Kunle Adelabu & Mariam Akinloye
-Best three students get laptops, training at SAIL, free Wifi
70 students from different schools and locations in Ikorodu Division, on Saturday, graduated from the first edition of the ICT Launchpad Program organized by the Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG), in partnership with ZKT, as the three best students received a laptop and bag, each.
They also received free Wifi from the Senator representing the Lagos East Senatorial District, Sen. Tokunbo Abiru who was the special guest of honour at the graduation ceremony.
Abiru announced that the donation of one year free Wifi to the overall best participant, 6 months free Wifi to the participant in the second position and three months for the third position, to enable them practice what they have been taught during the training.
Abiru also announced at the ceremony which held at the Barr. SAB Oteju ICT Centre & Innovation Hub of the Musediq Alogba E – Library & Research Centre, Ikorodu Ultra – Modern Town Hall, Ikorodu on Saturday, the automatic enrollment of the three best students into his SAIL, an innovation hub he established, for more training.
The one – month training was designed to launch participants into the ICT world by introducing them to several opportunities inherent in it and how they can tap into it.
The initiative exposed participants to various IT disciplines, including programming, coding, cyber security and other relevant skills.
Mr Afolabi Abiodun, an ICT expert and member of the IDRDG, who coordinated the program, while speaking via internet from the United States of America (USA), commended the IDRDG Chairman, Sen Adeseye Ogunlewe, for the innovation and zeal in developing youths in Ikorodu with ICT capacity, while he also stated the essence of the training.
“The Chairman was particular about how to assist Ikorodu students and he is particular about science education. He was particular about the next industrial revolution and how Ikorodu can play pivotal roles when it comes to Lagos and Nigerian circle, and I told him that IT is the direction. There is nothing that you want to do globally today that is not IT inclined”, Afolabi said.
“With his support and that of other Group members, the hall that was used for social engagements was converted into an e – learning centre.
“The essence of this IT Launchpad is to allow participants to know what careers that they pursue in IT. There are lots of opportunities in it, that they can tap into. In the last one month, we have worked them through the IT fundamentals to let them know the opportunities in it for them to study Computer Science, and its importance to the future that everybody is talking about.
He explained to the guests and students at the ceremony, how the participants were mentored, using notable Nigerian figures that have made their marks in ICT globally.
“Deliberately, we chose successful Nigerians who have done amazing things within and outside the country, so as to let them have good sense of how profitable being into IT is, and the difference that they can make in changing the world”, he said.
“We took them through the journey of so many successful leaders. This was deliberate because if we open their minds early enough, it will be important for them to know what direction that they should go.
Afolabi also stated that the plan is to trained 300 students in the next six months, while commending members of the COHORT I, for their zeal and commitment to learn.
“This is the first COHORT. Originally, we planned to have 50 students from different schools, but 70 showed up and we couldn’t turn them back, so, we had to go ahead with them. The participants came from different parts of Ikorodu Division. We intend to do it every other months, changing the content we are delivering and in the next six months, we hope to have train 300 students in Ikorodu, that would have a clarity of what their future would look like”, he said.
“At the end of the exercise, it is important that we test them for what they have been trained for, and I can proudly say that the 70 students that were trained did fantastically well”
He commended ZK Techno and SB Telecoms for their support for the program and another company with presence in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE, which supported the program with the three computer systems that were presented to the best three students.
He also announced that after the IT Launchpad, the next program will focus on software development, because of the facility on ground.
The Senator representing the Lagos East and founder of SAIL, Senator Abiru, while congratulating graduands, also commended the organisers for initiating the program that would make young minds in Ikorodu, competitive and innovative.
He charged that the training must continue so as to engage the youths positively and make them informed and competitive.
“The graduands, I recognize all of you and congratulate you. What the Coordinator, Afolabi, said that he is trying to give out to you during his speech, is what the world is today. Some people will say that they are waiting for the future, but the future is here and you are the future”, Abiru said.
“What this program has done is to keep you informed of what is happening in the real world; future of learning and the future that is here for all of us. Why this program must be intensified is that you must know about all that is going on in Lagos, Nigeria and the world. You must be part of it, because that is the way the world in which you are living in today is”, the Senator emphasized.
While also speaking about the creation of SAIL, Abiru announced packages for the best three students, and charged others to always see every opportunity as a competition and take advantage of it.
“The whole idea around SAIL is to create a platform for young minds like you. We try to create a hub or lab for young people, but we have a limited space and we can’t possibly take on everybody at same time”, he said.
“You must also know that at SAIL, you don’t pay anything. Everything is free, but that is not all. Once you participate, you become part of the SAIL community. If when you have completed yoiur program and gone, you can still return to make use of our facility, because you are already a member of the community.
“What I am going to do today is to onboard the first three best students in this programme immediately in the SAIL. I have selected the three of them not because they came first, second and third, but more importantly, because that is the way the world is. The world is about competition. So, anywhere that you find yourself, you have to be competitive”, Abiru said.
“When you have an opportunity for competition, you must be very competitive. We would also give out three months Wi-Fi subscription for the third, the second will get six months free Wi-Fi and the overall winner will get a year free Wi-F.i
“The next opportunity that you have, you have to be competitive. That is the way the world is, because everyone cannot be catered for, and that is why those that have outstanding performances, would always get reward.
“Everything that you are doing here is about creativity. You begin to learn modern electronic devices. That is creativity, resourcefulness, and you don’t have a choice but to know it”, Sen. Abiru charged.
Rep. Babajimi Benson, representative of the Ikorodu Federal Constituency, also spoke on the importance of young residents learning technological education which he said is the answer to the prevailing unemployment.
He was represented by Mr Rasheed Aregbesola, his Constituency Officer.
“Technology is the order of the day, and I know that most of us here were around during the COVID 19 which distorted learning, but we were still able to achieve a lot in term of students learning from home with the aid of technology. In today’s world, technology is the real thing in whatever that you are aspiring to be”, he said.
“The more you start studying the elementary of it from this stage, the better for you and by the time you get to the University and graduated, you would have become an expert and a lot of organisations will be looking for you.
“The prevailing unemployment in the world today is not affecting only Nigeria, rather, it’s a global thing, but everyone are ‘Japping’ (moving out of the country), but with technology, there will definitely be something for you to do”.
He enjoined those with good computer knowledge to keep learning to stay competitive.
“For those of you that emerged as best students and others that are good in the IT, knowledge is continuum, you still have to continue to learn and be competitive”, he charged.
“Before the elections, the sayings were ‘NotTooYoungToRun’, but looking at your faces today, you are not too young to innovate. Let see what we can do with technology, and how we can broaden our horizon in that regard”.
The Chairman, Musediq Alogba e – Library and Research Centre, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, who also spoke charged the students on the need to put what they have acquired into good use and stay competitive in dynamic world.
He was represented by Mr Bayode Treasures Olawunmi, a member of the Musediq Alogba e+ Library and Research Centre.
Prof. Ajibola Kazeem Oluwatoyin, a Professor of Applied Mathematics and Director, National Open University, Ikorodu Model Center, who also spoke, congratulated the COHORT I graduates of the IDRDG/ZKT Launchpad Training Program, and also charged them to work toward acquisition of ICT and STEMI (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation) to be able to stay competitive and relevant in the future world.
He pledged to grant members of COHORT I admission if they make five Credits in their WAEC.
Meanwhile, the father of Oluwabusola Idowu who emerged as third best participant in COHORT I, Mr Babatunde Idowu, speaking with THE IMPACT, commended the organisers and stated that the training has changed her daughter’s perspective on what she intends to become.
“It is a very interesting program. Initially, she said that she wanted to study Civil Engineering or Pharmacy, but since she has started this program, her orientation has completely changed. Now, her language now is that, ‘Daddy, I want to be a Coding Master”. I am an Engineer, but I don’t know about coding. In the course of her study, she came back home with about two assignments which I guided her. I give it to the organisers and Sen. Abiru. This is a very nice program”, the father said.
Lawal AbdulMojeed, a student of Abbeytech Institute, who emerged as the overall best participant, expressed his happiness at participating in the programme, and commended the organiers for the opportunity provided for him and others.
He also commended Sen. Abiru for attending the event and the opportunity he provided for and other two best students.
“It all started when I came to install system, and I saw the poster of the IT Launchpad and I was eager to learn more about it. I spoke with the Librarian and she asked me to regsiter. If not for the fact that I am working with Mr Abbey, I wouldn’t have been here and I am grateful for that”, he said.
“Emerging as the overall best is not surprising to me, because I have been learning about it and coming here enabled me to learn more about IT. The organisers did well by putting this together and I am proud of being an Ikorodu man. I thank the sponsors for the laptop and money gifted to me.
“I am really happy with Sen. Abiru for creating time to come here to witness our graduation, that means a lot. That he also extended the gestures of internet facility and studentship of his SAIL program to us, also means a lot”, he added.
The first runner-up, Master Idowu Ridwan Ayomide, who is a student of Fidelity College, also thanked the organisers and stated that the laptop will aid him in studying more about cyber security that he has learnt during the training.
“The program is okay and very well organized. I would like to say a very big thank you to the planning committee, IDRDG, Ikorodu Town Hall and the Alogba Library. I thank them all”, he said.
“I am excited, but also shocked when I was announced as the second best, because I was actually aiming for the first position. I will use the laptop that was presented to me to research more into cyber security aspect of my training.
“My very big thank you to Senator Abiru, for coming down here to honour us. It is very surprising to me. I was not really expecting it. I really thank Sen. Seye Ogunlewe for bringing him”.
Babatunde Olabusola Isioma, SSS 3 student, Community Senior Grammar School, Bayeku, who came third, said that the training was innovative, and added that she wants to become a Coding Engineer.
“I intend to be a Coding Master or Engineer. The program is very lovely, educative and innovative. It opens our minds to many things in the world of internet”, she said.
“I feel great emerging third. I feel very happy and I know that I can still do more; I can still do better, because there is still space at the top for me to go.
“I say a very big thanks to the organisers for giving us the opportunity to learn, and l am also appreciative of Senator Abiru for the gestures that he extended to us”, she added.
Also at the event were Sen. Adeseye Ogunlewe, Chairman, IDRDG, Prof. Michael Ajetunmobi, Vice Chairman, IDRDG, Alhaji Musliu Animashaun (De Cubano), a chieftain of the IDRDG, Dr Abiodun Fatai – Abatan, member, IDRDG, Mr Deji Abisola, Consultant to Senator Abiru on SAIL Innovation Lab, Mr Yusuf Jubril, Managing Director, ZKTeko West Africa, Mr Abiodun Kazeem, Managing Director, SB Telecoms and Devices.