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GRID3: NASRDA Charges States On Geospatial Data

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The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has commenced training for geospatial data producers in states within the Northern region, urging them to ensure availability of data that would enable development.
The training is organised under the Geo-Referenced Infrasturcture and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) project implemented through NASRDA in collaboration with other stakeholders.
GRID3 is part of a bigger global initiative programme aimed at improving access to data for decision making among the member countries.
Head, Cadastral Mapping and Urban Space Applications Division of NASRDA, Dr Matthew Adepoju disclosed this in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja.
Adepoju, also Chairman, GRID3 Project Implementation Team, said the training piloted in six states, including the FCT according to geo-political zone, began on April 6 and expected to end on April 30.
The states for the pilot training included Kaduna for North Central, Niger for North West, Bauchi for North East, Lagos for South West, Enugu for South East and Cross River for South South regions.
Adepoju said the North regional training started on April 6 and expected to end April 16, while the second phase for Sourthern region would hold from April 19 to 30.
Adepoju explained geospatial data as data or information that have explicit association with a location relative to the Earth or a technology that allows for mapping of locations.
The project chairman further disclosed that with the training, state governments are expected to share the geospatial data of resources in their states, their locations on the GRID3 portal.
“GRID3 Nigeria project aims to increase access to data for use by State government decision makers, donor agencies, non-profit organisations, private sector partners through the continuous availability of a robust and updated GRID3 geodatabase.
“It also aims to improve capacity of data managers to make data available to be integrated into planning processes for decision makers through capacity building activities across the country.
“The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure that Nigerian people, particularly the poor and vulnerable, benefit from an evidence-based resource distribution and data driven policy-making by decision makers,” he said.
He added that the project would also increase coordination in the collection and management of data in Nigeria through the GRID3 portal.
According to him, with Nigeria joining comity of space faring nations in 2003 and the launch of NigeriaSat-1 satellite, have provided opportunity for scientists to engage in research using remote sensing data.

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Expert Wants Telcos To Prioritise Improved QoS

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A Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy Advisor, Mr. Jide Awe, has urged telecommunication operators to give priority to improving Quality of Services (QoS).
Awe, who is also the Founder of Jidaw.com, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen  in Lagos State, recently.
He said it was necessary to improve the current poor QoS using strategic investment in infrastructure to support current and future needs.
Awe said the future needs included increased number of users and increased traffic volumes of transactions among others.
“Customer journey has evolved significantly over the years, largely influenced by the advancements in telecommunications technology.
“Customers now expect seamless and uninterrupted connectivity across multiple touchpoints, be it through their smartphones, laptops, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices”, he said.
Awe also noted that the telecoms industry was plagued with right-of-way charges, multiple taxation, and insecurity of telecoms infrastructure.
According to him, addressing these challenges is essential for consumer protection to ensure QoS standards are met, and that consumers receive the promised level of service quality.
The policy advisor added that solving the issues would also help in promoting affordable broadband services.
On the role of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) as a regulator, he said the NCC needed to adopt an innovative, supportive, and visionary regulation approach that appreciated the importance of innovation and expansion.
“As new technologies continue to emerge, regulation cannot afford to be static. NCC should inculcate a spirit of innovation and growth in the sector.
“Innovative regulation helps to cultivate an environment that attracts investment to propel sectoral growth. Investor-friendly initiatives, simplification of regulations, strategic and disruptive thinking/approaches are crucial”, he said.

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‘No Going Back On Plans Against Passport Racketeers’

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A top immigration officer in Port- Harcourt, who spoke anonymosly, has stressed that the Immigration Service, Rivers State Commission will not soft pedal on plans to go against passport racketeering  in the State.
Stating this in an interview  with the press in Port Harcourt, Monday, he  warned against any attempt to portay  the agency in bad light, saying such will be resisted by the  system.
He emphasised that passport racketeering is  capable of portraying the command in bad light, especially the Passport Unit, at the international group where it belonged.
Noting that the passport processes do not require a third party, easy and pocket  friendly, the officer expressed  regrets that the saboteurs charge the unsuspecting members of the public seeking passport exhobitantly thereby making the process cumbersome.
He boasted on how the passport personnel “have all it takes to deliver tasks on schedule with zero complaint”.
According to him,  those  in the act of the alleged sabotage risk imprisonment, if caught,  in that it is viewed as economic sabortage on the part of the Federal Government.
“Passport racketeering is against  the law and abuse of process. Things  must be done in order and decently. We are an agency  established by law. So, anything  we are doing must follow  due process”, he said.
He has also called on members of the public to be wary of patronising road-side passport operators to avoid double payment.
“If due process will be followed,  according to him, the issue of passport  racketeering will belong  to history”.
He also described as a plus, the introduction of e-gates in about four International Airports in the country, including Port Harcourt.

Stories compiled by King Onunwor

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Minister Wants States To  Align Technological Advancement With Local Prionties

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Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief  Uche Nnaji, has urged states to align their technological advancements with local priorities.
The Minister said this at the first edition of the interactive forum for state commissioners in charge of Science and Technology, held in Abuja recently.
Nnaji said  states should also provide solutions for regional-specific challenges and promoting a more robust and resilient scientific ecosystem that fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing.
“This alignment will ensure inclusivity, unlock the immense potential of our nation’s intellectual and technological resources, and propel our states to the forefront of technological advancements”, he said.
The Minister also urged the commissioners to actively engage local industries, research institutions and community stakeholders, so as to collaborate in amplifying the impact of Nigeria’s scientific endeavours.
He said this was important to ensure seamless transition from research to application of the scientific endeavours, to facilitate economic growth and ensure technological advancements that meet the needs of citizens.
“As Nigeria transits from a resource to a knowledge-based economy driven by innovation, it is worth emphasising that this task is daunting but certainly surmountable, and will require strong commitment, continuous learning and adaptive strategies.
“Let us, therefore, approach it with a sense of urgency, recognising that the decisions we make today will shape the future of our scientific landscape”, he  said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Esuabana Asanye, said the forum was meant to broaden their scope and ensure their buy-in and implementation of the National Science and Technology Roadmap 2017-2030.
Asanye stated that the roadmap represented the desire to implement the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation designed to hasten innovation, economic growth and inclusive scientific development to meet national aspiration.
“The task before us is a shared responsibility to harness the full potential of our sub national for the national scientific landscape for environmental sustainability and curbing climate devastation. Each state has its unique demographic resourcefulness and if properly managed, would exponentially foster the culture of innovation at the grassroot level for sustainable development”,  she said.

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