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CIO Awards Honours Exceptional Chief Information Officers

Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami)
Prof Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

Transformational personalities in the tech ecosystem were celebrated at the third edition of the CIO Awards, with the theme “Honouring Digital Eminence”. Edniesal Consulting Limited, an enterprise governance firm, organized the event, which took place at the Oriental Hotel on Victoria Island in Lagos.

Chairman of the occasion, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantanmi ably represented by the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engineer Aliyu Aziz said the award ceremony is truly a testimony that the contribution of those who have greatly shaped the industry, disrupted the ecosystem, and immensely added to the economy with their creative ideas and solutions will not go unnoticed.

According to him, the projects and initiatives of the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and its commitment to the digital transformation of Nigeria are being enabled through the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), whose focus is for the digital economy to drive other sectors in the economy, while facilitating the digitalization of all sectors in Nigeria.

“In essence, we need a digital government, a digital society, and also a digital economy for a digital transformation to improve the lives of our people and support stronger communities.

The task at hand requires a nationwide coordinated effort. For stakeholders, it must be a collaborative effort to reorganize administration and governance. I want to implore all participants here to study the strategy and see areas of collaboration to transform Nigeria.

“The level of technological advancement and data driven solutions have shown us that digital innovation is no longer an option but an essential tool for reinvention and effectiveness that will benefit businesses, individuals, and nations.” he said.

In her welcome speech, the convener, CIO Awards and the CIO Club Africa, Abiola Laseinde, said that the CIO Awards is the first of its kind in Nigeria and it has now embarked on an African expansion to include digital leaders from Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana.

According to her, the Awards are widely recognized and warmly saluted by winners and fellow participants.

‘This year, the Awards categories have been increased to include Media, Education and Social Services. Our special awardees are transformational leaders who are running the most successful projects, winning initiatives, and driving transformational growth in the industry’, she added.

All the finalists were selected during strict evaluation processes.

“I need to let you know that all the nominees are highly distinguished people and notable contributors to the technology ecosystem.

“We invited independent members of the Jury from Nigeria and other African countries to assist us to objectively examine and make qualified assessments of the shortlisted entries and nominees.

“The evaluation exercise was done in conjunction with our technical partners; Deloitte and KPMG. I want to appreciate the incredible hard work put into the entire project.

“Our activities lasted for about 16 weeks. Let me break this down for you: that is 120 days /2,880 hours/172,800 minutes)”, she explained.

In his own speech, ,President of the Executive Leadership Council of the CIO Club Africa, Obinna Ukonu said the need to recognize, celebrate, and appreciate digital personalities has never been this important

“When we consider the mass exodus of talents that we are currently witnessing leave Nigeria for other countries, platforms like this and events like this provide an opportunity to recognize these talents for their outstanding contributions to the Nigerian IT ecosystem.”This kind of platform, The CIO Awards can retain and sustain the talents that we have.

“The reason for this is because, these IT talents form a major part of our human infrastructure in Nigeria. If we lose them, we will definitely spend more to close the gap that we have created or even to import capabilities that will be needed to help us drive our digital agenda,” he added.

Founder/MD of System Specs Nigeria, John Obaro, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, while, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, Country Manager Google and Victor Onyedineke of A.G Leventis were awarded the Female Leader in Technology and Digital Award and Overall CIO of the Year, respectively.

Other awards are in the Banking, Consumer goods, Education, Fintech and OFIs, Insurance, Media, Social and Public and Tech and Telco categories

The CIO Awards was instituted in 2020 by Edniesal Consulting and it has since gained tremendous support and participation in the tech terrain.

The CIO Club Africa (‘The Club’) is a product of the CIO Awards. The Club was unveiled at The CIO Awards ceremony held on 26 November 2020. It will link CIOs, CTOs, CDOs, CISOs and Heads of IT (‘Members’) in different industries with vendors, government and other key stakeholders to a platform to exchange innovative ideas and grow collectively.

Some of the activities of the Club include, but are not limited to, promoting the IT profession by providing leadership and visibility to members, establishing strategic alliances with international bodies, exchanging information on technology, security, and problem solving, and evaluating new technologies to help the IT community via virtual workshops, brainstorming sessions, etc.

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