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Lagos Supports 23 Innovators, Tech Firms with N100m Grant

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The Lagos State Government has awarded a total grant of N100 million to twenty-three young innovators and tech firms to pursue various technology-driven innovations across the six pillars of the development agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

The recipients are the first set of beneficiaries to be picked to benefit from the N250 million seed capital earmarked, last year, as Research and Innovation Fund by the State Government.

The awardees were selected through highly competitive process overseen by the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) established in 2019 by Governor Sanwo-Olu, with the mandate to facilitate and encourage the development of innovative solutions to solve local problems, using cutting-edge technology.

The Governor congratulated the successful awardees of the research funds, urging them to apply the grant judiciously and use it to transform their ideas into reality.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration was born with the sole aim to solve contemporary challenges facing the State, stressing that the innovation grant was initiated with the objective to empower local innovators and thinkers with knowledge of context and peculiarities to create specific solutions for local challenges.

He said: “Last December, we inaugurated the Research and Innovation Council with a seed fund of N250 million in demonstration of our commitment to transform Lagos into a 21st century digital economy and Smart City.

“The body has a mandate to facilitate investment in science research, innovation, and STEM education throughout the State, and to encourage the development of innovative solutions to problems, using cutting-edge technology.

“We are here today to match our words with action, by handing out grants from the LASRIC’s Research and Innovation Fund to successful applicants. I congratulate all awardees and beneficiaries of our very first set. As a Government, we believe in each and every applicant’s capacity to create and scale up ideas that can proffer solutions to our current challenges.

“We embarked on this unique project with the belief that local challenges are best solved by thinking that understands and appreciates local contexts and peculiarities.

“We believe in Lagos-supported solutions for Lagos-specific challenges. With the presentation of the grants, the responsibility now firmly rests on the recipients’ shoulders to justify the opportunity.”

Sanwo-Olu noted that science and technology remained key enablers to transform the socio-economic destinies of cities, observing that any serious Government must give total commitment to application of technology and innovation to drive improve service delivery in transport management, healthcare, education, waste management, security and governance.

He said Lagos was on a journey to properly identify, enable and build great human potential through flagship technology-driven projects, such as Metrofibre programme and Smart City initiative.

He said: “We are also working to transforming our civil service by encouraging innovative thinking and deploying technology tools and processes. Flagship projects such as the Metrofibre project and the Smart City initiative are key enablers for achieving this.”

The Governor urged unsuccessful applicants not to lose hope, charging them to re-apply for the grant in the next round of selection. He said the State Government would be increasing the grant to accommodate more innovators in the subsequent application.

The Governor’s Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology, Hon. Olatunbosun Alake, described the ceremony as “tangible development” in the history of governance in the State.

He said the awardees would be initiating innovation in key areas of manufacturing, food security and health management.

“The grant recipients represent key research initiatives and innovative start-ups ready and qualified to be resourced for the development of Lagos, and indeed the world. Today’s event is the first in many of this administration’s support and development of the science and technology ecosystem,” Alake said.

LASRIC chairman Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the event was a testimony of Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to the development of innovative solutions to challenges facing the State.

He said the Council would continue to assist the State Government to harness human and material resources of Lagos for problem solving, wealth creation and transformation of the State’s economy.

The high point was the presentation of cheques to the awardees by the Governor.

A beneficiary and founder of Price Pally, Luther Lawoyin, who received N5 million grant, praised the Governor for creating opportunities for tech startups to push forward their ideas. He said his business depended on data management, promising to invest the grant in improving food security.


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FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

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Federal Government has included Emirates Airlines in the list of airlines not allowed to operate in Nigeria.

FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

This is part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Hadi Sirika, minister of Aviation, confirmed this via his Twitter handle on Friday.

According to Sirika, the decision was taken following a meeting between the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and European Unions (EU).

The ban would take effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.

“The PTF sub-committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban.

“The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st September 2020,” Sirika tweeted.


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Facebook to Open Office in Lagos

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As part of its continued commitment and on-going investment in Africa, Facebook announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.

Aimed at supporting the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region, the office is expected to become operational in H2 2021 and will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.

Facebook’s office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.

Commenting, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation said: “The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world.

“All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.”

The investment of the new Facebook office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, its first flagship community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of a Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance.

Providing outsourced support to all English-speaking advertisers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the SBG office supports Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) through its Advocacy, Community & Education (ACE) programme, as well as its Marketing Expert sales programmes – all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses.

“Our new office in Nigeria presents an important milestone which further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the region”, commented Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s Director of Public Policy, Africa. “Our mission in Africa is no different to elsewhere in the world – to build community and bring the world closer together, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this will create, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.”

Since the opening of its first office in 2015, Facebook has made a number of investments across the continent, aimed at supporting and growing the tech ecosystem, expanding and providing reliable connectivity infrastructures and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally.

This includes the recent rollout of its SMB Grants programme in Nigeria and South Africa, aimed at supporting over 900 businesses by providing a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild from COVID.

The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, as well as its ongoing training programmes across the continent which support various communities including students, SMBs, digital creatives, female entrepreneurs, start-up’s and developers.

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria. Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms.

“The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent.”


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Victor Osimhen Set Make His Debut For Napoli As Lampard Up Against Familiar Foes

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Football fans will enjoy another great weekend of football action as the new football season in Europe continues this weekend on DStv and GOtv.

The pick of Premier League matches this weekend is the meeting of Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 20 September, which will air live at 4:30pm on SS Premier League.

The Reds completed a league ‘double’ over the Blues last season, with the teams’ most recent meeting a 5-3 win for the Merseyside club in July.

Liverpool supporters have been concerned at their club’s relative lack of action in the transfer market (certainly compared to Chelsea, who have recruited heavily and brought in world-class talent such as Moroccan attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech, for example), but manager Jurgen Klopp insists he prefers working with a smaller group of players.

Lille’s Victor Osimhen in action during a UEFA Champions League soccer group stage match between Valencia CF and OSC Lille at Mestalla stadium on 05 November 2019. EPA/Kai Foersterling

Elsewhere, Manchester United will open their campaign with a clash at home to Crystal Palace in the early-evening kick-off on Saturday 19 September, on SS Premier League at 5:30pm.

It will be the first chance for new Red Devils signing Donny van de Beek to have a taste of competitive English football.

Also on Saturday, Everton will face West Bromwich Albion at 12:20pm while Leeds United will face Fulham at 3pm with the day closing off with Arsenal vs West Ham United at 8pm, all on SS Premier League.

The Premier League matches for the weekend will continue on Sunday 20 September with Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur at 12pm, Newcastle United vs Brighton & Hove Albion at 2pm and Leicester City vs Burnley at 7pm, all live on SS Premier League. On Monday 21 September, Aston Vila vs Sheffield United will air at 6pm and Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City at 8:15pm both live on SS Premier League.

This weekend’s La Liga sees the return to action for champions Real Madrid, who open the defence of their title with a match away to Real Sociedad at Sam Sebastian on the evening of Sunday 20 September showing live on SS La Liga, SS GOtv La Liga and SS GOtv Football at 8:00pm.

La Liga is packed this weekend with other exciting matches airing live on SS La Liga and SS GOtv La Liga. Getafe vs Osasuna will air at 8pm on Friday 18 September, while Villarreal v Eibar at 3pm and Celta Vigo vs Valencia at 8pm will both air on Saturday 19 September.

On Sunday 29 September, Huesca will clash with Cadiz at 3pm and Granada will face Deportivo Alaves at 5:30pm. GOtv will crown the weekend matches with Real Betis vs Real Valladolid at 8pm on Monday 21 September

Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma (left) and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

The headline match from Italy’s topflight this weekend sees champions Juventus open the defence of their title with a match at home to Sampdoria in the late kick-off on Sunday 20 September at 7:45pm on SS Football, SS Variety 3 and SS GOtv Select 1.

All eyes will be on new manager, Andrea Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri at the head of the Bianconeri in the off season.

Another key game this weekend will give Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen the chance to make his competitive debut for Napoli when they face Parma on Sunday afternoon, having joined the club for a huge fee from Lille a few weeks back. This will air at 11:30am live on SS Football, SS Variety 3, SS GOtv Select 1 and SS GOtv Football.

SuperSport remains the only platform to get English commentary from the legendary La Liga.

Don’t miss the 2020-21 football season on SuperSport on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstvafrica.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade and join in on the excitement. While you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.

 


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