His name resonates in the ICT sector with deafening precision.His words are almost law in the sector; little wonder he is called the
In over 50 years, he has led a revolution that brought positive developments in the Nigerian ICT sector, having led several Nigerian ICT groups, including the
But just recently, the
The encounter was very engaging as the veteran spoke on a number of industry issues, including slow pace of integrating IT in governance, his pioneering role in IT policy and why
I was born and raised in
My father had two wives, and raised 14 children; all, living in competitive harmony due to the humility and discipline inculcated into us by our father.
For the family, education was mandatory. And in the good old
As a child you dream of being many things but reality is that everybody has a hidden destiny that would unfold someday, in most cases, outside his dreams. Interestingly, I wanted to become a Pilot. I love the sky and still do today. I always think the sky holds the key to the puzzle of the future of humanity and still do. The sky is and remains a mystery in itself and the twinkling little stars makes the unknown the more interesting to explore. It is perhaps the crystal ball of human innovation, creativity, productivity and development - all in one.
Being a Pilot in those days, makes you set sail for
Foray into IT profession
After my secondary school education at
That was another directional life-wind at that time. My plan at that time was to get to
However I later tried to enrol in an Aviation school in
Meanwhile, this was also when
Experience in computer field
I spentnine eventful years, engaging the
Between, 1975-1980, I graduated as Systems Analyst from
Role in National IT Policy.
My background experience, working for Deutsche Fachfalag in Eschborn,
But above all, it was another dreamy and passionate adventure when I was challenged to lead the
Having written and published a paper titled The need for a National Informational Technology Policy for
As ITAN President, in 1999,I hosted the 1st
Low adoption rate of e-government
Let me say that there has been a wide disconnect between Government, Academia and the Industry with respect to IT. The only time this gulf was abridged a bit was in 1999 when Chief Ebitimi Banigo was Minister of Science and Technology. Government was alive, at home and up to its responsibility to the nation.
Banigo was from the private sector and the rare light in the tunnel. Indeed, I can state without any fear of contradiction that he was the bedrock of Nigeria IT revolution. He was the National IT development engine room that set
Many Governments all over the world have been slow to catching-up with the IT evolution and revolution. And every country has reacted differently on how it should engage the challenging impact, due to the fact that it was and is still a relatively new technology.
Those who saw the light early were able to articulate strategies and policies that have worked for them. Other nations such as ours preferred to consume rather than innovate and create! Many factors led to the above confusion: First, the science and Technology Culture is not well rooted in the background of the late comer countries. Secondly, their investment profiles in Research and Development is either very low or non-existent.
Thirdly, the intellectual culture of merit capacity and knowledge processes are deeply beclouded and flawed by political consideration, ethnicity, nepotism and corruption - throwing up light-weights and leaving smart minds behind)at many levels of IT knowledge engagement and functionality.
However, credit should be given to the government of former President
Now, the new Ministry
In all sincerity, the new ministry of Communications Technology has done well and by all standards the lady, in charge of the ministry, should be commended. She engages the IT Professionals, Industry and Stakeholders as best as she can and this has help to some of her land mark achievements.
However, the same cannot be said of the nation. No doubt, our ICT Ecosystem has grown over the years, but it has not developed.We are still predominantly an ICT Consumer Nation.
This is sad and a bad omen for
What the government doesn't seem to understand is that software is the nearest thing to magic that mankind has invented. It's pure thought stuff, means that it enables ingenious or gifted people to create wonderful things out of thin air.
All you need to change the world is imagination, programming ability and access to a cheap PC.
Why I conceptualized NCS's Women in Technology
First, I am extremely proud and happy to be the father of three Princesses who can engage and have significantly demonstrated the ability and capability to engage the world and succeeded on their own by exploring Information Technology. Yes, I pioneered and promoted the concept of Women in IT as a Council Member of the
It was designed as a fundamental concept to accelerate technology development process, with central focus on the intervention and affirmative action for empowering women to excel in mastering Information Technology skills, application, and support services. Today, relevant studies have shown that this is a logical, economic and cost-effective model for leapfrogging and diffusing IT process delivery, especially for the developing countries. Indeed, it has become a common knowledge that women involvement in IT activities is central to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
50 years in active ICT practice
For the records, I have cumulatively given 50 significant and extremely productive years of IT service delivery to the Nation, and I thank God for his mercies.
I wouldn't say whether that's an unbeaten record. But the right judges are posterity and the stakeholder community. I served the
My book - e-Knowledge: Time is running Out!
Oh! That was part of my endless passion for IT in digital expression. It was a wake-up call to
Some of my fears in the book have started to emerge, going by the revelation of Wikileaks'
Unless we take the bull by the horn now, to prepare a strong IT foundation for the survivability of our digital natives, global competitiveness will remain a mirage.
Can you give the industry more 50 years?
For now, I will love to go on holiday, have a good rest and after a while, put on my thinking cap. But count me in, on the emerging Mobile Technology race.
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