The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will be locking horns with defending champions, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), in the opening match of the Ships & Ports Soccer Challenge 2013, otherwise known as the 5th Maritime Cup Competition, billed to start on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at the Legacy Stadium Astro Turf of th National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
At the draws of the competition held in Apapa, Lagos, yesterday, NIMASA and the NCS were drawn in Group A, alongside the Certified Institute of Shipping (CIS) and SDV/Bollore Group.
A total of 16 teams participated in the draws.
They include: Micura, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and APM Terminals, playing in Group B; Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Nigerian Navy (NN), Association of Registered Freight Forwarders, Nigeria (AREFFN), and Blue Ocean in Group C; and Sifax Group, ENL Consortium, Ocean Star and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), in Group D.
Coordinator of the Draws and Chairman, Lagos State Referees Council, Prince Adesegun Kosoko, commended the organisers, Ships & Ports Communication Company, for their effort in promoting sporting activities in the Nigerian maritime sector.
He noted that the competition has grown, considering the first edition that was played at the Nigerian Navy Barracks in Apapa, Lagos, with only six teams in 2009.
Kosoko charged the participating teams not to see the competition as a must-win, but, rather, as an avenue of meeting themselves outside their various business environments.
Earlier, Chief Executive Officer of Ships & Ports Communication Company, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, disclosed that this year’s Maritime Cup is named sponsored by Micura Stevedoring Services in honour of Pa John Okunloye, the late father of the Chairman of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup.
He added that, while the winner of the competition will go home with N500, 000.00, the second and the third position will receive N300, 000.00 and N200, 000.00, respectively.
He explained that his company’s decision to organise the competition on an annual basis is to promote the spirit of sportsmanship in the Nigerian maritime industry.
Other sponsors of this year’s competition, apart from Micura, include APM Terminals Apapa, sponsoring the Fair Play Award; Sifax Group, sponsoring the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award; and Sopetro, which is sponsoring the Highest Goal Scorer Award.
Past winners of the competition include the Nigeria Customs Service (2011 and 2012); Micura (2010) and Nigerian Navy (2009).