In recognition of their giant strides in conquering the developmental challenges plaguing Nigeria, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has lauded the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina and other award recipients at the 2020 Leadership Conference and Awards, held in Abuja, on Thursday.
Making special remarks at the event chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Osinbajo commended the recipients for their respective leadership roles, which he said should serve as inspiration to other Nigerians, irrespective of tribe or religion.
While paying tribute to the late founder of Leadership Media Group, Sam Nda-Isaiah, who he described as a detribalized Nigeria, Prof Osinbajo urged Nigerians to embrace peace and guard against actions capable of disintegrating the country.
Echoing the views of the Vice President, the Sultan of Sokoto enjoined Nigerians to focus more on issues that bind the country together rather dwell on those that threaten to divide the country.
Also speaking, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Adesina urged the Federal Government to consider economic investment as a way to address the spate of insecurity in the country instead of relying mainly on the military approach.
In their respective remarks, the Chairperson of the Leadership Group, Mrs. Zainab Nda-Isaiah and the Editor-in-Chief of Leadership Newspapers Group Limited, Azubuike Ishiekwene, paid tribute to the late Sam Nda-Isaiah, even as they congratulated the award recipients, noting that they were truly worthy of their respective awards.
Top of the list of awardees as joint Leadership Persons of the Year 2020 were the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Emefiele; the President of the African Development bank (AfDB), Dr. Adesina; and the Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum.
In a citation, the organisers said Emefiele was awarded the Leadership Person of Year 2020 “for a lifestyle of service that held the economy and the nation together in the face of a monumental global crisis; for his consequential interventions that turn crises to moments of economic opportunity, and for positively redefining the role of the Central Bank”.
Highpoint of the evening was the presentation of the Person of the Year Award by Prof Osinbajo to Mr Emefiele, who was represented at the event by his Deputy Governor in charge of Economic Policy, Dr Kingsley Obiora.
Other recipients on the night were Governors Mai Mala Buni (Yobe) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo), who were awarded Politicians of the Year 2020; and the trio of Governors Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), who were named Governors of the Year 2020.
The Public Person of the Year 2020 was awarded to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, for discharging his duties meticulously as Chairman of the Presidential task Force (PTF) on COVID-19; while the Mr Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director of Access Bank was awarded the banker of the Year 2020 and the co-founder of Waltersmith, Abdulrazak Kutepa as named Business Person of the Year 2020.
Also awarded were the late Flag Officer Tolulope Sarah Arotile, who received a posthumous award as Outstanding Person of the Year 2020; the Osita Izunaso and Badamasi Burji as Social Impact Persons of the Year; Shola Akinlade, the CEO and co-founder of Paystack, as CEO of the Year 2020; Ndubuisi Emmanuel Egbo, Sports Person of the Year 2020; and Folarin Falana, also known as Falz, as Artiste of the Year 2020.
Making up the list of awardees were Taj Bank (Bank of the Year 2020); Indomie (Brand of the Year 2020); the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Presidential task Force on COVID-19 (Government Agencies of the Year (2020); Jiji Nigeria (E-Commerce Company of the Year 2020); HIS Towers (ICT/Telecom Company of the Year 2020); 54gene (Company of the Year 2020); and Zoom Video Communications (Product of the Year 2020).