Minister of Communications Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson, are among leading Nigerian women in the Information Technology (IT) industry that received the ICT Centenary Award in Abuja last week. Other awardees include the Group Managing Director of Omatek Ventures Plc, Mrs Florence Seriki; Managing Director of Mainone Limited, Ms Funke Opeke and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Ibukun Odusote. The event, organised by the ICT Media Initiatives, was used to mark Nigeria’s centenary celebration, which began earlier this year.
Speaking at the forum, Chairman of the ICT Media Initiative, Mr Aaron Ukodie, noted that the event became necessary because while several Nigerians got accolades and while several sectors of the economy rolled out drums to celebrate their contributions to the Nigerian state, there was no significant mention of the ICT sector’s contributions to the country and the economy.
Ukodie stressed that individuals, corporates and institutions that had contributed, in no small measures, to the development of ICT sector, as the biggest contributor to Nigeria’s global recognition, were the focus of last week’s awards in order to motivate them for greater contributions to the country’s economic growth. He noted that in the last 15 years, the most significant and valued sector of the economy, in terms of value creation at the micro and macro aggregation to the Nigerian economy, has been the ICT sector.
According to him, “apart from President Jonathan who through pro-active policy initiatives on the national broadband plan, the cyber-security national strategy and plan, as well as micro and macroeconomic policies that have sustained the growth in the telecoms sector, and increased Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) inflow, other Nigerians, including these women have also invested creatively in the sector to compliment the efforts of the Nigerian government.”
Ukodie stated that the ICT sector had made significant impact on the lives of the urban and rural dwellers as well as the industries and the farming population. 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.
The event, drawn on substantial goodwill and supports from the private and public sectors including the Nigerian Communications Commission, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigerian Satellite Communications Limited (NIGCOMSAT Limited) the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Other individuals, who were at the event include the immediate past Executive Vice Chairman of NCC and Chairman of OpenMedia, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe; Managing Director of Comuter Warehouse Group, Mr Austin Okere; Chairman of Zinox Computers, Mr Leo Stan Ekeh; Managing Director of SystemsSpecs, Mr John Obaro, and Florence Seriki of Omatek.