Employing ICT to change the world

Abdulazeez Idiaro in the news-as it is on The Nation newspaper.

For those who are pessimistic about the possibility of a bright future for the education and ICT sectors, here is a cause to have a rethink. Nigerian undergraduates are no doubt taking the world by storm. One of such proud Nigerians is Abdulazeez Idiaro, a 400-Level Business Administration student of the University of Ilorin. MOHAMMED ALABI and ABDULRAHMAN ONABANJO (500-L Law) met the young man.

When Faruk Abdulmutallab soiled the good name of the nation recently, not many conceded to Nigerian youths being a violent lot. In fact, many dismissed the disgraceful act as an isolated case that must be treated on that level. This outcry may not be unconnected with the notion that the average Nigerian youth is hardworking, innovative, intelligent and cool-headed, if fun-loving. These describe the exploits of Abdulazeez Idiaro, popularly known as “Ediaro.com” on campus.

His voyage started some six years ago when he was confronted with the task of creating a formidable platform for local academic works to be published. Not only that, he was bewildered on the realisation that Nigeria and, by extension, students were tactically exempted from international scholarship and employment opportunities. To remove this barrier, he created what has metamorphosed into the internationally acclaimed Ediaro.com.

Hear him: “I learnt website designing by reading e-books, IT magazines and newsletters. Then I progressed to entrepreneurship books, marketing magazines and biographies of successful business moguls around the world. Based on the experienced I garnered over the years, I came out with the Ediaro.com concept.”

The concept, CAMPUSLIFE learnt, contains, among others, e-library, a resourceful platform made available free of charge for researchers, e-business section, social networking platform, information on available international students’ contests, employment opportunities and scholarships. He has since expanded its frontiers to include e-advertisement, e-payment consultancy, web-designing, talent hunting and e-learning, among others.

These did not come easy. He confessed that there were a lot of obstacles that initially got him disillusioned but for the encouragement from friends, siblings and, especially, his mother.

“The cost of procuring the materials of connecting to internationally acclaimed ICT companies, such as Microsoft, the challenges of carrying materials all around and having to combine my studies and all that seemed insurmountable,” he confessed.

Yet, the challenges turned out to be blessings in disguise. He said he is now better equipped to face the rigours ahead. In the passing, he would shower encomiums on the late Anthony Ogunlanoh (MD/CEO of Benant Services). Through him, he got a lot from Campaq, HP, IBM, Microsoft, 3com etc.

Abdulazeez says of his late mentor: “He was such a positively-minded international ICT professional.”

Over 50 universities have subscribed to Ediaro.com platform to help their academic staff and students publish their works and to get updated about the array of features offered by the computer whiz kid.

The launch of the project, last year, was attended by some of the best minds in the sector. Since then, the response of the academe at home and abroad has been most impressive. How then has he been able to cope with the financial implications of the capital-intensive project? The answer, expectedly, was that most of the financing has been from his pocket. Recently, however, especially premised on the global acceptance of the project, the e-advert section of the web has enjoyed considerable patronage from corporate institutions, public and private ventures. The astronomical rate with which the response came is not surprising as the cost is cheap.

What appears most interesting of all is the “People Empowering People” ideology of the project. The platform has, over the months, created avenues for students to showcase their talents, publish their academic works, study on diverse subjects and earn a token even from the comfort of their rooms.

As it is on The Nation newspaper official website at http://thenationonlineng.net/web2/articles/36661/1/Employing-ICT-to-change-the-world/Page1.html

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