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Stakeholders Restate Importance of 5G Services @NDSF 2023

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Stakeholders in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have restated the value of the Fifth Generation (5G) services, especially on the positive use of the internet to ease connectivity.

2023 NDSF

From left: Representative of Director, Public Affairs, NCC and Head, Media Relations Management, Dr Omoniyi Ibietan; Business Development Executive, WizzHub Technology Ltd, Mr. Francis Uzor; Executive Director, Domain Name System Women (DNS Women Nigeria), Mrs Nkem Nweke; Chairman, 2023 NDSF & President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Adesina Simon Sodiya; representative of Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Chidi Diugwu, Tinuade Oguntuyi of Internet Society (ISOC Nigeria), Principal Consultant, CyberCode, Mr Olatunji Igbalajobi, and Lead Consulting Strategist at DigitalSENSE Africa and Group Executive Editor, ITREALMS Media Group at the 2023 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on ‘5G: Data Governance Safety and Security in Nigeria’ held in Lagos.

They also noted that 5G technology has enhanced capabilities that will provide superior communications services for the socio-economic development of Nigeria and facilitate attainment of a national digital economy.

Speakers at the 2023 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) with the theme “5G Data Governance, Safety and Security in Nigeria,” organised by ITRealms Media Group, made these assertions.

Leading expert speakers at the forum in his keynote, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said that data is critical to the digital economy, and assured that NCC is building robust legal frameworks for data governance.

“As we embrace the transformative potential of 5G, we must also prioritize safety concerns,” he asserted.

Danbatta, who was represented by the Head of New Media, NCC, Dr. Chidi Diugwu, said that the amount and speed of data generated using 5G technology is unprecedented and beckoned on citizens to embrace it and use it to the fullest.

As such, he pointed out the need to always prioritize consumer privacy, transparency and ethical data use. Maintaining that by cultivating trust and handling data responsibly, would unlock the full potentials of 5G technology and promote innovation in Nigeria.

“To ensure the security and protection of networks and consumers, the Nigerian Communications Act mandates its licensees to prevent their network facilities or services from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offence under any law in operation in Nigeria. In this regard, licensees are required to assist the Commission and other Law Enforcement Agencies in preventing crime in Nigeria,” he said.

The chairman of 2023 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) and President, Computer Society of Nigeria (NCS), Prof. Simon Adesina Sodiya, said the internet is a global connection of networks, that provides opportunity for people to share information in order to connect to one another.

Also, Sodiya said, the internet is like an open space, which any body could use for communication, connection, sharing resources, hence most organisations, individuals are connected to internet.

On the internet, Sodiya explained that the importance of data security and governance cannot be over emphasized, thus the essence to come up with guidelines, procedures, rules, for realistic usage of internet.

“It will not be done by government alone, it is multi-stakeholders efforts, which include government agencies, civil society organisations, individuals, and ICT professionals among others,” Sodiya said.

The chairman of 2023 NDSF equally noted that internet governance is very important because there are lots of criminal activities going on in the internet, however people who fall victims are not aware of these cyber criminals.

“Apart from criminal activities, we should not forget that our children are in schools and have been given opportunity to use internet. They should use it for something meaningful that will develop their life positively and not negative aspects. For instance, I have seen a father who said he found his 12-year old child watching porn videos,” he said.

What government needed to do, according to Prof Sodiya is to educate parents on how to provide use of internet for their children. Advising that parents should block some aspects of internet that might endanger the life of their children.

The Business Development Executive, Wizzhub Technology Limited, Mr. Uzor Francis, said he educated participants on benefits of 5G, such as speed carrying capacity, how much integral benefits and inter-connectivity of the devices that internet offers, as 5G enables most of these things.

About challenges of 5G, especially on security, Uzor said that will require enlightened participants on some of the measures, urging Nigerians to mitigate the challenges they may face while using 5G mobile services.

“It is important that 5G goes round not only to the cities but also in the villages so that everybody has access to it, to enhance connectivity for communications through the internet,” he said.

Uzor decried some myths and misconceptions about 5G that it causes virus such as COVID-19, pandemic, which is not true, therefore Nigerians should adopt it because 5G is fast and safe.

The Principal Consultant, CyberCode Limited, Mr. Olatunji Igbalajobi, in his contribution said 5G technology has come to stay in Nigeria to enhance internet connectivity and encourage development.

Nigeria, as a country, he said, needs to get it right in terms of data governance, and urged government at all levels to act fast to ensure relevant structures are in place to ensure data governance and safety.

Earlier while welcoming participants, the Lead Consulting Strategist at DigitalSENSE Africa and Group Executive Editor, ITREALMS Media Group, Mr. Remmy Nweke, noted that 5G mobile network is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G respectively.

Nweke highlighted that 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects and devices.

5G wireless technology, Nweke said is meant to deliver higher multi-Giga bits per second (Gbps), peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more users, higher performance and improved efficiency thereby empowering new user experiences and connecting new industries.

He recalled that DigitalSENSE Africa is a certified At-Large Structure (ALS) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and powered by ITREALMS Media group, while NDSF was hosted in collaboration with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) among stakeholders in the country.

Nweke commended NCC, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), FirstBank, Nigeria LNG Limited, WizzHub Technologies, D|NS Women Nigeria and a host of other stakeholders for partnering with this 14th edition of NDSF series.

Further, he applauded the speakers faculty for the 2023 NDSF including the President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), Ms Maureen Chigbo; Executive Director, Domain Name System Women (DNS Women Nigeria), Mrs Nkem Nweke and Ms Tinuade Oguntuyi of Internet Society (ISOC Nigeria) and assured that next edition will be an exciting session.


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MAN Seeks Harmonisation of Regulatory Agencies

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Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has urged for an end to the activities of multiple agencies hurting their businesses, urging the government to fix the overlaps by harmonizing regulatory compliance.

Member companies of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Ikeja Branch, in a meeting of CEOs and MDs on Thursday, presented their demands for harmonisation to the federal and state governments.

The manufacturers dialogued with the Lagos State Government through directors representing the state government’s Ministers of Commerce and Industry, and Environment and Water Resources.

In his keynote speech, the CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, said one of the biggest risks that businesses have to cope with in the Nigerian economy is regulatory risk that comes in the form of overlapping regulatory agencies.

He said, “Regulatory risk could manifest in the form of overlapping regulatory regimes, too many regulations, sporadic and frequent regulatory changes, poor interpretations of regulations and the absence of dispute resolution mechanisms between businesses and the regulators.”

Yusuf stated that instances of overlaps exist in the regulatory functions of quality and standards, environmental issues, transportation and logistics, taxation, and international trade.

He said the agencies with an overlap of quality and standards functions include the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the National Agency of Food Drug Administration and Control, Plant Quarantine, Weights and Measures and the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

He decried some agencies that he claimed forced business owners to pay for flight tickets for their agents to visit foreign suppliers whose goods are imported into Nigeria for certification.

“Some of them (agencies) practically have the power of life and death over investors. Which is why engagement with the regulators is often very challenging. Some of them can be very overbearing, intimidating investors and sometimes extorting them,” the CPPE boss said.

Yusuf said the overlap in environmental issues is found among agencies, including the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and other subnational equivalents, the Ministry of Environment at the federal and state levels.

Others are the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Lagos Waste Management Authority, and Local Government Environmental Unit.

Further, Yusuf said overlap of functions happens in logistics and transportation, through agencies such as the Vehicle Inspection Office, Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and other state traffic management agencies; Local Government Traffic officials and Task Force.

For tax administration, Yusuf said there was an overlap between the Presidential Committee on Fiscal and Tax Reforms and the other major institutions in the tax environment, including the Federal Inland Revenue Service, State Internal Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service and Local Government Tax Units,

The CPPE CEO said the Presidential Committee on Fiscal and Tax Reforms was mandated to prune down the number of taxes to less than ten, as there are 40 different kinds of taxes and levies exacted from Nigerians currently.


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Africa Global Logistics Unveils Strategies for Transformation

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Africa Global Logistics (AGL), the logistics solutions provider in Africa, has been formally launched in Lagos with the company unveiling its strategic plans for transformation and growth of the logistics landscape in Nigeria.

Formerly known as Bolloré Africa Logistics, AGL in Nigeria represents a pivotal advancement in reinforcing the company’s footprint on the continent and harnessing the potential of Nigeria’s dynamic logistics sector.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in Lagos,  the Country Managing Director of AGL Nigeria, Etienne Rocher, said, “Today marks more than just a rebranding for us. It symbolises our evolution, our growth, and our dedication to shaping the future of logistics in Nigeria.

The official unveiling of the AGL brand in Nigeria marks a new era of commitment to the country’s growth. It signifies a strong dedication to elevating logistics standards and driving Nigeria’s economic evolution where excellence in logistics meets the heartbeat of Africa.”.

Also speaking, Stanislas de Saint Louvent, CEO, Maritime Services and Chief Investment Officer of AGL, said Africa Global Logistics embraces the values of its parent company, the MSC Group. The values, according to him, include “humility, passion for our business, agility to adapt to our environment and clients’ needs and solidarity’’.

He stated further: “As the leading multimodal logistics operator in Africa with over a century of expertise offering global, customised, and innovative solutions, AGL’s ambition is to contribute substantially to Africa’s transformation.

“AGL is committed to enhancing end-to-end logistics supply chain continuity across Africa through its port terminals, railway operations and logistics set up in every African country.

“Our intention is also to support the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area, as we believe it is very important for the development of the continent,” Mr Stanislas de Saint Louvent said.

“This affiliation empowers us to improve our service offer in our port terminals, expand territorial service solutions, and invest in the professional development of our 23,000-strong workforce across Africa’’.

Also speaking, the CEO of Africa Global Logistics & Transport Nigeria, Sade Akanni-Shelle, said AGL has evolved with Nigeria’s development and remained committed to the country’s potential through both good and challenging times, “and we continue to invest in solutions to support the needs of our customers while adapting to changes in geopolitics and the macro economy”.

She said the official unveiling of the new AGL brand is a testament to the company’s commitment to Africa’s development.

“As we introduce the four key pillars of our strategy — digitalisation, energy transition, intra- African trade, and investment in local talent – we are excited to embark on this journey of growth and transformation in Nigeria,” she said.

 


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Bolt Hosts Second Edition of ‘Bolt Driver’s Football League’ to Foster Unity and Inclusion

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Bolt, a leading ride-hailing platform, continues to strengthen its bond with driver-partners by hosting the second edition of its ‘Bolt Driver’s Football League’ in Lagos on Wednesday.

The second edition tournament, themed “Fostering Unity and Inclusion”, aimed to enhance the relationship between Bolt and its driver-partners. The event underscored the platform’s commitment to the well-being of its drivers, recognising the essential role they play in the ride-hailing ecosystem.

Organised in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, OneHealth by AXA, Oraimo, and Mycovergenius, the event was a resounding success.

Bolt driver-partners from various locations across Lagos participated enthusiastically in the mini football tournament. The event featured knockout matches between four teams formed by the drivers, showcasing their sporting skills in a spirit of camaraderie and healthy competition.

In addition to the football matches, the event offered a safe and enjoyable playground for the children and families of the drivers. They spent the Democracy Day holiday engaged in games, activities, and entertainment, making the event a memorable occasion for all attendees.

Giving the opening remarks, the Director of Public Transport and Commuter Services (PTCS), Engr. Olusoji Adebayo said, “I would like to thank Bolt for organising this brilliant initiative.

“It is indeed an opportunity for Bolt drivers to meet and relate with transport regulators in an atmosphere that encourages cohesion and exchange of ideas, challenges and solutions that is peculiar to Bolt drivers in Lagos State.

“I hereby express my sincere appreciation for the efforts of the Bolt team for organising this event which is important to portray and ensure an attitude of excellence and professionalism among the e-hailing operators in Lagos State.”

Speaking at the event, Yahaya Mohammed, Bolt’s Country Manager said, “We believe in fostering a strong sense of community and building meaningful relationships with our drivers. Through initiatives like this, we are not just a ride-hailing platform; we are a supportive and vibrant community that values the contributions of our drivers.

“Together, we are driving towards a future of excellence in service and driver empowerment. I am thrilled to witness the incredible comradeship and passion displayed by our drivers today. This event exemplifies Bolt’s unwavering commitment to driver engagement and satisfaction”

Weyinmi Aghadiuno, Acting Head of Regulatory & Policy Africa at Bolt, expressed enthusiasm about the event, saying, “We are thrilled to host this novelty football competition as a way to bring our driver community together in a spirit of unity and inclusion.

“Our drivers are the backbone of our service, and this event is our way of showing appreciation for their hard work and dedication. By creating opportunities for our drivers and their families to connect and engage in a fun, relaxed setting, we aim to strengthen the bonds within our community and celebrate the diversity that makes us stronger.”

The event concluded with the presentation of medals and trophies to the top three teams, along with outstanding prizes for participants. The winning team received a cash prize of N500,000 plus an additional N200,000 from the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation.

The runner-up team was awarded N350,000 plus an additional N150,000 from Oraimo, while the third-place team received N250,000. In total, the cash prizes amounted to 1.3 million naira. Additionally, exciting prizes were won by female drivers and other attendees during the raffle draw.


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