A popular saying “catch them young”, this statement has been on the lips of policy makers in Nigeria especially those that are into interventionist policies in technology based sectors. But, it’s all talk and no walk. Talk has always been cheap ! Leaving the sector mostly in the hands of private sectors. Schools these days pay lip service to the use of information and technology education…doing more of a theory thing and we know that just like other areas of sciences , practicals are imperative! A narrative that Hanson Johnson and his team in Start Innovation Hub is trying to change in Uyo, with the hands on experience by engaging the kids.

In today’s Nigerian universities, majority of the computer engineering students do not know the basic rudimentary of coding, with low budget and ill equipped facility, many of our graduates from Universities are “half baked” giving the employers a nightmarish recruiting experience. The need to retrain them with the current realities on ground becomes the major thing for these employers. Thankfully, Nigerians are smart and they pick up, leaving the old syllabus that they were thought in the universities that were busy striking and lecturers mostly haven’t upgraded their skills .

Johnson Hanson, a product of this system , Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) having seen the situation in the Nigerian school system, been there, done that decided to open an imcubation hubs where youths can be made to understand the dynamics of ICT ecosystem ranging from mobile app development, coding and web designing. Having collaborated with top ICT firms like Google, Facebook and with endorsement from Nigeria’s foremost ICT regulatory agency NITDA, Johnson has been giving back to the society lately and kids are busy this summer.

Start Innovation Hub is a non governmental organisation powered by Johnson and his gang! They have a mission to change the narrative of the Niger Delta ecosystem from that of oil dependency to ICT hub, and he is doing a fantastic job at that. As the summer holidays are here, trust me kids in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state aren’t lazying around, they are busy, very busy! With an eye on the future, Uyo would still be relevant on future when the discussion has left oil to information technology.

Anthony Emeka Nwosu


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