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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Jonathan, Johnson, NCC, GalaxyBB, others bag ICT Centenary Awards



President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and other prominent Nigerians who have contributed in upping the ante of the ICT industry as the greatest driver of the Nigerian economy, within the century, have been rewarded with garlands of honour, at the first ever ICT Centenary Conference and Awards, which held at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, reports ITRealms.

At the event which drew participation from top industry administrators, operators, regulators, and enthusiasts, the President was honoured with a trophy as the “Grand Commander of ICT promoter” at the event organised by the ICT Media Initiative. The award was received on behalf of the President by the Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson.

Other awardees included the Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. (Mrs) Omobola Johnson took away the trophy as the “Premier ICT Officer of the Federation” and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission was honoured as “The Consolidator” of the growth in the Nigerian telecom ecosystem as well as Galaxy Backbone with the award for promoting whole-of-Government approach in Information Age.

Equally, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union, an agency of the United Nations (UN) responsible for ICT, Dr. Hammadoun Toure was decorated with “Africa’s ICT Ambassador.”

On the night of glitz, colour, music and cultural dances, spiced with integrated Africanese, the chairman of OpenMedia and former EVC NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe was also decorated with “The Pathfinder” award for setting the pace for the revolution in the Nigerian ICT ecosystem. Others similarly honoured were: The Group Chairman of Zinox Group, Mr. Leo-stan Ekeh, “The ICT Visioner”, Chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga “The Grand ICT Investor”, and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for using ICT to transform agribusiness in Nigeria. Also on the honours list were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Ibukun Abimbola Odusote - “The Nigeria Internet Amazon”; the founder and CEO of the CWG Plc, Mr. Austin Okere; CEO of MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke; Managing Director, Edo State Information Communications and Technology Agency (ICTA), Mrs Olayemi Wonuola Keri, and the founder of Visafone, Mr  Jim Ovia were also honoured.


Also brought to the podium for honours were the CEO of Teledom Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem who was also former President of both ATCON and the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG). He alongside Chris Uwaje who also led several industry  fraternal bodies such as ITAN, NCS, Computer Professionals Registration Council and the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) were both decorated as “The ICT Evangelists” for the their advocacy roles in the industry.  Three state governors; Chief Willie Obiano (Anambra State), Comrade Adams Oshiomole (Edo State) and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (State of Osun) were also decorated for their roles in lifting ICT usage in their states. Corporate organisations honoured included MTN, NCC, NITDA, NIGCOMSAT, Galaxy Backbone, NIMC, CNSSLCCL, Systemspecs and Remita.


Dr. Toure who gave the keynote address focussed on the theme: ICT in the Nigerian Centenary: Matching towards a Connected Nigeria, noted that ICT has become an inseparable tool for individual and corporate existence in the increasingly connected world. He commended the Nigerian government for the purposeful pursuit of the broadband initiative and strategic action plan. The chairman of ICT Media Initiative, the organisers of the event, Mr. Aaron Ukodie said that President Jonathan led by example in the usage of ICT for governance and citizens interactions to justify the prestigious award in his honour. 


Besides the global accolades, he noted that in President Jonathan’s first term in office, “Nigeria’s e-government rating by the United Nation improved tremendously, moving 21 points, from 162 in 2012 to 141 in 2014 out of 193 countries rated in the recent UN Global e-Government Development Index for 2014. Nigeria’s e-Participation index has also improved by 22 points, ranking 97, up from 75 in 2012. Under his watch the National Identity Management Scheme has taken off. This was a project that past presidents were unable to deliver. It is for these achievements and many others not captured here that we have decided to award the president the Grand Commander of ICT Promoters.”

While also commending Dr Johnson of deserving the award as the Premier ICT Officer of the Federation, Mr. Ukodie commended her for carrying out several innovative strategies, action plans and policies that are unparalleled in Nigeria. 


“She has identified the need for increase in rural telephone penetration in her digital inclusion policy; development of incubation centres; new Right of Way guidelines; launch of student PC ownership scheme; drive for local content among others as some of her major focus in the ICT industry. Under her watch Nigeria’s ICT growth indices are on a constant rise,” he noted

Mr Ukodie also stressed that individuals, corporates and institutions deserved the honours because they contributed in no small measures to the evolvement of the ICT sector as the biggest contributor to Nigeria’s global recognition are the focus of these awards in order to motivate them for greater contributions to the growth of the nation.


Further speaking on the essence of the conference and awards, Mr. Ukodie said that the ICT sector has made significant impact on the lives of the urban and rural dwellers as well as the industries and the farming population. Specifically, he said that efficiency matrix in Nigeria had recorded positive strides because of the contributions of the ICT to the lives of the individuals, government machineries and the processes and procedures in the private sector.


He said that ICT Media Initiative is a synergy across three entrepreneurial media groups namely the ICT Publishers Alliance (ICTPA) – comprising leading ICT publications; Business and TechnologyNews Publishers Foundation (BTPF) - made up of foremost business and technology publishers, editors and very senior news managers across Nigeria; and Nigeria ICT Broadcast Network (NIBN).


+Remmy Nweke @ITRealms
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Pix: Dr Ndukwe presenting the Grand Commander of ICT Promoters award to President Jonathan represented by Mrs. Johnson.

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