Governor Dapo Abiodun, the Executive Governor of Ogun State has declared open the much publicized gathering of Information Technology (IT) professionals organized by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) in the State.
The NCS International Conference dubbed S3N2022 commenced today at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta and will run till Thursday August 4, 2022 under the theme: ‘Smart, Secure and Sustainable Nation’.
The Governor said the conference theme couldn’t have come at a better time as recent events point to the need for critical review of governance and government process for better management of scarce resource.
Speaking through Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, the State Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, the Governor said that his administration has been intentional with governance especially in developing initiatives Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project (OGDEIP), which no doubt leads a path to success to the burgeoning economy of the Gateway state and the country at large.
Governor Abiodun said Ogun has taken hold of the future to make digital access available to all the citizens and businesses and it is the most far-sighted action any government can take in the present time.
He said the benefits of the digital economy infrastructure to Ogun State are numerous, pointing out that at the climax of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the State was credited as the first to launch ‘DigiClass’ to facilitate e-learning for the students.
He said that the other projects such as Ogun Tech Hub, Ogun Job Portal and others geared towards great economic development; access to youths and to attract more investments to drive end results, among others.
The Governor expressed delight with NCS’ executives for choosing Ogun State as the host State of the largest gathering of IT professionals in the country.
Nodding in agreement, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and chairman of NCS International Conference 2022, said the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) initiatives and its application in all sectors of the state economy, cannot be overemphasized.
he said that these form the nucleus of the Ministry’s Digital Economy agenda and policy directions.
Pantami, also the chair for WSIS 2022, has this to say about the NCS conference theme:
“The theme for this year’s conference is very apt; three topics merged to one: ‘Smart nation, Secured nation and Sustainable nation’. This theme is dear to my heart because it is part of the area I have been working on, particularly, in the academic: ‘Datafication of Society to Foster an Internet Economy’ and ‘Cybersecurity Initiatives for Securing a Country’ and the President of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) is among the reviewers. To cap it all, we must keep emphasizing on skills rather than paper degrees (certificates); this is about a sustainable nation. Without skills we cannot sustain our nation.
“Before you convince people to embrace smart nation initiatives, you need to convince them of the concept with emphasis on the benefits.
“Smart nation is basically about the deployment of digital technology to support and enable operational efficiencies. It saves time, energy and brings peace of mind as well as excitement. As it is in Nigeria today, we do not really have fully developed smart States, but some are work-in-progress. There are four States that are picking up like Ogun State where we are today. However, we have some smart estates which are signs that we are developing Internet of Things (IoT) devices installed in these estates”.
The Minister tasked IT professionals not to rest on their oars as global economic outlooks point to a need for a smart, secure and sustainable nation and even development.
Engineer Aliyu Aziz, the Director General/CEO, National Identity Management Agency (NIMC), delivering the keynote address (virtually) at S3N2022, reiterated that different economies now depend on smart technologies for survival hence emphasis on Smart Agriculture, e-learning, Internet of Things and security, respectively.
He said, “As to we all are aware, one of the most significant drivers of innovation and competitiveness is information and communication technology. ICT plays a key role in assisting both developed and developing countries. In moving towards sustainable growth, then emphasis on smart nation which implies people and businesses are empowered to increase access to data, more participatory through the contribution of innovative ideas or solutions.
“Today, one half of the world’s population lives in cities. It is estimated that by 2050 seven out of 10 people are likely to live in urban areas”.
The keynote speaker, therefore, called for increased use of smart technologies to tackle perennial issues faced by the citizens.
He highlighted that for this to become possible, the Commission through the support of stakeholders have fully registered 87 million Nigerians to the NIMC database.
This, he said, will help the government with insights for decision-making to tackle challenges associated with public transportation or basic services, housing, air pollution disaster management and importantly, deployment of high quality infrastructure.
Earlier in his welcome address, Professor Adesina Sodiya, President of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), said the whole world is currently introducing and implementing smart technologies for sustainable national development.
In his words: “This year’s theme was strategically chosen to discuss the opportunities and challenges in the smooth implementation of smart and intelligent systems in Nigeria. There is a need to harness the opportunities in the evolution of smart technologies for rapid transformation of a nation’s economies.
“The current security challenges in Nigeria have become the major concern of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS). At this conference, we shall be having a strategic discussion on full adoption of smart systems in government, production, agriculture, business, science, economy, engineering, management, and national security.
This S3N2022 conference presents three engaging plenary sessions with specific topics relating to the theme.
Members of the Nigeria Computer Society are expected to develop a roadmap for speedy implementation and adoption of smart, secure and sustainable national development.
On his part, Mr. Ayodeji Rex Abitogun, Chairman, Conferences Committee, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), reiterated that building a sustainable nation requires state actors and stakeholders within the IT ecosystem to deviate from old ways of doing things and embrace new practices with new mindsets.
“To achieve the new mindsets, the Conference Committee, with the guidance from the National Executive Council (NEC) under the leadership of Pro. Adesina Sodiya, has put together S3N2022 as a platform for thought leaders, policymakers, professionals, and the academics to discuss and propose practical and effective solutions to these challenges”, Abitogun said.
With about sixty presentations, three plenaries and nine parallel sessions, the S3N2022 promises to be valuable and impactful.