The Nigerian-British Business Forum (PABF) has stressed the need for the Federal Government to take urgent steps to address acute shortage of technology infrastructure in the country.
Andu said that the six online conferences that had been organised by Greystone were made possible through the use of modern technology that literally formed integral part of livelihood.
“The world has over the past four-months witnessed an unprecedented development in the use and application of modern technology, all this has come about due to the pandemic,” Andu said.
He explained that significant growth recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic to have repositioned technology globally and exposed huge gaps among nations in the area of technology infrastructure.
He urged government to see the COVID-19 challenge as ‘blessing in disguise’ and also an opportunity to tackle the nation’s infrastructural shortage.
Also speaking, Ms Abiola Obileye, Chief Executive Officer of Synergize Datasoft Technologies, urged Nigerian business leaders to see disruptions brought about by COVID-19 in the business landscape, as a wakeup call.
Obileye said: “Nigerian business leaders need to leverage technology by adapting to new digital operating models designed to maximize business transformation opportunities, it is very important to cast an eye on the future competitive landscape.”
Also speaking, Mr Kayode Aladesuyi, Chief Executive Officer of BBN and K, a notable United States-based technology company, said that e-Commerce could be used to drive the new global economy post-COVID 19.
According to him, to embrace new engagement tools that would add life to the internet and allow technology to bridge gap between businesses and the customers is the future of e-commerce.
In the same vein, Mr Diran Adeyinka, Chief Executive Officer of Gbit Consulting, said that the emergence of COVID-19 have created more offsite-working in the global IT space, than ever before.
“This is a great opportunity to be tapped into; we will create a platform and collaborate with IT resources in Africa for IT related projects in the western world,” Adeyinka said.
Mr Gina Ayoola, Chief Executive Officer of Wavepalm Technology Solutions Ltd, said emerging technology in a post-COVID-19 world would proof the start of the “new normal”.
“We have seen technology break down the barriers of physical separation. Whether connecting with co-workers, friends and family over online cloud enabled video platforms
“Using automation and AI to help business processes to continue or using delivery services for basic necessities.
“We relied on current technologies and our mobile phones and laptops to make it through this lockdown.”
The Chairman of the Group’s Information Technology sector, Mr Sam Bode-Odeyemi, described the lessons derived from the speakers at the event as insightful.
He said the forum sought to promote business networking platform for Nigerian-British based business owners in the UK, Nigerian professionals and entrepreneurs.
The conference provided platforms for participants to learn and provide ways Nigerian-British Business Forum could collaborate with government to reposition the technology sector, in the post-COVID-19 economy.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Edo election: Presiding officers insist on no face masks, no voting
Presiding Officers in the Edo governorship election have said that no electorate will be allowed to vote without wearing a face mask in compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols.
They also insist on adherence to social distancing as provided in the guidelines for the conduct of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr Oyesanmi Ezekiel, the presiding officer at Central Primary School, Iruekpen, told the eligible voters to wear face masks before voting in units 3, 4 and 5 at Iruekpen.
As part of efforts to ensure compliance with social distancing, Ezekiel marked out areas that the electorate could stand before being allowed to vote.
“The medicated spirit will be used to clean the card reader as well as fingers of each voters before voting,” he said.
The situation, however, was not the same at Ward 5 Uniit 2, where voters did not observe INEC guidelines on social distancing for the poll.
But in Emaudo Ward 4, Unit 14, Esan West Local Government, both voters and INEC officials complied with the protocols.
Hawkers of face masks used the no face masks no voting to make quick money across the various polling units visited.
The face masks sellers who sell each mask for N100, witnessed high patronage from voters who came without one.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan
Troops rescue 22 kidnapped victims in Zamfara, Katsina
The Nigerian Army troops of Operation Sahel Sanity fighting banditry and kidnapping in the northwest region have foiled bandits’ attacks and rescued 22 kidnapped victims.
The troops also recovered arms and ammunitions in various operations in Zamfara and Katsina States.
Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Gusau on Friday.
According to him, troops deployed at Moriki and Jangeru, responded to a distress call on Sept. 13, and folied a planned bandits’ attack on Mai-Zuma village in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara.
This, he said, followed severe shoot out along Kayawa axis forcing the bandits to withdraw and abandon three motorcycles recovered by the gallant troops.
Onyeuko said on Sept. 12, troops deployed at Dandume in Katsina State rescued two young girls kidnapped by bandits on August 18, adding that the bandits abandoned the victims after a hot pursuit.
He said that on Sept. 17, troops also rescued 8 kidnapped victims from suspected bandits at Fankama and Sabon Layi area in Faskari LGA of Katsina.
“Troops on patrol at Chabas Chabas, swiftly rescued a truck driver, 11 women and children, on their way to Batsari Market but blocked by suspected bandits along Shimfida – Gurbi Road in Katsina State,” he said.
The Acting Director added that troops deployed at Forward Operation Base (FOB), Dansadau arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Ibrahim riding a motorcycle on his way to Dandalla village.
Onyeuko noted that the troops recovered one Pump Action rifle and three live cartridges from the suspected bandit.
He said: “On Sept. 16, troops deployed in Faskari arrested a suspected bandits’ informant named Isah Indo while spying on troops’ location.
“Following credible information; troops deployed at Yankara arrested a suspected bandits’ collaborator named Idris Isah from Yampa village in Faskari LGA of Katsina, who is engaged in illicit activities with bandits.
“Also on Sept. 16, troops deployed at Magami arrested Yaya Rabiu at Magami checkpoint, the suspect was identified to be a member of a notorious bandit gang.”
According to him, the bandits recently attacked troops location at Ruwandawa-Kwankele village in Gusau LGA of Zamfara.
Onyeuko reiterated commitment of the Nigerian Army to protect lives and property, and urged the people to provide credible information on suspicious movements and persons in their communities.
Edited By: Josephine Obute
FEMA alerts Abuja residents of severe flood
The Director-General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, issued the alert in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Idriss said the red alert became necessary following rainfall and repeated floods being witnessed in different parts of the country and around the FCT,
Idriss said though FCT was not on the red alert, but could be at the risk of heavier flooding because of its closeness to neighboring red line States.
He assured that the agency was prepared to handle any eventuality that may arise.
“As we speak, about nine rivers in nine countries are discharging their contents from their rivers which will eventually flows into River Niger and settles at Lokoja,” he said.
He called on residents living around the riverine and flood-prone areas of the FCT to move to higher grounds, clear their water channels and drainages.
Idriss also enjoined the residents to avoid dumping refuse on water ways and avoid walking or driving through flooded water to keep safe.
“What we are about to witness from now on is ‘river flooding’ and this is going to be heavier and more forceful than the flash flood we experienced earlier,” he warned.
Idriss, therefore, stressed the need for residents to take personal responsibility of the safety of their environment, saying ” disaster management is an all-inclusive effort from both the government and the governed.”
He assured residents of the agency’s efforts to work with all the relevant stakeholders to mitigate any possible effect of flooding in the FCT.
The DG said that the agency had strengthened its Ambassadors (FEMA volunteers/Vanguards) in all the area councils to be able to sensitise their people using town criers and other indigenous means of communication.
” This will enable them to drive the message home, in the bid to minimise loss of lives and properties.”
He added that FEMA had also mounted reflective billboards at various flood prone points warning off and cautioning residents from these danger areas.
Idriss challenged religious leaders, community heads and well- meaning Nigerians in authority to take responsibility of the public education and sensitisation of people around them.
” Especially those living close to flood prone areas to move to higher grounds for safety and to always call the national toll-free emergency number 112 for prompt response of any emergency.”,he said.
He said flood could catch up with anybody, anywhere, citing the example of the victim of Trademoore Estate ,Lugbe, a visitor in the Estate that was swept off by flood water.
Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Sadiya Hamza
COVID-19: NCDC announces 221 new cases, total infections rise to 56,956
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Friday.
According to it, the new cases are confirmed from 18 states in the country.
The new infections brought the total number of confirmed cases to 56,956 in Nigeria.
The public health agency said that Lagos had 59, the highest number of cases, followed by Abia with 46 cases and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 22.
Among others were; Rivers, 11, Bauchi, 7, Benue, Ekiti and Imo, 6 each, Kaduna, Kwara and Ondo, 4 each, Ogun and Osun, 3 each, Bayelsa, Edo and Kano, 1 each.
According to it, those discharged on Friday include 100 community recoveries managed in Oyo State in line with new case management guidelines.
The health agency sadly recorded one more death, which brought the national death toll to 1,094.
It noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It cautioned that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 was higher when people did not wear face mask in public places.
“Wear your face mask properly at all times. Adhere to all non-pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19,” it urged Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as the people of Edo State prepared to vote their preferred candidates at the governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19, NCDC urged all to observe the COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It noted that relevant stakeholders must take actions that would reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election.
“Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations; providing additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing, with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Mandating the use of face mask for everyone, regular cleaning of polling stations, tables and other surfaces highly essential because those are the areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiply hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, while staff at the polling units should practice hand hygiene frequently,.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu