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Amzat of The Guardian claims top prize at Quill Award


Winners at the award presentation ceremony last Friday in Lagos

Winners at the award presentation ceremony last Friday in Lagos

For Ajibola Amzat, the Features Editor of The Guardian, it was, no doubt a good reward for taking the courage to visit Borno to do an investigative report, despite the security challenges in the state.

The report from his visit to Maiduguri, Home Away won the overall prize at the end of the 2016 Promasidor Quill Award for journalists, held in Lagos on Friday, beating Olatunji Ololade of The Nation Newspaper’s Sorrowful Song from the valley of Iva.

The same story by Amzat had initially carted home the best report in the children and nutrition category beating another of Ololade’s entry, I do not want this child, and Isioma Madike of Sunday Telegraph, Hunger and The Nigerian Child to the award in that category.

Category winners at the award were Olatunji Ololade of The Nation, smiling home with the Best CSR and Industry Reporter of the year award; Tobi Aworinde of The Punch got the Education Reporter of the year; Nurain Kolawole Aliu of Leadership went with the Best Photo Story of the year; Tunde Ajaja of the Punch carted home the Future Writer of the year, Daphne Uduneje, a correspondent with the Nigerian Pilot, was rewarded with the Brand Advocate of the year award, while Kemi Busari of was adjudged the Best Online Reporter of the year.

An elated Ajibola Amzat said he felt truly excited to win the award because, “as I was told, the competition was keener this year. A total of 300 good entries is a great deal.” He said he was also excited because, it is a nice thing to regularly enjoy people’s readership; but it is more nicer to get recognition from an institution constituted by accomplished professionals. “I am speaking of the panel of judges who nominated my story, “Home Away” for the Quill Awards. I think the organizer of this award, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, chose the judges well, and I congratulate the company for the achievement it has recorded with this award.”

For him, the intervention by Promasidor, makers of Cowbell and other dairy products is not only promoting quality journalism in Nigeria; its effort is also deepening Nigeria’s democracy by bringing to the fore important conversation around the issue of equality, child rights and development. “This award, I bet, will only motivate me to expand the frontier of quality journalism in Nigeria. And I am hopeful it elicits the same response from colleagues,” Amzat stated.

Earlier in his opening remarks at the award, the Managing Director, Promasidor, Mr. Olivier Thiry, said the award, in its fourth edition, was created to celebrate excellence in journalism in Nigeria, noting that the iimportance of the media to any country cannot be overemphasised, as journalists play vital roles in the process of nation building.

“In view of their importance, we take all effort at Promasidor to encourage professionalism in this profession. Considering the intellectual exertion and the skill required in producing a good report or story, there is no reward that can adequately compensate the efforts of journalists in educating the public.”

The Promasidor boss disclosed that it was based on the important role of the media plays in the development of a nation that made his company’ management in 2012 conceptualized the initiative that would allow for assessing, recognizing and rewarding excellence for outstanding journalistic work. According to him, since its inception, the Quill Awards have annually spurred journalists to improve on the quality of their work as well as stimulate and inform their readers.

“For instance, the lead story that won the 2015 Promasidor Quill Awards Overall prize triggered scholarships that were awarded to 21 physically-challenged students of the Bethsaida Home for the Blind in Yaba, Lagos State. The story, titled: “Where the
Blind Dare to Dream” written by Taiwo Alimi was published on April 19, 2015 by The Nation newspaper. In 2013, these students could not complete the admission process into the University of Lagos due to lack of funds.

“The 2015 Promasidor Quill Awards Overall winning story was the one that drew the attention of a kind-hearted Nigerian to the plight of these physically-challenged students. Based on that, they were given financial support to complete their admission into the university.”

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