Aaron Ukodie, veteran and pioneer Information and Communication Technology (ICT) journalist, will in July launch three books to mark 30 years of his journalism career in the ICT sector.
The books are ‘The Privatisation of NITEL: An Archetypal Government Agency’, ‘Nigeria’s Path to ICT Development’ and ‘The Lead Story’.
Ukodie started journalism as Communications reporter in the Guardian in July of 1985 and since then he has put all his years of journalism in the sector, making modest contributions to one of the most vibrant sectors of the economy.
According to Ukodie ‘The Privatisation of NITEL’ records the many failed efforts and intrigues to make the company play leading roles in the ICT sector and the almost 15 years bid by BPE to privatise it, which has culminated in its successful sale to NACOM in 2014.
The book also shows how publicly -run companies in Nigeria are managed, and canvassed the case for government to play less role in business.
‘Path to ICT Development’ chronicles the story of Nigeria’s ICT development from 1960 to 1992, when the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was created, and in 2001 when National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the IT Policy were established with their attendant milestone impacts.
It records the evolution from the digital mobile license to the watershed marks in mobile phone deployment and data uptake to the current efforts in broadband development.
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.
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 Guardian era, 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.
Ukodie said 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.
There are over 14 ICT magazines and newspapers, both in print and online versions, and over five specialised programmes on national television coupled with over nine yearly conferences and workshops organised by the various media organisations.
He said on the day of the unveiling of the books, 12 frontline ICT journalists, entrepreneurs and media managers shall be inducted into 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.
There shall also be a discussion on the theme: The Media and Nation Building.