The Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the promotion of the internet and its economic benefits in Nigeria has revealed its plans to institute the body’s Hall of Fame.
The internet advocacy group which was founded in 1995 made this known during a courtesy visit to Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government. The NIG executive council led by its President, Destiny Amana included, Bayero Agabi Vice President, Fidelis Orji Executive Secretary and Hilary Damissah, Publicity Secretary. Amana briefed the SSG of the intentions of the Group the decision to induct the SSG into the NIG Hall of Fame.
While briefing the SSG of the aim of the Group, Amana enumerated the contributions of Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem to the growth of the internet in Nigeria. He applauded the foresight with which Ekuwem championed the domestication of the country’s dot NG (.ng) domain name which is its internet identity.
He added that Ekuwem and others who committed their time, resources and knowledge to promoting internet penetration and adoption in both public and private sectors in Nigeria at such a time that the military government of the day was against it, deserves commendation and should be celebrated.
Responding to the visit of the NIG, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem recalled how the NIG helped to drive the growth of digital economy in Nigeria, he praised the courage of the group towards positioning Nigeria in the cyber space. Ekuwem noted that the goodwill he enjoyed as the President of the NIG is what opened the vista that has brought him to serve in his present position as the SSG. He recalled how he met with the present Governor of Akwa Ibom State Mr Udom Emmanuel while running for the post of the President of the NIG and the latter was a Manager at Zenith Bank.
Ekuwem narrated how as President of NIG he escalated the .ng to the presidency upon which the then President Olusegun Obasanjo invited him to Aso Rock to make a case for the domestication of .ng which today has become the country domain name of Nigeria. Ekuwem recounted how Obasanjo prevailed on the hitherto foreign custodians of the .ng domain released to NIG.
Ekuwem recalled the travails and persecutions some of them who advocated for the libralisation of the internet as the late Head of State General Sani Abacha did everything clampdown on advocates of the internet in Nigeria and ordered the arrest of those who canvassed for the liberalisation including the likes of Chima Onyekwere.
While stressing on the importance of the internet, Ekuwem emphasized that access to ubiquitous internet is a catalyst to development and economic growth. He pledge to the vision of Akwa Ibom State government to online automation of the civil service and public service. According to him, broadband internet as attested to by the World indicates that 10% increase in broadband internet penetration results to about 10% growth in GDP hence the speed with which internet is accessed translate into a competitive speed in efficiency and productive of individuals and organizations.
The induction ceremony into the Nigeria Internet Group Hall of Fame will be held in November and will see to other personalities like Engr Olawale Ige former Minister of Communication, Ernest Ndukwe former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commssion, Mall. Shamsedeen Usman, former Minister of National Planning, Jim Ovia, Chairman of the Zenith Bank, Prof Niyi Osuntogun former VC of OAU among others.