Just as he ended 2014 on a winning note, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta state, began the new year with another award as the Silverbird Group today, January 1, named him its Man of the Year for 2014.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Delta State Ministry of Information and signed by Pius Mordi, Special Assistant to the Honourable Commissioner, for Information, Barr. Chike Ogeah.
According to the statement, Uduaghan’s sterling performance in health signposted by the free medical care for children and the elderly as well as the free maternal care for pregnant women, and the micro-credit scheme where over 111,000 Deltans have been empowered to set up their own businesses were highlighted as part of the programmes Nigerians who traditionally votes for the winner elected Uduaghan the winner.
The statement further reads, “According to press release issued by the Silverbird Group, owners of Silverbird Television network and Rhythm FM, the governor’s massive investment in infrastructure and his success at restoring and sustaining peace and security in the state won the admiration of Nigerians who voted for him.
The award was decided through popular vote open to all Nigerians and is the latest in the critical appraisal of Uduaghan’s administration by the media”.
The award comes on the heels of the three he won the final weeks of 2014. They include the BusinessDay Governor of the Year award in health category in its Good Governance and State Competitiveness Award, the Pilot newspaper Governor of the Year award, the BEN Television award in micro-credit and job creation and Africa Independent Television (AIT) award as Governor of the Year.
Speaking on the latest award, Chike C. Ogeah, Delta State Commissioner for Information, said it is a just reward for a man that has devoted his energy to creating a new national mentality on development through his Delta Beyond Oil initiative. “While others concentrate on projects that would have immediate impact, Uduaghan looks at the big picture with an eye on the future. Without losing sight of the need for short term projects, he has given Deltans a new belief in their ability to venture into profitable businesses through the Delta State Micro-Credit Scheme.
“Many of the beneficiaries have become employers of labour and with the N500 million recently pumped into the scheme through the collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, more ventures will be set up in various parts of the state. Young budding entrepreneurs are very upbeat about this because Dr. Uduaghan has paid the interest on the entire amount upfront. In effect, beneficiaries will get the loan interest-free”, Ogeah stated.
The commissioner said that having superintended a crisis and rancour-free primary, in the state, Uduaghan will continue to work assiduously in delivering the dividends of democracy to Deltans until the final day of his tenure.
Past winners of the prestigious Silverbird Man of the Year Award which is now in its 10th year, include late Professor Dora Akunyili, former Minister of Information; Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, one-time Minister of the Federal Capital Territory; Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Dr. Mike Adenuga, chairman of Globacom and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy.
Others are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi and former CBN Govermor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano.