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BusinessDay Journalists take lead at 2021 PwC Awards

Three BusinessDay Journalists, Temitayo Ayetoto, Caleb Ojewale, and Isaac Anyaogu took the lead at the PwC Media Award for Excellence 2021 as journalists across the country raced for top prizes.

Temitayo Ayetoto, health and investigative reporter emerged the First-Runner-Up in the most contested category -Business and Economy reporting.

80 valid applications vied for the award.

Her investigative report, ‘Poor hearts in Barrels of Harmful Oils’ examined the unhealthy levels of fat contents such as trans fat and unsaturated fats in both unbranded and branded vegetable oils sold in selected food markets in Lagos.

The report involved laboratory analysis and highlighted the health implication for consumers.

In the capital market category, Caleb Ojewale, an assistant editor, equally emerged the First-Runner-Up with his entry titled ‘Curious case of Agric Crowdfunding going Comatose after Regulation’.

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He probed how the government was paying only lip service to agricultural financing which led to the emergence of crowdfunding as an option but was later exploited to defraud unsuspecting investors.

The report showed that the alternative finance was unregulated initially as fund seekers were being promised high returns sometimes up to 100 percent.

With his entry titled ‘Shakedown Taxation’, Isaac Anyaogwu, an assistant editor came third in the Tax Reporting category.

His report argued that there is the feeling of shakedown when the government seeks to collect taxes aggressively from taxpayers especially during an economic downturn which in any case did very little to raise revenue for the government but only increased the pain of taxpayers.

Commending Ayetoto’s work, Yemi Adamolekun, one of the judges said the work has significant benefit to citizens as it raises awareness on issues.

“In terms of story choices, one of the stories that resonated was the story about oils that are not branded. That kind of story appeals to me as a consumer and especially because it had scientific data to back it up,” she said.

“As you think of a story and you prepare for next year, that’s something to look at.”

Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, another judge, said all the entries displayed uncommon profundity and journalistic courage.

“They have also been creative in the use of the pen for the public good. I was quite intrigued by the use of forensic examination to actually speak to the public on the quality of oil that we consume. It is quite important and it’s a story that will resonate with everybody. The reason is that preventive health is very critical in a country where the health sector is underserved,” she said.

The PwC Media Excellence Awards celebrates and rewards excellence in business reporting in Nigeria. The competition opens to professional journalists on full-time employment or freelancers, working in Nigeria, who have produced a story that falls within the categories covered by the award and that is available on a platform whose primary audience is Nigeria.

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