Former Exxon Mobil Vice President, Mr Udom Inoyo has announced plans to sponsor an annual award to encourage professionalism and diligence in media practice in Nigeria.
Speaking when he visited secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Uyo yesterday, he appealed to journalists not to sacrifice professionalism on altar of correctness.
He urged journalists in the country to revive good old values of hard work, discipline and character in discharge of their profession.
“We all know that hard work, discipline and character have taken a back seat in our society and those amongst you who continue to drum into our ears the need to act with honour and do things properly are now viewed as prophets of old. You are chastised and left to lurch in solitude”.
“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, one who 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 honour 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 state chairman of the NUJ is aimed at encouraging quality, factual investigative reporting in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large.
“The prize money for the winner of this award each year is N500, 000.00 but the journalist must be operating from Akwa Ibom State,” he stated.
He expressed concern over the alarming rate of cultism in the society and called on stakeholders from all fronts to explore ways of addressing the root causes of social vices, noting that such vices, if not attended to, may consume everyone in the nearest future.