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PIN Sends FOI Request to INEC Over Release of Citizens’ Data to Third Party

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As part of its core objectives as a stakeholder and practitioner in the ICT sector in Nigeria, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria is at the centre of advocacy efforts to ensure that not only do technologies and innovations improve the lives of every Nigerian citizen but that they are also done while conforming to fundamental rights of every Nigerian.

Among these rights are Freedom to Expression online, Right to Opinion, Transparency in Surveillance and most importantly, at the heart of this call, Right to Privacy.

Not only are these rights protected, by extension by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) they are currently amplified in the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill (HB. 490) which seeks to exhaustively engage issues of positive rights like these.

“Statutorily, on the 19th of September, 2016, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria through its ICT Policy engagements has relied on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011 to request information from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the true state of fact on the data of private citizens currently on the www.voters.ng platform.

“This call is being made to ensure that the rights of every Nigerian citizen are adequately protected especially in the age where technologies are capable of being used against individual safety.” said Tomiwa Ilori, Program Assistant (ICT Policy), Paradigm Initiative Nigeria.

“It is important to also note, that not only does it smack of distrust and lack of due diligence by a public institution in performing its duties to find data of private citizens handed to them in trust in the hand of a third party without any evidence of consent of these citizens sought, it portends great danger to the digital survival of our social, political and economic environment.”, he concluded.

“We use this medium to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to heed the call and comply with the request made to them in the interest of Nigerian citizens. Also, we call on all stakeholders interested in ensuring that our social capital as a society is preserved to weigh in on this issue, join hands with us and see it to a logical conclusion. “said, ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria.‎

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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E-Business

Gartner Predicts Global IT Spending to Grow 1.1% in 2019

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Worldwide IT spending is projected to total US$3.79-trillion in 2019, an increase of 1.1% from 2018, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.

“Currency headwinds fuelled by the strengthening US dollar have caused us to revise our 2019 IT spending forecast down from the previous quarter,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “Through the remainder of 2019, the US dollar is expected to trend stronger, while enduring tremendous volatility due to uncertain economic and political environments and trade wars.

“In 2019, technology product managers will have to get more strategic around their portfolio mix by balancing products and services that will post growth in 2019 with those larger markets that will trend flat to down,” said Lovelock. “Successful product managers in 2020 will have had a long-term view to the changes made in 2019.”

According to Gartner the datacentre systems segment will experience the largest decline in 2019 with a decrease of 2.8%.

The research and market analysis firm says this is mainly due to expected lower average selling prices (ASPs) in the server market driven by adjustments in the pattern of expected component costs.

The shift of enterprise IT spending from traditional (non-cloud) offerings to new, cloud-based alternatives is continuing to drive growth in the enterprise software market.

In 2019, the market is forecast to reach US$427-billion, up 7.1% from US$399-billion in 2018. The largest cloud shift has so far occurred in application software.

However, Gartner expects increased growth for the infrastructure software segment in the near-term, particularly in integration platform as a service (iPaaS) and application platform as a service (aPaaS).

Lovelock added, “The choices CIOs make about technology investments are essential to the success of digital business. Disruptive emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), will reshape business models as well as the economics of public- and private-sector enterprises.

“AI is having a major effect on IT spending, although its role is often misunderstood. AI is not a product, it is really a set of techniques or a computer engineering discipline. As such, AI is being embedded in many existing products and services, as well as being central to new development efforts in every industry.

Gartner’s AI business value forecast predicts that organisations will receive $1.9 trillion worth of benefit from the use of AI this year alone.”

In November 2018 Gartner said IT spending in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) would reach US$973-billion in 2019, representing a 2% increase compared with 2018.

Lovelock was quoted at the time as saying: “2018 is not a good year for IT spending in EMEA. The 5.8% growth witnessed in 2018 includes a 4% currency tailwind driven by the euro’s increase in value against the US dollar.”

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SON to Deploy Technology to Achieve Operational Efficiency

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Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has kicked off the process for the implementation of electronic demand notes, receipts as well as ports and borders operations clearing processes.

 

This is as part of efforts to enhance a seamless service delivery to stakeholders through improved synergy within its operational units.

 

A statement from the media unit of SON said that Osita Aboloma, director-general of SON, stated this in Lagos at a strategic meeting on the deployment of the solutions.

 

The statement hinted that the transitioning to the electronic demand note and receipt as well electronic ports and border operations would mitigate challenges faced by customers and clients of SON and promote greater efficiency in service delivery.

 

Represented by Mr. Kabir Mohammed, director in the Director-General’s office, the SON Chief Executive posited that the electronic platforms would create a business solution tailored around SON services, aimed at achieving the Organisation’s strategic goals.

 

Introducing the proposed solution, Mr. Mike Aigbe, deputy managing director, Vatebra Limited, said the organisation had helped in creating similar solutions for organisations in Nigeria and other African countries in the last 15years.

 

Aigbe said the company’s objective from the outset was to create a payment engine that could be plugged into all manner of applications for the processing of financial transactions for Organisations, including SON, he said.

 

He listed some of the Organisations that had benefited from the company’s electronic solution services in Nigeria as including the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

 

He stated that the strategy meeting with Heads of Departments and Units in Lagos Operational Headquarters was a follow up to an earlier one at the Corporate Headquarters, Abuja to interact with process owners and gather data in order to customise the proposed solutions to their specific needs.

 

The Vertebra Deputy MD enumerated the achievable gains from the proposed electronic processes solutions which include eliminating human intervention in the processes for greater efficiency, cost savings on printing of manual demand notes and receipts and elimination of the stress associated with moving from point A to B  to obtain demand notes and receipts.

 

He stated that the electronic solutions project, which is expected to be deployed within 45 to 60days, would also attend to the compulsory need to join the International Public Service Standard (IPSAS) by the SON.

 

SON Heads of departments and units provided input on their various processes to the Vertebra Limited team in furtherance of the electronic services solutions.

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NITDA to Empower South East Youths on ICT Skills with Start-Up Friday

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National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Wednesday, said the agency is set to empower youths within Enugu and the South East region with Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills through its Start-Up Friday (SUF) programme on April 26.

 

SUF programme is a technology entrepreneurs’ gathering designed by NITDA and implemented by its subsidiary —Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE).

 

Dr Amina Sambo-Magaji, national coordinator of OIIE, in a statement in Abuja, noted that “the SUF in Enugu, would be the last round of igniting the six geo-political regions across the country.”

 

Sambo-Magaji said that the SUF, being the 12th edition in a series, would ensure that ICT start-ups within the region were encouraged and supported by government.

 

She added that SUF was part of the agency’s activities aimed at developing the technology ecosystem across the country.

 

“The programme is not just for Enugu but also Abia, Anambra, Aba, Ebonyi and Imo states. This completes the first round of our regional technology ecosystem ignition.’’

 

According to her, OIIE will carry out an evaluation to analyse feedbacks from the programmes at the end of the SUF in Enugu.

 

She also said that the SUF would be hosted in collaboration with ICT hubs and universities in the South-East region, which was targeted at bringing together the regional ecosystem stakeholders.

 

The national coordinator added that through the programme, participants would be given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas, where outstanding innovators would be identified and supported by the agency.

 

“Innovators stand the chance to submit their pitch decks and get seed funds to get their start-up off the ground to prototype, to working product and commercialisation.

 

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