By Job Osazuwa
A non-governmental organisation, SEITAC Initiative, has launched an Information Communication Technology (ICT) television show, titled the Geek or Guru.
The launch which took place in Lagos State, appears to be the first of its kind in Nigeria. It was part of the foundation’s 10th anniversary of strategically empowering Nigerians on aggressive information technology utilization.
As gathered, the talent show is targeted at discovering the genius and zeal in Nigerian youths that will help in revolutionizing the ICT industry.
According to the founder of the NGO and initiator of the TV show, Uzo Okoye, the programme was carefully designed to accommodate skills acquisition in a fun-filled environment.
He told Daily Sun that the last ten years in the foundation’s drive to promote and increase the level ICT adoption in Nigeria had been characterized by daunting challenges ranging from finance to capturing the youths’ interest.
On the factors responsible for the under-utilization of the sector in Nigeria, Okoye said the government was not doing enough to make available the infrastructure and policies needed to increase the tempo of ICT usage.
He lamented that the industry was not being promoted and encouraged by both the stakeholders in the government and private sectors. He said even the existed policies, especially the local content policy, were not well implemented and monitored.
He stated that media have a vital role to play in the development of the ICT local content, and stressed that it should be given more emphasis by the practitioners. He maintained that though everybody has a role to play, but insisted that the media need to be at the forefront in the campaign. He also urged other stakeholders to contribute their own quotas in using the ICT to reverse Nigeria’s dwindling economy.
“Over the years, we have carried out information technology trainings and empowerment for young men and women in various ways. We tutor them on how to become independent in certain businesses. We also partner with other NGOs to teach our youths how to be more creative on craftsmanship through the use of technology,” he said.
Okoye revealed that the TV show was conceived due to the decline in the level of technology adoption in Nigeria. He said the need to have a platform to showcase young ones who have the talents became a necessity needed to bridge the gap.
The participants in the TV show, he explained, would at the end of the competition come up with projects and inventions that are marketable and could be used by both the public and private sectors. He informed the reporter that the projects would cut across networking, soft/hardwares development and other areas of technology.
He said the programme would be aired on local television channels and online platforms, showcasing participants six-week stay in a house, where professionals would take them through rigorous series of auditioning and tasks.
The founder said: “Votes will come from viewers and at the end of the day, the first, second and third winners will emerge. They will go home with different prizes. One of the prizes is a sponsorship training abroad.
“The whole idea is all about providing indigenous solution to the decline in technology adoption in the country. Instead of going through the Medeteranean sea to seek greener pasture abroad, our youths can now look inwards to realise their dreams. We have lost so many talented people to other countries to the detriment of our economy.”
Also speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of Soft Solutions Limited, Mr. Chekwas Anaga, expressed the belief that the information communication technology sector would thrive when the youths are invested in and encouraged to participate.
He pointed out that as his company is the key technology partner of Geek or Guru show, it focuses on identifying young Nigerians who are IT savvy and who can use the platform to improve the Nigerian economy.
“We have been having reality shows, beauty pageants and others in the country but ICT has always been at the back bench. Meanwhile, it is ICT that can truly drive other sectors. We have young Nigerians who are gifted but only lack the opportunity to explode,” he said.