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UNISS Will Revolutionize University Administrative System—Yemane

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Berhane Yemane is the chief executive officer of Noel Information Technology Solutions, a company providing a wide range of business solutions and support services. He has almost two decades of experience in professional consulting and management of Oracle Financial Applications implementation and Client/Server applications design, development and deployment. He spoke to hilary okeke on UniSS application designed to automate university administration.

University Student System Application
University Student System (UniSS) is based on Oracle developers’ suite, which enables universities to accomplish their critical missions in today’s rapidly changing educational environment. It is a single source student system designed to provide a solution for staff responsible for school administration, student enrolment, financial and business services of educational institutions. UniSS application is designed for and developed using the latest industry standard Oracle 10g developer suite which can adapt to increased demands, can easily be customized to fit each client’s requirements and is not wholly affected by a single application failure.
The software functions can be compared to leading software companies’ applications’ functions such as maintaining students’ records, calculating GPAs, and school’s general information; and is by far the most cost effective application to customize, implement and support. The Access Control section of the application contains security at multi-levels, for the authorization of users who are allowed access to data, by maintaining users’ access levels to the application and creating audit trail of all changes made to student’s record to include, but not limited to user ID and date stamp.
UniSS is developed based on the knowledge of African educational institutions, the understanding of the technology and IT infrastructure of the continent. All functions, forms and reports are tailored to suit the educational requirements of each institution.  As an Oracle based application, it is designed as packaged modules. Functions such as internal processes, interface with third-party software, federal or state government’s grants and scholarships, as well as legal requirements are all included in the application modules. These functions are not relevant to customers outside the western countries’ educational institutions but they are included in the pricing of the application module. Implementation of Oracle modules costs an average $15-20 million but implementation of the UniSS application costs less than half of that.
Project Implementation
First, we conduct feasibility study and document the university structure; do a feasibility study of the university’s IT infrastructure; recommend to the university the Oracle software and hardware, as well as IT infrastructure required to run the UniSS application; and modify UniSS application accordingly by designing customized forms, reports and processes. We then gather and prepare students’ and university’s data, create interface programmes to enter the data into the UniSS database, deploy the application in a “development” environment; conduct user training along with Oracle training; conduct rigorous unit tests of the application and data clean up in preparation for production environment deployment. Deployment of UniSS application in a “production” environment is the last stage of the implementation process.
Availability to Nigeria Market
My trip to this country is basically to explore the Nigerian market. I got here about a week ago and I have since spoken to interested people. Before the end of this week, I may speak to the management of the Lagos State University. We are trying to promote this university automation system, and we will keep doing that till people begin to appreciate what they stand to gain.
Security and Integrity of the Application
Although Web-based, this is an internal application system – an application for university wide administration. It is not an Internet or online based application where people can log in; it is internal. So you have to be an authorised university administrator or personnel to gain access to the application. Of course, if the university wants the students to access their records or they want them to generate reports; they would have the online arm of it so that the students can do so. That is negotiable with the university.
The universities stand to gain a lot from this application. First, they can save money and reduce paper work during admissions and in general administration of the school, and also save time. Any organisation replacing its manual system with automated system has a lot to gain on the long term in terms of money, efficiency and data security. For a student requesting for transcript, that can be generated in a matter of seconds; all that is needed to be done is query the student data and just print the transcript, with the automatically generated signatures of relevant personnel. This makes the process much faster than it normally would have been. UniSS is a good product, but I have to convince school administrations to see if they have any use for it, and I am sure a lot of private and government owned Universities do so. I hope the uptake will be encouraging.
We promoted the application in Atlanta, Georgia. We installed it for one of the universities on trial basis. In the United States, there are software applications like that. I take this to countries based on the needs of their schools; we developed the software bearing in mind the needs of the schools here. The software is in the early stage of testing in the American school where it is currently used. The IT people there have analyzed their needs and have been able to identify certain sections that we need to incorporate into the software. Note that it is still at the trial stage and not out in the market yet.
Unique Selling Point
I have over 15 years experience in software development. First, we look at the market when developing software. I used to work for the State of Georgia where I was part of a team that developed Oracle application based Scholarship and Grants System. It is a huge application that was accessed by all the 45 universities in the state of Georgia. That gave us the idea; our target market then became Africa where there is need for such software. However, the design of this system assumes that the university structure is divided into faculties and each is broken down into departments that have degree or diploma programmes. Each faculty’s employees have access to their own faculty’s information, while courses for each department in a faculty will be available in drop down lists based on a student’s registration information and grade level. Only authorized users in a faculty can access a student’s final grade into the system, while approval is required from the head of the faculty to change a student’s final grade – the authorized user can write the approval in the “Comment” field provided. The approval document to change a student’s final grade signed by the faculty head can also be scanned and made available on the application by clicking the “Approval” button. Moreover, there is a “Comment” field available for each student so that each department has the ability to write or update a student’s progress.

 


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CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns

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By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,

In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.

 

The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.

 

Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.

 

Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.

 

On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.


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NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

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Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.

NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.

“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.

“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.

He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.

Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.

Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.

According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.

“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.

Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.

 


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NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.

 

The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.

 

A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.

 

This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.

 

Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.

 

They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.

 

Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.

 

According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.

 

However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”

 

The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.

 

Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.

 


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