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Stakeholders task govt on improved curriculum, technological hubs for students

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Agency Report

 

Some stakeholders on Saturday in Lagos called on government at all levels to upgrade education curriculum and provide more technological hubs for students in tertiary institutions.

 

The stakeholders made the call in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the closing of a free four-weekend Java training programme organised by Paradigm Initiative.

 

About 17 undergraduates from the University of Lagos, Yaba College of Technology and Lagos State College of Health Technology attended the training.

 

Mr James Onyenenue, a Java Consultant, said that government should empower and encourage more institutions by providing enough computers in schools.

 

“Imagine a situation where the government says every student should have access to a computer or laptop, it would be a different story.

 

“There is the challenge of networking for young people to meet with those who can empower them in coding.

 

“If the government can create a platform such as Co-Creation hub where students can have access to learning or meet other experienced and professional programmers, it will change a lot of things,” he said.

 

Mr Solomon Ogunbowale, a Computer Science student at the University of Lagos, said that the four-weekend training had exposed him to programming not taught in schools.

 

Ogunbowale said that the curriculum on technology taught in schools was obsolete and not relevant to the technology in the 21st century.

 

“Government should stop looking outside for what we have inside; we have youths with ideas in the country willing to make an innovative impact.

 

“There is no platform for people to come out and learn or implement their ideas; it is not all about going to school.

 

“We are not really getting what we need in schools, we are being choked up with ideas of the past, let the country flow with what is going on now with technology.

 

“Other institutions outside Nigeria have started teaching students Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

 

“Right now, I don’t think that there is an institution in Nigeria that is teaching computer science or computer engineering robotics or Artificial Intelligence.

 

“I call on the government to give youths the opportunity to build their capacity and explore their intelligence through an upgraded curriculum,” he said.

 

Mr Taiwo Olayinka, Paradigm Initiative Programme Officer, said the aim of the programme was to empower the students with ICT enabled tools so as to make them employable when they graduate.

 

He said that there had not been enough support from the government due to the bureaucracy in accessing students interested in the training.

 

The programme officer said that some tertiary institutions in Lagos had shown a lack of interest in the training for their students.

 

Olayinka said that students must either have a business plan or be skilled enough to be employable before graduating.

 

He urged the government to give more support to the youth by providing enabling environment and opportunities for their training by reducing bureaucracy in training students.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Omobola Seeks for Digital Revolution and End to Arbitrary Charges

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Dr. Omobola Johnson, Former, Minister of Communications Technology has urged the Federal Government to put in place robust digital revolution framework to sustain the gains of the telecom revolution for Nigeria to remain relevant in the now emerging digital world.

 

The Former Minister believes that failure to curb lingering cases of multiple-taxation, vandalism of telecom infrastructure by agencies of (mostly States) Government, may lead the country becoming digitally irrelevant.

 

Dr. Johnson who delivered the keynote address and participated in a panel at the maiden edition of Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit #NTLS, organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, decried the draconian and extant laws being used by state governors and other agencies of government to spin revenue from telecom operators.

 

 

She aligned with the industry operators that full implementation of Executive Order in this regard will reverse the trend.

 

According to her, an Executive Order will compel the Nigerian Communications Commission to be more forceful in terms of regulation, adding that any negative impact on the telecom infrastructure will, ultimately impact on the economy.

 

“The Federal Government should give Executive Order to tackle out multiple-taxation in the country’s telecom industry. It is a matter of talking to the Governors,” she noted.

 

Omobola, who spoke on the summit theme: ‘Repositioning the Nigerian Telecom Industry for the Future; Prospects and Challenges’, argued that the idea of engaging the State Governors Forum to step down on multiple-taxation has not worked in the past and may not likely work anytime soon.

 

“For me, the NCC must not be afraid to innovate or experiment. The regulator must take some risks to innovate. They are in a unique position to give action to state Governors not to temper with telecom infrastructure, as it enables other sectors of the Nigerian economy,” she added.

 

Nodding in agreement, the Chairman of the Association of Licenced Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, said engagement with the Governors has been ongoing for years and it has not worked, emphasizing that the regulator needs to be more strategic to do something different.

 

He said the multiple taxation and arbitrary closure of telecom sites has always affected the quality of service, which will turn impact on other sector.

 

“ATM will not work if you close telecom sites. Security agencies will not be able to track criminals if the sites are closed. The telecom​​ sector service other sector of the Nigerian economy, so any negative impact on telecom infrastructure is a negative impact on the entire nation,” he argued.

 

 

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Nigeria’s mobile phone penetration hits 87 percent

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L-R: Stanislaus Martins, Head, Growth and Partnerships, Jumia Nigeria, Omolola Onasanya, Head, Vendor Operations and Experience, Jumia Nigeria and Olukayode Kolawole, Head, PR and Communications, Jumia Nigeria, at the launch of the 2019 Nigeria mobile report held on Friday in Lagos.
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Statistics released on Friday by Jumia shows that mobile phone penetration in Nigeria grew from 162 million subscribers in 2017 to over 172 million mobile subscribers in 2018, accounting to a penetration rate of 87 percent of the population, representing a 6.4 percent growth increase

 

The report also shows that over 112 million Nigerians had access to the internet in 2018, representing 56% of the population, resulting to an increase of 14.32 percent year-on-year from 2017.

 

The growth according to the report is being fuelled by the availability of lower points phones, which paved way for more Nigerians to own a device.

 

Omolola Onasanya, Head, Vendor Operations and Experience, Jumia Nigeria, speaking at the launch of the 2019 Nigeria Mobile Report, in Lagos, stated that over 112 million Nigerians had access to the internet in 2018, representing 56 percent of the population, which she attributed to the availability of lower price point phones.

 

According to her, “In Nigeria, there were over 172 million mobile subscribers, accounting to a penetration rate of 87 percent of the population.

 

“This figure represented a 6.4 percent growth increase, compared to 162 million subscribers in 2017.

 

“Over 112 million Nigerians had access to the internet in 2018, representing 56 percent of the population.

 

“This accounted for an increase of 14.32 percent year-on-year from 2017. The availability of lower price point phones still remains the major driver of smartphone penetration.

 

At the end of 2018, there were over 36 million smartphone users, representing a penetration of 18.37 percent.”

 

Onasanya noted that the number of active social media users rose from 17 million in 2017 to 24 million at the end of 2018, which represents a 12 percent penetration of the country’s population.

 

Stanislaus Martins, Head, Growth and Partnerships, Jumia Nigeria, giving an overview of the Country’s Economy Growth stated that the mobile telecommunications sub-sector contributed 7.4 percent to the country’s total GDP in 2018, compared to 5.5 percent in 2017, while Services sub-sector of the ICT sector contributed 77 percent out of the 7.4 percent contribution to the country’s GDP in 2018.

 

He noted that Nigeria’s GDP growth witnessed an upward swingfrom 0.8 percent in 2017 to 1.9 percent at the end of 2018, which fell below the projected 2.3 percent, majorly due to variations in prices of crude oil and its output.

 

He attributed the economic growth witnessed in 2018 to non-oil sectors such as Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology, Manufacturing, and Transport Storage.

 

“Nigeria’s GDP growth leapfrogged from 0.8 percent in 2017 to 1.9 percent at the end of 2018.

 

“However, the growth, although significant, was below the projected 2.3 percent, majorly due to variations in prices of crude oil and its output.

 

The economic growth, for the first time, was hinged on non-oil sectors such as Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology, Manufacturing, and Transport Storage.

 

“It is worth mentioning that the non-oil sector grew by 2 percent, the highest growth rate recorded since the economic recession in 2016.

 

“The Information and Communications Technology sector, which subsumed the digital economy, grew from its negative growth of 1 percent in 2017 to become the second fastest growing sector with a growth rate of 9.7 percent in 2018”, he added.

 

Earlier, Olukayode Kolawole, Head, PR and Communications, Jumia Nigeria, said that  about 44 percent of mobile subscribers in Nigeria are using 3G technology and 4 percent are using 4G technology as against over 18 percent 4G penetration in South Africa and 16 percent in Angola.

 

Kolawole revealed that projections have shown that Nigeria’s mobile broadband penetration will rise to 55 percent of the population by 2025, with 70 percent having 3G connectivity and 17 percent having access to 4G networks.

 

He said, “It is predicted that Nigeria will contribute 4% of the estimated 700 million new global mobile subscribers, making it the only country in Africa marked with a significant contribution to increasing mobile penetration in the world.

 

“By this quota, it is expected that 28 million new mobile subscribers will emerge from Nigeria between 2019 and 2025, that is, an average of 7 million new mobile subscribers annually, if the country is to meet its quota.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glo Gains 78% of New Data Subscription in GSM Sector in March – NCC Report

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Nigeria’s second largest telecommunications operator, Globacom, garnered 78 percent of new data subscriptions in the month of March, 2019. The operator gained nearly one million new subscribers in the month.

This was disclosed in the latest statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the month of March 2019. According to the statistics, Globacom gained 950,115 new internet users, taking its total internet subscriptions to 28,436,386 from 27,486,271 recorded in February, 2019.

Two other operators, MTN and Airtel, also featured marginally on the gainers’ list in March. Airtel added 351,657 new internet users, while MTN added 13,552 subscribers. 9mobile, on its part, lost 166,542 users in the month under review.

Overall internet users in Nigeria increased to 115,938,225 in March from 114,725,357 recorded in February, according to the NCC statistics. This indicates an increase of 1,212,868 new subscribers in one month.

Globacom has been on ascendancy in terms of acquisition of new internet subscribers in the last one year ostensibly due to the consistent improvement in the operator’s data services.

The company has the widest 4G LTE coverage in the country, and the technology ensures more reliable and faster internet usage experience. Globacom also has the most attractive data plans in the market, with packages that appeal to both high and low data users.

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