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Punch journalist wins global award in business, financial reporting

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A reporter of Punch Newspapers, Nigeria’s most widely read newspaper, Afeez Hanafi, has emerged as the winner of the 2020 Citi Journalistic Excellence Award.

Hanafi, the only winner in Nigeria, clinched the prestigious award with his story, “Songhai: Fading glory of abandoned Lagos’ multi-million naira agric centre,” published on January 26, 2019.

By this feat, he and other winners across the world will attend a five-day seminar on business and financial reporting next year at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York, United States.

CJEA, which began in 1982 to recognise journalists for excellence in financial and business reporting, is sponsored by Citibank and administered by the Columbia University.

Nominees are selected by independent panels of experts and the lists are sent to the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism for screening and selection of the winner from each country.

A chief correspondent with The Punch, Nike Popoola, had won the 2016 edition of the award.

A correspondent on the Features Desk of Punch’s Weekend Titles, Hanafi had received awards within and outside the country. He was a runner-up in the 2019 Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, education and judiciary categories, as well as the Nigeria Academy of Science Award.

He was a finalist, Continental Journalism Awards on AU Charter and was shorlisted for the maiden edition of Fetisov Journalism Awards held in Switzerland in February 2020.

In an email announcing him as the CJEA winner in Nigeria, the bank’s Country Head of Public Affairs, Nigeria and Ghana, Lola Oyeka, said, “I am pleased to announce that you are the winner of the 2020 Citi Journalistic Excellence Award for Nigeria. Congratulations!

“As you know, the global pandemic that is COVID-19 has impacted so much including the CJEA programme. Due to uncertainty around the pandemic and government restrictions, the 2020 CJEA winners across the globe will attend the programme at the Columbia University in 2021.”

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