It was an impressive gathering of dignitaries at the imposing Yudala Heights on Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday, October 1st, 2020 as the Tech Experience Centre, a mega technology project spearheaded by TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost technology, lifestyle and solutions distributor, was officially unveiled.
On hand to commission the potentially game-changing initiative aimed at bridging the gap to cutting-edge technology for millions of Nigerians was the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami.
Also raising the profile of the auspicious event was the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was the Chief Host.
The highly successful event, which coincided with Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, attracted a number of dignitaries drawn from the public and private sector too numerous to capture.
Among those present were the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi; Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lagos State, Dr. Hakeem Fahm; Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe; Founder/CEO, MainOne, Funke Opeke; Chairman, Stanbic IBTC, Peterside Atedo; MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonwo; MD/CEO of Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, MD/CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Lamin Manjang; MD/CEO, Ecobank, Patrick Akinwuntan; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ernest Ebi and his wife; former Chairman of Accenture, Mr. Dotun Suleiman; MD/CEO Stanbic IBTC Capital, Mr. Funso Akere; Executive Director, Access Bank, Mr. Victor Etuokwu, MD/CEO, Providus Bank, Mr. Walter Akpani; Chairman, Aso Savings and Loans Plc., Alhaji Ali Magashi; former CEO, Diamond Bank, Mr. Emeka Onwuka; Founder/CEO, Britannia Oil and Gas, Mrs Catherine Iju Ifejika and her husband, Mr. Emmanuel Ifejika; media entrepreneur and ace blogger, Linda Ikeji; renowned fashion couturier, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, just to mention a few.
Also present at the event were senior representatives of the globally renowned Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other tech brands occupying the centre.
The Tech Experience Centre houses a convergence of globally renowned tech giants such as Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Dell Technologies, Zinox, Schneider Electric, Samsung, Apple and Bosch, among others, all under one roof to create an immersive experience of the latest technologies. Equally important, the high-profile event provided a unique opportunity for the dignitaries present to witness first-hand some of the amazing devices, gadgets and cutting-edge tech solutions at the disposal of the tech brands in the centre.
The Lagos State Governor, ably represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Dr. Pantami and other enthralled guests were conducted round each OEM space to see for themselves the demonstrations of the various technologies in action. Also experienced was a gaming arena where visitors would be immersed in the latest Virtual Reality-aided games including the all-new PS5.
Despite the overwhelming excitement displayed by the VIP personalities, Head of the Tech Experience Centre, Chidalu Ekeh disclosed that more revolutionary innovations would be unveiled at the centre. She stated that the successful launch of the Centre is a display of faith in Nigeria by global tech giants, adding that what is on ground is only the first phase of what she described as a ‘major investment’.
She said: ‘‘The Tech Experience Centre is a burning passion of TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost technology, lifestyle and solutions distributor, nurtured over many long, painstaking months and which has become a reality today. Also worth mentioning is the fact that this project is a declaration of faith by global tech leaders in Nigeria. Certainly, it was not a dream that came easy, especially considering the need to play by and comply strictly with the international rules of the global tech game.
‘‘This initiative is a major investment that will rub off positively on the Nigerian economy and I can confidently say that what is on ground already is the first phase of this massive project. Inside this edifice are three other floors that are yet to be occupied and conversations are still ongoing, with respect to other strategic partnerships with global tech giants to this effect.’’
The revolutionary Tech Experience Centre, the first of its kind in Africa, is widely expected to boost Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology race and shore up the country’s march to technology independence.
For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.