Football enthusiasts and maritime industry stakeholders have commended Ships & Ports for sustaining the annual Maritime Cup competition, since inception in 2009.
The stakeholders, who spoke in separate interviews last weekend at the just concluded 11th Maritime Cup competition, which held at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Sports Ground, Surulere, Lagos, said the competition has contributed enormously to the unity and cooperation enjoyed among practitioners in the industry.
The Vice Chairman/CEO of ENL Consortium, Princess Vicky Haastrup, whose team won this year’s tournament, said she is impressed with the standard the competition has attained.
“This tournament actually meets with international best practice in football. I want to thank the organisers for ensuring that the competition takes place annually because it is a unifying tournament and I can assure you that as long as it continues, ENL will be part of the competition,” she said.
Representative of the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Deputy Comptroller Dera Nnadi, said the competition has come a long way in promoting friendship and unity among the various organizations in the industry.
He also lauded the organizers for sustaining the competition over the years even as he promised that the Nigeria Customs Service, which won the tournament five times in the past, and the Tin Can Island Port Command would be part of the competition next year.
“We want to encourage the organisers of the competition. This is the 11th edition and it has been sustained over the years. One thing about sports is that it brings people together. It is about unity, and besides that, it also promotes good health. This is the kind of thing we expect in the industry and we congratulate the organisers. I hope that besides Customs participating in the next year edition, Tin Can Island Command will also participate as a command,” he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Josepdam Port Services, Simon Travers – whose team won the silver medal of the tournament – urged other maritime companies who are yet to key into the competition to embrace sports as a form of relaxation outside the work environment.
“The competition has grown over the years but we need to have more teams participate. There are up to 30 to 40 different companies in Apapa and Tin Can; they should be involved in this because it balances work life,” he said.
The Commercial Manager of Apapa Bulk Terminal (ABTL), Akindele Aderemi, said, “The whole essence of the competition is to foster friendship between the maritime families. So far so good, that has been achieved. We have been in this competition for the past six years and it is getting better every year. The bane of the competition from inception is the issue of mercenary but the organisers have been able to work on that.”
The 2019 Maritime Cup competition was supported by Morbod Group, Dangote Ports Operation and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
While ENL won the 2019 edition of the competition, past winners include Nigerian Navy (2009), Micura Stevedoring Services (2010), Nigeria Customs Service (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF (2014), Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA (2015) and Nigerian Ports Authority (2018).