Akin Dawodu, CEO, Citibank Nigeria

Citibank has announced the overall winner of the 2017 edition of the Citi Journalistic Excellence Award CJEA in Nigeria.

The bank had for over three decades, helped advance quality journalism in markets around the world through its CJEA and is pleased that Nigeria has continued to main the same standard of excellence.

The CJEA is a global Citi competition which began in 1982 as a way of recognising journalists for excellence in financial and business reporting in the markets in which Citi does business around the world.

The award, which is marking its 34th edition, is a unique programme sponsored and co-hosted by Citi and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, with nominees getting selected by independent panel of judges.

A statement signed by the bank’s Country Public Affairs Officer in charge of Nigeria and Ghana, Lola Oyeka, says the 2017 edition of the award was won by Caleb Ojewale, a Multimedia News Content Producer for BusinessDay Nigeria. He is expected to travel to New York to join other journalists from across the globe for eight-day training at Columbia University.

Ojewale’s article “The rejected stone comes to the rescue” was the winning article among numerous entries that were submitted.

The article focused on the importance of agriculture in boosting the Nigerian Economy especially with the current recession.

According to Ojewale, “The renewed interest in agriculture as a critical component of Nigeria’s economy cannot be overemphasised. It gives me so much joy having the opportunity to win this award knowing that writing stories on how millions of farmers (and citizens across social classes) are getting motivated to help combat Nigeria’s (now $22.5 billion) food import bill has finally paid off. I am motivated to do more, just as I am excited about being this year’s winner.”

He also said: “I am honoured to be recipient of the 2017 Citi Journalistic Excellence Award in Nigeria. It is particularly exciting to have won this prestigious award by telling a story of hope amidst Nigeria’s economic recession.”

Caleb was one of three finalists that were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including: Dr. Mike Okolo, a seasoned communications practitioner and Senior Lecturer, School of Media and Communications, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos; Mr. Wole Famurewa Markets Editor, West Africa, CNBC Africa and 2012 CJEA winner; Mr. Azubike Osimili, General Manager, Inspiration FM Radio, Lagos.

The most prominent aspect of the award is the winners’ participation in an eight-day business and financial seminar in New York City, which is administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and sponsored by Citi.

The programme offers participants rigorous workshops in the principles of accounting and finance, and exposure to institutions, policy makers, and other thought leaders in the United States.

According to Mr. Bill Okonedo, News Editor, BusinessDay “We are very proud about this recognition of one of ours. BusinessDay selects its people carefully, commits a lot to training and sets very high standards for its crew.”

Meanwhile, Akin Dawodu, CEO-Citibank Nigeria says the bank is delighted to support this prestigious global competition, which recognises outstanding achievement in financial and business reporting in Nigeria for the 5th year in a row’’

“This is an opportunity for us to reward journalistic excellence and raise the bar for financial reporting in the country.’’

According to Adenike Popoola of Punch Newspaper and 2016 CJEA Winner, “I will describe the experience at the University of Columbia as an amazing and valuable experience with beneficial impact to journalists. I also want to thank Citi for introducing this initiative to contribute to the development of journalism profession in the country.”

Citibank Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc. (Citi).

The bank started its operations in Nigeria in 1984 and focuses on Corporate and Investment Banking, with a broad range of services, including global transaction services, sales and trading, corporate finance and investment banking services being offered to corporate and commercial customers, financial institutions and public sector organisations.

Citibank Nigeria operates 12 branches and has almost 250 employees across the country.

Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.