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NITRA Elects New EXCO, As NUJ Chairman Charges Them On Collaboration

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Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA) has elected new officials to man its affairs for the next three years in a landmark election conducted through electronic voting (e-Voting) on Thursday.

A cross session of members of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), in a group photograph with top officials of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Lagos Council let by the Chairman, Mr. Adeleye Ajayi after the inauguration of the new EXCO of NITRA.

The election, which was conducted at the newly commissioned Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) secretariat, was monitored by the Chairman, NUJ Lagos Council, Mr. Adeleye Ajayi, and the Executive Secretary, Mr. Tunde Olalere and other officers of the NUJ, Lagos Council.

The election also saw four of the six candidates go unopposed except for the positions of the Vice Chairman and Financial Secretary.

At the end of the elections, NITRA Chairman, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi (Communications Week) was returned unopposed. Also the General Secretary, Mr. Chidiebere Nwankwo (eBusiness Life Communication Limited) and Treasurer, Mrs. Chioma Ezike (FRCN) were returned unopposed, while a new entrant into the EXCO, Ugochi Emmanuel (Techlife Media & Communications) clinched the vacant position of Assistant Secretary/Welfare.

However, the Electoral Committee voided the position of the Vice Chairman due to the absence of the two contesting candidates. A re-run election will be held subsequently.

Speaking on the election process, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Mr. Romanus Imah, noted that the Committee decided on the use of e-Voting system because the Association should be at the forefront of promoting digital processes in Nigeria, also for the fact that it wants an all-inclusive election process.

According to the Chairman, although there were challenges in the process, the use of e-Voting system proved to be the best process in this era of digitization as it ensured that no member, present or absent, was disenfranchised during the election.

He thanked the Executive Committee and the entire membership of the Association for their cooperation through the period of the elections.

Also speaking, the newly elected Chairman of the Association, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi narrated the vision, aspirations and hopes of NITRA and challenged the entire membership to work with the EXCO to achieve the visions.

Mr. Onwuegbuchi noted that the task ahead is to build upon the achievements of the previous tenure.

While promising that all campaign promises by the new EXCO will be implemented, he called on members to come together to ensure that the Association takes its pride of place in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ecosystem.

While inaugurating and leading the New EXCO members through the oath of office, Chairman, NUJ Lagos Council, Mr. Adeleye Ajayi, spoke about the need for NITRA to collaborate with the parent body, the NUJ, to tap into the numerous benefits, which include trainings and representation.

He further encouraged the NITRA membership to be more active at the NUJ monthly Congress.

The chairman assured the Association of his administration’s backing.

NITRA was inaugurated in 2014 to engender faster industry growth through collaboration with industry stakeholders on different fronts in and outside the country. The Association was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 2021.

In the past years, the Association has partnered with industry stakeholders to bring enlightenment and public awareness with its monthly Breakfast Meeting with CEOs and its Quarterly Forum that dwells on issues that are topical to the industry. The breakfast meeting with CEOs has hosted the likes of Mr. Austin Okere, Founder of CWG Plc and an Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School; Medallion CEO, Mr. Ike Nnamani; former Rack Center CEO, Mr. Tunde Coker and the General Manager of MainOne Data Center (MDXI), Mr. Gbenga Adegbiji, among others.

The new EXCO has a three-year tenure that ends in 2026 before a new election will be conducted.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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UK Appoints Mark Smithson New Country Director to Lead UK-Nigeria Trade and Investment Relations

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UK has appointed Mr. Mark Smithson the Country Director for the UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) in Nigeria. He takes over from Chim Chalemera who recently concluded a 3-year posting in that role.

Mark Smithson, UK’s Country Director, Department for Business and Trade (DBT)

Mark is an experienced civil servant having undertaken a wide variety of roles both in the UK and overseas. In this new role, he will lead on the UK-Nigeria’s trade and investment relations to deliver an increased high value inward investment and greater exports into the UK and Nigeria as well as support market access and trade policy priorities.

To mark his arrival to Nigeria, Mark said: “Nigeria is a country of huge importance to the UK and the world. Our historical, cultural, people to people and business ties are deep and ever growing.

“I am delighted to take up this new role as the DBT’s country director and I look forward to forging partnerships with the Nigerian government, the private sector and the UK supply chain and to seize the opportunities this great country and our unique partnership offer to deliver a more prosperous future to both our countries.”

Prior to Mark’s arrival to Nigeria, he was based in London (2021-2024) where he led the DBT’s Capital Investment agenda first covering European and US large corporates and since September 2022 as His Majesties Government’s global account manager for large institutional investors from Southeast Asia with a focus on Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Mark headed up the Consular Section at the British Consulate General in Barcelona, Spain, between 2007 and 2013. During his time in Spain, Mark dealt with many high-profile consular cases and sporting events.

In 2013 he transferred to the US to head up of Consular services covering Florida, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico from the British Consulate General in Miami where Mark oversaw an extensive outreach programme with US government agencies and dealt with several crisis including deployments as Rapid Deployment Team leader.

He transferred to Atlanta, USA in 2017, to lead on the UK’s Tech & creative Trade and Investment agenda covering the southeast of the USA before transferring to Bangkok in 2018 where he served till 2021 to lead the team in Thailand to drive forward an increase in exports and investment and lay the ground for the UK-Thailand Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).

Mark is married to Patima who is Thai, and they have a 3-year-old toddler.


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President Tinubu asks National Assembly to increase 2024 budget by N6.2trn

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President Bola Tinubu has requested the National Assembly to consider a N6.2 trillion increase in the 2024 appropriation act.

The President expressed his request in a letter that was read aloud by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during its plenary session on Wednesday, July 17.

This adjustment raises the 2024 budget to N34.9 trillion, up from the original N28.7 trillion budget that Tinubu approved on January 1st.

Tinubu is advocating for a budget revision that allocates N3.2 trillion for infrastructure initiatives and N3 trillion for ongoing expenses.

The president said; “Pursuant to section 58 (2) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended, I forward herewith the above named bills for consideration and passage by the senate,

“The appropriation act amendment bill seeks to amend the principal act to provide the sum of N3,200,000,000,000 for Renewed Hope Infrastructure Projects and other critical infrastructure projects to be undertaken across the country and the sum of N3,000,000,000,000 to meet further recurrent expenditure requirements necessary for the prosper operation of the federal government.

“They shall be funded by accruing to the federal government of Nigeria.

“Furthermore, the proposed amendments to the Finance Acts 2023 are required to a one-time windfall tax on the foreign exchange gains realised by banks in their 2023 financial statements to fund capital infrastructure development, education, and healthcare as well as welfare initiatives all which are components of the Renewed Hope Agenda,”


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President Tinubu appoints Walson-Jack as new Head of Service

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Didi Esther Walson-Jack as Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

Mrs. Walson-Jack

The appointment was disclosed in a statement released by Presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale on Wednesday July 17, and will take effect from August 14, 2024.

“Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several Ministries.

“The new appointee will take over from the incumbent Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, who is due to retire on August 13, 2024,” Ngelale said in a statement.

President Tinubu, who thanked the outgoing Head of Service for her stewardship, tasked the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation.


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