The stakes have been raised higher, as the 11th annual Ships and Ports Maritime Cup competition kicked off amidst fan fare in Lagos.
The prize money for the winner of the competition, which remains the rallying ground for maritime workers in Lagos to unwind and interact with each other was raised from N500,000 to N1m.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of Ships & Ports, Bolaji Akinola said the idea behind the tournament, which had recorded huge success since inception, was to foster unity and cooperation among industry stakeholders.
Akinola, who announced a N1million cash prize for the winner said the first and second runners-up will win N300,000 and N200,000 respectively.
He urged the participating teams to ensure fair play and decency in the course of the competition, stating that the tournament is not only be about playing to win but also as an avenue to build friendship.
“The Maritime Cup competition is like the Olympics. The joy is more in participation and not just the laurels at stake. The idea behind it is to bring the maritime industry together and foster healthy recreation among workers.
“We are one family in this industry, so we need to socialize and interact and play together. That has been the essence since 11 years ago and up till today,” Akinola said.
Meanwhile, defending champions, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) mauled hapless Higher Pacific International (HPI) 4-0 to start off their defence of the trophy.