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The 2020 ThisDay Awards has come and gone but all those who attended the event last night were blown away by the glamorous and colourful decoration of the hall at Eko Hotel.

The event which kicked off at 5pm was also meant to celebrate ThisDay @ 25.

It was at the same time a Gala Evening to also celebrate this Most Authoritative Media & Technology Group. It featured Special Awards to outstanding Nigerians and Organisations. There was also world class performances.

The event also witnessed the world premiere preview of Africa’s 1st Global Streaming Service from ARISE.

The decor was breathtaking. What further added colour to the event were the scintillating performances. The 1st artiste to open the show was Asa who thrilled guests to no end. She performed 6 lovely songs with her band. Then came John Legend. He killed the show.
President Muhammadu Buhari;  his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohammed; President,  Dangote Group, GLOBACOM, Dangote Group, and the EFCC were among the 24 personalities and corporate organisations honoured yesterday.

The recipients were conferred with the awards for the decade at the impressive ceremony. The event was chaired by Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia who commended Prince Nduka Obaigbena the Publisher of ThisDay Newspaper for not only making a huge success of ThisDay but of his latest baby, ARISE TV.

Winners of the awards were picked both by the Public and THISDAY editors from a pool of personalities and corporate organisations in a voting process that lasted one week.

There were 24 winners in all: 2 per each of the 12 categories. City People found out that whereas the Editor’s choices were based on the strength of industry knowledge and professional advice, the Readers’ votes were mostly based on their perception.

Below are the details about the honourees. Many of them attended the events.  Only a few like the CBN Governor and Tony Elumelu were absent. The roll call of guests included many captains of industry, popular politicians and many celebrities like Mo Abudu, Lady Maiden Ibru, Hajia Bola Shagaya. Big players like Alhaji Isa Funtua, Nuru Ribadu came. Elder statemen like Chief Anyaoku, Papa Ayo Adebanjo and many others came. 

Dangote Group

Alhaji Aliko Dangote was there himself to receive Dangote Groups Award. Dangote Group, a proudly Nigerian brand, is the most diversified and largest conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest in the continent. Dangote Cement, a member of the group is the most capitalised company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Dangote is expected to deliver its 650,000 barrels per day capacity crude oil refinery with the world’s tallest atmospheric tower next year. The activities of the group impacted on the economy in several ways in the last decade. It is the people’s choice for the company of the decade. A documentary showing the on going construction of the Dangote Refinery was shown.


The Nigeria LNG Limited was honoured. The company is the most significant arrow-head of the federal government’s quest to eliminate gas flaring and derive value from the country’s 187 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves. Its recent Final Investment Decision on the Train 7 project, is expected to be a game-changer for the country as it would deliver a significant local content in construction, production of cables, welding, valves, scaffolding, furniture, painting and medical, is expected to generate about 12,000 jobs. The Train 7 project, which has been delayed for over 10 years, aims to increase the company’s production capacity from 22 metric tonnes per annum to about 30 MTPA, and will form part of the investment of over $10 billion, including the upstream scope of the LNG value chain, according to the company. It emerged the editors’ choice for company of the decade.


Mrs. Bella Disu, the beauty daughter of Glo Chairman, Otunba Mike Adenuga was there to represent the Globacom Group. Globacom, which is the 2nd largest telecoms operator in the country by subscriber number, has made data connectivity a lot easier and cheaper, which earned it the name, The Grand Master of Data. With 27.90 per cent market share and with a subscriber base of over 50 million, Globacom has remained the second largest telecoms operator in the country. Globacom, which is the only indigenous telecoms company operating in Nigeria, launched its services in 2003 with per second billing system, which eventually cut down the high cost of telecoms services offering, at a time when other operators were offering services on per minute basis. Globacom is the people’s choice of brand of the decade.


Segun Agbaje, the MD of GTBank was there looking dapper. His bank is one of the leading financial institutions. The GTBank is one of the leading brands in the country because of its consistent delivery of innovative financial solutions and exceptional customer experiences. This has enabled it to record year on year growth in clientele base and key financial indices since inception. The editors chose it as their brand of the decade.

Zenith Bank

The MD of Zenith Bank was there. So also the founder, Mr. Jim Ovia, Zenith Bank Plc has continued to blaze the trail in digital banking in Nigeria; scoring several firsts in the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to create innovative products that meet the needs of its teeming customers. The bank is verifiably a leader in the deployment of various channels of banking technology, and the Zenith brand has become synonymous with the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in banking. The financial institution is driven by a culture of excellence and strict adherence to global best practices. Zenith was voted by the people as the bank of the decade.

Access Bank

Herbert Wigwe, the MD of Access Bank was there. The bank was celebrated. Why? According to ThisDay, since its business combination deal with the defunct Diamond Bank, Access Bank has emerged as a leading financial power house in the country. The bank is now looking beyond Nigeria and seeks to expand its footprint in Africa with its latest acquisition of the Transnational Bank Limited of Kenya and announcement of plan to set up a subsidiary in Cameroun, in the coming days. Presently Access Bank boasts of being among the five largest banks in Nigeria in terms of assets size, deposits, loans and branch network. It got the editors’ nod as the bank of the decade.

Godwin Emefiele

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele was honoured. But he couldn’t make it. He sent one of his most trusted EDs. He made history last year when he was reappointed to serve for another term of five years. He has continued to work closely with the fiscal authorities to design policies to support economic growth. The CBN under Emefiele has continued to foster financial stability, the development of a robust payments system infrastructure that will increase access to finance for all Nigerians, thereby raising financial inclusion rate in the country. The people overwhelmingly voted for him as the banker of the decade.

Herbert Wigwe

Herbert Wigwe oversaw one of the biggest business combination deals in Nigeria’s banking sector. Since then, the bank has emerged a leading financial power house in the country and currently looking beyond Nigeria, as it seeks to expand its footprint in Africa. Under his leadership the bank, has roared into the limelight, with the many brilliant strides and policies executed since he took over at the helm.

He is easily one of the best banking brains and business leaders on the continent – evident in his immense contribution to the African banking industry. The Editors voted him the banker of the decade.

Segun Agbaje

Segun Agbaje is the People’s Choice for Chief Executive Officer of the decade. He is an accomplished and respected professional in the banking industry. Under his watch, GTBank has continued to grow in leaps and bounds. He was instrumental in refocusing the institution from its corporate banking stronghold to becoming a market leader in the retail space. Today, GTBank is one of the highest employers of labour in the country. The Tech-Savvy Banker pioneered mobile banking through the bank’s *737# channel.

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari emerged the People’s Choice for person of the decade largely because he won the presidential elections in 2015 and 2019 after three failed attempts. They also gave him their nod for his anti-corruption stance. Since his re-election in 2019, the president has assured Nigerians of his commitment to lift 100 million persons out of poverty. In addition, he has been working gradually to revive road and rail infrastructure in the country. He has also pledged to take the country to the ‘Next Level.’

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan

Former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, was overwhelmingly endorsed by the editors as the Person of the decade for handing over to Buhari 2015 after he lost the presidential election. The editors also praised him for deepening democracy in the country. He was among those that shaped the last decade in Nigeria. After losing his reelection bid to Muhammadu Buhari, Jonathan made a vital phone call to concede defeat. That call signaled the country’s first peaceful democratic transition of power, ensuring that the tensions of the campaign didn’t spill over into post-election unrest.

Mike Adenuga

Otunba Michael Adenuga, Chairman, Globacom was honoured. 2 of his daughter came to represent him. Shot into public conscience with his company’s groundbreaking introduction of per second billing, a billing system, which the two earlier major players in the industry then had termed not technically feasible at the inception of the GSM revolution in Nigeria. He is a key player in the oil sector and is also involved in banking. All these earned him the people’s votes as the entrepreneur of the decade.

Aliko Dangote

From a mere commodity trader some decades ago, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, has made a leap transition to being a wealth creator that earned him the rating as the richest African in the world. His conglomerate, with interests in cement, sugar, flour, pasta etc, is a key player in the FCMG sector of the economy. He is currently building a refinery in Lagos State, described as the largest single-train refinery in the world that will gulp about $15 billion. He is also a philanthropist. His credentials earned him THISDAY editors’ pick as entrepreneur of the decade.

Femi Otedola

He was there in a flowing white Agbada. Given his recent hefty donations to public cause and lifting up the needy, it is not surprising that that former Chairman of FORTE Oil Plc, Mr. Femi Otedola, is the people’s choice for philanthropist of the decade. His singular donation of N5 billion to assist children of terror-ravaged North-east remains unexampled. Some prominent Nigerians such as Sadiq Dabba, Victor Olaotan, both actors; and former Green Eagles captain, Christian Chukwu, were rescued from the jaws of death by his philanthropic intervention in their medical issues.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation

Mr. Tony Elumelu couldn’t make it. He was in London. But he was ably represented. His foundation was honoured. Founded in 2010 by former Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Tony Elumelu, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, is African largest philanthropic organisation that supports entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. The foundation has empowered 7,520 entrepreneurs in 54 African countries by providing them training and seed capital to actualise their entrepreneurial dreams. This initiative has also taken a large number of young entrepreneurs off the streets and created thousands of direct and indirect jobs for African youths. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the editors’ choice as philanthropist of the decade.


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has kept the Nigerian economy on an even keel despite the challenges arising from global oil price volatility and other fundamental crisis. Under the watch of Godwin Emefiele as governor, the CBN has deftly managed the nation’s forex crisis and rescued the naira from going the way of its Zimbabwean national currency. It has sustained public confidence in the banking industry, which it regulates, through policies that liberalise access to funds by the real sector of the economy in a bid to spur growth and create jobs. Its many initiatives such as in agriculture and job creation, among others, have inspired public confidence to earn it the people’s choice as the institution of the decade.


The EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu was there. His predecessor Nuhu Ribadu was also there. Since its establishment in 2003 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) remains Nigeria’s foremost anti-graft agency. Its zeal to achieve its mission statement of ridding Nigeria of economic and financial crimes and coordinate the domestic effort of the global fight against money laundering and terrorists financing, has birthed a new public order, especially in spending public funds. This new conscience has now earned it the editors’ pick as the institution of the decade.

Babatunde Fashola

Former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (2007-2015), was honoured at the event as Governor of The Decade, but he couldn’t make it. A documentary was shown of a message he sent to guests.

He was honoured for having redefined governance in the state with his performance. From his swearing-in in 2007, he was raring to go and he maintained the tempo of service delivery eight years after. His success included reclaiming Oshodi, from criminal and human-induced chaos, rebuilding infrastructure, keeping the environment clean and keeping Lagos safe for the people. He is the People’s Choice as Governor of the decade. 

Peter Obi

Two-term Anambra State governor, Peter Obi attended looking very smart. He was visibly present. He is well regarded in the annals of the state for his prudent management of public funds and redefining the essence of governance in the state. His focus was on provision of infrastructure, human capital development and guaranteeing the security of lives and property. He is THISDAY editors’ choice as governor of the decade.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who served two presidents, was an advocate of transparency in public finance and spearheaded many initiatives that saved the nations  billions of naira. During her stewardship, she facilitated negotiations with the Paris Club of Creditors that led to debt forgiveness of $30 billion; introduced the Excess Crude Account, Treasury Single Account (TSA) and IPPIS. She is the people’s nominee as minister of the decade.

Rotimi Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi stormed the event. He was honoured. Reason? According to ThisDay, President Muhammadu Buhari’s retention of Rotimi Amaechi as his Minister of Transportation after his re-election is a testament to his drive and commitment to give Nigerians a better travelling experience. He is superintending over the administration’s efforts to revive the railway system in the country.  This has led to some projects such as the ongoing Lagos-Kano standard rail line and linking Nigeria’s eastern and northern corridors through the railway. Under his watch, the water transportation system is also receiving attention. Amaechi is THISDAY Editor’s choice of minister of the decade.

- With additional information from

ThisDays Yemi Ajayi & Obinna Chima

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