MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has harped on the expediency of investing and supporting the younger generation of Nigerians in digital development particularly the female folks whom he said “face disproportionate social impediments.”
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs & Executives In Tech Summit (WEETS) which took place on Thursday at the high brow Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, Lekki Lagos, Danbatta who was represented by his Deputy Director (New Media) Olatokunbo Oyeleye noted that “digital up-skilling of women has a direct impact in removing the societal barriers to digital skills for the female children creating a ripple effect. Also, digital literacy improves family incomes, trade and creates job opportunities for mothers,” he said.
According to the NCC boss, his Commission has continued to promote and support the empowerment of females in Information, CommunicationTechnology (ICT), buttressing this with NCC’s collaboration/support to some organizations which marked the 10th anniversary this year of Girls in ICT Day.
The Executive Vice Chairman also pointed out that “Covid-19 has interestingly brought up an avenue for women to embrace technology with businesses and opportunities emerging.”
“For example, there has been a sudden surge in the demand for saniters, customized facemasks and shields, protective equipment and the need for online education and entertainment. Not to mention, the surge in logistic and delivery business that has now become a part of our lives. The pandemic launched and opened new opportunities for entrepreneurs, especially women,” he emphasised.
In her speech, the Director, Google West Africa; Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor has advised women entrepreneurs to always look out for the inherent opportunities in every challenge just like the challenge of lockdown opened up other opportunities as Danbatta explained.
In his good will message delivered on his behalf by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Communication Satelite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) Dr. Abimbola Alale, the Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Pantami disclosed that most of the ICT related trainings organized in recent time had female representation of 45% participation.
The Ministry, he said had executed about 1667 digital projects and conducted 219,198 trainings across the country to boost and entrepreneurship.
The one-day event which was organised by TECHLife Media & Communications, producers of TECHLife With Ugo; an online broadcast medium had brought together a good number of men and women entrepreneurs in the ICT related sector.
Earlier in her welcome address, the chief convener/event coordinator; Ugochi Emmanuel said the summit was put together to enable guests “brainstorm on the place of Nigerian women in the emerging world of technology and how they have fared in recent time while expanding new ideas on ICT and telecoms, thereby position themselves to effectively play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s technology space.”
The TECHLife boss had also used the opportunity to appeal to her fellow women on the threshold of entrepreneurship to “leverage the new technology order, by maximising their talent, developing new skills and ultimately improving the quality of life through social, educational and economic engagements.”
The event which was well anchored by a cerebral Master of Ceremony; Louisa Olaniyi (MC Luwy) had attracted some other professionals in ICT and other sectors. They included the President/Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, Co-Founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Digital Encode Limited; Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale, Director, External Affairs & Sustainability of Seplat Energy Plc; Dr. Chioma Nwachukwu, Public Relations Expert/Social Development Specialist, Ann-Melody Oluwajemi Areola, The Founder, Digital Women Support Group; Mrs. Abimbola Onwuchekwa and Accounting lecturer Dr. Onyinye Eneh.
Others were Cyber-security Professional and Awareness Advocate, Confidence Staveley, Managing Director of Quincy Wellness Naturopathic Centre, Dr. Tobi Ayodele Keeney, Managing Director of Cloudflex Mr. Remi Adejumo, Co-Founder of CartRollers Nigeria, Information Technologist; Tinuade Oguntuyi and Hoop Telecoms Public Relations Executive, Maureen Okafor-Adigwe. The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen was represented by Kenny Okoroafor.
Each of the guests had spoken professionally in their various areas of specialisation in a manner that the women entrepreneurs were impacted with new ideas.
The panel discussion sessions were also well coordinated with the discussants bringing forth far-reaching intellectual knowledge that collectively made the maiden summit a robust outing, thanks to good planning, impressive attendance and active participation.