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Centre partners with UN Information Centre on girls’ ICT participation

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The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) has parterned with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, to sensitise girls on participation in Information and Communications Technology careers.

The Communications Officer, Mr Adeyemi Odutola, disclosed in a statement on Saturday that the partnership was in conjunction with UN Women, Nigeria.

According to him, the partnership which took the form of girls interactive forum is to Mark the 2019 International Girls in ICT Day.

“The International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by all International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Rev. Dubai, 2018), which aims to encourage and empower girls and young women to consider studies and car​eers in the growing field of ICTs.

“It is also to enable both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.

“The International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April in which all ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates and Academia are urged to organise events attracting as many girls and young women as possible.

“Furthermore the ITU estimates that within the next 10 years, there will be more than two million technology jobs that cannot be filled because of a lack of digital specialists.

“It further pointed out that girls and young women who learn coding, app development and computer science will be well-placed for a successful career in the ICT sector.

“Thus based on this consideration, the aim of the event, organised by W.TEC is to bring together; Nigerian school girls, aspiring ladies and leading women in tech, for an impactful forum to exchange ideas and experiences to help inspire a new generation of Nigerian girls to explore the exciting opportunities offered by careers in ICT,” he said.

Odutola said that participants of the event (secondary school girls from both public and private schools and tech undergraduates) were treated to insightful tech speeches, panellist discussion sessions, short films on women in technology, technology project presentations by students, tech exhibition by students.

He said that the keynote address by Comfort Lamptey, Country Director , UN Women, Nigeria was on ”Expanding Horizons and Changing Attitudes to Bridge the Gender Digital Divide for Sustainable Development”.

He added that Lamptey who was represented by Obiananma Agbim urged government and stakeholders to agree on a National Gender Digital Inclusion Agenda that would provide initiatives, strengthen commitment in addressing gender digital divide in the country.

He said that Lamptey also urged government to implement a regulatory and legal framework to drive ICT adoption and create policies that would strengthen public agencies coordination and participation.

He said that the Director of UNIC, Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, urged the girls to pay attention on ICT issues as it would help them towards their future careers.

The W.TEC official said that the event had two panel sections to help in molding the young girls, tittled, ”Gender Equality in Digital Access, Skills and Leadership” and ”Think Equal: Women Rising in Technology Careers”.

Odutola listed some guests that at the event as; Chidiogo Victor-Willie, Software Enterprise Licensing & Compliance Manager at Oracle, Eduabasi Essien, Partner Development Manager at Microsoft, Bisi Osibogun, Sales Development Specialist, Baker Hughes, GE.

Others are: Simbo Olatoregun, Product Marketing Manager SSA, Grow with Google, Google Nigeria and Sefunmi Fadahunsi, Oracle Academy Programme Manager, Sub Saharan Africa.

He said that participants were urged to be very ready for opportunities to take advantage of to move ahead in the game. She congratulated the participants for their active participation.

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NACCIMA president charges FG, states to patronise Innoson motors

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Hajiya Saratu Iya-Aliyu, the National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has called on the federal and state governments to massively patronise Innoson motors.

Iya-Aliyu made the call on Thursday while inaugurating a newly installed automated bus manufacturing plant at Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing (IVM) plant, Nnewi in Anambra.

She said: “I want to advise Nigerians, including state and federal governments, to massively patronise Innoson vehicles.

“The kind of vehicles manufactured here can march any vehicle produced anywhere in the world and I am elated to be part of this history-making venture.”

Iya-Aliyu opined that supporting indigenous businesses, such as IVM, had the potential to create jobs and reduce unemployment

She said that the growth of indigenous businesses could also improve the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and fast-track industrialization.

According to her, the nation’s quest to develop the private sector can only be realised, if Nigerians support made-in-Nigeria products.

She further called on government at all levels to provide conducive environment for indigenous businesses to flourish.

The NACCIMA boss announced at the event that Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the Chairman of IVM, had been named the chairman of the chamber’s automobile committee.

She said that with the new assignment, Chukwuma and his new committee, “are now in-charge of certifying vehicles imported into Nigeria.”

She expressed the confidence that the new plant would boost the company’s production capacity.

In a speech, Chukwuma said the plant had the capacity to produce up to 15 vehicles daily and more than 5,450 annually.

He said, “A major benefit of this new plant is that it will reduce production cost, especially for buses in the country.”

He said that his firm planned to replicate the success of the bus production on SUV, MPV and Sedans production lines.

“Our target is to ensure that an average Nigerian can afford a brand new car,” Chukwuma said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was attended by national and state officials of NACCIMA.

NAN further reports that the IVM Nnewi, which was inaugurated on Oct. 15, 2010 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, now has three automated plants at Umudim and Nnewi, both in Anambra.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)


Pic shows NACCIMA President, Hajiya Saratu Iya-Aliyu (4th l-r), flanked by Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the Chairman, Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Plant (3rd l-r), and other NACCIMA officials, during the inauguration of a new Innoson automobile plant at Nnewi, on Thursday. Pic by NAN Awka.

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Pantami directs NCC to address issues of automatic voicemails on existing phonelines

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has ordered the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to immediately ensure that issues regarding automatic voicemails are addressed on all existing phone lines in the country.

In a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, Spokesperson to the Minister, Pantami’s said attention was drawn to the latest trend of financial exploitation by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country.

He said the exploitation was through the automatic activation of the Voicemail Service on their platforms.

The Minister explained that based on the recent reports reaching his office, the practice has gained momentum in recent times, adding that voicemail service should be accessed at the discretion of the subscriber and not by default.

Pantami described the act as worrisome and totally unacceptable, that telecoms subscribers incur financial charges, for a service they are compelled to use by default.

According to him, Voicemail is not a popular service among mobile phone users in Nigeria, coupled with the language challenge among rural dwellers, who mostly do not understand the language deployed by these networks.

“It is apparent, that the recent clampdown on the exploitative activities of some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, has beamed the searchlight on the sector properly.

“The subscribers should be given the option of accessing the service via an activation code.

“Some unpatriotic elements in the system are devising subtle, ingenious methods of defrauding Nigerians.

“The Ministry under my leadership will neither overlook any acts, regardless of how subtle, that undermine the Anti-Corruption Crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari, nor condone any attempts to defraud Nigerians and all subscribers.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected, while providing a conducive business environment for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), in line with global best practice,” he said.

Edited by Felix Ajide

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International GIS Day: Expert calls for GIS inculcation in STEM study

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Mr David Afolayan, a Geographic Information System (GIS) expert, has called for the inculcation of GIS into the study of STEM subjects to fast track development in Nigeria.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Afolayan made the call in Ibadan on Wednesday at an event organised to celebrate the International GIS Day.

Afolayan enjoined government to encourage GIS-supported education system as seen in developed countries.

“Presently, GIS is in the Geography curriculum, but in most developed countries, it was not limited to the subject alone.

“It is actually promoted as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) tool, where students are exposed to the technology across the world.

“Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a technological framework that unlocks a better understanding of our world.

“It is a robust tool that supports decision-making by providing an effective platform to analyse and understand precise locations of information.

“The knowledge of GIS provides a solid foundation for STEM. It’s proper and early introduction to students will expand their career opportunities in fields that are rewarding,” he said.

Afolayan said that the International GIS Day, observed on Nov. 13 of every year, was aimed at promoting the technology available to solve spatial problems.

He said that 10 private and public secondary schools in Ibadan city were invited for the event, in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Geographers to demonstrate to students the practical aspect of GIS which they had learnt in school.

NAN reports that the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘The Mappier World’.

Afolayan said that this year marks the 20th annual international GIS Day celebration for the purpose of creating awareness.

He said that Oyo was one of the states in Nigeria which had deployed GIS technology to solve flood problems.

“There has been an intervention on flood and GIS technology was used to map the whole city. Presently, the state is developing the master plan for the city, including drainage and waste master plans,” he said.

The GIS expert noted that some climate change and global warming effect currently being experienced could be solved with GIS technology.

Mr Israel Abioye and Mrs Beatrice Odetayo, two of the teachers, who spoke with NAN at the event, said GIS should be encouraged in the education system in the country due to its significance to the environment.

“Government can improve on STEM study by incorporating GIS into it,” they both said.

Some of the students, who participated at the event, described it as an eye opener to the possibilities available through technology.

NAN reports that the event featured GIS demonstrations such as Map Art Exhibition, 3D Simulation, Competitive Games, Digital Experience and career talk.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Africa Free Trade Area: NCC to boost investment in telecoms industry

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it will boost investment in the telecommunications industry, while leveraging opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this on Wednesday in Lagos during the Stakeholders’ Sensitisation Workshop on the Implications of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement for Nigeria’s Communications Industry.

The two-day workshop organised by NCC in collaboration with Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiation (NOTN) was themed:”Improving Nigerian Communications Industry Competitiveness for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Initiative”.

Danbatta, who was represented by NCC Director of Licensing and Authorisation, Mohammed Babajika, said that Nigeria-based communications businesses should harness the potentials of the AfCFTA Agreement to their own advantage.

He said that Nigeria joined the list of African countries that signed the trade pact when President Muhammadu Buhari on July 7, 2019, endorsed the AfCFTA Agreement at the African Union (AU) Summit in Niamey, Niger.

AfCFTA is an initiative of the AU, with the main objective of creating a single continental market for goods and services, in addition to facilitating free movement of investment and people across the entire African continent.

”The Federal Government’s aspirations to advance Nigeria’s economic development through continuous encouragement of pro-trade, pro-business, pro-investment and pro-export measures are in sync with the mandate of the NCC.

”NCC’s mandate is to stimulate investment and economic activity by protecting the interest of the government, investors and consumers within the Nigerian Communications ecosystem,” Danbatta said.

He said that there was the need to always improve the competitiveness of the over 70 billion dollars Nigerian Communications sector market for the Continental Free Trade Area.

Danbatta said that the workshop would draw attention of industry stakeholders to the need to fully appreciate the business implications of AfCFTA.

According to him, the workshop will encourage industry stakeholders on the need to seek and exploit opportunities that will emerge in the operational phase of AfCFTA.

The Chairman of NCC Board, Sen. Olabiyi Durojaiye, said that the Nigerian Communications industry’s participation in AfCFTA was necessary for achieving the rapid socio-economic development agenda of the government.

Durojaiye said that the commission was committed to ensuring that the sector continued to improve on its contribution to GDP and by extension, the Nigerian economy.

He said that through its direct contribution to the GDP and its indirect contribution to the performance of other sectors, the telecommunication sector remained a facilitator of economic development.

According to him, NCC recognises that the Continental Free Trade Area arrangement means that there is now access to extend communications services to 1.2 billion people across the African continent.

”With a larger proportion of this population made up of young people, whose hunger for data and mobile services continues to grow, there is no limit to achievement by innovative operators/investors in terms of business opportunities.

”Just the way we recognize the opportunities for investors in the African market, we also know that there are challenges not to say threats.

”Operators and investors within the communications ecosystem must fully appreciate these dynamics, in order to ensure that they prepare adequately for them. Hence, the need for this Sensitisation Workshop,” he said.

The acting Director-General of NOTN, Mr Liman Liman, said that there was the need for strong regulatory institution in order to prevent unfair competition in the market.

Liman said that in order to be globally competitive, telecommunications infrastructure would require significant amount of investment both by domestic and foreign investors.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Wale Ojetimi

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Borofice urges stakeholders to use geospatial for space  development

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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.

/GY

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Gracen Yussuf

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MainOne’s CEO advocates broadband penetration for devt of digital economy

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Mrs Funke Opeke, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MainOne, a broadband infrastructure company, says the development of the nation’s digital economy lies on extending affordable broadband.

Opeke said on Wednesday in Lagos that the development of a nation’s digital economy lied on the encouragement of innovation hubs, skills development and job creation.

She said that the broadband penetration and affordability would improve the digital economy as well as provide employment opportunities.

Opeke added that technology founders, innovators and investors across Nigeria and beyond discussed issues focused on deepening broadband access, affordability and youth employment.

According to her, in this digital age where broadband connectivity is the bedrock of a thriving digital and national economy, there is need to focus on increasing access to broadband penetration.

“The broadband penetration should be beyond Lagos and Abuja for our shared economic prosperity, job creation and digital security.

“We will need to take advantage of the opportunities the digital economy provides if we are to create jobs for Nigerian youths in the not-too-distant future.

“There is need to inspire a generation of young founders, innovators and youths to build scalable and investable businesses across the South-South and South-East states to accelerate development, ‘’ she said in a statement.

Opeke, however, urged states across Nigeria to see the significance of broadband penetration and pay attention to enabling broadband in their regions.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Opeke had earlier presented a keynote speech at a programme in Uyo on the theme: “Unlocking the Next 60 Million: Making Broadband Accessible and Affordable”.

Edited by Buhari Bolaji/Adeleye Ajayi

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