The proactiveness of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to come up with initiatives that are repositioning ICT to play a critical role in the diversification of the nation’s economy would reduce the negative impacts the novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) would have had on the digital economy.
This view was expressed by Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, when he played host to the Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Major General, Jamilu Sarharm and the management team of the Academy who were at the Agency to seek for collaboration and support.
MallamAbdullahi stated that Nigeria is lucky to have started putting out measures aimed at promoting Digital Economy.
He recalled that the redesignation of the Ministry of Communications to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the unveiling of Digital Economy Strategies and Planning and the Digital Nigeria project which focuses on digital capacity building and digital literacy would go a long way in reshaping our Economy in post-pandemic era.
“These initiatives have helped because they are emerging globally and in Nigeria, what we have learnt from the pandemic or the crisis just made them profound and we are all embracing digital technologies.”
He stated further that, “a lot of things are going to change. We are not going to go back to normal life. In terms of businesses, some will close down and new opportunities will come.
“So we don’t want to be left behind. We want to be part of the people shaping the new normal we are currently facing.”
While admonishing that people should explore the opportunities the crisis has provided to accelerate the trend that will shape the digital economy, MallamAbdullahi reiterated the need for people to acquire requisite skills needed for digital economy.
He said “When we talk about digital economy, we are talking about knowledge economy which human capital is a key enabler because knowledge is what influences the digital economy.” Citing example of how 25 people became the richest people in the world made $255billion within two months of the global lockdown, the DG affirmed that that is the power of knowledge.
He said NITDA gives good attention to capacity building and collaborates with universities to produce the right skills needed for the digital world.
He added the MIT REAP project of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy identified five key stakeholders which the University is part of.
He said the idea is for the corporate to work with the University to produce the right skills needed for digital economy.
Earlier, Major General Sarharm has informed that the management that the Academy has resolved to approach NITDA for assistance in terms of e-learning and capacity building.
He said that the management thought there is need to pay a courtesy visit to the NITDA and seek collaboration in various areas notably in the area of ICT intervention for the Academy.
He said “the NDA has over 2000 cadets and things are changing and affecting modes of learning especially during the lockdown adding that the whole world is now driven by ICT, we want to engage in online training for our cadets.”
He said “we can’t wait any longer than to come around here basically to seek collaboration and more importantly seek for assistance and expertise.
In granting the prayers of the Academy, the DG assured that special consideration would be given to the requests.
He said “I have looked at your prayers even though you are not specific of what you really want from NITDA but you talked about e-learning, capacity building and ICT infrastructure, we do all these as interventions and we will see what we can do now and those we can plan for next year.
ATCON Urges Members to Follow Nigeria Data Protection Regulation
The Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, has urged members to comply with Nigeria Data Protection Regulation as stipulated by the federal government through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Mr. Olusola Teniola, President of ATCON, made this call at a virtual meeting on Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019: held on Monday, July 6, 2020, with the theme ‘Benefits and Compliance Process’.
Mr Teniola disclosed that the aim of the virtual meeting was to create awareness and encourage its members to implement the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation.
He called on members to ensure that they did not running against the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019.
According to him, “ATCON partners with this company in order to prevent our members from running against the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019.
“As we all know the Regulation aims at protecting and guarantying the safety of all users of web from the unscrupulous people who use their knowledge to defraud and cheat people who are genuinely transacting business over different websites (public and private).
“It should also be emphasized that data is now the new gold and it must be treated accordingly, ATCON embarked on the awareness and implementation of the data protection regulation because of its strategic importance to our members businesses and to reduce or prevent cybercrimes by ensuring the safety and protection of Nigerians digital details on the world wide web as the failure to give adequate protection to data could be very devastating and costly to individuals and businesses.”
He further commended Mr Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for putting the document together for the benefits of Nigerians who have moved their physical transactions online.
Njalo.ng Provides Nigerians with Access to Quality, Cheap PPE during Covid19
Top priority for individuals and organisations – public and private sectors – is the health and safety of employees, customers, vendors, and their families.
Therefore, helping households, companies and the society at large, to put the necessary measures in place and the protection of people’s lives, is what has made Njalo.ng an online marketplace with a difference.
As the COVID-19 pandemic turns the global economy upside down, demand has become volatile, creating a variety of pricing challenges.
But as a Startup with eyes on long-term value rather than short-term gain, Njalo.ng has enabled sellers to offer the best prices to buyers, most of who have lost their jobs or financially down but need to protect themselves against the pandemic.
Launched on January 6, 2020, Njalo.ng, a classifieds platform empowers millions of individuals and businesses in Nigerians with free access to sell smartphones, cars, laptops, clothes, shoes, bags, property, furniture, books/literature, and kiddies’ clothes, among others.
As COVID-19 crisis is exerting sudden and unprecedented pressures—sometimes up, but more often down—on demand and pricing, it offers sellers a door to reach out to buyers by offering free placement of items and promoting such products across social media channels at no charge to the sellers.
Expatiating on the why they chose to support sellers, Mrs. Sandra Ani, Chief Operating Officer of Njalo.ng, said, although it is difficult to take a long-term view during a crisis of this nature, they expected that the sellers that emerge in the strongest positions will be those now taking a “through-cycle” view of their relationships with customers and the communities where they do business as part of an integrated approach with marketing and sales.
She said that Njalo.ng’s step is in line with the Federal Government and various State Governments’ call for support from the companies to assist with palliatives, especially in the fight against covid-19.
She said, “When Covid-19 was first reported in Nigeria in February 2020 and the subsequent lockdown in Abuja (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States respectively, nobody thought it was going to take this long before the economy opened up again. Just a few days ago the government announced that Students should get prepared for WAEC only to re-announce that Nigerian students are not likely for year 2020 WAEC examinations.
“So, at Njalo.ng, our aim is actually to empower as many people as possible, but not like directly donating Facemasks or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to everybody, because the number is much.
“We thought of the best possible way to do this and we discovered that people have the need for quality products and secondly, at the best price.
“Suffice to say we are empowering the people to stay safe or contain the spread of coronavirus by offering SMEs the platform to sell personal protective equipment (PPE) to millions of Nigerians.
“Interestingly, our support here is that you do not have to pay to sell on Njalo.ng; we shoulder that for you.
“We are extending our hands to more merchants, SMEs and entrepreneurs to use this opportunity to make ends meet”.
She said that Njalo.ng has deployed a robust Customer-Care team to attend to the needs of both sellers and buyers. “This is why Njalo.ng’s slogan is Easy Sell, Easy Buy. We make life easy for you”, Mrs. Ani added.
According to her, Njalo.ng also encourages sellers to sell WHO (World Health Organisation’s) recommended PPE products as a means to curtail the spread of the virus.
FG Says Report on 5G Deployment Ready but Needs Stakeholders Inputs
Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has said that the report on the deployment or otherwise of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria is ready but it will not go live until experts from all the country’s major sectors recommend its deployment.
Pantami who spoke Thursday in a virtual Annual General Meeting and Induction of new members by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) said the government would not deploy the newest telecom network until professionals from health, telecom, ICT, engineering, defense, financial, media sectors and others made recommendations for its deployment.
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“There must be unanimous decision from chosen experts from all the country’s major sectors before the government give go ahead for 5G deployment,” the minister said.
He said though 5G is very important, overall safety of Nigerians supersedes its importance. He said if the experts found out it was safe and recommend its deployment, it would be deployed. ‘’But if it is found not to be safe for deployment in the country we will not deploy it,’’ he added.
He said the 5G deployment was stalled in some countries across the world due to conspiracy theory around its safety.
Speaking on the keynote lecture, Adoption of 5G in Nigeria: The Technological and Regulatory Challenges, Engr Uche Osuji said all telecom operators in the country are ready for 5G deployment.
Osuji, who is a senior manager with MTN Nigeria, said deployment of 5G network will revolutionise Nigeria’s economy. He listed global politics as one of the major challenges stalling its deployment across the world.
Prof. Charles Uwadia, president and chairman-in-Council of CPN, had earlier said the adoption of 5G would drive economic growth and social inclusion in Nigeria.
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