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FG Launches Digital Economy Industry Working Group

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The Federal Government has  launched a Digital Economy Industry Working Group (DEIWG) to facilitate the digital economy agenda of the country.
The Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Prof. Isa Pantami, inaugurated the group at the closing ceremony of the Digital Nigeria Conference and Exhibition, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Abuja.
Pantami, while inaugurating the group, charged the members to ensure the digital economy agenda was achieved through their efforts in line with the desire of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He noted  that Nigeria was doing well in the Ease of Doing Business in spite of prevailing challenges, which the government was working seriously to address.
According to the Minister, reducing the challenges on the Ease of Doing Business will ensure the success of the Nigerian Start-up Act (NSA) approved by Buhari on October 19.
Pantami said, “When the administration of Buhari started, the global ranking of Nigeria on the Ease of Doing Business was 170. But recently we have moved 39 steps higher to 131.
“The government had initiated and implemented over 160 reforms and registering a business in Nigeria now takes less than 48 hours”.
He added that the ministry would in the near future inaugurate a committee for the swift implementation of the NSA.
Technical Assistant, Research and Development, to the Minister, Dr Femi Adeluyi,  explained that the group was formed as an action group established as a Public Private Dialogue platform.
According to him, the platform was comprised of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, championed through close working relationship between the public and private sector leaders in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry.
He stated that  the group was designed to map out government initiatives and policies affecting the private sector as it pertains to the digital economy, while ensuring the growth of the digital industry in the country.
The objectives of the DEIWG, Adeluyi said, would be to create framework for strengthening the immediate delivery of initiatives based on the eight pillars as outlined in the Nigerian Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (2020-2030).
“They will facilitate the creation of an Enterprise Programmes Management Office (EPMO) and funding mechanism which will serve as a framework of funding for DEIWG Secretariat.
“The group will formulate, in partnership with the government, mechanisms that drive and catalyse growth and increase investments in the Digital Economy.
“They will examine the current efforts by the Federal Government to digitally transform through policies, projects and programmes and co-create a private sector response plan.
“Facilitate leadership mindset that is digital-driven for Shared Prosperity and Shared National Vision, and drive continuity of the policies and enhance the institutional arrangement to drive the Digital Economy,” he said.

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RSPHB Hails Rotary Over Maternal Health Support

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The Rivers State Primary Health Board has commended Rotary Club International District 9141 for the donation of fetal Doppler, ultrasound scanner and Incubator to Oyibo Comprehensive Health Centre.
The agency’s medical health representative for Oyibo, Dr. Victoria Ewoh, said the equipment will reduce maternal mortality and complement government effort in boosting healthcare at the grassroots.
She described rotary as a foremost charity organization poised to improve community wellbeing and healthcare delivery.
The equipment, she further assured will be utilized to touch the lives of mothers and children, noting that state government is doing all in it powers to improve on health care delivery in the communities, “ I can assure you that there will be reduction of fetal deaths with these equipments”, she added.
While unveiling the facilities, District Governor of Rotary International District 9141, Mightyman Aye Dikuro said the donation forms part of Rotary mission to advance world, understanding, goodwill, peace and improvement of health, including support for education and alleviation of poverty.
This objective he explained is imbedded in activities of the club all over the world to uplift communities and transform lives.
Aye Dikuro assured that Rotary is ready to partner government in the district which covers Rivers, Bayelsa , Delta and Edo States in reducing health challenges, as he urged the community to ensure they protect the equipment and sustain more projects.
On his part, Chairman of Committee of the clubs that embarked on the project, Timi Bubagha, said the donation was borne out of needs assessment done by the club in the area, as it discovered that that there is need for improved maternal health.
Mr. Bubagha who is the President of Rotary Club Garden City added that the clubs are poised to do more for communities, and urged the officials and community to ensure the items are put to good use.
Community leader and member of Oyibo Chiefs Council, Chief Precious Emeruka lauded Rotary for the donation, as he described it a dream come for the community.
Chief Emeruka praised the State Government for endorsing Rotary Project, and assured that the community would ensure that the items were utilized and secured.

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NITDA’s N12bn Project Will  Enhance  Start-Up Act Implementation – FG

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The Federal Government said the N12 billion project of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would boost the implementation of the Nigerian Start-Up Act 2022 (NSA).
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, said this at the inspection of the ongoing Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre implemented by NITDA in Abuja recently.
The projects were two buildings inter-connected, one of which would serve as the actual Digital Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre and the second as NITDA headquarters.
Pantami said it is the responsibility of government executives to ensure that any approval by FEC under their supervision is implemented according to the agreement.
“When it comes to capacity, the rooms, the offices, the training centres, all these are in alignment with what the FEC approved twice on November 11, 2020 and April 5, 2021.
“There are several ways our citizens are going to benefit. We have the NSA 2022, an Executive Bill by this administration”, he said.
Pantami added that the building would further consolidate on economic diversification, for which the sector already laid the foundation of contributing 18.44 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product of the country.
The Minister said the project was approved and projected to be completed in 36 months from the date of approval in November 2020.
Pantami also  said N9.56 billion was approved on November 11, 2020, with VAT and other taxes included.

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VP  Wants National Innovation Ecosystem Rebranding

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Vice-President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo,  has called for the reappraisal and rebranding of the national innovation ecosystem to drive technological and socio-economic development in the country.
Osinbajo made the call at the opening of a two-day National Innovation Workshop  at the International Convention Centre, in Awka, Anambra State recently.
The  workshop, tagged “Promotion of Inventors of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)”, was organised by the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, and the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikoh, said the workshop would offer Nigeria an opportunity to reappraise and rebrand its ecosystem.
“This will be with emphasis on technology and entrepreneurship.The way to go to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich is through thinking out of the box, innovation and commercialisation of thoughts.
“Nigeria will be great again only when we begin to shift our emphasis from consumer nation to production, and we need innovation to produce”, he  said.
Also speaking, Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, said there was the need for a national policy to promote STI, saying, it is the new way of life.
“Without STI, nothing happens. In Anambra, we recognised this fact and we have been taking proactive measures to make Anambra the home of talents for STI in the country.
“We need to replicate same across the country by having a legislative framework to mainstream STI in our schools to catch them young.
“The policy will also mandate Nigerians and the Nigerian government to promote indigenous inventors and innovators by patronising them. If they innovate and invent, and nobody patronises them, their ideas will die,” he said.
In his lecture, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said there was an urgent need to draw attention and to prepare the country for the fourth industrial revolution.
“Human race is in transition in a dimension of technological revolution which will affect the way we live, work and relate, and so we must prepare and adjust the way we think.
“In a short while from now, talents and innovation are going to be the only dependable capital assets. As a nation, we need a legislative agenda to harness our available human resources.
“We need to groom and nurture Nigerian youths into the path of science, technology and innovation to key into the opportunities.The fourth industrial revolution will present and place our economy on a sustainable path for growth,” he  said.

In her remarks, Sen. Uche Ekwunife, Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, said the workshop was to connect innovators, inventors, academia, policy makers, entrepreneurs, tech companies and students from across the country.

The  programme featured demonstration sessions, prize funds to outstanding innovation and award presentation to best Nigerian inventor.
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