2013 National Information Technology Merit Award (NITMA) ceremony organized by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) recognized and celebrated Information Technology (IT) achievers and visionaries for their exceptional accomplishments. December 13, 2013 was a day of honour and festivity for the tech community. Chairman of the NITMA 2013 event was Hon. (Engr) Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, Chairman, House Committee on ICT, who commended NCS for its consistency in organizing the event to celebrate excellence in the sector since 2009.
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His remarks highlighted the importance of interacting and engaging with critical stakeholders such as NCS in carrying out the functions of the House Committee on ICT in the development of legislation relevant to ICT and in performing the committee’s oversight functions. He used the opportunity to inform the gathering about the progress being made at the national assembly on the Cybersecuity bill.
Loaded with excitement and meaning, dignitaries at Nigeria’s most important and recognized IT award event included Mr. Emeka Ezekwesili, Director, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) representing the Acting DG, NITDA, Elvis Alabegbe, Special Assistant to the DG, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) representing the DG, NIMC, Immediate Past President of the NCS, Sir Demola Aladekomo, Past Presidents of NCS, Dr. Chris Nwannena, Professor Charles Uwadia and Past Provost, College of Fellows, Alhaji Ladi Ogunneye.
NCS President, Professor David O. Adewumi, noted in his welcome address that NCS organizes NITMA annually to celebrate and reward outstanding achievement in Information Technology (IT) by corporate organizations and individuals. According to Adewumi, “NITMA acknowledges their exceptional hard work, contributions and excellence in accelerating IT development in Nigeria”. He charged the audience to join NCS in celebrating those making the industry and profession proud.
Professional fellowships were conferred on eleven new fellows during the fellowship award process coordinated by the Past Provost of the College of Fellows, Alhaji Ladi Ogunneye and the NCS President. Fellow is the highest grade of the NCS professional cadre, which is conferred in recognition of the significant impact an NCS member has had in the IT field.
New NCS professional fellows (FNCS) are: Mr. Oso Olugbenga Ayoola, Special Assistant to the Governor, State of Osun on planning and development at the State Planning Commission, Professor (Mrs.) Stella Chinye Chiemeke, Director of ICTU/CRPU, University of Benin, Mr. Protus Etim Akpan Amah, Executive Director and Head, Sales and Marketing, Data Sciences Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adeolu Benedict Okanlawon, SAP Support Manager for Shell Nigeria and Gabon, Mrs. Adijat Temilola Okunade, an Information Technology professional and an academician, Olorogun James Ono Emadoye, Chairman/CEO of BSSL Technologies Limited, Mr. Lookman Kayode Oseni, Assistant Director/Head of Software section of Data Sciences Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adetunji Micheal Adedowole, Executive Director, Technical Services and Support department, Data Sciences Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adedeji Adekunle Daramola, MD/CEO of IT & Management Solutions Limited, Dr. O. Fabian Uzoh, first Acting Head of Computer Science Department of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) Imo State and Dr Akin Fapohunda, Executive Director of Digital Trust Ltd/Gte and Aflon Digital Institute.
INDUSTRY/ PERSONALITY AWARDS
Dr. Isaac O. Odeyemi, Managing Director, Debis Computers, was recognized for his commitment to the software profession and industry exemplified by his software leadership passion, investment in IT capacity building, youth innovation mentoring amongst other criteria and conferred with the award of “Best Software Entrepreneur of the Year 2013” by the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON). Federal University of Technology, Akure also won the ISPON National Software award for Tertiary Institutions.
Nominees for the IT Personality of the Year award were shortlisted and recognized for their industry, hard work, vision, values, ingenuity and tremendous accomplishments. Despite the diverse and challenging obstacles in the sector, through NITMA NCS recognizes and celebrates these IT visionaries who have persevered and are breaking barriers and changing society – Andy Nwani – Managing Director, Dataflex Nigeria Limited, Austin Okere – Managing Director, Computer Warehouse Group, John Tani Obaro – Managing Director, Systemspecs Nigeria Limited and Yele Okeremi – Managing Director, Precise Financial Systems Limited.
A highlight and eagerly awaited moment therefore of the evening was the announcement by the Accenture representative of John Tan Obaro, Managing Director, SystemSpecs as the “2013 Information Technology Personality of Year” (the most outstanding IT contributor for 2013). Also known as the President’s Award, NCS members voted online for their choice for IT’s most prestigious award. Accenture, acknowledged for its world class auditing services, confirmed the transparency and credibility of the entire voting process for the IT personality of the year award.
Other IT dignitaries who attended the event included: Mr. Chris Uwaje, President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Dr. Abimbola Salako, former Provost, College of Fellows, Dr (Mrs) Adeola Ilechukwu, President, Nigerian Women In Information Technology (NIWIIT), Mr. Amos Emmanuel, First Vice President, Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN) and Sir Obi Okonkwo, Past Deputy Provost of NCS.
The event also witnessed the launching of the NCS Scholarship Fund and the NCS staff long service awards.
NITMA beams a positive light on the IT sector to emphasize the important role IT practitioners and providers play in helping the nation attain developmental goals. Promoting and supporting excellence strengthens the sector in particular, and the nation as a whole.
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Nigeria Computer Society