Mallam KashifuInuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) declared that in every crisis there is a hidden opportunity, and the opportunity in this COVID-19 pandemic for Nigeria and African countries is the adaption to Smart Automation.
He made this known during his online presentation on Smart Automation Africa/West Africa hosted by Tradepass.
The Webinar, hosted by Tradepass was the biggest in Africa. The theme of the webinar was “Smart Automation in Africa”; the virtual event was exclusively focused on the benefits of automation for organisations in East and South Africa. It has over 300 participants.
The aim of the meeting is to focus on the benefits of automation for organizations in West Africa channeled towards growth and development.
MallamKashifu deliberated on the effects of Smart Automation which he said constitutes pre-era, era and post-era of COVID-19.
According to the DG, this era consists of the fear, the hope, crisis, impact and the silver lining as well as the recovery and the Digital First strategy.
He stated that; “smart automation expedites processes and minimizes human errors. It power’s industries to innovate and grow in size exponentially”.
Abdullahi categorized his presentation into three folds; Smart Automation in pre-COVID-19, (fairs and hubs), Smart Automation in COVID-19 (the crisis, impacts and the silver lining), and Smart Automation post COVID-19 (the recovery and the digital fast strategy).
The DG NITDA, speaking to his online audience said; “in February 2020 according to statistics, global Automation market size was more than 186 billion USD and predictions shows its increase to over 214.3 billion USD in 2021 with process Automation topping the market share with 71.2billion USD.
This was followed by industrial software, factory automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and drum step technology”.
He further mentioned that according to World Economic Forum, the emerging estimated professions resulting from automation could account for 6.1 million jobs globally from 2020 to 2022. JP Morgan believes automation can increase global GDP by over 1.3 trillion USD in the next 10 years from 2020.
MallamKashifu believes that in Nigeria today, smart automation is the most promising silver lining in this crisis. The banking sector now is the most automated in terms of process automation. There have been reports of huge revenues through electronic transactions which are done by customers from the comfort of their homes with Mobile devices. This also applies to other African countries using smart innovations to increase their earnings and run their day to day activities smoothly, he said.
He stressed that people should discard the fear of loosing their jobs to machines but rather implore the use of smart automation to transform economies and workforce for better development in the digital economy.
He said, the world is now faced with health and economic crisis through covid-19 pandemic disrupting businesses, supply chains and creating loss of job, but this, has a result, has opened opportunities for digital platforms and smart automation to take over in the post COVID-19 pandemic.
“Yes there are challenges like inadequate funding, policies and enabling environments, over reliance on foreign goods and technologies faced by African countries, but with this covid-19 crisis, African countries should think within the box to produce what it desires”, he argued.
MallamKashifu Abdullah however advised African countries to come up with right policies, enabling environments and best practices with adequate funding to achieve optimum goals and growth during this crisis.
“From the activities of the COVID-19, it is clear that the world is going digital in it operations. This means things will not be the same as it was before the crisis.
“Hence, there is need for us in Africa to embrace technology. It is the next cash flow for every country and will serve as an avenue for growth and development”, he added.
Other presenter at the webinar include the Chief Information Officer, Dangote Group Prasanna Kumar Burri and and Chief Executive Officer of Vodacom, Ghana, Mr. Moses Okundi.
ATCON Urges Members to Follow Nigeria Data Protection Regulation
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.
Njalo.ng Provides Nigerians with Access to Quality, Cheap PPE during Covid19
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.
FG Says Report on 5G Deployment Ready but Needs Stakeholders Inputs
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.
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.
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“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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