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How Tech, Innovation Boost Digital Economies, by Ojobo

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Technological innovation is the bedrock of digital economies. They are powered by the science of growth, hence they stand the test of time.

This was the submission of Mr. Tony Ojobo, director Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Ojobo spoke at the General Meeting of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Abuja branch at the weekend. He told listeners that technology sets the pace for human civilization, boosts development and creates wealth for those who adopt it.

According to him, investments in technology and innovations is the reason why the top four most capitalized companies in the world are where they are. They include Microsoft, apple, Google and Facebook.

Ojobo rolled out statistics to justify his presentation.

Narrowing it down to Nigeria, Ojobo said telephone Subscription stood at 154.5 Million as at December 2016 while teledensity is now 110.38%.

Internet Subscription is 92 Million as at December 2016, while Broadband Penetration is 21 Per cent as estimated by ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission.

Broadband Target by 2018 as estimated in the National Broadband Plan is 30%. Africa has an internet penetration of 28.7% of 3.7billion global internet users.

Nigeria is at about 48% penetration and about 92 million internet users. Facebook users stand at 16 million and Facebook is now worth over $348 billion.

It overtook Exxon Mobil as the 4th most Capitalized Company in the world.

There has been a forecast that by 2020, 20.8 billion devices will be connected and collating data. Digital technology is promoting astonishing interaction among citizens and between citizens and the State. More political debates are enabled thereby boosting the expression of civil liberties.

Politicians increasingly deploy social media to reach their constituents. Only recently the Lagos State Government launched a portal to enhance interaction between it and the citizens.

On the application of digital technology to expansion of democracy, the Arab Spring, particularly the events at Tahrir Square in Egypt readily comes to bear. The Nigerian elections of 2015 gave an insight to what technology can do.

The Referendum in the UK to decide the country’s fate in the EU and the recently concluded American Presidential elections were all shaped by the use of social media networks enabled by the Internet.
 
Ojobo explained how digital economy and opportunities for business and economic growth come about. He said the internet has accounted for over 10% GDP over a period of 15 years in the G8 countries (China, Brazil, India, Sweden and South Korea) according to Mckinsey global institute.

Practically all brands Coca-Cola, Toyota, Cadbury, Exxon Mobil, Adidas, Amazon, Jumia, Konga retail stores are online. Human brands too…presidents, politicians, footballers, other sport icons etc. Jumia, Konga etc. conduct online sales in millions.

Black Friday sales turnover in 2015 conducted by online stores in Nigeria was in excess 600 million naira. The availability of ATMs, POS and other online communication platforms have redefined modern life.

Ojobo listed how the digital Economy has aided the detection of ‘ghost workers’ in the civil service which had drained public funds for years.

This was made possible by ICTs adding that because of ICTs, there is hardly any banking transaction that has taken place in Nigeria in the last 15 years that cannot be tracked.

This enabled detection of illicit funds and transparency in the public sector. These have been a check at least on some people’s tendencies for graft and other financial crimes.

The introduction of technology in banking and e- commerce has put to a very large extent control over financial crimes. For instance, the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) has made banking a lot easier.

 

 


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Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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