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The mission and vision of the IT Oracle

By Aaron Ukodie
Whether he is writing his numerous articles for newspaper publication or presenting position papers at the various IT forums, Uwaje sounds like a lone voice in the wilderness crying; “prepare the way for Nigeria to emerge on the global information society stage”.

L-R: Prof. Cleopas Angaye, NITDA DG, Ashish Sehdev, Asst. Vice President, Qaulity Assuarnce Institute, India and Chris Uwaje recently during the the 3rd edition of ITAN organized Information Technology Public-Private Forum, (ITPPF) Photo by Emeka Aginam.

Uwaje’s boisterous involvement in the Nigerian IT sector is also seen in the plethora of national assignments he has undertaken and where his contributions have always stood out. In 1998 he served as a member of the National Committee for the Acquisition of Computer and Electronic Technology (NACACET) and worked assiduously as a member of the National Committee for Nigerian Solution to the 1999 Millennium Bug (Y2K) to stem any possible consequences that could have arisen from the envisaged computer bug.

Working under ITAN 2000 project, Uwaje who at that time was the President of the IT body, (1999- 2003) pioneered the conceptual establishment and eventual adoption of a national IT policy framework. He had served in the nation’s two most important committees namely, the IT Policy Blueprint Formulation and Drafting Committee as well as that for the Establishment of IT policy Blueprint, which worked for the actualization of the policy.

He has served as chairman of numerous recognising committees on IT fora, and has been guest to many television programmes.  Uwaje’s commanding heights in IT has won him consultancy portfolios in the Federal Government of Nigeria, Ministry of Science and Technology, Akwa Ibom State and around ECOWAS Member States.

A German-trained IT specialist with over three decades of on-the-job practice as computer scientist spread across three continents (Europe/Africa and America), Uwaje specialises in IT strategy consulting, embracing project conceptualisation, management and technical support with special professional focus in software engineering solutions, IT design, knowledge exploration and research, design and development (RD & D). His depth of ICT knowledge is rooted in the fountain of many educational cisterns, from which he literally drank.

A graduate of the Cologne German Language School and Control Data Institute, Frankfurt, where he studied Informatics Science, majoring in Systems Analysis and Computer Programming. Uwaje also acquired knowlegde in Engineering Technology and Computer Engineering from British Institute of Engineering Technology. He studied Communications and Management at the International Correspondence School of Careers, London.
Uwaje was involved with the pet project of the  Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) to converge the Nigerian human knowledge resources in the Diaspora under the umbrella of the Nigerian Information Technology Professionals in America (NITPA) and NCS in an effort to elevate the Nigerian IT capabilities. He served as Chairman of the Event and Trade Services Committee and Chairman, US IT Global Summit held in Washington DC IN 2003.

He was part of a group referred to as the “12 Corporate IT Astronauts” led by the incumbent President of NCS, Dr. Chris Nwanenna on a Silicon Valley odyssey.  The visit that took place at the heart of the Silicon Valley in San Jose , California , was jointly organised by NCS and Learning Right Technologies.  The central objective of the trip was to register and promote Nigeria ’s IT vision and mission on the global IT arena with particular reference to the Silicon Valley .

Because some of Uwaje’s writings are prophetic and futuristic they are in this publication classified according to dates to indicate when the writings were published to help the reader situate them and also locate where Nigeria or indeed the world was in the area of ICT development when the writings were crafted and presented and where they are now when the writings are being read.

The writings, some are statements made during various ICT forums  where he was asked to present papers, speak, discuss and make comments, while some others were simply special and professionally focused writings published in various newspapers and on the Internet on specific issues and positions he took on those matters.

So, you will read his views on IT education in 1997, and in 2000 you see another version of his writings on IT education. Though both were written on different dates, they are on the same topic. For instance, Uwaje’s  first critical writing on what can be regarged as his compelling theme “The Speed Phenomenon” was in 1998 with the classic title Nigeria and The Speed Phenomenon ( A Forecast). In October 17, 2003 he revisited the theme in a new work titled The Internet and Nigerian Youths- The Speed Phenomenon

Uwaje also wrote to engage fellow IT  professionals and practitioners to be more involved in offering standard and best practice solutions to, and participating in IT development.

In some, he challenged government, offering solutions, on how to be more dedicated in the task of pursuing IT development. Yet, in others of his writings he wrote to warn of the dangers of neglecting IT development in a timely and speedier manner. In others, still, he laments the state of IT development and the application of IT to national development.


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