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Our Regulation will Not Stifle Innovation, Inuwa tells Stakeholders

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Kashifu Inuwa, director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), reassured stakeholders that the agency’s regulations are not intended to stifle innovation but rather to foster growth and development in the digital space.

Inuwa made this remark during a Panel Discussion at the Business Day CEO Forum 2023 on ‘Charting a Course to Growth and Development’ which took place at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

The DG said that,NITDA’s regulations are designed to promote innovation by creating a level playing field for all players in the digital ecosystem, adding that the agency is committed to working with stakeholders to ensure that the regulations are implemented in a way that does not stifle innovation.

He said, NITDA as a regulator, is aware of the environment, technologies, and innovations by being intelligent in the way it regulates not stifle innovation, but rather to create a market for businesses to grow.

Inuwa acknowledged that while regulation is necessary, it should not impede the progress of innovation and hinder the growth of Startups and technology-driven businesses, as they strive to strike a delicate balance between enabling innovation and safeguarding the interests of consumers, investors, and the general public.

He noted that NITDA’s framework takes into account both rule-based and non-rule-based regulations, which according to him, the latter approach is favoured by the government, as it allows for collaboration with industry stakeholders to develop the sector and formulate recommendations for compliance.

He opined that there is need for flexibility in regulations, acknowledging that policies may need to be withdrawn and substituted if they are not effective in supporting the ecosystem.

“At NITDA, any intervention is designed to influence business, social and market behaviour, and we have four objectives for any regulatory instrument we are issuing” Firstly, it must create a market or domesticate access to products and services; Secondly, it must protect consumers; thirdly, it must enable innovation; and fourthly how it can improve service delivery.

“The Agency has in place diverse regulations and Policies like the Blockchain Policy, Artificial Intelligence Policy and the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), though NDPR has evolved into a full law and a Commission was established and is now in charge of data regulation, which our regulatory role gave birth to,” he said.

While quoting the Korn Ferry report, the DG said by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people, or roughly equivalent to the population resulting in 8.5 trillion USD unrealised annual revenues.

“As we are moving towards digitisation, talent and knowledge-based economy, a company is as good as its next product and the next product is as good as the people who make it.

“We need to learn how to attract, retain and harness talent. Talent is the human component and a huge market for the advancement of the country.

The DG added that Nigeria with her young population, can seize the opportunity and position herself to become the global talent factory because she has proven that in sports, music and film industry.

Inuwa said the same can be done in technology and data, particularly cybersecurity, because cybercrime is the biggest venture in the world today according to Cybersecurity Ventures Magazine, which reported that cybercrime will cost the world about 8.1 trillion USD, which is bigger than all crimes combined.

“So, as you digitise, cybersecurity is pivotal, you need to look into your cyber hygiene, build confidence and trust for your users” he added.

The DG stated that NITDA is working towards establishing Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) which is aimed at helping to build trust and confidence for all its digital services, bringing about growth and development thus attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

The event was honoured with the presence of the Chairman of the African Development Bank (ADB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Jigawa State, Alh. Umar Namadi, CEO of MTN Group, Mr Ralph Mupika, Chairman, Shell Companies Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor and many other dignitaries.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Nigerians Rush as Konga Slashes Prices of Starlink Satellite Internet Kits by 50 Percent

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Konga’s latest addition to its family of technology products, Starlink Satellite Internet Kits, has been met with overwhelming customer demand. The company is Starlink’s only authorised Shop-In-Shop eCommerce partner in Nigeria and provides immediate warranties on all Starlink kits bought from Konga.

Since the e-commerce giant broke the news of the price slash at 9pm on Tuesday night, shoppers in need of reliable, fast, low-latency internet services have trooped to konga.com to grab their share of the unbeatable deal on offer for the Space X engineered satellite kit. Until March of this year, the internet kits had been selling for N800,000 due to the devaluation of the Naira, and now go for N440,000 with the local currency regaining its strength.

As the clock races and limited stock runs out, our investigation confirms that those who purchased Starlink on Konga have begun to receive same-day delivery shipping for their orders in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Rivers State.

On its e-commerce website, the unprecedented surge in demand for the product saw web traffic triple in 4 hours as customers took advantage of the great pricing and seamless order process available via the authentic official Starlink store in Nigeria on Konga.

Konga is yet to reveal how many units of the product it will be releasing to the market at the current discounted price; however, insider reports indicate that there is limited stock available for a short time at this amount. For this reason, customers are encouraged to place their orders immediately.

According to the Head of Business for Konga’s commercial unit, Emmanuel Ekwedike, the online shopping platform always delivers deals that make sense. With the Starlink kits, while customers can buy online and have the orders shipped to their homes and offices nationwide, they can also visit any Konga retail outlet around the country to make an instant purchase.

In February, Konga announced the launch of Starlink kits on its platform with an initial selling price of N378,000 to great reviews. As the month advances, the excitement is still running high as users get high-end quality experiences from purchasing genuine kits and other products with global warranty at its retail outlets and online via the e-commerce portal.

Konga.com is Nigeria’s largest customer centric omnichannel online mall. It launched operations in July 2012 and is on a mission to become the engine of commerce and trade in Africa.

Starlink kits provide high-speed internet services to users around the world through advanced low-latency satellite technology, as a solution to internet disruptions caused by fibre cuts.


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New Salesforce-WhatsApp Integration brings Marketing and Service Conversations together

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Salesforce, the #1 AI CRM, announced the general availability of Unified Conversations for WhatsApp, which transforms one-way marketing promotions or service requests into dynamic, two-way conversations from a single WhatsApp number.

Instead of managing separate threads for promotions and support, customers can automatically receive personalised opt-in marketing promotions and individual support all within a single WhatsApp chat between a brand and customer.

This allows companies like Agibank to use data stored in Salesforce from across their more than 900 hubs within WhatsApp to deliver personalised loan proposals, resolve concerns faster, and better support customers — all in a single conversation.

Why it matters: Seventy-nine percent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments and 75% want to communicate with brands using messaging. However, businesses aren’t meeting these expectations. Customers report that disconnected experiences are their top frustration when dealing with an organisation.

Salesforce perspective: “With more than two billion people using WhatsApp today, Salesforce’s new Unified Conversations for WhatsApp enables brands to connect with their customers where they are and have a single, connected, and trusted experience,” said Steve Hammond, EVP and GM, Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

“This helps brands break down barriers across their company and build stronger relationships throughout their customer’s journey, including natural handoffs from marketing to service teams, by driving the right personalised engagement, no matter where they are in the customer journey, at the right time and in the right context.”

Go deeper: Unified Conversations for WhatsApp is powered by Salesforce Data Cloud. Data Cloud allows companies to bring all of their trapped data into Salesforce and build a unified customer profile across all products, services, and interactions. This allows marketers and service agents to work off the same, shared customer profile and provides them with the relevant context needed to deliver trusted experiences across both departments in a single chat thread.

Innovation in action: By combining marketing and service conversations together in Unified Conversations for WhatsApp:

  • Marketers can segment audiences and create content for marketing campaigns while giving service agents a window into customers’ interactions to provide recommended next best actions using a single WhatsApp number.

  • Inside one WhatsApp conversation, healthcare organisations can schedule, confirm, and provide follow-up support for procedures and appointments.

  • Financial service institutions can prevent fraud by offering a single experience in WhatsApp to proactively verify and provide assistance for unusual transactions.

  • Travellers can respond to personalised trip offers and book experiences through chatbot-powered prompts in WhatsApp.

 


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Meta to Blur Nude Photos on Instagram for Teen Safety

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Meta the owner of Instagram is introducing a new safety feature to help protect teenagers from seeing unwanted nude photos in their direct messages.

Meta to Blur Nude Photos on Instagram for Teen Safety

The feature will automatically blur out nude images if the recipient is identified as a teenager.

Meta said this safety measure is aimed at addressing three main problems.

First, teenagers sometimes receive nude photos that they didn’t ask for and don’t want to see.

Second, sending nude photos of teenagers, even if it’s the teenagers themselves sending them, can be against the law. And third, there are scams where teenagers, especially boys, are tricked into sending explicit photos and then blackmailed.

The tech giant is under mounting pressure in the United States and Europe over allegations that its apps were addictive and have fueled mental health issues among young people.

Meta said the protection feature for Instagram’s direct messages would use on-device machine learning to analyze whether an image sent through the service contains nudity.

Meta, the company that owns Instagram, will use this technology to detect nude photos in direct messages. If the recipient is flagged as a teenager based on their birthdate, the photo will be blurred, and a warning message will appear.

Attorneys general of 33 U.S. states, including California and New York, sued the company in October, saying it repeatedly misled the public about the dangers of its platforms.

In Europe, the European Commission has sought information on how Meta protects children from illegal and harmful content.

 

 


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