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FG, Microsoft Partner to Empower 100 Youth, Development Officers Nationwide

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The Federal Ministry of Youth Development, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) and the Digital Bridge Institute have commenced an entrepreneurship development capacity building programme for some selected  100 Youth and Youth Development officers in the country, as part of a broad Microsoft effort to increase access to technology and technology skills, the software giant in collaboration with`
Holding at the Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja, the training is coming under the auspices of Microsoft’s Public Institutions Capacity Development programme and is designed to train  participants on IT-based youth development programme, prepare them to become facilitators for entrepreneurship development as well as facilitate the development of a model youth development programme for the Federal Ministry of Youth Development.
Speaking on the collaboration, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, minister of Youth Development, who was represented by Ms. Anne Ene-ita, permanent secretary of the Ministry, , said Public Private Partnership is fundamental in effectively advancing the use of ICT tools, while emphasizing that the training ties in with the Ministry’s mission to reduce unemployment in the country using ICT education as a catalyst.
He thanked Microsoft saying, “This cooperation is an example of a Private Public Partnership that can affect real and tangible change.  He acknowledged the fact that participants would surely benefit from the programme and similar initiatives  between his ministry and Microsoft. 
The curriculum focuses on ICT entrepreneurship, ICT businesses, setting and running of small scale enterprises, finance and procurement, sales and marketing, e-Mentoring, and ICT for small scale enterprises among others.
High ranking instructors were drawn from CITAD and they include Y. Z. Ya’u, executive director of CITAD and Mr. Rima Shawulu, secetrary general of ITAN, , an IT entrepreneur, Ahmed A. Yakasai, Enigneer Kamal Umar, Umar Farouq Uthman, a beneficiairy of DFID supported youth mentorship programme, and Isyaku Garba.
Y. Z. Ya’u introduced the class first to the prospects of ICT-based enterprises in Nigeria. He enumerated the various factors accelerating the demands of ICT goods and services in the country which could only be met by getting people to establish ICT-based enterprises.
Rima Shawulu facilitated the module on ICT-based businesses, taking the participants through various types of small scale IT business. In doing this, he also identified the requirements and the processes for setting up these businesses.
The module on Small Scale entrepreneurship was facilitated by Y. Z. Ya’u, taking the participants in a participatory manner through topics such as developing business idea, translating this idea into a business through developing a business plan, determination of business set up needs, sources of support, managing the business, communication and financial management, etc. 
The module on ICTs for small scale business focused on how young entrepreneurs could use ICTs in setting up and running their enterprises, using for financial management, administration, communication, marketing and business promotion. This was taken by Isyaku Garba.
Engineer Kamal Umar and Umar Farouq Uthman took the participants through various IT skills such as advanced internet uses, digital editing, virtual office space, etc so as to deepen the appreciation of the participants of the various skill sets needed for the new IT-based businesses.
Trainees also had opportunity to peruse the functions and workings of business and ICT regulatory agencies such as SMEDAN, NITDA, NCC and CPN to enable them know the specific requirements for setting up small scale enterprises in the sector.
Explaining the motivation for the programme, Dr. Jummai Umar-Ajijola, citizenship manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa said, “Nigerian youths have the potential to perform at optimum capacity but for a number of factors which include lack of proficiency.  With the right skills that this capacity training will afford participants, we are confident that they would be able to effectively deploy work tools that will enhance their performance.”  She enjoined participants to make the best use of the opportunity.
A trainee, Ms Helen Taghtegh from the Ministry of Youth, Benue State, commended Microsoft’s efforts at encouraging technology penetration.
As part of the project, the partners have developed an appropriate training content that would be made available to ministries and other stakeholders that are interested in running youth development programmes.
Participants for the 10 day event which commenced on the 3rd of May 2010, and will end on the 14th of May 2010, were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, the National Youth Council of Nigeria and other youth.  Nominations also came from all state Ministries in charge of youth development while some youth focused NGOs were also represented.
The training is one of the several partnership initiatives currently being run by Microsoft.  Another is the Partners in Learning under the Unlimited Potential Programme which aims to transform education, foster local innovation and create jobs and opportunities.  There is also the Youth Employability Programme which Microsoft has supported through a number of NGOs including CITAD, which have trained thousands of youths in ICT and life and employability skills over the last three years in the country.

 


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MTN Launches ‘Visitor SIM’, Designed for Guests Coming into the Country

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MTN Nigeria has announced the introduction of its new Visitor SIM specially designed for guests travelling into the country.

The Visitor SIM comes pre-loaded with an appealing package that includes local and international call and data bundles.

This package will enable people visiting from other countries to stay connected with their friends, family and business associates on MTN’s super-fast network.

MTN VisitorSIMs are easy for inbound international visitors to acquire, activate and use, in addition to which they offer far better value than any roaming tariff.

Not available from any other operator, the service is poised to deliver convenience and the best-in-class customer experience in line with MTN’s brand promise.

According to Adekunle Adebiyi, chief sales and distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, “The new Visitor SIMs will ensure that before setting foot outside the airport, people visiting Nigeria can plug in, reconnect – to loved ones, associates, tools and information, and begin sharing their remarkable experiences, with no concern about roaming charges.”

 

MTN Visitor SIMs are available in the arrival halls of international airports and other ports of entry.

They are valid for 14 days, which can be extended up to 30 days via MTN’s self-service menus or USSD.


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Nigeria COVID-19 Response: UNICEF, IHS Nigeria Collaborate to Contribute Medical Supplies

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received the delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. These supplies were funded by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.

Testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step towards diagnosing the infection. Tests enable health officials to understand the COVID-19 status of an individual and link that person to care, support and treatment while contributing to the protection of families and communities.

“Testing remains a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19. This is critical for understanding the burden of the disease on our population and targeting our response activities accordingly. The primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of this disease.

“This donation from IHS Nigeria through UNICEF will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19. We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners.” said Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC.

IHS Towers has been a strong and continuing partner of UNICEF. At the onset of the coronavirus in Nigeria in late February, IHS Nigeria provided funding to UNICEF to urgently procure essential supplies and equipment with which UNICEF supported the Government of Nigeria in its COVID-19 response.

“UNICEF is deeply appreciative of IHS Towers’ commitment to being a partner in UNICEF’s work in Nigeria. Once more, IHS has shown great generosity in supporting UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to work closely with the Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

“I am very delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families“, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative.

“We are proud to have played an important role in supporting the Government and our communities where we operate to provide crucial tools needed to fight this pandemic. We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country” said Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria.

This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Coca-Cola, Red Cross Society Expand Fight Against COVID-19 In Nigeria

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In a bid to support the fight against the Coronavirus disease, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with its national society Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has started the distribution of PPEs and risk communications efforts to the tune of N228 Million to support its COVID-19 interventions in Nigeria.

 

This is part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s $2.5million grant to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the COVID-19 pandemic within the West and Central Africa sub-regions.

The grant, which leverages the long-standing partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), seeks to support national efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus disease through the provision of essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk communications to impacted communities, healthcare personnel on the frontlines and treatment centres across the country.

 

Speaking on the donation, Yebeltal Getachew, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “The Coca-Cola System (Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nigeria Bottling Company and Chi Limited) remains committed to providing support to the communities we serve during these challenging times.

 

“By providing healthcare workers with much-needed PPEs, we are confident that this will go a long way in ensuring their safety as they remain on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

 

“Coca-Cola is proud to support the Red Cross as we deliver on our purpose of making a difference across the world”. 

 

Medical supplies being donated comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

 

Expressing his gratitude for the donation, Abubakar Kende, secretary-general for the Nigerian Red Cross Society explained, “We have identified the facilities in urgent need of these PPEs in consultation with NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health and will subsequently be distributed to these centres.

 

“This will ensure that treatment centres across the country are properly equipped with necessary PPEs as we continue to fight the disease”. 

IFRC seeks to directly impact the lives of over 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership. For over a century, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have sustained a rewarding partnership that has seen the rehabilitation and preservation of human lives across the world through the delivery of humanitarian aid and emergency response to communities affected by disasters.

 

 

 


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