My schedule for the day was to carry out some transactions at Ikot Ekpene so I left Uyo very early to meet with my client to analyze my proposal. A message from Facebook caught my attention and I checked who the messenger was. “Appear in Ibom e-library now now now,” the messenger chatted and I asked what was happening. After few more chats I hurried down to the Ibom e-library from IK where I met the freelancer’s masterclass for hotels.ng interns.
The training was strictly for successful candidates who have made it to commendable stages in the internship program. The Freelancer Masterclass is designed to equip trainees on how to write good proposals. They were given tips on how source for jobs and create opportunities in the industry. I stepped into the long hall of Start Innovation Hub at the Ibom e-library and took a seat by Hanson Johnson, the CEO and founder of the hub.
With his glasses slightly below his eyelids and resting on his nose, the associate professor, Dr. Nse Essien who has been running the affairs of the Ministry of Science and Technology for the past 9 months read his speech which was precise and straight to the point. “I need not over emphasize the fact that we are living in a digital world, where Science, Technology and Innovation are the main drivers. Definitely, Akwa Ibom State will not be left behind,” the associate professor promised.
I leaned on my seat, taking a better posture to probe into his looks to ascertain the earnestness in those words. I have less doubt for his abilities however, because with the success of the ongoing training which techforest.ng has been following religiously, it was glaring that he understands the difference between politics and delivering on an assignment.
“We are in a Digital Era,” he continued. “with landmark revolution characterize
d by the use of technology which increases speed and breadth of knowledge turnover within the economy and society. In the present world, the ‘in-thing’ is the use of electronic tools, systems, devices and resources that generates, store or process data. The solution for unemployment in Nigeria is for job seekers to go digital by acquiring pre-requisite skills.” He proposed.
Few more of those encouraging words gave me the needed confidence that Dr. Nse Essien was truly sincere in his drive to get Akwa Ibom youths productive enough under the recent
trend in technology. He has donated a large training space free of all charges to a hub in Uyo and today the training is taking place in the same hub. The 100 people so far trained can effectively handle IT projects and this training was to equip them on how to source for such opportunities and deliver them effectively and on time. “Indeed this man is a legend.” I thought.
Mark Essien later took the interns through his personal experiences and how he conquered some obstacles during his rising days. He intimated the interns that it was easier to become a successful developer than to start a startup online. “For instance, you can earn $10,000 every month as a developer but to start your own business and become successful at it is always more tedious.” Mark remarked. He later introduced participants to websites where they can bid for jobs and promised interns that you cannot bid for jobs for one month and will not have one to execute.
“Always try to keep your rating high,” the IT professional, Mark Essien advised. “Don’t let people rate you down. Keep talking to them. Always try to be online, always reply clients at the right time and don’t jump over $2,000 job to a $10,000 job. Avoid trying to get money quick.” The IT pro concluded. He however encouraged interns to concentrate on learning backend which is
seen in programming as being more tedious than the frontend.
Akwa Ibom ecosystem has in recent days attracted notable entrepreneurs who comes in to help in building and encouraging tech practitioners. One of such feats is the Iboro Otu’s led
ALERT Nigeria that is currently sponsoring an essay program aimed at identifying grassroot problems and finding solutions for such problems using latest technological tools. To achieve cohesion within the ecosystem, the ALERT Nigeria team also bring the six hubs operating in Uyo under the 085BTC Code which is aimed at sharing an incubating ideas channeled at delivering the needed solutions.
With the co-operation of the likes of Mark Essien of hotels.ng, Iboro Otu of ALERT Nigeria and Dr. Nse Essien the indefatigable commissioner for Science and Technology, techforest.ng can authoritatively report that the long-awaited future in the industry is finally in sight. Meanwhile 100 out of the 2,500 registered interns made it to the final stages of the internship program. I left the e-library at about 4.00pm after launch delivered by AfroPot, an online food supply startup in Akwa Ibom founded by Emem Brownson.