By Hashim Suleiman,
Let me refer to my September 16, 2019 article tagged ‘Pantami, Kashifu and the beauty of vision” where I had identified Kashifu Inuwa as an individual who had understood clearly the vision of Dr Isa Ali Pantami and had equally chosen to fly with it to fruition. It is also a practical knowledge that people could actually be good carriers of vision and supportive but may not make good leaders, however, Mr Kashifu has today proven to be good in both fronts having stayed a year in office as the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
What Kashifu has showcased from transition to becoming DG till today sits very well with our expectation at #30PercentOrNothing because while were asking for a 30% affirmative action for the youth, we were also very clear as to the sort of youth that should be brought on board if the expected youth excellence and energy were to manifest, we therefore thank Kashifu for vindicating our message which was borne out of critical research.
I was pained the other day when I was having a conversation with an elder brother and I accused his age group for failing to provide mentorship to us and thereby leading to a scarcity of critical youths who can measure up to the leadership gaps that are being created on a daily. He responded to me by mentioning certain youths who have held leadership positions in recent past and have not done well enough to satisfy the expectations of a youth. I had to explain to him how the recruitment process mattered a lot, it never meant that simply appointing a youth was synonymous to performance but rather the careful selection and appointment of youths who have had personal history of zeal, vision and hunger for success. In this area again, Mr Kashifu has measured up and has in fact provided a template for such kinds of selection going forward in order that the big deficit being created in leadership in Nigeria and Africa can be bridged.
Remember how he was a key player in the piloting of the Dr Isa Pantami’s digital journey in 2017 and there couldn’t have been a better way of consolidating such efforts after the ascendance of Dr Pantami to Minister ship than the eventual appointment of Kashifu as the substantive DG of NITDA which in my opinion is the most critical Agency in the Digital Economy campaign. Because the selection and appointment was right, the performance in one year has also matched the expectation.
From a year after Dr Pantami became the DG of NITDA, commissioning of various completed projects started and they have continued till today and we can lately see how all the other parastatals under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy are working to outdo each other in terms of delivery of projects to be commissioned by the Hon. Minister. Little wonder why during the commissioning of the 11 Digital Economy projects by Dr Pantami on 11th August, 2020, the Chairman of the Projects Commissioning Committee Mr Ayuba Shuaibu had while presenting the welcome address described Mr Kashifu as a progressive per excellence and finally referred to him as ‘Mr Progress’. This is an indication that the good things people do resonates in the minds of fair and discerning individuals.
So far, I have not gone into the crux of Mr Progress’s achievements in one year. In the beginning from his first speech to the personnel of the Agency where he appeared in a deep blue suit which was well sewn to fit and matching shoes to present a man well dressed and ready for digitization. The speech also matched dressing by declaring his wish to first turn the edifice into a smart one that was expected of an ICT Agency. Talk is cheap they say but the way to understand a serious leader is he who walks the talk and NITDA is today a smart office that could be presented to anyone as being Nigeria’s ICT regulator talk less of the improved zeal and corporate appearance of the personnel themselves. The Nigerian parlance will tell you the seriousness of an individual is in the ‘packaging’.
Basically, NITDA has become an Agency that represents a sector which it regulates; there has been introduction of dress code to ensure appearances are in consonance with the building and the ICT sector in general. The commissioning of the rejuvenated smart office structure which was performed by the Honorable Minister Pantami last Monday was well publicized and it was amongst the series of projects that the Hon Minister has been commissioning week in week out.
Further to this, the man has enhanced the Cybersecurity infrastructure through the commissioning of the new CERRT office which is more equipped to track cyber threats to the nation. Little wonder why NITDA kept alerting Nigerians on various threats and scams that were prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period.
Furthermore, the DG had taken special interest in educating Nigerians about the opportunities the pandemic had presented. He highlighted so much how the new normal was an opportunity for the ICT sector to think outside the box and harness the opportunities to replace the vacuum created with technological tendencies. Such awareness coming from a regulator has permeated the public and has since manifested and the increased utilization of technology for activities is evidently on the increase.
Unfortunately, this space will not be enough to enumerate the ample strides that the young professional has exhibited but the one year milestone was enough for us to see an individual who looked the part regarding the ideal expectation of young people in governance. It also behooves on us to echo such to a public that is in deficit of young leadership that was capable of managing the polity following the exit of the elder statesmen.
We shall continue to be on the lookout for young appointees who have chosen to distinguish themselves by delivering those qualities which are expected of young people especially as relates to performance and shift away from the norm but on this occasion give it up for Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi for admitting himself into the Leadership Hall of Fame with his stellar performances in a one year milestone that embodies many more to come for benefit of nation.
God Bless Nigeria!
TETFund Seeks Increased Annual Research Funding of $1bn
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Thursday, urged the federal to increase its yearly funding for Research and Development (R&D) to $1 billion. This was as it hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent increase of the research grant from N5 billion to N7.5 billion.
Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, executive secretary of TETFund, speaking at the inauguration of TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee in Abuja, said massive investment in research would bring about the much-needed development in the country.
Bogoro also said it was time for the promulgation of a law that will bring into full place what he referred to as the “National R&D Foundation (NRDF)” to deepen research in the country.
Hear him:”To galvanize our vision towards making R&D the ace and game changer in our national development agenda, the need for an appropriate law to support the establishment of a National R&D Foundation (NRDF) cannot be overstated.
“We need a robust institutional framework and arrangement for the NRDF. I am recommending a minimum annual budgetary threshold of 1billion dollars as the funding portfolio for this Foundation.
“When we consider the inevitable benefits of R&D and the inevitable benefits of R&D and the socio-economic challenges in Nigeria, this amount begins to look like a drop of water in the ocean-population of 200 million people in 2020 and projected to become double in 10 years for now.”
Prof. Bogoro, who said the TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee is expected to come up with its own recommendation on the required amount that is suitable for efficient research activities in the country, called for a robust collaboration between researchers and the private sector to bring about all-round development in the country.
“It is envisaged that the private sector of the economy should pick the gauntlet to steamroll the lofty initiative by taking ownership of it,” he said.
Prof. Bogoro lauded the recent performance of Nigerian universities in the world’s ranking, saying TETFund intervention projects have continued to encourage such feats.
On his side, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, while inaugurating the committee, called on members to put their best to the work he described as ‘national assignment.’
Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, Adamu said that continued investment in research would herald a rebirth of Nigeria.
“Nigeria voted us into power predicated on our being able to transform our national aspirations and make them a national achievement.
“It is in recognition of this direction that the Executive Secretary, TETFund, presented his vision of a research-driven nation and how to finance that ambition through the Board of Trustees (BOT).
“To a large extent, Nigeria’s future depends on you. You have been summoned to a national service that is not available to the rest of the 200 million population. It is a national calling that requires almost all of you,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman said the work of the committee would open the windows of opportunities to tackle various developmental challenges confronting the country.
Suleiman, represented by Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya, lamented the way Nigeria has shown less concern to research, saying that many developed countries invested in research and development and thus helped to improve on their economy.
He said, “Research is the gateway of innovation. It is said that while countries like the USA, Korea, and the like have been investing in research and development, we seem to show less concern.”
He encouraged beneficiaries to take good advantage of the initiative to solve problems for the betterment of the country.
Responding, the Chairman of the over 160-member TETFund’s R & D Committee, Prof. Njidda M. Gadzama, said the epoch-making event will transform the socio-economic sector by ensuring the robust promotion of cutting-edge innovations.
“We promise to carry out our assignment with commitment and diligence and this will result in the R & D Culture and R&D Foundation to drive industrialization of the country,” he said.
The standing committee whose membership is drawn from the academic, industry, and private sector, has the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mansur Ahmed, as one of the three Vice Presidents.
UNWTO, Google Host First Tourism Acceleration Program in Sub-Saharan Africa
The COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately affected tourism, a sector that accounts for millions of jobs around the globe.
While no one can say with certainty when the sector will recover, people are starting to dream of getaways again – whether closer to home or to remote destinations.
As more and more people go online to search where and when they can travel, accelerating the digitisation of the tourism sector will be key to helping it adapt and recover.
This is why the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Google have partnered to create and host an online Acceleration Program for UNWTO Member States’ tourism ministers, top travel associations and tourism boards to further develop innovation and digital transformation skills.
Today, ahead of World Tourism Day, the organisations hosted the first UNWTO & Google Tourism Acceleration Program focused on insights from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
Tourism is the backbone of many economies around the world. As data from UNWTO shows, tourism represents 9% of global trade for Africa and 1 in 10 jobs directly and indirectly. Moreover, the sector drives inclusive growth, as women make up 54% of the workforce.
Natalia Bayona, UNWTO director of Innovation, Digital Transformation and Investments, said “UNWTO is committed to helping Africa grow back stronger,”
“With the right policies, training and management in place, innovation and technology have the potential to foster new and better jobs and business opportunities for tourism in Africa while improving the overall wellbeing and prosperity of the region”.
Africa is home to 30% of the world’s population, adding hundreds of millions of new online users every year.
Google Search is one of the places Africans go when researching and booking travel.
Doron Avni, Google’s Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Emerging Markets, said “We’re here to help the tourism sector recover from this unprecedented crisis and emerge stronger.
“Our travel data insights and tools can help tourism authorities identify and understand the barriers and drivers to visit travel destinations for better tourism planning.”
Below are some of the Nigeria travel data insights shared with participants in today’s session:
Since Nigeria announced its intention to reopen its borders to international travel on August 29th, search interest for travel has grown.
This slowdown presents an opportunity to rethink tourism, innovate and further develop the digital transformation of the sector so it can build the foundations for future sustainable growth.
MultiChoice in collaboration with Celestial Tiger Entertainment Launches KIX on DStv
Celestial Tiger Entertainment (CTE), the operator of the largest bouquet of pan-Asian channels dedicated to Asian entertainment, and MultiChoice Group, Africa’s leading entertainment company, has launched action movie channel KIX, on DStv.
KIX will launch on Premium, Compact Plus and Compact packages in Nigeria from 1st October 2020 at 6:00 pm WAT.
The launch of KIX marks CTE’s first foray into Africa.
Ofanny Choi, president of Celestial Tiger Entertainment, said, “We are very excited to be launching KIX on DStv in Africa with MultiChoice.
“Asian action entertainment has always resonated well with the audience worldwide, and we are proud to work with MultiChoice to bring this popular genre to viewers in Africa.
“With KIX’s proven success in Asia, we are confident we can deliver the best of action movies to our African audience.”
John Ugbe, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, said, “We at MultiChoice are delighted to announce the launch of this brand-new channel KIX, a channel that will expand our viewers content slate, giving them more variety and entertainment.
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and new collaborations such as this, help us expand their viewing experience”.
Action fans can enjoy a high-octane blend of martial arts, action and thriller movies from the East and West on KIX, all presented in English.
Apart from the latest star-studded blockbuster premieres, KIX will also showcase never-seen-before movies from the various action genres, including kung fu classics from the legendary Shaw Brothers library, action comedies, adventure and fantasy action franchises, and action thrillers.
While fans of Asian action movies will see the legendary Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Bruce Lee in action, KIX also aims to present and delight viewers with movies featuring all other Asian action stars.
With all genres of action movies spanning from the 1960s to the present day, KIX is a one-stop-shop for all action movies entertainment throughout the years, with something for everyone. Viewers can now watch KIX and its catch-up programming anytime, anywhere, on DStv and DStv App!
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