Hotels.NG Internship, A Collaboration that Muted the Unbelievers

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Hotels.ng Internship
Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Professor Nse Essien with Mark Essien of Hotels.NG. A most fruitful collaboration within the tech ecosystem in recent times.

The hotels.ng internship program came to an end with 50 successful candidates offered automatic employment by the leading online hotel booking company – hotels.NG. Techforest has been following up all activities during the internship, and even had a team member graduating with other interns in the program.  Though the program has come to an end with the closing ceremony at the Ibom e-library, there are some points I would want to stress from the three months internship that saw more than a hundred new developers and enthusiasts emerging within the Akwa Ibom ecosystem.

Hotels.ng Internship
The Hotels.NG Amazing App was launched few days to closing ceremony. A commendable effort by the interns

It has turned to a sermon kind of approach in convincing a typical Akwa Ibomites that we have creative thinkers in this region who can replicate whatever is happening in other regions technologically.  The three months of intensive training with a syllabus arranged by the company saw a new android application emerging within the three months internship.  Ordinarily, it would not have taken Mark anything to hire a few developers out there to build an app for his company, but he decided to come down to Akwa Ibom where the faith in software development is near zero. The app Hotels.ng was launched few days to the closing ceremony giving kudos to the program and strengthening our faith in the entire process.

Now let’s talk about the developers that made this happen.  I saw Nsikak Thompson walk into the office of Start Innovation Hub some months back to commence his apprenticeship in Android App Development, under the tutelage of Hanson Johnson, the CEO of the Hub.  With dedication and a strong drive to succeed, Nsikak rose to acquire all the necessary skills to develop apps that can run on Android platform becoming a second hand to his busy Boss.  Joining the internship in September, Nsikak was one of the team members that developed the remarkable hotels.ng android application which is still running today on google playstore.

What was the qualification of the team members and other successful candidates if I may ask? It will definitely interest you to know that at most, the highest qualification required to reach your peak in software development is your SSCE. Some of the team members had completed their OND program but I will make bold to say that a kid who is just graduating from his primary six can do wanders if adequately exposed to the right tools in app developments. This is the story every Akwa Ibom citizen must share since it is generally believed in the State that one must acquire a university education before impacting on the society.

Professor Nse Essien sits at the helm of affairs in the Ministry of Science and Technology.  While most people have lost faith in the ministry and sometimes even questioning the need to run such a ministry with the state budgets, Professor Essien seems completely out to revitalize the essence to which the Ministry was created.  Interaction within the Ministry suggests that the Ministry was created to handle training programs – may be an aim long put to rest.  But today, as the 50 graduates from the internship program secures an immediate employment into the private sector, the need to have a professor in the ministry can never be overemphasized.

While many attested the loss of faith in government partnership, Professor Essien provided a conducive environment for the interns at Start Innovation Hub currently at the base of the Ibom e-library.  This was unlike what was expected from past leaders in the ministry who had seen the Ibom e-library as the source of revenue for the Ministry than the welfare of Akwa Ibom youths.  Today, the 50 successful interns not only benefit from their various experiences but has helped strengthen the faith of those who has lost hope in government as regards the welfare of her citizens. The collaboration therefore signals the dawn of a new beginning.

While giving his speech at the closing ceremony, the Hon. Commissioner for Science and technology promised to use the template from the hotels.ng internship for future training in the industry. This is not only commendable but must be encouraged.  It is on record that the government has attempted the training of Akwa Ibom citizens on several occasions but such programs are normally unsuccessful due to wrong implementation or poor handling of the idea.

We have a new faith in software development. We are now sure that our children can do what most tech entrepreneurs had done in the past and today has recorded several success stories. Those who never believed in the talents spread across the state now have a new thought about this.  This is the power of collaboration. This is the type of training that yields result. Now that the Akwa Ibom State government collaborates with techies in the state, I will advise you to key in to the upcoming technology revolution that is sweeping across the state and be a part of this history. Indeed, our faith has been restored.

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