Science & Technology

Borofice urges stakeholders to use geospatial for space  development



Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, the Deputy Senate Leader has called for multi stakeholders engagement in the utilisation of geospatial technologies as a viable tool for sustainable space development in the country.


Boroffice made the call on Wednesday in a statement issued in Abuja by Dr Felix Ale, the Head, Media and Corporate Communications of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).


The deputy senate leader made the call at the opening ceremony of the annual Geoinformation Society of Nigeria (GEOSON) conference on Tuesday with theme: “Smart Spartial Solutions for Sustainable Development in Africa”.


Geospatial technology is an emerging field of study that include Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), which enables humans acquire data referenced to the earth and used for analysis, modelling, simulations and visualisation.


Geospatial technology allows scientist to make informed decisions based on the importance and priority of resources most of which are limited in nature.


It is also used to create intelligent maps and models that may be interactively queried to get the desired results in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths application as well as advocate social investigations and policy based research.


According to Boroffice, President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to moving Nigeria to the next level, particularly through good governance, space science development and provision of infrastructural facilities.


“Efforts are being intensified on the diversification of the economy through the consistent search and identification of other mineral resources or ventures that can assist in the actualisation of this noble objective.


“The adoption of smart spatial solution will go a long way to assist in the developmental drive of the country,” he said.


Dr Matthew Adepoju, the National President of GEOSON identified geospatial information as the bedrock and major tool for radical transformation in any society.


He appealed to practitioners, especially those in the field of geospatial technology to work in synergy with the spatial data infrastructure in Nigeria.


Adepoju promised that under his leadership, GEOSON would continue to work to have a regulatory framework for Nigeria as well as making the geo-information policy an act in the government.


He said that the conference would project the need to keep high standard of advancement in geo-information and earth sciences that would pave the way for solutions to various developmental problems.


Mr Jonathan Angulu, the Acting Director General of NASRDA, emphasised the need for partnership with GEOSON by other relevant organisations, adding that space agency was established to provide a fulcrum for scientific research using remote sensing data in the country.


“NASRDA will continue to play its strategic role in the area of data provision and members of the association, research institutes and universities should engage in quality research work in collaboration with the agency to enhance industrialisation and socio-economic development of the country.”


Angulu recalled that the newly established National Space Institute by the agency would foster the study and advancement of Geospatial information technology in the country.


The Nigeria News Agency reports that the annual conference is a week-long programme aimed at projecting the importance of geospatial technology to the development of space science and the socio-economic growth of the country.


Edited by Saidu Adamu/Gracen Yussuf

Science & Technology

5 female entrepreneurs win UK-Nigeria Tech Hub Pitch competition



Five Female entrepreneurs on Thursday emerged winners at the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub pitch competition aimed at supporting gender inclusive economic growth.

Honey Ogundeyi, the Country Director of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, said that the programme was aimed at bringing 15 of the continent’s most ambitious development-focused women entrepreneurs to the United Kingdom in January.

Ogundeyi made this known during the Africa-UK Female Tech Founders 2020 programme held at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s Residence at Ikoyi, Lagos.

” The five entrepreneurs who emerged winners during the pitch competition are: Damilola Emuze, founder of Scholarx, Damilola Olokesusi,  of Shuttlers mobility and Dr Funmi Adewara of Mobihealth.

The two others are: Ifeoma Uddoh of Shecluded and Keturah Ovio of Limestart, “Ogundeyi said.

NAN reports that other participants at the pitch competition were Agorite, Easyshop Easy cook, Mumspring, Roving Heights and 9IJAKIDs.

She said that the entrepreneurs would gain access to world-class mentoring time with UK investors and expert training to help scale their companies.

Harriet Thompson, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Nigeria, said that UK-Africa Investment Summit would take place six weeks from now.

Thompson said that the winners would be in London during the summit, adding Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) would cover all costs and programmes to help support them grow their businesses.

We are pleased to be hosting an event that brings support for women, whose empowerment is vital for Nigeria’s future prosperity and stability.

Nigeria’s tech sector accounted for over 11 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP in 2018 (compared with 9 per cent from oil and gas) and is the fastest growing part of Nigeria’s economy.

In 2018, Nigeria’s technology companies attracted $300 million (+167 per cent YoY) in funding, mainly from foreign investors, “she said.

Thompson said that the UK was supporting and looking forward to strengthening its partnership further in Nigeria.

She said this was necessary because technology could be a key enabler to boost Nigeria’s growth, tackle poverty and create jobs.

‘The UK is trying to build and expand that eco-system in different ways.

We now have our very own Tech Hub here in Nigeria and the Director is Honey Ogundeyi. The hub is funded by our Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

‘’The UK-Nigeria tech hub focuses on three key areas: skills and capability development, digital ecosystem building and facilitating innovation collaborations between Nigerian and UK tech businesses.

“This will help to build skilled, entrepreneurial and networked populations which will create jobs and address digital inequality.’’

She said the tech hub had supported companies such as Riby, Innovation Corner, Social Lender and Farmcrowdy to grow their businesses, build links with the UK’s thriving tech sector.

Thompson, who noted that Nigeria was one of the most exciting technology sectors in Africa, said the hub would support the growth of thriving digital eco-system in the country.

According to her, the outfit will also provide support to scale innovations and drive growth in tech investment in Nigeria.

As Europe’s leading tech hub, UK is credible partner. We generate more billion-dollar tech businesses than any other country on the continent.

We have a network of regional tech clusters which reflect a dynamic and growing industry across the whole of the UK with London as the centre of Europe’s technology sector.

The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in 2019 launched the UK-Nigeria Tech hub as part of international Tech Hub Network in partnership with the British High Commission in Nigeria.

Edited by: Dada Ahmed

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Science & Technology

Kaduna govt offers digital skills training to 360 youth



Kaduna State Government has offered digital skills to 360 youth expected to start up businesses in digital technology.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the 360 youth participanted in the Click-On Kaduna and Kad-DIP digital training programmes, funded by the World Bank and Rockerfeller Foundation.

The programmes are to support ICK skills training and equip the youth in digital technology and entrepreneurship.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who attended the graduation of the trainees on Wednesday in Kaduna, said equipping Nigerian youths with digital skills will make them tap into the digital economy, which will create jobs and grow the economy.

Obasanjo thanked the World Bank Group and Rockefeller Foundation for partnering with Kaduna state government to launch the programme and urged them to extend the training to other states.

In her address, the state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said the state owes its bulging young population a duty to provide them with the tools that will make them highly employable.

She added that when combined with entrepreneurial spirit, the ICT skills acquired by the participants will propel them to greater heights.

Already, participants have started earning income from the skills they acquired while some have gained placement opportunities with global ICT tech companies like IBM, Outsource Global, Andela,” she said.

NAN reports that 32 of the participants were presented with cheques to enable them startup ICT entrepreneurship.

The money was from a $40,000 grant set aside to encourage ICT startups in Kaduna State.

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Science & Technology

HMD Global launches new devices to enhance creativity, excitement for users



HMD Global, developer and marketer of smart phones under the Nokia brand name, says it has launched two new devices to enhance creativity and excitement for users.

Its General Manager in-charge of West, East and Central Africa, Mr Joseph Umunakwe, said on Tuesday in Lagos that the devices would be affordable for consumers.

Umunakwe said that the new devices, Nokia 2.3 and Nokia C1, have artificial intelligence features to enhance quality communication and saves time.

Consumers have appreciated the Nokia 2 family product; the Nokia 2.3 is a step forward in our promise of offering another experience and giving the consumers access to two years of operating system (OS) upgrades and three years of monthly secure updates at an affordable price.

Save precious time with Nokia 2.3, which has a dedicated Google Assistance, with your voice to view upcoming calendar entries, commute times and other information.

It also comes with biometric face recognition, allowing owners to unlock the phone at a glance.

Nokia 2.3 provides real good features for entertainment; Nigerians love entertainment and the phone comes with 6.2 HD + to provide good entertainment.

It comes with 32GB memory configuration and gives a lot of room for consumers to store movies, songs and photo, and it is expandable,’’ Umunakwe said.

According to him, its android preposition is pure, secure and up-to-date, “which means that our consumers can be sure they are getting the androids innovations and technology that is very crucial.’’

The general manager also said that the device was not preloaded with apps, which gives consumer the power to choose what app to use.

He said that part of the unique features of the smartphones include adaptive brightness, adaptive battery and artificial intelligence technology.

With the adaptive brightness and battery, the consumer is sure to have two-days of battery life and the phone adjust the brightness under any weather all through the day.

With a 13MP/2MP dual camera, fans can take unique portraits with a variety of exclusive bokeh.

We are pushing the borders in terms of delivering performance that is affordable to the consumers,’’ he said.

Umunakwe said the Nokia C1, was aimed to inspire future phone users, entry-level smartphone users to become fans and smartphone users for Nokia to break down the barriers for consumers with its 5.54 screen.

He said the latest features of android 10 would also give fans access to dark themes to save usage and improve visibility and enhance privacy once updated.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of the HMD Global, said everything expected in the latest android phone had been put in place to ensure a safe and pleasant experience.

Owning an affordable smartphone shouldn’t lock you out of exciting features and the latest trends.

“We know how important a great display and two-day battery life is too many smartphone users,’’ he said.

Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Olagoke Olatoye

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Science & Technology

ASUU strike tops search on Google in 2019



Google on Wednesday announced the results of its ‘2019 Year in Search’ with Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) strike topping this year’s trending news search.

Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google Communication Officer, said that ASUU strike was followed by `AFCON 2019’, ‘Naira Marley’ and the ‘Women’s World Cup 2019’.

Kola-Ogunlade said that the results of the ‘Year in Search’ offered a unique perspective on the year’s major moments and top trends based on searches conducted in Nigeria.

This year’s top trending news search is `ASUU Strike’, which took the highest place over other trending news topics like ‘AFCON 2019’, ‘Naira Marley’ and the ‘Women’s World Cup 2019’.

Naira Marley’, leads the list as the most searched person over ‘Atiku’ (Abubakar), Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party at the 2019 Nigerian general election.

Neymar’, Brazilian professional footballer. ‘Neymar’ made the lists as the top trending sports person searched by Nigerians in 2019,’’ Kola-Ogunlade said in a statement.

According to him, Regina Daniels was the most searched actor, ranking over other actors like Genevieve Nnaji, Tonto Dikeh, Hadiza Gabon, among others.

He said that Wizkid, “Joro” was the most searched song this year; ‘what is xenophobia’ the most asked question; while Big Brother Naija and Mehek were the most searched movie and TV shows.

Edited by: Cecilia Odey/Adeleye Ajayi


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Science & Technology

NCC committed to curbing financial fraud-Adewolu



The Nigerian Communications Commission( NCC) has assured the general public of its commitment to curb financial fraud through telecommunications platforms.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM), NCC, Mr  Adeleke Adewolu gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja at the 4th quarter 2019 Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) meeting.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting was opened to critical stakeholders responsible for combating financial fraud committed through telecommunications platforms.

Adewolu decried the rising trend of electronic fraud across key sectors of the Nigerian economy through electronic banking such as debit Cards, Mobile Money and e-payment systems.

He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rated e-fraud as the biggest risk in the financial sector, which had widely incorporated electronic payment solutions.

He identified such solutions as  Automated Teller Machines (ATMS), Nigeria InterBank Settlement System (NIBBS) Instant Payments and Mobile Banking.

He said that the telecommunications sector was also not immuned from the scourge of cyber fraudsters across the country thus, the need to curb the menace.

Attackers are now targeting Telecom networks with the intent to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate their data banks.

Illegal SIM Swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) e-payment frauds, are currently some of the most serious cyber threats in the telecom industry.

fraudsters conduct illegal SIM swaps of targeted individuals and then conduct USSD-based transactions, which cost the unlucky victims huge losses.

This malevolent use of modem technologies is taking its toll on the Nigerian telecoms industry, as some subscribers have lost huge sums of money to telecom related financial crimes since the emergent use of smartphone technology in the country,” he said.

He, however, noted  that NCC was collaborating with relevant stakeholders to protect the interests of consumers by implementing technical and operational solutions to curb the scourge.

The stakeholders include; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (iCPC) among others.

Recently, the National Assembly, through the House of Representatives, set up an Adhoc Committee on the increasing incidents of SIM Swap Fraud.

The NCC, security agencies and other stakeholders were invited by the committee to deliberate on the issue and we discussed various ways of curbing this and other cyber crimes.

Permit me to emphasise that effective collaboration between government agencies, private organisations and individuals is pivotal in tackling this scourge of electronic fraud.

“A prominent example of this collaboration is the Committee on Electronic Banking Fraud, whose drivers comprise NCC,

Mobile Network Operators (MVOs), Banks, the Nigerian lnter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS), the Wireless Applications Services Providers Association of Nigeria.”

Mrs Felicia Onwwuegbuchulam, Director Consumer Affairs Bureau NCC, described the theme, “Financial Fraud Using Telecoms Platforms What Consumers Need to Know” as apt.

She noted that financial fraud, using telecoms platforms, had been on the front burner for both the financial and telecoms sectors in recent time.

She said that the commission had put in place education of consumers on financial frauds through its various outreach programmes such as and Telecom Consumer Parliament.

Others,she said were, consumer Outreach Programme, Consumer Town Hall Meeting

Elite Enlightenment Programme, Collaboration with various advocacy groups, Participation at Trade Fairs, amongst others.

The director advised that adequate education, information sharing and the provision of an array of channels for redress would safeguard telecom consumers and innovatively promote the prospect for greater consumer Experience.

The negative implications of such frauds are not only huge in financial losses but also high in reputational damage to telecoms operators, financial institutions, the regulators (NCC and CBN), security agencies and the nation at huge.

The consumer is one of the major stakeholders in the telecoms industly. It is our desire, as a commission, to ensure that they enjoy primary focus,” she said.

The forum had paper presentations with themes such as ”Detecting Telecommunications Frauds by Understanding the Contents of a Call, Text or Email” and “Data Depletion Causes and Recommendation.”

Mr Ben Anyalenkwe, Managing Director, New Capital Cooperative amongst other stakeholders noted efforts ongoing in promoting cyber security and use of data education.

NAN recalls that the commission held a Stakeholders Forum on Financial Fraud using Telecoms Platforms, Jan.29 and came up with14 far reaching resolutions one of which was that the NCC and all other stakeholders should sign an MOU with the security agencies.

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