The government of Cross River State in Nigeria has appointed IBM to assist with the implementation of two new social welfare and healthcare initiatives designed to help people living in rural areas of the state
By the agreement signed last week ,Â IBM will beÂ supporting and facilitating collaboration between the different government ministries involved in the projects.
Under the new arrangement,Â IBM team will also provide outside and objective counsel onÂ the management and implementation of the projects.
It is expected under the agreement thatÂ IBM will also work with local Nigerian systems integrator Quanteq to design and implement the IT infrastructure on which the initiatives will run and to ensure efficient linkage between the project databases.
ThisÂ agreement,Â follows the success of IBMâ€™s corporate service corps programme in the country, through which, over the past 9 months IBM has placed 35 employees from 16 different countries on one month assignments in Cross River State Nigeria dedicating over 6,000 hours of information technology and business consulting.
With the newÂ agreement,Â IBM is expectedÂ to assist in managing and implementing the recommendations made to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Community Development by one of IBMâ€™s corporate service corps teams which worked in Cross River State last year.
Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will provide business consulting services for two projects announced by the Cross River State government last August:
With this development, the program will provideÂ a free health care system for pregnant women and children under five.
Through the initiative, the Cross River State government hopes to remove the financial barriers to healthcare for pregnant women and drastically reduce maternal and child mortally in the state.
For one thing, the project will afford a social benefit scheme designed to provide incomeÂ Â assistance to people living in near abject poverty in order to supportÂ them in sending their children to school.
â€œThrough its Corporate Service Corps program, IBM has played a key role in the conception and design of these important projects,â€ Senator LiyelÂ Imoke, Governor of Cross River State who was represented by the Deputy Governor Barrister EfiokÂ Cobham, said.
â€œWe are now asking IBM back to CrossÂ River State to help with the implementation of this work and to ensure thatwe benefit from the latest technologies and best practices from elsewhere.â€ he added.
â€œWorking alongside the Cross River State government, we have the opportunity to work on initiatives that have the potential to transform lives and society in rural parts of Nigeria,â€ said Simeon Nwegbo, from IBMâ€™s West Africa office. â€œIt is a real and meaningful example of IBMâ€™s
vision for a smarter planet, where we are working with our clients and partners around the world, using modern technologies and processes to make things smarter and create a better way of living.â€
The IBM Corporate Service Corps is an initiative designed to provide small businesses, educational institutions and non_profit organizations in emerging markets with sophisticated business consulting and skills development to help improve local conditions and foster job creation.
NowÂ in its third year, the corporate version of the Peace Corps, sends teams of 8_10 top employees from around the world representing IT, research, marketing, finance, and business development to emerging markets for one month.
It would be recalled that since August last year, IBM has deployed 18 specialist teams to African countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria. IBM partners with the non_governmental organization (NGO) CDC Development Solutions tohelp identify the right projects and local organizations where IBM employees can have the most impact.