Hmm! It’s the very final week of this remarkable year 2013. Thankfully it wasn’t a year of several national disasters. There weren’t high casualty plane crashes or widespread flooding for which we remember 2012. Generally, the year was indeed a good year. And as we round up the year 2013, here are a few high moments that really enlivened a lot of Nigerians across the country and in the diaspora.
In February, the Super Eagles of Nigeria won the African Cup of Nations after a rather shaky start. The Stephen Keshi-led 23-man squad trounced the Elephants of Cote’d Ivoire 2-0 in a keenly contested semi-final and later peeped the Burkinabes by a lone goal to lift the biggest trophy in African football.
In March, South African mass media giant, Naspers acquired a 50 percent stake in Nigerian Online retailer, Konga.com. The deal which was for an undisclosed amount signals the emergence of the online industry as a force to reckon with in the Nigerian economy.
In May, our living legend, Chinua Achebe was buried in his home town of Ogidi, Anambra State. It was a five-day event that saw the people of Anambra truly honour this icon of international literature. Well attended by the Presidents of Nigeria and Ghana, the funeral was also graced by several prominent Africans who saw Achebe for what he was to us — a remarkably gifted man who used his gift to better the world. Chinua Achebe’s widely read debut novel, Things Fall Apart, sold more than 10 million copies.
Also, the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge was commissioned by Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola to commemorate 14 years of uninterrupted democratic rule in Nigeria. Valued at N29 billion, the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge has become one of Lagos’ rare landmarks.
In July, TV talk show mogul, Mo Abudu launched Nigeria’s newest lifestyle cable channel, Ebony Live TV. By this feat, Mo became the first woman in Africa to own an all-African content TV.
Also, 22 year old, Ezinne Akudo won the Miss Nigeria pageant. Ezinne who beat twenty other contestants to clinch the crown is a graduate of law for the Abia State University.
In September, Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote signed a $3.3billion loan deal to build Africa’s largest refinery ever. The refinery which is scheduled to commence operations in 2016 will have a refining capacity of 400,000 barrels per day and provide 85,000 new jobs.
In October, Nigeria was elected for the fourth time since independence to serve on the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member. The two-year term which will elapse in 2016 is the second time Nigeria has been elected under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Hopefully, this tenure would provide the leverage to win a permanent seat for Africa at the UNSC.
In November, 14 private successor companies received their certificates of ownership following the unbundling of PHCN. The move, which brought to an end 118 years of public ownership of electric power generation and transmission in Nigeria, is expected to change the country’s fortunes in another decade with the attainment of uninterrupted power supply across the country.
Also in November, Nigeria’s U-17 Golden Eaglets recorded a new milestone by being the only team in the history of the FIFA U-17 World Championships to win the title four times. No team shares this achievement. The Eaglets were spectacular on their road to victory, amassing individual glories even as they played as a team.
In December, after a five-month sit-at-home strike, the Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) agreed to resume work following fruitful negotiation with the Federal Government to end the deadlock. Trailing the decision to call off the strike, many students have lauded ASUU for choosing to compromise and renegotiate a 2009 payment agreement which the Federal Government had reneged on.