Citi Journalistic Excellence Award 2018 Goes to Isaac Anyaogu


Lagos – Isaac Anyaogu of BusinessDay has emerged the winner of the 2018 Citi Journalistic Excellence
Award (CJEA). He is a financial journalist and a resourceful researcher with a passion for impacting
society. His reports cover a variety of topics including energy, health, technology as well as human
interest news and events. His goal is to provide actionable financial intelligence to help business and
political leaders take sound decisions, show the implications of statistical data and use his reports to
promote inclusive growth and development for the country.
Anyaogu’s winning article “A harvest of sunshine” focuses on the how a small group of entrepreneurs
developed innovative renewable energy solutions that significantly improved post-harvest processing.
Anyaogu as part of BusinessDays investigative report series visited Ba’awa and Kadabo farming
communities in Makarfi Local government area of Kaduna State. Pepper is the key crop in this region and
a source of revenue for the communities. The post-harvest process for pepper farmers is to leave their
peppers to dry on roadsides and other open spaces. The process is wearisome and valuable cash crop
are damaged by birds, rodents and rain, as well as polluted by dust and debris.
In the article, Anyaogu stated that Nigeria loses approximately $9billion worth of fresh produce largely
due to the absence of an energy plan in its agricultural policies. A number of small scale farmers depend
on rain-fed agriculture and are unable to preserve their produce; hence, 40 percent of their harvest is
wasted. This situation is driving some smart businesses to look to the sun. Some of the solutions that
have been developed include innovative renewable energy solutions like solar-powered pepper dryer
Anyaogu’s original perspective, effective use of research and ability to precipitate discussion is what
distinguished him from the 19 applications that were submitted in Nigeria.
CJEA is a global Citi competition which began in 1982 as a way of recognizing journalists for excellence
in financial and business reporting in the markets in which Citi does business around the world. Now in its
35th year, the CJEA is a unique program sponsored and co-hosted by Citi and Columbia’s Graduate
School of Journalism.
According to Anyaogu, “Business journalism is too important to be left up to reporters, news organisations
must make a conscious investment in their human capital and rely on expert help in analysing important
economic issues. This CJEA platform is an important one and more initiatives like this should be
encouraged. Congratulations to all those who made the shortlist; this belongs to us all.”
A total of 11 business journalists from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be joining Anyaogu in New
York City, where they will be participating in an 8-day business and financial seminar which is administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and sponsored by Citi. The program 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.
The CJEA applications were reviewed by a committee composed of well-known and respected local Individuals who understand the media and how it works, are active in the local community and knowledgeable in international financial/business/economic affairs and appreciate good journalistic writing. The judging committee is responsible for scoring the articles and for selecting finalists to be
considered by Columbia. The 2018 distinguished panel of judges for Nigeria was made up of Mrs.
Ononuju Irukwu, Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe and 2017 CJEA Winner, Mr. Caleb Ojewale.
Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bestman Games Ltd, the African
distributor of customized editions of Monopoly, Hasbro’s world famous game. She enjoyed a successful
banking career spanning 23 years first at Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc where she rose to the position of
General Manager and Head, Private Banking and Director Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Ltd.
Subsequently she joined Barclays Bank Plc as Regional Director (West Africa) for the Wealth &
Investment Management Division and Chief Country Officer for Nigeria.
Mrs. Ononuju Irukwu is the Managing Director, Chapel Hill Denham Management limited, a leading
Investment Management Company in Lagos, Nigeria with responsibility for the Wealth and Asset
Management business. She is passionate about financial literacy and is committed to ensuring the
investing public is sufficiently informed and prepared to plan, save and grow their assets during their
working life. She writes a personal wealth column with This Day Newspapers Nigeria and speaks
regularly at seminars and conferences for teenage, women and young entrepreneurs.
According to Irukwu, “It was a very keenly contested award with the entries touching on very topical
issues in our financial markets. As an award for excellence, it was good to see that the journalists paid
attention to the relevant criteria that make an excellent and compelling article as well as meets the
standards of the Citi Awards.” She goes on to say “As a first time panel judge, I am proud of the quality
and content of the articles that we received from Nigeria. I see that Citi through this award has helped to
create a sense of keen competition and a drive for true excellence among our financial journalists. I
congratulate the winner, Isaac Anyaogu for his contribution and wish him the very best in all his future
endeavors. Thank you Citi and thank you to all the participants.”
Mr. Caleb Ojewale the 2017 CJEA winner is an Analyst and Multimedia News Content Producer at
BusinessDay where he covers Agriculture and Technology and the economic implications of the diverse
activities taking place in those sectors. According to Ojewale, “I am glad to be part of the process for
selecting this year’s CJEA winner in Nigeria, as Citi upholds it’s tradition of fostering excellence in
financial journalism. The competition ensures many, if not all journalists, make a conscious effort to
publish exemplary works that shed light on important economic and financial issues in our country. There
were many good entries this year, and I am particularly glad at the uniqueness displayed in many stories;
originality in thinking, apt presentation, and potentials for stimulating development. This year’s winning
entry has not failed to live up to the standards at Citi.”
Ojewale went on to say “As the winner from last year, I am glad that this year’s entry further lays
credence to the need to creatively report issues in agriculture and its development across the country. For
an entry focusing on this sector to win for a second consecutive year, shows that agriculture is truly
becoming agribusiness, and we all as a country need to take it more seriously.”
“Winning this year’s Citi Journalistic Excellence Award is the high point of my career in business
journalism thus far. For me, it is a validation of a commitment to excellence and professionalism. This will
encourage me to forge ahead in delivering value to our readers who depend on the insight we provide to
make investment decisions as well as to guide policy makers.”
“CJEA is an opportunity for us to reward journalistic excellence and each year we continue to raise the
bar for financial reporting in the country”, said Akin Dawodu, CEO Citibank Nigeria Limited.