How Government Can Keep the Youth Busy with Skill Acquisition

Precious Ugwuzor

A renowned software developer and cyber-security specialist, Mr. Chidiebere Divinewill Ihediwa has blamed the increasing crime rate on too many idle hands in the country.

The Managing Consultant, Spring Infotech Lab Limited, Mr. Ihediwa, who was of the opinion that since an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, if our youths are busy with tangible things to do, they won’t tools in the hands of unscrupulous elements to use in perpetrating one crime or the other. 

Ihediwa, who spoke in Lagos after receiving an award from a security online platform, Cornerstonenewsng com, a subsidiary of Phil Chris Media Concepts, also called for what may be described as knowledge swap among Nigeria’s  thousands of educated cyber fraudsters,  otherwise known as Yahoo Yahoo boys.

The information technology guru was  recently honoured at the Police Officers Mess, GRA Ikeja.  He was honoured with a Star Award in Cyber-Security Development and Data Analysis in Nigeria.

According to Ihediwa, knowledge can be categorised into two- positive and negative, adding that even if there are many educated young men among the cyber fraudsters, their inherent knowledge is at variance with the ideal positive knowledge needed for societal development.

He therefore, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to devise a method of re-orientating the educated Yahoo Yahoo boys arrested by the agency towards becoming information technology specialists, rather than allow them rot away.

Ihediwa, also advised the federal government to engage the teaming youths skill acquisition as it is one of the solutions to curb crime in the society.

“Instead of being idle, the youths, especially the non educated ones should be engaged in skill acquisition after which the government and other well meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations should assist them with money to set up businesses. After setting them up , they will be too busy to engage in crimes,” he opined. 

The Cyber-security specialist thanked management of for bringing him to the lime light through the award.

Mr. Ihediwa who was accompanied to the award ceremony by his wife also paid tribute to his parents who gave him early opportunity to acquire education up to the university level where he subsequently studied computer science.

In his welcome address, representative of, Mr. Chris Oji said Ihediwa who was among nominees for  award late last year, was unavoidably absent at the occasion hence management chose to bestow the honour on him in the new year.

He stated that Mr. Ihediwa rightly deserved the award in view of his outstanding contributions to software development and information technology in Nigeria generally.

Born on February 16, 1964, at Otulu Amumara, in today’s Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria, Mr. Chidiebere Divinewill Ihediwa has grown to become a renowned computer scientist with specialisation in software development with a strong bias in cyber-security, following his graduation from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1985.

Supported by his parents who were professional teachers, he had begun his primary education in his native Mbaise community where he displayed early sign of his future potentials.

Interestingly he received the Federal Government Merit Award for academic excellence while in the university.

He was an active participant in various research projects in software development, data analysis, and machine learning, which involve working with datasets to extract meaningful insights or develop predictive models, exploring data visualisation techniques, implementing machine learning algorithms, and analysing large datasets using statistical methods. 

With a Master of Computer science degree majoring in Data Analysis and Big Data from the University of Lagos, Ihediwa became more poised for greater achievements.  

His career in the information technology space began in 1986 as National Youth Service Corp intern at Shell Petroleum Company,  one of the largest multinational oil and gas companies, known for its commitment to innovation and technology. 

Working in the IT department of such a reputable company provided valuable experience and opened doors for him to future opportunities in the industry. 

Over the years, he had stints in a places like Personal Computers Ltd,  National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), Mandilas Group Nigeria, an iconic Nigerian brand and conglomerate that operates in various sectors, including real estate, oil and gas, telecommunications, and power and a  diverse portfolio of businesses that cater to the needs of the Nigerian market.

 In 1993 he began working at KPMG Peat Marwick Ani Ogunde, a professional services firm, the numero uno of consulting that combines the expertise of KPMG, Peat Marwick International, and Ani Ogunde & Co. to provide a wide range of services to clients across various industries. 

In is imperative to state that the experiences gained at various positions cutting across oil industry, government parastatal, private company, multinational conglomerate, financial Institutions and Consulting helped to horn his expertise in Information Technology, thus affording him a thorough understanding of both business and technology and creating a mechanism to capture and share these experiences. 

Being an outstanding IT expert, Mr. Ihediwa displays unfathomable combination of technical expertise and soft skills which include programming, cyber-security, machine learning and data analysis with Soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, adaptability, time management, and leadership. 

Besides, he is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and has CompTIA Security+ certifications. Also a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP), a globally recognised certification offered by the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS). He is a long-time member of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), a professional association that represents the interests

of computing professionals and organizations in Nigeria with the sole aim of enhancing professionalism.

Mr. Ihediwa has made remarkable contributions to the development of cyber-security, Data Analysis, Big Data and machine Learning etc. practices in Nigeria. His expertise has been instrumental in helping organisations across various sectors protect their digital assets from cyber threats and gain better understanding of business processes. 

The reputation is achieved by providing consulting services to numerous government agencies, financial institutions, telecommunications companies, and other organisations in Nigeria and these have unarguably helped these organisations identify vulnerabilities, implement robust security measures, and develop incident response plans.

It is without doubt that Mr. Ihediwa has proven himself as exceptionally outstanding cyber-security expert who has made substantial contributions to the field in Nigeria.

 He is passionate about his corporate and social responsibilities, and one of the primary ways is through free training initiatives aimed at enhancing the skill sets and knowledge bases of both employees as well as the broader community. 

Besides, he is providing training in cutting-edge programming languages for the university community especially youths through his “Catch Them Young” initiative.

Caption: Mr. Oji with Mr. and Mrs. Ihediwa after the cyber-security expert bagged the Star Award in Cyber-Security Development and Data Analysis in Nigeria

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