It was all smiles for the 677 graduating students of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, NIJ, Ogba, Lagos, as they filed out for the institute’s convocation ceremony, on December 14. The ceremony, which was graced by dignitaries from all walks of life, also witnessed the conferment of fellowship awards for some individuals in the society in recognition of their contribution to development.
Tony Akiotu, General Manager State Operations, DAAR Communications Limited represented Raymond Dokpesi, the company’s chairman, who was the special guest at the occasion.
Akiotu, a veteran broadcast journalist, commended the institute for its laudable achievement in producing quality journalists. “The achievements of the institute cannot be overemphasized, because it has produced several journalists that have in one way or the other contributed immensely to societal development.”
Lateef Jakande, former executive governor of Lagos state who was also present at the ceremony expressed satisfaction that the institute, which was his brainchild, has continued to grow from strength to strength, having produced journalists that have gone ahead to win awards locally and internationally. “I am very proud of the institute,” he said. “I urge the graduating students to keep the flag flying.”
The graduating students, according to Elizabeth Ikem, provost of NIJ, comprised principally of students from two academic sessions. While urging them to ensure that they are worthy ambassadors of the institute, she said, “We have equipped you with knowledge, and we expect that you will use what you’ve learnt here to transform our society.”
Bamidele Salako, one of the graduating students who bagged four awards was beside himself with great joy. Expressing his gratitude to God, he said, “It was all possible due to good lecturing and my unalloyed drive for journalism, and I am now very well equipped to use my pen to transform the world.”
In addition to the graduating students were also fellowship awards conferred on notable individuals in the society who were adjudged to have contributed immensely to the growth of journalism in Nigeria. They include Nduka Obaigbena, Publisher of ThisDay newspaper, Doyin Abiola, first Nigerian female Eisenhower fellow, John Momoh, founder and chief executive officer, Channels Television, Wada Abdullahi Maida, managing director, Finlay Communications, Maiden Ibru, managing director of The Guardian Newspapers, and Kabiru Yusuf, chairman of Media Trust Limited.