By peter oluka
Technology has been identified as a powerful tool to redeem and redirect the economy of Nigeria, especially the South East region.
Speakers and panellists made the unanimous view at GenesysIGNITE 2017, regarded as the biggest annual convergence of technology hubs and start-ups in the region.
The GenesysIGNITE start-ups convergence was held in Enugu on Friday, December 15, 2017 by Genesys Tech Hub in collaboration with CFAtech.ng; where three start-ups presented with cheque worth USD$10,000 each after emerging victorious at the pitch sessions.
Speaking at the epoch-making event with over 2000 start-ups drawn from Enugu, Abia, Uyo, Imo, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi and other neighbouring states in attendance, Senator Ken Nnamani, erstwhile President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria, reiterated that the future of Nigeria belongs to the digital economy and will become visible if the country strategizes properly.
Senator Nnamani who chaired the event, underscored the need for educational institutions, especially the universities to ‘feed’ the technology industry with skilled manpower and graduates fit for purpose. He also showered encomiums on Genesys for the foresightedness in organising the event capable of igniting mind shift among the youths “from election ballot box snatching to technological evolution in the region”.
“What Genesys is trying to ignite in the South East and Enugu State in particular is awesome, by opening the eyes of our young people to tech disruptions and opportunities. It is important, because our people are ingenious and if we can apply the ingenuity in the tech ecosystem we can compete with the Silicon Valley. It is high time we shift our ingenuity from snatching ballot boxes during elections, and channel the strengths towards technology.”
Meanwhile, Kingsley Eze, founder and CEO of Genesys Tech Hub, said the main objective of the GenesysIGNITE was to discuss latest technology trends that impact the regions, and to proffer strategies for unearthing benefits in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy at large. Through the event, he said, they are also promoting innovative business solutions and ideas, currently propagated in the form of start-ups, within the region, culminating in capacity building and other exigencies to help them thrive.
Presenting the cash prizes to Tutor Finder, PlayJoor and House of Uwe, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, said that it was high time various research and development results were pulled off the shelves from the Nigerian universities and turned to commercial products.
“Any nation that produces science and technology experts is always the toast of the world. Genesys is doing what the Government has in mind with regards to youth development – capacity building, incubation, providing venture capitals. I can tell you that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will support this platform to ensure that the young people are given a space to express themselves and add value to the economy,” the Minister said.
Dr. Onu added that the Ministry through the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), the Federal government is addressing issues related to patent and intellectual property as means to safeguard investments and ideas of the young people.
Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr., founder, CFAtech.ng who moderated the panel session informed the youths in attendance that this is the type of events that has helped fuel the tech revolution in other parts of the country and that they owe themselves a duty to take full advantage of the opportunities that will follow GenesysIGNITE 2017.
On his part, Professor Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) tied digital innovation and development to digital literacy, stating that Government needs to move towards the “pull” strategy with emphasis in the development of appropriate legal framework, applications and local content.
“Digital Access Programme (DAP) is being implemented by the regulator to equip secondary schools across the country with internet connectivity. More than 223 schools have benefited. Internet clouds are being provided within Nigeria’s university and polytechnics to foster improvement in digital literacy and application,” the EVC said through Mr. Tony Ojobo, director, Public Affairs at the Commission.
GenesysIGNITE 2017 has laid a solid foundation for technology development in the south east and south south regions of the country.
Inlaks CEO, Femi Adeoti, Wins Top CEOs & Next Bulls Award
Femi Adeoti, managing director and CEO, Inlaks, Africa’s foremost Information Technology and Infrastructure solutions provider in West Africa, has been announced as a winner of the 2020 Top CEOs & Next Bulls Awards organised by Business Day Media Limited in collaboration with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The MD/CEO whilst receiving the award dedicated it to the management and staff of Inlaks for their relentless service even during these trying times.
He also appreciated the board of the organization that drove changes within the organisation particularly in the pandemic which led to the company being recognized and the customers who have continued to support Inlaks while being ambassadors of all Inlaks’ solutions.
The CEO and Next Bulls awards, the sixth in its series, recognizes the CEOs of listed companies creating competitive shareholder value through sound strategy, disciplined execution and world class governance. In addition, it celebrates chief executives of quoted companies that have demonstrated the most impressive gains in both share price and service delivery.
Themed “Advancing Against all Odds,” this year’s award particularly recognised businesses that have been thriving in spite of the global harsh economic realities.
According to the organisers of the award, the indomitable Next Bulls are the CEOs raging forward at a time when many businesses are choosing to retreat, thus acknowledging Adeoti’s good leadership in the area of corporate governance, innovation and service delivery.
The CEOs award celebrates the CEOs of successful, privately-owned indigenous companies built by Nigerians, led by Nigerians and poised to lead their categories on the continent.
Established in 1982, Inlaks is Africa’s leading Information Technology systems integrator with presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Cameroon. As solutions provider, it offers core banking, agency banking, fraud management, cyber-security, cloud, data centre, enterprise risk management and software solutions.
Part of the criteria for selecting winners of this year’s awards held virtually on September 5, are stock price appreciation, Profit After Tax (PAT) growth, an unblemished regulatory compliance record, and positive marketplace reputation among customers in the period under review.
Winners are also selected based on significant interest shown by active and informed investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to invest in their stock should their boards ever decide to take them public.
Transcorp Hotels Hard Hit by COVID-19, Mulls Restructuring
The novel COVID-19 pandemic has caused the African Hotel and Tourism industry to lose over $50bn in revenue.
Amidst this, Transcorp Hotels Plc has suffered unprecedented losses and is looking to restructure the business strategy of its hotels and optimize its operations.
The management of Transcorp Hotels Plc has announced that it will be taking steps to ensure business continuity in the wake of the losses recorded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To this end, the hotelier is diversifying its portfolio and reducing its workforce as part of its cost management initiatives.
Mrs Dupe Olusola, managing director, Transcorp Hotels Plc, disclosed this during a Press Conference on Thursday saying “The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015. The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than 5%.”
According to her “Despite the losses incurred we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100% salary payment to our over 900 employees in March and April. We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans. We suspended further commitment to buy fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs. Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive. To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40%, and our reward system will be optimized.”
Mrs Olusola further disclosed that negotiations are ongoing to ensure that our colleagues who will be impacted are adequately compensated given the peculiarities of the economy at this time.
A health insurance package to reduce their health burden costs, especially during the pandemic, amongst other payment settlements, will be activated.
Equally, all Executives of Transcorp Hilton Abuja have now taken a pay cut.
As one of the leading hospitality brands in Africa, Transcorp Hotels Plc has stated its commitment to uphold service standards and ensure that all guests continue to experience the warmth and hospitality that it is known for.
LCCI Announces Date for Virtual Edition of ICTEL Expo
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the premier Chamber of Commerce and a leading voice in the organised private sector (OPS) in Nigeria, is set to host the 6th edition of the Information, Communication, Technology and Telecommunications (ICTEL) Expo.
The tech event is scheduled to take place virtually on Tuesday 22ndand Wednesday 23rd September at 9am daily. To this end, interested participants are urged to register online via www.ictelexpo.com.ng
Muda Yusuf, director general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said: “The ICTEL EXPO is positioned to be a veritable platform for both operators and regulators to network, showcase and explore with technology with the view to repositioning the ICT sector of the economy.”
Yusuf added “that this year’s edition promises to be the best ever in the series with the theme “Exploring Opportunities in the Digital Economy” This is intended to create a platform to discuss strategies for economic diversification and business sustainability with particular focus on ICT, especially with the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. There would also be virtual conferences and exhibition during the two-day event.
Yusuf also emphasized that relevant agencies and departments of Government will be exhibiting and attending to other exhibitors and participants.
He stated that the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies that have confirmed attendance to participate are Ministry of Communications; Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) amongst others.
In addition, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar GarbaDanbatta, are expected as Special Guests.
Mrs. Funke Opeke, managing director, MainOne Cable and chairman, Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan, is expected to deliver the Keynote Address on the first day.
While Mr. Victor Eburajolo, deputy group managing director, Kewalram Group, will be delivering the Keynote Address on the second day at the virtual Expo.
Yusuf stated that “so far, so good the excitement that the virtual Expo has generated has been phenomenal and we are indeed happy about it.”
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