EMINENT scholar, Professor Anya O. Anya, has described his nomination for The Sun Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016, as not only a great honour but also a rare privilege.
Speaking while receiving a delegation from The Sun Publishing Limited, led by the Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Eric Osagie, yesterday in his Lagos home, Anya expressed happiness that he was considered for recognition.
Stating that he had watched The Sun Awards grow in quality and credibility, he declared:
“Let me say that I feel it’s not only a
great honour, it’s a privilege to be considered for this award. I appreciate it, as this is a recognition I will proudly wear, because I have watched you do it on the stage 12 times before and I have seen the quality of the people you choose.
“You don’t have to tell me it’s not for sale because those who won it in the past make this clear. If it’s for sale, certain other types would have emerged.”
While calling for a holistic embrace of great values, such as time management and patriotism by Nigerian leaders and the citizenry, Prof Anya, who is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, said that was the sure way the nation could grow and develop.
According to him, “I used to talk about two things. The last time I did that was when I gave a lecture in Abuja, with four of our past Heads of State in attendance. I said a society that cannot manage time can never be taken serious. And the reason is simple. Your management of time defines the fact that you accept the concept of planning. And without planning, you cannot develop goals and objectives. And if you don’t have goals and objectives, you can’t even have a vision that will inform those. So, when a country or people cannot manage time, it means they have not even started. And it’s the leaders who should be the examples.
“The other thing I used to say is that no country has its leaders and its people speaking in such negative terms about their country. It doesn’t matter what Americans think about their country, but you dare not say anything negative; they will be at war with you straight away. But in Nigeria, we like to tell stories to our own discomfort. I hope that in time, as we continue to emphasise values, things will start changing.”
Speaking earlier, Osagie explained that the Lifetime Achievement Award category was designed to honour “Nigerians who have made landmark contributions to the promotion of core values of diligence, resilience, honesty, integrity and maximum impact in their areas of calling.”
He stated that The Sun Board of Editors voted Prof Anya as a winner of the award, in recognition of his decades of monumental achievements and distinguished service to the academia and corporate world.
According to him, “within the academia, you have left indelible footprints in the sands of time, including winning the prestigious Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM), the highest award in Nigeria for distinguished academic achievement in 1992. Like a colossus, you also took the corporate boardrooms, like a storm, bestriding about eight organisations.
“When you served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Economic Summit, and President of the Nigeria Academy of Science, your prolific ideas implanted legacies of imperishable standards that have informed the mission and vision of both institutions.
“Your outstanding contributions to the academia and corporate spheres are unparalleled and worthy of note. They certainly make you a worthy and deserving recipient of the 2016 edition of The Sun Lifetime Achievement Award.”
On the team that visited Anya, are Executive Director, Special Duties, Bolaji Tunji; Editor Daily Sun, Onuoha Ukeh; Editor, Saturday Sun, Femi Babafemi; Editor, Online, Ikenna Emewu and Business Development Manager, Saturday Sun, Evelyn Onyibe.
• Read Saturday Sun on January 28 for details of Prof Anya’s interview. It gives great insight into major national issues and challenges facing the nation today.