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Over 14,000 Students Enrolled to NITDA Academy Even With COVID-19 Pandemic – Says Inuwa Abdullahi

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In the wake of Coronavirus pandemic and its socio-economic impact globally, over 14,000 active students are  learning from 47 different courses cut across emerging technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and many more in NITDA Academy, a virtual learning launched by Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami last month.

 

Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA , disclosed this at a Virtual Conversation organised by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), on the Socio-Economic and Political Impact of COVID19 on Telecom and ICT sector in Nigeria.

 

The event was well attended by key stakeholders within and outside the shores of Nigeria, as they deliberated on how the Coronavirus crisis affected the economy and ways to cope with the impact using ICT.

 

Abdullahi said it was under the directive of the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy that the Agency conceptualised, executed and launched a NITDA Virtual Learning platform with the aim to help engage young citizens to spend their time meaningfully and learn new technologies that will help create and shape the post-COVID era.

 

Despite the effect of the virus in all sectors, Abdullahi remains hopeful the crisis which forced people to change behaviour and adapt to new habits will be soon become a thing of a past.

 

“Coronavirus has forced us to change our behaviour and adapt to new habits. New trends have emerged, we do everything remotely; working, learning, meeting, workshops, zoom party, e-wedding, and so on”, he noted.

 

The DG averred that NITDA has successfully organised various programmes, which among others is COVID-19 Innovation Challenge designed to help in thinking within the box and come up with ideas that can contain and cushion the effect of the virus as well as keep the economy up and running.

 

“We are working with the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 and Nigerian Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) to identify some of the ideas they think are relevant for them , so they can be used as a testing ground to help these start-ups develop their ideas into products”, he said.

 

He added that, “the Challenge had over 2000 applicants and 5 start-ups were selected for pitching at the Open Demo and Prize Giving Day; three of them emerged winners and went home their prizes.

 

Abdullahi stressed that it is part of the Agency’s initiatives to identify youths with innovative ideas, take them to innovation hubs, incubate and accelerate their ideas into a product or services through NITDA Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support Scheme.

 

He said “part of the recommendation of the Tech for COVID19 covers what we do, and we are working with relevant stakeholders to identify hubs as well as start-ups that can enjoy this initiative.”

 

Commenting on using new technologies in farming, the DG stated that the Nigerian Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), will encourage farmers to focus more on digital platforms and precision smart farming.

 

“To ensure significant improvement in crop yield, quality of farm produce, efficiency and productivity, increased profit margin, harvest focus, sales of farm produce and eco-friendly agricultural practice.

 

“We are working with 150 farmers to start the pilot project, because the agriculture value chain contributed the highest percentage to our GDP and ICT as an enabler can help boost its projection,” he added.

 


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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.

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ATCON Urges Members to Follow Nigeria Data Protection Regulation

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The Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, has urged members to comply with Nigeria Data Protection Regulation as stipulated by the federal government through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

 

Mr. Olusola Teniola, President of ATCON, made this call at a virtual meeting on Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019: held on Monday, July 6, 2020, with the theme ‘Benefits and Compliance Process’.

 

Mr Teniola disclosed that the aim of the virtual meeting was to create awareness and encourage its members to implement the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation.

 

He called on members to ensure that they did not running against the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019.

 

According to him, “ATCON partners with this company in order to prevent our members from running against the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019.

 

“As we all know the Regulation aims at protecting and guarantying the safety of all users of web from the unscrupulous people who use their knowledge to defraud and cheat people who are genuinely transacting business over different websites (public and private).

 

“It should also be emphasized that data is now the new gold and it must be treated accordingly, ATCON embarked on the awareness and implementation of the data protection regulation because of its strategic importance to our members businesses and to reduce or prevent cybercrimes by ensuring the safety and protection of Nigerians digital details on the world wide web as the failure to give adequate protection to data could be very devastating and costly to individuals and businesses.”

 

He further commended Mr Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for putting the document together for the benefits of Nigerians who have moved their physical transactions online.

 


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Njalo.ng Provides Nigerians with Access to Quality, Cheap PPE during Covid19

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Top priority for individuals and organisations – public and private sectors – is the health and safety of employees, customers, vendors, and their families.

Therefore, helping households, companies and the society at large, to put the necessary measures in place and the protection of people’s lives, is what has made Njalo.ng an online marketplace with a difference.

As the COVID-19 pandemic turns the global economy upside down, demand has become volatile, creating a variety of pricing challenges.

But as a Startup with eyes on long-term value rather than short-term gain, Njalo.ng has enabled sellers to offer the best prices to buyers, most of who have lost their jobs or financially down but need to protect themselves against the pandemic.

Launched on January 6, 2020, Njalo.ng, a classifieds platform empowers millions of individuals and businesses in Nigerians with free access to sell smartphones, cars, laptops, clothes, shoes, bags, property, furniture, books/literature, and kiddies’ clothes, among others.

As COVID-19 crisis is exerting sudden and unprecedented pressures—sometimes up, but more often down—on demand and pricing, it offers sellers a door to reach out to buyers by offering free placement of items and promoting such products across social media channels at no charge to the sellers.

Expatiating on the why they chose to support sellers, Mrs. Sandra Ani, Chief Operating Officer of Njalo.ng, said, although it is difficult to take a long-term view during a crisis of this nature, they expected that the sellers that emerge in the strongest positions will be those now taking a “through-cycle” view of their relationships with customers and the communities where they do business as part of an integrated approach with marketing and sales.

She said that Njalo.ng’s step is in line with the Federal Government and various State Governments’ call for support from the companies to assist with palliatives, especially in the fight against covid-19.

She said, “When Covid-19 was first reported in Nigeria in February 2020 and the subsequent lockdown in Abuja (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States respectively, nobody thought it was going to take this long before the economy opened up again. Just a few days ago the government announced that Students should get prepared for WAEC only to re-announce that Nigerian students are not likely for year 2020 WAEC examinations.

“So, at Njalo.ng, our aim is actually to empower as many people as possible, but not like directly donating Facemasks or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to everybody, because the number is much.

“We thought of the best possible way to do this and we discovered that people have the need for quality products and secondly, at the best price.

“Suffice to say we are empowering the people to stay safe or contain the spread of coronavirus by offering SMEs the platform to sell personal protective equipment (PPE) to millions of Nigerians.

“Interestingly, our support here is that you do not have to pay to sell on Njalo.ng; we shoulder that for you.

“We are extending our hands to more merchants, SMEs and entrepreneurs to use this opportunity to make ends meet”.

She said that Njalo.ng has deployed a robust Customer-Care team to attend to the needs of both sellers and buyers. “This is why Njalo.ng’s slogan is Easy Sell, Easy Buy. We make life easy for you”, Mrs. Ani added.

According to her, Njalo.ng also encourages sellers to sell WHO (World Health Organisation’s) recommended PPE products as a means to curtail the spread of the virus.

 


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FG Says Report on 5G Deployment Ready but Needs Stakeholders Inputs

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Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has said that the report on the deployment or otherwise of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria is ready but it will not go live until experts from all the country’s major sectors recommend its deployment.

FG Says Report on 5G Deployment  Ready but Needs Stakeholders Inputs

Pantami who spoke Thursday in a virtual Annual General Meeting and Induction of new members by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) said the government would not deploy the newest telecom network until professionals from health, telecom, ICT, engineering, defense, financial, media sectors and others made recommendations for its deployment.

Between 5G network and COVID-19 conspiracy theory COVID-19: Senate probes 5G network in Nigeria

“There must be unanimous decision from chosen experts from all the country’s major sectors before the government give go ahead for 5G deployment,” the minister said.

He said though 5G is very important, overall safety of Nigerians supersedes its importance. He said if the experts found out it was safe and recommend its deployment, it would be deployed. ‘’But if it is found not to be safe for deployment in the country we will not deploy it,’’ he added.

He said the 5G deployment was stalled in some countries across the world due to conspiracy theory around its safety.

Speaking on the keynote lecture, Adoption of 5G in Nigeria: The Technological and Regulatory Challenges, Engr Uche Osuji said all telecom operators in the country are ready for 5G deployment.

Osuji, who is a senior manager with MTN Nigeria, said deployment of 5G network will revolutionise Nigeria’s economy. He listed global politics as one of the major challenges stalling its deployment across the world.

Prof. Charles Uwadia, president and chairman-in-Council of CPN, had earlier said the adoption of 5G would drive economic growth and social inclusion in Nigeria.

 


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