The Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) Trust, organisers of one of Nigeria’s media awards, has said despite the biting consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crunch that is taking its toll on the media industry in particular, the number of entries received ahead of this year’s annual award is record-breaking.
According to a statement issued by the Trust and signed by the project director, Adewumi Adediran, a total of 1,050 entries from 731 journalists nationwide were received ahead of the four-day ceremony, which has been scheduled to hold between October 28 and 31.
The organisers say, the number of entries for the year is one of the highest ever received since the inauguration of the award in the early 90s.
The statement reads in part; “Crucial preparations for the 29th edition of the Award programme began with the “Call for Entries”, inviting journalists from all over the country to participate in the programme by forwarding their best works for the past year 2020 to the administrators for diligent assessment by the esteemed Panel of Assessors (POA) of NMMA.
“The exercise lasted for about six weeks from mid-June to the end of July 2021. Notwithstanding the effects of the pandemic in the year 2020, a record-breaking 1,050 entries from 731 entrants was received from across the nation, making it one of the largest number of entries received since inception of the NMMA in 1991/92.”
Kogi to host
Meanwhile, the statement added that this year’s edition of the award ceremony, which is the 29th in the series, will be hosted in Kogi State, North-central Nigeria.
The organisers noted that the choice of the state was a product of thorough appraisal, and that the statement is set to make the ceremony a great experience for media professionals and other partners who would be taking part.
“The four-day grand award programme in Lokoja, Kogi State, is scheduled for 28th to 31st October 2021.
“The Administrators are pleased to confirm that general preparations have gone on very well at every stage, while the cooperation by the Kogi State high-powered local organising committee has been very impressive and commendable,” it stated.
About the award
The NMMA Kogi 2021 programme will feature five major events, including the Chief Host’s Grand State Reception for all Media Leaders, veterans, chief executives, editors, and nominees of NMMA.
“Others expected at the grand reception include leaders of Corporate Nigeria from across the nation especially those from the ten neighbouring states, particularly from FCT-Abuja. The State Government will be making a presentation on Kogi State to the august gathering at an interactive session with national and global media leaders in attendance,” the statement highlighted.
The second major event is the Media Heroes Nite of Tributes, a special fanfare session to recall and acknowledge the contributions of media professionals who have passed in recent years after meritorious service to their fatherland.
The statement noted that part of the vision of NMMA is to recognise and salute past media heroes.
The statement revealed that the Kogi State government will provides a very safe, secured, relaxing and memorable experience for media leaders, nominees and guests at the event.
“The state government has also made far-reaching commitments in ensuring security for all guests attending, from pick-up at Abuja to Lokoja Kogi State and back. For those coming from other parts of Nigeria, adequate security is assured on all routes to Kogi State with the support of federal security agencies to ensure a hitch-free NMMA KOGI 2021,” it noted.
The NNMA official noted that as part of efforts to strengthen the assessment processes, nine new members have been added.
“What followed was the assessing of entries received by the 2021 POA within a scheduled period as provided in the annual plan.
“The POA for 2021, made up of 25 accomplished professionals, was reconstituted and strengthened with nine new members to bring freshness and innovation into the assessment process.
The final report has been rescheduled for Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th October, to conclude all processes involved,” the statement said.
It further stated that all nominees duly approved by the board of trustees will be contacted latest on October 14, and their package to attend the grand award ceremony delivered promptly.
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