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NITDA Empowers PLWD in Kano with Digital Skill

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As part of effort to make digital literacy all inclusive, the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA on Friday completed the training for 30 persons living with various forms of disabilities,PLWD in Kano, Kano State.

The closing ceremony of the five-day training on Office Automation and Technoprenuership was virtually attended by the Executive Governor of Kano State, His Excellency, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was represented by Mallam Salihu Tanko Yakasai, senior special assistance on Media, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and the NITDA Director General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

The Minister, in his remarks as the Chief Host advised the trainees to be ambitious and not to see their disabilities as challenges that would not make them achieve success in their chosen endeavours.

“You have to build on the skills you have acquired, challenge your previous successes,” he advised.

He said that, “as entrepreneurs, you will face a lot of challenges so encouraged to be focused and chase your passion diligently”, adding that no deformity can limit the level of achievements except the one set for yourselves.

Citing example of some renowned tech guru in the world, the minister explained that most of them turn their challenges to strength so they could become what they are today.

He said, “Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in his garage in the year 1994 without making a profit for years. So you don’t have to be discouraged but keep your eyes on the ball”

Dr Pantami informed the beneficiaries to count themselves lucky for being selected out of many people that applied for the training advising them to make judiciously used of the working tools provided for them and not to be tempted to sale it.

The minister while commending the NITDA boss and the entire management of the Agency for strategically implementing the policy of the ministry stated that the ministry would continuously coming up with strategies that will support the digital economy mandate of the ministry.

He directed NITDA to continue giving high premium to developing the capacity of the people. “I want you to keep this training going so our people can be empowered. You are also advised to have data base of the beneficiaries in order to keep monitoring their achievements.

In his remarks, the representative of the governor, Mallam Yakasai commended NITDA for choosing Kano state for the training, noting that the acquired skills by the trainees would assist them to be self-reliant.

He said the state government would remain grateful for the opportunity. While maintaining that the state government is also striving to ensure that the lives of the physically challenged are supported with initiatives that would make things easier for them.

Earlier in his speech, the NITDA boss said that the programme is targeted at promoting inclusiveness in the nation’s journey to digital economy.

He added that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has made digital skills imperative.

He said, “never before was digital skills more critical as it is today. As we move from pandemic emergence response phase to recovery phase, the unprecedented disruption of this pandemic is accelerating the urgency of digital transformation and it has forced us to embrace new practices such as social distancing, remote working and virtual events.”

He reiterated that the training is aimed at ensuring that no Nigerian is left behind in the journey to digital Nigeria.

“The Honourable Minister has enjoined us to embark on massive training and re-skilling for all Nigerians including more than the 25 million people living with disabilities”.

He added that this year training is focused on upskill and empowerment of the people living with disabilities with digital skills on Office Automation and Technoprenuership.

He said special attention is being paid to entrepreneurship because Small and Medium Enterprise and tech startups are the backbone of any nation.

Ado Sanusi Sabongida, one of the beneficiaries of the training who is living with Cerebral Palsy, delivered vote of thanks on behalf of the others. He thanked the management of the NITDA for not forgetting special people in their programmes.

He equally advised other agencies of government to emulate NITDA at empowering the special people adding that they should be looking inward to see abilities in their disabilities.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of working tools to the trainees.

 


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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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NCC Says 78.9m Nigerians now Connected to Broadband

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that the number of Nigerians connected to high-speed internet rose to 78.9 million in June.

NCC Says 78.9m Nigerians now Connected to Broadband

Prof Umar Danbatta, EVC, NCC

The data from the commission showed that telecommunications operators in the country added 2.2 million customers to their broadband database in the month to raise the figure from 76.6 million recorded in May.

This raised the country’s broadband penetration from 40.14 per cent in May to 41.27 per cent at the end of June.

The steady growth in penetration has been attributed to the telecoms operators’ aggressive push for deployment of 4G service across the country. To extend the service to more Nigerians, the largest mobile network operator in the country, MTN, recently announced more investments targeted at building more 4G infrastructure

MTN said it planned to spend an estimated N600 billion on technical infrastructure over the next three years as it looks to expand its 4G coverage across the entire country by 2024

The Federal Government also recently launched a new National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025) with a target of achieving 70 per cent penetration in the next five years.

This followed the expiration of the NBP 2013-2018, which delivered 31 per cent penetration as of December 2018.

Aside from the 70 per cent penetration target, the government in the new plan also raised the benchmark speed for broadband service in Nigeria to 25 megapixels per second, which is an improvement from the 1.5mbps benchmark in the 2013-2018 plan.


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Gilat Telecom, Spacecom, Unite to Bolster Satellite Services in Africa

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Spacecom, operator of the AMOS satellites fleet, and Gilat Telecom, a connectivity service provider, have announced a collaboration “to develop a faster, more reliable and more cost-effective satellite service for organisations of all sizes across Africa.”

The service uses Spacecom’s AMOS-17 fully digital and advanced High Throughput Satellite (HTS) on both C and Ku band, and Gilat Telecom’s unique SD-WAN MAX technology.

The companies add that the service, available immediately, can be used for home and office connectivity including video conferences, e-health applications, e-learning, e-education, etc.

They add that the collaboration will benefit African MNOs and ISPs in several ways including CAPEX savings and higher throughput at reduced operational costs.

“Spacecom’s AMOS-17’s HTS fully digital payload enables cross-connection between all beam and all bands enabling the use of existing equipment which can also be set-up remotely by the end customers (on existing or new terminals). Using Gilat Telecom’s intelligent routing, capacity can be expanded by up to 20% (the equivalent of 6 Mbit/s can be achieved from a 5 Mbit/s downlink),” the companies state.

Another benefit is smart traffic management. The companies explain: “Gilat Telecom’s SD-WAN enables service providers and MNOs to centrally control the route that both satellite and fiber traffic takes to and from the customer.

It enables different applications – voice, streaming, caching (Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft cloud services etc.) – to be identified with automatic prioritisation, according to the customer’s needs and demands.”

Dan Zajicek, Spacecom’s CEO said: “This partnership enables us to boost the services offered to customers along with fast returns on investments to these growing markets. We are sure this fruitful cooperation will lead us to many great business opportunities in Africa.”

Asaf Rosenheck, Gilat Telecom’s CEO also said, “We are an innovative company always focused on how we can improve the service we provide to our customers. Our partnership with Spacecom demonstrates how we work across the ecosystem to drive down costs and improve capacity”.


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Encomiums as Sonny Aragba-Akpore Bows Out of NCC

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It was encomiums galore recently as Management and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) bid the Commission’s Head of Media Management and Public Relations, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, farewell following his retirement.

Aragba-Akpore, former Information and Communications Technology/News editor at the Guardian Newspaper, joined the service of the Commission in 2014.

Speaking at the valedictory party held in his honour on Thursday, which was attended physically and virtually by staff of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, appreciated the level of professionalism Aragba-Akpore brought to bear on his work at the Commission.

Represented at the event by Abigail Sholanke, director, Projects, Danbatta commended Aragba-Akpore for using his many years of industry experience and knowledge as a media professional and corporate communication manager to create a robust relationship with both mainstream and online media stakeholders, which, he said, has contributed significantly to the overall positive image and favourable public perception of NCC.

“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Commission, we wish you a successful retirement and fruitful engagements in your future endeavours,” Danbatta said.

In his remarks, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, director, Public Affairs Department,  said “within the short time I worked with Mr. Aragba-Akpore, I found him to be a man of uncommon passion for his work,” describing him as a very committed and hardworking colleague.

“We, therefore, wish you increased divine favour, as you retire from the services of the Commission.”

Other staff of the Commission, including directors, deputy directors, middle management staff, among others, took turns to talk about the favourable working relationship they had with Aragba-Akpore while at the NCC and wished him well in his retirement life.

Responding, Aragba-Akpore expressed gratitude to the Management and Staff of the Commission for their support and cooperation during his service and for organising a befitting valedictory ceremony in his honour, saying he enjoyed working with the NCC.

“This is one event I will not forget in a hurry. Indeed, I feel I am very lucky and singularly blessed and very appreciative of the privilege to work with a leading telecoms regulator like the NCC. For me, it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.


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