MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The Lagos State Governor; Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been described as a man who is passionately committed to harnessing the power of technology in every sector of the state economy as evident in the current infrastructural development of the State.
Honorable Commissioner for Science and Technology in the State, Mr. Hakeem Popoola Fahm made this disclosure on Wednesday at the closing ceremony of the first ever Media and Marketing Hackathon in Lagos. The event was put together by MarkHack 1.0; a consortium of media and marketing professionals.
According to the Commissioner who was quite impressed with the Hackathon which held at the D’Podium event centre, Ikeja Lagos, “technology is everywhere in contemporary times. For us to really benefit from technology, we need to be innovative. We need to take what we are doing now, see how we can improve on it.”
“If you can look around Lagos, what Governor Sanwo-Olu is doing with infrastructure is evident. The government is putting in quite a number of docks that will allow fibre optic cable to spread all over the state.
“What this will do for us, is to create a super highway for moving data, information which will propel Lagos to a newer height as the amount of investment coming into the state is unprecedented.”
The commissioner while commending the organisers of the event which centred on the application of technology in media and marketing, disclosed that Lagos State would be at the forefront of technology.
“This will benefit not only the citizens but the entire nation. We have invested in technology in education, schools, public service, public health and so on. We will continue to make the facilities available in educational institutions, health care services and even in transportation.”
In an interview with journalists, one of the organisers of the event, Mr. Victor Gbenga Afolabi, the Chief Executive Officer of Eko Innovation Centre and GDM Marketing Group said the consortium of 65 media and marketing professionals chosen to go by the title MarkHack came together as stakeholders in the Media and Marketing industry to co-create a disruption which was inevitably brought about by technological advancement in contemporary times.
According to Afolabi, “we foresaw that if we continue to deliver value to our clients and consumers in the media and market landscape, we might likely allow the anticipated disruption to happen to us. So we chose to create the anticipated disruption by ourselves. Over a hundred different organisations came together to co-create the disruption and this co-creation gave birth to what is called MarkHack.”
“I am not the convener of the event but the curator of MarkHack because we (Eko Innovation Centre and GDM Marketing Group) conceived the idea, but we brought together experts in the industry across all sectoral groups, clients agencies, media buyers, professionals, technology experts, venture capitalists, policy makers, regulators of advertising council.
“We came together to create the MarkHack which is seen as a project that took us three months to create. It has come with its application today. What we are doing is like giving back to society after some years in the industry. For us at Eko Innovation Centre and GDM Marketing Group, this project is our way of giving back to the society after benefitting from the industry.”
While Eko Innovation Centre is the technology enterprise development outfit, GDM Group is the marketing and media innovation company; both founded by Mr. Victor Afolabi.
The Wednesday hackathon witnessed the participation of no fewer than eight start ups whose pitching were adjudged by a collection of experienced jurors. The first price of 10,000 USD went to Livebic; an inventor in new online payment solution.
The Keynote speaker at the event; Mr. Idorenyen (Idy) Enang giving an overview of the marketing and media industry highlighted certain elements that would ensure the survival of operators particularly in this technology driven fast paced world.
Among other things, Enang who is the Chief Executive Officer of Corporate Shepherds Limited and Chairman of Council, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) hinted that ethics is the overall key element for any business to grow, emphasising that “what we do and how we do it determines how far a business can go.”
Speaking also at the event, the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Technology; Mr. Olatubusun Alake said that due to the deep interest the Lagos State Government has in technological innovation, about 50 Research & Development initiatives in higher institutions in the state were being supported by the government.