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Monday, April 18, 2011

Ilukwe bags WASUP IT Man of the year award

Chief executive officer, Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe, has been honoured with the West African Students Union Parliament (WASUP) IT Man of the Year 2010/2011.

Speaker of WASUP, Chikong M. Chikong who presented the award to Mr. Ilukwe recently in Abuja, said that Galaxy Backbone has shown commitment to uplift the quality of Information Technology (IT) education in Nigeria.

This, he noted, was being done through the unflinching support of the Federal Government owned IT company, through Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) programme at the tertiary education level.

The Ghana-born speaker also said that WASUP ratified the nomination of Mr. Ilukwe, as the winner of its IT Man of the Year 2010/2011 award at her annual parliamentary session held at Legon University, Ghana last December.

WASUP Country Co-ordinator for Nigeria, Nse Victor Udoh, noted that the body is an organization that was established in 1920s by West African students “who felt that the welfare of students schooling in America and Europe was not as good as those of the students of American or European origin.”

The union, he said, also serves as an advocacy group for the advancement of the welfare of students schooling outside the shores of West Africa.

“As reality would have it, it was time for nationality to take root, after the Second World War and the students (who constituted members of the intelligentsia community as at that time) played a very big role, as a matter of fact, and their cardinal focus became the attainment of political independence for West Africa,” he asserted.

He underscored the fact that it is on this premise that people like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Herbert Macaulay and the rest of them cannot be forgotten for their ceaseless efforts to attain independence for the sub-region and thus, the West African Student Union Parliament at large.

“The focus post independence has shifted to the desire to have access to the qualitative and quantitative education for all the West African children, the desire to ensure that those entrusted with the responsibility to manage the resources of Society and State, do so appropriately,” he said.

Stressing that WASUP also advocates for social justice, while rewarding and recognizing those who have done well.

Udoh further commended the management of Galaxy Backbone led by Ilukwe for not digressing from its primary mandate of building Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure for the Nigerian government and for the Nigerian people and especially for the fact that the firm accommodated students on their industrial attachment programme.

This, he said, offers students’ access to practical ICT knowledge beyond the classroom theories especially the acceptance and training of students on industrial attachment programme.

“We want to say congratulations as WASUP IT Man of the Year 2010/2011 and to thank you and urge you not to rest on your oars” he said.

Responding, Ilukwe expressed thanks to WASUP leadership for the award, saying “at meeting these gentlemen and learning about West African Student Union Parliament. One of the things that excite me about this is that I myself am very passionate about Africa. I made a conscious career decision, about six years ago in my previous place of work that Africa has a lot of opportunities and challenges to offer anybody who wishes to build a career in this continent.”

According to Ilukwe, a lot of Africans like Thambo Mbeki, believe in the potential of Africa, hence he enjoined the WASUP team to continue to uphold the history and heritage of the WASUP as envisioned by its founders.

“Your actions today would inform the actions of WASUP in 20 years time, just as the decisions, and actions myself and colleagues here take today would also impact on the future workforce of Galaxy Backbone in the years to come. You must always remember that whatever you do today would impact someone tomorrow, whatever role or position you find yourself in” he advised.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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