By Emma Okonji
The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body of all Information Technology (IT) professionals, interest groups and stakeholders in the country, at the weekend in Lagos, celebrated its 40th anniversary.
It also conferred special recognition awards on its members and some selected members of the public who were said to have contributed immensely to the growth of IT in Nigeria.
The President of NCS, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu, who gave a brief history of the computer society, said in 1978, during the military regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, an association called Computer Association of Nigeria (CAN) was borne out of a vision for IT in Nigeria. Its name was later changed to COAN, and then changed again to Nigeria Computer Society through harmonisation in 2002 with some IT interest groups.
“The well-known advocacy efforts of NCS geared towards achieving sustainable development in Nigeria through IT will not be complete without recognising excellence and exceptional professionals who have made significant impact in our industry and profession,” Aderounmu said. According to him, the future of IT growth in Nigeria and its facilitation by the NCS as a leader, in collaboration with the government and other industry stakeholders, appears bright and promising. He said NCS would continue to play a greater role and grow as a powerful and influential ICT catalyst, driving Nigeria forward into full digital inclusion and development encompassing a digital economy and digital governance.
In his welcome address, Chairman, Organising and Planning Committee, Mr. Femi Williams, said highlight of the award, was the prestigious IT Personality of the Year award, which was won by the Managing Director, of Sidmach Technologies, Mr. Peter Arogundade.
Some of those conferred with awards were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede and former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, for their exemplary service and dedication to IT growth and development in Nigeria.
Conferment of professional fellowship awards were given to several members, which included the Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency of Nigeria (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami; the CEO of MainOne, Ms. Funke Opeke; and former CEO of Linkserve, a pioneer Internet Service Provider (ISP), Mr. Chima Onyekwere. Some others included Osugo Collins, Magnus Omoregie, Omolola Oludade, Adebayo Atekoja, Prince Majamite, Ikono Rhoda, Olubunmi Atekoja and Olubiyi Ismail.
The first 40 registered members of NCS were also recognised.