THE Maris Trust Council (MTC), has fixed Wednesday, March 31, 2021 for the annual Maris Public Lecture, which could not hold this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement by the Secretary of the MTC, Comrade Fidelis Egugbo, disclosed that the new date was approved at a virtual meeting of the council.
At the meeting, presided over by the Chairman of the MTC, Dr Kenneth Olise, it was resolved that the annual lecture should hold on its annual day of Wednesday of the Holy Week, that is, the Wednesday before Easter Sunday.
The statement said, inter alia, “We wish to inform the general public, especially our respected stakeholders, that a new date has been chosen for the Maris Annual Public Service Lecture.
“Traditionally, the annual lecture holds every Wednesday of the Holy Week, that is, the Wednesday before Easter Sunday.
“Few days to the year, 2020 edition, titled, ‘Effective Tax Administration for the Delivery of Democratic Dividends’, to be delivered by world-acclaimed tax administrator, Sir Monday Onyeme, the lecture was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one envisaged that COVID-19 would materialise from no where and alter events globally.
“Although, we incured losses, our greatest regret was the immeasurable inconveniences also suffered by those who were prepared to come from within and outside the state and the country.
“At the virtual meeting, a lot of issues were considered and it was resolved that we should commiserate with all those who have lost their loved ones, their sources of livelihoods, among others, as a result of the pandemic.
“It was also resolved that we should commend the Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, for the proactive steps his administration took to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
“Also, the topic, ‘Effective Tax Administration for the Delivery of Democratic Dividends’, was retained because it was agreed that it is still relevant and, perhaps, even more relevant in 2021 as respective democracies recover from the effects of COVID-19.
“Sir Monday Onyeme will still deliver the lecture based on his track record in the lecture room, business environment, managing the accounts of corporate and voluntary organisations and his present position as Chairman, Delta State Revenue Service.
“We are also hopeful that all those who made sacrifices to attend the 2020 lecture, especially, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa (Chief Guest of Honour), Chief Kennedy Kanma (Chairman of the occasion), Chief (Mrs) Felicia Sani (Mother of the Day), Very Rev. Fr. John Konyeke (Spiritual Father of the Day), Mr Peter Mrakpor, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Delta State (Discussant); Mr Emeka Anthony Odo, Executive Chairman, Enugu State Internal Revenue Service (Discussant); Dr. Shefiu Abiodun Muritala, Accountant-General, Lagos State (Discussant); Hon. (Barr.) Orezi Esievo, Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development Agency (Discussant); Hon. Tony Elekeokwuri, Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Delta State House of Assembly (Discussant) and Dr Kemi Emina as Moderator, will still be available on the new date chosen for the lecture.”
Egugbo added that Asaba remains the venue of the lecture, which is scheduled to begin at 12 noon.
“We are all aware that Maris Annual Lecture has been accepted all over the world as an veritable event that sets agenda and proffer solutions to the problems bedevilling the society.
“We are confident that despite hiccups as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we shall remain focused and ensure that, by God’s grace, the 2021 edition will retain its position as one of the most attended public events in Delta State, nay Nigeria.”