THISDAY’s journalist, Mr. Bayo Akinloye, was among seven exceptional writers honoured at the 2018 Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Award, which held on Friday at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The versatile journalist with THISDAY the Sunday Newspaper emerged the NB Golden Pen Reporter of the Year’s first runner-up winning N1million with his report: ‘Killing Fields: How Herdsmen Attacks.
Threaten Nigeria’s Food Security’; while Eric Dumo of Saturday PUNCH took the first position. The second runner-up was Chikodi Okereocha of The Nation.
Overall, there were 243 entries and 235 entrants for the Golden Pen Reporter of the Year Award and 47 entries from 43 entrants in the NB Photojournalists of the Year Award. According to the judges, the finalists in the Golden Pen Reporter of the Year Award scored at least 70 per cent.
Akinloye had been honoured in the past both nationally and internationally. Some of his previous awards and honour include the Telecommunication Reporter of the Year and Political Reporter of the Year (at the Nigeria Media Merit Awards); and Africa’s Business and Finance Reporter of the Year (at the African Media Initiative’s Zimeo Awards in South Africa).
Akinloye, well-known for his exclusive stories, is both an alumnus of the United States International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) and the United Kingdom’s Thomson Reuters Foundation. He has attended various training and conferences in the US and UK. He was the only Nigerian journalist invited for the inaugural ‘War Stories Peace Stories’ conference in New York this year.
Other winners on the night were Bunmi Azeez of Vanguard Newspapers, who won the Photojournalist of the Year Award. Odutayo Odusanya of Saturday PUNCH was the first runner-up, while Lucy Ladidi of The Guardian Newspapers came third. The New Telegraph reporter, Mojeed Alabi, won the ‘NB Report of the Year Award’ with N1 million and a gift.
A cash prize of N2 million and a gift went to the Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Reporter of the Year, while the first runner got N1 million and the second runner-up went home with N750,000.
In the photojournalist category, the overall winner received N1 million and a gift while the first and second runners-up were rewarded with N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
In his remarks, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Jordi Borut Bel, noted that since inception, the initiative has helped to enhance journalism in Nigeria.
“The emphasis on Agriculture, Local Sourcing and Industrial Development is not only in tandem with the current push for economic recovery in the country, but also key to making it achieve her full potential to become a self-reliant nation,” he said.
Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, Chairman of the Panel of Judges of the NB Golden Pen Award, commended Nigerian Breweries for its initiative and urged Nigerian journalists to aspire to the highest standards.
Speaking on ‘Media and the Agenda-setting for Economic Development’, the guest speaker at the occasion, Dr. Reuben Abati, noted that the diversification of Nigeria’s economy had remained a topical agenda, thus challenging the media to emphasise the story of diversification and generate conversations by emphasising the story and picture in the minds of the people.