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Pantami, Danbata Call for Promotion of Indigenous Digital Solutions

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Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has advocated the need for all stakeholders to join hands with the Ministry and its agencies in their quest to promote the development of indigenous digital solutions in Nigeria.

Pantami made the call during the presentation of N3 million prize money to each of the three promising startups that emerged winners in the COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

The Virtual Hackathon was initiated by NCC to ignite the Nigerian youths to develop adaptable and innovative digital solutions that can address some of the challenges that have come about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The start-ups who made it to the top three are Elizade University Team, Primed E-Health Solutions and Cyberfleet.

The Elizade University Team’s tech solution is an Automated Temperature Scanner (ATS), a device designed to conduct automatic temperature screening and contact tracing of persons with body temperature above the normal level for human beings.

Primed E-Health developed a mobile and web solution called SmartClinic, which can link a patient-based mobile health app with a hospital-based information management system while ‘KlassConnect’ by Cyberfleet is an online platform that can be deployed by schools to continue with teaching and learning activities regardless of any health challenges that may prevent face-to-face physical interactions.

Speaking at the event, Pantami commended the leadership of the Commission for embarking on the tech contest.

Dr. Abdul-Hafiz Are, Chief Executive Officer Primed E-Health during the pitching.

He said the initiative is not only in tandem with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) but also aligns with the implementation of the Executive Order 003, which aims to promote indigenous content development and patronage in Nigeria.

“No country will develop without taking deliberate decisions to promote its indigenous solutions to solve national problems.

“Through this contest, the NCC has demonstrated its resolve to drive the Ministry’s efforts in leveraging indigenous digital solutions to address challenges thrown up by COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” the Minister said.

The COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon is a follow-up to the first hackathon by the Commission, which culminated in the hosting of an ‘ICT Innovation, Competition/Exhibition Forum’ at the Lagos Campus of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in December, 2019.

At the end of the maiden edition, three (3) Startups namely, Quataloog, Wicrypt and Phaheem Nigeria Limited emerged winners.

The annual Hackathon is part of the strategic initiatives of the Commission to promote ICT innovation and investment in the Nigerian telecommunications sector and improve the nation’s competitiveness in the global digital economy.

Speaking earlier at the prize-giving ceremony, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC. said the hackathon is expected to throw up innovative and adaptable solutions in five thematic areas namely health, community, productivity, economy and education.

Danbatta stated that the Commission is committed to encourage innovation and has regularly sponsored Nigerian youths with innovative ideas to various competitions organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other international bodies.

L-R: Danbatta; Pantami; and Nkemadu (far right) presenting N3 million prize to Team Cyberfeet Integrated Limited.

“The NCC, has in the past two years, facilitated similar ICT-based innovations and research competitions among tertiary institutions in the country” he said, while reiterating the NCC’s commitment to driving indigenous digital innovations to address national challenges.

Dr. Henry Nkemadu, director, Research and Development,  stated that the Commission received 282 proposals and shortlisted 56 from which three promising startups emerged winners.

He said the NCC will track the development of their ideas into full-blown products that can be deployed on a commercial basis.

NCC is committed to enabling home-grown digital innovative solutions that improve the quality of lives of the citizenry, create wealth and achieve the overall goals and objectives of the new digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.


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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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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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