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Eve Afrique Heart of Gold Award holds in Abuja,preaches Shared Responsibility to develop the Niger Delta

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The Organiser of the Eve Afrique Heart of Gold Award, Ivy  Davies Etokakpan (1st right) and some of the Awardees at the event held in Abuja on Sunday.

By Victoria Onehi

The people of Niger-Delta and friends gathered recently to mark the 2024 Eve Afrique Red Ball, the 14th in the series and the Eve Afrique Heart of Gold Awards to celebrate distinguished personalities of the region.

Since it’s inception, the Eve Afrique Red Ball has been dedicated to various causes, showcasing it’s commitment to community service and awareness building.

In this edition, conversations were centered around having partnerships geared towards development of the Niger Delta at the event which held at Wells Cariton Apartment, Cubana Hall A, Asokoro Abuja on Sunday 19th May.

Speaking on the theme,’Cultivating Progress in the Niger Delta: A shared Responsibility’ a case study of the Ancient Bille Kingdom,’ one of the Speakers,Elder Boma Vincent Benebo, in his opening remarks called on every community in the Niger Delta not only to share responsibility but to take responsibility of their destiny as the people of Bille has done.

He said the South South has two major potentials, the oil industry and the Blue Economy which if well tapped into can earn the region much income that can be used to develop the region.

Similarly, in his Key note address, the Chairman of the occasion Engineer Adokiye Tombomieye, highlighted several key aspects that are essential for sustaining progress in the Niger Delta.

” Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of economic development and innovation. It is essential that we empower the next generation of leaders in the Niger-Delta to become entrepreneurs, job creators and change makers.By providing them with access to mentorship, training and resources, we can unlock their potential and enable them to drive economic growth and development in our region.”He said.

The MD/ CEO of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC),Chief Samuel Ogbuku, who was represented by the Acting Director, NDDC Liaison Office Abuja Mrs Mary Eferhoba Nwaeke, said the NDDC  is calling for more collaborations amongst stakeholders in the region.

He said: “Don’t forget that the NDDC is for the people of the Niger-Delta region and all it programmes are geared towards ensuring the betterment of people of the Niger- Delta.That is why NDDC is sponsoring a programme like this that bring the people of Niger-Delta together to talk about the issue of the region and find solutions to it.”

The NDDC boss Chief Samuel Ogbuku, was amongst the recipients of the Heart of Gold Award.

Other distinguished Awardees of the Eve Afrique Heart of Gold Award are Ambassador Maureen Tamuno,the Group Managing Director at the Abuja Investment Company Limited and Hon Boma GoodHead,member representing Asari-Toru/ Akuku- Toru Federal Constituency.

Others are Stella Fubara,the Managing Director of Del-York Development Company and former Regional Director of International Operations at the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism  and Dr Paul Ibigobofori Wakama ,Assistant Director, of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health.

Also,the former Director-General of the National Agency for the prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Dame Julie Eniekedo Donli, also received the Heart of Gold Award. Also, Eniye Ambakederemo, an independent Director at Sterling Holding Company and the Lead Consultant in EFD Consult received the Award.

Other award recepients in another category are Magajin Garin of Fika, Alhaji Suleiman Gimba, Mrs Rosemary John-Oduone,Elder Boma Vincent Benebo and Engineer Adokiye Tombomieye who were all Speakers at the event.

Ambassador Idaere Ogan commended Eve Afrique for coming up with a forum like this to stir up conversation about the Niger Delta and to honour its indigenes. ” This is not the first,it’s a series of many years of positive initiative recognising those that have made socio-economic impact in the Niger Delta.There is nothing to do than to support the promoter of Eve Afrique,Ivy. Its appropriate to say well done and for her to keep doing what she is doing.”

The President of the Eve Afrique Empowerment Initiative Ivy Davies Etokakpan, said this was the 14th Edition of the Eve Afrique Redball Awards but the first in Abuja.” Tonight we come together to have conversations on how to engender growth and development in our communities and also to celebrate remarkable individuals who have demonstrated unwavering commitment to growth and development of the Niger-Delta region and it’s people. As watchers of this region,It is important for us to publicly acknowledge and appreciate their contributions, representing the gratitude of us all.”

“To our Eve Afrique Heart of Gold Awardees, we express our heart felt thanks and invoke God’s speed upon them and their endeavours. You are true inspirations.”She said.

Guests were treated to sumptuous meals and wine while a live-band performed to the admiration of dignitaries.

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