The Nigerian youth will be competitive in the
is Ayo Oladejo?
Oladejo Ayobami Abiodun is a
graduate of Mathematics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He
has been known to promote the use of
Information & Communication
Technology (ICT) as a veritable tool for development right from his
University days as the president of his departmental society. He
bought his association’s first computer system and became the first
departmental society in his University to be connected to the
Internet; that was in the year 2000.
Ayobami presently works in the Engineering Group of Vmobile Nigeria, a
first generation GSM company in Nigeria. He is an ICT professional with
a relatively broad spectrum including Telecommunications, Web
Development, Database Designs, Network Administration and Security,
Windows and Linux Systems Administration, Programming, e.t.c. He is a
consultant to private companies and government institutions especially
in ICT policy research. Ayobami is a volunteer at the Lagos Digital
Village where he teaches and mentors young people; he is also involved
in many other ICT for development initiatives.
He is the team leader of Nigerian Anti-Scam Network –
group fighting the scourge of online scam and other related cyber crime.
A creative thinker and business developer, Ayobami envisioned and
produced the OAU Interactive Multimedia CD in the year 2002; the first
of its kind in any Nigerian University.
He is co-author of a book titled – Global Process, Local Reality – a
book that chronicles the participation of Nigerian youths in the World
Summit on the Information Society process. His main aim is to
participate actively in the emergence of a “New Nigeria” that we can all
be proud of. (www.ayooladejo.org.ng/blog)
Can you describe a day
in your life?
Uhnnnn, well a day in my life depends on if it is a weekday or a
weekend. On a typical weekday, I wake up 5:10 a.m, do some communing
with my heavenly father committing the day into his hands. I get to the
office at about 7:30 a.m and list out my action points for the day. I
usually have breakfast at 9:30 a.m and the rest of the morning is spent
on attending to emails and technical support for my platforms.
Afternoons are normally spent reading, support and attending various
meetings. Lunch comes up at 2:30 p.m and various unplanned activities
come up until normal close of business at 5:30 p.m. I spend the next 1-2
hours doing my personal stuffs or developing myself. I typically get
home by 8.00 p.m and I just basically have dinner, relax and do a recap
of the day’s activities. I go to bed at about 12:00 midnight daily….
Pretty late, right, but not without adding value to myself through
various means and bidding goodnight to papa God.
What do you love about
what you do?
I love what I do because of the value being added to people. I work as a
Telecoms professional and this brings me joy especially when subscribers
use the services to develop their minds and do great things for
themselves. As we all know, communication in various means is a very key
catalyst for development. On the other side, I am a part of a number of
initiatives aimed to making life better for Nigerian youths. I love this
part very much as it helps me to express myself and contribute to the
development of the Nigerian state.
I attended Loyola College Ibadan for my Junior Secondary School
Education (1991-1993) before doing my Senior Secondary School Education
at School of Science, Ile-Ife Osun State (1993-1996). I have a B.Sc in
Mathematics from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife in 2002.
Did anyone ever tell
you that you wouldn’t make it and how did you handle it?
I believe only positive reports from people and from God, so the
mentality of being discouraged by pessimists has not really bothered me.
Yes, people have put me down before but I always remind myself that I
can do anything I propose in my heart. I am from a humble background but
my parents are people of integrity and the training I received helped in
shaping my mentality. Also, I make sure I move with high-flyers and not
mediocre; such that I am always challenged to achieve great feats and my
religious convictions also help to instill in me a spirit of confidence
in the almighty about my life.
What regrets do you
have (if any)?
Not really. However, when I look back to some situations of yesteryears;
I sometimes hope I had handled those things in a better way.
Communications Technologies (ICTs) and the Nigerian youth?
The Nigerian youth will be competitive in the international scene thanks
to the advent and use of ICTs. Never have we seen a tool so important
and relevant to the development of a nation as Information and
Communication Technology. My advice is that regardless of our endeavors
and career paths, ICTs will make things easier and seamless. The kind of
exposure that computers and its allied products have brought into our
lives cannot be over-emphasized and a lot of advantages have been
identified via job creation and the development of our young minds with
a view to positively competing with the youth from developed countries.
As a believer in the
New Nigeria, what are your perspectives about the New Nigeria and
Nigerians in the next 10 years?
Things cannot continue like this. I am a deep believer in the dreams
of an emerging Nigeria that will be key to the emancipation of the
African continent and the black man in Nigeria. I know there will be
prices to pay and they might be very painful ones but the truth will
soon prevail. I see those who destroyed the sanctity and economy of
the Nigerian state being shamed and uprooted and I see our nation
becoming the pride of the world.
Nigerian youths and
We have many dysfunctional youths due to the prevalent poverty and low
moral standard accentuated by the decay of the Nigerian state. But I
also see a lot of young, bright and focused Nigerians who are bent on
making things work. We have always being the driving force for youths in
ICT4D for Africa and have proven this a lot of times. There will be a
better Africa when we have more Nigerian youth taking initiatives that
are positively aimed at creating opportunities for growth.
Nigeria is one of the
countries tagged as a 419ers?, what advice do you have for the
Nigerian government to curb the menace and alternative ways for the
The media all over the world has done us great injustice but we actually
gave them the right to do it. Our society respects money and people will
do anything to get respect, hence the incurable thirst for money. Until
our value systems are restored and people are praised for adding value
to the nation not because of money; we will not resolve this problem. We
should celebrate teachers, lecturers and others who touch lives, not a
political godfather who made his money through dubious means. There
should also be a general improvement in standard of living before things
can get better, a situation where everyone is a local government
providing electricity (Generator), water (borehole) and other amenities
personally is slap on the government’s face and this actually gives a
poor man cause to look for more money. Until people have jobs that can
feed and make them live reasonably well, the fight against dubious
practices will be a fruitless war. It is then that a re-orientation of
the mind could actually do any good to our society.
What advice do you have
for African youth looking to engage their passions?
If it is a passion, then it will work. The rule is not to go for things
because of money but to add value to your nation and the world in
general. A good example is the Google bguys who started the search
engine to help people search better online. Their motivation was not
based on money but adding value; this paid of later and they are very
rich now. So, add value and then make money!
Your advice to Nigerian
and African youths?
Be confident; do not be discouraged by your environment, dream big and
large. We are the only hope this continent has to meet up. And let us
read, read and read…. We need to develop ourselves to meet up with the
developed world. Readers are leaders.
When are expecting your
I am a co-author of Global Process, Local Reality – a book that
chronicles the participation of Nigerian youths in the World Summit on
the Information Society. My first solo book will come out in 2008, the
title…. I will tell u then.
If you have an
opportunity to rule Nigeria for a year, what are the criteria you will
use to select youths in your cabinet? And what those reforms you will
Brains, Integrity, Optimism, Prudence, Innovation, Hardworking,
Godliness. Reforms – Mindset, Education, Priority Redefinition, Rail
System, Industry, Job Creation, etc.
As the Team Leader for
the Nigerian Anti-Scam Network, what are you doing to help the youth
to shun fraud activities?
Mentorship based on the need to make young people confident of their
abilities. Identification of legal alternative income sources from the
Internet and other sources. Identifying reasons for engaging in positive
activities and the boomerang effect of fraudulent activities on the
economy of Nigeria.