By Juliet Umeh
Enugu State is leading the nomination list for the 2021 Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards, NTITA, Nigeria’s IT and Telecoms industry’s Oscars holding this Friday in Lagos returns.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and Governor Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu top nominees for Nigeria’s most profound digital leaders for 2021 as Governor Ugwuanyi ranks ahead for the coveted ICT Governor of the Year award.
Interestingly, Enugu is also leading the list for Tech Innovation Hub of the Year (Mentoring & Capacity Building); and Emerging Leaders in Innovation/Tech Advisory (Public Sector).
NTITA 2021, Nigeria’s most prized IT and Telecom event, operates as a collaborative platform with stakeholders majorly the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and the Africa Digital Economy Forum (ADEF). The event is powered by InstinctWave, an ISO certified company.
This year’s recognition is celebrating the country’s technology leadership, most promising innovations, companies and projects; and political leaders pushing the required willpower to foster right environment for ICT to flourish.
“The ADEF is proud to be associated with NTITA as a barometer to measure not just innovation but commitment to tech-growth by political leaders and other stakeholders,” said President of ADEF Olusola Teniola.
Pantami’s 2021 nomination rides on his sturdy profile as a leading light in ICT policy drive and a pathfinder for Nigeria’s steady push in digital economy. The minister was a top nominee in the 2020 NTITA and went on to clinch the coveted prize. His stellar achievements have attracted wide appeal from NTITA 2021 judging panel drawn from some of the most respected figures in the technology industry, media and academia.
Ugwuanyi’s consistent leverage of technology and strong ICT policy-thrusts to rework the economic future of Enugu state has drawn much admiration, earning the south eastern state top spot in the national drive towards a digital economy.
“Enugu is not an entirely surprising revelation. Unbeknownst to many people, the state has demonstrated strong focused on youth development and soft skill building. It has one of the best strategic collaborative drive to provision digital infrastructure and services.
In addition, it has a robust policy thrust for fostering entrepreneurs and delivering of the best ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in Nigeria that has been recognized by the World Bank and other global institutions. This has really impressed the 2021 NTITA jurors,” said Mr. Akin Naphtal, CEO of InstinctWave, Africa’s premium B2B event and media specialists.
He added: “NTITA 2021 is spotlighting political willpower and tech innovations. Without political willpower, not much can happen; and without innovation, nothing significant can happen.”
“NTITA has become the reference to measure growth and achievements in Nigeria’s most dynamic industry with impacts across all sectors,” said President of ATCON, Ike Nnamani.
This year’s award categories are Nigeria ICT Governor of the Year; Digital Leader of the Year; Public Sector ICT Woman of the Year; Public Sector ICT CEO of the Year; Broadband Oxygenator of the Year; Telecom CEO of the Year; ICT First Lady for 2021; Tech Innovation Hub of the Year (Mentoring & Capacity Building); Emerging Leaders in Innovation/Tech Advisory (Public Sector); Emerging ICT CEO for 2021; Most Innovative and ICT Focused State 2021; Most Innovative Operator 2021; and a host of other awards.
The nomination criteria focus on persons or organisations at the forefront of promoting regulation, standards or best practice; persons or organisations actively driving technological innovation; persons who have used their office to bear on advancing technology innovations; and persons who are instrumental in the success of an ICT organisation or business; among others.
Every year the categories are updated to reflect the latest market trends and to ensure they do justice to our increasingly diverse industry. The new featured award categories allow us to recognize contributions from all parts of ICT sector; from communication service providers, solutions providers, banking, health, insurance, fintech, cloud, cyber security, digitization and consultancies.
According to Naphtal, the awards has grown over the years, in participation and prestige; setting the highest industry standard for honoring organizations and individuals in the Telecom & ICT sector in Nigeria. The platform has also become the benchmark for outstanding performances in the industry and a symbol of excellence that marks leadership, quality and innovation.