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NCC Offers Online Parenting Tips in Wake of COVID-19

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has offered online parenting tips in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

NCC Offers Online Parenting Tips in Wake of COVID-19

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman (EVC) of NCC

According to the NCC, the occurrence of Covid-19 has brought about the need for children to engage more with the internet and the various social media platforms.

It has brought a shift in the norms, putting more activities, including their education, online.

Online activities have acquired a new meaning and reality to Nigerian parents and children. Screen time and screen activities are the new normal.

Parents are constantly searching for online learning platforms, TV stations are providing more child-based educational content and schools are teaching via Zoom, Google Classroom, and YouTube.

Given this reality parents now have to contend with the overwhelming and scary possibility of a child being hurt by faceless individuals while surfing the internet, and a perceived inability and incapability to protect the child.

This has compelled all stakeholders, parents, caregivers, governments, and industry players, to actively pursue, create, and promote a safe online environment for children.

To mitigate the new challenges the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has provided online safety tips for parents, caregivers, and children.

Relying on the Global Online Safety Advice for parents and Carers and the International Telecommunication Union ( ITU) Keeping Children SafeOnline during the Covid-19 Pandemic, NCC said child, online abuse is being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and countries are developing measures to address and provide significant assurance of online safety for children, their families, and society at large.

Online safety, NCC argues is not the non-existence of harm or risk, rather it is creating the atmosphere or opportunity to overcome the risks while enjoying the inherent benefits of using the internet.

According to the telecom regulator, the first step to providing online safety for your children is to anticipate risks, which will lead to appropriate control measures being put in place before a child is allowed access to digital devices or the internet.

NCC says parents need to, stay informed and educated about the use of their devices and the devices their child has access to; the various social network sites, and what happens on them.

They need to make their children understand that they know as much or more than they do and therefore be their go-to person for information on what to do with the device you eventually give them access to.

Caregivers should be trained on how to guide children in online activities and teachers educated and prepare for the avalanche of questions from children, on the use of various online applications or whatever information the children encounter online.

Parents, NCC counsels, should install child-appropriate apps/search engines and applications before they give such a device their children as it will protect the child from inadvertently stumbling into wrong sites that appear as pop-ups.

Parents should install a firewall, to act as content filters, making sure non-age appropriate content does not appear on the child’s device.

The Commission also said in the advisory that parents should also set timers on all devices used by the child, as this helps to create discipline and structure for the child; ensure clear time boundaries are set.

As children spend more time online, observe behavioral patterns and changes. Recognize unusual activities, actions, and reactions.

Where any change is observed, calmly address those changes and allow the child sufficient room to talk without being judgmental.

The home is a safety net for children. It is also the best support system that allows an abused child to recover from abuse and provides a means for managing post abuse trauma.

Ask how your children use the internet. Make them show you some of their favorite sites and discuss with them, make them aware that there are things on the internet that may upset them, and that they can always talk to you or any trusted adult.

If your child is using online platforms or programs for schoolwork, ensure a healthy balance between non-school related online activities and offline time.

During non-school hours at home, establish time limits around when and for how long your child can be online.

Use the available technologies — parental controls and tools to monitor online time allow you to measure and set time limits on device use or internet access. Be honest and open about why you want to use these technologies.

Make sure your child realizes that he or she should never give out personal details, such as name, address, school, and telephone numbers, to online friends they do not know in the real world.


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NCC Says COVID-19 Presents Opportunities and Challenges

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the Covid 19 pandemic has also drastically changed communication and interaction with digital platforms becoming the norm for carrying out official and personal activities.

NCC Says COVID-19 Presents Opportunities and Challenges

Prof Umar Danbatta, EVC, NCC

Dr. Ikeckukwu Adinde, director, Public Affairs, NCC, who stated this during a virtual meeting with online media journalists yesterday, also said that the digital media environment has brought about new opportunities and challenges for online journalists.

Adinde, said that “One of the many benefits of what you do as an online journalist is the real-time dissemination of information and the immediacy it involves.

“The availability of online news 24/7 and its accessibility and availability to consumers make your work very important, you are therefore constantly faced with the challenge of not only reporting events real-time, sometimes, but balancing that need for speed with the accuracy and integrity demanded by your profession.” He added.

According to him, “the communications sector and telecoms, in particular, is indeed the most vibrant and dynamic sector of the economy  and requires excellent leadership and stewardship, no wonder  President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the reappointment of Prof. Umar Danbatta as the EVC/CEO of the NCC for another term of five years which has since been  confirmed by the Senate.“

The fate of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry has yet again been entrusted to a tested and trusted hand and you have a role to play to ensure factual reportage of the Commissions activities and initiatives.

He said that the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the New National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), the NCC Strategic Management Plan (2020-2024), creation of the Digital Economy Department all underscore the policy directions of the Federal Government which the NCC is expected to drive working with the supervising ministry and other relevant industry stakeholders to extend the frontiers of the digital economy for Nigerians.

The director also solicited the  continuous support of the journalists in the area of enlightening the general public on the various consumer-centric regulatory initiatives of the Commission.

“As our online media partners, I urge you to constantly visit the NCC’s official website (www.ncc.gov.ng) which is a repository of information and necessary latest statistics on the performance of the telecommunications industry” headed.


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Kashifu Abdullahi Blazes the Trail at NITDA as Director General

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National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a federal government agency saddled with the responsibility of developing and ensuring the growth of information technology in the country. The agency formulates policies and programmes to achieve this mandate which is supervised by its director general.

Over the years, the agency has witnessed several director generals who during their tenure have made impacts towards the growth and development of information technology. But, the current director general in the person of Mallam Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi has distinguished himself with several accomplishments within the short period of taking over as the helmsman at the agency.

Come Wednesday August 20, 2020 will mark his first 365 days in office, having been appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR  on August 20, 2019, Mallam Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi has been able to implement notable regulatory instruments: like Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (Ne-GIF); Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP);Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV);Framework and Guidelines for ICT adoption in Tertiary Institutions; Guidelines for Nigeria Content Development ICT as amended; and Data Protection Implementation Framework.

Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi is a Technology expert with over fourteen years of working experience in Information Technology operations, business transformation and solution architecture, across both private and public sectors.

He graduated with Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi State, Nigeria and was Massachusetts Institute of Technology trained as MIT Sloan strategist.

As the world and Nigeria grapple with the effects of COVID-19 and its attendant dire economic impacts on the global economy, the agency under Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi leadership has embarked on strategic projects to ensure that our economy recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The landmark initiatives launched to cushion the effects of the pandemic and ensure that technology continues to enable business continuity were:

Tech4COVID19 Initiative – This initiative was launched to measure the impact of COVID-19 on the tech ecosystem and proffer solutions especially for startups. The Committee set-up by the agency came up with a Strategic Plan to ensure that the country retains about 100,000 ICT Jobs and create an additional 30,000 in the Post COVID-19 Era.

Virtual Startup Clinic – This initiative was setup to gather Startups, mostly young people to meet with mentors, successful entrepreneurs, investors, industry specialists, business consultants and hub operators with the goal of solving problems and challenges they were facing.

Nigeria COVID-19 Innovation Challenge– This is an online innovation challenge held to meet the challenges the country is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the inaugural challenge 5 startups with highly innovative ideas were selected for the final challenge and 3 of them were selected for further incubation. A support of ₦1 000,000, ₦750,000 and ₦500,000 were won by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners respectively.

NITDA Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Support Scheme– This is a scheme to support startups and hubs across the country. With over 120 hubs in Nigeria, NITDA is finalizing plans to ensure rapid intervention is provided for hubs and startups based on competence and carefully selected criteria.

SMART Agric Project- This is an initiative by the agency which aims to engage farmers and focus on using precision/smart farming to ensure significant improvement in crop yield, quality of farm produce, efficiency and productivity; increased profit margin, harvest forecast, sales of farm produce and eco-friendly agriculture practice. During this pandemic, we have engaged 130 farmers on this Project.

NITDA Academy– This is a platform for virtual learning where thousands of young Nigerians can have access to a wide range of educational courses and tools online, this basically addresses challenges students face in assessing educational materials.

Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi at recent event said that his administration will focus on implementing a strategic roadmap for the development of Nigeria’s IT sector, which consists of 7 pillars that are in alignment with the 8 pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy.

According to him, “The 7 key pillars of our Roadmap are IT Regulation, Capacity Building, Digital Inclusion, Digital Job Creation, Government Digital Service Promotion, Local Content Development, and Cybersecurity.

“We have rolled out several policies, regulations, and programmes, focusing on those areas.

“However, as the roadmap is set to expire this year as the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which it draws from.

“We have already commenced reviewing it as well as developing the next plan, which will soon be launched.

“It is in alignment with and takes cognizance of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) and other important plans and policies of this administration”.

Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi will no doubt leave an indelible footprint at NITDA and the Nigeria IT space. His unprecedented records of achievements within first one year in office are a testament of his contribution and support to the growth and development of the ICT Sector in Nigeria.


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Mondia Pay Records 5.3Bn Transactions as More Telcos Join

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Mondia Pay, Mondia’s digital payment entity, announced that it recently onboarded a series of new clients and is fast becoming the preferred digital payment solutions provider for telecom operators across Africa. Mondia Pay registered 5.3 billion transactions on its platform last year with telcos across the continent.

A leader in digital platform services, Mondia Pay enjoys partnerships with operators in South Africa, Botswana, Liberia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Sudan, Guinee, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal where it provides telcos with the best billing integration, bundling deals, user engagement and subscriber acquisition services.

Mondia Pay’s success with African telcos can be attributed to the flexibility of its business model which caters to different operator requirements. Subscribers can access premium content, customise their bundle offers and select the payment options that work for them in a fast and secure environment.

Mondia Pay is in the process of onboarding several new partners in Nigeria and the company is now working on launching solutions with telecom operators in Kenya, Mozambique, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso.

“We are extremely pleased about Mondia Pay’s success in Africa as it reflects our experience working with over 80 telcos across the world and demonstrates our leadership credentials in the digital payment solutions space,” said Simon Rahmann, CEO of Mondia Pay.

“Smartphone adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa is set to rise to 66% by 2025 (GSMA) which means that access to online services will continue to grow exponentially. The African operators we are talking to are all seeing an increase in payment purchases for digital services and they are keen to get ahead of the curve to capitalise on this opportunity.”

Mondia is an industry leader in content and entertainment services for audience acquisition and engagement. The company helps its partners monetise their entire customer base across mobile, web and apps through innovative and engaging digital experiences.


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