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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ajayi dedicates NITTA prize to Internet Community

President of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Mr. Lanre Ajayi, has dedicated his recent prize as the Nigeria Information Technology and Telecom Awards (NITTA-07) Information Technology (IT) Personality of the Year, to the nation’s Internet community.

Speaking after receiving the award in recently Lagos, Mr. Ajayi who also is the chief executive, PiNet Informatics, said that apart from God, he dedicates the prize to the nation’s increasing Internet community.

According to him, the dedication is vital to encourage those who have chosen to deploy and utilise the Internet for positive development of “our dear nation.”

It would be recalled that the prize came following his leadership skill displayed as the president of NIG in the past two years, especially in setting up the Internet-for-Job (I4J) Initiative, which is currently gathering momentum among stakeholders, even as it has garnered unprecedented support from corporate organisations as a means of transforming the teeming unemployed Nigerians, mostly the youth.

His citation read at the presentation ceremony held at the MUSON Centre Onikan Lagos and presided over by the immediate past Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade, informed that as NIG president, Mr. Ajayi as an astute has so much going for him.

“In two years of his tenure as President of the NIG he has accomplished more than any of his predecessors; however, for those who know him, it is not coming as a surprise. He co-founded the NIG in 1995,” the organisers said.

They also posited that because Mr. Ajayi was deeply concerned with the use Nigerian youths have put the Internet, came up with the idea of Internet-for-Jobs (I4J) initiative, aimed at promoting the Internet as a platform for job creation.

Ajayi, NITTA further said, carried this passion into every other thing he is involved in and cited an instance with his 11-year contributions while working in the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL).

“As a core member of NITEL’s Research and Development team, he is associated with a number of designs and devices, which became the first set of patents held by NITEL,” the citation read in part.

Some of these included as a designer of the External Line Plant Monitoring Device (the anti-cable theft device), which was a response to the national menace of vandalisation of telecommunication cables; member of the team that developed a Nigerian Digital Exchange (the Eagle project) at a laboratory in the world famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States of America in 1990.

As a consultant to the Foundation for Environment and Education in Nigeria (FEDEN), an NGO funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, he set up one of the first Internet hosts in Nigeria in 1992, yet without loosing sight of his PiNet Informatics as one of the first Internet Service Providers on the continent.

Equally, Mr. Ajayi was noted for his efforts in fighting the rising trend of spam mails in Africa, contained in a paper recently published and commissioned by Africa ISP Association (AfrISPA) tagged: “Towards a Spam free Africa Internet community,” even as he took this campaign to the two-phased World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and was able to address some stakeholders at the Tunis phase including some chief executives of the telecommunication regulators around world.

Elected as president of NIG after serving as vice president to his successor, at the last quarter of 2005, Mr. Ajayi is known as outspoken professional, especially on issues of ICT and Internet specifically.

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