The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has emerged the Man of the Year of the Silverbird Group.
The emergence of Uduaghan was announced on January 1 by the Silver Bird Group.
Part of the consideration for his emergence was his 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.
There is also the micro-credit scheme where over 111,000 Deltans have been empowered to set up their own businesses.
According to press release issued by the Silverbird Group, owners of Silverbird Television and Rhythm FM, Uduaghan’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 others he won in the final weeks of 2014.
They were 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’s award as Governor of the Year.
Speaking on the latest award, the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah, 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.
Ogeah said: “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.”
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 Prof. 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; Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; Dr. Mike Adenuga, the Chairman of Globacom; and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the 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 Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, now Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.