BusinessDay, Africa’s foremost business newspaper, bagged a silver grade award Friday night September, 29, 2023, at the award night of the Rivers Debate organisation.
The award was said to be in recognition of its editorial support to the Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investors Forum (REIF) and to their brainchild, Rivers Governorship Debate.
The group has top international partners including the European Union and other western diplomatic entities that have appreciable presence in Nigeria.
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The business group organises the debates every election year to extract the commitment from governorship candidates on what they would do when they get to power.
Announcing the award, the President of REIF, Ibifri Bobmanuel, who is the chairman of the Rivers Debate series, said BusinessDay has always come in to support REIF with business reporting.
“They brought that value to bear in the debate serious because REIF is about business and the debate is the quest by the business community to extract position of each governorship candidate,” he said while addressing the august gathering.
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He further said that the leadership of BusinessDay in the South-South and East comes with huge experience that has impacted on how business stories were presented.
Supporting what Bobmanuel said, the Acting Country Director of the Social Democratic Network, Florence Kayemba, said BusinessDay was a valuable partner in Port Harcourt in bringing huge reportage to the activities of the investors under REIF. SDN is one of the major sponsors of the debates.
The moderator of the event, Karl Orakwe of Nigeria Info, Port Harcourt, said BusinessDay was not just a newspaper but that their editorial team members especially in Port Harcourt have huge depth of business and financial knowledge which many media organisations in region tap into, saying when they are in radio studios in PH, the listeners gird their loins.
In his keynote presentation, Matthew Ayibakuro, who is a Governance & Development expert, said the media stands in the gap for the ordinary people.
According to him, the masses cannot be where media gurus stand asking questions to those about to become leaders. “You are thus, setting foundations on how democracy works.”
He said it was sad that the value of democracy seemed to wane so much that when coups occur, citizens roll out the drums in celebration.
He said that Nigerians were solving problems without debating them, whereas civilised societies prefer to debate a problem before solving it. “What you in the media are doing helps to restore the social contract.”