The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday in Lagos bagged THISDAY Editor’s Choice Minister of the Decade award.
Mrs. Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, Media Assistant to the Minister, in a statement in Abuja, said that Amaechi was chosen among the 43 ministers in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Also chosen for the award was the former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
It was reported that the THISDAY award ceremony was organised to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the newspaper.
Other nominations are Bank, Banker, Person, CEO, Entrepreneur, Woman, Philanthropist, Institution and Governor of The Decade award.
According to Elebiyo-Edeni, the award was given based on the Editors’ Choice and the People’s Choice.
She said that the Editors Choices were based on the strength of industry knowledge and professional advice, while the people’s choices were based on readers’ votes and perception.
She quoted speakers at the event as saying that Amaechi deserved the award based on his retention by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Transportation after his re-election.
”The retention of Amaechi testifies to his drive and commitment to giving Nigerians a better traveling experience with his efforts to revive the railway system in the country.
”Amaechi’s effort has led to the completion of some projects such as the Abuja-Kaduna rail project, the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan, standard rail line, Itakpe-Warri rail line and the Lagos-Kano rail line, linking Nigeria’s eastern and northern corridors through the railway.
”Under his watch, the water transportation system is also receiving attention,” she quoted the speakers as saying.
Receiving the award, Amaechi said that he was not expecting the award because he and the THISDAY boss always disagreed more than they agreed.
He, however, dedicated the award to his family and the President for giving much importance to the development of infrastructure in the country.
Amaechi said: ”All my colleagues will agree that we have been getting the attention of the President as far as infrastructure is concerned.
“I dedicate this award to my lovely Wife and my children, for the simple reason that my wife got married to me when I was in politics. She has tolerated me for the rest of her life and she’s being very understanding.
“I also dedicate this award to the President for the importance he attached to infrastructure and also to all Nigerians.”
Presenting the award to him, Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the APC, said that Amaechi deserved the award for his impact in the development of railway in the country.
Oshiomhole said: ”For me, you are a pride to our party and your impact in the rail sector is commendable.
”I know people ride the train from Abuja-Kaduna and Kaduna-Abuja and I know Amaechi is determined to end of his tenure to complete Lagos to Kano.
“I congratulate you for this award which I know you richly deserve.”