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Digital Economy Will Make Nigeria Globally Competitive – NITDA DG

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Kasheem Inuwa, Director General of the National Information and Technology Development Agency, NITDA says the digital economy when implemented will make Nigeria globally competitive.

Inuwa made the remark at the opening ceremony of the Information Assurance Workshop organized by the national Information Technology and Development Agency, NITDA in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF.

He said the digital economy is estimated at 22.5% of the world’s economy and yet has not been fully exploited, even as the Digital investments have growth multiplier effect in national GDP, where it increases the national economic output.

He however, added that the growth and potential of the digital economy depends on the trust on the Internet and in cyberspace

The NITDA boss, who was represented by the Director of Information Technology and Infrastructure Solutions Department, ITIS, Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi noted that the increasing use of digital technologies is continually exposing sensitive information and critical systems to risks and threats in the cyberspace.

And for this reason, Cyber criminals not only try to gain control over our infrastructure, they also try to steal personal information, official data and mislead citizens with fake news.

‘‘Government and industries migrate online and find effective ways of reaching out to citizens and finding efficient ways of carrying out their businesses. These activities are majorly dependent on use of data; it’s either data is created, collected, stored or analyzed. Data is a critical asset to the digital economy as such a critical target for cyber criminals.

‘‘The boom in digital economy is delicately balanced with equivalent threats that could bring organisations and nations to their knees with colossal damage arising from financial and reputational losses to cybercriminals; hence government and industries need to enhance their cybersecurity in the wake of these evolving threats to online activities.

‘‘The Nigerian digital economy is known to account for up to 13.8% of the nation’s GDP. It is therefore obvious that the digital economy is a platform to increase the growth of the national economy. Little wonder the Federal Government in its proactive nature repositioned the Federal Ministry of Communications to tap into this growth possibility with the expansion of its portfolio to cover all activities that would harness the full potential of Nigeria’s digital economy.

‘‘The digital economy leverages on cyberspace, characterized with evolving cyber threats. Thus, cybersecurity is key to enable the growth and progress of the digital economy .Security privacy and trust are critical issues for a thriving digital economy. Government and industries need to employ measures enlist the trust and confidence or all stakeholders: the government, private sector and Individuals.

“This is one of the platforms for ensuring that everybody puts in the required amount of effort and commitment to ensuring trust building and dissuading the negatives of the criminals in a digital economy.’’

He said the workshop was planned to bring together efforts of all Government organisations to combat one of the growing threats to economies, personal and national security globally.

To address the growing cybersecurity threat, he said NITDA is using a multi-faceted approach: implementing new regulations, inspecting and examining regulated entities, providing support to its Constituents, collaboration with relevant stakeholders, sensitizing and educating both the industry and the public, conducting research and leveraging on collaborations to issue guidance on trending cybersecurity matters and mitigation strategies. In terms of collaboration,

Inuwa said the agency has established MOUs with national and international stakeholders including; Seoul National University and Cybersecurity Malaysia, KPMG and British High Commission, to mention a few.

Also, a multi-stakeholder collaborative initiative for the implementation of the National Cyber Security Strategy, Plan and Act in MDAS is being embarked upon, at the instance of the Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

He called on all MDAs to commit to comply with the circular issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the implementation of one of the regulations by MDAS; the National Information Systems and Network Security Standards, all in a bid to ensure the security of data and technology systems in line with global best practices, and also to ensure a thriving digital economy where all stakeholders would have confidence and trust on.

In his presentation, Cybersecurity Expert, Dr. Kenneth Okereafor called for the establishment of a single Coordinating Unit of all Cybersecurity activities in Nigeria such that this body can help in the operationalization and be held accountable when necessary.

‘‘This programme is a proposal to government to implement policies that will make our cyber space more secure. The reason is because in other climes, it is very easy to detect when attacks are coming in. We are looking at a situation where Nigeria as a country has a framework in place to detect cyber security breaches. Beyond that to also respond proactively.

‘‘One of the ways to do that is to have a single coordinating unit. Though, we may be having an agency regulating IT and Cybersecurity, it is also important to have people we can hold accountable such that these bodies can help in the operationalization around him. People are not aware of the various exposures that we have in terms of cybersecurity. And the only way to do that is to have constant training and retraining in cyber security,’’ said Okereafor.

‘‘Agencies of government need now to take cybersecurity education and awareness more seriously and because of the complexity of the data space that we operate in and enlargement and embrace of technology in so many areas, it now becomes imperative for agencies of government to be aware of the exposures and then take proper actions.

‘‘Legislation and for supporting cybersecurity can never be too much. We also as a country need to look into legislation to legitimize all the regulations that need to be applied in cybersecurity. To that extent, it is necessary for government to consider having more legal frameworks to backup other areas of cybersecurity.

‘‘We as a country need to define, develop and institutionalize frameworks to protect data each of these areas. We have a lot of frameworks, but we can harmonize them and begin to use them as a people. The Cybersecurity law though is in place needs to be strengthened,’’ he added.

In his own remarks, the Head of CyberSecurity Unit at NITDA, Dr. Wariowei Dimie explained that the Information Assurance Workshop was jointly organized by SGF and NITDA to educate heads of public institutions on the need to keep the confidentiality and integrity of all public information whenever and whoever that intends to have access to it.

He said, ‘‘We discovered that in public service the world over, cyber criminals are working very hard to steal information because there is value attached to data. Because the value of data is so importance, we are putting up this workshop to make sure that whatever data generated and made available in public service is kept safe from hackers.

‘‘We would make sure that there are certain regulations put in place are adhered to by MDAs, as stated in the circular circulated by the SGF.’’ On implementation, he said, ‘‘there is plan for monitoring and evaluations. ‘Circulars generated by SGF and HOS are usually structured in such a way that compliance can be monitored from the end of the organization and as well as the generating agency.’’


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Samsung Unveils Technologically Advanced 2020 Consumer Products

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Samsung Electronics Nigeria has unveiled its 2020 consumer products range. The launch which held in Victoria Island, Lagos showcased the latest in its revolutionary and innovative QLED and Crystal UHD Television Series  along with Wind Free Air Conditioners, Side by Side Refrigerators and Drum Washing Machines.

Keeping with its resolve to utilize its transformative ideas and technologies to shape the future and inspire the whole world, Samsung has once again demonstrated its determination to continuously redefine the living space and entertainment of its customers.

According to Mr. Caden Chiyeon Yu, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics Nigeria, “QLED uses exceptional and revolutionary technology which offers an unparalleled visual and auditory adventure from the comfort of your living room. QLED series is available in 4K or 8K and from 58″ to 98”, and was designed with options to fit any space and budget”. For Crystal UHD Television, Mr. Yu said, with cutting-edge Crystal Display, the new Crystal UHD TV will bring high-resolution content to life in a whole new way, delivering a viewing experience like never before in a mainstream UHD TV.

Also showcased at the launch were the new Windfree Air Conditioner, Drum Washing Machines and Side by Side refrigerators. The Windfree Air Conditioner is designed specially with the latest technology to provide coolness in quick time while ensuring that users don’t experience any chills through out its use. It also has an in-built digital inverter which reduces energy consumption by 73 percent. .

The newly introduced drum washing machine of 2020 from Samsung is very efficient and is built with eco bubble technolgy which allows it to provide cleaning of very dirty garments or clothes without the use of water.  Futhermore, the new Side by Side Refrigetor was built with Spacemax technology which has enabled  Samsung to offer more spacious interior without increasing the external dimentions or compromising energy efficiency.

Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Oluwaremilekun Adesola-Ogunsan, Head, Consumer Electronics, Samsung Nigeria stated that “Samsung understands the economic diffulties currently being experienced in the country and has consistently produced pocket friendly premium consumer products. We are very consistent in our approach as we understand that our customers like the good things of life and we have provided that without compromising our standards”. “So I can say boldy that there is a Samsung for everybody regardless of your income stream” She added.

In 2019, the Samsung consumer range of products received universal praise for its innovative quality and design and numerous pioneering features. This year Samsung has added even more beneficial features which its customers will appreciate in great deal.

 


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CWG Plc Empowers Small Businesses in Nigeria with SME Solution

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Pan-African Information and Communications Technology Company, CWG Plc has said the essence of its Enterprise Resource Planning Solution (SMERP) that runs on the cloud is to empower small and medium enterprises in Nigeria and offer them the required tools to manage their entire business.

Mr. Dolapo Orogbemi, Product Manager for SMERP, who disclosed this recently to the media, noted that with SMEs contributing massively to Nigeria’s economy and creating both direct and indirect jobs, SMERP was designed intentionally to help SMEs thrive.

“Since inception, it has been the number one goal for us here at CWG because we have always identified the potential for SMEs once they are provided with the right support.

Thus, SMERP was designed to make available enabling tools for all SMEs across Africa at a relatively affordable price and to also make their business operations lean where they can save more resources to increase profitability,” he said.

Dolapo explained that in support of SMEs, SMERP has provided an effective ERP tailored to the SME market, providing services such as Inventory Management, E-commerce platform, Accounting, Point of Sale and Customer Relationship Management tool.

He argued that one of the major reasons SMEs don’t survive beyond the early stage of their business is due to inadequate funding to scale the business and this has become a default gap in the SME sector.

But with the CWG’s SMERP solution, SMEs can take proper records of their day-to-day business transactions to present to financial institutions as proof of profitability and project business growth for them.

According to him, SMERP’s competitive edge is based on value to the SMEs where they can have access to a complete ERP solution at an affordable price, stressing that the solution enables each SME with special requirements to execute their business needs.

For more information on SMERP kindly visit www.smerp.ng to start a 14-days free trial.


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Encomiums for TD Africa as Nigeria Prepares for Tech Experience Centre Launch

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A number of globally renowned Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the technology space have commended TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading technology, lifestyle and solutions distributor for successfully birthing the continent’s first Tech Experience Centre.

The commendations come ahead of the October 1st launch of the centre located in the high-rise Yudala Heights on 13 Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Equally important, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami is expected in Lagos to commission the Centre, with the Lagos State Governor, BabajideSanwo-Olu, alongside a number of other high profile dignitaries, expected in attendance. The event will be streamed live to millions across the world from 5pm.

In a chat with newsmen, Chidalu Ekeh, head of the Tech Experience Centre, stated that aside reducing the decision making cycle for Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), as well as other technology consumers, the Centre will also serve as a training centre for young Nigerians on latest technology.

“We are creating a path in this country where state-of-the-art technology will be accessible to CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and others technology consumers, so that they can make prompt decisions without leaving the country,” Chidalu said.

“What we have on board is a tech genius area where our customers will be able to take advantage of the partnerships that we have with the various OEMs on board.

“The Centre will afford young Nigerians the opportunity to receive world-class training on the latest technology.”

Also speaking on the reason for mobilising other tech giants to bring the massive project to life, Mrs. Gozy Ijogun, managing director (Sales) TD Africa, explained that the centre is aimed at adding value to the technology space in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.

Ijogun said: “I am sure everyone is wondering what TD Africa is doing with the Tech Experience Centre. At TD Africa, we consider ourselves value added distributors.

“We are not just here to buy and sell. We add value to the economy. For that reason, we came up with the Tech Experience Centre so that Africans can experience technology the way it should be in this part of the world.

“No other distributor can do this. TD Africa is here to add value to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem.”

The Centre, housed within an impressive eight-floor edifice, will play host to tech giants, such as Cisco, Microsoft, Dell Technologies, HP, Schneider Electric, Zinox, Philips, Samsung, Apple and Bosch, among others.

“The structure also houses a cutting-edge gaming arena, lifestyle and smart home area, café, training centre, conference rooms and expansive office spaces, among others.

Olakunle Oloruntimehin, general manager, Cisco, West Africa, expressed delight with the concept behind the Tech Experience Centre, adding that it would be a great opportunity to offer latest technologies to consumers under the same roof with other tech giants.

 

“It is a good opportunity to collaborate with TD Africa and other OEMs under one roof. Technology is being democratised and it is important that people come together to take this outcome forward.

“Cisco is excited not only to partner with TD Africa but also to work with other OEMs under one space to make this work,” Oloruntimehin said.

Chioma Iwuchukwu-Nweke, country manager (Nigeria), Philips, also expressed excitement with the expected launch of the project. She revealed that Philips would delight tech customers at the Centre with latest health-driven home appliances.

Nweke said: “This is a dramatisation of the phrase ‘think global, act local.’ This is what TD Africa is doing with the Tech Experience Centre, by bringing lots of multinationals in the technology space in one place so that customers will experience latest technology.

“Before now, people always take technology to be something they have to travel outside the country to experience.

“We are sure that the Centre is going to change this narrative, especially at this time when the thought of travelling is a little bit scary for a lot of people. For us at Philips, customers should expect total innovative home appliances.”

On her part, Vivian Mike-Eze, marketing communication manager, Schneider Electric, commended the vision behind the initiative.

She urged tech consumers to be ready for an immersive experience with smart home concepts at the Tech Experience Centre.

“There has not been such a centre that gathers all the tech giants together in one place here in Nigeria. So, TD Africa has really set a precedent.

“I believe that people visiting the Tech Experience Centre expect to experience technology. In Nigeria, there is really a market for advanced technology that has been ignored for too long.

“This vision by TD Africa to bring the latest technology and get customers to experience it live is a fantastic opportunity to tap into. Because of the Centre, customers do not need to travel to the US or UK to actually see latest technology.

“Schneider Electric promises customers home automation, using the smart phone concept, when they walk into the Tech Experience Centre.

“This involves having the ability to control the temperature and ambience in their homes, with just a voice command. It is easy to talk about it, but there is no better idea than experiencing it by testing the controls and seeing it live.”

In addition, Microsoft Senior Partner, Specialist-Modern Work, Josh Adekeye, appreciated TD Africa, noting that the Centre will promote customer immersive experience. He promised that Microsoft would always support the Centre, which will reduce the burden for Microsoft to fly its customers to other countries to see its latest technological rollouts.

Adekeye said: “For us at Microsoft, when we heard about the Tech Experience Centre, we knew that it was something we needed to participate in. Before now, we usually fly our customers to Microsoft Technology Centre either in Dubai or in the US.

“However, when this opportunity came, we indicated interest and supported TD Africa to achieve it. We will always support the Centre. The beauty of technology is in seeing it.

“What Microsoft brings to the table is customer immersive experience. It means the customer will see the technology, feel the impact and make their decision easily and quickly.”

Lending his voice, Managing Director, Samsung (Nigeria), CadenChiyeon Yu hailed TD Africa for galvanising other tech giants to bring the Tech Experience Centre to life, adding that the Centre will afford Samsung a great opportunity to expose customers to its latest offerings in Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other innovations shaping the global tech ecosystem.

 

Meanwhile, Ayokunmi Solesi, Country Manager (Nigeria), Bosch, described the Centre as a huge landmark on the African continent, adding that Bosch was ready to bring modern kitchen appliances to the delight of customers at the Centre.

Solesi said: “This is live experience. When you see big OEMs like Bosch, Schneider Electric, Samsung, Cisco, Microsoft, among others coming under a platform, you will realise that something great is about to be born.

“This is a huge landmark, not just in Nigeria, but also in Africa. For us at Bosch, this is a very commendable initiative,” Solesi said.

The Tech Experience Centre is an ambitious project, the first of its kind in Africa, to house global technology giants under one roof, with the aim of making latest and cutting-edge technology easily accessible to Nigerians and other nationals.

Experts and economic watchers have hailed the expected launch of the centre as a major development that will shore up Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology space, while also boosting the nation’s economy.


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