By Mike Abiola – The celebration and awards night by the NHCPUK in honour of Nigerian professionals with outstanding contributions to the NHS@70 which held at the 5 star Grange City Hotel in London attracted both British and Nigerian top government functionaries. The oversubscribed event saw guests turn out in their stunning and stylish outfits on Saturday 23rd March 2019.
British Prime Minister Theresa May in a goodwill message published in the event brochure said, “These awards are an excellent opportunity to recognise the dedication of outstanding healthcare professionals of Nigerian origin. Your contribution has had an important influence on our vital healthcare system, helping to shape the NHS and the diversity of its workforce.
May l take this opportunity to congratulate all winners and nominees and send my best wishes for a successful and enjoyable event.”
Nero Ughwujabo the Special Adviser on Social Justice, Young People and Opportunities to Prime Minister Theresa May in his address to the gathering touched on how dear Nigeria is to Britain which informed the inclusion of Nigeria on the PM’s trip to West Africa in 2018.
A keynote address was delivered by the Special Guest of Honour, Professor Isaac Adewole the Honourable Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria who urged the healthcare professional to consider annual vacation services to their fatherland.
In a goodwill message, His Excellency, Ambassador George Adesola Oguntade CFR, CON, High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Kingdom who was accompanied by his amiable wife congratulated the winners and nominees while he also encouraged them to continue to be good ambassadors of Nigeria in the United Kingdom. Ambassador Oguntade advised the healthcare professionals to explore the possibilities of reversing brain drain.
The NHS England Representative, Dr Yvonne Coghill CBE praised the dedication and contributions of the diverse workforce of the NHS of which Nigerians are prominent. She encouraged all nominees to continue to inspire the next generation of healthcare providers.
Wendy Olayiwola Odutola, the convener of the event in a welcome message traced the history of the Nigerian professionals in the NHS. She cited the important roles these professionals have played over years as worthy of celebration.
The awards segment kicked off after a sumptuous three course dinner with the plaques handed out to the 70 winners in succession as they climbed the stage for their moments of fame and the presentation was done by some of the special guests.
Hon Abike Dabiri Erewa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of Nigeria Diaspora Commission while presenting some of the awards said, the Nigeria government has put in place an initiative to encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora to participate in nation building.
Alhaji Abdulaziz. M. Abdullahi Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Dr. Omobolanle Rosemary Olowu the Director in charge of Public Private Partnership and Diaspora Unit of the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja and Mr Emmanuel Namah Head of Welfare and Consular, Nigeria High Commission London were some of the special guests in attendance.
Others were Lord Victor Adebowale CBE Chief Executive of the Social Care Enterprise Turning Point, Alistair Soyode Chairman of Ben Television UK, Veteran actress Princess Golda Abiola, Dr. & Cllr. Joy Laguda Former Mayor of London Borough of Newham, Anthony Joshua a.k.a Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, OBE the British professional boxer was represented by his mother and her sister.
The NHS@70 celebration and awards was anchored by TV Presenter Priscilla Nwikpo and Comedian MC Mark, whose jokes kept the guests laughing all through the evening.
The NHCPUK Organising Committee Members received a rousing applause on stage at the close of the evening after exhibiting an impeccable team spirit and dedication in ensuring that the guests had a five star hospitality.
The glamorous evening indeed lived up to expectations as the guests enjoyed an entertaining and memorable evening with music supplied by the crew from DJA Media.
The Leys Pharmacy, Lexon UK Ltd are the sponsors while Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association UK, Nigeria Radiographers Association UK, Nigerian Pharmacists UK, Unite the UNION in Health, African Voice Newspaper UK, Black Heritage Radio UK, DJAMedia, Africa Alive, SR TV, FAME TV amongst others, support the award body, NHCPUK.
Photo credit: Eugene Smith, African Voice Newspaper UK.
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