UNILORIN Wins the ODDC Hackathon Competition


Two teams from the University of Ilorin have won the 1st and 3rd positions at the First Open Data Research Group (ODDC) Hackathon open competition organised to celebrate the World Hack Day.

The event, which took place penultimate Saturday (February 22, 2014), was organised by the Unilorin Open Data Research Group (ODDC) in collaboration with BudgIT Nigeria.

The Unilorin winning team, comprising Mr. Lai Bello of the Department of Information and Communication Sciences; Akinwale Victor of the Computer Science Department; Tolayemi Oluwatoyosi, and Umar Ismail of the Department of Information and Communication Sciences, clinched the first prize with its entry, which is an Application on Visual Budgeting. The prize was supported with a cash award of N30,000.00.

The second Unilorin team, comprising Mr. S. A. Sanni, Oke John; Peter Makafan and Nosu Obaseki, all from the Computer Science Department, clinched the 3rd position with cash award of  N10.000.00., while the team from Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, took the 2nd position with a cash award of N20,000.00.

Other participants in the 4th , 5th , 6th , 7th and 8th positions are Paramount Computers,  Adewale from the University of Ilorin (Adewale); Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH)(Justice), Ogbomoso; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH),Ogbomoso (Tayo) and  Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, respectively. Each of them got cash rewards of  N5,000.00 each.

Declaring the event open earlier, the Chairman of the occasion and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, said that the competition was the first of its kind in the Nigerian university system.

Prof. Ambali, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Y. M. Fakunle, described hacking as looking at a set of data and making it easily accessible to people who are not experts in the field.

The Vice-Chancellor said that the University is very proud to partner BudgIT Nigeria, because the University always likes to engage with community in terms of innovation and knowledge sharing.

In his remarks, the Operation Manager, BudgIT, Nigeria, Mr. Stanley Achonu, described ‘Hackthon’ as “a value of communication that can be used as basis for reasoning, discussion or calculation. This is a collection of facts from which conclusions can be drawn.”

In her welcome address, the Project Leader, ODDC Research team, University of Ilorin, Dr. (Mrs.) O. V. Mejabi, said, “The word “hackathon” consists of the words “marathon” and “hackers”, joined together to define an event where teams of participants gather in the same physical or virtual space to collaboratively develop applications in a short time.

Dr. Mejabi added, “A hackathon is also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest and today is the 2014 International Open Data HackDay. In the context of today’s event, the hack day centres around the budget data of Nigeria, which is available to the public on the website of the Budget Office of Nigeria – and as such, is open data”.

She stressed that,“To help us with ideas of how and what types of applications can be developed during a data hack event such as this, BudgIT Nigeria, an NGO based in Lagos, has gladly sent five (5) of their staff to be with us. BudgIT was the winner of the 2013 Lagos Data Hack Event with the prize money of N300,000”.

Dr. Mejabi added that “We are particularly grateful to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, for augmenting support for this event and especially for asking our amiable DVC (Management Services), Prof. Y. M. Fakunle to be the Chairman of this opening ceremony.”

She said that the ODDC is a research project funded by the World Wide Web Foundation, adding that the University of Ilorin Open Data Research Group is working on the Use of the Online National Budget of Nigeria, as one of the case studies of the ODDC project, which is supported by grant 107075 from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The project leader said that the Unilorin ODDC  research team has the benefit of a World Wide Web Foundation appointed Peer Supporter , Dr. Maurice McNaughton, Director, Centre of Excellence, Mona School of Business and Management and the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica who, she said, would be visiting the University in April.

Other dignitaries at the event were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RTI), Prof. F. A. Oladele; the Dean, Communication and Information Sciences (CIS), Prof. J. S. Sadiku; the Dean, Physical Sciences, Prof. B. L. Adeleke; the Dean of Engineering, Prof. Y. A. Jimoh, the Deputy Registrar (Academic Support Services), Mrs. R. A. Okojie; the Head, Department of Telecommunications, Dr. A. A. Ayeni; the Co-Investigator, Unilorin ODDC, Dr. L. A. Azeez; Mr. O. A. Laaro of Mass Communication Department and Mrs. R. A. Oyekunle of Information and Communication Sciences Department.



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