The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has approved five regulatory guidelines to improve service delivery in the sector and boost the nation’s economy.
The approved guidelines were presented to the public at a news conference addressed by Dr Isa Pantami, the Director General of NITDA on Friday in Abuja.
The guidelines, all amended, include Nigerian Content Development in Information and Communications, Nigeria e-Government Inter-operability Framework (Ne-GIF) and Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV).
Others are Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP) and Framework and Guidelines for ICT Adoption in Tertiary Institutions.
Pantami, during the presentation of the guidelines, said the agency’s regulatory documents were developmental and not intended to indict stakeholders in the industry.
Pantami, a ministerial nominee, recalled that the agency had on Jan. 25 signed off five regulatory guidelines, adding that the newly approved ones would consolidate the older and ensure the agency remains relevant in regulating the IT industry
He said that the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, as amended was launched in 2013 and required review to be dynamic to the trends of ICT industry.
“There are new opportunities emerging in the ICT industry and the maiden guideline was meant to be reviewed after five years.
“We have amended it and through the implementation of this guideline, we were able to develop the local ICT industry better which ensure it made contribution to our Gross Domestic Product.
“The amended guidelines are focused on accelerating the development of indigenous skills, technology transfer, use of indigenous manpower and local manufacturing,” he said.
Pantami, said that with the implementation of the guideline, the patronage of indigenous computers increased from 82,000 in 2013 to 356,000 in 2017.
He underscored the need for priority attention to be given to indigenous products, to encourage local innovators to produce what the country need and for the citizens to consume what we produce.
On the Ne-GIF, Pantami said most public institution’s activities were being automated and required connectivity which would save the government, cost.
He recalled that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the government was saving N24 billion monthly.
The D-G added that the agency already has a governing body in place and measures are being taken to implement the guideline to ensure government institutions interact.
He said that the NIIEV enables young innovators, ICT start ups to thrive, adding that it would strengthen the Nigerian technology ecosystem.
“It consists of digital infrastructure development, education reform, skills development, Research and Development as well as support for ICT entrepreneurship ecosystem innovation,” he said.
Pantami said they were engaging stakeholders to collectively identify challenges in the ecosystem and proffer solutions to them.
“NCCP is a set of policy statements that articulate government’s strategic plan for cloud computing adoption in the public sector and by Small and Medium Enterprises who provide ICT enabled services to government.
“The goal of the policy is to ensure a 30 per cent increase in the adoption of cloud computing by 2024 among Federal public institutions, SMEs and 35 per cent increase in cloud computing investments by 2024.”
He added that tertiary institutions needed to digitise their activities for the decongestion of population in schools.
According to him, there should be minimum standard adopted by tertiary schools to advance learning in line with global requirements which saved cost and improved efficiency.
Pantami noted that the regulatory documents are subsidiary legislations and their violation attracts penalties.
He said that the regulations were all available to the public on the agency’s website – www.nitda.gov.ng.- .
Onu’s reappointment will engender space technology development – NSE
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) says the reappointment of Dr Ogbonnaya Onu as Minister of Science and Technology will engender development of space technology and its deployment to tackling insecurity.
Mr Hamid Abdulkareem, the Chairman of NSE, Giri Branch, FCT stated this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja.
Abdulkareem recalled that during the first tenure of Onu, there were specific responsibilities assigned to parastatals within the Ministry of science and technology for the development of the sector.
He said it would be beneficial to the nation if the minister continued on the path he was towing towards developing the science and technology sector.
The chairman recalled that the minister, during his first tenure, assigned responsibilities to some engineers to collaborate with security agents on how to deploy space technology into addressing issues of insecurity.
He reiterated that space technology had proven impactful in developed nations across the world, adding that Nigeria could leverage on it.
Abdulkareem said that space technology can also address issues on food security, environmental challenges, among other issues.
“One of NSE’s contributions to the development of this sector is to create awareness, galvanise engineers towards deploying space technology into addressing issues of national security.
“In times past, our security agents seem to have deployed strategies within their reach to tackle the problem.
“With space science technology which requires the involvement of engineers, we can monitor activities of banditry, terrorism, food security, natural disaster, among other issues.
“Another mandate given to NSE at the Giri branch is collaborating with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) to ensure that Nigeria has a meteorological satellite,’’ Abdulkareem said.
The branch chairman said that a meteorological satellite could be deployed towards monitoring weather for strategic planning in aviation, defense, water resources and agriculture.
“By the time we have our own built meteorological satellite; it will take Nigeria far in monitoring weather for strategic planning.
He urged the minister to consolidate on the existing projects and initiate more for the development of the sector.
Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole, Rotimi Ijikanmi
Nigeria needs population that appreciates science knowledge – NAS
The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) says the country needs a population that appreciates science knowledge.
The President of NAS, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, made the assertion at the `NAS Science Media Award’ held in Lagos on Thursday evening.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NAS Science Media Award in its 8th year, seeks to promote excellence in science and science-related journalism.
The Academy is of the opinion that an improvement in science reporting will result in a well-informed public, bringing about greater accountability in policy-making.
NAN reports that the awards are open to all print and broadcast journalists in Nigeria who published science-related stories (health, environment etc) in 2018.
According to him, appreciating science will go a long way in the development of the country.
“It is good to appreciate people that are good in disseminating information especially in science as science changes the way we live and believe.
“As an academy, we want to popularise science in the country and this led to the starting of the Academy Science Media Award.
“The academy strives to push science forward but is saddled with obstacles like finance. This is the part of the roles Vitafoam Nigeria will play as they recognise the value of science,’’ Onuoha said.
The Managing Director of Vitafoam Nigeria, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, said that the bedrock of what Vitafoam does evolve around science, the ability to innovate and conduct research.
According to him, if science is taken out of Vitafoam, it will not be relevant again, as science has replaced our natural way of doing things to technological advancement, which has led to production in large quantity.
“Beside Corporate Social Responsibility, embarking on this is an avenue to get people interested in science so as to push the country forward,’’ he said.
Ms Caroline Southey, Editor, Conversation Africa, South Africa, said that science reporting had to be done in a tireless and dogged way through adequate research.
Southey who presented the keynote address titled: `Captivating Science Reporting in the 21st Century’, said that she had witnessed that tireless and doggedness in Nigerian Science Journalists.
She said that a captivating science reporting should be done in a competitive way by maintaining facts and pursuing the truth at all times.
Southey decried the spread of misinformation by some journalists, saying that it damaged public trust in the new media and had a devastating effect on the health of a nation.
The Public Affairs Secretary, NAS, Prof. Olatunde Farombi, while presenting the awards to the winners, said that they had 22 entries from which four winners emerged.
He said that two persons from the print media and two from the broadcast media won the awards, saying the winners showed consistency and uniformity to have emerged.
Stakeholders urge science ministers to focus on capacity development
Some Stakeholders in bioethics have advised the new Ministers of Science and Technology to focus on capacity development, implementation of existing policies and funding of researches in the sector.
Bioethics relates to ethical issues emerging from advances in sciences and technology. It is the moral discernment from policies and practices in the fields of sciences and technology.
Speaking with the Nigeria News Agency at different interview sessions, the experts urged the ministers to take the sector to greater heights through harnessing both human and material resources.
NAN reports that Dr Ogbonnaya Onu was re-appointed as minister of science and technology by President Muhammadu Buhari while Mr Mohammed Abdullahi was deployed as the minister of State.
Prof. Adefolarin Malomo, a bioethics said: “Capacity development is not just about training people but training minds, emotion and will and carefully re-training people already employed.
“Some people may school abroad, that does not make them good for the job in Nigeria.
“We need people with a little more courage, honesty and maturity of mind to get the job done.
“The ministers must know that the ability to contribute to scientific insight and translate it to reality is beyond them. They will have to work with people in the sector, home and abroad,’’ he said.
Malomo said he expected the ministers to put people who would implement policies and transform the sector.
Another bioethics, Prof. Samuel Jegede said it was a great thing to have the ministers on board.
“The expectations are high because of immediate and future need of the society, so they have to look inward on how the needs can be meet.
“They have to ensure that all activities dovetail to immediate benefit of the people for sustenance of the economy,’’ he said.
Jegede advised the ministers to step up activities and put resources that would enable the country to leverage with other nations in the world.
Another bioethics, Prof. Emeka Ezeonu, advised the ministers to ensure effective implementation of science and technology policies and programmes.
Ezeonu also underscored the need for the ministers to formulate policies that will encourage public and private funding of researches in the sector.
NAN reports that the two ministers are expected to meet with the management, members of staff and directors-general of parastatal agencies under the ministry on Monday.
The ministry has the mandate to facilitate the development and deployment of science and technology apparatus to enhance the pace of socio-economic development of the country.
Edited by Rotimi Ijikanmi
Jumia reports 94% increase in Q2
Jumia reports 94% increase in Q2
By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos, Aug. 22, 2019 Jumia Technologies on Thursday announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30 with a 94 per cent increase in gross profit.
The Co-Chief Executive Officer of Jumia, Sacha Poignonnec, disclosed this at a media briefing held in Lagos.
According to him, the quarter witnessed continued strong growth of top line drivers, delivery of cost efficiency improvements and also focus on JumiaPay.
“We continue to deliver on our financial strategy of generating strong growth of our top line drivers, while accelerating monetization, driving cost efficiencies and developing JumiaPay.
“During the second quarter of 2019, our Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) increased by 69 per cent year-on-year and our Gross profit grew by 94 per cent.
“Our adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) loss as a percentage of GMV decreased by 562 basis points (5.62 percentage points) and our operating loss, amounting to €66.7 million, decreased as a percentage of GMV by 148 basis points (1.48 percentage points).
“These results reflect our continued focus on offering a relevant and engaging online shopping and lifestyle destination for consumers, while providing our sellers with an attractive value proposition and a platform to grow their businesses,” he said.
He pointed that the number of active consumers as at June 30, was 4.8 million, up from 3.2 million a year ago and 4.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2019.
Poignonnec said that these increases were as a result of continued focus on selection, price and convenience, as the company strove to be the preferred online shopping destination for consumers in Africa for all their daily needs.
He added that during the second quarter of 2019, Jumia continued to increase the assortment available on its platform and engaged with consumers through relevant local commercial campaigns such as our “Mobile Week” and “Ramadan” campaigns.
He pointed that Jumia remained focused on all aspects of its growth strategy, particularly JumiaPay, as the company continued to drive usage in its markets.
Poignonnec said that the strategies put in place across its main component driver would help grow its active consumer base, offer offline activation, expand the reach of possible things that would be done on the platform.
Others included increasing the relevance of the platform so that it could extract more value from it, managing its cost base, increasing the adoption of JumiaPay and others.
Edited by Wale Ojetimi
Be accountable, transparent, Don charges new ministers
Prof. Omokhoa Adeleye of the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Benin has charged the new ministers to be transparent accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Adeleye told the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja that Nigerians deserved good governance and the appointees must work toward improving lives of all Nigerians.
“Our newly inaugurated ministers should show leadership by examples, setting meaningful policies that can move the nation forward.
“They must have a drive of highest ethical standards and practices, “Adeleye said.
The don said the education sector, in particular, should be properly funded and repositioned to deliver values to the nation,.
He noted that the three tiers of government should encourage local artisans to create jobs.
“The artisans are putting their best using local ideas and technologies, but standards that are globally known are yet to be infused into our everyday technology.
“We, therefore need to deploy knowledge to the lowest level.
“There is need for provision of adequate resources, technical know-how to enable artisans practice with best standards.
” Developing high technology without paying attention to Small Medium Enterprises will not do us good,
“The future economy revival rests on provision of necessary technological base,” Adeleye said.
Edited by Rotimi Ijikanmi