National Information Technology Merit Award (NITMA) 2014 was a unique and exciting celebration of excellence and outstanding accomplishments in Nigeria’s Information Technology space. Held successfully this year 2014 in November at the Muson Centre, Lagos, NITMA is organized annually by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) as the national honour platform for outstanding IT achievers and achievements in Nigeria.
NCS President Prof. David Adewumi in his welcome address urged guests to join NCS in celebrating the heroes of Information Technology, noting that “the best of Nigerian Information Technology creativity and innovation has fundamentally changed, and is still changing our nation. Our society makes progress because of their accomplishments.” The ceremony was chaired by HRH. Ogbonna Iromantu, Pioneer Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), who appreciated efforts of the NCS in its yearly rewarding of deserving IT personalities in Nigeria. He called on the Federal Government to institute an awards event like the NITMA that will appreciate the contributions of the country’s ICT sector as a matter of utmost importance. He also called for end to dumping of IT products in Nigeria, calling for the creation of an enabling environment for this purpose.
Dignitaries gathered to honour the Nigeria’s best in Information Technology included Mr. Peter Jack, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), who was the Chief Host of the event, Mrs. Nike Animashaun, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology representing the Lagos State Head Of Service, Past Presidents of NCS, Chief Don Etiebet, Dr. Chris Nwannena, Professor Charles Uwadia, former Provosts, College of Fellows, Dr. Isaac O. Odeyemi, Dr. Abimbola Salako, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mrs. Florence Seriki, President, Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Mr. Chris Uwaje, Past President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), representative of the MD, Bank of Industry, BOI, representative of Sir Leo Stan Ekeh, Founder, Zinox Technologies, and Mr. Amos Emmanuel, First Vice President, ITAN.
About 27 different awards were presented to deserving IT practitioners and organizations in Nigeria which include the IT Personality of the Year, Fellowship, Best Software Entrepreneur of the Year and the Special Recognition Awards.
Fellowships – Honorary and Professional
Deserving individuals were conferred with NCS fellowships – honorary and professional – in the conferment process coordinated by the Provost of the College of Fellows, Deacon Ojinta Oji-Alala and the NCS President. Dr. Toga Gayewea Mcintosh, Vice President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Hon. (Engr.) Ibrahim Shehu Gusau Phd, Chairman House Committee on ICT were the honorary fellowship recipients. In their responses the new honorary fellows appreciated the honour and promised to work with NCS to accelerate IT development in Nigeria while commending NCS for its exemplary efforts. Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau further called for better and coordinated co-existence among IT practitioners and government agencies in Nigeria.
New 2014 professional Fellows of NCS (FNCS) are: Tunde Ogunremi, General Manager, Datmot Limited, Austin Okere, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) PLC, Chinedu Onuoha, Country Leader University Relations for IBM West Africa, Charles Chijioke Onyeukwu, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, ETO Investment and Consulting Services Ltd, Ogugua Okafor, Head of Information Technology/Deputy General Manager, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Emmanuel Okewu, Deputy Director, University of Lagos, Dr. Afolayan Obiniyi, Senior Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Mrs. Elizabeth Orogun, Superintendent of Customs, Nigeria Customs Service, Chief Ihekweazu, Iheme Henry Samuel, Assistant Director, Information Technology Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Seinde Akinnusi, Director, ICT, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), Dr. James Oladiipo Folorunso, Chief Lecturer, Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, Osun state, Professor Emmanuel Rotimi Adagunodo, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University and Mr. Abdullah Zago, Chief Lecturer, HOD, Department of Computer Science, Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.
Industry, Recognition and Personality Awards
Mr. Chris Uwaje, CEO, Connect Technologies, emerged as the winner of the Engr. Simeon Agu Award for “Best Software Entrepreneur of the Year 2014” presented by the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) in recognition of his commitment to the software profession and industry demonstrated by his software leadership passion, investment in IT human resources capacity building, youth innovation mentoring amongst other criteria. Other nominees for the award were Mr. Chijioke Eke, CEO, Sidmach Technologies and Mr. John Obaro, CEO, SystemSpecs Limited.
Special Recognition Awards
Developed to honour and recognize consistent and unique contributions and distinguished positive, long-lasting impact over a significant period of time in Nigeria through Information Technology and Information Technology enabled activities, Special Recognition Awards were presented to several individuals and organizations who had distinguished themselves based on the award criteria. Recipients of the 2014 Special Recognition Awards were: Professor (Mrs.) Adenike Oyinlola Osofisan, first female President and Chairman of Council, Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), Austin Okere, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CWG PLC, Chief Don Etiebet, Founder, Data Sciences and Former President, NCS, John Obaro, CEO, Systemspecs Limited, Senator (Prof.) Iya Abubakar, former Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University and former Minister as well as Mobile Knowledge Solutions Limited and Sidmach Technologies Limited.
2014 IT Personality of the Year
Nominees for the IT Personality of the Year award shortlisted and recognized for making the most outstanding contributions through IT and IT related activities within the year were – Collins Onuegbu, Executive Chairman of Signal Alliance, Segun Akano CEO of Upperlink Nigeria, Austin Okere, Founder and CEO of CWG PLC and Aniekan Etiebet, MD/CEO, Data Sciences Nigeria Limited. Also known as the President’s Award, NCS members voted online for their choice for IT’s most prestigious award. The most eagerly awaited highlight of NITMA 2014 was the announcement by the Accenture representative of Austin Okere, Founder and CEO of CWG PLC as the “2014 Information Technology Personality of Year” (the most outstanding IT contributor for 2014). 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.
Outstanding Once Again
Commenting on behalf of all awardees and as a Past President of NCS, former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Don Etiebet, commended NCS for successfully organizing what has become Nigeria’s most important and recognized IT award platform in line with the dreams and aspirations of the founders of NCS. He also called also called for greater collaboration among players to move the sector forward.
The event also witnessed the presentation of the NCS staff long service award to Mrs. Ijeoma Nwanaju.
NCS thanks all guests, members and partners for making NITMA 2014 a truly outstanding celebration of IT excellence and accomplishments. Your efforts and contributions in using NITMA to advance IT growth and development in Nigeria were sincerely appreciated.
Chairman, Publicity and Events Committee
Nigeria Computer Society