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tBs: Who Will Tell Shittu, Comms Minister ‘The Simple Truth’?

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Mr. Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications

Few days back, as I was gearing up for the day’s work, I received a beep on my phone. Oh, it was a message from one of those messages that I don’t hesitate to delete.

Even with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC’s) raised sledge hammer waiting to slam any telco that flouts the ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND) order, the hapless telcos are having ‘unreported’ battles with telemarketers who ride on their networks to send unsolicited SMS.

Back to the issue, so, this very morning, I was captivated by the message with started with Agriculture, probably, due to my recent interest in ‘agrotech’- that is the aura of leveraging technology to harness potentials in our agricultural sector.

The short, but captivating message read: “Agriculture was the ONLY major sector of the economy to record positive growth in 2016. Don’t miss out in 2017 as Agriculture will record more positive growth. Get Agric Biz tips, reply Agric to 2707 @ N50/wk”. What!

To say the least, the sender of this message could have been a digital native who is just doing his/her usual marketing business using technology. In other words, it is good young people are leveraging technology to sell “uncool” sectors like agriculture.

Be that as it may, statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics tends to support this claim hence in nominal terms, NBS record shows the agriculture sector grew by 7.37% year-on-year.

This was lower than growth rates recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2015 and also lower than the preceding quarter of 2016 by 1.97% points and 5.87% points respectively.

“Nigerian Telecommunications Summary Report December 2016” posted on its website, NBS also said that in real terms, the telecommunications sector contributed N1,399 billion to GDP in the third quarter of 2016, or 8.0%, which represents a decrease of 1.8% points relative to the previous quarter.

However, due to differing seasonal patterns, telecommunications accounted for the lowest share of GDP in the third quarter. The share of telecommunications in total real GDP had declined throughout 2010 to 2014, but for the last six quarters growth in telecommunications has been higher, meaning the trend has reversed.

From the NBS’s website, it seems the only wholsitic data on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sectorial contribution to the economy was gathered as far back as 2010-2012; which leaves one wondering if the Government is very serious about this industry.

That’s why it is important stakeholders gather to discuss models that will salvage this industry. Private operators are painstakingly innovating, but if we don’t have a ‘national ICT direction’ we might end up in rigmarole. We need the pragmatic innovators and ICT think-tank experts to tell Barrister Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications that young people seem not to understand the direction of this industry is headed now.

Why tBs?
Nigeria has to become a thinking Nation, if we must survive the coming, disruptive revolution which is upon the world.

This is one reason; I believe that Think Breakfast Series (tBs) is indeed a welcome development not just for the ICT industry but the Nation at large. This initiative therefore, is geared towards bringing industry experts together to brainstorm and discuss the biggest trends and topics that are impacting the industries in Nigeria.

If you are top executive and you want to join others such as Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, Chairman, Open Media Group; Tunde Coker, MD, Rack Centre; Yele Okeremi, MD, Precise Financial Systems, James Agada, CEO, Computer Warehouse Group; Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Founder/Chairman, SOFEE, Chris Uwaje, Director General, Delta State Innovation Hub; Ikechukwu Nnamani, Medallion; Sunday Folayan, President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mohammed Rudman, Managing Director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) and many others too numerous to mention, then contact the team http://tbs.com.ng/contact

Leading excellent brands that have thrown their weight behind tBs is Rack Centre, Africa’s leading multi-award winning tier III data centre, which has shown total commitment to providing top quality collocation services in a secure environment.

The Managing Director of Rack Centre, Tunde Coker will be on ground to share his perspectives on the essentials of a knowledge driven economy while ensuring that progress is made in a sustainable manner.

The series has been lauded by experts across various industries and it is brought to you by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek and CFAtech.ng. tBs holds on the 22nd of February, 2017 at the Prime Chinese Restaurant, Victoria Island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Speakers At CFA Startup Hangout Urge Youths to ‘Stay & Invest’ in Nigeria

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(L-r): Wale Ajisebutu, vice-chairman, 21st Century Technologies; Dr. Nkiru Balonwu, managing partner, RDF, both speakers at the October 2017 edition of the CFA's Startups Hangout, with Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr, Founder, CFAtech.ng, Presenter of Tech Trends on Channels Television and the Convener of the Hangout.

By Justice Okemgba

The October 2017 Edition of the CFA’s Startups Hangout really lived up it’s expectation, as the Startups were fed with priceless nuggets on how to run their businesses successfully and improve on their lives and uplift the nation.

CFA’s Startups Hangout, is an event that brings Startups together to learn how to run and grow their businesses from invited successful entrepreneurs, as well as network with each other.

The two invited speakers for the October 2017 edition, which was held at Adna Hotel, GRA, Ikeja last Friday, were Mr. Wale Ajisebutu, vice-chairman, 21st Century Technologies and Dr. Nkiru Balonwu, Managing Partner, RDF, a Consultancy outfit.

First to speak, was Dr. Nkiru Balonwu. She stated that Startups need to be determined and stay focused, as these are key to achieving what they want to achieve. “Be sure of what you want to do and set milestones for the achievement of goals”, she emphasised.

She admonished the Startups to note each achievements as they are met and also know why they are not met and fight to see that they are met in the end.

She made it known to the Startups that, from her own experience at starting her own business outfit, not everyone will encourage them in their quest, but they should not be deterred. She advised them to seek for sponsors and mentors, but should also be ready to give them something in return.

Nkiru stated that Startups should ensure that whatever it is that they are doing, should be centered around solving a problem for their clients. She gave the example of her own experience, where her personal need to track the income and expenses of her income and expenses, prompted her to develop the Bukkipa App, a simple accounting solution, but she had to ask for inputs from those who are also in need of such a solution, so that they can patronise it.

Wale Ajisebutu, in his presentation to the Startups, gave the narrative of Nigeria as a country blessed by God, with lots of opportunities, which, unfortunately, the citizens are only seeing  and complaining about as problems.

He advised the Startups to stop complaining about what the government has not done and see all the problems that we have in Nigeria in the areas of inadequate water supply, bad roads, poor transportation, scarcity of food and agriculture, etc., as opportunities they can key into and start a business on, because the government cannot do them.

“You cannot see all these kinds of opportunities in England, for instance, because they have light, they have houses and they have roads, etc. You don’t need to run there. If you go there, you will just go and wash toilets and plates”, he observed.

“It was individuals that developed America and not the government”, he stressed. He gave the example of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who invested in and built railroads, John D. Rockefeller Snr, who invested in the oil and oil pipeline business and J. P. Morgan, who invested in the banking industry, all in America.

He stated that a good example of such individual, doing a similar thing in Nigeria, is Aliko Dangote, who invested in problem areas in Nigeria and is today, the richest African in the world.

Wale advocated for the adoption of a four-tier government, namely, Federal, State, Local government as well as Youth and Entrepreneurs, to take care of the interest of SME’s. He advised Startups to work hard, be consistent, dream big, think big, start small, be open, be curious and take risks. “If you do the right thing in your business in Nigeria, you will become a multi-billionaire in any currency”, he assured.

Wale further advised the Startups to build great teams, have good business concepts, build wide network of mentors and cover their costs to stay relevant in the business world. “You are in Nigeria for a purpose. Take advantage of it. The country is for you. You have to build it”, he concluded.

Other attractions during the October 2017 edition of the CFA’s Startups Hangout, include presentations by officials of The Bridge Clinic, who took the Blood Pressure of the Startups that attended the event and TAMS on Time Management, Payroll and Human Resource solutions for the Startups.

The event ended with the networking session, where the Startups interacted with each other to form alliances, friendships as well as synergize their operations.

The November 2017 edition of the CFA’s Startups Hangout, which will be the last for this year, also promises to be an exciting one. Watch out for details @ http://startups.cfatech.ng

 

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U.S. Promotes STEM Education in Nigeria, Trains 460 Students, Teachers on Robotics

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By peter oluka

Monday, the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, in collaboration with RoboRave International, a U.S.-based robotics education academy, began a week-long robotics workshop for 460 elementary, secondary, and university students, STEM teachers, robotics enthusiasts, and scientists.

The training is being hosted at the American Corner at Co-Creation Hub (CCHUB), Yaba, Lagos (October 23-25) and at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Complex, Abeokuta, Ogun State (October 26-28).

The workshop seeks to boost technology education in Nigeria by engaging the participating students in hands-on robotics activities to stimulate their interest in math and science as well as careers in the STEM fields.

One hundred (100) robots will be donated free-of-charge to participating schools in Lagos and Ogun states, many of them with little or no experience in robotics.

This is expected to provide the students and their teachers with an opportunity to put their skills to use following the completion of the training.

United States Consul General F. John Bray explained that the U.S. Mission is supporting the capacity building workshop in hopes that participants will be inspired to work collaboratively with the aid of technology to create innovative solutions to shared global challenges.

“In a world that’s becoming increasingly technology-driven, it’s more important than ever before for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to become innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our world, both today and tomorrow.  We are honored to support this initiative that promotes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — subjects collectively known as STEM— in Nigeria,” Consul General Bray said.

Mr. Kingsley Imade, program partner and director RoboRAVE Nigeria, explained that the training sessions will be facilitated by an international faculty, including RoboRAVE International Director of Global Programs Russ Fisher-Ives, and RoboRAVE North America Director Brian Montoya.

According to him, the sessions focusing on robotics designs and programming will provide a platform for teachers to learn how to implement the STEM approach in the educational process via practical scientific activities, throughout the training days.

“An education to develop robotics skills places students on track to develop such STEM enabling competencies like critical and computational thinking, collaboration and creativity that has lifelong advantages,” Mr. Kingsley Imade, director, RoboRAVE Nigeria, said.

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Ojobo, NCC Spokesman To Receive ESUT Honours

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By peter oluka

The Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) will on Thursday, October 26 confer an award of Excellence on Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo.

This award ceremony is part of the high point of the Alumni Home Coming and 32nd Anniversary Celebration of the Faculty of Management Sciences.

In a notification letter of the conferment addressed to Ojobo, it was stated that the decision to confer the award on him was taken by the Faculty Board of Management Sciences at its 136th meeting held on September 25, 2017 where it “proudly took cognizance of your remarkable achievements in life, especially in your chosen career as a renowned technocrat and Public Servant, and unanimously nominated you to be conferred with an award of Excellence.”

The letter was jointly signed by Prof. Fredrick O. Eze, Dean Faculty of Management Services and Prof. Ike S. Ndolo, chairman, Alumni Home Coming Committee.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State is the Special Guest of Honour, while the Chief Host is the Vice Chancellor, ESUT, Prof. Luke Okechukwu Anike.

The event is due for Dome Event Centre, New Haven, Enugu at 11am.

Ojobo is an Alumnus of ESUT.

The Man Tony Ojobo

Ojobo is an experienced director of Public Affairs with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunications industry.

Skilled in negotiation, business development, strategic planning, strategy, and public speaking, he is a strong media and communication professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Marketing from ESUT Business School.

Currently, director of Public Affairs at NCC; Ojobo was the director, Human capital and Infrastructure at the Commission between October 2009 – October 2011 (2 years 1 month).

He holds Master’s degree, Public Administration from the University of Lagos (1993); and currently pursuing a doctorate honours in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies at the Walden University.

Ojobo is a certified member, Institute of Public Private Partnership, Washington, DC, USA., and has garnered many awards for his professionalism and outstanding performances at the NCC.

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