Information Technology‌ ‌in‌ ‌Nigeria:‌ ‌The‌ ‌journey‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌thousand‌ ‌future‌ ‌IV‌ – Chris Uwaje‌ ‌

Information Technology‌ ‌in‌ ‌Nigeria:‌ ‌The‌ ‌journey‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌thousand‌ ‌future‌ ‌IV‌ – Chris Uwaje‌  ‌

Part IV of this dialogue is perhaps an attempt to intentionally fold up, rather than conclude this conversation on the journey of a thousand future of Information Technology in Nigeria.

 

 

Intentionally, because, history has many curves and meanders into several other parts – with some leftovers. Therefore, this work is an attempt to prompt ICT stakeholders on the necessity for leaving a historical legacy; by assembling the substantial building blocks of how we got to our present IT-state of being; as well as the need to chronicle it with lessons learned. 

 

 

One significant part deserving detailed inclusion is the task of “the Information Technology Harmonization Committee” set up in 2000 by the existing IT stakeholder bodies and assigned with the task to harmonize various issues confronting the IT ecosystem in those days. Specifically, this mission critical assignment on the Nigeria Information Technology Industry Harmonisation Committee was chaired by Dr. I.A Odeyemi. The Sub-Committee code-named “Building Bridges” had Chief Olaide Ayodele as Convener and Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu serving as Committee Secretary. Indeed, the Nigeria Information Technology ecosystem received an enviable lifeline for progress.  

 

 

Building Bridges succeeded in bringing to the table; and also signing off a harmonious agreement between COAN, ITAN, ISPON and ISPAN. This was achieved on June 20th 2022 in Abuja. This date became known as the actual date for the establishment of the converged Information Technology bodies in Nigeria; which came to be called Nigeria Computer Society (NCS). 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, history should be kind to the following members who enabled the actualisation of NCS. They include Dr. Isaac A. Odeyemi, Chief. A.O Ayedele, Engr, Simeon. C. Agu and Engr. Mrs. Ogunsola.

 

 

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Others are Mr. Ojinta Oji-Alala, Chief E.Amana, Mr. Chris Uwaje, Mr. Sam Juwe, Dr. GMM Obi, Dr. Chris Nwannena. Also key was Dr. Nike Osofisan, Mr. Pius Okigbo, Mr. John Tani Obaro, Mr. E. O Aghanenu; as well as Mr. (Now) Dr. Jimson Olufuye, Mr. Tunde Ezichi (formally Tunde Njoku) and Olorogun James Emadoye; amongst others too numerous to mention. 

 

 

Therefore, my hope is an appeal to our colleagues in the Tech Domain to continue with the narratives; filling the missing links, with intent to hand over the baton to Generations Next. Fact is the journey in this playbook continues and cannot be forced to halt. The digital storm raves on – carrying; guiding; polishing; and also disrupting everything on its path. Indeed, this journey is infinite!

 

Information‌ ‌Technology‌

 

Meanwhile, as the narrative goes, there was another bang in the tale of the unexpected. No sooner than the national Information Technology Policy Formulation and Drafting Committee was expected to be announced and inaugurated; HM Ebitimi Banigo honourably resigned as the Minister of Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. Subsequently, Prof. Ison replaced him as the new HM Minister of Science and Technology; and ran forward with the National IT Policy Mission. 

 

 

Prof. Isoun came on board with an extraordinary passion and love for Science and Technology. Working with him was, to state the least, an awesome experience. A man of few words and leader of constructive actions wrapped in time consciousness. The National IT Policy Formulation and Drafting Committee was set up and inaugurated in February, 2000. Members are: Prof. Olalere Ajayi (AOU Ife – as Chairman); Christopher Uwaje, (Project Lead, President ITAN); Alhaji Abdul-Ajijola (Member); Alexy Von-Raldolf (Secretary) and Dr. Ogunbambi, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology – (as Coordinator). 

 

 

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Applying inclusive strategy, several stakeholder committees were established. They include the Computer Association of Nigeria (COAN); Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN); Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) as well as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

 

 

This was achieved through consultations with the following: Kura Kaigama (Ex-Perm Sec, FMST); Mr. A. Babangida (CBN); Alhaji Tukur Ahmed (Director of Technology Acquisition and Assessment (FMST); Dr. John Nwaiwu (NITEL); Chief J.B. Kpina (Federal Ministry of Industry); Engineer K. Nwanze (NNPC); Mr. Ifeanyin Ugochukwu (FAAN); Engr. Akin Sawyer (NIPC), NTA & Public Media Advocacy Group, as well as others. 

 

 

But it is significant to emphasize that there was no sitting allowance for the Committee. Also, Lead Chair had no PC! In fact, the only two laptops available were: – my laptop and also that of the Secretary! The Committee met weekly at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. I had to drive the 160-plus Kilometres from Lagos to and Ife as applicable. Those days, our Federal and State Highways we great sights to behold and security was also very commendable.  This work established what was then known as NITDU (National Information Technology Development Unit under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology). 

 

 

NITDU metamorphosed into what is today known as “National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in 2001. Consequently, it was enacted into law as NITDA ACT 2007.  It is important to acknowledge that the Nigeria IT Development Policy document was the topmost forerunner of its type in Africa at that time; which was later adopted, modified as well as adapted by other African countries; many of whom today, have overtaken Nigeria in global ICT development index status! 

 

 

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At this juncture, let me thank all those who believed in the National IT Policy initiative – especially; but not limited to the following: Late Engineer Simeon Chijioke Agu (Co-Founder Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria – ISPON); Alhaji Ladi Ogunneye and Professor Charles Onuwa Uwadia – both past Presidents of Nigeria Computer Society.

 

 

 

Also, Mr. John Tani Obaro (Founder Systemspec Ltd and Remita); Dr. Davis Mirilla and Dr. Jimson Olufuye (past Presidents, Information Technology Industry Association of Nigeria – ITAN); late Prof. Olalere Ajayi (Pioneer DG. NITDA); Jim Ovia – Chairman, Zenith Bank, an extremely passionate IT innovator and technopreneur; Prof. Patrick Okedinachi Onuwa (Founder of CVL); Uncle Sam Amuka; Pius Okigbo Jr.; Chineye Mba-Uzoukwu; Mr. Olayinka Edu; Tayo Adeniyi; Senator Wahab Dosunmu; as well as Mrs. Pauline Tallen.

 

 

Also worth mentioning are Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh, Mr. Ernest Aghanenu, Chief Olaide Oyodele, Alhaji Rasaq Jayeola – Past President ICAN; Engineer Paul Ironkwe, an IT Mastermind of the times; Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, Chris Anukam Founder/CEO Komputerize IT Ltd., Mrs. Karin Elhers-Uwaje (my darling wife, visionary supporter and Think-Tank Backbone); Engr. Aliyu Ahmed, Dr. David Tukura, Mrs. Moni Udoh, Mrs. U.E.Asormugha, Sonny Aragba-Akpore , Shina Badaru; as well as all the Media Groups, Mr. Steve Okonkwo, CEO of Broadway Computers; Mr. Kola Ogunlana, John Njokanma – Feyita Chair as well as others too numerous to mention.

 

 

 

 

WHY DO TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CONCEPTS FAIL IN NIGERIA?

 

Indeed, this cannot be acclaimed as an extraordinary question due to its everyday occurrence. Also, a few examples might help to justify the above question. First, some of the pitfalls include but not limited to: disconnected Data for evidence-based decision-making processes; low funding for education – especially, Science, Research and Technical/ Vocational Education, Environment and Youth Development; including visible neglect of Sociology, Sports, Art and Culture development.

 

 

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Secondly, Database mismatch in leadership and governance requirements which destroys the discovery and promotions of psychological content; as well as philosophy mechanisms for building a Merit-first society.

 

 

Indeed, many examples abound in the Tech-Ecosystem. For example, in December 2004, ‘The Nigeria Software Development Initiative (NSDI)’ dream passionately promoted by bold Nigerians; led by Jim Ovia – Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc., emerged from ground zero to rebuild the Nigeria IT Ecosystem; with strong Software foundation – from Ashes to Monuments. NSDI was focused and bold with a mission to create 5000 IT Start-ups companies at the location of the old Federal Secretariat, Ikoyi, Lagos.

 

 

Informed by existing documents; the Nigeria Software Development Initiative (NSDI) recognises past efforts of government in national IT development; particularly the commendable visions and missions enshrined in the National IT Policy. The NSDI initiative complements previous government and private sector initiatives. 

 

 

As far back as 17 years ago, the creative minds unveiled and informed us that; “The most perceived advantages of software development have been observed as: Creating employment opportunities; Accelerating industrial development; Improving administrative efficiency in government; Developing new industries and services; Enhancing trade and commerce opportunities. And that, with 2001 global revenue of US$182 billion or 14% of the global IT industry, and a projected growth rate of 11% in 2005; the software and services industry represents a potential market of over US$460 billion. It is significant that India’s efforts currently represent less than 2% of this value. The Nigerian Software Development Initiative is envisioned as a catalyst to drive Nigeria to capture 5% of the global market over the next five years”.

 

 

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Information Technology

Courtesy visit by members of the “Nigeria Software Development Initiative (NSDI)” – The Information Technology Software Industry Stakeholders from home and the Diaspora – to President Olusegun Obasajo (Center: dressed in Blue Agbada). Flanked to his right is Jim Ovia, (Chairman NSDI) and founder Zenith Bank Plc), and to his left by late Engr. Simon Chijioke Agu (Co-Founder/President Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria – ISPON and Founder/Chairman of Computer Systems Associates (CSA.) Delegates included Members of NCS, ITAN and Nigerian IT Professionals in Americas (NITPA). Presidential Villa, Abuja, 2006. 

 

 

Furthermore, the Nigeria Software Development Initiative (NSDI) envisioned as follows; In response to the Presidential directive that the private sector leads the way in the building of a local software development industry that would challenge the achievements recorded by countries like India in this field; the Nigerian Software Development Initiative (NSDI) was born. The initial working group is made up of the leading minds and companies in the fledging indigenous software development industry. 

 

 

 

‘‘Vision: Positioning Nigeria as the world’s leading nation where the indigenous software industry is the largest contributor to national wealth. 

 

 

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‘‘Our Mission: To champion the adoption and propagation of global standards in the development of the software industry and promote Software Nigeria as a world class brand. Objectives includes but not limited to the followings: To imbibe the culture of best practices in software development; Produce a labour force of software developers capable of producing software that meet international standards; Contribute to the advancement of software engineering research; Adequately feed the local user-community with indigenous software products and services; To accelerate the process of creating an enabling environment for the sustainable growth of the software industry; To ensure easy access to Nigerian software products, services; and skills in the international market.

 

 

To facilitate the aggregation of software companies to work collaboratively; facilitate linkages between Business and the Academia; To assist in marketing Nigerian products both within and outside Nigeria in the actualisation and protection of novel ideas as National Intellectual Property (IP).’’

 

 

Finally, it went further to solicit government efforts in the NSDI Key- Strategy and action Plans as follows; ‘‘Government is encouraged to create a Ministry for Software Development and appoint a Minister to focus the country’s effort in attaining our shared goals. Software is a specialised sector that requires special focus in order to achieve expected developmental objectives.

 

 

There is the urgent need to employ the services of an IT Manager and/or independent Consultants to undertake a base line study of the activities needing computerization to identify components of routine activity needing a software solution. Private sector shall be involved in the reform and revamping of the computer education curricula with the aim of producing 250,000 quality software professionals over the next ten years. This is against the expectation of graduating 25,000 computer science students annually.

 

 

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‘‘Inspiring Private and Public sector collaboration in establishing Software Engineering Institutes to develop new software professionals and improve the quality of existing ones. The institute shall serve as a hub for a proposed software park and technology incubator. Nigerian IT professionals in Diaspora, such as the US-based Nigeria Information Technology Practitioners in the America, NITPA and UK, should be encouraged to return on six-monthly teaching exchange programmes; and a scheme should also be introduced that regularly brings together Nigerian ICT experts abroad and the home-based practitioners for exchange of professional ideas.

 

 

The NSDI in collaboration with other well-meaning private sector players is set to sponsor high value and visibility software competitions to encourage interest in the adoption of software development as a career path by school leavers; Encouraging Government to lead the patronage drive by adopting software Nigeria in all cases except where there is no appropriate, alternative indigenous software.  The private sector through the NSDI is prepared to sponsor and pay for IT consultants within the Due Process Office to facilitate the proper implementation of the above strategy.

 

 

 

Information‌ ‌Technology

 

 

 

‘‘Government is expected to drive the private sector to patronize indigenous software by providing tax relief incentives to companies that buy and utilize software Nigeria. Government is expected to make a policy pronouncement restraining its agencies and parastatals, and private sector operators from the current practice of bringing in foreign trainers where competent local professionals exist to train their employees. NSDI recommends that 25% of SMIEIS funds be reserved for the development of the Nigerian software industry.

 

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Government is expected to promote and advertise Software Nigeria at every opportunity and in various fora, trade missions, and commercial departments of our missions abroad. As a matter of urgency, government and the private sector are to look into the deployment of a national information infrastructure through satellite-based broadband telecommunications technology that would cover the entire country. The patenting of Nigerian software and government protection of the intellectual property rights of Nigerian software developers through appropriate legislation must be pursued immediately, others.’’

 

 

In passionate pursuit of ensuring a strong foundation, equitable and sustainable growth for the Information Technology Ecosystem in Nigeria; the industry had the opportunity to discover an erudite scholar and Lawyer – Inye Kem Abonta. Specifically, he was engaged as personal assistant to Senator Dr. Dosunmu – Chairman Senate Committee for Science and Technology (2000). Equally important, Inye, (who preferred to be a Teacher) was silently instrumental to advancing numerous Institutional Framework Documents that powered the development and growth of IT at the national level. 

 

 

The purpose of the meet between Inye, Dr. Jimson Olufuye and was to request an audience with the distinguished Senator and submit the proposal for the development of a comprehensive information technology (IT) bill for the approval of the Nigerian National Assembly (comprising of the Senate and the House of Representatives) for enactment.

 

The broad objective was to establishment of a robust, responsive and dynamic framework to amongst others; Quickly accelerate IT penetration and diffusion in Nigeria for global competitiveness; To empower and provide meaningful support and encouragement the development of a viable indigenous IT industry that is capable of competing on the global stage; Provide meaningful support and encouragement for the development of a sound and sustainable IT capacity building in the educational system in Nigeria.

 

 

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To ensure national security and personal privacy on issues relating to the generation and use of electronic information and national database in Nigeria. 

 

 

Indeed, the fundamental goal was, to transform and position Nigeria into a modern IT powerhouse and center of excellence on the African continent, and in achieving this; to leapfrog (fast-track) her into a modern information and knowledge society. Lawyer Inye Kem-Abonta – the teacher has continued to stamp his footprints in the sand of time – from our original encounter at the National Assembly; to NeGSt, to Science and Technology, to NITDA where he served as Director of Standards, to his promotion of e-Transaction laws; support to African ICT Alliance (Aficta) and others. 

 

 

 

His addicted passion to contribute to Nigeria/Africa’s Digital transformation Agenda remains an amazing lifetime accomplishment. Meanwhile, the proposed bill submitted at that time was structured as a set of the following legislative Acts:

 

1. National IT Commission Establishment Act 7. National Internet Act
2. National Information Infrastructure (NIIA) Act 8. IT Venture Capital Development & Incentive Act
3. Nigeria Electronic Governance and Data Security Act 9. Digital Privacy Act 
4. National IT Indigenisation Act 10. Digital Signature Act
5. Government IT Procurement Act 11. Electronic Commerce, Transaction and Payment Act
6. IT in Education Empowerment Act  12. Children Online Privacy and Protection Act

The Promoters were: CPN, COAN, ITAN, ISPON (NCS) and NITPA (Nigerian IT Professionals in the Americas). 

 

 

 

With all intent and purposes, Nigeria is not a technology orphan. Humans are often measured and graded, based on the value of constructive and quality Data they possess and; above all, the robustness of the Database. But Nigeria is feverishly hunting for her great wealth in accumulated knowledge treasure sprinkled all over the universe.

 

 

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Nevertheless, the Data treasure amassed over many centuries have matured beyond our imagination and continues to radiate on the surface. 

 

 

But deep down, it remains the unmined quantum of critical knowledge beyond her reach. Whereas these intelligence and governance requirements are significant to unravel the mystery of the mass-treasure of great wealth; which continue to elude her. Can technology fix Nigeria and by extension, Africa? 

 

 

 

 

 

Pushing forward, against the background of concerns on instability and orchestrated crisis- prone scenarios; elusive forecasts on the future of IT-Nigerian nation calls for deep data analytic. Today, we are deeply challenged by the 21st Century-infested Science and Technology development agenda. However, while all hopes are not lost, it is pertinent to reboot our society and continent to a Data Economic Development. If Nigeria is an orphan of delayed patriotism and deliberate forgetfulness development (DfD) model; now is time for her rebirth – fathered by Science and Technology and Digital Innovation. 

 

 

 

Indeed, our goal as a nation of conscious people with dignity and audacity of hope in empathy, is to take responsibility and recognise technology as the most powerful tool for nation building and creation of wealth. The purpose is to ‘make Nigeria a smarter digital Platform; international destination and national centre for Science, Research, Technology, innovation and knowledge creation

 

 

 

Facts and science inform us that the current and emerging new world faced by the world from COVID-19 is overwhelming. And that, its values can only be meaningfully engaged and progressively accomplished, through constructive programming; as well as deployment and proper management of Brainband – which is propelled by Software dynamism. Insider view into our National Software Playbook dictates that the sector is grossly under-funded! 

 

 

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Brainband is the quantum assembly and convergence of our Information and technology development knowhow, powered by Software. Therefore, Nigeria must urgently understand and appreciate the significance of; and the need to create an extraordinary investment policy and strategy for her Brainband – Indigenous Software Industry. This disposition requires a formidable legislation and other responsive mechanisms to deliver the right institutional framework. Also, the convergence of critical knowledge workers into a development and economic value-chain has become a mandatory strategy to respond; actively participate and win the digital transformation battle in view of the COVID-19 challenges. 

 

 

This, amongst other significant lessons, should inform our core agenda for sustainable national development and wealth creation goals. The fire next time beyond Covid-19 dictates that it is important to note; and ensure that our Software (Brainband) Ecosystem is strategically funded. Due to its infinite opportunities; advantages; national security; as well as other immense potential benefits to create many millions of jobs and significantly reduce youth employment; we should be budgeting about $50billion USD over the next five years to retool our Brainband (Indigenous Software knowledge industry). 

 

 

The reassuring hope with multiplied audacity to conquer such challenges as Population Data; NIN Big-Data; INEC and e-Voting Data clusters; emerging e-education; e-transportation; Future of Work (FoW) and in particular, e-Government. We must immediately depart from the muscle economy; and reimagine a Data Economic Development Model.  

 

 

Available lessons reveal that the digital transformation ecosystem is reforming capacities into specialized skill domains. This is as a result of the accelerated build-up and concentration of critical global development information into Big Data; requiring specialised domain research knowledge and skills to harness; interpret; and deploy them into meaningful use. These obligations are further propelled by innovation; competition; and time-to-market conditions. 

 

 

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In conclusion, Government must recognise that this is the era of AI and Data Scientist. Therefore, ‘the failed strategy of chasing shadows and abandoning the focused investiture of instituting a National Software Strategy, Standard and Policy need a critical rethink. Also, Establishing Software Engineering Institutes (Private and PPP); Empowering the private sector to establish digital knowledge clusters with minimum 5000 capacities in each of the 36 States plus Abuja; Ensuring that IT Professionals are mandatorily guaranteed a seat in all the Boards of Federal, State and Local Governments. 

 

 

Nigeria must untangle her future from the claws of infested monopoly of proprietary Software plundering at full speed; without Antitrust regulations and balance her IP resources with defined Open-Source Software standards.

 

 

Technology: Another global meltdown and impact on Africa? - Chris Uwaje

 

 

 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA: A NATION AT RISK? 

 

Digitally speaking, can a nation become a digital colony? And is Nigeria a nation at risk within the context of ICT development forecast and her position at the global ICT status Index? There are many worrisome questions and audacious answers to comfort our readers and well-wishers. The IT journey of a thousand futures continues with a spider wave conjecture; as we pursue to illuminate the cloudy paths and rescue the anchorage on a stable ground. 

 

 

 

Today, looking back to yesterday, it can be said that our current state of ICT is not due to the lack of passion; knowledge and assured commitment to champion the digital destiny of our future by the preceding vision-bearers. The attestation of their preceding commitment is presented below from the archives. 

 

 

 

The Speech below by Prof. T. Isoun, is an attestation for the records. 

 

 

SPEECH DELIVERED ON 13TH APRIL 2004, BY PROFESSOR TURNER T. ISOUN, HON. MINISTER FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE FIRST MADE IN NIGERIA COMPUTER BY ZINOX TECHNOLOGIES VENUE: LE’MERIDIEN EKO HOTEL, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS. 

 

TITLE: “OUR COLLECTIVE VISION TO COMPUTERIZE NIGERIA”

 

PROTOCOL

 

‘It gives me great pleasure and honour to be with you at this very exclusive gathering of concerned Nigerians; in pursuit of perhaps one of the most ambitious ventures for the development of Science and Information Technology in our nation. With all humility, it is my candid belief that we are here today to collectively proclaim and present evidence – in the practical sense of the word – of our “vision to computerize Nigeria;” and indeed, the rest of Africa! 

 

 

I am particularly delighted and proud to reaffirm the declaration of President Olusegun Obasanjo on Information Technology and Biotechnology as national development priorities; recognizing them as two of the three key technological waves; currently driving socio-economic development worldwide.

Science and in particular, Information Technology today represents the foremost imperative for National development; making information perhaps the most critical economic resource for all aspects of development – from electronic governance to e-commerce; service industries to manufacturing; for economic as well as national security. We now live in an era of global markets and competition and the main technologies to create; manipulate; manage; and use information are of strategic importance in realizing our mission for quality education and innovation; accelerated economic development; creation of wealth and for prosperity.  

 

 

Reliable global Research and Development studies and Scientific Benchmarks have demonstrated that these technologies have helped developed economies to remain competitive and those in transition to earn potential capabilities for innovation and creativity; leapfrogging them into the domain for the creation of wealth. Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, lest we forget, globalization is another word for the “internationalization of trade and commerce” through the innovation; skilful application and use of technology. 

 

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This is why this Administration established and launched the National Policy for Information Technology early this year; with the vision “to make Nigeria an IT capable country in Africa; and a key player in the Information Society by the year 2005.” Government also established a Policy for Biotechnology; and updated the Science and Technology and Communication Policy framework to respond to the challenges of globalization. I am happy to confirm that the National Policy for Information Technology has started yielding the expected dividends as we are witnessing today. We need not search further for evidence! 

 

 

This is because the Policy focused on the private sector as the major driving force for the development of Information Technology. ZINOX has taken up this formidable challenge. Therefore, what ZINOX is unfolding today validates government’s policy objectives which among others are; To establish national Information Infrastructure and ensure that Information Technology resources are readily available to promote efficient national development.  To guarantee the development of highly skilled Human Resource and that the country benefits maximally and contributes meaningfully; by providing the global solutions to the challenges of the Information Age.  To empower Nigerians to participate in Software and IT development.  To encourage local production and manufacture of Computers and IT components, among others. 

 

 

Other nations have walked similar routes to progress and prosperity. The United States of America gave the world the Apple; Compaq; Dell; and IBM Computers; India gave the world ACL, South Africa contributed Mustek and today; Nigeria has come on board with ZINOX as a computer force to reckon with. All these translate into job creation; trade and commerce and creation of wealth.

 

 

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ZINOX, I am told, has gone to a great length and walked the tight rope of global technology certification process; involving very complex multidimensional negotiations; which is an exclusive preserve of multi-national entrepreneurs; to place Nigeria at par with the very best in the world. 

 

 

In these regards, the Federal government will support this laudable initiative of ZINOX Technologies; to further accelerate the process of actualizing our collective vision to computerize Nigeria. In concrete terms, computerizing Nigeria is indeed by extension; building a formidable foundation to support the development and sustainable growth of Science and Technology.

 

Nigeria, with a population of more than 120 million people represents the single largest concentrating of the Black race; and indeed the largest market in Africa. We have a responsibility not only to ourselves; but also to the world at large; to activate the technology market and contribute positively to the emerging Information Revolution. 

 

 

 

Technology: Another global meltdown and impact on Africa? - Chris Uwaje

 

 

 

We will require about five million computers in the next five years to realize the objective of educating 500,000 Scientists; Engineers and Information Technology Professionals by 2006. To succeed in this venture, we must change our attitude to the development of Science and Technology; by creating improved access and use of Information Technology tools such as the Computer. With ZINOX, we now have a great opportunity to re-event excellence in education; communication; health care and health care delivery; increased food productivity; urban planning and design; Research and Development and so on. 

 

 

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Reordering our priorities and refocusing our needs can accomplish this. While government supports this initiative through various incentives; such as patronage by computerizing UBE program; improving infrastructure and also enabling environment; as well as tax holidays and reduced import tariffs; I hereby call on you all to buy and use made in Nigeria computers. Senators; Lawmakers; Industrialists and Educators are hereby implored to set the pace; by pledging not only to donate computers to schools and hospitals under their constituencies; but also to ensure that from today onwards, until the next five years; all gifts donated to any individual or organisation will be nothing but a COMPUTER! 

 

 

Let us use made in Nigeria Computers in our schools; industries; government offices; hospitals; and health centers; hotels; and entertainment centers; and export them to all West African and African countries. Indeed, we must now start to ensure that presents we give for weddings; birthday celebrations; Christmas gifts; as well as gifts for similar occasions; are Computers and nothing else. 

 

 

 

It is when we do this, that the nation will be rewarded a million fold; by producing super brains for software development. It is when this is done that, we can produce millions of the likes of smart minds and many other great Scientists to leapfrog our nation into prosperity. Finally, I wish to congratulate ZINOX Technologies for demonstrating the nation’s capability to compete; and also placing Nigeria on the technological world map of IT capable nations. 

 

 

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Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, without any fear of contradiction; I wish to assure you that this Administration will continue to motivate and support IT innovations and creativity. I believe in the capability of Nigerians to innovate and change the world through technology. God bless Nigeria. Thank you.

 

 

 

Finally, let me deeply appreciate you for finding time to read this lengthy submission to the end. As I depart as follows: You can see why Part IV is an intentional foldup! 

 

 

 

 IT-Nigeria: Don’t cry for me. Have the assurances that we will be there at the digital leadership decision table when it matters most. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you. 

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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