An annual investigative journalism prize in honour of a veteran Nigerian journalist, Ray Ekpu, was on Friday announced in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria’s South-south.
Mr Ekpu, a celebrated journalist, is a former editor-in-chief and a co-founder of Newswatch magazine.
He won the International Editor of the Year, 1987, in New York, U.S, and is a recipient of Nigeria’s national honour, Officer of the Order of Niger.
The prize is to be sponsored by a former vice chairman of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Udom Inoyo.
Mr Inoyo disclosed this during the monthly Congress of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council, in Uyo, which he attended as a special guest.
The winner of the Ray Ekpu Award for Investigative Journalism will receive N500,000, said Mr Inoyo who described Mr Ekpu as the “high priest of quality reporting”.
“I have thought of what I could do as my little contribution to the NUJ in Akwa Ibom State. Anywhere that I have gone in this world when people talk about journalism, one individual comes to my mind first.
“He is a great son of Akwa Ibom State, an international award-winning journalist, who rose from a position of insignificance to that of global prominence. It is in honor of this high priest of quality reporting that I hereby request the Exco to accept the institution of an annual award to be called: Ray Ekpu Award for Investigative Journalism.
“This award, to be administered annually by a panel of five first-class journalists comprising: two celebrated veteran journalists; one national officer of the Nigerian Guild of Editors; a nominee of the award sponsor; and the State Chairman of the NUJ, is aimed at encouraging quality, factual investigative reporting in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large,” Mr Inoyo said.
Mr Inoyo also announced plans to partner the leadership of the NUJ to enhance the capacity of journalists in Akwa Ibom State. He donated laptops and a kick-off fund of N2.5 million for that purpose.
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Mr Inoyo said Nigerian journalists have made enormous contributions towards the development of Nigeria.
He advised journalists to remain truthful, objective, factual, and responsible in their reporting.
The Chairman of the NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council, Amos Etuk, thanked Mr Inoyo for instituting the prize and for his other numerous contributions, especially in the field of education, to Akwa Ibom State.
Mr Inoyo currently serves as an advisor to Inoyo Toro Foundation, a non-profit organisation which focuses on education development in Akwa Ibom.
He is a member of the Akwa Ibom State Economic Reconstruction Committee.
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