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INEC Harps on the Role of ICT in Elections

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Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, President, ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), said in spite of the challenges of deploying technology in electoral processes, its benefits had remained enormous.

He stated this yesterday at the opening of a three-day International Conference of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) in West and Southern African countries in Abuja.

The conference has “Opportunities and Challenges in the Use of Technology: Experiences from West and Southern Africa’’ as theme.

Yakubu, who is also the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said that the deployment of technology had encouraged and empowered citizens, more than before, to participate in the electoral process.

According to him, technology has helped citizens to organise, mobilise and protect their mandates using various social media platforms to track result transmission and undertake Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT).

The ECONEC president said that given the deficit of infrastructure and expertise in many West and Southern Africa countries, and the regularity of elections conducted, concerns had been raised about cost, choice and effectiveness of technology.

He said that given the high stakes involved in conducting elections in developing countries, electoral commissions must understandably be worried about the twin issues of communication and security.

“In addition, we have to contend with the disturbing but rapidly increasing incidence of election-meddling through the deployment of counter-technology on a global scale by state and non-state actors.

“Nevertheless, technology has come to stay and its benefits are immense.

“`While it is true that all countries participating in this conference have deployed technology in one form or the other to improve on the electoral process, the outcome varies from one country to another.

“However, with this coming together of election managers and experts to share experience, we shall be better prepared in making the choice of the appropriate and cost effective technology that increase the public confidence in the electoral process.

“This will also help us further protect the sanctity and integrity of the ballot,’’ he said.

In a goodwill message, Notemba Tjipeuja, Executive Committee Chairperson, Election Commission Forum, Southern African Development Community (ECF-SADC), said that the introduction of ICT in the electoral process had continued to attract interest among stakeholders.

Tjipeuja, also the Chairperson, Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), the first country in Africa to use electronic voting machine, said that one of the benefits of technology was automatic and error-free counting.

She listed other benefits of the introduction of electronic voting machine as replacement of the ballot paper and ballot boxes.

Some others, according to her, include the elimination of spoilt ballots, minimising of human error, speeding up the voting process, securing of votes on control units and maintaining the secrecy of the ballot.

Tjipeuja said “today, most EMBs around the world use new technologies such as computer-based software and more complex technology in electoral processes.

“While we all agree that as EMBs, we cannot ignore technology, we have to at the same time, be mindful of the cost associated with the management of elections.

“This is one of the challenges for governments and all EMBs.

“We are mindful of the need for cost-saving measures by all EMBs to curb the ever-increasing cost of elections, the need to carefully manage the use of ICT and the need to sustain the integrity of elections,’’ she added.

Delegates from 30 countries in ECOWAS sub-region are attending the conference.

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FG, Korea To Unveil Phase-2 Of ICT Project

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The Federal Government and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) are concluding arrangements to launch second phase of partnership in ICT that would develop experts and highly skilled labor in information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria.

This was disclosed yesterday when a delegation from the KOICA office, led by its  Country Director, Sook Hyun Park paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Communications, Abuja.

The country Director said that, South Korean government through KOICA has enjoyed a strong partnership with Federal Ministry of Communications in its e-government capacity building project for the past 7 years.

“Our first e-government project which has existed for the past 7 years with a strong partnership with Federal Ministry of Communications would be concluded next year. We shall keep our effort and support to Nigeria. E-government in the 2nd project which  we plan to embark  upon, we are interested in developing human skilled labor in ICT areas hence, the need for the Minister to share his expertise and ideas that would be of good direction to the Federal Government ”, the Director stated.

Sook Hyun stated that KOICA’s visit to the Ministry of Communications was aimed at introducing the agency’s upcoming project (phase 2) being worked towards year 2020 and beyond, following the conclusion of the introductory (first phase) which would be concluded by 2019.

In his contribution, Headquarter Coordinator, An Kwangsoo, said KOICA as an agency was set to move from the introductory part of its partnership project which was focused on e-government capacity building, scholarship for masters and PHD Degrees in Korean Universities for Nigerians to a bigger phase in order to assist Nigeria in achieving the implementation of her e-government master plan.

In his remarks, the Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu thanked KOICA on behalf of the Federal Government, for generously investing so much towards the development of Nigeria, particularly in areas of e-government and capacity building.

The Minister said that, Federal Government cannot take KOICA’s selfless cooperation for granted and urged them to sustain the smooth relationship that is being enjoyed by both parties in service to humanity.

He urged the Agency to meet with the Ministry’s e-government department to work together for a very beneficial launch of the 2nd phase of broader partnership between the federal government and the Republic of Korea via KOICA.

In the new phase, Shittu urged the Agency to make conscientious efforts to ensure at least 100,000 civil servants are trained annually, to improve Nigeria’s system of operations to be more effective and efficient.

He also appealed to them to collaborate with the Nigerian Universities by sending technology gurus from the Korean universities to impart technological ideas and knowledge to students in Nigeria who shall in turn train others.

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MTN Smart Survey a Smart Way to get Customer’s Insight

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There’s nothing more important than the opinion of the masses when it comes to marketing or business positioning.

 

After all, without the approval and buy-in of the public, it would be hard to get any product or concept off the ground.

L-R: General Manager, Customer Experience, MTN Nigeria, Kolawole Oyeyemi; General Manager, Enterprise Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka and Customer Enablement, MTN Nigeria, Ladipo Nylander at the launch of MTN Smart Survey, an effective tool for customer insight which held on Monday, December 10, 2018

 

Market/consumer surveys provide detailed insights into competitors, and aid in understanding customers’ preferences & discomforts.

 

Consumer surveys are used in analysing latest market trends, consumer buying patterns, economic shifts, and demographics.

 

Useful as these surveys may be, many businesses are unable to obtain the insights they need from them for business decisions.

General Manager, Customer Experience, MTN Nigeria, Kolawole Oyeyemi taking guests through a presentation tagged ‘mobile survey as an effective tool for customer insight and optimal value propositioning’.

 

In response to this challenge, MTN Nigeria has just launched a business tool, MTN Smart Survey to enable smart business owners to leverage on market research in developing effective strategies for business growth.

 

MTN Smart Survey, which is offered in collaboration with Communication and Marketing Research Group Limited (CMRG), provides an electronic medium for conduct and administration of surveys specifically targeted to a group of MTN subscribers.

Guests at the launch

The service offers survey delivery through the USSD channel to subscribers that have been profiled based on specific attributes, such as age, gender, location, etc.

 

The launch of the new solution had in attendance dignitaries from various business sectors in Nigeria who had a firsthand experience of the platform and its functionalities.

Guests at the launch

 

The new business tool has also been designed to reward customers with N100 MTN airtime upon completion of questions administered through the survey.

 

MTN Nigeria continues to seek ways to contribute to the Nigerian economy by extending its partnership capabilities to brighten the lives of business owners within the country.

 

 

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Heirs Holdings Inks $600m Facility Deal with Afrexim Bank, to Scale its Energy Investments.

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K-r: chairman, Heirs Holdings Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu and President of African Export-Import Bank(Afreximbank), Dr. Benedict Oramah, during the signing of $600 million Facility Deal between Afreximbank and Heirs Holdings Group to scale Heirs Holding’s Energy Investments in Africa…….. in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday

African Export-Import Bank’s (Afrexim), has signed financing facilities totalling US$600 million with the Heirs Holdings Group, a pan-African proprietary investment holding company.

 

This is as a further demonstration of the African Export-Import Bank’s mandate to facilitate the growth of intra-Africa trade and support the development of African businesses,

 

Heirs Holdings has significant investments across Africa, in the financial services, resources, real estate and hospitality and power sectors.

 

The facilities will further support the Group’s power, oil and gas strategy, as it positions itself as an African leader in integrated natural resources.

 

The signing ceremony took place at the Afrexim Intra-Africa Trade Conference taking place in Cairo, Egypt.

 

The proceeds of the facilities will assist the Heirs Holdings Group vision of creating a dynamic resource based division, focused on ensuring value creation occurs on the African continent and that value chains are developed, that directly benefit the broader African economy and consumer.

 

Commenting at the ceremony, Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afrexim who signed on behalf of the Bank, stated that the investment by Heirs Holdings would play a key role in addressing some of the fundamental challenges that have affected the power and energy sectors in Africa. He stated that “A world class energy sector is fundamental to the sustainable growth of businesses in Africa. If we do not deal with these basic matters, growth of trade and exports will always be limited”.

 

Mr. Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings, commented that “We are delighted to be partnering with Afrexim. The Bank continues to play a critical role in the economic and social development of the continent. Together, we illustrate that Africa can create world class institutions, which are capable of successfully making the long-term investments necessary for Africa’s economic transformation and catalyse the enabling environment that will unleash Africa’s potential”.

 

 

 

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