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COVID 19: NITDA Pledges to Create and Protect 1m Jobs in ICT Sector

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency ( NITDA),  has stated that the Agency is targeting to create and protect a million jobs in the ICT sectors this year.

He made this known during a virtual submission of the report of the NITDA Advisory Committee on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Technology and Innovation Ecosystem also known as Tech4Covid19.

Tech4Covid19 Advisory Committee was constituted at the wake of the pandemic in Nigeria, precisely on April 1st, 2020, at the instance of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami to come up with measures to be taken to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on start ups, small and Medium businesses as well as the technology ecosystem in general.

The 10 member Advisory committee was given the term of reference to, among others, device suitable strategies for the provision of affordable internet access to individuals and businesses; develop a framework to facilitate access to financing for tech and tech-enabled ventures, and device modalities for encouraging the development and adoption of digital technology, as well as support policies in line with the “Work from Home” directive of the federal government.

The NITDA boss maintained that based on the discussion he had with the minister, the government is targeting to create or retain one million jobs in ICT sector this year.

He stated that they are looking at many different areas in terms of startups doing agricultural value chains, empowering hubs, developing and implementing the framework of business process outsourcing and other areas, to see how thousands of jobs can be created directly or indirectly.

“In doing so, I urge the committee to develop a business plan; stating facts and figures on how the IT sector will create and protect jobs.

“What I want from the committee are two things: One for example, you state that we have 100 thousand work force and if the government does not do anything to intervene during this pandemic we are going to lose the 100 thousand jobs or if government intervenes by doing some certain things we are going to retain all the 100 thousand jobs and create additional 30 thousand jobs.”

He affirmed that if we have the facts and figures to present to the government, they will intervene quickly as job creation is one of its top priorities.

Furthermore, Kashifu asserted that for the government to have full understanding and confidence that the IT sector will contribute greatly in terms of job creation, the facts and figures must be justifiable and accurate.

He emphasized that the committee is not to address the pre- COVID-19 issues, but to look into the issues and challenges of the In-COVID-19 and prepare the nation for the post-COVID-19 world.

“We all believe that a lot of things will change after these pandemic. As some believe that the 4th industrial revolution will take place.

“As such we need to unlock this hidden opportunities or identify the silver lining which are the Digital First and keep businesses up and running,” he added.

He said, “A lot of technologies will come on board and people will embrace them. A lot of things are going to change and a lot of businesses are going to be powered by technologies.”

Concerning the recommendations, Kashifu assured the committee that NITDA and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami will do everything possible in their capacity to see that all the highlighted recommendations in the 4 critical areas are tackled accordingly.

He further informed the members of the committee that in regards to the hubs intervention, the agency intends to provide them with a business opportunity where they can earn money, have startups and create more job opportunities as it is the focus of the agency and the government.

He then urged the hubs to come up with a business proposal on how many job opportunities can be created and how much is needed.

On the business process outsourcing, Mallam Kashifu assured the committee that the Agency will fast track its process and bring out positive results soon.

He applauded the efforts of the committee in delivering a timely report despite the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, stating that the briefing from the chairman of the committee shows that everything is on track and ready for implementation.

The Advisory Committee however recommended the following; secure permit/approval to allow all technology enabled startups with products and services that are categorized as essential to operate across the country during lockdown period; that NITDA, in conjunction with Nigeria Communication Commission and local telecommunication companies, secure a discounted uncapped data plan for all interested tech enabled businesses to facilitate remote working during the lockdown period and open a direct line of communication with businesses and ecosystem intermediaries for continuous assessment of the impact of the pandemic on tech-enabled business for continuous assessment of necessary palliative to aid business continuity.

 


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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E-Business

Sundiata Post Media Unveils Dealboku, eCommerce Platform

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Sundiata Post Media Limited, a multimedia news platform, has launched Dealboku,  its e-commerce platform.

Sundiata Post Media Unveils Dealboku, eCommerce Platform

In a statement, Max Amuchie, founder/CEO of Sundiata Post Media, said Dealboku is an idea whose “time has come”.

Amuchie said Dealboku is different from other conventional online shops where goods are sold at shelf prices, as its e-commerce platform is an online deals marketplace where merchants are made to sell same products and offer same services at a discounted price.

“We have built a robust platform that is unique in its approach to e-commerce. Both buyers and sellers are assured of excellent customer care and quality products and services at discounted prices,” he said.

According to him, “with the establishment of Dealboku, Sundiata Post has made history as the first media platform in Nigeria to go into the full e-commerce business”.

In her remarks, Hannah Atomode, Dealboku’s project consultant, said the goal of the platform is to help customers get good discounted deals to their doorsteps.

“The team has been working very hard to build a beautiful and user-friendly website. This is a platform that comprises various products and services from fashion, automobile, furniture, foods, beauty, food, Spa and wellness, hotels, online training etc,” she said.

“The payment system is not cumbersome, it is so simple and easy to use.”

Atomode added that the e-commerce platform offers three payment options, which are card payment, wallet or bank transfer.

 

 


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AtaraPay Redefines e-commerce Space

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AtaraPay, an online escrow service has reiterated its commitment toward redefining and enhancing cash on delivery service in Nigeria in a way that promotes trust, transparency and protects the interest of both parties.

Yemi Adebiyi, Executive Director of TrustPay Technologies Limited, made this known in a statement in Lagos, where he said the emergence of e-commerce in Nigeria has changed the way Nigerians buy and sell goods.

He said that although bias and skepticism against online shopping persist, over time more consumers have begun to embrace the concept of purchasing items online and getting them delivered at their doorstep.

He said: “The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has also made it imperative for sellers to diversify their sales channel to include an online, omnichannel strategy.”

He noted that, however, over time increased cases of internet fraud, frequent internet payment transaction failures only served to worsen the perception of customers paying online without physically inspecting the goods.

Adebiyi pointed out that as a workaround, cash-on-delivery options quickly became a popular choice with customers who preferred to double-check items in hand before paying in cash. This served as an approach to address the trust deficit and guarantee quality assurance.

He said that the introduction of escrow service by African start-ups such as AtaraPay, Paylock, Truzo has come in handy in addressing the issue of trust between buyers and sellers in a way that promotes transparency and protects the interest of both parties.

Adebiyi explained that AtaraPay’s business relationship with Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc enables it to provide a service that can be trusted and reliable enough to take away the monetary bottlenecks and resolve every crisis during transactions.

“This is a safe way to strike an equilibrium between customer and merchant credibility while eliminating fraud in the process,” he added.


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Konga to Employ over 100,000 Nigerians through Konga Affiliate Project

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Konga, composite eCommerce giant has revived YUBOSS, a stellar reseller scheme now re-christened as Konga Affiliate through which it is offering millions of smart unemployed and under-employed Nigerians an opportunity to earn unlimited income and ultimately achieve economic freedom by partnering with the company.

Equally important, the Konga Affiliate programme which grants successful applicants instant sign-up at affiliate.konga.com offers a comprehensive partnership to affiliates.

Built upon the very popular YUBOSS scheme which the company floated under Yudala, the central idea behind the revamped Konga Affiliate programme is Konga’s burning ambition to reach the unreached and under-served Nigerians in the hinterlands and other parts of the country through the affiliates whom it has identified as critical partners in this initiative.

This is in addition to the desire to reach more of the growing band of savvy, quality-minded Nigerians in search of a reliable channel for their purchases.

Specifically, the programme affords affiliates who sign up a chance to earn unrestricted income through mouth-watering commissions on every successful sale of products on the Konga platform.

Most importantly, hardworking and successful affiliates can grow through the ranks to ultimately become the owner of a Konga franchise store.

Further setting apart the Konga Affiliate programme is the immense benefits it offers affiliates.

These include access to Konga’s world class assets including its global supply chain, massive warehousing facilities for bulk deals, swift delivery of orders through Kxpress, its in-house logistics company which boasts advanced delivery capabilities, digital payments through KongaPay, a Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed e-wallet as well as round-the-clock customer service support.

Affiliates can also enjoy access to credit facilities and training resources, mentorship opportunities with renowned entrepreneurs and global business leaders as well as sponsorship of mega deals and contracts.

In addition, the programme which has a structured progression path has been touted as a useful way out of the current harsh economic crunch and rising unemployment which has hindered the ambitions of millions of smart Nigerians in search of opportunities to make an honest living.

The dire situation is further compounded by the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic which has hobbled businesses the world over and in Nigeria.

Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, co-chief executive officer, Konga Group, says the company is looking for hardworking, determined Nigerians it can empower and invest in to create wealth through the programme.

‘‘The Konga Affiliate programme which we have relaunched online at affiliate.konga.com is one of the strategies we are deploying in providing creative employment opportunities for millions of Nigerian youths.

“Our target remains the unemployed and under-employed. In fact, we are looking for partners that we can invest in through the programme.

‘‘As it stands, one of our ambitions at Konga is to ensure we reach more of the unreached and under-served Nigerians in majority of the 774 local governments across Nigeria.

‘‘There is no doubt that unemployment is on the rise. However, the efforts of government in creating jobs cannot cater to the army of unemployed and under-employed which is rising by the day.

“Through the Konga Affiliate programme, we are giving many Nigerians a way out of their current difficult circumstances into ultimate economic freedom.

‘‘Our goal is to see each successful affiliate, in turn, become an employer of labour. This is one of the fastest ways of reducing the spiralling unemployment and under-employment rates in Nigeria and giving hope to many,’’ he concluded.

Intending affiliates can register for a chance to join the programme at affiliate.konga.com


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