The management of Blueprint Newspapers Limited has announced Thursday, June 3, 2021 as the date for its annual lecture and Impact Series/Awards ceremony scheduled to hold in Abuja.
The lecture and award ceremony, according to a statement issued by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company, Malam Salisu Umar, is part of activities lined up to mark the 10th anniversary of the newspaper group.
Blueprint debuted on May 2, 2011 as a weekly publication and progressed to a daily production four months later.
The company later added Blueprint Weekend and Manhaja, a weekly Hausa tabloid, at different times.
Listed for the awards at the event are former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, state governors, ministers and some heads of government agencies who have proved their worth in specific areas of governance such as education, urban renewal and rural infrastructure and the ease of doing business, among others.
The governors are Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers state, David Umahi of Ebonyi state, Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun state, Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba state, Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir of Bauchi state and Yahaya Bello of Kogi state.
Other governors are Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state, Duoye Diri of Bayelsa state, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno state, Prof. Ben Ayade of Cross River state and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state.
Also listed for the awards are the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani.
Some of the heads of government agencies billed to receive the Blueprint Public Service Awards are Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Limited, Prof. Muhammad Bello Abubakar; Managing Director of NEDC, Mohammed Goni Alkali; Director of PTAD, Dr. Chima N. Ejikeme, and the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
Others billed for the Public Service Awards are the Director-General of NYSC, Brig. Gen. Shu’aibu Ibrahim; Managing Director of NDPHC, Joseph Chiedu Ugbo; Corps Marshal of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi; Director General of RMRDC, Ibrahim Hussaini Doko; Executive Secretary of BCDA, Capt. Junaid Abdullahi; and the Director General of NIMC, Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, among others.
The event will be chaired by the President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan.
A major highlight of the day is the lecture to be delivered by the Guest Speaker and Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on the theme, “Technological Innovation as Antidote to Election Rigging.”
The organisers said the choice of the topic is informed by the need to transform and deepen the country’s election process so that it becomes the toast of not only the continent of Africa, but also the entire world.
In the statement, the organisers said: “That our democracy is on course 22 years after, on its own calls for celebration, notwithstanding a few shortcomings. A democratic space is a sine qua non for freedom of the press. So, we can’t afford to be passive, hence the choice of the topic and the lecturer.
“Further to this, the INEC has embarked on certain innovations which, to some extent, have curbed the menace of election manipulation. It is our belief that if the nation does not have a well grounded and transparent electoral system, the tendency is that we may not get it right and hence our nation’s path to the desired development may be a mirage.”