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Ikechukwu Nnamani Emerges AfriTECH Man of the Year

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Engineer Ikechukwu Nnamani, the chief executive officer, Digital Realty Nigeria, has been crowned the Africa Tech Alliance Forum (AfriTECH) Man of the year.

Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani is the Chief Executive Officer of Digital Realty Nigeria.

“When we look around, we see different people making their contributions to the African ICT sector. We know Africa is going to be Africa if we harness our technological values and go up the value chain.

“One man has stood up for his inspiration, for his motivation and for making us believe with a vision and strategy that Africqa can achieve this,” said Chike Onwuegbuchi, co-founder, TechCastle Foundation, the organisers of AfriTECH forum, while presenting the award to the recipient.

For over 16 years under his leadership the Digital Realty datacenter in Lagos (formally Medallion Data Centres Limited) is rated the most interconnected facility in the West African sub-region being the number one peering point for the region and boosting all submarine cables in the region, long distance providers, metro fiber providers, mobile services providers, fixed services providers, OTT providers, Internet Exchange, VAS providers, and global Tier1 service providers, amongst others.

Over 68% of all internet traffic exchanged at the Nigeria Internet Exchange takes place at Digital Realty’s datacenter in Lagos, Nigeria.

Digital Realty has recently completed its ultra-modern 1MW IT Load state of the art datacenter called LOS2 in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

The LOS2 datacenter seats on the same campus as the Digital Realty LOS1 datacenter. Customers in LOS2 will enjoy seamless connectivity to the existing telecom ecosystem in LOS1.

LOS1 and LOS2 is already seamlessly connected through diverse fiber routes to the Medallion LKK1 infrastructure (The PFE Module for 2AFRICA Submarine Cable) which Digital Realty has recently delivered to the 2AFRICA Consortium in Lagos, and also the LKK2 datacenter, a new 1.7MW IT Load datacenter that Digital Realty is currently building to support the 2AFRICA Submarine Cable in Mopo Ibeju part of Lagos state.

Plan for implementation of the Hyperscale LOS3 datacenter in Victoria Island is at advanced stage also.

Engr. Nnamani has also promoted the establishment of telecom infrastructure in several African countries including Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, and Angola amongst others.

Digital Realty Nigeria CEO has won over 50 national and international awards for his contribution to the growth of telecoms and ICT industry both personally and companies he is affiliated with.

He was recently awarded the 2023 TIA Datacenter Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Tech Innovation Award, 2023 Most Innovative Datacenter Personality of the Year at the Titans of Tech Award, 2023 Datacenter ICON Award at the 7th African Digital Economy Awards, the 2023 AfriTech Alliance Man of the Year, the 2022 ICT Man of the Year, as well as the Entrepreneur Personality of the Year at the Africa Digital Awards (ADA), the 2021 Outstanding Promoter of ICT for National Development Award at the Titans of Tech Hall of Fame Awards. In 2020 he was inducted into the Nigeria@60 ICT Hall of Fame by TechTV.

He was named the 2020 ICT Personality of the Year by Communications Week and was also awarded the ICT Entrepreneur of the Decade by Nigerian NewsDirect.

Engr. Nnamani holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee State University, Nashville, USA.


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Customs Says No NIN, No Food as FG Begins Distribution of Seized Food Items

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Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has commenced the distribution of seized food items across the country, following a mandate from the federal government, in a bid to alleviate the economic hardships faced by Nigerians.

Customs Says No NIN, No Food as FG Begins Distribution of Seized Food Items

Beneficiaries would be required to provide a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) to access the assistance.

Wale Adeniyi, customs comptroller-general, announced the initiative during a flag-off event in Lagos, highlighting the collaboration with other agencies to ensure direct distribution to those in need.

The distribution targets various segments of the population, including artisans, teachers, and religious organizations, with an emphasis on reducing food prices.

Adeniyi assured the public of the safety of the distributed rice, certified by NAFDAC, and outlined measures to prevent misuse or diversion.

The operation addresses food hoarding and smuggling, contributing to the government’s broader strategy to stabilize food prices and enhance national food security.

 

 

 


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Access Bank, FG Partner to Provide N50bn Funding for MSMEs

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Access Bank has said that it will be working with the Office of the Vice President to provide N50 billion as soft loans and grants to four million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the country.

Chioma Ogwo, Head, Emerging Businesses at Access Bank Plc, disclosed this at the Inaugural Job Creation and MSME Quarterly Communications Forum in Abuja on Thursday.

Ogwo said the initiative was aimed at empowering businesses in Nigeria, by building their capacities and providing them with financial support.

According to her, 4 million MSMEs are expected to be empowered every year for four years, with 70,000 having access to finance while 300,000 will receive training.

She also mentioned that as part of the initiative, selected SMEs will have the chance to travel overseas and observe how businesses operate in other nations through its Business Exchange Programme.

Ogwo said: “So, this initiative, called the Youth Thrive by Access, is focused on MSMEs and we are looking at empowering them. There are different ways in which we are going to empower them. We are going to empower them by building their capacity and giving them access to affordable finance.

“We are going to build their capacities in different ways. There is going to be digital, technical, and also, skill acquisition training. With regards to finance, we are going to be giving them loans, and we are also going to be giving them grants.

“The grants are free. They are not paying us back. But, we are only giving grants to deserving SMEs who have done very well and there are price ranges for different categories.

“So, we have earmarked 50 billion for this intervention. For the first year, we will look at it and then will would review it”

While praising Access Bank for the initiative, Mr. Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, Office of the Vice-President, stated that the objective was to remove obstacles to MSMEs’ loan access and to secure lower interest rates for them.

Johnson added that after evaluating the initiative’s effectiveness, the federal government would then consider whether to expand the funding.

According to him, “What we are trying to achieve is to be able to guarantee seamless and easy access to funding for the SMEs. We want businesses to be able to apply for funding and be sure that in the worst case, in 14 days, you have the funds that you need for your business.

“We do not want businesses to apply for loans and be waiting for disbursement in six weeks. Some of these businesses can fold up within those months. So, what we want, and what they have promised us, which we know they have the capacity to deliver on, is that this disbursements will be quick after the loan assessments are processed, so that we will help reduce the bottlenecks of MSMEs running from pillar to looking for funding.”


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MoneyMaster PSB Records Increase in Customer Base

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MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank, promoted and backed by digital services company Globacom has continued to witness tremendous increase in its customer base since it commenced operations.

The PSB which launched commercial operations in May 2022 in order to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria is focused on the unbanked and under-banked in the country.

The number of customers has been on increase with majority of them attracted by the bank’s digital channels such as USSD, mobile app and internet banking which allow them to open accounts, buy airtime and data, pay utility bills and perform other services hitch free.

The PSB has also embarked several innovations, with new services introduced in recent times for the benefit of its customers across the country.

These developments, industry sources said propelled Nigerians to join the bank in order to enjoy series of top – notch financial services and also conduct their banking transactions assurance promptly.

The sources disclosed further that “There are currently over 4,000 billers on the MMPSB platform and that the number is growing on a daily basis.

“Through the platform, customers are able to pay for many essential services such as airtime, data, electricity, cable subscription, etc”.

The PSB is also retooling and reengineering its operation with several new initiatives to be unveiled soon for better customer experience, thus assuring them of exciting times ahead.


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