As Bayelsa Gov Douye Diri Eulogize Tompolo Over N48billion pipeline security contract
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Maritime Media Limited, publishers of Shipping World Magazine held it’s 25-years anniversary at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, even as a copy of it’s maiden edition was auctioned for N250,000 in a hot contest among eminent stakeholders gathered.
Hajia Lami Tumaka, former Director Special Duties of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) opened the bid with N100,000 while it was countered by Chief Michael Onuoha, Chairman of Ailes Group with N150,000.
However, the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri represented by his Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Churson Obosi eventually clinched the bid at N250,000.
The event which attracted the creme-de-la-creme from the maritime and petroleum sector of Nigeria also saw the investiture of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo as the Maritime Man of the Year 2022, alongside other award recipients.
Speaking at the event, Governor Diri appreciated the Federal Government of Nigeria for awarding Nigeria’s N48billion pipeline security contract to a son of the Niger Delta.
He equally commended Chief Ekpemupolo for his contributions to nation building through his company; Tantita Securities for improving the fortunes of the nation’s oil production
“From the time that Patrick Ziakede was Director General of NIMASA, he has been contributing his own quota to how Nigeria can generate money from the Maritime industry to this point that he is now doing this surveillance job that has ensure that oil theft is being checked” he said
The Governor also described Elder Asu Beks, Publisher of Shipping World Magazine as an astute Ijaw man who has contributed his quota to the creation of the Bayelsa State, he described him as an Ijaw freedom fighter.
On her part, Hajia Lami Tumaka, former Director Special Duties of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) described Tompolo as an unassuming gentleman.
She added that “If you ask me, I don’t know your politics in Bayelsa State, but to us outsiders looking at him, I don’t think anybody deserves to be Maritime Man of the Year other than Tompolo”
In his welcome address, Elder Asu Beks, Chief Executive Officer of Maritime Media Limited and Publisher of Shipping World Magazine described the Maritime Man of the Year 2022, High chief Government Ekpemupolo as an household name in Nigeria today.
Speaking, he said “When the Federal Government in 2022 brought the pipeline surveillance initiative, Tompolo’s patriotic zeal and commitment to restoring sanity in the Nigerian oil industry has led to discovery of over 58 illegal oil pipelines.
“As a result, Nigeria’s oil production has increased monthly to 1.8million barrels per day as at November 2022. This is an increase of over 17% from the 1.0million barrels per day in October.
“The upward trajectory that has been achieved by this patriot cannot be quantified, there is no amount of celebration we do today can quantify in terms of Naira and Kobo what he has done for this country” he said
Elder Beks noted that Tompolo is better placed to implement the pipeline security contract.
While recounting his voyage into maritime publishing and becoming a doyen of maritime journalism, Elder Asu Beks said he had quitted his job as the Shipping Editor of Concord Newspaper in 1996 to establish his own company.
He appealed to maritime agencies and stakeholders to see the maritime journalists as partners in progress.
“Today, maritime journalists are seen as house boys, or glorified beggers, it is very unfortunate. Lately, we have seen a pattern whereby the PR department of most government agencies today have continued to dish out press releases that are shallow and add nothing to an industry that is so specialized
“When the NPA for example or other agencies travel, they go with their PR men and they later come out with press releases. I’m doing that, they think they are saving money, but it is not helping the industry, these kinds of attitude is totally unacceptable if Nigeria must occupy it’s proper position in the comity of maritime nations” he said
The lecture paper for the event titled; DISCOVERY OF BLACK GOLD IN THE NIGER DELTA: A CURSE OR BLESSING was delivered by Major General Barry Ndiomu (Rtd) Interim Administrator of the Amnesty Program.
He was ably represented at the event by Flight Lieutenant Terry Ajobena.