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Net Neutrality Tops DigitalSENSE Forum Agenda for 2015

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Omobola Olubusola Johnson,Minister of Communication Technology

The organisers of the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) and Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable have unveiled the themes for the 2015 edition.

Mrs. Nkemdilim Nweke, executive director, Operations of the organizing firm, DigitalSENSE Africa Media, said the two-day event which has been scheduled to hold on Thursday, 4 and Friday 5, June 2015 comes with two distinct themes for each day.

According to her, the theme for day 1 of the event, which is Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) is ‘Net Neutrality & Nigerian Internet Users” while the day 2, is “Taking Advantage of Broadband for IPv6 Penetration.” 

She also revealed that Dr. (Mrs.) Omobola Johnson, minister of Communication Technology, is expected to declare the two-day event formally open.

Slated to hold at the Welcome Center Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos, between June 4 and 4, 2015, Nweke said that notable industry experts have been lined up to present position papers at the event.

According to her, the 2015 DigitalSENSE Forum series has been strategically planned for Day-1 to focus on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D), whereas Day 2 would culminate in commemoration of the 2015 World IPv6 Day, which DigitalSENSE IPv6 celebration since 2011.

She urged interested companies and participants to reserve their exhibition space and seats by registration for the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum 2015 at www.digitalsenseafrica.com.ng, even as corporate organisation still have chances of participating by contacting the firm directly.

Nweke recalled that last year, the Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) was chaired by Prof. Charles Uwadia, the former president, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and Head, Computer Science department, University of Lagos.

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PEBEC to Move Nigeria into Top-100 on the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Index

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The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has said that its goal is to move Nigeria into the top-100 on the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Index (DBI).

 

This was made known at the 10th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum which held in Abuja last week.

 

The Forum was attended by leading members of the organised private sector and other key stakeholders; and had seven Honorable Ministers, including Industry, Trade & Investment, Finance, Budget & National Planning and Power, Works and Housing present to share detailed progress reports with representatives.

 

The DBI is an annual ranking that objectively assesses prevailing business climate conditions across 190 countries based on 10 Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) indicators.

 

The Index offers comparative insights based on private sector validation of reforms delivered in the two largest commercial cities in countries with a population higher than 100 million, and the report consequently features Lagos and Kano states for Nigeria.

 

The World Bank has reported an improvement in Nigeria’s Distance to Frontier (DTF) score by more than 11 basis points over the past 3 years.

 

This means that Nigeria has improved its business regulations as captured by the doing business indicators, and is narrowing the gap with global regulatory best practice.

 

This success has been driven by the implementation of over 140 reforms by PEBEC over the period, which also resulted in the country moving up 24 places in the rankings.

 

Speaking on the sub-100 target, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Secretary, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade & Investment, said “We know it is bold, but we are quite clear on what our mandate is and are motivated by the impact we know these reforms will have on the lives of Nigerians”.

 

Since its establishment in 2016, PEBEC in collaboration with MDAs and other public and private sector partners, has systematically worked to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks faced by businesses in Nigeria.

 

The Council has focused on reducing the time, cost and procedures of doing business, and some of its successful reforms include the ability of stakeholders to reserve a business name within 4-hours and complete the registration of a company within 24 hours online; apply for and receive approval of a visa-on-arrival electronically within 48hrs; file and pay all federal taxes online; and access specialised small claims commercial courts in Lagos and Kano States, to mention a few.

 

The World Bank also reported in 2018 that 32 states improved in their EoDB environment led by Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra.

 

Dr. Oduwole stated further “This year, we intend to strengthen the collaboration with MDAs and partners to consolidate and build on the work done.

 

“We will be pursuing the implementation of much-needed legislative reforms, specifically the passage of the CAMA and Omnibus Bills; the expansion of the regulatory reform program started with NAFDAC and NAICOM to include other regulators; the establishment of a National Trading Platform for ports; and the concession of our major international airports.

 

„We will also continue to cascade the EoDB initiatives down to the sub-national level working with the state governments, and will release the first sub-national survey report in April 2019”.

 

“We remain firm in our conviction of the immediate and long-term benefits of the PEBEC reforms.

 

“We have put in place frameworks for improved communication and engagement between government stakeholders and private sector players, as we intend to ensure the reforms are validated to enable us achieve our sub-100 place in the rankings” she said.

 

PEBEC is chaired by the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment as Vice Chair.

 

The Council has 9 other ministers, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Governor of CBN and representatives from the National Assembly and private sector as members.

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PenCom to Attract 60m Enrolees, N3trn Growth

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The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is set to attract 60 million Nigerians in the informal sector to the pension scheme and hit N3 trillion assets growth.

Pensioners undergoing verification PenCom said the extension of the pension scheme to the informal sector was to ensure that all Nigerians have a good life at old age.

Dr Aminu Farouk, Head, Research and Corporate Strategy of the commission, said in Lagos that the set of Nigerians would be attracted through micro pension scheme. Farouk said the scheme, which targeted Nigerians with low and irregular income in the informal sector, would be formally launched before the end of first quarter.

Farouk said the scheme was expected to enhance the growth of pension assets to the tune of N3 trillion by year 2024.

He said: “I have no idea how many people are expected to be registered at the launch of the Micro Pension.

You are the best “I also don’t think PenCom has any number presently.

“However, we intend to cover the entire informal sector over time, this is about 60 million citizens,” he said.

He said that the commission and the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) were working on the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure for a seamless operation of the plan.

He also said that micro pension would capture self-employed Nigerians, those with irregular income usually in the informal sector and the financially uninformed with limited access to pension plan.

“Section 2(3) of the Pension Reform Act, 2014 legal framework extends the coverage of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to self-employed persons through micro pension scheme.

“Definitely, the pension plan will provide succour to participants when they are old and reduce dependence on extended family for support at retirement,” he said.

Farouk said the commission had created awareness in informal sector groups, such as, the Nigerian Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigerian (NUTGTWN) and partner trade associations.

“Also Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) and religious bodies among others, to encourage them to subscribe to the micro pension plan,” he said.

Farouk said that the balance in the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of the micro pensioners could be used as equity contribution for residential mortgages or business support.

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Oduah Plans ICT Mall to Boost N6.4bn Onitsha Market Turnover

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Senator Stella Oduah has said that she would build an Information and Communication Technology Mall in Onitsha that will boost the N6.4 billion turnover of the Market.

In an interview with newsmen on Sunday, the Senator who represents Anambra North in the Senate, said that the mall was part of her plans to empower her constituents.

Oduah explained that the Mall will help give the market and the businessmen a more global presence even while they remain in Onitsha, adding that it would also boost the economy of the state.

She said that the Sky mall will come up after the training of 800 youths from her constituents in ICT, adding that the youths will operate the mall.

“We are setting up various ICT Centres. Very soon this month, we are training 800 in ICT. We are going to develop a Sky Mall for the Onitsha Main Market. “Onitsha is a commercial town that has a turnover of N6.4 billion every day, but it is very unorganized.

“So we want to encourage and grow this commercial trade and do it in a way that it would be cost effective so that they have their trade in one shop but with global presence.

“In doing that the value chain will be huge because we would already have technologists and young ICT agents who will develop their sites for them, develop contents and advertise for them,” she said.

For the women, Oduah added that she was working on attracting industries that will depend on the crops produced by the women. The senator stressed that her major aim in joining politics was to liberate her people from poverty and set them on the path of consistent development.

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