New Tech Firms’ll Benefit From Startup Bill – Minister
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, says the Startup Bill that is currently before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will accelerate the growth of small and new technology firms in Nigeria when enacted into law.
The minister gave the assurance at the Art of Technology Lagos 3.0 themed, ‘Funding and a Connected Lagos’ in Lagos State, recently.
Pantami who spoke virtually, said the ministry would continue to support the state in its quest to achieve more in the technology space.
He said technology deployment was changing the world, with the Information and Communications Technology sector playing a crucial role in the country’s exit from recession.
The minister added that the government was determined to support the growth of startups and businesses especially with many government agencies working closely to fund and grow the business landscape.
According to him, the country has the highest number of venture capitalists and the Startup Bill, when enacted as law, will accelerate the growth of startups in the nation.
He insisted that the bill, when passed into law, would create an enabling environment for the growth, attraction, and protection of investments in the tech startup space.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his speech, said his administration had been deliberate about deploying technology to make governance seamless.
He said the state had been funding the technology space in line with its Smart City Agenda which has further helped the state to be the fifth largest economy in Africa.
According to him, from traffic management to security, the state is deploying technology to make life better for the people.
He stated further that the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council had raised the bar in assisting the state in achieving its Smart City Agenda.
The governor later announced a seed funding of N250m to grow the Lagos tech community.
Meanwhile, in a segment of the event titled, ‘Collaborate Lagos’, eight startups pitched their products for a chance to receive up to $100,000 in equity investment from the Eko Innovation Centre.
NGO Wants Girls To Welcome STEM Initiative
A non-profit organisation, Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC), has urged more girls to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects to bridge the gender gap in the technology space.
Executive Director of the centre, Mrs. Oreluwa Lesi, made the call at an event organised to mark the International Girls in ICT Day at Bishop Howells Memorial Grammar School in Lagos, weekend.
The Tide’s source reports that the event was organised in collaboration with Oracle Academy.
The source further reports that over 100 girls across some selected secondary schools attended the event.
Lesi also explained that STEM subjects were easy to learn, urging the students to pursue any career in the technology space.
She noted that closing the gender gap in the technology space was of critical importance to avoid loss of vast human resources that could contribute to national development.
She said they designed programmes such as W.TEC Academy, an after-school technology club, which was engaging and aimed at attracting more girls to pursue science and technology careers.
“The club targets girls between ages 10 and 17 years, who attend public schools in Nigeria. Through participation in the year-long technology club, the girls become more confident in writing programmes, developing applications and creating digital content”, she said.
Also speaking, the Territory Executive Manager, Oracle Nigeria, Oluwafumilayo Awelewa , said girls could become unstoppable if they had digital skills.
Awelewa also explained that as technology skills became more crucial in the workplace, girls and young women in many parts of the world face being marginalised and left behind.
She said without equal access to technology and the internet, girls and women were not able to equally participate in the ever growing digital society.
Awelewa said holding back girls and women in this area affects every aspect of their lives, including their ability to speak out and campaign on issues that affect them.
“Technology is among the fastest-growing industries in the world, therefore, it requires more labour supply to thrive.
“Women make up almost half the workforce population. Their exclusion can deprive the technology industry of the crucial human resources it needs to grow”, she said.
Awelewa further said women were as good at technology as men, adding that it’s not the lack of interest that keeps women from pursuing tech-related occupations, but an unsupportive culture and an undervaluing of their capabilities.
She said learning digital skills was important for African women and girls because it can help them overcome gender disparities and increase their economic opportunities.
Awelewa continued that a good starting point to get women in technology was creating a supportive culture in homes, schools, and the workplace.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is to be understood; now is the time to understand more and be fearless. Never believe you could do less because you are a woman”, she said.
She, however, urged the girls that they could achieve more regardless of their gender, size, current department and life challenges.
Expert Urges Internet Users On Two-Factor Authentication
The Managing Director of Olive ICT Foundation, Abuja, Mr. Adamu Paul, has urged internet users to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for their email accounts, social media applications and financial services.
Paul, whose foundation is into broadband outsourcing, made this statement during an interview with newsme in Abuja, recently.
He stated that 2FA strengthens login security into most websites by requiring a second piece of information, which is a second factor beyond your password before login.
According to him, most websites use mobile device to text, call, or use a personalised 2FA for their businesses to verify identities before access.
“Passwords are sometimes generally easy to guess, buy or crack by hackers. So, most security systems use a combination of two or more factors of authentication.
“Most types of two-factor authentication involve the use of a one-time password (OTP) that’s only good for one use, which is an additional password you must enter to authenticate yourself”, he said.
Paul said internet users can set up 2FA in minutes by clicking on the right hand icons on the website upon login and clicking account setup.
“On getting to the setup page, click on manage your Google Account, click on Security, then click sign in where you will activate 2-Step Verification, First, you must register the device and you put in your phone number.
“A confirmation code will be sent to your mobile device, which you will enter once on registration to access the page”, he said.
He noted that after registering a device, one can use 2FA codes through SMS (text messages) as this will prevent easy access by hackers into any of the online accounts.
Police Burst Kidnap Syndicates, Others ….Recover Six Firearms, 30 Ammunitions, Three Vehicles
The Rivers State Police Command says its operatives of the C4i Intelligence Unit in the course of investigating a case of kidnapping and armed robbery reported on January 15, 2023, travelled to Kano State and successfully effected the arrest of one Abdullahi Ibrahim.
The command also said in the process, the team recovered a Black 2010 Toyota Matrix with Reg. No. SPR 283 TA, and a Blue 2008 Toyota Camry with Reg. No. ABC 49 AT, both believed to have been snatched or stolen from Port Harcourt.
A statement from the State Police spokesperson, SP Grace Iringe-Koko disclosed that following the arrest, the Police operatives successfully trailed and arrested Ibrahim’s co-conspirators.
They are: Tamuno Kobiye Okari, ‘m,’ aged 23, from Okrika in Rivers State; Vincent Kobani, ‘m,’ aged 20, from Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State; and Monima George, ‘m,’ age 22, from Buguma in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Three locally made pistols and two live cartridges were recovered from Vincent Kobani upon his arrest at Victoria Street, Port Harcourt.
The suspects confessed to the crime and described how they forcefully snatched the said Toyota Matrix from one of their victims, and thereafter withdrew the sum of N209,000 using his GT Bank ATM card.
In another development, sequel to an earlier arrest of a suspected kidnapper, who kidnapped his victim and her daughter (names withheld) on Saturday, April 15 2023, operatives of the C4i Intelligence Unit raided an apartment on Plot 34 Lonpry Street, Trans Amadi.
In the process, one AK47 rifle with Breach No. 0637, three magazines loaded with thirty rounds of live ammunition each, two long single-barreled guns, and one live cartridge were recovered.
Similarly, following an earlier arrest of a member of an armed robbery/car snatching syndicate, on Monday, 8th May 2023, Rivers State Police operatives proceeded on investigation activities to Abuja, Nasarawa and Gombe States, where they nabbed five suspects, strongly believed to be responsible for theft of cars in the state, and the sale of same.
They include Shehu Shagari ‘m’, age 33 from Kaduna State, who is a major receiver of stolen vehicles from one Hamisu Babangida, ‘m’, who is based in Port Harcourt, and a direct receiver from one Tamuno Kobiye ‘m,’ aka Okorobo, a suspected armed robber who is a native of Okrika, who has been convicted and imprisoned severally on similar offences.
There is also Ibrahim Abubakar, ‘m,’ age 37, of Kala LGA in Bornu State, who confessed that he bought one Prado Jeep from Shehu Shagari at the rate of N5m and re-sold the same to one Alhaji Abdullahi, ‘m’ a Cameroonian.
The same operation led to the arrest of one Nuhu Ahmed ‘M,’ age 30, and Abdullahi ‘m,’ age 30, both from Yola South LGA of Adamawa State.
Exhibits recovered include a cash sum of Two Million Naira, which was sent for the purchase of stolen Toyota Corolla; one Acura Jeep with Reg. No. PBT 10 JP, registered in the name of Mrs. Rebecca Mioko, a resident of Rivers State.
The statement added that all the suspects will be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.
Meanwhile, residents of the state have been called upon to remain supportive, law-abiding, vigilant and promptly report acts of crime and criminality to the nearest police station.
They can also call the Command’s emergency hotlines on 08032003514 and 08098880134.
By: Akujobi Amadi
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