All is set for this year’s edition of the annual Maritime Cup competition organised by Ships & Ports.
Organisers of the tournament said a minute silence will be observed in honour of the former Chairman, Nigerian Trawlers Owners Association (NITOA), Barr. Mrs. Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, who died in April.
Onyema-Orakwusi was an ardent supporter of the tournament as she supported financially and regularly graced past opening and closing events.
The opening ceremony of Maritime Cup 2023 is scheduled to begin at 3pm while the opening match, which is between defending champions Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and port economic regulators Nigerian Shippers’ Council will kick off at 4pm at the Stable Sports Complex, Surulere, Lagos.
Fifteen teams are vying for honours in Maritime Cup 2023 in four groups. Group A is made of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Comet Shipping Agencies and COSCO Shipping Nigeria.
In Group B, 2019 runner-up Josepdam Port Services will trade tackles with 2014 champions National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), and first-timers National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
Group C has 2019 champions ENL Consortium, 2018 runner-up Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dynasty Shipping and leading terminal operator APM Terminals Apapa.
Group D parades 2009 champions Nigerian Navy, five-time champions Nigeria Customs Service and two new entrants – Blueche Lomado and Truck Transit Park (TTP).
Ships & Ports weekend announced that the sum of N3 million will be at stake as prize money for this year’s winners of the competition.
The Coordinator of Maritime Cup 2023, Mrs. Oluwatosin Rotimi, said in a statement that the company has doubled the prize money of the winner of the trophy from N1million to N2million while the runners-up and others will share N1million.
“The prize money for the winner of this year’s competition, which remains the rallying ground for maritime workers to unwind and interact with each other, has been raised from N1miilion to N2million. The first and second runners-up will go home N400,000 and N300,000 respectively while others, including the Most Valuable Player, Best Goalkeeper and Fair Play Award winners will also go home with various cash prizes,” Rotimi said.
Past winners of the Maritime Cup since inception are the Nigerian Navy (2009), Micura Stevedoring Services (2010), Nigeria Customs Service (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (2014), Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (2015), Nigerian Ports Authority (2018, 2022) and ENL Consortium Nigeria Limited (2019). The competition was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.