…as 2019 Press Week Wraps Up in Grand Style

The Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) yesterday, December 13, 2019 celebrated the enormous contributions of Mobil Producing Nigeria, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture, to the development of Akwa Ibom State and the empowerment of her people, in the last five decades.

This, the NUJ did by presenting to the oil giant an Award of Excellence on the occasion of the Union’s 2019 Dinner/Awards Night which brought to a glamorous end the 2019 Press Week organized by Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State.

Receiving the award on behalf of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, the Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Subsidiary Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo thanked the NUJ for the recognition and congratulated the leadership and membership of the Union for a successful hosting of the 2019 NUJ Week.

He pledged the Company’s commitment towards sustaining its contributions to the state and its partnership with its key stakeholders, including the Akwa Ibom Media Community.

The Dinner/Awards event attracted the crème-de-la-crème of the Nigerian society, including the first Commissioner of Information and current Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo, MFR; Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Obong Bassey Albert; Sen. James Akpan Udoedeghe; first indigenous military governor of Akwa Ibom State, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga; Chairman of the occasion, DIG Udom Ekpoudom; Dinner Lecturer and Catholic Archbishop of Calabar, His Grace Rev. Dr. Joseph Ekuwem; the keynote speaker, Mr. Ubong King; the National President of NUJ, Comrade Chris Isiguzo; the Vice President, NUJ Zone F, Pastor Edward Ogude; the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information, Sir Charles Udoh; the Chief Press Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Ekerette Udo; the leadership and membership of the Akwa Ibom State Council of NUJ headed by Comrade Amos Etuk, among others.

Earlier In his goodwill message, the Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Subsidiaries in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo, who himself is an illustrious son of the State, charged the gentlemen of the pen profession to uphold best professional standards and rejuvenate the vibes of the once very noble profession.

He spoke of his admiration of the fourth estate of the realm and voyaged down memory lane.

“After graduating from the university in 1981, my first inclination was to be a journalist. I thoroughly admired this profession, and still do, as many journalists played more than a complimentary role in shaping my appreciation and use of the English Language – written and oral. These journalists also propelled my interest in paying attention to the small things that matter in life, and in looking after the common good in society.

“But a lot has happened since I left school, and if the truth be told, not many of us feel good about so many things in our clime, including the practice of journalism. But simply complaining is not a viable option especially now that practically everyone with a smart phone or tablet is journalist.”

Mr. Inoyo urged the gentlemen of the press never to be deterred and never to give up on their primary role of being the watchdog of society. He mentioned examples from the oil industry where he has been a major player in Nigeria, noting that there are lots of actions at the national level that the state needs to capture more opportunities from, especially in these times of prevailing in-industry competitions. He mentioned some industry examples of what MPN, the leading IOC in Nigeria is doing and regretted that little of these are put forward across the media spectrum.

“Akwa Ibom State is blessed to be an oil producing state, with NNPC/MPN operating here. Because of this production, Akwa Ibom state revenue ranks among the highest (if not number one). But I can tell you it’s far more than earnings. Akwa Ibom state indigenes alone constitute about 35% of all employees of the ExxonMobil affiliates in Nigeria. The Company has contributed over N160B to NDDC and remits about N7B annually in payee tax to the Akwa Ibom State Government.

“When you drive on a newly constructed road, watch a match in the ‘Nest of Champions’ or fly Ibom Air, know that all these have been largely enabled by the contributions of the joint venture operator. While thanking the managers of resources in the state, we should never fail to give kudos to the thousands of personnel, who toil every second, to bring this crude to surface”.

Mr. Inoyo ended his goodwill message on a rather sad note, acknowledging the ill-fated incident of last Wednesday that claimed the lives of staffers of the Akwa Ibom Newspaper Corporation (AKNC). He expressed condolences to the NUJ, Akwa Ibom Newspaper Corporation and the families of the fallen comrades and prayed quick recovery upon the bruised and injured still receiving various degrees of medical attention.

This year’s event themed “Strengthening Peace and Unity towards Sustainable Development in Akwa Ibom State: The Role of Journalists” prominently featured the presentation of awards under various categories to outstanding professionals in the Akwa Ibom Media Industry and to members of the public who have created significant impact in various fields of callings.

Some of the winners from the over 120 entries received under the 20 categories competed for included: The Mail Newspaper (Newspaper of the Year), Charles Akpan (News Analyst of the Year), Comrade Emmanuel Esifah (Veteran Journalist of the Year), Kenneth Jude (Columnist of the Year), Ekemini Simon (Policy Reporter of the Years), Samuel Etuk (Oil and Gas Reporter of the Year).

Others were Harrison Essien (Judiciary Correspondent of the Year), Priscilla Christopher (Editorial Writer of the Year), Nsikak Ikrok (Sportswriter of the Year), Elder Benjamin Udobia (Award of Excellence), Ini Ememobong Foundation (Award of Excellence), Justice Udousoro (Sportscaster of the Year), Maria Ikorok (Educational Writer of the Year), Abigail Isaac (Legislative Reporter of the Year), Comfort Umana (Ambassadorial Female Capacity), John Udofia (Ambassadorial Male Capacity).