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Local Computer Systems are for Nigerian Environment – Balogun

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Tunji Balogun is the managing director of Brian Integrated Systems, manufacturers of world class desktops and laptops as well as other computer accessories.
He is also, president, Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria, (CAPDAN) and the brain behind Balog Technology, distributors of computer products. Balogun is a member of many ICT associations; Balogun started his career in the ICT industry over 35 years ago with NCR Plc.
He spoke to peter ugwu, on issues concerning the relocation of Computer Village in Lagos to it permanent site among others.

Brian Computer in Stiff Competition
In Brian Computers we have competitive edge based on research and development (R&D).
 We have maintained our leading role, coming out with systems that people want and the design they love.
We are driven by innovation, not seating in a place. We are abreast with technology and will keep fate with the people.
 There is no reason why we cannot be in business. Our after sales service is second to none.
Our engineers are always ready to attend to issues as they arrive. In essence we adopted customer-centric approach, which is important to us.
If you place the foreign systems side-by-side local OEMs system they are the same thing, especially with the software.
We buy our hardware from the same manufacturers; the difference among brands like HP, Dell and Brian is the final customization.
Honestly speaking, our systems go through some stringent measure when it comes to Quality Control (QC). We make sure that every part put in use is tested to adapt to the Nigerian environment before they are fused into the systems.
There is no foreign brand that can flaw any of the local brands because we all operate in the same market, using the same models and equipment to manufacture. We even go above board to ensure they are adaptable to the Nigerian environment.

Brian’s Partnership Ventures
We have executed a number of partnership programme like in River State. We have finished that and put it behind us.
 Currently we have other projects with NCC, State Governments and other agencies. We are growing and moving forward.

Building Hardware
Building of hardware is a huge capital project. It is not like building mobile phone casing.  That is a different project.
 If you are in the business of building phone casing or cover, that is a particular specialization and different from building systems. We are concentrating on building systems; that is Brian Laptops and Desktops and we will focus on that.

Relocation of Computer Village
We are hopeful on the process, however presently we are not aware of the direction things are going on the movement of the Computer Village.
 So, we cannot make categorical statement on how the movement is going to be.

CAPDAN Not Carried Along by the Lagos State Government
The piece of information we have presently is on the architectural design. Meanwhile, we have been working with the Agencies of the Lagos State Government involved in the process like the Ministry of Environment.
We have made ourselves clear on how we want the process to be, particularly on the appointment of the contactor to handle the project. We have short listed about four builders we believe are competent to give us the kind of structure needed in the new ICT hub. 
Any of them chosen is supposed to execute the contract. That is the level I can say the process is now.
The State Government is yet to give us the final builder penciled to commence work at the site.

CAPDAN’s Decision to Shortlist Contractors   
There are some infrastructural developments we look forward to see in that place. Is not like the State Government cannot provide a competent contractor to handle the project, but as partners in progress we are permitted to make contribution to that effect. We know what we want.
To be honest with you, we have seen the drawing and have made our input known. It is not about building a replica of what we have in the present Computer Village. What we need is an ICT park.
The new village is supposed to house all shop owners, offices, warehouses and other important platforms we have presently.
 We also look forward to have training centres, banks, schools, police posts; in fact, a clear departure from what we currently have. The village is going to be an international ICT hub or edifice.

Customers’ Readiness to Visit the New Park
Well, some people have called the place a remote area, but looking at it, it is on the heart of Lagos.
 Not only that, it stand by the major road; about five minutes drive to the airport. We have been partaking on the process from the beginning. So, we are not going to lose our customers.
They know the quality of services and products we offer them at the village, which we are going to ensure we maintain the quality at the new place.
 It is not about new centres springing up in Lagos, most of the people opening centres outside the Computer Village received their training here. When the centres are coming up we see it as a welcome development.
This shows that we are really working.
Thus, quality services and low charges we offer to the customers will always remain incentives to drive the market. Computer Village remains the largest concentration of computer sellers and buyers in ICT industry in the whole of West Africa region, if not Africa as a whole.

Possibility of the Project Turning to White Elephant Project
Well, personally, I am not skeptical of Lagos State Government’s decision or actions concerning the project.
 We are optimistic and CAPDAN as a body believes so much in the administration of Babatunde Raji Fashola that the project will see the light of the day. As far as we are concerned, this Government does not say what it does not want to do. More so, the engagements we have had with them show that everything is in good fate.
However, I think the government wouldn’t want to do anything that is not below the aspirations of operators at the Computer Village.
And they are not going to do anything putting us behind, because we have every right to reject any work that does not meet our expectations or if we are not integrated into the process. You cannot shave a man’s head at his back.

Feelings of Your Members about the Project
They are very enthusiastic about the relocation plans. I think so, firstly, the advantages we will deliver upon movement to the new site are numerous.
Like the rent, it is not going to be what is obtainable at this present computer village and they have option one to buy and own the shops there. As they become the landlords, then we can be able to control the environment.
Unlike what we have here, ‘area-boys’ (touts) everywhere.
The environment at the present Computer village is not conducive for business, so we applaud what the Lagos State Government is trying to do. In the first place, this is not a business environment rather residential quarters.
But due to pressure and the geometrical growth in information and communications technology in Nigeria the place couple with its strategic position in Lagos, was turned a business district.
 Not by the government but the business people and their landlords. We should expect the kind of commotion we witness here; an environment built initially for business.
However, we have been partnering the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Environment and task-force boards to ensure there is sanity in the area.
So, when everybody is working, CAPDAN executives have not rested on their oars to ensure our members are peaceful. Meanwhile, it is left for other agencies like the State Security Service (SSS) and the local government to come to the aide of the computer village.

Multi-national IT Companies Buying into the Process
Actually, we do not have to go after them, they have no option that to come after us. We are talking about an ICT park that will have buyers coming from different places to transact business in a more conducive environment.
Most of these multi-nationals cannot find their bearings into the market if we are not there. Should they decline to move along as the process progresses, they may not find where to start marketing or showcasing their products; so they need us. I strongly believe that we are not going to be at their mercy.


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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