It was a lot of fun, glamour and intellectual feast as the maiden edition of the Nigerian Online Merit Award held Friday night at the Function Suite of Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State.
The event, chaired by former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, drew a full house to the main hall of the upscale hotel.
About a dozen outstanding players in Nigeria’s online space were honoured at the event spiced up with comedy and musical performances.
They included Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, who emerged the e-Governor of the Year, and Africa’s Serial Digital Entrepreneur, Leo Stan Ekeh, who was honoured as ICT Icon of the Year.
Other winners included Akwa Ibom State (Best State Website) and Nigerian Communications Commission, which won the MDA of the Year award.
Three winners emerged in the banking category, namely: Zenith (Platinum), Fidelity (Gold) and Access (Silver).
Similarly, there were three winners in the newspaper category – Vanguard (Platinum), The Guardian (Silver) and Daily Trust (Silver).
Anchoring the intellectual aspect of the event, Ekeh and Ndukwe held the audience spell-bound as they critically x-rayed topical ICT issues facing the Nigerian nation and highlighted how the online revolution could be leveraged to leapfrog the country’s development.
The night, which opened with a welcome address by NiOMA Organising Committee Chairman, Lanre Alabi, also witnessed the debut of the all-gloss NIOMA Infotech Trends, an annual magazine.
Among dignitaries that graced the event were Governor Ambode, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan; Publisher of The Guardian, Maiden Ibru; former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Wale Omole; and Vanguard Editor, Mr. Eze Anaba, among others.
A brainchild of Nigeria’s leading daily online newspaper, News Express Nigeria (newsexpressngr.com), NiOMA is designed to celebrate outstanding individuals and corporates driving the Nigerian online revolution.