December 3, 2018
By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
Chief Minister, Professor David Francis, over weekend assured members of the Nigerian Business Awards of the government’s willingness to promote business in the country.
The Nigeria Business Awards is organised every year by Niger Delta Descendants in collaboration with the Nigeria High Commission and Nigeria in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) to recognise outstanding business organisations and individuals in Sierra Leone.
This year, the organisation did not only award business people but also gave special recognition awards to ‘prolific’ individuals in the country.
Receiving the ‘Excellence Award’ on behalf of President Julius Maada Bio at the Bintumani conference centre, Professor Francis said that was the first award the president has received since he launched the Free Quality Education.
He said President Bio was a pro-business minded person and that the current government would do all in their power to promote an enabling business environment in the country.
“This government will do all it takes to promote business environment, especially African investors. We are open to investors, especially Africans. My office is always open to you. You register as many business as you can and if any minister asks for a bribe, just let me know we will take the necessary actions,” he said.
Earlier, Chairman of NIDO, Sierra Leone Chapter, Ernest Udeh, said NIDO is a grassroots arrangement set up to recognise all Nigerians across the world and that all active indigenous Nigerians in Sierra Leone are visibly represented.
Udeh said the relative peace and harmony they enjoy was as a result of efforts of NIDO to bring all related Nigeria organization together.
“It is my honour to observe that such partnership and collaboration has yield dividend by bringing all walks of life together. The activities of the Niger Delta to award business men and women and the recent well organised festival are examples to be hold that we are together,” he said.
He said that, among other things, the essence of the awards was to further strengthen relationship between Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
Head of Chancery at the Nigeria Embassy, Sonia Charles, who received an award on behalf of the High Commissioner, said the initiative of the Niger Delta was a laudable venture that would further help unite Nigerians in Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of Sea Coach, Olusegun Jaji, scooped the ‘businessman of the year’ award, while Zenith Bank was honoured as ‘innovative bank of the year.’
Also, 22 awards were dished to ‘deserving’ entrepreneurs and business organisations.
The event was climaxed by an energetic cultural dance performance by the Niger Delta dance troupe.