Monday, May 05, 2008

I4J to kick-start ICT boom – Ajayi

President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Mr. Lanre Ajayi has predicted that the commencement of the Internet for Job (I4J) Initiative of the group would impact positively on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) boom been witnessed in the country.

Speaking in Lagos on the on-going request by his group for interested Nigerian public to submit projects for the I4J initiative at i4j.nig.org.ng, Mr. Ajayi noted that the scheme would grow the nation’s Internet penetration.

“Therefore, it’s predicted to facilitate users access to online services to be provided by governments and businesses among assorted e-payment solutions that are emerging within the Nigerian online market place as well as enable users to pay for online services,” he said.

Mr. Ajayi also outlined some core values of I4J to include creating Internet entrepreneurs, which he predicted would positively involve Nigerian youths so as to divert their attentions away from anti-social activities.

“It would also bridge the digital divide between Nigeria and the developed countries, over and above to create local Internet content, step up national rebirth to a knowledge society and eventually kick start a ‘DotCom’ boom in Nigeria,” he said.

As said by him, NIG plans to achieve the above objectives, through the adaptation of three-core strategies via promotion and facilitation of e-business, local Internet content and e-Government.

The above strategies, he said, shall be done by organizing focused sectoral workshops for top management and Information Technology (IT) professionals of various industries and government departments within the economy, with a view to convincing them to put their services online and give them the necessary direction on how to accomplish this.

“With the promotion of e-business and e-government, I4J aims at creating jobs for software programmers, webmasters, database managers, [marketers] and others in related fields, in addition to growing the businesses of Internet Service Providers (ISP), e-payment companies, cybercaf├ęs to name a few who are great employers of IT personnel,” he said.

On the beneficiaries, he said that they could be individuals, corporate organizations, government at three tiers, namely local, state, federal and their agencies.

He further stated that admission of an applicant’s project would hugely depend on its sustainability after such a person has graduated from the I4J programme.

Additionally, he asked, “Will the project contribute significantly to the social and economic development of Nigeria? Will the project create job opportunities for Nigerians (direct or indirect)? Does the beneficiary have the capacity, passion and other resources to roll out and sustain the service?” saying that if the answer is in the affirmative, then, the beneficiary is on the right path.

“The beneficiaries’ projects shall be subjected to rigorous supervision within a period of 12 months from the date of their admission into the I4J programme. Web application developments of the projects are expected to be completed not later than four (4) months after admission into the programme and marketing of service is expected to commence immediately after,” he said.

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