By Emma Okonji
Members of the newly elected executive of the Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter, has called for policies that will help realise the full potential of the internet, and make online connectivity seamless.
According to them, nearly half the people in the world remain unconnected. Those who are connected face new and growing challenges to fully realising the internet’s potential. Even as more people come online, it is critically important that the internet be a platform that enables people to connect, communicate, and innovate. It was on the backdrop of this that the Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter, a non-profit organisation was founded on January 19, 1998 to provide leadership in internet-related standards, education, access and regulatory policy advisory.
The Chapter members recently elected new members into its executive arm to pilot the affairs of the organization for another three years.
Earlier, the chapter was rejuvenated in 2017 after a long period of inactivity. This birthed the constitutional 3-year tenure of the outgone executives which came to an end on November 10, 2020. Hence the need for the election of new executives to continue the work of piloting the affairs of the chapter.
In a keenly contested election organised for the Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter by a constituted Election Committee led by Akinloye Okinbaloye; Caleb Ogundele was elected President, while Olorundare Kunle was elected the Vice President. Other members of the executive council are Adebunmi Akinbo, Secretary; Bukola Oronti, Treasurer; Chinwe Ogbujah, Program Secretary; Igba Priscilia, Financial Secretary and Ahmed ‘Bola Tijani as Public Relations Officer.
The handing over ceremony, which was conducted virtually recently, was presided over by the outgoing President Mr. Dewole Ajao who in his welcome remarks, congratulated all the newly elected executive members.
Speaking to the media after the handover, the newly elected President, Caleb Ogundele, who was also the program secretary for the out-gone executive council members, said that his tenure as president would focus on the T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R Agenda based on his manifesto, which depicts Transparency; Opportunities; Growing members knowledge base through capacity building; Engaging and expanding chapter’s stakeholders; Tailored and active regulatory and policy engagement; Harnessing the powers of the member for more volunteer work; Enlarging the chapter’s finances and Reaching out to the community, which he said, would be blended with the manifestoes of other newly elected executives.
Further explaining the focus of the newly elected executive team, Ogundele emphasised that there would be lots of regulatory engagements, capacity building for members through several initiatives which include the Nigeria School on Internet Governance as well as several Technical Workshops for Engineers and Academics, Community Networks advocates. Giving more insight, he said top of the agenda would be to work with the Internet Society Global body on the action plan for 2020 and 2021 to achieve the strategic and shared vision to make the internet safe, secured, affordable and accessible.
While old members are encouraged to be more active, the chapter welcomes new members and innovative partnerships and collaborations to make the internet available for everyone.