Science & Technology

Nigerian start-up, Chiniki Guard, wins 10,000 USD at GITEX



Chiniki Guard, a Nigerian Information Communication Technology (ICT) start-up application, has won the best prize of 10,000 USD in the Artificial Intelligence category competition at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) taking place in Dubai.

GITEX is an annual biggest global technology gathering in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, with the theme: “Synergising the Mind and Technology Economy.”

Chiniki Guard is an artificial intelligence security solution for retail stores and supermarkets, designed to monitor, detect and alert shop owners about shoplifting and suspicious behaviour in real time.

Chiniki Guard was among the 34 start-ups in the category of the Supanova finalists at the GITEX Futurestars competition.

Speaking with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN), the Founder of Chiniki Guard, Mr Abdulhakim Bashir, said the opportunities at GITEX helped him to come out tops.

Bashir also said that the exhibition would enable him to widen the scope of his business.

He said that he would launch the application after GITEX and move to the cloud for data storage to accommodate the number of requests from shop owners.

According to him, Nigerians have potential that can transform the economy but the private sector needs to be involved.

Also, 247Medic, a health ICT application that connects doctors with patients across Nigeria within a maximum waiting time of 10 minutes and provides auxiliary services, including lab testing, door step delivery of drugs, also made it to the finals at the competition.

Other Nigerian start-ups at the exhibition included Blue Circle of Notitia, a health application that digitise patients’ medical history, and Zowasel, an agritech application to improve value chain.

Naira Packet, also among the start-ups, is a solution that reduces the cost of micro transactions and Sublime Square.

It is an online platform designed to ensure efficiency in waste evacuation and management.

Meanwhile, Mr Jose Rubinger, a co-Founder of Key2Enable, a start-up domiciled in the US and Brazil, which is an assistive technology for the disabled to write and type with keyboard, won the grand prize of 100,000 USD for overall start-ups competition.

NAN reports that Nigeria’s participation at GITEX was spearheaded by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), while Nigeria Postal Service, Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Exchange Commission and Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board, were among Nigeria’s representatives at the exhibition.

The start-ups were mentored and supervised by the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a subsidiary of NITDA. (NAN)


(Edited by Sam Oditah)


Alleged $1bn cloned account: NPA welcomes House of Reps investigation



The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it welcomes any investigation by the House  of Representatives in the alleged existence of one billion dollars in a ”cloned” Unity Bank account.

The General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mr Adams Jatto disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.

“While awaiting communications from the House committees on finance; and ports and harbours on the proposed investigations, the authority restates it position in the statement issued by management earlier this week that the unity bank account number: 0013680344, cited by the whistleblower, Mr Okpurhe, does not exist.

“This is as evidenced by a Feb. 12 letter from Unity Bank Plc.

“The NPA operates an account with Unity Bank Plc with account number: 0013670344 with a total sum of $1,057,772.03 (One Million, Fifty-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Dollars, Three Cents) as of Dec. 4, 2019 and not 1,034,515,000.00 dollars One Billion, Thirty-Four Million, Five Hundred and Fifteen Thousand United State Dollars) as alleged by the petitioner.

“However, the NPA account has not been in operation since Aug. 27, 2010 due to a Suit No: /582/2010 GARNISHEE ORDER NISI in AMINU IBRAHIM & CO & ANOR. VS. NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY where a garnishee order was placed on it.

“This was following a case, which went from the Federal High Court to the Supreme Court over a period of eight years.

“Upon the determination of the case at the Supreme Court, the judgment creditors continued with the Garnishee process which resulted in the credit of the amount 1,057,772.03 (One Million, Fifty-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Dollars, Three Cents) in favour of Suit No: /582/2010 GARNISHEE ORDER NISI- AMINU IBRAHIM & CO & ANOR. VS. NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY on Dec. 4, 2019 in line with the Garnishee Order absolute.

“It is therefore obvious that there is no cloned account as speculated in the alleged whistle blowing effort of Mr. Okpurhe,” he said.

He noted that the account under discussion was frozen on the strength of a court order in August 2010, following the completion of the case, the money was consequently transferred to the judgment creditor on Dec. 4, 2019 in line with the Garnishee Order Absolute.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Dabiri-Erewa tasks US govt on killing of Nigerian-American Salau



Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), on Monday called on the government of the United States to ensure a thorough investigation in the alleged killing of a Nigerian, Toyin Salau.

The NiDCOM chief described the alleged murder of the 19-year-old Nigerian-American Activist, Salau in the U.S as highly depressing and cruel.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media and Public Relations Unit of NiDCOM, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

Dabiri-Erewa said the U.S government must conduct a thorough investigation on the circumstances leading to Ms Salau’s death.

The NIDCOM boss condoled with the immediate family of Ms Salau who died while advocating against oppression and injustice.

NAN reports that Salau a 19-year-old lady of Nigerian origin, was found dead days after she was declared missing in the city of  Tallahassee, Florida, the United States.

According to the Tallahassee Police Department, Salau who spoke at Black Lives Matters protests in the city, was last seen on June 6, near Wahnish Way and Orange Avenue, Tallahassee.

Salau was declared missing hours after she tweeted she was sexually assaulted.

She tweeted that a man molested her that morning around Park Avenue and Richview Road, Tallahassee, Florida.

She said the man offered to give her a ride back to a church where she had sought “refuge” because of “unjust living conditions”.

“He came disguised as a man of God and ended up picking me up from nearby Saxon Street,” she tweeted. “I trusted the Holy Spirit to keep me safe.”

According to reports, the Tallahassee Community Action Agency conducted a search party on June 10 night, starting at Bethel AME Church.

The demonstrators searched for hours. They carried flashlights and asked for medics to join them in case she was hurt.

Salau on June 15, after a week of her abduction, was found dead.

Before her confirmed death, she was very passionate about government policies, fighting racism and other issues affecting the society.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
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COVID-19: FG lauds Nigerian youths for their ingenuity



The Federal Government on Monday lauded Nigerian youths for their ingenuity in producing hand sanitising machines in an effort to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Dr George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, gave the commendation when he received locally-made hand sanitising machines from the International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals (IICFIP) in Abuja.

Akume, represented by Mr Festus Dauda, a Permanent Secretary in the ministry, appreciated the IICFIP for its initiative to support government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by donating the hand sanitising machines.

According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic is not only a national challenge, but a global challenge that has compelled governments throughout the world to take measures to combat it.

“It is a war that is being fought which I believe that in no distant time, we will overcome. Government on its part is trying its best to see how this challenge can be surmounted.

“However, government alone cannot carry on with the task and it requires the efforts of public spirited individuals, organisations and institutions like yours, to contribute in this fight,“ he said.

He said the fight was a collective one, adding that if all Nigerians put efforts together, the country would contain the pandemic.

Speaking earlier, Mallam Shehu Malami, the Patron of IICFIP, said the mission of the institute was to give support to government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Represented by Dr Sani Aliyu, Director of Intergovernmental Relationship, IICFIP, he said the institute desired to assist the federal government in the fight against coronavirus and in promoting local technological development.

“So this hand sanitising machine is an indigenous machine produced by youths in Plateau State, and in an effort to promote youths in the country, we have decided to donate the locally-made machines.

“Also, in order to bring them out of criminality and violence, we find it necessary to invest in what these young Nigerians are doing.

“We find it very important to promote the Nigerian youths’ initiative, and that is why we decided to donate machines produced by them,“ he said.

According to him, the gesture is to show solidarity with the federal government in the war against the dreaded disease.

Malami said the institute was also willing to help to trail criminal activities in the country, besides fighting the war against coronavirus.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that IICFIP is the world`s unique and professional membership organisation, that brings together forensic investigators and provides forensic investigation skills training to those interested in forensic investigation.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
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Marine engineer tasks NIMASA on discrimination against Nigerian seafarers’ certificate



A Marine Engineer, Daniel Ikueyemi, on Saturday urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to address the issue of discrimination against the Nigerian Seafarers’ Certificate of Competence (COC).

He made the appeal on an Instagram live programme organised by Mrs Ezinne Azunnah of the MaritimeTvNews, entitled, ”Seafarers’ Certificate of Competence: Quality and Opportunities”.

The Certificate of Competency (COC) is a form of licence every mariner is granted to work on ships.

The certificate ensures that the concerned person has the sufficient knowledge and skills to sail on ocean-going vessels.

According to him, our COC is not strong enough and the issue of discrimination of the COC is a common thing for us.

He added that to ensure that the discrimination stopped, there was the need for NIMASA as the regulator to strengthen the security of the COC to standardise it and prevent it from being forged.

“Other ways to tackle the issue is to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some African countries to ensure seafarers utilise their COC.

“There is a notion that 60 per cent of what is taught does not correlate.

“There is need to check this notion and also look into the curriculum that are being used in the country’s maritime academies,’’ he said.

Ikueyemi also pointed out that the feedback mechanism that existed did not capture seafarers’ experience at sea.

He urged NIMASA to have a plan from point of training to point at which seafarers were employed so that their trade would be harnessed.

Also Capt. Ola Alufa, a Marine Captain and Consultant said that the restriction of the country’s COC had not given seafarers the opportunity to be utilised globally.

According to him, Nigerian seafarers are faced with limitations as regards categorisation and that should be expunged.

Alufa suggested that Nigerian seafarers should be well-employed everywhere and be able to work in vessels.

“The limitation is the categorisation. We do not have trading vessels and we need them now.

“NIMASA has tried as regards the curriculum, experience and examination which is very tough. It is of international standard, we need to encourage our own certificate,” he said

He recommended that the Ministry of Transportation must work hand in hand with NIMASA to write to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to expunge the clause affecting seafarers.

“A lot of seafarers have not yet gone on board a ship before. They just got the certificate from schools but there is no opportunity and this still bounces back to government on the need for training vessels.

“The vessels will give seafarers the experience and certificate to be recognised worldwide,” he said.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
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