The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, has declared that Information Technology is applicable to all human endeavours. Professor Enikuomehin disclosed this at the 2nd International Conference on Applied Information Technology, tagged, ‘AIT 2017’ with the theme, “Exploring Information Technology Innovations for National Development”, organised by the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), in collaboration with FUNAAB.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Dean, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS) of the University, Professor Amidu Mustapha, stated that the theme was apt, relevant and very timely to the situation in the country, adding that the nation was in dire need of new ways of achieving development. According to him, “From my point of view, that means, new ways of doing things and making change in our ways of doing things, which is synonymous with development”.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, who said that there were no specific reserved seats for NCS members in the Information Technology world, noting that the field was for all, as most of the land-sweeping innovations were found outside the formal boundary of the computer science family. He, however, stated that all were welcome on board, to make the innovations happen. Professor Enikuomehin commended organisers of the conference, saying that the conference was good for even non-computer science experts, so that everyone could come together and share knowledge. He challenged participants to cross-fertilise ideas into innovativeness that would make life easier and transactions a lot faster.

Encouraging starters to venture into innovating in IT, the Acting Vice-Chancellor said that developed nations could be complacent in some areas, where they already had things working well, adding that Africans or less developed nations could help in cushioning in those areas but unfortunately, this may not be so because they had been plagued down by a variety of problems. He stressed that Africans could turn such disadvantage into an advantage and make innovative ways of solving the myriad of problems.

Delivering the keynote address titled, “Exploring Information Technology Innovation for National Development through Application of Cloud Computing in the Nigerian Education Landscape”, Professor Sanjay Misra from the Covenant University, Ogun State, described Cloud Computing as a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources, adding that CLOUD, as an acronym, meant Computing Location independent Online Utility available on-Demand. Misra, who is a Professor of Computer Software Engineering, stated that the characteristics of Cloud Computing were that its users do not necessarily have to own the IT resources they use, saying that the servers they exploit might be hosted in external data centers. He added that Cloud Computing services were provided through the pay-per-use model or subscription model, while its resources and services provided to the client were often virtual and shared among several users, noting that the services were provided via the Internet.

Professor Misra highlighted the challenges facing Cloud Computing within the Nigerian educational context, saying that privacy, data availability and traditional security were factors affecting it. He, therefore, provided solutions through privacy and control, accessibility and authentication, which could be used to guard against the challenges. Misra, who is also a visiting Professor to the University of Alcala in Spain, further stated that while many people have concerns about Cloud Computing, there was no doubt that it was changing the way people provided systems and services. According to him, “The more informed IT Departments are about the cloud, the better the position they will be in when making decisions about deploying, developing, and maintaining systems in the cloud”. He noted that the decision to move to cloud-based services should fit into the institution’s overall objectives, stressing that before any services were moved to the cloud, the institution’s management should ensure such actions were consistent with their strategic plans.

The Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), of the Conference, Professor Adio Akinwale in his welcome address, recalled that two years ago, when the body started the Conference, the overwhelming need of Information Technology and its application for the development of Africa and Nigeria in particular was a necessity. “The theme is necessary at this critical moment when governments at all levels are seeking quick solutions to our economic recession”, as Professor Akinwale added that Information Technology had cut across all disciplines, noting that it had become increasingly important, as innovation was the key driver of national development.

The President of NCS, Professor Adesola Aderounmu, said that IT had transformed and would continue to transform all aspects of human endeavours, namely: commerce, finance, education, energy, health care and manufacturing. Others include the government, national security, transportation, communications, entertainment, science and engineering, among others. Represented by the South West Coordinator of NCS, Mr. Michael Olajide, the President said that innovation was the door to great discoveries, adding that it was the currency, power, strength and lever of Information Technology. He, therefore, stressed the need for the country to be proactive and forward looking on how to create the basis for sustainable economic recoveries, noting that in conditions of economic scarcity, Nigeria no longer had the luxury of being passive and reactive. Highpoint of the occasion was the formal opening ceremony of the Conference by the representative of the Governor of Ogun State, the Special Adviser/Director-General of Lands and Survey in Ogun State, Honourable Biyi Ismail. Present at the Conference were the representative of the Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Professor Tajudeen Banmeke; representative of the Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET), Dr. Kayode Shonibare; President, Information Technology Systems and Security Professionals (ITSSP), Professor Adeshina Shodiya and the Head of Department (HoD), Computer Science, Dr. Bukola Onashoga of FUNAAB, among others.