…Donates Laptops, Funds towards Capacity Development of AKS Journalists

In his relentless bid to promote excellence across various spheres of the Nigeria society, the immediate past Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Subsidiary Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo has instituted a yearly excellence award to celebrate outstanding investigative journalists in Akwa Ibom State.

Christened after an Akwa-Ibom born veteran journalist generally regarded by practitioners within and outside the shores of the country as the doyen of contemporary journalism in Nigeria, the instituted excellence award has the patented label Ray Ekpu Award for Investigative Journalism.

Mr. Udom Inoyo announced the investiture over the weekend when he honored an invitation from the Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to serve as the Special Guest of Honor in the union’s monthly congress which held at the NUJ Press Centre in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital.

Inoyo, an erstwhile National President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria who currently serves in the Akwa Ibom State Economic Reconstruction Committee, pointed out that the award is aimed at encouraging quality, objectivity and factuality in reporting within and outside Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking on the aim and modality for the award, he said, “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. Chairman, I have thought of what I could do as my little contribution to the NUJ in Akwa Ibom State with regards to this matter. 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.

Mr. Udom Inoyo, Advisor, Inoyo Toro Foundation, also announced plans to partner with the leadership of the NUJ towards enhancing capacities of members of the pen profession in Akwa Ibom State and donated some laptops and a kick-off fund of N2.5 million for that purpose.

Earlier in his remarks entitled “Your Pen, Our Future”, the former Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil had celebrated the enormous contributions of journalists towards the development of Nigeria and charged them to stay true to the tenets of the journalism profession which he mentioned to include: Truth, Accuracy, Objectivity, Factuality and Social Responsibility.

In his response, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council, Comrade Amos Etuk appreciated the investiture of the prize for outstanding investigative journalism and the donation of laptops and financial support towards enhancing capacity building amongst journalists in the state.

He extolled Mr. Inoyo for consistently demonstrating the excellence and celebrated his contributions to the Akwa Ibom project.

The selection structure for the newly instituted Ray Ekpu Award for Investigative Journalism has been described as similar to that adopted by the Inoyo Toro Foundation for the selection of secondary school teachers across the state for rewards in various subject areas including Mathematics, English Language, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Home Economic, etc. Inoyo Toro Foundation is an education interventionist NGO committed towards the promotion of education in Akwa Ibom State through teachers’ rewards, students’ mentorship and school infrastructure intervention. In the last 13 years, the Foundation has spent over N400M to reward over 235 teachers and 3 principals, train over 3,500 teachers, mentor over 5,040 students, and positively impacted over 90 schools across 30 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State.

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