In his efforts to champion the accelerated enhancement of the e-Readiness mission and global Knowledge Agenda of the University of Lagos,Nigeria and make the University the number one choice for high quality education in Africa, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe, has established a strategic Framework to engage and enthrone an Information Society (IS) Revolution in Unilag. The mission is to accelerate the digital transformation of Unilag “Learning Environment” for global compositeness.
To actualize the e-readiness vision, he has amongst other things endorsed the Book “e-Knowledge – Time is Running Out” a Compendium written by Chris Uwaje (FNCS) – the Oracle of the IT Profession and Industry in Nigeria, during a comprehensive presentation on Dynamic ICT Solutions for Unilag, by Connect Technologies Solutions Consortium at the Akoka, Lagos Campus recently.
Having devoid the Book since its public presentation two years ago, the IT Professor and VC, acknowledged that there were very sterling revelations in the Book worthy of acknowledgement and commendation. Top amongst them include, but not limited to: Need to establish a National IT Policy for Nigeria (1998); In his “Nigeria and information Overload”, Uwaje predicted that the average household in Nigeria will have at least 3 Phones; Predicting the Paradigm shift in the Information Technology Profession and Industry, Creating IT Knowledge Parks and Software Corridors and advocating the critical need for the establishment of a cabinet rank Institutional Framework – such as the Federal Ministry for Information Technology. (2003); Revealing the birth and arrival of e-knowledge Olympiad (2004) and many more – all of which have come through.
It will be recalled that the public presentation of the book, e-Knowledge – Time is Running Out – at the Institute of International Affairs of March 30th 2009 attracted the ICT Who-is-Who from Nigeria, ECOWAS, Africa, Europe and the USA. To hear the IT Oracle speak on e-Knowledge were Dorothy Gordon,(Director General of the Advance Information Technology Institute (AITI), Accra – representing the Government of Ghana, Chief Sam Amuka, Chief Ebitimi Banigo, Prof Charles Uwadia, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof Cleopas Angaye, Jim Ovia, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh, Engr. Alfred Okoigun, Chief Benardino Doregos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo Obe, Chief Don Etiebet, Deacon Ojinta Oji Alala, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, Dr. Isaac Odeyemi, Alhaji Ladi Ogunneye, John Tani Obaro, Engr.Titi Omo-Etu, Mallam Muhamed Bulana, Gbenga Adefaye, Gbenga Sesan, Victor Ebomoyi and a battalion of IT champions.
Ordering 25 Copies of the Book for various Departments of the University, Prof. Sofoluwe praised the Author –Chris Uwaje – for the spectacular works, which undoubtedly has become a major landmark contribution and reference point to the body of ICT knowledge in Nigeria, ECOWAS and the World. Recent close encounter with the Author, confirmed that the initial Print of the book has been sold out – with Orders from UK, USA, Germany, to say the least.
True to type Aaron Ukodie in the Book’s Prologue revealed that Uwaje is, severally, a repertoire and fountain of IT knowledge and a connoisseur of IT ideas and initiatives. His cerebral exposition of IT trends and the perspectives he brings to development issues are professorial. Within the motley of canvassers of the benefits of IT to national development, Chris Uwaje’s voice is resounding and compelling. He is always very zestful in putting forward new ideas, new propositions and directions that can take Nigeria into the Eldorado of the emerging information society.
Mission: Whether he is writing his numerous articles for newspaper publication or presenting position papers at the various IT fora, Uwaje sounds like a visionary lone voice in the wilderness crying; “prepare the way for Nigeria to emerge on the global information society stage”.
In the emerging work place where companies are now engaging Chief Knowledge Officers (CKO) to enhance the competitive edge and the increasing leveraging of IT knowledge and resources to position nations in the global information society, Uwaje would without any fear of contradiction appropriately and effectively take the position of Nigeria’s Chief Knowledge Officer. An insight into the fertility of Uwaje’s mind on IT issues can be gleaned from the numerous articles and conference papers he has written and presented on topical issues, since 1997.
He pursues his positions on any IT issue with an infectious fervency and consistently marshals arguments, creating models and scenarios to stage them. For instance, though Uwaje had as far back as 1998 canvassed for the creation of a National Commission for Information Technology (NCIT), the establishment of NITDA, an offshoot of the IT policy in 2001 did not deter him from insisting on the benefits of an IT commission which he said would be charged with the duty of putting up a National Database structure among other National Digital Security functions.
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.
An 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).
Uwaje is affiliated to numerous national and international professional bodies. He is Fellow of the Institute of Analysts and Programmers of United Kingdom; and Fellow, Institute of Certificate Professional of United Kingdom, Member Institute of Management Specialist of Britain and council member of Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN). He is a Fellow of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS); Past President of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) Past Cyberspace Chairman of Nigerian IT Think-Tank (NITTT) Uwaje is the current President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON).
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 Hamburg and Control Data Institute, Frankfurt, where he studied Informatics Science, majoring in Systems Analysis and Computer Programming. Uwaje also acquired knowledge 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. He severally participated as a Visiting Guest student (Gast Horer) on Technology at the Hamburg University – Dammtor, Hamburg, German. He earned other post-graduate qualifications.
Uwaje was involved with the pet project of the Nigeria 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.
Uwaje is a Principal Consultant, Chief Software Architect and Chief Executive Officer: Connect Technologies Limited, (Developers of E-Government Solutions, Enterprise Banker, Enterprise Knowledge Intelligence Groupware and Enterprise Cooperative Financials Application) .
Among his numerous engagements are: co-ordinating Chairman- in -Council for West Africa Information Technology Professionals (CWAITP) and past President of Information Technology (industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN).
Amongst other engagements Uwaje served as a member of several national committees on IT development. The committees include those of the National Information Technology Advisory Committee, National Inter-ministerial Committee on Software Development. He was Chairman, IT sub-committee on e-National Consumer Credit Committee, Co-Chairman National Software Development Initiative (NSDI) for the Establishment of software Blueprint. He was a key member of the National IT policy formulation and drafting committee, among others. For more than ten years Uwaje has participated in the CTO Annual IT Conference and Exposition as Session Chair, Speaker and Discussant.
He was IT consultant to the Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Finance, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the National Assembly and several other government agencies and ministries on e-Governance Pilot Projects. Uwaje was also the former and first Regional Director for West Africa, D-Link International of Singapore.
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 fora where he was invited 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 read his views on state of IT education in 1997, and in 2000 you find another version of his writings on IT education. Though both were written on different dates, they are on the same topic. For instant, Uwaje’s first critical writing on what can be regarded 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 I.T 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.
Furthermore, Uwaje advised various sections of the Nigerian people- the youths, the journalists, of the need to embrace IT tools for transacting business. The major part of Uwaje’s writing was consciously focused on the Nigerian youths, which led to the discovery of Gbenga Sesan, whom he discovered in 2000 by putting him on stage at the Abuja IT conference in 2001.
He looks at the future and its compelling emerging scenarios critical challenges and benefits and points Nigeria on the path that it should follow to seat among the comity of nations in the Information Society (IS). For the Unilag ICT e-Readiness Project, it may be rightly said that Prof. Adetotunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe has selected an excellent partner for the actualization of the mission to make the University of Lagos a strategic Hub for first-class and excellent knowledge delivery.