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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Exclusive! ITAN on WITSA: Olufuye says approach unpatriotic, advises Seriki to focus on lifting ITAN


Dr. Jimson Olufuye
The immediate past president of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Dr. Jimson Olufuye, has responded to the announcement of his sack from the board of World IT Service Alliance (WITSA) among other allegations by the new leadership of the association, describing it as unpatriotic and lacks decorum.

Reacting exclusively to ITRealms Online soon after the announcement ITAN’s The new National Executive Council (NEC) of ITAN led by Mrs. Florence Seriki declared him sacked from WITSA board as its vice chairman and attendant allegations, Dr. Olufuye, said he is not in contention to hands-off WITSA as he has done Nigeria proud to have pioneered since 2008 on voluntary basis.

He cautioned the current leadership of ITAN led by Mrs. Florence Seriki, to concentrate on building upon the foundations already laid, rather than destroying what have been built.

He also described the steps taken so far by the present leadership of ITAN as unpatriotic and reactionary, which depicts lack of respect, decorum, civility and vision on the part of the current leadership.

On AfICTA, Dr. Olufuye refuted the claims that ITAN never agreed to be part of the alliance, saying “AfICTA was part of a grand plan to reposition Africa in the global ICT ecosystem just as my colleagues and I, had the privilege to so reposition ITAN itself like never before.”

He emphasised the resolve to relinquish the role at WITSA, saying “I'm not being paid to be Vice-Chair 
of WITSA, it is a voluntary service for which I had the honour of doing Nigeria proud having pioneered Nigeria's membership in 2008. I'm very much disposed to relinguishing that role even though I'm hearing this from you. However, courtesy demands that she communicates with me on her decision which she did not.”

Olufuye further advised Mrs. Seriki’s leadership in ITAN to focus on how to make progress and take the association to the next level.

“I've served my term so I'm not in any competition. She would do the industry well if she concentrate on progress by building on what has been built rather than pulling what has been built down,” he counseled.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Breaking News! ITAN sacks Olufuye from WITSA board


Dr. Olufuye, former ITAN president
… Hosts Johnson to stakeholders’ dinner, harmonises with NCS
Mrs Seriki, ITAN current president
The last may not have been heard of the controversy between the immediate past leadership of the Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN) led by Dr. Jimson Olufuye and the current president, Mrs. Florence Seriki, which has led to Olufuye’s sack from the board of World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) as its vice chairman.

This is coming as ITAN’s National Executive Committee (NEC) rose from a meeting on at the weekend to distance ITAN from a newly formed African ICT Alliance (AFICTA) by Olufuye.

Also, the association has planned to host the Communications Technology minister, Mrs. Omobola Johnson to a stakeholders’ dinner on Friday, June 6, 2012.

These developments came as ITAN members would now have mandatory registration with the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), while retaining their corporate membership of ITAN.

The new National Executive Council (NEC) of ITAN led by Mrs. Florence Seriki made these disclosures at the weekend, says the Minister would be hosted at an event tagged ‘Roundtable Meeting and Dinner’ at Golden Gate, Ikoyi-Lagos.

According to Mrs. Seriki in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, the event would deliberate on all IT critical issues with key government officials as they effect the sector.

She also said, the event is heralds efforts to clean up ITAN and work with other professional groups to advance the cause of the industry.

Seriki said, ITAN has formally harmonized as an industry group with the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and the remaining IT industry stakeholders, stressing that the harmonization represents a major lift for IT practitioners and ends over a decade strictures between ITAN, NCS and Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON).

“This will enable the entire industry to speak with one voice from now,” she said.

Seriki explained that the harmonization is the outcome of the work of a ‘Special Committee on Harmonisation’ comprising of the Presidents of NCS, ITAN, ISPON and CPN; where the decision to harmonize the workings of these organisations were passed and approved.

“All the recommendations of this Committee to harmonise the industry was adopted and passed. Henceforth all IT practitioners in the industry will register with NCS as individual members. Whilst they register their companies with any of the industrial groups like ITAN, ISPON among others,” she said.
ITAN notes that the industry would definitely speak as one voice as all the representatives of each industrial group will be at the NEC of NCS and College of Fellows.

“Issues relating to hardware will henceforth be referred to ITAN while issues relating to software be referred to ISPON and etcetera,” she said, adding that by implication, only companies duly registered with one of the industrial groups within the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and with its Chief Executive Officer and one key staff being individual members of the NCS could apply for tenders issued by federal, state, corporate organisations and parastatals.

ITAN NEC also announces the relieve of its immediate past president, Dr. Jimson Olufuye of his position as ITAN’s representative on the board of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) in a move designed to reposition ITAN, restore accountability and transparency.

ITAN will therefore be represented on the WITSA's board by Mrs. Seriki or any of her representatives in her capacity as ITAN’s president.

“Olufuye ceases to represent ITAN on the WITSA board with immediate effect and before the completion of his tenure by October 2012, Also, the removal of its Chief Executive Officer, Mr  Olu Joseph was also announced as his new position had been earlier circulated,” the NEC stated in the press statement.

The new ITAN leadership, which has since clarified that the ‘Association’ is a Limited Liability organisation by guarantee, is not bound by any constitution but by the Association Memo and Articles.
This ends controversies stirred by its former executives that ITAN is an association bound to a constitution.

The new executive has since rectified and obtained the new certificate of Incorporation, C02, C07, from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registry.   

Further, ITAN president noted that the raging controversy over accountability and allegations of illegal bank withdrawal relating to the immediate past president, Dr. Olufuye, she responded that the new NEC had subjected the last three years to a re-audit by a new auditor and the issue of illegal withdrawal by Dr Olufuye even after he ceased to be ITAN’s president were “issues already under investigation.”

“We have a new ITAN in place that is able to fully represent the aspirations of its members, reflect the needs of the industry and operates on open and transparent bases,” said ITAN’s President Mrs. Seriki.

Dr. Olufuye was Vice Chairman of the WITSA before his removal by ITAN’s new leadership. He sat on the board of WITSA in his capacity as the president of ITAN. The WITSA is a consortium of associations from the information technology (IT) industry around the world and it represents over 90 per cent of the world IT market, and has a stated goal of advancing the growth and development of the IT industry.
In a similar vein, ITAN has dissociated itself from the African ICT Alliance (AFICTA) formed by Olufuye and presumed to be part of ITAN.

“ITAN would not be part of the newly formed African ICT Alliance (AFICTA) formed by Olufuye,” Seriki said, emphasising that ITAN never approved its participation with this African ICT Alliance group formed by Olufuye and had never given any approval to any of his activities in this regard.

She added that the appointment of Mr. Tola Sogbesan by Dr. Olufuye was never approved by the Board nor ever brought to the notice of the President and therefore this appointment be withdrawn with immediate effect.

“That all past act of Dr Olufuye to act without board approval and with no regard or respect to the current President should stop as subsequent reports would warrant the Board to take more drastic action,” Seriki said.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Friday, June 29, 2012

Meet Stephen, winner of DSA Students’ Essay contest 2012

Stephen Ekene Aguegboh, winner of DSA Student Essay Contest'12
Aguegboh, Stephen Ekene, the winner of the first-ever Nigeria DigitalSENSE Africa Media Students’ Essay Contest 2012 was born in Gusau Zamfara State, a devout Christian imbued with true greatness wrapped in simplicity and a strong, unshakable faith in the will of God.
He has strong analytical and communication skills and a good background knowledge of Microsoft Word, Access, excel and Desktop Publishing. His hobbies are reading, travelling and surfing the Internet. Stephen is fluent in Igbo and Hausa languages and slightly understands the Yoruba language.
Stephen completed his primary school education at Ideal Nursery and Primary School, Gusau Zamfara State in 1997; where he emerged the top in his class and the West African School Certificate (W.A.S.C.) in 2003.
In 2006, he secured admission into The Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda where he graduated with a National Diploma in Accountancy (Distinction) and was the top in his class. Afterwards, he did internship at Intercontinental Bank, now Access Bank, Gusau Branch, Zamfara State.
He is presently an final year undergraduate in the Department of Economic, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.
As an undergraduate, he has held so many leadership positions including Representative, Student Union Government, the Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State; President, and Investment and Motivation Club, The Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State.
In 2011, Stephen became the Secretary, Nigerian Economics Students Association (NESA), Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, before assuming office as Editor-In-Chief/President, Economics Press Association (ECOPRESS), Department of Economics, UNN.
Also, in 2011 he directed affairs at Research and Academic Planning (DRAP), Policy Analysis and Research Group (PARG), Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.
2011 – President, Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Nigeria, University of Nigeria, Nsukka Chapter, Enugu State.
Additionally, he has some awards in his shelf comprising the SIFE Team UNN Man of the Year 2011, Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Nigeria; 2011 Best Paper Presenter, Policy Analysis and Research Group (PARG), Department of Economics; and Essayist of the Year, Policy Analysis and Research Group (PARG), Department of Economics,  all of UNN Nsukka Chapter, Enugu State, respectively.
While 2010, Stephen won the National Winner as the 1st runner up, the African Institute of Business Simulation (AIBS) maiden ideas show contest; 2009 saw him repeating same feat, this time on AIBS’s Innovative Brains Competition.
Stephen is the 2006 national winner, the Nigeria Stock Exchange 7th Annual National Essay Competition for Tertiary Institutions; just as in 2003, he won the State Cowbell Annual Secondary School Mathematics Competition.
 
Our Reporters
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Refugees United, Ericsson reconnect 135,000 on mobile platform


In continuation of the effort to raise awareness about the role that technology plays for underserved refugee populations, Ericsson and mobile operators supports of the United National Humanitarian and Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Refugees United in their cause to help refugees find missing family members and loved ones.

A press statement from Ericsson showed that with 43 million people forcibly displaced around the world, family separation due to war, famine and natural disasters remains an enormous challenge.
He said, thousands of families are struggling to find their missing loved ones with whom they have lost contact.   

UNHCR in its annual report on the trends in forced displacement citing a record of 80,000 people forced to flee across borders. ”2011 saw suffering on an epic scape. For so many lives to have been thrown into turmoil over so short a space of time means enormous personal cost for all who were affected,” said António Guterres, the UNHCR Chief and High Commissioner for Refugees.

At the Rio+Social event in June, Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, António Guterres UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Christopher Mikkelsen, co-founder of Refugees United, addressed a largely social media oriented audience about the plight of refugees, and asked the audience to use their collective force to spread the word about the refugee cause, and the Refugees United online family tracing service.

Today, the Refugees United family tracing service is available via web, WAP and Android applications to serve refugees with low-end handsets and lower speed connectivity as well as refugees residing in countries with a larger proportion of smart phones. 

DigitalSENSE News gathered that Refugees United and Ericsson have reached and exceed the challenging joint target of 120,000 refugees registered on the database within 2012 as the service is spreading and 800 new users are added every week.

Additionally, they said that Vodafone Egypt supports the cause, stressing that the spread and effectiveness of the tool is proven by a recent reconnection case were two Somali brothers in two different parts of the world found each other via the Refugees United platform after only 2 months of search supported by Kenya Red Cross.

According to the press statement, brothers fled an Al-Shabaab militia attack in 1998 and didn’t see each other since. The younger of the brothers, then 7 years old, travelled to Kenya while his older brother fled to Pakistan, from which he was resettled to the US.

Refugees United ambassador and award-winning actor Mads Mikkelsen says: “Family has always been very important to me, and being a father of two myself, I simply cannot imagine the hardships that these brothers must have gone through.

Separated from each other and the rest of their family when they were 7 and 13-years-old, just a few years younger than my kids are now, is just unbearable – and, at the same time, the reality for thousands and thousands of refugee families. Refugees United and partners are using technology to solve a pressing problem related to family – something that we can all relate to”.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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