It was a weekend of celebration for Dr Mrs Seinye O.B. Lulu Briggs, Executive Chairman of Moni Pulo Limited, an upstream Nigerian oil and gas company, as she was honoured with the Daily Independent’s ‘Personality of the Year Award’ and the Silverbird Group’s ‘Extraordinary Achievement Award.’
According to the organisers, the awards are in recognition of Mrs Lulu-Briggs’s work as a businesswoman and social investor, especially through her role as Chairman of the globally respected O.B Lulu-Briggs Foundation which annually spends millions of naira on philanthropic projects across Nigeria.
“This award, which is a recognition of my work and that of the staff of my companies and of the Foundation, is a testimony to the fact that it is good to be good,” Mrs Lulu-Briggs told the dignitaries present at the Independent Newspapers Annual Awards ceremony.
A proud daughter of the Kalabari Kingdom, Mrs Lulu-Briggs was born on the 21st of September, 1958 to a distinguished family of educators and community leaders – Mr and Mrs Ernest and Darling Briggs.
After a career spanning IT, banking and services, she became a businesswoman. Today she runs and holds investments in several ventures in the hospitality, real estate and services sectors. They include the landmark Rachael Hotel in Port Harcourt; Soliyama Limited, an asset leasing and procurement company, La Sien Bottling Company, producers of the popular La Sien table water and Asia Town, the go-to Asian cuisine restaurant in Port Harcourt.
For most Nigerians, and internationally as well, Dr. Lulu-Briggs is more widely known and admired for her work as Founder/Chairman of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, a humanitarian NGO she established in the name of her beloved late husband to celebrate and institutionalize his legendary prolific charitable and philanthropic giving.
Over the last 20 years of its existence, the Foundation has touched thousands of lives in line with the United Nations Social Development Goals (SDGs). For example, it cares for the upkeep of 200 elders and has reached 132,491 people through 34 medical camps across Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Rivers State that offered a wide range of health care services including surgeries, dental and vision care, free of charge.
Over the last few years, Mrs Lulu-Briggs has become a stronger advocate for addressing the travails of widows and their children. The abhorrent treatment she faced as a widow following the death of her husband in 2018, despite her social standing, motivated the Foundation to partner with the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) to enable it offer free legal services to embattled widows in the pursuit of their rights and the protection of their dignity as well as that of their children. On the United Nations International Widows Day June 23, 2020, AWLA launched the first ever 24/7 toll-free number- 0800 00231111- for Nigerian widows in distress under the aegis of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation grant.
Last December, She was appointed Chairman of the Fund for the Alliance of NGOs and CSOs in the Global South, an international network of 450-member NGOs and CSOs from around the world who work in collaboration with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) to deepen the impact of civil society in the Global South.
Speaking on the importance of the Silverbird Extraordinary Achievement Award, Mrs Lulu-Briggs said it was gratifying for her to be considered worthy of recognition by the Nigerian media, which she said represents the voice of the people.