The Media and value of ICT development in Nigeria – Chris Uwaje

The Media and value of ICT development in Nigeria – Chris Uwaje

 

 

The commitment and contributory value of the media in fostering ICT development in Nigeria is unquantifiable!

 

 

The trajectory of our digital journey reveals that with the foresight and power of data and information at their disposal at that glorious time in history; there is no better way to bring the ICT narrative into context than what the gentlemen of the ICT media have done.

 

 

Indeed, how do we begin to appreciate, show gratitude, and compensate the gentlemen of the ICT media; especially for their colossal input into the development of ICT ecosystem in Nigeria and across Africa and the world? In the beginning, there was EDP, MIS, IT and the media.

 

 

However, since the immense contributions of gentlemen of the Press (the media) on the accelerated development of ICT remains unsung; it becomes incumbent on IT professionals, students, users, and enthusiasts who were at the dawn of Nigeria’s IT adventure, to call the attention of government to take note. Not only that, but to recognize and reward these gentlemen of the ICT media; specifically for the thankless job they have done over the decades and keep doing to the benefit of the nation. Not to do so is to state the obvious, criminal in conduct, word and in deed.

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Having contributed knowledge overtime, they deserve to be honoured for advancing the lightening rod that illuminated the nation’s state of digital ignorance at the time it matters most.

 

Before the advent of the Internet, the fact remains that the gentlemen of the ICT media were the garden where professors searched, ate, and drank to nourish their students. While the ICT media toiled, searched, cooked, and put their stories to bed; the newspaper vendors were ever ready waiting for the digital marathon baton to be handed over to them from the network logistics of the publishers across the nation.

 

 

The Media and value of ICT development in Nigeria - Chris Uwaje

 

As the vendors blast their horns on the streets, readers, IT professionals, lecturers; as well as traders in electronics goods and content file out on the streets to embrace the latest knowledge emitted from the heads and minds of IT practitioners and professionals. Amidst this complex stampede in search of progressive knowledge; gentlemen of the ICT media while attempting to find some sleep from their nocturnal schedule; continue to craft their next publications on ICT development updates harboured in their heads – waiting to be downloaded.

 

All these transformed the ICT media landscape of the nation, from the press, to television, to radio; published content of newspapers sent to unserved long-distances and abroad! Needless to state that this ICT propagation led to the establishments of electronic trading clusters; such as Surulere Computer Nexus, Alaba Electronics Market, and the current Otigba/Ikeja Computer Village. Those who stand out from the hundreds of ICT media journalists warriors who championed the crusade in the 80s, 90s; as well as up to year 2000 include (in no order), but not limited to the following;

 

Aaron Ukodie, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, Fidel Otuya, Don Pedro Aganbi, Prince Bayo Abiodun, Oko Aihe, Mkpe Abang and Tayo Ajakaiye. Ken Nwogbo, Bimbo Tookin, Shina Badaru, Jonah Iboma, Emmanuel Otokhine, Gbeni Goke, Bayero Agabi, Ufuoma Daro also deserve special mention. Also on the list are Biyi Fashoyin, Emeka Aginam, Daniel Moore, Vera Chinwunba, Bunmi Idowu, Tayo Adewusi and Segun Oruame. Others are Prince Osuagwu, Reuben Muoka, Ken Ugbechie, Remmy Nweke, Elvis Eromosele, Gboyega Akosile, Biodun Durojaiye and Enyi Moses. Honourable mentions also go to Ejiofor Agada, Emma Okonji, Sadat Qadiri, Isaac Anumile, the late Ebhohon Ikhuroinam,  and late Amadi Ogbonaya.

 

And without doubt, despite their almost unrecognized presence; the cameramen and ladies remain the illuminating stars who tell a million stories with a single snap!  Other emerging and promising players also include Tony Nwakaego, Ugochi Emmanuel, etc. These army in the ICT media Arsenal were the real teachers and conquerors of the ICT movement in Print. They gave it all beyond the call of duty. They birthed the National Policy for Information Technology in Nigeria and fired it to adoption. And they made it happen.

 

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Needless to state that ‘yours truly’ was and still remains one of them!

 

 

History must remember them. And above all, most of them belong to the National ICT Hall of Fame when established.

 

 

The Media and value of ICT development in Nigeria - Chris Uwaje

 

 

 

 

Imagine the trajectory of the development and growth of ICT in Nigeria without the craft and ingenuity of gentlemen of the ICT media who toil day and night to educate and project the essence and value of ICT for the development and survivability of our Nation? Unthinkable! One is therefore painfully grossed to notice that despite the monumental contributions of the Gentlemen of the Press to project Nigeria’s ICT endeavors; they remain unrecognized and noticeably exist in poverty, despite the immense wealth of digital knowledge they have created over the past two-and-a-half decades!

 

 

How must we allow this to happen and indeed to continue to allow the absurdity to continue to triumph?

 

 

Many years before the advent of Google, indeed, before Myspace Platform; the Nigerian ICT media had lived up to the expectation of sounding the warning alarm of the emergence of a new world out there; centered and driven by Information and Communications Technology. But did their mission-critical advocacy fall on the deaf ears of governance?

 

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Today, it is regrettable to state that not much has changed; measured by the ragged status of the ICT media reporters and communication experts who indeed should be smiling to the bank; if their true worth and value are consciously measured and acknowledged by the nation’s leadership. The struggle of conquering the challenges of digital transformation is a do or die resilience model. Indeed, it resides in the drive of accelerated digital governance.

 

 

The Media and value of ICT development in Nigeria - Chris Uwaje

 

 

Technologically speaking, ‘the future’ is a very delicate and magical word. It conjures an exploratory momentum and inexplicable dogma! The momentum we strive to behold but cannot clearly interpret its anticipated clarity until that momentum hatches. What follows thereafter is the monumental adventure that not only explores but interrogates ‘what next’ and the chains of actions and reactions between the vision bearers, converted believers and policy decision makers. Often, these layers of various ‘NeXTs’ consume the vision bearer/s in an unending somersault in knowledge-marathon chase. The ultimate matters when we approach the breaking point or punchline and do not drop the baton.

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Now that we can travel back in time (?); it has become clear that the digital evolution was a race for and against the future! Rather than gag the voice and works of the gentlemen of the media; it is instructive that we empower and honour them to achieve more greatness. ICT is not just a sprint but a marathon in pursuit of Information/Data! Today, this trend can be said to merit and graded as a distinguished milestone in the future of work as we currently experience.

 

 

And indeed, there would be more breathtaking futures-of-work to behold by coming generations; especially when we put on our thinking cap and anticipate the unknown future-of-things. Meanwhile, the recognition and honour for the development of ICT ecosystem in Nigeria should also be bestowed on the publishers of the media houses who tolerated the excesses of these gentlemen of the media in ICT.

 

 

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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