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Agric Ministry @ #NCSEnugu2014, Seeks IT Experts Support

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Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has identified the information and communication (ICT) professionals as critical stakeholders in achieving the nation’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).

Speaking at a 3-Day national conference organized by Nigeria Computer Society in Enugu (NCS), Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, permanent secretary at FMARD, said the Ministry in the last three years has discovered Nigeria has huge potentials that will grow the economy via agriculture hence the need for ICT experts develop solutions that will spur the sector to a greater height.

Odusote said, “We have the land to cultivate and have food in abundance; we have water to grow fish that can feed the whole of West Africa and beyond.

“We have brains, especially young people that are leaving universities without employment. Thus, it is totally unacceptable that majority of our resources on foreign exchange will be utilized in importing food such as Rice, when we have Rice even in Enugu State, Ebonyi and other parts of the country.

“So, Mr President’s wisdom he started Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) being championed by Honorable Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and supported by myself, the Permanent Secretary. Our target is to create wealth, create future for our people. By 2015, we would have created 3.5 million jobs. Already, we have created 2.5 million jobs within the three years of ATA”.

Reacting to recent allegations of fertilizer distribution scam leveled against her and some senior officers of the Ministry, she said that ICT apparatuses deployed in the system would vindicate them.

She said, “Recently, there was an alleged fertilizer scam where some people said the Permanent Secretary and officials of the Ministry catered away fertilizer worth N2.4 billion, selling same to neighboring countries and smiling to the bank. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) actually invited me for some questions.

“Our joy is that it is not business as usual at the ministry. We are operating what we call Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES). Under GES, we created an electronic platform that enables farmers to register for even distribution of fertilizers.

“The process has been relieved out of the hands of government; not only that it is being managed by the private sector the e-platform has no human intervention. So, were able to overcome that challenges, because all fertilizer goes out through the Agro Dealers (AD).

“The AD would only have information on their phones; likewise the farmers get information on their phones. When they come to the centre they pay through Point of Sale (PoS). Nigerians will be amazed that even in the hinterlands where it is assumed there is no connectivity; the farmers get information and respond as necessary.

“For those that pay cash, government does not go to them for collections. We get information on our systems. We have a system that updates us on how much farmers have remitted. That will help us know how much government has to pay to the Agro Dealers. When we brought out our records and facts, no body could say anything.

“There are a lot we are doing applying Information Technology (IT). The Minister of Agric has shown much passion about seeing how IT and Agric can work together. For instance, we are partnering Columbian University on a revolutionary test for soil health. The farmers can actually take equipment right to the farm location and test the soil to determine the crop such soil is suitable for. So, the soil doctor is working.

“I am sure we are thinking towards IT for Agric development because the ICT industry has trained us in that direction, we need for collaborations. I want to encourage the young ones in the profession that please, lets begin to think outside the box. We need to do a lot more on the path of electronic application in various sectors.

“The path we want IT in Nigeria go is on local technological advancement. I am pleading with the young ones that the farmers who are using these applications will need access to connectivity. They need skill and infrastructure leverage on IT”.

She added that the trend entails developing IT across board, since all processes in agriculture can be automated.

The Permanent Secretary hinted that each new grounds broken in agriculture is an opportunity for IT to play a key role, yet, Nigeria is yet to optimize these opportunities.

“I therefore urge you, especially members of this great society-Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) to invest in IT-agricultural based ventures,” she said.

 

 


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NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.

 

The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.

 

A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.

 

This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.

 

Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.

 

They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.

 

Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.

 

According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.

 

However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”

 

The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.

 

Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.

 


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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