Hmm, where do i start this from? Perhaps, I should begin with an apology since my assignment with this project as mentor was meant to begin on Sunday July 20, 2008.

However, several factors have combined to mean I’m just doing this today. So, lets begin!

Since we’re dealing with Progress & Challenges as per using ICTs in Nigeria, i think my current status fits. You see, I don’t have 24/7 Internet Access hence I have periods of offline sabbaticals where I do nothing online whatsoever.

Anyway, since the NFS project began, I’ve come over to the blog to read posts from participants and mentors who share of their diverse experience with ICTs.

Let me use myself as an example. I remember my first use of the PC back in Ife. I had always seen pcs around but didnt have one of my own then came time to write my BSc project and I had to put to further practice some of the things I’d learnt just a couple of months during another ASUU-induced break in 1999.

Suffice to say, it began a relationship that markedly changed my professional inclination and opened new vistas to me in my desire to change the world.

Today, since 2001, I’ve spent 90% of my professional experience working on what I’d call social ICTs which has given me an opportunity to do mostly things I feel very strongly about.

Personally, I’ve made significant progress using ICTs to proffer solutions. One example of this is the ability to work and communicate with people all over irrespective of what one is physically.

Within the last two hours, I’ve sent and received certain documents that I’d need to use tomorrow and although this might sound trivial, its not. Have you ever had to get something done perhaps, a research topic with a deadline; submit a registration and poor Internet connection meant you didn’t get to do so within accepted time frame. what about receiving an email or sending one with an attachment that seems to be taking eternity to download/upload.

The truth is ICTs give us a tremendous platform to do much more than we ever dreamed possible. Yes, its possible to misuse or rather fail to rightly use the resources we have.

Agreed, access can be better and surely, this can affect our pockets in more friendly ways too but, even what we have today, how do we use it? What are we doing online habitually that is adding value to us as individuals and enhancing our ability to add to our local & global society in generally.

Can we do a quick rating of how much time we spend online per day, week or month and outline what we do online? What percentage of our activities in cyberspace is spent doing something positive that benefits someone external to us?

Latest figures released by NCC in June 2008 show Nigeria has almost 50million subscribers from a base of less than 500,000 back in 2001 that has brought big drops in set-up and maintenance costs for us as subscribers. Yet, there are other success stories of fellow Nigerians who are engaging and using ICTs to meet needs in their environment.

This in my opinion, shows huge openings and opportunities for us as individuals and a people to leverage on ICTs and contribute solutions which show our words in action rather than words, ideas and desires we express waiting for someone to act upon them.

Can I implore everyone reading this from anywhere in the world, you have something good our world needs to see and we can only see it when we each release that within us.

Meanwhile, I’m also an avid football lover and it was with great sadness I was reading of the con-agent story on the BBC website earlier last week. The gist is young boys are being tricked into paying for ability to access opportunities to train and sign up with major european clubs. Unfortunately, the persons promising all this to the young people have absolutely no genuine link and only seek to profit from the youngsters.

Why have I mentioned all this? Because, in a world where we live that is increasingly complex and highly competitive, we must reserve the right to properly analyse what’s before us else we find people willing to take advantage of us and our desires.

I look forward to questions & feedback as i hope to write more this week.

Thank you all for the unique opportunity to share these few days with you. Thank you W.TEC for the chance to give back to the next generation.

‘Tope Soremi