The 9th Annual Ships & Ports Maritime Cup Competition kicked off in grand style at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos yesterday with the opening match between defending champions Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Navy ending in a 2-2 draw.
In other matches also played at the NPA Sports Ground, Surulere yesterday, Tin Can Inland Container Terminal (TICT) lost 0-4 to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) while Josephdam Port Services defeated African circle 3-0.
Jersey number 13, Musa jubril scored the curtain raiser for the Navy in the 13th minute, with jersey number 8, Kofur Mohammed scoring the second goal in the 44th minute for the Navy boys.
The Nigeria Customs Service team however came into the second half strong with jersey number 8, Abubakar Musa scoring in the 54th and 85th minute to level score in the tension-soaked encounter.
The opening ceremony and the opening match was witnessed by a mammoth crowd and hordes of maritime industry operators which include the Chairman of Shipowners Forum, Barrister (Mrs.) Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi; representative of the Chief Executive Officer of SIfax Group, Mr. Muyiwa Akande; Mr. Jahan Ludovic of TICT and representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Navy Captain Friday Mailafiya, among others.
The ceremonial kick off ceremony was performed by the Managing Director of Dangote Ports Operation, Captain Joshua Oyewumi.
Navy Captain Mailafiya, who is also the Deputy Director Sports of Nigerian Navy, commended Ships & Ports for organizing the annual competition, which he said would promote harmony and enhance healthy relationship among maritime industry stakeholders.
He said, “This is a good development. I must confess; the organisers have done a good job with this year’s edition. I have nothing but praise for them.”
Other stakeholders also praised the organisers for ensuring the regularity of the annual event.
Past winners of the competition include Nigerian Navy (2009); Micura Stevedoring Services (2010); Nigeria Customs Service (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (2014) and the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (2015).
The 2017 Maritime Cup Competition is supported by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT), African Circle Pollution Management Services and Morbod Group.
Action resumes in the ongoing competition today.