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FoI: PIN Gets Leave in Case against FG over Spying Satellites

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Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted Paradigm Initiative, the leave to apply for judicial relief and compelled the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to show cause on its refusal to provide information on the Initiative’s freedom of information (FoI) request.

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a frontline Pan-African digital right advocacy organisation with headquarters in Nigeria.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja gave the order granting leave after an ex-parte motion by Paradigm Initiative’s Counsel, Mr Olumide Babalola.

The order has paved way for the applicant to move ahead with its case against the Ministry and the Hon Minister of Science and Technology, the respondents in the suit.

It would be recalled that Paradigm Initiative recently dragged respondents to court when the Ministry refused to address a freedom of information request on a proposed satellite launch.

The freedom of information request was made to ascertain the details of the proposed launch of two satellites by the National Space Development and Research Agency (NASDRA), an agency under the supervision of the Ministry.

In the suit filed June 1, 2017, with suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/481/2017, the applicant seeks “a declaration that the failure and/or refusal of the respondents to disclose or make available to the Applicant the information requested by the applicant’s letter dated 3rd day of May 2017 amounts to a violation of the Applicant’s right of access to information as guaranteed by Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of I0nformation Act, 2011.’’

The applicant is also seeking an order of mandamus compelling the Respondents to disclose or make the following information available to the applicant: the specifications of the two new satellites to be launched by the Respondents and details of their intended use.

The matter has been adjourned to 29th September 2017 for hearing.

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Turkish Airlines Holds Bowling Tournament in Nigeria

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Turkish Airlines, the airline that flies to more countries and international destinations than any other airline has hosted its Nigerian passenger agencies in both Lagos and Abuja to a bowling tournament. The Abuja bowling took place at the Dome, Abuja while Lagos held at Twin Waters Lagos.

The bowling tournament is designed to appreciate the passenger agencies and to provide a platform to bring the agencies together, ensuring that they build relationships outside the workplace.

The tournament also leverages the enjoyable competition of sports as a communication tool to develop team dynamics and celebrate the spirit of partnership and healthy competition. Nine agencies took part in the tournament in Lagos while ten agencies participated in Abuja.

Commenting on the tournament, Mr. Yunus Ozbek, General Manger, Turkish Airlines Lagos said, “We often focus on work and business, but fun and communication is important to build an environment where business can thrive, that is why Turkish Airlines organized this bowling tournament.

“It is heart -warming to see the Agencies engage in healthy competition and we sincerely appreciate all our travel agency partners that made this tournament both in Lagos and Abuja a success”.

On his part, Mr. Mehmet Asik, General Manager Turkish Airlines Abuja said, “healthy competition, fun and togetherness are some of the values that we are trying to achieve with this tournament.

“At Turkish Airlines, we aim to build a strong relationship with our agents and this bowling tournament provides an excellent platform to do that. We wish the winners a good contest in Istanbul”

At the end of the tournament, Quantum Travels emerged winner in Lagos while Touch Down Travels and Rewards Travel came 2nd and 3rd respectively. In Abuja, Capstone Travels and Tours came 1st place while The Travel Place came 2nd and Eagle Travels came 3rd. the highest scoring team in Lagos and in Abuja will represent Nigeria at the grand final in Istanbul. Other participating agencies include Travel Start, Peacock Travels, Waka Now,

The Turkish Airlines Bowling Tournament started since 2012 and now in its eight year is taking place in 61 countries, across 127 destinations with approximately 1000 passenger agencies and 3000 players participating in the tournament.

The winners from each city will be joining other winners from the 132 competing destinations to compete at the grand tournament in Istanbul. The champion of the tournament will win a flight ticket and a vacation in Antalya while other agencies in the rank will enjoy other lovely surprises at Istanbul.

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NOUN to Benefit from NCC’s Education Grants

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The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) says the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will benefit from its education grants for tertiary institutions in the country.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday when a delegation from NOUN visited him in his office to explore ways of collaborating with the commission.

Mr Ephraim Nwokenneya, Director, Research and Development, NCC, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, said the grants were part of the commission’s strategy to encourage Nigerian students in their studies.

He said about 11 universities from various parts of the country would benefit from the education research grants.

“Even though there are researchers in those universities who are conducting the research, the grants are given to the universities so that they can be able to moderate what happens.

“It underscores the current focus of NCC which is setting up framework to collaborate with the academia and seeing how we can deepen growth in the industry.

“NOUN is going to tap from the rich knowledge resource the commission has on ICT, they will also get possible research grants on some issues that will be of mutual benefit to NCC and NOUN as well as the Nigerian public.

“This is because the commission recognises the need that we can deepen growth, facilitate innovations in the industry through research and because there are a lot of resources that abound in tertiary institutions in the country.

“So, what we have done is to facilitate research with the academia. We have received a lot of proposals from the universities; we have evaluated and selected for grants those that are of paramount interest to our current focus.

“Each of those research proposals has got a prototype from which we can work to commercialise them for the benefit of the industry,” Danbatta said.

NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, who was represented by Prof. Nebath Tanglang, said the university was working to enhance learning through Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

This, the VC said, would be achieved through the World Bank funded African Centre of Excellence and Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL). He also said that plans have been concluded to ensure women participated in the programme.

“This is a World Bank sponsored project and World Bank is always interested in issue of gender particularly in this programme, and one of the things we try to do is to ensure that each of the programme we run whether on research or other programmes, there must be space for women.

“We realised that what they do at NCC is almost what we do at NOUN and the purpose of our coming is to collaborate with them.

“At the African Centre of Excellence and Technology Enhanced Learning, we are going to run post graduate programmes on artificial intelligence, cloud computing as well as research.

“We are glad that even at NCC, there are component of research and we are going to leverage on that especially in the area of telecom research.

“We are glad that they are willing to collaborate with us and by the time we finish the arrangement of the collaboration, I know that the programme will take off in full,” Prof. Adamu said.

Prof. Grace Jokthan, Director ACETEL, explained that NOUN cannot make programme in using technology to deliver education without working with NCC.

She noted that ACETEL was deploying education using multimedia format and conferencing, to ensure students have access to things that otherwise they would not be able to do.

“We want to use the ICT sector to be able to engage in the education service delivery,” she added.

 

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Tech Innovations That Can Help Tackle Youth Unemployment In Nigeria

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By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke,

High unemployment, especially among the youths, has negative consequences on the economy of the country and population. Finding the right solution to this problem isn’t an easy thing to do. It requires the cooperation and contribution of everyone. Fortunately, technology may be able to provide some solutions. Here are some tech innovations that can help tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria.

Investment in IT infrastructure

Good technology infrastructure is the most important requirement for any technology-based solution. It is crucial to invest more in good internet connection, computer and mobile equipment, and other IT-related supports. All these can be harnessed to train and retrain young Nigerians on relevant digital skills.

Technology in schools

The importance of technology in African schools and universities is central. Many local schools have poor access to computers and the Internet. It is significant to integrate technology into school curricula. Technology is evolving rapidly and the demand for digitally skilled workforce will continue to grow in the future. Technology skilled workers have less trouble finding the right job or taking advantage of business opportunities in Nigeria and beyond.

eCommerce

eCommerce has grown significantly over the years in Nigeria. It was ably pioneered by Jumia, Nigeria’s no 1 shopping destination. The eCommerce platform has empowered many entrepreneurs by connecting them with millions of consumers across Nigeria and they are able to earn a living. Beyond this, many young Nigerians have seized the opportunities presented by the Jumia Sales Force programme which allows them to earn a commission on every completed sales transaction.

Using mobile technology

Fighting youth unemployment with mobile phones sounds like a questionable approach. However, mobile technology could be the right solution. The power of mobile technology is often underrated. You just need a mobile phone with a sim card and it can be used to connect employers and job seekers via SMS. Unemployed individuals would receive an SMS notification about available jobs and they could reply by sending their skills and experience.

Online education

E-learning platforms are one of the most popular forms of education today. Studying has never been easier and accessible. It provides access to quality study materials in the world. There are unlimited resources for free training materials on the internet. You just need an internet connection and a computer. You can leverage this to hone your skills and use it to apply for available jobs.

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