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NITDA Fosters Digital Inclusion through Specialized ICT Training for Persons Living With Disabilities

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has commenced a specialized ICT Training for Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs), as part of its mandate to develop and regulate Information Technology (IT) in Nigeria.

 

Digital Inclusion ensures that disadvantaged groups are given access and skills required to enjoy the benefits of the information age.

 

According to the World Bank, 1 Billion people globally live with one form of disability or another.

 

The World Report on Disability (WRD), jointly published by the World Health Organization and the World Bank in 2011, narrowed that figure to 25 Million as the number of Nigerians living with at least one form of disability.

 

This number constitutes a significant proportion of the Nigerian population and it is critical to improve their aptitude for and access to ICT for the benefit of the economy.

 

The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the administration of President MuhammaduBuhari, GCFR, places a premium on investment in people and emphasizes the need for social inclusion.

 

As such, it is important that our digital inclusion efforts should include PLWDs.

 

NITDA has been organising an annual ICT training for PLWDs as a means of building their capacity to make themself-reliant.

 

The training takes place in the different geopolitical zones of the country.

 

This year’s edition is taking place in the North East. Gombe State was selected as the venue of the event due to its proximity to all the States of the Zone.

 

Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Governor of Gombe State, during a courtesy call, commends the effort of the current management of NITDA for transforming a sleeping Agency to a very active and productive one.

 

Over 350 participants applied for the training and the participants were selected by a team of experts.

 

These experts were drawn from the academia, civil society, representative associations of the PLWDs and the NITDA team.

 

The participants were drawn from all the 6 States in the North East Zone.

Each of the clusters for PLWDs was represented in the selection.

 

The 3 clusters are the Physically Challenged, those with Hearing Impairment and those with Visual Impairment.

 

During the training, the participants would be taught topics like Computer Essentials, Online Collaboration, Digital Literacy and Entrepreneurship, amongst others.

 

The curriculum will also include cluster-specific topics. Each of the participants will be provided with a Specialized Laptop with Custom Software installed to meet the distinct training needs of the participants in each of the three clusters.

 

We believe that the laptops, training and post-event mentorship will empower the PLWDs and enable them to establish their own business.

 

We also believe that it will enable them to serve as trainers and mentors to other PLWDs.

 

NITDA, an Agency of the Federal Government was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.

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Glo Unveils Smartphone Festival, Offers Customers Freebies

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Globacom has unveiled an initiative tagged Smartphone Festival aimed at giving unbeatable value to its customers who desire to own various categories of smartphones.

The company is making the offer in partnership with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Samsung, Nokia, Huawei, Infinix and Techno, among others.

With the Smartphone Festival, Glo customers will be able to get smartphones of their choice at the best price from any Gloworld shop across Nigeria.

In addition, each smartphone purchase will come with six months of free data, extended warranty, screen guards, memory cards and phone covers, among many other freebies.

Globacom said customers will also be entitled to free recharge card or voice bundle on every purchase just as they will enjoy personal attention and first-class customer care service.

A statement from Globacom’s head office said the offer was conceived as a way of encouraging numerous customers to own smartphones of their choice so as to be able to harness the immense benefits inherent in the communication tool.

“The offer is consistent with our commitment to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations,” the company said.

Smartphone Festival will hold every two months and will last for 15 days. Globacom customers who wish to avail themselves of this offer are required to walk into any of the company’s retail outlets nationwide to pick any smartphone of their choice.

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Reps Commend NCC for Tackling Call Masking

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House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has expressed its satisfaction with the measures so far taken by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) with a view to curbing the menace of call masking and refiling in the country,

 

This is coming as the NCC vowed to deploy a technological solution that will enable tracking of SIM boxes used to perpetuate the fraud.

 

Speaking while leading other members of the committee to a high-level meeting at the Headquarters of the Commission yesterday in Abuja, Mr Kayode Oladele, Chairman, expressed concerns on the dangers portend by the menace of call masking in the country.

 

The committee would later listen to presentations on the complex problem from top echelon staff of the regulator led by Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the NCC.

 

“Within a very short time we are very impressed by the responses and I wish Nigerians could be told about what we have done here today. Many people feel that nothing has been done whereas so much has been done, except that if you ask me what we have achieved today I will say that I am leaving here more confused because the problem is bigger than what we thought,” said Oladele at the end of the meeting.

 

Earlier, the NCC boss had told the committee that the menace is not peculiar to Nigeria’s telecom industry alone and the agency had already assembled its finest technical brains to select the best technology solution to be deployed for detecting SIM boxes used by the perpetrators in the country.

 

“When we notice a phenomenon which is anticompetitive or undermining the security of the land we promptly take actions. In this regard, we have taken some steps to ensure that operators licensed by the commission abstain from the act. And we noticed an anecdotal improvement as the numbers came down reasonably. Yet all of a sudden we have an additional dimension, SIM boxing.  These are electronic boxes with a capacity to receive and transmit calls.

 

“We are at a loss how these items of equipment find their way into this country because we don’t type-approve them, and we couldn’t have type-approved them. It’s illegal to bring SIM boxes into the country,” he pointed out.

 

According to him, other African countries bedeviled by the same menace of call masking have successfully used technology solutions to tackle it, adding that the commission would soon speed up its procurement process to ensure its deployment in Nigeria.

 

Speaking further, the NCC boss said that the regulator had to resort to taking administrative sanctions on operators including the recall of redundant numbers to ensure that they were not used in undermining the security of the land, among other several measures taken to nip the crisis in the bud.

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Nigeria Nominates Dr. Hussani For Africa Telecom Union Secretary General

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The federal government of Nigeria has fielded Dr. Abubakar Sadiq Hussani as its candidate for the position of secretary-general of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) in the forthcoming ATU Plenipoteniary Conference holding August 16-17, 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.

In the last one week, Nigeria signified its interest to compete for the exalted position of the Secretary General of the Africa Telecom Union (ATU), the African teleocm body for the period 2019 to 2022 through a diplomatic note verbale  No. A.90/2018 dated 13th July 2018 sent by the federal government and published by the ATU on its webpage, among other documents acknowledged via a Note-by-the Secretary-General Ref 079/07/ATU/SG-2018 dated 17th August 2018.

Dr Abubakar Sadiq Hussani, a former assistant professor of telecom engineering, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola,  and the current head of department of telecommunications and wireless technologies of the American University of Nigeria as well as head of programme for the 54-member British Commonwealth ITU Group (CIG). He was proposed by Nigeria as its candidate for the August contest.

The diplomatic document stated that Dr Hussaini possesses a great wealth of experience in telecommunications which are necessary attributes to hold the prestigious office on the continental level.

At the close of nominations on July 17, 2018 only four countries have signified their interest to field candidates for the contest in line with the ATU circular Ref. 06/01/ATU-CIR/2018 of 16th January 2018. The remaining three are Burundi, Congo Brazaville and Kenya who fielded Mr Constaque Hakizimana, Dr Eric Ndoumba, and Mr John Omo respectively.

Three of the four candidates are accomplished telecoms Engineers while the Kenyan Candidate Mr Omo is a Lawyer. Glancing through the CVs of candidates, if the election is to be determined in terms of technical and cognate experience of managing international organizations, Dr Hussaini of Nigeria stands a very good chance.

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