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IT imperative in electoral reforms – Banigo

By Emeka Aginam

LAGOS – A former Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ebitimi Banigo, has said the use of Information Technology, IT, in electoral reforms is necessary for sustenance of the nation’s democracy.

Banigo, chairman of occasion, said this in Lagos, yesterday, at the launch of Dr. Chris Uwaje’s book,   ”E-knowledge -Time is running out!”

“In Nigeria, the house has fallen and what we are trying to do is to rebuild the house; and, if we have IT in electoral reform process, electoral malpractice  will be minimised to the barest minimum,” he said.

“Electoral reforms is not possible without ICT. The war is on. We cannot relent. If the country fails to carve a space for IT in the general scheme of things, particularly electoral reforms, things will keep retrogressing. We still need to make a mark in ICT before this generation is wasted.

He noted that part of the problem with the nation was lack of IT conciseness in national polity, especially in the electoral process.

From left; Mr Chris Uwaje, Author of the Book, Chief Ebitini Banigo, Chairman of the Occasion and Dr Leo Stan Ekeh at the formal Launch of the Book "e-Knowledge- Time is running out written by Mr Chris Uwaje held in Lagos Tuesday.

The former minister also urged that Uwaje’s works should be preserved in a digital library for the use of generations unborn.

Banigo blamed the nation’s electoral woes on lack of information technology, saying Nigeria will continue to witness retrogression in its electoral process  unless IT was given the priority attention it deserves in the scheme of things.

Chief Banigo lamented poor IT consciousness among Nigerian youths, noting that unless political will is brought into IT, Nigeria will remain consumers of foreign products in the 21st century knowledge economy.

“We are still behind in technology. We have failed to address the fundamentals; we should not be enslaved by IT produced by other countries otherwise we will remain a  digital colony of these nations. Today is a good beginning as time is running out,” he said.

He advised that the  present politicians should embrace information technology so as to make right policies that will move the country forward in the global competitiveness.

“We need to be IT-conscious in the national polity. It is a model for  sustainable nation-building and global competitiveness,” he said, adding that Uwaje’s e-knowledge book should be a  philosophy and concept for ensuring the consistency of preserving inter-generational knowledge base.

Also, on the occasion,  Director- General of Advance Information Technology Institute, AITI, Ghana, Mrs. Dorothy Gordon, said the launch of Uwaje’s book  is  a  significant milestone and strategic model and legacy for the African youth, adding that the book will go a long way in preparing Nigeria, especially the youths for the next knowledge Olympiad.

Expert hails Uwaje

Book reviewer, Mr. Titi Omo-Etu, an engineer and CEO of Executive Cyberschuul, noted that Uwaje’s book “is a wake-up call to Nigeria and her citizenry on the complacent attitude of some of our leaders and policy makers, especially the often recycled ones to critical issues on the role of information technology in national development and nation building.”

Present at the event were Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka; ex-Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof.  Oye Ibidapo-Obe; Director-  General of Advance Information Technology Institute, Accra, Ghana, Mrs. Dorothy Gordon.

Also there were DG, National Information Technology Development Agency, Prof. Cleopas Angaye; President, Nigerian Computer Society, Prof. Charles Uwadia; Chairman, Zinox Technologies, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh and Dr. Jimson Olufuye of Information Technology Industry Association of Nigeria, ITAN, President of Nigeria Internet Group, Engr. Lanle Ajayi, Chairman of Arco Petrochemicals, Engr. Alfred Okoigun and many others.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.