Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State as well as the former Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Ernest Ndukwe, were recently at the 10 years of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Nigeria celebration honoured.
Equally honoured at the awards conferred by a group of ICT Publishers Alliance include Chief Olawale Ige, former Minister of Communications and Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Chairman of NCC between 2000 and 2011 and Dr. Leo Stan-Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies.
Chairman of the Alliance, Mr. Aaron Ukodie said that Obasanjo was honoured with the Life Time Achievement Evergreen Award for his insight in appointing in 2000 the right men for the job of regulating the Nigerian Communications Commission, for his courage to give the regulator and its helmsmen freehand to run affairs professionally uninfluenced by any presidential fiat.
Ukodie also said that for all these and more, Obasanjo’s actions have helped to shape the African telecom industry as a whole.
For Akpabio, he noted that he was honoured with the Best ICT Governor of the Decade for his role in the telecommunication sector prior to becoming a governor and his role in helping Akwa Ibom invest in Econet in 2001.
Before veering into politics, Obong Akpabio was Director Corporate Affairs/Legal Services of one of Nigeria’s earliest Private Telecom Operators, EMIS Telecoms, and so far remains the Governor’s longest employment history.
“It is interesting to note that Obong Akpabio was one of the people that gave meaning to the interconnect agreement in Nigeria between PTOs and NITEL, as well as GSM operators in his days as publicity secretary of the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON),” he said.
Leading companies of the Nigerian ICT industry were also conferred with awards, including NCC, MTN, Nigerian Information and Technology Agency of Nigeria (NITDA), Zinox Technologies, Computer Warehouse Group.
Both Joda and Ndukwe received the Best African Telecom Regulator of All Time (Diamond Award) for their internationally recognized roles in bringing about the milestone strides in the telecom sector.
Ige received the Telecom Liberalisation Pioneer Award (Platinum Award) for his role in drafting the liberalization policy, putting the structure in place as the Minister of Communication and helping NCC to achieve its vision.
Stan-Ekeh received the Nigerian ICT Icon of All Time for its work in getting computers to Nigerian homes, schools and offices.
NCC was awarded the African Best telecom regulator. Several African telecom regulatory agencies now come to Nigeria to learn from NCC on how to regulate their telecom industries.
MTN got the African Mobile Operator of the Decade award MTN Nigeria for its role in leading the Nigerian market and sustaining that position since 2001 when it rolled out its operation and today’s MTN Nigeria is over 40 million subscribers.
MTN’s secret is its robust network with an unmatched reach which has seen the operator investing billions of dollars, building mobile telecommunications infrastructure in the country.
Its 3,400 kilometres Y’ello Bahn remains one of the continent’s most extensive digital microwave transmission infrastructures.
Ericsson got the Africa Network Builder of the Decade, Zinox Best African ICT Company of the Decade, Computer Warehouse Group received the African ICT Conglomerate of the decade – Computer Warehouse Group, just as NITD was awarded Best Technology Incubator Award, while Etisalat got the Most Innovative Mobile operator award.
According to the Chairman of ICT Publishers Alliance, Aaron Ukodie, the awards were read and presented on August 4, 2011 during the celebration of A Decade of ICT Revolution at the Eko Hotels, Lagos by the ICT Publishers Alliance, the body of leading ICT Publications, published by pioneer ICT journalists in Nigeria.
Some of the awards were presented by the representative of the Secretary to the federal government, Senator, Anyim Pius Anyim and former President of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria and Chairman of Teledom Group, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem.
The ICT Alliance is made up of IT & Telecom Digest, IT World, eBusinessLife, eWorld, Nigerian Communications Week and IT Edge News. com.Remmy Nweke
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