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Digital Switch Over: 97,000 Households Get Free Set-Top Boxes

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No fewer than 97,000
households in Jos have so far benefitted from free distribution of Set-Top Boxes in the pilot scheme of Digital Switch Over (DSO).
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure in Jos recently at a post mortem meeting with stakeholders to review the April 30 pilot roll out of DSO.
Mohammed expressed satisfaction with the project and assured that the entire Plateau State would be covered before moving to other states.
He said that those in possession of the coupon for the distribution should come out for their set top boxes.
“We have reviewed the roll out programme and we are quite satisfied with the progress made so far. We have also decided on how better we can optimise the scheme.
“We have done well in Jos, we should be able to cover the whole of Plateau before going to other states,’’he said.
The minister said that the meeting also discussed some technical issues aimed at getting better service.
He reassured that the nation would meet the June 2017 deadline for complete digitisation of broadcasting.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Set-Top Boxes manufacturing in Nigeria, Geoffrey Ohuabunwa, has said that four of the licensed companies for the local production of the boxes were already in place.
He said the four factories were located in Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Oshogbo and Calabar.
“The plants are ready, what is holding them now is just the equipment which are already in the ports.
‘The minister has given us assurances that the Nigeria Customs Service will release the equipment within the week and once they are out definitely in a month time the plants will be ready.’’
Ohuabunwa said the process of employment of workers in the factories was ongoing.

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Five Nigerians, 29 Others Get Google’s 3rd GNI Five Nigerians, 29 Others Get Google’s 3rd GNI Innovation Challenge

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Google has announced five Nigerians and 29 other recipients of the Third Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge drawn from Africa, Middle East, Israel and  Turkey.
Head of Innovation, Google News Initiative, Ludovich Blecher, said in a statement that the recipients were selected for their initiatives in  promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in the journalism industry.
Blecher said the 34 projects of the recipients from 17 countries were chosen to receive $3.2 million in funding.
Accordingly,   he noted that the GNI innovation challenge was  part of Google’s $300 million commitment to helping journalism thrive in the digital era.
Also, he revealed that he has seen news innovators step forward with many exciting initiatives, demonstrating new thinking.
“This year, we seek to broaden our criteria to include digital innovation initiatives that promote goals like reader engagement, new reader income, subscriptions, disinformation among other things.
“Following a thorough assessment, a round of interviews, and a final jury selection, 34 projects from 17 countries were chosen to receive $3.2 million in funding.
“The recipients met all the five criteria requirements, including impact on the news ecosystem, equity and inclusion, inspiration, innovation, diversity, and feasibility,” he said.
He hinted that some of the recipients include Kenya’s WANANCHI Reporting, Nigeria’s Dubawa, and South Africa’s Quote This Woman+.
The Tide’s source learnt that WANANCHI Reporting provided features that allowed both the unserved and underserved Kenyans from remote and excluded areas to tell their stories.
He said the features of the unserved and underserved highlighted diversity in a manner that avoided misrepresentation by allowing them to contribute to the news ecosystem,  through their technology-driven interactive platform.
Blecher said that Nigeria’s Dubawa is a digital platform that helped newsrooms source and license quality images from local African photographers and photojournalists.
It was further gathered that starting with Nigeria, ATLAS  looked  to host relevant news images and editorial images, curated from local African photographers and photojournalists which anyone could  instantly download.

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NAF Boss Charges 1,641 AFIT Graduands On Innovation 

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The  Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao,  has stressed the need for innovational drive towards achieving meaningful development in Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the nation at large.
Amao, who stated this during the matriculation ceremony of 1,641 students of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna State at the weekend, said by being innovative and focused, the students and staff would be value added agents to NAF facilities and engagements, translating to more development to Nigeria at large.
The Air Force boss noted  that the NAF had partnered with Osun State Government to build Africa’s first and largest aviation city in Ido-Osun.
He added that AFIT staff and students’ innovation would add value to the planned aviation city.
Amao, who urged the staff and students to remain focused and hardworking in order to reap the benefits in the future, congratulated the students and the Commandant whom he commended for what he described as the “giant strides in his leadership of the Institute”.
“The Institute wears a new look as the buildings are renovated and many wear a facelift. I encourage you with the maxim that says the reward for hard work is more work,”  he said.
Earlier, Commandant of AFIT, AVM Muhammed Yakubu, said the Institute ran a tripartite system, offering National Board for Teaching Education and National Universities Commission’s accredited courses, as well as military technical programmes.
Yakubu restated the Institute’s zero tolerance for drug abuse, cultism, indecent dressing, theft, examination malpractice, and sexual harrasment.
He also urged the students to build acceptable character that would become an asset to them when searching for jobs or when they set up as entrepreneurs.

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NCC Makes Case For Indigenous Telecoms Sector Growth

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged stakeholders to intensify efforts in the promotion of Nigeria’s indigenous telecommunications sector.
Executive Vice President of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta,  made the call recently during an event organised by the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo) in Lagos.
With the theme, “Establishing Trackable Metrics for Developing Nigeria’s Indigenous Telecoms Sector”, Danbatta, who was represented by the Head of Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS), Babagana Digima, said the development of the indigenous telecommunications sector was vital for the growth of the country.
He said the Commission’s policy and regulatory framework had always laid emphasises on the development of effective local participation of the telecoms sector value chain.
He noted that the Federal Government in 2021 launched a National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content (NPPIC), spearheaded by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, in recognition of the pertinent need to develop indigenous capacity in the telecom sector.
According to him, for effective implementation of the NPPIC, the Commission articulated several targets and high impact interventions, which were Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based (SMART).
“We have not only identified a number of critical stakeholders in the industry, but have also engaged over 30 different entities ranging from MDAs, Mobile Network Operators and SIM manufacturers and mast manufacturers via Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector”, he said.
He continued that  the  higher level at which the Commission had identified some time-based metrics for NPPIC was classified into immediate, short term, medium term, and long-term items.
“Some of the activities include creation of NODITS dedicated to guiding the policy constitution of local content steering committee and engagement with relevant internal and external stakeholders.

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