PwC building

OBINNA EZUGWU

Leading professional services firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria has announced winners at the 2020 Media Excellence Awards.

The awards, which is in its fifth year, held virtually on Friday, in line with COVID-19 protocols around large gatherings.

The Awards celebrates and rewards excellence in business reporting in Nigeria in four categories including tax and fiscal policy, finance and capital markets, SMEs and, business and economy reporting. The competition is open to professional journalists on a full-time employment or freelancers, working in Nigeria, who have produced a story that falls within the categories covered by the award and that is available on a platform whose primary audience is Nigeria.

“It’s been a challenging year no doubt with COVID-19 disrupting our lives in ways we never previously imagined. As a business with a deliberate strategy of making greater societal impact, we launched an initiative tagged PwC Caresto support businesses, governments and individuals in responding to the impacts of the pandemic and build resilience. Today’s event is an extension of that commitment to society and especially to this very important community of professionals who play a key role in the sustenance of our democracy and the advancement of society in general.

“For the past seven years, we have been hosting the annual capability enhancement workshop for journalists to equip reporters to perform their roles optimally and professionally. This we believe should be reflected in the quality of reporting, in the capacity of journalists to carry out research and investigations, in the independence of editorial judgments, and in their ability to use technology as an enabler.

“Today’s event which is holding virtually in line with current realities affords us another opportunity to reward and celebrate those reporters who have done outstanding business reporting in the last year. I want to thank all the journalists who sent in entries for the award this year and our panel of judges for taking time off their busy schedules to read, watch, listen and grade the entries. ”said UyiAkpata, Country Senior Partner, PwC Nigeria at the virtual gala night for the presentation of PwC’s Media Excellence Awards 2020

The winners of the 2020 PwC Media Excellence Awards are Tunde Ajalaof The Punch, who won in the Business & Economy Reporting category, for the entry ‘Dangerous cylinders:Needless deaths in Nigeria’s poorly regulated cooking gas sector (1& 2)’. Isaac Anyaogu of BusinessDay, topped the SMEs Reporting Category, for the entry ‘A fistful of poisoned gold’.

Finance & Capital Markets Reporting went to Taiwo Adebulu of The Cable, for the entry ‘FACT CHECK: Nigeria told UN that 7 varsities run strictly on renewable energy, but is this true?’; while the Tax ReportingCategory award was clinched by Odinaka Anudu of BusinessDay, for the entry ‘How Lagos revenue goes into private pockets’.

Each winner in the respective categories will receive a cash prize of N500, 000.00, plaque, certificate and be named PwC Journalist of the year. The first runner upwill receive a cash prize of N150,000.00 and a certificate, while the second runner up will receive a cash prize of N50,000.00.

In addition, this year’sawards recognised tenother top entries across all categories with a consolation prize of 20k worth vouchers. Journalists that made up this category include Temitayo Ayetoto of BusinessDay / AFRICMIL, for the entry ‘INVESTIGATION (2): Coronavirus is the killer, PPE shortage is the catalyst’, Taiwo Adebulu of The Cable, for the entry ‘REPORTER’S DIARY: I went to Cross River, pretended to have COVID-19 symptoms and this happened’, Kunle Adebajo of The ICIR (International Centre for Investigative Reporting), for the entry , ‘Pushed beyond borders: Rice, foreigners are easily smuggled into Nigeria when Immigration and Customs officers receive bribes’, Abubakar Idris of TechCabal, for the entry ‘COVID-19 is quietly threatening the future of Nigeria’s news media’, and Irene Ubani, of PlusTV, for the entry ‘Teenagers in Nigeria are converting Plastics to Bricks for Construction’.

Others are Temple Asaju of Channels TV, for the entry ‘Analysis And Reporting On Nigerian Equity And Fixed Income Market’, Femi Adekoya of The Guardian, for the entry ‘Investors torn between debt, forex market as naira weakens’, Ayoade Olatokewa of KISS Fm, for the entry ‘Implications Of The Finance Bill Act’, Amos Abbah of The ICIR (International Centre for Investigative Reporting), for the entry ‘How payment of multiple taxes frustrates okada riders in Abuja’, and Chima Nwokoji of Nigerian Tribune, for the entry ‘Post COVID-19 economy: considering unclaimed monies in banks as temporary source of revenue’.

The entries were reviewed by a panel of independent, respected and experienced judges and were rated on the basis of quality of research and insight, Balanced and unbiased analysis, creativity and originality of content,relevance to the Nigerian situation and,grammar and language skills.