harnessing our various revenue sources so that we will become less dependent on oil revenue”.
Receiving the award from the former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Business Magnet; Ide Ahaba, Chief Sonny Odogwu, Governor Uduaghan who was accompanied by his wife; Roli, top government officials and friends, said that the award will encourage him further in “building a state that will not be dependent solely on revenue from oil.”
He used the occasion to call for a more united Nigeria, reiterating, “we need a strong Nigeria, a united Nigeria and a peaceful Nigeria.”
Others who received the award include the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Reginald Ihejiahi; Minister of Works and Housing, Ama Pepple and former Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Eze Festus Odimegwu.
In his address, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal stated that the award recipients were eminently qualified and singled out the Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan for his exemplary leadership qualities.
According to Tambuwal, “if the Nigerian constitution allows for third term in office, Governor Uduaghan would have gotten it because of what he is doing in Delta State.”
The Governor of Ekiti State who responded on behalf of the award recipients said, “the legacy of Zik shines greater today,” assuring that the recipients of the awards would rededicate themselves to work for a just and equitable Nigeria.
“We will continue to work for Nigeria to be greater than what it is now,” Fayemi said.
Earlier in his speech, Chief Sonny Odogwu who was the chairman of the occasion said the award ceremony was inspiring and befitting because the late Zik is one of the greatest leaders Africa has ever produced and commended the organizers of the event for selecting people who have made contributions towards the development of the society for the award.
Former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan praised the institution for the award which he observed will encourage African leaders asserting, “it is a great departure from the Pull Him Down syndrome. Award like this inspires people to do more for the country.”
Some Deltans who spoke at the occasion including Mr Albert Okumagba, former Commissioner in the state, Mr Paul Osaji, the Commissioner for Energy, Charles Emetulu; that of Higher Education, Hope Eghagha, Mr Amaju Pinnick, Mr Okolugbo, among others stated that the Governor deserves the award.
They noted that the three-point agenda of the Governor has impacted positively on Deltans in all aspects of life and noted that the award was evident that outsiders have also noticed what the Governor was doing in the state.