CWG Boss Inducted Into The Maiden Africa Digital Awards Hall Of Fame

Mr. Austin Okere, Founder and Chief Executive Officer,
Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) PLC has been inducted into the maiden Africa
Digital Awards Hall of Fame for his sterling contribution in Information and Communication
Technology development in Nigeria and Africa at the just concluded Africa
Digital Awards Hall of Fame organized in Lagos by ICT Watch Africa Digital
Speaking at the event at which Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji
Aregbesola, executive governor of Osun State was the special guest, Mr.Austin
Okere, in his speech remarked that the former EVC of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe has
achieved significant milestones in the Telecoms industry and is well on the way
to accomplish more. His appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan as Co-Chair
of the Broadband Council has already began to yield much fruit, with a target
to increase broadband penetration in the immediate term to 10%, and 25% within
the next five years.

He also noted that the gap between the State governments and
the Telecoms Operators in penetration strategy arising from Right of Way
charges seems to be thawing, as the Lagos State Government under Governor Raji
Fashola has seized the gauntlet by significantly slashing the perceived
exorbitant fees.
He applauded the executive governor of Osun state for the
immensely innovative Opon imo (tablet of knowledge) in Osun State which has
improved the educational standard in the state and has received many
international awards.
He highlighted the contribution of CWG PLC to Broadband
penetration in Nigeria by working with the NUC (National Universities
Commission) and the World Bank to connect 29 universities to the information
super highway through the NgREN (Nigerian Research and Education Network)
The special guest, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, in his
paper presentation titled “Deepening e-Governance, Transparency with Broadband
Access”, highlighted the impact of Information and Communication Technology in
Osun State, and how the deployment of appropriate technology riding on
affordable broadband infrastructure helped him to detect and correct the
leakages in their Revenue and also improved the educational system. He noted
that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of his State moved from N300m (Three
hundred million Naira) per month to N1.6b (One billion, six million Naira) per
month without tax increment or increase in the number of tax payers. Also, the
Osun State government under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola
has remarkably improved the educational system leveraging on the potentials of
Information Communication Technology through the Opon Imo initiative.
Dr. Ernest Ndukwe (OFR) the chairman and chief host of the
event who spearheaded the innovation of mobile telecommunication that most
Nigerians enjoy today highlighted the efforts around making broadband available
and affordable in the country. According to him, to achieve this, stakeholders
and various governors of different States ought to be sensitized about making
sure ‘right of way’ is provided for the operators without punitive taxation, as
Broadband penetration will hugely impact economic growth to the benefit of all.
He however, noted that some governors such as Lagos State’s Raji Fashola are
already working in that direction and thus availing their citizens of this
technology of the future. He took the opportunity to invite the other governors
to also come on board.  “A good example
is the recent drastic reduction on the cost of fiber links that pass through
Lagos state”, he pointed out.

Other inductees included; Engr. Bayo Banjo, Chairman,
Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) Emmanuel Ekuwem, Chairman, Teledom Group, Engr.
Lanre Ajayi, President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria
(ATCON) amongst others.

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