As part of effort to promote the Federal Government Open Data initiative, the Ministry of Communication recently concluded a two-day Open Data Boot Camp in Lagos for over 120 professionals.

The event was organised in collaboration with WOMZY Nigeria Ltd and participants included journalists, developers, students, government agencies and Civil Society Organisations.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communication, Mr. A.M Abdullahi represented by Director Planning Research and Statistics, Mr. CJ Eweama noted that the essence of the boot camp is to introduce the Open Data Initiative and the Open Data Portal to those interested in working on Federal Government challenges with the help of data.

He noted that the ministry decided to hold the first of the series of boot camps to be held across key locations in Nigeria, in Lagos since the city is the hub of ICT innovation.

He said: “This Open Data Boot Camp is aimed at introducing the Open Data Initiative and the Open Data Portal to the ‘Demand side’ of Open Data. That is, those interested in working on Federal Government challenges with the help of Data.

“Our aim is to bring together, people who are new to Open Data and experts in order to discuss how best to utilise Open Data. This event will also connect data enthusiasts and citizens together and will give them time to build apps that are aimed at improving the Nigerian society.

“For people without programming experience, they will be taught programming, while those with such experience will connect to others and be given opportunity to build things.”

Abdullahi also called on all stakeholders in the Open Data Initiatives to join hand in accelerating the tempo of implementation of Open Data Initiatives in Nigeria so as to leverage its socio-economic benefits.

Topics considered at the camp included: an overview of Nigeria Open Data Initiative; presentation on innovative uses of open data (what government and the public can do with open data); overview of proposed open data processes and policies and training session on the use of online tools for creating chats and mapping data.

Facilitators of the boot camp include CJ Eweama; IT Consultant, Femi Sofoluwe; CEO Cymantic Limited, Emeka Okoye; and Managing Director Neulogic Nig. Ltd, Chiedu Okeleke.