" ITREALMS: IT’ll make difference in poverty reduction – Gov. Ohakim

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

IT’ll make difference in poverty reduction – Gov. Ohakim

The Imo State governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has declared that the evolution of Information Technology (IT), would make the difference in the bid to reduce poverty in any country.

Chief Ohakim, who spoke at the on-going 21st international conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) holding at the Imo Concorde Hotel, Owerri, Imo State, with the theme on "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria: IT strategies and tools.”

The governor said that the conference is coming at a time when Nigeria and her people are putting everything in place to ensure that the country benefits from the global strategy for reducing poverty by the year 2015 as stipulated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“As the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa, the issue of poverty is one Nigeria can no longer afford to pay lip service to,” he said.

Gov. Ohakim stressed that while the nation strives through local efforts to reduce poverty in the land, he strongly expressed believe that Nigeria must link with the rest of the world in the strategic agenda.

“This is because poverty itself is not only a universal phenomenon but its contagious,” he said, noting that those rich nations cannot really claim to be rich in the face of pervasive poverty among more than 80 per cent of the world’s population.

Gov. Ohakim emphasised that with the modern breakthroughs in Information Technology, he strongly belief it would make the difference.

“As I have always said, the difference between wealth and poverty is information,” he said, adding that given giant strides in IT so far, “there is a growing optimism that mankind is getting closer to the universal objective of reducing poverty to its barest minimum.”

He, therefore charged NCS to keep up in playing a very critical role in this regard, observing that Computers are the main tools in IT, which itself, is the key driver for the economic growth and national prosperity.

Hence, he was not surprised that NCS member companies have made positive impact on the development of computer hardware and software as well as capacity and diffusion in the country.

“I am glad to note that your members now produce branded Personal Computers (PCs) that compare in standard and quality with internationally popular brands. We now have local brands like Zinox, Omatek, Speedstar, Brian etc that can match internationally brands like HP, IBM, Dell to mention a few,” he asserted.

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