Mr Aaron Ukodie, veteran and pioneer ICT journalist, has announced plans to launch three books in July to mark the thirtieth anniversary his journalism career in the Nigerian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry.
Ukodie, who is also Publisher of eWorld Magazine, says the publications include The Privatisation of NITEL: An Archetypal Government Agency, Nigeria’s Path to ICT Development and The Lead Story.
Ukodie, who started his journalism as Communications Reporter for The Guardian in July 1985 says he has since then put all his years of journalism in the sector, “making modest contributions to one of the most vibrant sectors of the economy.”
According to him, The Privatisation of NITEL records the many failed efforts and intrigues to make the pioneer telecoms company play leading roles in the ICT sector and almost 15 years bid by BPE to privatize that has culminated in its successful sale to NACOM last year.
“The book also shows how publicly-run companies in Nigeria are managed, and canvassed the case for government to play less role in business”, he adds.
Nigeria’s Path to ICT Development traces the story of Nigeria’s ICT development from 1960 to 1992, when the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was created. It also delves into 2001, when the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was created and the IT Policy was formulated, with their attendant milestone impacts.
“It records the evolution from the digital mobile licence to the watershed marks in mobile phone deployment and data uptake to the current efforts in broadband development.”
He says the book highlights how MTN, Airtel, then Econet and Globacom, then Communication Investment Limited (CIL) and later Etisalat braved the seeming Nigerian challenging business environment to enter the market, “a move that has impacted positively on the Nigerian economy.”
Ukodie adds that, “these companies have become the face of the much coveted Nigerian entrepreneurial spirit and competition.”
The Lead Story captures the development of the ICT media in Nigeria, from a pioneer’s perspective, tracing also the evolution of the journalism profession from his era at The Guardian, describing in vivid terms the reporters motivation and passion of the times.
The three books are an addition to others which he had written in the past, among which are Ndukwe and Telecom Regulation: A Walk in Tandem; Olagunju: Strides of a Potter’s Son; Phones 4 All and ICT in Nigeria: The Story, The Players.
“Nigeria ICT journalism and media entrepreneurship is one of the most vibrant in the profession, as many of its players do not only report and analyse events in the industry, but are also involved in advocacy that has helped the industry record its many successes”, he adds.
Today, there are over 14 ICT magazines and newspapers, both in print and online versions, and over other specialised programmes on national TV as well as nine yearly conferences and workshops organised by various media organisations, he adds.
At the unveiling of the books, 12 frontline ICT journalists, entrepreneurs and media managers shall be inducted into the ICT Media Hall of fame, “in recognition of their role in getting ICT journalism reach its current level and contributing to growth of the sector and the economy.”
The event will also feature a discussion on the theme: The Media and Nation Building.
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