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Public procurement: Computer Society commends FG’s order on local content

ITRealms : The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has commended the Federal Government on its recent executive order in support of local co...

PC Summit 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Public procurement: Computer Society commends FG’s order on local content

The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has commended the Federal Government on its recent executive order in support of local content over the modules of public procurement, reports ITRealms.

President, Nigeria Computer Society, Prof. Sola Aderounmu, told ITRealms that NCS also aligns with the Executive Order on support for local content in Public Procurement by the Federal Government recently signed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

“To say the order is a welcome development is an understatement. Over the years, NCS has strongly advocated for the development of local content in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to drive growth, unlock youth potential and create jobs in Nigeria,” he asserted.

The Executive Order, he said, was received by NCS with great expectations and elation.

“We are indeed pleased that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government are now mandated to grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in their procurement processes for a number of priority items including Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products,” NCS president said.

This development, he said, should stop the wasteful and unsustainable importation and adoption of foreign expertise and solutions. Stressing that Nigerian companies in the ICT sector have proven to be capable of delivering solutions needed in our public and private sectors. Even as deploying domestic products and services expands the local industry, fosters local job creation and boosts the local economy.

“Using innovation to bring efficiencies and create jobs in virtually all sectors, not just in ICT is critical to the success of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP). EGRP and sustainable development depend on having a vibrant and growing domestic ICT sector. Effective implementation of the Executive Order should therefore be a priority,” NCS president said.

The group, therefore, commends this bold and inspiring decision to support local initiatives and views the Executive Order as a welcome enabler. For the tech sector, the consistency is appreciated as the Order builds on the existing Guidelines on Nigerian Content in ICT.

NCS pointed out that with this order, Heads of MDAs are required to assess the monitoring, enforcement, implementation and compliance with the Executive Order.

“We look forward to collaborating closely with Government to ensure the successful implementation of the Executive Order. In addition, we assure the administration of the readiness of our group to collaborate with government on other important policy initiatives and issues in the ICT domain,” Aderounmu assured.

ITRealms recalls that  NCS  serves as the umbrella body of all the IT professionals and interest groups in Nigeria is of the firm belief that using this Executive Order to create the enabling environment for the development of local content is a major positive step forward. It opens up economic recovery and diversification possibilities inherent in the building of a truly inclusive and sustainable digital economy.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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African future is in innovations - Mayaki

The chief executive officer (CEO) of the NEPAD Agency, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, has declared that “The best way to believe in the future for Africa, is to believe in our innovations and in our innovators,” reports ITRealms.

Mayaki in a keynote address at an event held to showcase African innovations as part of the commemorations for Africa Day, said that this year the NEPAD Agency also celebrated the innovations that entrepreneurs on the continent are developing, under the African Union theme for 2017, Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.

Additionally, Dr Mayaki said it’s a time for reflection, celebrating the progress made by Africans, while also reflecting on the common challenges and solutions the continent needs in a global environment.

Africa has the youngest population in the world, and it is this population that will supply the much needed human capital and innovations in the years to come, even as the continent becomes more industrialised. Even as the continent faces the challenges of integration and industrialisation, many are the innovations that young enterprising Africans are developing to redress development challenges.

The exhibition by entrepreneurs at the event in Pretoria, made the case for the myriad of innovations which exist on the continent and need to be up-scaled in providing concrete solutions to some of Africa’s challenges. The young entrepreneurs’ innovations provide solutions in the areas of bioeconomy (including agro-processing and health), climate change adaptive innovations and smart industries (ICTs and advanced manufacturing), to name but a few.

Participants at the event heard from entrepreneurs who showcased innovations from injectable bone graft substitute, to devices that help deaf communities and various other innovations in health, medical, food, beauty, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries.
“We need innovations to trigger technological developments and other advancements in the framework of Agenda 2063, Africa’s vision for transformation,” Dr Mayaki said.  

He added that, “The skills of entrepreneurs need to be shaped in such a way that as they grow, African economies can also grow, with the drive from the continent’s own innovative solutions.”

Dr Mayaki also stated that the commemoration of Africa Day with The Innovation Hub marks the first step towards strengthening collaboration with the NEPAD Agency.

Also speaking, General Manager for Enterprise Development at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria, South Africa, Ms Teresiah Simelane, said there is no better way to celebrate Africa Day than through innovations.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Pix: Entrepreneur showcasing an eco-friendly energy saving stove

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Serianu boss, Makatiani, advocates BYOD policies for Africa

The Managing Director, Kenyan-based Serianu, Mr. William Makatiani has urged African countries to come up with policies to guide the use of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), reports ITRealms.

Speaking at a session during the ongoing Cyber Policy Capacity Building Programme for African cyber rights advocates at Panari Hotels, Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday, Makatiani said this will help in curbing the cyber threats emanating from the use of BYOD.

According to him, in drafting this policy, BYOD users must be made to understand that their devices once connected in BYOD fashion, could be taken away for legal investigations if need arises, while the information on such a device, must be encrypted.

Dwelling on “Kenya Cyber Security Report 2016” Makatiani explained this need comes from the realization that BYOD behooves an extension of the incumbent network and should be taken seriously.

The above outlines, he said, would be in addition to specific or peculiar requirements per country across the continent as Africa braces up against the growing cyber threats, stressing that getting guidelines should top priorities for Africa.

ITRealms recalls that this training is hosted by KICTANet in collaboration with Global PartnersDigital and aimed at building capacity for the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Africa for cybersecurity engagement at both national and regional levels.

Remmy Nweke in Nairobi, Kenya
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Pix: Makatiani, MD, Serianu

Delivery Science, Gidi, Flutterwave, Paystack join Google launchpad

Four Nigerian disruptive social innovations, Delivery Science, Gidi Mobile Limited, Flutterwave and Paystack, have been named among the fourth class of Launchpad Accelerator featuring by Google, reports ITRealms.

For the Nigeria region, Delivery Science - Mobile forms to help large organizations get field data; Gidi Mobile Limited - gidimo is a mobile learning platform that uses mastery learning & social gamification to deliver personal advancement, in a fun way, and at unprecedented scale.

Also, Flutterwave - is building technology and infrastructure for digital commerce across Africa starting with Rave, an app that helps merchants accept mobile money, cards and bank account payments across 4 African countries. And Paystack - we help businesses in Africa accept payments from their customers.

The Global Lead, Launchpad Program and Accelerator, Roy Glasberg, disclosed this to ITRealms, saying that they were selected from inspiring group of startups from all over the world for the 4th class of Launchpad Accelerator.

This time around, he said, startups from Asia and Latin America will be joined by peers from Africa and Europe.

In addition, he said, in order to expand the reach, they are also expanding the curriculum.
“We’ll help the startups dig deeper into machine learning and AI, to help them leverage Google’s latest technologies to scale their apps,” Glasberg said.

ITRealms gathered that Launchpad Accelerator includes intensive mentoring from 20+ Google teams, and expert mentors from top technology companies and venture capitals (VCs) in Silicon Valley.

Participants receive equity-free support, credits for Google products, and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country during the 6-month programme.

ITRealms further gathered that the Class 4 kicks off July 17th, 2017 at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco, include 2 weeks of all-expense-paid training.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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SNEPCO Bonga delivers 702m oil barrels for Nigeria in 12 years

The Managing Director of the oil field operator, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari, has said that Bonga oil field has produced about 702 million barrels of oil since inauguration in 2005, and operated at over 92 per cent availability in 2016, reports ITRealms.
He said that the volumes came from the Bonga main field and Bonga Phases 2 and 3 that unlocked the nearby Bonga North West field in August 2014, which has capacity for 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Addressing energy editors in Lagos on Tuesday on the new lease of life of Bonga after a major turnaround maintenance which was completed in April, Ojulari said one of the highpoints of the turnaround was the engagement of about 65 Nigerian contractor and subcontractor companies. Over 1000 people were involved, spread across worksites and vessels in the exercise described as the biggest in scope in the 12-year history of the asset.
He said, “The exercise stimulated growth of support industries vital to deep-water asset management. It provided a wider benefit to the Nigerian economy by boosting demand for a range of goods and services including offshore vessels and platforms, materials, floating hotel and helicopters.”
According to Ojulari, the turnaround witnessed an optimisation of resources and was safely completed within schedule. The exercise included statutory and regulatory checks and inspections; repairs and replacement of equipment; and upgrade of facilities.
A critical success factor, according to Ojulari, was the collaboration by more than 10 functions who benchmarked their contributions against a robust execution plan. Procuring materials from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) saved cost and ensured seamless delivery, and the project team sourced key equipment and carried out fabrications within Nigeria. This innovation, he said, marked a turning point in SNEPCo’s efforts to develop the capabilities of Nigerian companies in the provision of goods and services in deep-water oil and gas production.
Ojulari expressed delight at the increasing number of women on the frontline, noting that more women were involved at every stage of the turnaround compared to any of the three previous exercises. “I’m very pleased that over 95 percent of these women are Nigerians and they add to our growing pool of Nigerian deep-water professionals produced through the asset,” he said.
He commended the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its co-venture partners for their timely support in the safe delivery of the turnaround.
SNEPCo is credited with producing the first generation of Nigerian deep-water oil and gas engineers, and in 2016, Bonga won ‘Asset of the Year’ Award in the Shell Group.
Bonga is Nigeria’s first deep-water development in depths of more than 1,000 metres, and is located 120km offshore Nigeria. The Bonga Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel receives crude and gas from production wells on the seabed and has the capacity to produce 225,000 barrels of oil and 210 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. SNEPCo operates Bonga in partnership with Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deep Water) Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited under a Production Sharing Contract with the NNPC.
Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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Pix: L-R: Head, Turnaround Maintenance, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Tunde Olasubulumi; Engineering Manager, Chiedu Ejiofor; General Manager, Deep-water Production, Effy Okon; Managing Director, Bayo Ojulari; Communications Manager, Sola Abulu; Business Relations Manager, Alan Udi; and Transformation Manager, Toun Mustapha, at a press conference on the just completed turnaround maintenance of the Bonga deep-water asset held in Lagos.

Six tips to reduce mobile data usage

For many, the smartphone’s utility has assumed such remarkable proportions that it is now being relied on as a first-hand source of news, information, entertainment and a fitting tool for retaining a handle on our increasingly interconnected world.

Considering the multiple applications on which data is expended on a smartphone and with data connection rates still comparatively pricey in Nigeria; most smartphone owners are constantly in a perpetual fix on how to manage this most important resource in order to avoid missing out on the latest information.
In view of the foregoing, the Research/Development Unit of Yudala – Nigeria’s fastest growing composite e-commerce outfit – shares simple tips on how to reduce your device’s data consumption.
1.Use Wi-Fi whenever possible and for sharing large files: Your smartphone or other mobile device has Wi-Fi capability.  You can use this reduce your data consumption in your home, office or other locations by connecting to available wireless network(s). You can also tweak your settings for automatic connection to a secure Wi-Fi network when you arrive at home or the office. Once connected, your phone’s cellular data can be turned off and conserved.
Wi-Fi also comes in handy when you are downloading or sharing large files. Heavy files can quickly eat in to your smartphone’s data. Same applies to automatic application updates. To reduce your data usage, these heavy consumptions should be done when connected to a secure Wi-Fi network.
2.Set up a data usage limit/alerts: Most Android smartphones come equipped with an in-built data monitor. This functionality, which can be accessed in your phone’s settings tab, can help you keep an eye on your data consumption. The beauty of this feature is that through it, you can see how much data is being consumed by each of the apps on your smartphone, thus identifying the ones you need to keep a strict eye on. For other devices such as Apple’s IOS, you may see how much data has been consumed in total but may need to install an app to ascertain data consumption per app.  
With this information, you can set up data usage limits/alerts to manage your usage. Also, heavy data-consuming apps can have their data access curtailed or you can choose which ones to uninstall.
3.Stick to the mobile versions of websites: While using your smartphone data for browsing, you can save a lot of megabytes if you avoid using websites’ apps for platforms such as YouTube, Facebook; that favourite sport site or gossip blog by using the mobile site instead. To do this, simply access the mobile version of a website by typing www.m. before the sitename when launching the browser. Furthermore, some websites often ask to re-direct the user to its Desktop version. To avoid burning through your data, simply decline and stick to the mobile version.
4.Manage or disable push notifications: Push notifications refer to data automatically sent to your phone without user interaction.  For those who are constantly active on multiple social networks, this may dramatically affect data consumption as the various notifications from your social media channels –  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., pour in. While some of these notifications, such as work-related emails, can be necessary; others may not be so crucial. To keep your data lasting for longer, ensure you disable push notifications, automatic app updates and other such notices when you don’t need them.
5.Compress your data: There are a number of apps that can help compress data on your smartphone and other devices. Some of them have the capability to go as far as extending your data plan. Google’s Chrome browser, for example, has a feature that can help reduce your data consumption significantly. According to Google, this option can save you about 50% in data by routing all your web browsing through Google’s servers which takes the data, compresses it, optimizes it for the smaller screen and sends it back to your device. This option can be activated in the Settings tab and can help prevent you from running out of data all the time.
6.Apply caution when streaming: Content streaming is responsible for much of data consumption. HD video streaming, for instance, can drain a sizeable amount of your device’s data within an hour. Same applies to audio/music streaming or spending time looking through some of the high quality images or GIF files seen on Instagram and other social media channels. In order to conserve your data usage, caution should be applied when it comes to content streaming.
While it is absolutely impossible to totally avoid the entertaining fare that comes with streaming, there are smart ways to do this without burning through your data. One of this is by storing music, videos and other multimedia content on your smartphone. Video quality can also be set at lower rates and resolution reduced for sites such as YouTube when streaming.

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U.S., UK, Israel, South Africa participants line up for Nigeria Innovation Summit’17

The 2017 Nigeria Innovation Summit has advanced plans to host the annual event that brings together stakeholders from different sectors of Nigeria's economy to share ideas, trends, and opportunities around technology, innovation and entrepreneurship development in Nigeria, reports ITRealms.

The event scheduled to hold from September 7-8, 2017 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, the organisers said is attracting participants from the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa.

The Summit, according to Emerging Media the organizers, seeks to promote the need for Nigeria to become more innovative and apply innovation across all sectors to drive economic growth and sustainable development through emerging technologies, research & development, entrepreneurship, commercialization and investments as key drivers of an innovation ecosystem.

Speaking on the need for such Summit at this time, Mr. Kenneth Omeruo, MD/CEO, Emerging Media said, “Nigeria has the potentials to be a global economic power if we embrace and invest heavily in technology and innovation. Every sector in Nigeria's economy needs disruptive ideas driven by technology. Right now we are nowhere in the global innovation index and the world is moving at a very high speed. 

It is instructive to note that Tunisia ranked 45th and Morocco 50th as the only African countries mentioned in the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which scores economies using factors including research and development intensity and the concentration of high-tech companies. South Korea, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Finland are the top five countries in that index. I think there is so much to learn from these countries. We should be implementing policies and investments that will encourage technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria. The Nigeria Innovation Summit 2017 is offering a platform to engage stakeholders across all sectors on the need for such.”

He further emphasized the urgent need for Nigeria to invest in innovation, research and technology development, in order to become an innovation-driven nation and hence, improve in the Global Innovation Index ranking, attract foreign investments and boost the economy and life of the people.

The 2017 Summit under the theme ‘Transforming Nigeria’s Economy through Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship’, Mr. Omeruo said, provides opportunities for the 36 States, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government as well as Corporate bodies to showcase their agenda for digital transformation and  innovation agenda.   

He described the Summit as a platform that creates awareness on the need for Open Innovation in Nigeria where the government, industries across all sectors, academia, entrepreneurs collaborate to solve the problems of economic growth in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Mr. Tony Ajah, the Director of Nigeria Innovation Summit  said that the 2-day Summit will feature Keynote Speeches, Panel Discussions, Exhibitions, Workshops, and the Nigeria Innovation Awards. The expected delegates for the Summit are Government Representatives, International Organisations, Investors, Business leaders, CEOs of Companies and Organisations, Innovators, Academics, Start-ups and Entrepreneurs.

The Summit Sessions will cover sub-topics as: How to transform the challenging economy in Nigeria through Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; How Nigeria can build a sustainable Innovation Ecosystem and become more Innovative; Exploring the Concept of Open Innovation; Innovation in Telecommunications, Infrastructure Development and the Mobile Ecosystem; Innovation in the Manufacturing Industry and Innovation through Emerging Technologies; Big Data, Data Centres, Cloud Computing, IoT, Wearable Technologies, Cyber-security, Robotics, Virtual Reality and Smart Cities.

Other areas are Innovation in Power and Renewable Energy; Innovation in Oil and Gas; Agriculture; Banking, Finance, Funding and Investment; e-Commerce Industry; Small Businesses, Start-ups, Entrepreneurship Community; the Academic Community; Public Health and the Health Industry and Innovation in Media, Public Relations, Social Good and the Entertainment Industry.

Over 400 delegates are expected to attend this year’s Summit. And the Summit offers organizations a platform to connect with these top decision makers, cutting across all sectors of Nigeria's economy.

“We have confirmed international participation from the following organizations: International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) UK, Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS), South Africa, African Innovation Foundation and great support from Ideation International Inc., USA, and the Israel Start-up Network.

Delegates for this year’s Summit will learn from leading innovation ecosystems around the world and from innovation experts who will facilitate the sessions. “The States have an opportunity to showcase and promote her innovation at the Summit. So, we urge them to visit www.innovationsumit.ng for more details.

We are proud to announce CIHAN Group, operators of Digitalprwire as our official Media and PR Agency for this year’s Summit.  We have seen their robust and disruptive work and platform for digital innovation in Africa and are convinced of a great outcome working together.

Ayo Midele/GEE
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Pix: L-R): Rosemary Agu, Direct Sales Manager, DigitalPR-Wire; Tony Ajah, Director, Nigeria Innovation Summit; Loveth Igbo, Project Executive; Nigeria Innovation Summit; and Samuel Salami, Director, Operations, DigitalPR-Wire, during a press conference to announce preparations of the Summit, held in Lagos on Tuesday, May 24, 2017. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

‘James Bond’ Sir Roger Moore is dead, UNICEF mourns

The popular British film, television and stage actor, better known for his portrayal of Simon Templar in The Saint and as secret agent James Bond, Sir Roger George Moore, is dead, reports ITRealms.

He denied after a battle with cancer in hospital in Switzerland, Geneva, at the age of 89.

Sir Roger Moore, ITRealms gathered was one of UNICEF’s longest serving Goodwill Ambassadors, following his appointment on 9 August 1991, sequel to introduction to UNICEF by the late Audrey Hepburn.

For UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, with the passing of Sir Roger Moore, the world has lost one of its great champions for children – and the entire UNICEF family has lost a great friend.

ITRealms in addition reported that in his most famous roles as an actor, Sir Roger was the epitome of cool sophistication; but in his work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, he was a passionate – and highly persuasive – advocate for children. He once said that it was up to all of us to give children a more peaceful future. Together with Lady Kristina, he worked very hard to do so.  

“All of us at UNICEF extend our deepest sympathies to the Moore family, and join his many friends and admirers from around the world in paying tribute to his life and mourning his loss. He will be deeply missed,” Lake said.

ITRealms recalls that Sir Roger Moore, a Knight of British Empire (KBE), has in his first mission for UNICEF to Central America, visited projects for children in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Over the years, his work with UNICEF also took him to Brazil, Ghana, Jamaica, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Slovenia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Philippines and Mexico. He brought attention to the desperate conditions facing some of the world’s most vulnerable children and was a compelling voice on issues such as children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, landmine injuries, child labour and iodine deficiency.

In November 2012 Sir Roger was presented with the first-ever UNICEF UK Lifetime Achievement Award which then became the Roger Moore Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of his dedication to UNICEF, both as a generous fundraiser and a global advocate for children’s rights. 

On receiving the award, Sir Roger said “I am perhaps best known for my role as Bond, but my role as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF is the one I am certainly most passionate about. It is beyond doubt that it’s the children and dedicated staff on the ground who deserve medals, but I am absolutely honored and would like to thank UNICEF for this truly humbling award.”

Late Mr. Bond who was married four times will be treated to a private funeral in France, according to family sources.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Chidiogo Akunyili speaks to technology @PeaceHack 2017

Chidiogo Akunyili, proud daughter of former director general of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, late Prof. Dora Akunyili would be speaking to how to “Promote Peace Through Technology, Innovation and Knowledge Sharing,” at a five-day event holding in Alexandria, Egypt, reports ITRealms.

The 5-day event which commenced on 21st through May 25, 2017 and tagged Peace Hack in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where peace innovation ambassadors are utilizing the power of innovation hubs across the region as tools for open dialogue revolving around building and sustaining peace.

ITRealms also gathered the objective of Peace Hack MENA is to explore alternative forms of peace talks that ultimately harness the power of technology, innovation and youth entrepreneurship. The initiative acts as a platform that aims to recognize the role of technology in creating valuable networks of collaboration essential in today’s human interaction, one that presents vast opportunities for innovative solutions in the context of co-existence and peace building.

Chidiogo, ITRealms reports was among the 15 selected peace ambassadors to speak to participants from 11 countries in the MENA region - namely The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France, Tunisia, Palestine, Egypt, Jordon, Libya, Morocco and Lebanon.

ITRealms further reports that participants are exploring the notion of actively looking for the added value created by innovation hubs, makerspaces and co-working spaces in developing social innovation and promoting peace building.

The list of international speakers includes Chidiogo Akunyli from the World Economic Forum, Carolina Olsson from Ebbepark and Rasha Tantawy from Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center.

The peace ambassadors are also partaking in visiting some of the Mediterranean city’s iconic touristic landmarks, while the last day will mark The HACK 4 PEACE Public Event with the Alexandrian community. Javeria Rizvi Kabani, Deputy Director, Swedish Institute Alexandria states, “Based on the power of collaboration and networks we wanted to bring young innovators together to search for new ways of reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) and the UNSCR 2250 resolution, recognizing youth as agents for peace.”

The event is organized by The Swedish Institute Alexandria, icealex innovation hub and Global Shapers Alex Hub and is supported by numerous organisations and initiatives such as SI. (Svenska Institutet), Techne Summit, GIG (Global Innovation Gathering), RiseUp Summit and r0g agency. Among the hubs that participants will be contributing through are Women Leaders in Technology, Refugee Youth Forum and Think Tank Egypt.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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Animation technology to boost Nigeria’s entertainment industry - Minister

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has declared that embracing animation technology would boost Nigeria’s entertainment industry, reports ITRealms.

He also said this would make a strong pitch for Nigeria to benefit from what has become a $300-billion industry and which represents 25 per cent of the global audiovisual market.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 7th African Digital TV Development Seminar in Beijing, China, on Monday, the Minister said a developed animation industry in Nigeria will be a boost to the country’s already-established entertainment industry and make the country an outsourcing destination for global animation services.

''American animation has developed as America’s sixth largest pillar industry; in Japan, the animation industry has outperformed automobile, iron & steel industries to be the third largest industry; and South Korea has undertaken nearly one third of the global animation production business. Most of the segments in the animation industry are growing at the rate of 10% Year over Year, and some segments are growing at 15% Year on Year.

''The output value of global animation industry has reached over US$300 billion, and animation related derivatives have exceeded US$500 billion. The animation industry has gradually become a pillar of the national economy and a new economic growth engine in some countries,’’ he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said Nigeria, and indeed Africa, must move to grab a share of the pie by tapping into the animation boom, adding that Nigeria, in particular, has all the ingredients for a successful animation industry.

Nigeria, he said, has a ready domestic audience and market. Stressing hat with over 86.2 million people online, and that is, 46.1 per cent of the population, ranking it number one in Africa and number seven in the world, he pointed out that it has 44 million TV viewing homes in the country. Nigeria is expected to switch over to digital broadcasting when all 44 million homes have to invest in purchasing Set-Top Boxes.

''In addition, Nigeria’s telecommunication industry has grown to $25 billion, and active lines are said to be well over 113 million, in comparison with 450,000 people and $500 million investment portfolio in year 2000, again ranking it no. 1 in Africa and 11th in the world.

"Nigeria’s smartphone penetration is estimated at 15.5 million. 70% of the population are below 30 years of age, about 50% are below 20 (approximately 80 million), and over 40% of the total population are children under 14 (over 70 million), while about 20% of the population are teens (approx. 30 million). These demographics amply demonstrate that the uptake of animated content is already guaranteed,’’ he said.

The Minister also said the Nigerian film industry, ranked third in the world; the possession of a treasure trove of literature, brimming with exciting classics such as a Forest of a Thousand Daemons,...The Lion and the Jewel, The Passport of Mallam Illia and Things Fall Apart, and the fact that the country has an English-speaking workforce, provide added advantage.

He said the current administration is committed to developing the animation/creative industry into a new growth sector by promoting Nigeria’s creativity, and creating a highly-skilled workforce for the industry.

''Already, it has created a programme called N-POWER CREATIVE, a job creation and empowerment initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the purpose of training and encouraging the development of creative and technological skills in young Nigerians such as animation, graphic illustration, script writing, storytelling, sequential arts, and post production.

''With such skills, young Nigerians will be able to find employment in the ever-growing creative and animation industry. Its target will be to equip about 15,000 creative industry professionals across story/script writing, graphics/ illustration, animation, post production by 2017, and that figure should rise to 75,000 by 2020 year end,’’ Mohammed said.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Analytic tools democratise data says Nmonwu

The Regional Director for Sage in West Africa, Magnus Nmonwu, has declared that analytic tools nowadays available for the populace democratizes data, reports ITRealms.

He as speaking in Lagos recently at the IDC CIO Summit series, saying that analytic tools give managers and leaders access to real-time data about the business’s performance on their mobile devices for strategic decision-making. But they also extend data to everyone in the business.  

At an operational level, he said, the combination of big data and machine learning will allow companies to tailor customer and employee experiences to the needs of different segments to optimise sales and productivity.

Paired with the Internet of Things, Mr. Nmonwu advanced analytics and machine learning are bringing about the fourth industrial revolution. Connected devices and sensors, cloud computing, advanced robotics, intelligent software, and a range of other technologies are enabling companies to produce complex products in a smooth, automated process using specialist robots with very little human input.

“In this environment, analytics is used to forecast issues such as machine errors or supply chain interruptions so that quality levels and uptime remain high,” he said.

ITRealms recalls that the Nigerian CIO’s role is about managing the challenges and opportunities presented by digital transformation and the Internet of Things.

Further, he said that this trend would bring the same level of disruption to old-style industries such as mining, manufacturing and construction as the Internet has already brought to banking, media and retail.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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N2bn defamation: Zinox drags Premium Times to court

The foremost Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company, Zinox Technologies Limited, is seeking the sum of N2B (Two Billion Naira) in a suit filed against PremiumTimes, an online news medium, for alleged defamation, reports ITRealms.

This follows a series of alleged defamatory publications against the Zinox, its chairman, Leo Stan Ekeh and other officials of the company.

Confirming this, the Head, Corporate Communications, Gideon Ayogu, said that in a joint suit filed by the law chambers of Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru (SAN) against Premium Times Services Limited; the medium’s Publisher/Chief Executive Officer, Dapo Olorunyomi; Managing Editor, Musikilu Mojeed and Reporter/Head, Business and Economy Desk, Bassey Udo who authored the publications.

ITRealms recalled that recently, the management of Zinox had threatened Premium Times but offered a seven-day deadline to the publishers to retract the offending publications against the company and its officials or face a legal action.

And faced with the non-compliance of the medium, Zinox had instituted a defamation suit in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, against Premium Times and its management team.

According to the statement of claims filed by the plaintiff, the offending materials include a September 15th 2016 publication titled: EFCC quizzes Zinox Computers Boss, 4 others over alleged 170 million contract fraud; an October 9th 2016 publication titled: Attorney General wades into 170 million contract fraud allegedly involving Zinox Computers and a May 2nd 2017 publication titled: 170 Million contract fraud: Zinox Computers has case to answer, court rules.

Therefore, ITRealms gathered that Zinox held the publications were libelous, malicious and have discredited and damaged the reputation of the company in the eyes of the general public. For instance, in the September 15th, 2016 article titled: EFCC Quizzes Zinox Computers Boss, 4 Others Over Alleged Fraud, Premium Times had stated, “However, bank documents seen by this newspaper showed transfers of monies between FIRS account at the CBN and the fake account as well as approvals by top officials of Zinox Technologies for disbursement from the account to Zinox bank’s accounts and those of the suspects.”

The Management of Zinox has consistently denied being involved in any transaction leading to this publication and further denied ever receiving any monies into its accounts as stated by Premium Times. Thus, with the case now filed against them, the onus is on the Management of Premium Times to prove the veracity of their article or be held accountable for same, for which they would likely pay huge compensation as damages suffered by Zinox for the libelous publications.   

Among the reliefs being sought by the plaintiff against Premium Times is the sum of N2B as damages for the libelous and malicious publications; an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from further publications of a similar nature; a public apology published in Premium Times for two uninterrupted months as well as retraction of the afore-mentioned articles; an order of the Court directing the removal of all offending publications concerning the plaintiffs or any of its officers online and on social media as well as the sum of N10m being the cost of the court action.

Zinox’s suit against Premium Times arose from the on-going prosecution of Benjamin Joseph, Managing Director of an Ibadan-based firm, Citadel Oracle Concepts before an Abuja High Court, for giving the Nigerian Police false and misleading information after rigorous investigation following his petition in 2013 regarding a business transaction with their authorized representative, Princess Kama and foremost ICT products distributors, Technology Distributions Ltd (TD). A forensic analysis had confirmed that he actually signed certain documents, including a board resolution, which was the basis of his petition, a fact he had suppressed in his petition.

In the words of Gideon Ayogu, Head of Corporate Communications at Zinox, TD is a totally different company from Zinox with different directors, shareholders, management team and a different line of business and Zinox was not in any way involved in the transaction that culminated in Joseph’s arraignment and prosecution by the Nigerian Police for false petitioning and deceit before an Abuja High Court.

“It is important to note that in the entire transaction leading up to this case, in all the above investigations and reports, Zinox Technologies Ltd. was not in any way involved. The transaction only involved Technology Distributions Ltd. and its staff, of whom the reports of the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU) and other agencies had absolved TD and its staff of any liabilities, after extensive investigations since 2013 that traversed the SFU, the Nigerian Police Headquarters, Abuja; and the EFCC, Abuja. Yet, Premium Times kept spewing out spurious stories as if Technology Distributions and its staff were under investigations or facing criminal charges. Also, Leo Stan Ekeh was not involved in the said transaction and the investigations. 

“Leo Stan Ekeh has never met with Mr. Benjamin Joseph, the Managing Director of Citadel Oracle Concepts and neither Ekeh or any other official of Zinox has had any form of business transaction with the said company. This raises questions on the motive behind Premium Times’ continued campaign of calumny against Ekeh which appears a cheap attempt at extortion. 

“This is why in the online publications, the photographs of Ekeh is displayed and Zinox is used as the caption, even when the company has no bearing with the story. This is blackmail. There is no other explanation for this other than blackmail.” 

PremiumTimes is expected to appear before the court within eight days after the service of the court processes on them.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Gateway Trade Fair lauds Dangote Group on strides

Organisers of the Gateway Trade Fair, the Ogun State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA) has lauded the pan African conglomerate, Dangote Group for its giant strides in economic development of the country through massive investments in several sectors of the economy describing the feat as worthy of emulation by other Nigerians, reports ITRealms.

President of OGUNCCIMA, Mrs. Adesola Adebutu who made this commendation at the opening ceremony of the 8th Gateway Trade Fair holding in Abeokuta Ogun state said the support given enough by the Dangote Group went a long way in making the staging of the Fair a success.

She explained that the theme of the Fair, “Promoting Agricultural Value Chain through SMES for Nigeria Economic Recovery”, was chosen in line with Ogun state’s policy of Agricultural industrialization which is also in consonance with the national policy of repositioning agriculture as the viable alternative to oil.

Mrs Adebutu stated that OGUNCCIMA was planned to be a clear departure from the past such that this year’s will rekindle the interest of the old investors and introduce new ones in new opportunities for its investments in Ogun State.

Ayo Midele/GEE
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FRSC uncovers Indian hemp in apprehended vehicle

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has uncovered some packs of Indian hemp in apprehended vehicle, reports ITRealms.

Confirming this to ITRealms, the Head, Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, said  that its patrol team had apprehended and impounded a vehicle along Seme-Badagry Border for Seatbelt Violation and Driver Licence Violation, only to discover that the said vehicle was conveying  a large quantity of Indian Hemp into Nigeria.

According to Kazeem, the Badagry Unit Command of FRSC on patrol operations  along the route intercepted the vehicle with vehicle number, EPE 237 XC at 0845hrs and had already established the two offences before making the discovery with the collaborative effort of the Nigerian Customs who were equally on the same route with their patrol team.

The Vehicle is presently with the Comptroller Custom Seme for further investigations before it would be handed over to the appropriate drug law authority for contravening the law against drug peddling.

He also stated that it is in view of this great mark of achievement which is targeted at keeping the society sane as a security outfit that the FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, continues to call for a stronger collaboration with sister agencies.

He recalled that not long ago, the Corps had intercepted a vehicle convening children (minors) through Kaduna with some suspected child traffickers who were consequently handed over to the relevant authorities. And in the same Kaduna, the FRSC rescue team had equally recovered five locally made AK 47 rifles from a man whose vehicle was involved in a crash.

Against this backdrop, Kazeem stated that the Corps Marshal is pleased to see that the officers and men of the Corps have so far been demonstrating the willingness to make the rules of engagement with sister agencies viable and more diligent in their duties combined with maintenance of security and safety as it relates to the motoring public.

Ayo Midele/GEE
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