Computer Professionals Assure On Nigeria’s Economy
Member Computer Professionals of Nigeria, Niyi Gbodimowo, has said the COVID-19 pandemic and Nigeria’s demography will ensure that the country continues to be at the forefront of venture and investment across Africa in its economy.
Gbodimowo, made this disclosure recently when he spoke at the Information and Communications Technology Sector of the nations Economy in Abuja.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic when it happened opened doors of opportunities for a lot of Nigerians, especially the young and the young at heart, to technological innovations which have since become the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
According to him, the contribution of the sector will continue to rise in the years to come because the nation’s demography which is tilted towards the youth supports it.
He said Nigeria will continue to be in the scheme of things especially in the technology sector with the country being now one of the top destinations for venture investments across the world.
According to him, the fact that Nigerians, especially the youth, are also working to be a part of the trend and not be left behind has made the nation the hub of innovation in the technology sector with companies growing fast and becoming multi million and multi billion dollar entities in some cases.
He disclosed further that the compensation and general development of technology, capacity and money are generally higher than in other sectors, and this have also served as a magnet to attract more hands and investment making into the sector.
On the impact the 5G technolog will have on Nigeria, he said the changes in the next few years will make the world almost unrecognisable in five years time especially in the area of artificial intelligence.
He added that Nigerians are doing a lot of great things in the technology sector with just the creation of an enabling environment for them to thrive more.
According to Mr Gbodimowo, young Nigerians have continued to and will continue to make great impact in the Sector because of the great STEM Core from the Secondary Schools and Tertiary institutions.
He said Nigeria possesses some unique advantage to be the Leader in the sector in Africa with the right support.
The right support, according to him, includes the creation of an institute within the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, called the National Centre for AI and Robotics with the sole focus on AI research and innovations in Nigeria.
He said people need to be aware that this kind of support exist in Nigeria and are able to take advantage of it.
On how the incoming administration of President-elect, Bola Tinubu, can leverage on this to create jobs and gainful employment for Nigerians, he said the first step is to gauge what has been done before now.
He disclosed that the Information and Communications Sub Sector has witnessed tremendous innovations in the last 8 years that has led to the over 18 percent contribution to the Nigerian Economy.
This, he stated, will continue to grow, especially with the Ministry of Communications Technology and Digital Economy at the forefront, and agencies like NITDA also contributing their own quota.
He said the impact of NIMC, NCC within the Sector has also registered just a little less than 100 Million people is a game changer which shows that Nigerians for the first time have a clear identity.
He urged the incoming administration of President Elect, Bola Tinubu, to consolidate on the last 8 years of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in the ICT Sector.
Centre Introduces Mark Hack 2.0 For Marketing, Media Professionals
Eko Innovation Centre has said that it has launched MarkHack 2.0, a platform for marketing, media professionals and students in order to explore new and innovative ways to disrupt the creative industry.
The founder of Eko Innovation Centre, Mr. Victor Afolabi said this during the launch of the second edition of Mark Hackathon in Lagos last weekend.
Afolabi noted that the initiative was aimed at fostering collaboration, creativity and critical thinking among participants and also provide a platform for them to showcase their ideas to potential investors.
According to him, participants would be split into teams of five and required to work together for a period of three weeks, brainstorming and ideating new concepts based on their focus areas.
The founder, said each team would also pitch their ideas to a selection of jury and the best 10 teams with the most viable concepts would go head-to-head at the finale to win a prize pool of 10,000 dollars.
The CEO , hinted that they would also get the chance to join an acceleration programme to get their products ready for the market.
Speaking on the creative industry, he said it was the country’s second largest employer and has the potential to produce seven million jobs by 2025, with a major contribution from entertainment and media.
“The entertainment and media growth will be seen in the development of the metaverse and the use of non-fungible token.The metaverse could contribute around 40 billion dollars to the economies of sub-saharan markets like Nigeria”, he said.
The Managing Director, Redwood Consulting, Mrs Hannah Oyebanjo, said the creative industry held the potential to create jobs for young people
Oyebanjo based her point on a research, which according to her, showed that the creative sector currently has employed about 4.2 million people across five industries including media, entertainment and others.
Oyebanjo, however, informed that the Nigerian creative industry had its challenges which included lack of appreciation for intellectual properties, access to reliable data, weak marketing knowledge and access to funding, among others.
Also, the Managing Director of Entod Marketing, Iquo Ukoh, commended the innovation centre for organising hackathons such as the MarkHack to give several talents opportunities to bring their ideas to reality.
Ukoh, however, said that soon, solutions would come out of the hackathon that would disrupt markets in Nigeria.
Telecom Operators Move To Disconnect Banks Over N120bn USSD Debt
Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria have notified, that they have been granted approval by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to disconnect banks over N120 billion Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) debt.
This was made known in a statement signed by the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr Gbenga Adebayo in Lagos and obtained by The Tide Source in in Port Harcourt recently.
Adebayo in the statement, said Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) would disconnect banks if they failed to pay the debt owed.
He said the approval was granted because in spite of the multi-party stakeholder efforts to resolve the situation and prevent any impact on services, banks continued to incur greater debt, without making the commensurate payments.
According to him, members of the public would recall that MNOs and banks had protracted disagreements concerning the appropriate USSD pricing model for financial transactions, transparency of charges, mode of collection and liability for payment of the outstanding and continuous service fees due to the MNOs.
“Due to the inability of MNOs and banks to reach an agreement on the issues, MNOs in 2021 sought to disconnect banks due to the unpaid debts which stood at N42 billion as at that time”, he said.
Adebayo noted that It was pertinent to note that the contract between MNOs and banks on the use of USSDs for banking transactions was strictly commercial and MNOs were at liberty to withdraw the services if the transaction was unprofitable to them.
He also explained that MNOs have invested billions of naira in expanding their systems to accommodate the USSD needs of banks over the years.
Adebayo said this had resulted in more Nigerians having access to banking services in addition to enabling banks to trim down costs by requiring less branches to service their growing customers.
He said that unfortunately, MNOs were not getting paid for their services and the debt that stood at N42 billion in 2021 had now risen to over N120 billion.
Rivers ICT Department Bounces Back
The Rivers State Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department said it has resumed operations in order to maintain its lead in ICT training and teaching in the state.
The Head of the ICT Department, Mrs Aleruchi Akani, disclosed this when she spoke at the Student Project Presentation at the ICT Centre at Aba/Port Harcourt Express Way in Port Harcourt last Friday.
Akani, who spoke through the Head of Operations, Mr. Austin Dimpka, said part of its challenges was funding, but have made necessary adjustments and moved on.
Apart from funding, its target was human capacity building which the centre has been excuting judiciously.
She said the programme was the second phase since it resumed full operations.
By: King Onunwor
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