By Osa Mbonu
The 26th NMMA Grand Annual Media Excellence Programme will hold in Akwa-Ibom state, Nigeria between 13th and 16th December, 2018.
The coming event will make Akwa-Ibom the eleventh state to host the Grand Media Excellence Proramme outside Lagos, the media-city. It is the second state from the South-south geopolitical zone since inception of the Awards programme in 1991/92. The first was Rivers in 2004.
The NMMA is hosted annually either in Lagos, the media city and headquarters of the NMMA, or in a chosen state from the six geopolitical zones of the nation. For the NMMA 2018 edition, three recommended states were considered by the administrators before a final decision on Akwa-Ibom was taken.
The hosting of the NMMA annual event across the nation provides a special forum for the media practitioners and leaders to meet with members of the society across various zones of Nigeria. This helps to foster closer media understanding, recognition and interaction not only among media people but very much also with the people of the state and zone directly, making for the appreciation of their unique cultural heritage and economic potential. This is more so because the celebration of media excellence brings the people closer to the media leaders and practitioners they read and hear of on the media platforms.
A major programme scheduled as part of the 2018 Awards activities is the formal investiture of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), as Grand Patron of the NMMA. The “Numero Uno Man of the Media” conferment is in line with the provisions of the NMMA since inception. The formal investiture of the President in this regard has been rescheduled for an auspicious date that shall be announced accordingly.
As it were, the NMMA 2018 call for entries (which closed a few months back) attracted from across the nation 651 quality entries from 461 top-of-the-notch entrants in print, radio and television. This is a great upscale development to which we have responded by strengthening the Awards screening process. Thus, ten new accomplished media professionals were enlisted in a structured adjustment of the 25 man Panel of Assessors who screen the various entries in different categories. New rules and provisions were also introduced to raise the standards of the scheme. The qualified nominations for the NMMA 2018 Awards will be released on December 2, 2018.
For the Awards hosting programme, great innovations have been put in place to make Akwa-Ibom NMMA 2018 the best outing for the media leaders, practitioners and guests attending the fiesta.
The Guests assembly at the three-day Grand Awards programme will include about 150 Awards nominees, 50 Media Leaders and about 100 Special guests from the public and private sectors of Akwa-Ibom state and from across the nation.
The Grand Awards presentation ceremony will feature, amongst others, NMMA Trustees Awards to three eminent National Leaders while three Media Leaders who have contributed immensely to media excellence shall also be honoured at the ceremony.
Other activities for the event shall include sectoral programmes involving key Media and Akwa Ibom state executives; a Media Leaders Roundtable on topical subjects of national interest; a tour of the three Senatorial Districts of the state by media executives and guests; the Media Heroes Icons Night of Tributes, etc. To crown the activities, as always, shall be the Grand Awards Presentation Ceremony, itself a fitting climax to the various interactive and networking programmes that usually stand out the annual NMMA Grand Fiesta of Excellence as an unforgettable experience for the media, the host state and the special guests.