By Ikenna Asomba

In recognition of his outstanding achievements in the area of urban renewal, sustainable cities and provision of basic amenities to the residential areas of low-income earners, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Nigeria, was on Monday night (October 30, 2017), honoured with the “Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award.”

Nigeria’s moment of glory peaked in New York City on Monday night when the the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards (SCAHSA) presented the international award to Governor Wike in the presence of international diplomats, development professionals, high-level administrators and leaders of international non governmental organisations.

A statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media, said the governor was accompanied to the International Award Ceremony by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, two of his children, Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara, Member Representing Port Harcourt Federal Constituency, Ken Chikere, Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, the Former Minister of Sport, Dr Tammy Danagogo, Rivers State Commissioner of Information, Barrister Emma Okah and and Elder Statesman, Prince Emma Anyanwu, Member of the House of Representatives, Mrs Betty Apiafi among others .

The 12th Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards Ceremony (GFHS XII) was jointly organized by the Permanent Mission of the Gambia to the UN, the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the UN (AU), the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the University Peace Federation (UPF), the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) and the better City Institute (BCI) .

Speaking at the award ceremony, a Representative of the United Nations Environment, Mara Murillo said that the organisation salutes Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for having developed the awards and the constituency for which it has been organized.

The United Nations Environment Representative congratulated the 23 awardees who were selected for their positive achievements and leadership.

Wike receiving the Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award in New York.

The Representative stated that “The awards recognise their feats which inspire and encourage others to innovate and replicate similar feats.”

The Vice Chairman of Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities, Dr Taj Hamad said all the awardees have made great achievements that merit the awards.

Permanent Representative of the Gambia to the United Nations, Mamadou Tangara urged all awardees to continue to work for sustainable cities across the world.

Ms Mara Angelica of the United Nations Programme lent her voice to the calls for collaborations in developing habitable cities.

There were 23 awards in six different categories.

Governor Wike received his “Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award” under the “Individual Initiatives to Advance Sustainable Development Category”.

The award was presented to the governor by the Vice President of Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities, Dr Taj Hamad.

In an acceptance speech after receiving the award, Governor Wike pledged before the global audience that he will continue his landmark projects to improve the living condition of the Rivers people.

His words: “Let me on behalf of the Government and people of Rivers State sincerely thank the organisers of this award for the recognition.

“To also commit ourselves that we will progressively provide infrastructure and social services that will enhance the living standards of all Rivers people on a sustainable basis.”

A video footage explaining the premise upon which Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike received the award lauded him for reducing urban slums and bridging poverty gaps . The footage further praised the Rivers State Governor for his positive leadership, provision of infrastructure and basic amenities.

The 23 awardees were drawn from different countries of the world. Prominent amongst them are: Nigeria, China, Bulgaria, Germany, USA, India and Indonesia.

The event was beamed live on different platforms by dedicated international broadcasters.