Plans to mark the half a decade anniversary of PREMIUM TIMES in providing the Nigerian community and consumers of Nigerian news with the most factual, reliable, truly verifiable, and professional journalism have commenced with the board announcement of some staff and management movement at the paper.
PREMIUM TIMES is Nigeria’s first non-profit newsroom founded on a unique social model to actively contribute to the emergence of a truly democratic society imbued with the values of accountability, justice, integrity, and respect for human rights.
Central to its organizational goals include the creation of sustainable and inclusive value to a Nigerian economy that provides enduring value to people, communities and markets, and one that creates empowering human development environment where the team of staff and executives can explore their potentials to be their very best.
The paper’s operation is defined by the best traditions of ethical investigative and data journalism.
In the new movement, Dapo Olorunyomi, former Editor-in-Chief, moves now to the position of Publisher/Chief Executive Officer of the paper.
He will help nurture the organisation along its vision in new product developments to become the most profitable and competitive media outfit in the country.
Mr. Olorunyomi, a veteran journalist and social entrepreneur, led the company from its modest origin five years ago, growing it to one of the most respected media establishments in Africa today.
He is an award-winning reporter and editor with varied experience in Nigeria and internationally, earning, as one of the two only Nigerian past recipients of the International Editor of the Year Award. He also won the Freedom to Write Award from PEN (West) while also clinching the Press Freedom Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists in the United States.
He co-founded The News magazine in Lagos; was enterprise editor at Next Newspapers, and founded the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism. He served as director and chief of staff at Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from 2005 until 2008, voluntarily resigning when the then EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, was illegally dismissed in 2008.
Mr. Olorunyomi worked as a journalist, media development officer in the later half of the 1990s after moving to the United States, where he worked, first, as Senior Fellow, Africa, at the Washington DC offices of Panos Institute, and later as the Nigeria Project Director for Freedom House.
Moving into the position of Editor-in-Chief is Musikilu Mojeed, erstwhile managing editor of the paper, who earns an added role as Chief Operating Officer of the organisation in the new dispensation.
“In his new role, Mr. Mojeed will help plan and direct all aspects of PREMIUM TIMES operational policies, objectives, and developments to ensure future growth,” Mr. Olorunyomi said in an internal memo, conveying the board decision to staff.
“Mr. Mojeed came highly credentialed to these new responsibilities: A 2013 Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University; a masters in journalism from the famous City University of New York, a Certificate in Political Reporting from the International Institute of Journalism, Berlin, Germany, and a top-of-his-class Bachelor of Communication Arts degree from the University of Uyo after which he worked in some of the nation’s top media organisations and as freelance for the New York Times.
“Only few, I must say, among his peers, can match the quality of his professional gifts and the breadth of his experience.
“As he edited the paper with extraordinary talent and grace, our expectations are boundless that in his new role, Mr. Mojeed will help take PREMIUM TIMES to the next pinnacle of editorial and organisational possibilities in line with the values and vision of the company.”
Following Mr. Mojeed’s transition to a new role, a new managing editor has been named. Idris Akinbajo, erstwhile head of the paper’s investigations desk, was named after an intense competitive process.
“Mr. Akinbajo’s new role in the organisation will be to direct the ever-growing news/editorial operations, and to particularly shepherd our newsroom of talented reporters and writers to continue in the tradition of groundbreaking news reporting that has defined us as market leaders in the now five years of presence in the Nigerian media landscape,” Mr. Olorunyomi said in his memo.
Mr. Akinbajo entered the wild, exciting world of journalism after graduating with honours in engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University where he also served as the Secretary General of the Students Union.
He was a member of the investigative desk of the now rested NEXT newspapers that produced some of the greatest investigative stories from Nigeria between 2008 and 2011.
Among his numerous awards include being twice named Nigeria’s investigative journalist of the year, the Future Awards young person of the year, and the FAIR African Investigative reporter award. He was also a finalist at the 2012 edition of the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year award.
He recently completed his Masters programme at one of Europe’s best schools of communication, the Graduate School of Communication at the University of Amsterdam, where his thesis was adjudged one of the best at the department and has been shortlisted for the university prize.
“Mr. Akinbajo is affable and a natural team worker, qualities that will allow him enjoy cooperation and warmth from the broad PREMIUM TIMES family,” Mr. Olorunyomi said.
To assist Mr. Akinbajo in his new role are two giant pillars.
Ini Ekott, former associate editor moved up to become Assistant Managing Editor for News. He is joined in that role by a new member of the family, Bisi Abidoye, who has since begun work as Assistant Managing Editor for Standards and Features.
Mr. Ekott, a physics/electronics graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, is an immensely talented investigative journalist, and is the self-effacing workhorse who, for years, gave grace to most of PREMIUM TIMES copies. In 2013, he was named Nigeria’s Investigative Journalist of the Year by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism.
Mr. Abidoye however came from outside the organisation with a chest full of badges on account of meritorious services in the private and public sector lanes of the information/media industry.
With 25 years experience in journalism, Mr. Abidoye has worked at various times and capacities at Nigerian Tribune, Daily Independent, Daily Comet, The Herald, Newswatch and Daily Times.
He was also a former chief press secretary to the Kwara State Governor.
“What unites all the people we are welcoming to new roles today is that they also represent the best in the tradition of ethical journalism, something in terrible short supply in our industry today,” Mr. Olorunyomi said.
The new staff movements came on the heels of the innovation of the Business Development Unit of the paper which is now erected on a distinct business model structured to effectively enable PREMIUM TIMES’ unique social vision.
Ime Enang, a talented professional who has over 23 years experience in Human Resource Management, managing public affairs, stakeholder analysis, project initiation, design and management is leading the new unit as Business and Partnership Director.
Her expertise also includes advocacy and coalition building, research and administration.
While at the Convention on Business Integrity (CBI), she contributed to developing networks with regulatory institutions and other likeminded organizations in Nigeria and also worked on projects across countries in Africa. She has spoken to different audiences in Africa, Europe and the United States.
A highly sought trainer, Ms. Enang has a BA History (Ed) degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University and is currently working on a second Masters degree in Management and Public Policy at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
A key factor in her work is her passion and creativity in problem solving and event planning.
Also on the Business Services team as General Manager is Inemesit Oyebanji who is operating out of the paper’s Lagos office.
Ms. Oyebanji comes to her position with over 16 years experience, most of which was in telecommunication management. Her experiences cut across office management, client liaison service, quality assurance coordination, management and training, business logistics, as well as administrative and operational support.
Ms Oyebanji holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics Education from the Ahmadu Bello University and has attended several professional training courses in Nigeria and abroad.