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FG to Partner Cuba on Science & Technology

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The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said on Thursday the Federal Government would be partnering with the Republic of Cuba on science and technology.

Onu said he would visit Cuba with his team to ensure Nigeria benefits from its relationship with the Caribbean nation.

The minister stated these when the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos Sosa visited him in Abuja.

He said Nigeria can no longer depend on foreign commodities but would begin to use its resources for the production of what it needs.

His words: “Nigeria appreciates the Republic of Cuba for its contributions particularly in the health care system. We believe that the relationship between Nigeria and Cuba will continue to grow.

“Cuba has used its vast technology in developing vaccines that helps in the prevention of diseases and Nigeria looks forward to partnering with Cuba on the development of our science and technology sector.

“I and my team will soon visit Cuba to make sure we strengthen our relationship with Cuba. Nigeria can no longer depend on just imported commodities but will use its resources for local production.”

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Nigeria’s Online Travel Booking Space in Search of Real Value

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Although boasting a lot of potential, Nigeria’s travel and tourism industry has remained in a state of near-misses and failed projections occasioned by the glaring gap and huge vacuum in the online travel booking space.

 

According to available statistics, the direct contribution of Travel and Tourism to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was N2,29bn, approximately 1.9% of total GDP in 2017 –  a figure that is expected to rise by 2.9% in 2018 and 4.3% per annum from 2018-2028, to N3,605.7bn, effectively representing 1.9% of total GDP in 2028.

 

On the other hand, the total contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP was N6,205.8bn representing 5.1% of GDP in 2017 and is forecast to rise by 1.6% in 2018 and 4.8% per annum to N10,094.5bn from 2018-2018, representing 5.4% of GDP in 2028.

 

While the figures appear promising, it is worth considering where the Nigerian travel industry stands in the global scheme of things.

 

Ranked on a global list of 185 countries, Nigeria presently stands at positions 48 in total contribution and 163 in relative contribution respectively to GDP from the Travel and Tourism sector. In terms of expected real growth in the sector, Nigeria stands at a poorly 168 position and 59 in long-term growth forecast (2018-2028) in the sector.

 

Compared with global indices, Travel and Tourism represents 10.4% of global GDP while one-tenth of jobs worldwide are supported by the industry, representing 9.9% of global employment. Furthermore, one-fifth of all of all global net jobs created in the last decade have been within the Travel and Tourism sector.

 

It is an open secret that travel and tourism is an important global economic activity, with the potential to contribute significantly to a nation’s GDP.

 

Added to this is the immense employment-generation opportunity it holds when harnessed efficiently – a point aptly embellished by Gloria Guevara Manzo, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council when she enthused that “inclusive growth and ensuring a future with quality jobs are the concerns of governments everywhere. Travel & Tourism, which already supports one in every ten jobs on the planet, is a dynamic engine of employment opportunity.”

 

Here in Nigeria, the engine of economic prosperity inherent in the Travel and Tourism is yet to be unleashed, owing predominantly to the vacuum in the online travel booking space which holds the key to transforming the sector.4

 

In real terms, only a small proportion (about 13%) of Nigerian air travelers currently book travel products online – a damning statistic for a country boasting a population grossing over 190 million.

 

For the four components of the Travel and Tourism sector which include Leisure travel (inbound and domestic), Business travel, Domestic travel and Foreign travel, the outlook remains the same: total contribution of the sector to GDP is nearly three times greater than its direct contribution.

 

Aligned to this is the poor experience of most Nigerians, many of whom have expressed their dissatisfaction with the level of service in the online travel booking space, despite the existence of a glut of players. For many corporate travelers, a segment that represents the overwhelming majority of online travel service consumers, the prevailing opinion is a glaring lack of real value. Same sentiment dominates among leisure travelers – many of whom are frustrated by sub-standard service and the limited choices of packages/offers available among current players – two of the most recurring pain-points that have drained confidence among customers in the sector.

 

Considering the nexus between technology and value-offerings in the online travel booking space, there is a growing need for a strong player backed by cutting-edge technology to fill the vacuum in the sector and take the industry to the next level. Further justifying this need is the undoubted influence of a world-class online platform and innovation in service delivery which has transformed the entire value chain of an allied sector such as e-Commerce in Nigeria, as seen in the rise and dominance of strong local players such as Konga which has re-defined the scope of offerings and customer experience in the industry.

 

The global travel and tourism industry is a multi-billion-dollar establishment which relies heavily on innovative technology and world-class customer experience in delivering a wide range of value offerings to all classes of travelers.

 

Nigeria is due for this disruption which has the potential of growing the sector’s contribution to GDP. Digital innovation is the way forward.

 

 

 

 

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TechX Innovation Hub Unveils Office in Enugu

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Technology Extra, TechX, Innovation Hub, a global organization that is concerned with the slow adoption of technology in the developing countries especially Africa has opened office in Enugu, South Eastern part of Nigeria.

Tech X is focused on four key areas of technological advancement; Awareness, Access, Adoption and Application.

Speaking at the unveiling of the office, Tony Ojobo, founder, TechX Innovation Hub, said that a key strategy that addresses the issue of low ICT penetration is awareness.

“People need to be aware of the power of ICT to transform lives, businesses and the economy at large. The most capitalized firms in the world today are playing in the ICT space. The capacity of technology to lift peoples and nations out of poverty is phenomenal.

In recognition of these tested facts, we decided to start from the area where penetration is low and scale up to other regions in the country.

“Nigeria however, has the market, the people and local innovations that can disrupt business models around the world. We are on track to making this happen,” he stated.

According to him, “TechX shall create a platform for people with ideas to incubate, startups, business developers, coders, programmers and techies to perfect and scale up their innovations through a structured mentoring process, training and knowledge development programs.

“Our focus will encompass the following; Coding, Gaming, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT’s) Robotics, Digital Innovations, Business Development, ICT Training, Software Development, Cyber Security, Digital Marketing etc.

“Our teeming youths can focus their creative energies more positively with a platform such as TechX Innovation Hub to give them a head-start in live. ICT has become the new oil and countries that have depended on oil as the economic main stay are beginning to embrace technology.”

“We have examples from UAE, Qatar and other countries in the Gulf region. The federal government has been making efforts towards diversification of the economy; however more still needs to be done through the encouragement of innovations, startups and SMEs.

“In realization of this need, TechX was set up to play our part towards the economic development of our people and thus contribute to poverty reduction in the region in particular and the country at large,” he said.

Ojobo noted that TechX will be collaborating with relevant Stakeholders, such as; the Media, Regulators, Hub owners, Tertiary Institutions, State Governments, Federal Government, SME’s, Multilateral Agencies, Embassies, Equipment Manufacturers, Ministries Departments and Agencies.

 

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NSE Trading Platform Suffers 4 Hours Technical Glitch

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Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday encountered a technical glitch which impacted trading activities for about four hours.

 

Mr. Bola Adeeko, head of Shared Services Division, NSE, said the glitch was resolved and market transactions continued at 1:45pm.

 

Due to the lost trading time, Mr. Adeeko explained that a decision was taken to extend the trading hours on Monday to 3:30p.m, from the usual time of 2:30p.m.

 

He further confirmed that the root cause of the disruption has been fully rectified.

 

According to Mr. Adeeko, NSE has a robust business continuity framework in place with processes designed to forestall and reduce the impact of such unpredictable technical glitches when they occur.

 

“The Bourse has a solid track record of high availability and systems resilience, whilst working with some of the cutting edge technologies required to power up a modern Exchange and will continue to work to enhance this”.

 

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