Nigeria: CWG Canvasses Unity Among it Groups


Group Managing Director of Computer Warehouse Group, Austen Okere has challenged the various IT associations in Nigeria to form one single body to address the myriads of challenges facing the industry. Okere said too many IT associations have weaken the capacity of the industry players to address the common challenges they face.

Okere who leads Nigeria 's biggest IT group with established presence in about six other countries spoke during a courtesy visit by the ICT Publishers Alliance to the company's headquarters in Lagos .

He commended the alliance for the foresight to create a single body to address that genre of publishing that has emerged as one of the positive consequences of the country's ICT revolution in the last 10 years.

"I want to commend your alliance for the vision with which it was founded and the lofty objectives it has set out to achieve. It is my hope that the various IT associations in the country will come together to form a single strong body at addressing the problems we all face as an industry. At the moment, getting the critical support base is difficult because the bodies are myriad for the software, hardware and even integrators. But the technology industry is one," said Okere.

Part of the objectives of the ICT Publishers Alliance is to encourage fact-based insightful journalism in the specialized genre of ICT reporting and help consolidate on the country's growing achievements in the ICT sector by pressuring for rightful policy thrust and best industry practice.

"We are convinced that every industry must first self-regulate to earn the respect it deserves. We are also of the belief that for us to foster real growth in the sector and get all stakeholders whether private or public to contribute their quota, we must speak as one body," said Chairman of the ICT Publishers Alliance Aaron Ukodie who is also the publisher of eWorld.

Okere affirmed CWG's support for the 'A Decade of GSM Forum' slated to hold in August, jointly organized by the ICT Publishers Alliance in association with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

"We are part of Nigeria 's mobile telephony success story," said Okere adding that CWG is the topmost indigenous player for the backend infrastructural services for the GSM industry. About 38% of its earnings come from that subsector, the oil and gas industry is 12% while the banking sector accounts for 50%. Established nearly 20 years ago with about $16, 000, CWG has grown to become a multinational IT company in an emerging market with annual turnover in excess of $120 million.

"We are a proof that Nigerian companies can truly excel; become world class in terms of management, vision, profitability and best corporate practice like any other global company from the western part of the world," said Okere.

With nearly 90 million subscribers on the active mobile networks, Nigerians and Nigerian companies must naturally lead the way in the next level of mobile services including the traditional voice, data and the emerging mobile money service, said Okere whose company ExpertEdge Limited, an arm of the CWG services about 15 of Nigeria's 24 banks with software application services to drive the financial sector.

Members of the ICT Publishers Alliance consist of the premier media organisations focusing exclusively on the ICT sector. They include eWorld, IT & Telecom Digest, Communication Weekly, IT Edge News.Com, IT World, and eBusiness Life. The alliance has members with over 10 years of publishing history. "The Alliance underscores the unrelenting spirit of media entrepreneurs and the challenge at proving that the country has got strong-willed entrepreneurs in various fields to sustain its national economic growth," said Mkpe Abang, publisher of IT &Telecom Digest while thanking Okere for his company's support for the ICT publishing industry.