The 5th Maritime Cup Competition, which commenced at the Legacy Stadium Astro Turf of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, has continued to elicit closer working relationships among operators and stakeholders in the maritime sector, according to Rotimi Anifowoshe, chairman, Association of Team Managers (ATM).
The opening match was kicked off by Dallas Hampton, managing director of APM Terminals Apapa Limited, and was attended by senior representatives of virtually all public and private organisations in the maritime sector.
At the draws of the competition held in Lagos recently, 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 draw. 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 Limited, Ocean Star and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) in Group D.
Adesegun Kosoko, coordinator of the draws and chairman, Lagos State Referees Council, 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.
He commended the organisers, Ships & Ports Communication Company, for their effort in promoting sporting activities in the Nigerian maritime sector, noting that the competition has grown from the first edition that was played with only six teams in 2009.
Bolaji Akinola, CEO of Ships & Ports Communication Company, said his company’s decision to organise the competition on an annual basis is to promote the spirit of sportsmanship in the Nigerian maritime industry. He said there has not been any accident since inception of the competition and urged the teams to maintain that record as well as strengthen relations among themselves.