The Institute of Information Management IIM Africa recently held its 28th annual conference and induction ceremony in Lagos during which some new fellows and members were inducted.

Among the 10 inducted professional fellows was Goke Ilesanmi, Managing Consultant/CEO, Gokmar Communication Consulting; Publisher, and Columnist with Nigerian NewsDirect Newspaper.

President and chairman of the executive council of the institute, Ambassador (Dr) Oyedokun Oyewole, while welcoming everyone to the event, reminded them that the COVID-19 pandemic had been a human tragedy. He noted almost 110 million people had been sickened by the virus, over 2.4 million died, and millions of livelihoods had been destroyed.

According to him, much now depends on the outcome of the race between the changing virus and the vaccines to end its spread as well as the ability of policies to provide effective support until that happens.

Presenting the annual scorecard of the institute, the president also disclosed that in the last one year, the institute has engaged in collaboration with different entities in enhancing the frontiers of data and information management in the society. According to Oyewole: “Prominent among such include the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding MoU with the NiNAS and collaboration with the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR). The year 2020 also witnessed the execution of the IIM National Digital Transformation Awareness Campaign.”

In his words: “Data and information outlooks are an essential component of our organisations’ work. Comprehensive, accurate and fact-based analysis is crucial in supporting policy-makers in taking informed decisions, especially in the current circumstances.”

He explained that the Institute initiated the National Digital Transformation Awareness Campaign which was conducted at different Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Nigeria as part of the drive towards promoting excellence, that is. standards, competence and certification in data and information management in the society.

“The initiative was a follow-up to the directive issued by the Head of Service of the Federation in June 2020 directing MDAs to begin automation and digitisation of files and records,” Oyewole said at the event that had Dr Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, former Minister of Communications as the Special Guest of Honour and Mr Bharat Soni, Group CISO/DPO, Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria as the Keynote Speaker/Special Guest.

He added that the 2021 annual conference with the theme: “Identity Management and Data Protection Regulation: Risk, Responsibility and Compliance in ‘Circles of Data Governance was timely as it came at a time when Nigeria’s digital identity goal is being reinforced by the World Bank, which is funding the Nigeria Digital Identity for Development Project with about $115 million. Oyewole said the $115 million is part of a portfolio of six projects in all, totalling $430 million, aimed at empowering the country’s citizens, especially marginalised groups, to allow them access welfare-enhancing services.

Oyewole who congratulated all the inductees said their induction ascertified members of the Institute has imposed on them the professional responsibility of having to exhibit a high sense of integrity and professionalism in their services. He advised inductees to be abreast of trends and embrace high ethical and professional standards in their practice at all times.

A total of four hononary fellows; 10 professional fellows; six senior professional members; four professional members; one associate member and two Information Management Academy members were inducted.