PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP KEY FOR DEEPENING ICT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT – Dr.Okezie V. Ikpeazu

Abia State Government has identified effective partnerships and collaborations as vital key for deepening the growth of Information & Communication Technology in the Country.

This was made known by the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu during a 1-day ICT Technical Workshop held at the Ministry of Science & Technology, Umuahia. The State Governor, speaking through the Hon. Commissioner Science & Technology – Chief Fabian Nwankwo re-emphasized that: To reap maximum benefits of digital revolution, synergy between the Public and the State’s Organized ICT Private Sector must be robust, impactful and complementary for  mutual benefit, growth and development. According to the Governor, “such partnerships & collaborations serves as the key for deepening ICT growth and development”. And that “the State government shall continue to make investments in ICT Infrastructure making Abia at-tuned for digital transformation.
 
Briefing newsmen earlier, Senior Special Assistant, Information Technology to the Governor, Engr, Edward Onwunle; harped on the need for ICT Sectoral & Vertical cooperation; according to Onwunle: “the era of copy-&-paste technology is no longer feasible. With advances in home-grown ICT solutions, products & services, it becomes important that key areas such as Public Private Partnership(PPP-ICT Access, PPP-ICT Skills & PPP-ICT Use are effectively streamlined and optimized to serve as performance indicator benchmark between the ICT private sector players and the Government. The SSA IT – Engr. Edward Onwunle informed that “the monthly state-wide ICT Maturity Evaluation & Management Exercise provides dashboard overview of the State’s ICT status, compliance and level”. The SSA IT – Engr. Edward Onwunle “applauded Gov.Ikpeazu for this first of its kind initiative (currently in 3rd phase) and informed plans have now been concluded for the commencement of the ICT Innovation Clinics across the state. He further informed that this is one of the several capacity-strengthening and ICT-Public Focus Intervention Programs as outlined in the Abia ICT Vision 5 Plan”

In a Technical presentation, Mr. Uguru Igwe – Founder & Mr John Oji (co-founder, RAD5 Tech Hub) enlightened the Participants about the private-sector led Abia ICT Teenhack Project. According to them: The TeenHack Project is a Technology Learning Community for kids and teens focusing on both rural/remote and urban areas in Abia State with the mission to train 1,700 kids/teens annually. According to him; we’re more than happy to partner with the Government. In 2015, we partnered with Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PINigeria) to train over 50 kids on web application development.

In an interactive session with journalists, members of the RAD5 Tech Hub commended the Governor for building ICT Centers in Schools and the demonstrable effort to turn the Made-In-Aba initiative into a world class project, which has made Abia state, preferred investment destination of choice.

Responding, the Hon. Commissioner Science & Technology – Chief Fabian Nwankwo appreciated Rad5 Tech Hub for coming up with such an amazing vision and project for the Abia Community, and assured that the State Government through the Ministry of Science & Technology shall support and partner with the TeenHack Project, and challenged them to extend the TeenHack Project across the entire 17 Local Government Areas in Abia State. 

Other participants at the Workshop included the Dr.J.D Uzoatuegwu – Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science & Technology, the Head of Finance and Account, the Deputy-Director Admin, the HOD Planning & Statistics, the Director Science & Technology, the Deputy-Director ICT, Bel-aanen Lemabari Precious – Product Manager RAD5 Tech Hub and Ugoeze Nwankwo Happiness – TeenHack Program Coordinator and other ministerial representatives & officials.