Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, the Executive Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC) has advised trainees on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to be ready to contribute their quota towards the success of 2023 digital census.
Kwarra gave the advice while declaring open 10-day Capacity Building Training for ICT department of the commission in Ado, Nasarawa.
He said the training was imperative given the shift from the manual processing of data as applied in previous census to digital census.
“This is an innovation and a shift from the manual process that we normally used in previous censuses.
“This exercise involves many advanced technological equipment both in hardware and software which we have already acquired and still acquiring but not totally familiar with,” he said.
According to the chairman, these include, cloud computing, cloud server, on-premises server, advanced cyber-attack threat and data security.
Kwarra said the staff needed to be acquainted with the technologies for the benefit of not only the department but the entire commission.
He described the training as a roadmap towards the success of the 2023 census by through the provision of technical pathways and operational framework for other departments to function optimally.
Mr Clifford Zira, Federal Commissioner for Adamawa and Chairman ICT Committee, said the essence of the workshop was to equip participants with modern technological knowledge to efficiently manage data.
Zira, who urged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity, expressed the determination of the commission to conduct a digitally accurate and acceptable census.
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly Committee on Education has urged heads of tertiary institutions, commission and agencies against compromising the quality education in the state.
Mr Daniel Ogazi, the Chairman of the committee, made the call on Thursday in Lafia when some tertiary institutions and other MDAs appeared before the committee on their 2022 budget performances.
Ogazi said that no nation would achieve meaningful progress and development without sound and quality education.
“We will continue to give you all legal backing and support in order to ensure that quality education is provided in the state.
“As the importance of sound and quality education to societal development could not be overemphasised,” he said.
“Mr Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, has directed us to embark on oversight function.
“As the constitution has empowered us to oversight.
You are to state clearly the level of your budget’s performances from January to June, 2022,” he said.
Ogazi however assured of the committee’s readiness to partner the state government in order to take the education sector to the greater height.
He also urged managements of MDAs to ensure accountability and transparency while discharging their duties.
“I call on you to ensure that accountability and transparency should be your cardinal points.
“This is in the interest of peace and for the overall development of the education sector and the state at large,” Ogazi added Ogazi also urged MDAs to adhere strictly to their budgetary provisions in the interest of accountability and transparency.
Dr Yahaya Maikafi, the Provost of the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia, appreciated the committee for supporting its activities to succeed.
He told the committee that the school has employed new staff based on the approval given by the state government.
The provost, however, appealed for more funds in order to pay gratuities and to address other challenges facing the institution.
Also appreared before the committee was Mr Jonathan Thani, the Provost, College of Education, Akwanga, commended the committee for being up and doing in ensurng quality education in the state.
He said that the school has provided mattresses, tables, chairs and water, among others, in order to create an enabling environment for teaching and learning in the institution.
The provost said that the state government has approved the convocation of eight sets made of 32,000 students.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other agencies that appeared before the committee on their 2022 budget performance assessment were the Teacher’s Service Commission (TSC); Special School, Lafia; and Nasarawa State Bureau for Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The 14th Governing Council of the University of Jos, Plateau, has approved the appointment of Prof. Tanko Ishaya, as the new Vice-Chancellor for the University.
Mr Abdullahi Abdullahi, Deputy Registrar, Information and Publications of the university announced this in a statement on Friday in Jos.
According to him, the development follows Council’s consideration of the recommendation of the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board at its Special Meeting held on Friday, November 12.
He said that Mr Ishaya’s appointment would take effect from December 1, adding that the appointment was for a single term of five years.
Mr Ishaya, 57, is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, of the university and a professor of Computer Science with a Mathematics background and specialism and experience in Data Engineering, Computer Security and Forensics.
He obtained his B.Sc. in Mathematics Education and graduated with second Class Upper Division in 1992 at University of Jos and began work as a lecturer in Mathematics department at the College of Agriculture, Zuru, Kebbi State.
He later proceeded to the University of Manchester, United Kingdom to pursue an M.Sc. programme in Computation and completed in 1997.
He later enrolled for his PhD in Computing Studies which he completed in 2001 and was promoted to the rank of Professor of Computer Science in 2012.
He joined the University of Hull in October, 2000 as a Lecturer and was Head of the Centre for Internet Computing at the institution before returning to Nigeria in 2008 as a visiting Professor to the University of Jos on Sabbatical.
Professor Tanko was the founding Director of the University’s Directorate for Information and Communication Technology and again returned to the University of Hull in January 2009 after his Sabbatical.
Professor Tanko came back to university of Jos in 2012 on special request by the University to serve as the Director, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and doubled as the pioneer Head of Computer Science Department at the University.
He has served in over 60 University Committees at the University of Hull and the University Jos and a member of several professional bodies.
Mr Ishaya has over 40 publications in both local and international journals, books, conferences and research reports.
He has also supervised ad graduated five PhD, 40 M.Sc and over 100 undergraduate students in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, UK.
Mr Ishaya, who hails from Zuru, Kebbi State, is happily married to his wife, Sharon Ishaya and are blessed with three children.
Mr Ishaya takes over from Prof. Gray Ejikeme, whose term as Acting Vice-Chancellor expires on November 30.
By Kadiri Abdulrahman
The Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Adolphus Aghughu, assured that public accounting will experience an improvement in auditing with the effective deployment of forensic audit techniques.
Aghughu assured Abuja on Monday when he inaugurated a newly equipped forensic laboratory and presented certificates to 21 newly trained forensic auditors.
He said forensic audit, when actually deployed, could be used to gather evidence that could help diligently pursue corruption cases in court.
The Auditor General gave assurances that trained and certified forensic auditors would be immediately deployed to the field to perform forensic audits in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
He said his office will ensure that the newly trained forensic auditors are effectively deployed to improve the public accounting system.
“We don't just have a forensic lab, we've trained 21 forensic auditors who will be in the field over the next week to perform at least five forensic audits.
“For public accounting, forensic audit is unique because when you want an answer with evidence that could be used for legal action, forensic audit is an integral part,” he said. .
Aghughu urged forensic auditors to work diligently and purposefully to make a difference, saying the country needs auditors to wake up and be more effective in their tenure.
Previously, Dr Jimson Olufuye, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) consultant at the Office of the Auditor General (OAuGF), congratulated Aghughu for the delivery of the laboratory and his support in training the first 21 auditors. forensic.
Olufuye also congratulated the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) for its partnership with the Office of the Auditor General for training.
Professor Peter Olayiwola, facilitator of the training, assured that the new forensic auditors in the Office of the Auditor General had been trained to implement audit systems that would ensure probity and accountability.
“All of the 21 trained participants can expertly examine, query documents and perform handwriting analysis,” he said. (NAA)(NAN)
By Rukayat Moisemhe The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said that the 2021 first quarter 0.40 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase, though a pleasant surprise, is not reflective of the manufacturing sector current realities. Dr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, LCCI, said this in reaction to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) GDP Q1 2021 report on Sunday, in Lagos. According to the report, the nation’s GDP rose from 0.11 per cent in fourth quarter of 2020 to 0.51 per cent in first quarter of 2021, translating to a 0.40 per cent increase. Yusuf said the recovery of the manufacturing sector from a negative growth territory in Q4 2020 to a positive growth level of 3.4 per cent in Q1 2021 was a pleasant surprise. He noted that the sector had been grappling with an unprecedented foreign exchange illiquidity crisis over the past few months. The LCCI Director-General said that structural, irregular policies, institutional and macroeconomic challenges had also bedevilled the sector. As a result, the LCCI DG stressed that the NBS data did not reflect the reality of the experiences of most manufacturers. He, however, welcomed the expansion of 2. 28 per cent in the agricultural sector, 6.31 per cent of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and the 8.66 per cent of the electricity sector. Yusuf said that a lot of issues remained to be resolved in the electricity sector, with supply in many parts of the country still epileptic and the metering programme not keeping pace with demand. “Evidently, the economy is still struggling to recover from the shocks of the pandemic and related slip into recession. “However, the first quarter GDP data contained a few pleasant surprises. “The agricultural sector expanded by 2.28 per cent despite the ravaging effects of insecurity, farmers herders clashes and the displacement of many farming communities. “Most foreign exchange dependent manufacturing sectors have not had a good experience over the past one year. “Admittedly, segments of manufacturing with high levels of backward integration had lesser degrees of shocks from the forex illiquidity and exchange rate depreciation in the economy. “The growth of 6.31 per cent recorded in the ICT sector was expected given the opportunities created for ICT in the new normal. “The cost reflective tariff appears to have impacted positively on the electricity sector which recorded 8.66 per cent,” he said. Yusuf said the continued contraction of the trade sector which recorded a negative growth of 2.43 per cent in Q1 2021 and the transportation sector at 21.9 per cent was worrisome. He said that the hospitality and entertainment sectors which were still down needed more government attention.. “We note with concern the continued contraction of the trade sector grappling with headwinds arising from exchange rate depreciation and forex illiquidity, high inflationary pressures, and weak purchasing power. “Yet the sector is one of the biggest sources of employment , especially in the self employment space. “It is equally worrisome that the transportation sector experienced the worst contraction at 21.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2021. “This may be as a result of the growing insecurity on our roads and this goes to demonstrate the multidimensional impact of insecurity on the economy. “The hospitality and entertainment sectors have been in recession for over a year and the government needs to do a lot more to salvage the sector from complete collapse,” he said. (NAN) (NAN)
By Martha Agas
The Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Plateau Council, has organised a one-day training for its members on promoting peace Journalism.
Speaking at the event on Thursday in Jos, the chairman of the chapel, Mr Gyang Bere, said the maiden edition of the training was in honour of six of its colleagues, who died in an accident in May 2006, in the convoy of former governor of Plateau, Joshua Dariye.
Bere said that given the current security challenges facing Nigeria, journalists have the responsibility to facilitate peace through their reports and programmes.
The chairman noted that effective use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was critical in ensuring peace journalism.
“We are all aware of the insecurity that has taken a toll on our country, and for us as journalists in Plateau State and Nigeria, there is a need contribute our quota to restore peace in the country, hence this programme.
“We need to also be in tune with the global trend in journalism practice, leveraging ICT because we cannot be in isolation,” he said.
He said that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic threw up a new challenge as many ournalists could not optimally, saying building their capacity on ICT and improving on their skills would enhance their productivity.
Presenting a paper titled “Peace Journalism and Its Risks,” Mr Taiye Obateru, the former Head of Mass Communication Department of University of Jos, said that the well-being of society was critical, urging journalists to report objectively to diminish rather than inflate tension.
“Journalists can report conflicts as objectively as possible, but in a manner that would not exacerbate the situation.
“Apart from careful word choice, journalists could do follow-up stories, features, analysis and other programmes that promote peace in line with the Peace Journalism Model,” he said.
He, however, advised journalists to demonstrate some level of fairness and balance to remain credible in praticing Peace Journalism, so as to retain the confidence of their audiences.
Also, Dr Nentawe Yilwatda, the Resident Electoral Commisioner (REC) of Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) in Benue, encouraged journalists to take advantage of the huge resource and tools on the internet in order to effectively discharge their responsibility.
Yilwatda, who presented a paper titled ” Social Media and the Survival of Traditional Journalism in a Digital Era: How to Effectively Reach the Public”, said there are websites and applications which enable internet users to create and share content which would be of great benefit to journalists.
He said the social media space had become very attractive source of news because of its access, saying a recent report shows that there are 104 million internet users and 33 million social media users in Nigeria, adding that 80.6 per cent of social media users are within the age range of 18 to 44.
He advised Journalists to develop their content to address the needs of the large category of social media users, noting that the platform can be use for collaborative reports, political revolution, a voice for the voiceless and for social and political processes among others.
The REC, however, cautioned journalists against using every material they get for their reports, saying there are tools that could enable them fact-check information using authenticators.
“Tools for the 21st century journalists include speech converter to convert text and TinEye or reverse image search application, to search images that have been used online before,” he said.
Other tools he said, include Otranscripe, DataPortals.org or Google Public Data
Tabula, OpenRefine and advanced Google Search among others. (NAN)
A virtual import and export conference and exhibition opened on Tuesday with the Zambian government urging African countries to embrace e-commerce to accelerate trade.
The two-day event, hosted by the Zambian government in collaboration with the private sector, is a flagship networking platform aimed at promoting intra-Africa trade on the African continent.
It has brought together business players and technocrats from different African countries to promote imports and exports.
Zambian Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma, said the world was changing which necessitated a change in the way of doing business.
According to him, the advent of COVID-19, which is discouraging physical contacts, requires that businesses embrace e-commerce to compete favorably on the international market.
“Connecting Africa through e-commerce requires massive investments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, adding that enhanced use of e-commerce will contribute to a reduction in business costs.
“ Africa has untapped natural resources that need to be exploited in order to enhance economic development, adding that e-commerce will play a vital role in creating markets,” he said.
Zambia, he said, was already embracing e-commerce which saw the country launching an e-portal recently aimed at providing business opportunities for investors.
He noted that there was a need to create business linkages among industries within the region as they have the potential to accelerate economic development.
Being held under the theme “Connecting Africa through Trade and E-commerce’’, the event has attracted over 1,000 participants and about 100 exhibitors.
It will host a range of activities including business to business forums with local and international speakers, as well as business meetings using the latest technology and trade matching opportunities.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Isaac Aregbesola
Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, says Nigeria must provide an enabling environment for indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship in its quest to attain a digital economy.
Pantami said this at Stakeholders Review and Validation Workshop of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy (NDIEP) in Abuja on Thursday.
The theme of the workshop was“Developing an Enabling Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy”.
He said that encouraging local innovation and entrepreneurship will ensure that the country become a producer and not a consumer nation.
“NDIEP focuses on providing an enabling environment for indigenous innovation to thrive.
“In Nigeria we have many potential to produce and deploy what we need and the government is working on providing the enabling environment by introducing the NDIEP.
“When we support our innovators and entrepreneurs,they will increase our products and position Nigerian goods for more exports,” Pantami said.
The minister added that the government wanted to engage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hubs and startups by evaluating their innovations towards providing support.
He advised young innovators to be consistent and focused,adding that the path to being an innovator was demanding.
“The policy is designed to help us create an enabling environment to start and grow IDEs in Nigeria.
“By implementing the policy,we will create the IDE mindset and skill set and learn how to do business in our communities,” he said.
The director general said that IDEs such as jumia created over 5,000 jobs in 2012 when it was established,while the value grew to one billion dollars in three years.
He recalled that Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm predicted that in 2025, jumia and other potential unicorn companies can create three million jobs in Africa.
“Out of 615 unicorn companies in the world, only three are in Africa,two in South Africa and one in Nigeria. America has 265,China 204,UK 24 and India 21,” he said.
Inuwa said that growing unicorn companies was about putting in place government policies that drive digital transformation and ensure the delivery of new customer value proposition using digital technology and the innovation ecosystem.
He said that government was committed to mentoring startups to develop the innovation ecosystem and translate ideas into products for commercialisation.
Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa
The government of the People’s Republic of China has pledged greater support to Africa’s economic reopening post COVID-19 under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit.
Mr Wang Yi, China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs made the pledge on Thursday in Beijing at a reception held by the Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to commemorate FOCAC’s 20th anniversary.
The Embassy of China in Nigeria disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
According to the Embassy, Wang said, in his keynote address, that in the past decade, FOCAC had established itself as a pacesetter for cooperation with Africa and had come a long way in strengthening China-Africa solidarity and friendship.
The statement quoted Wang as saying that the world was currently undergoing changes unseen in a century, and that COVID-19 was accelerating the evolution of a new international order whose challenge calls for new responsibility and new actions.
He said the new international circumstances of COVID-19 called for important strategic decisions, which have become more relevant than ever.
The Chinese Foreign Minister said countries must remain guided by the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests.
“First, we need to strengthen solidarity and build a stronger community with a shared future. At the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, leaders of China and Africa agreed to build a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.
“We need to firmly support each other in safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity, by independently pursuing a development path suited to national realities’’, he said.
He noted that “in protecting legitimate rights to development and achieve national rejuvenation together through joint efforts’’;
“We need to tide over the current challenge together and build a China-Africa community of health for all. China will continue to work with Africa to fully deliver on the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit’’.
Wang recalled that the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, pledged greater focus on public health, economic reopening and improvement of livelihoods.
“I would like to reaffirm China’s firm commitment to making its vaccines a global public good.
“When the development of the vaccines is completed and they are available for use, China will actively consider providing them to African countries in need to help secure an early victory against the virus’’, he said.
He proposed that China and Africa need to pursue ‘’win-win cooperation’’ to build a China-Africa community of development for all, stressing that China will continue to support Africa in enhancing its infrastructure, advancing industrialization and building up capacity for independent development.
“China welcomes the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and will provide cash assistance and capacity-building training to its Secretariat.
“China and Africa need to deepen free trade cooperation and better connect industrial and supply chains so that Africa can better access the vast China market and join the international economic circulation’’, Wang said.
He pledged that China was also ready to work with Africa on a framework of strategic cooperation to jointly tackle the challenge posed by climate change, while calling for joint action in addressing other global challenges and participating in global governance.
“We need to embrace our responsibilities and work toward a community with a shared future for mankind. China and Africa are staunch supporters of multilateralism and important forces for world peace and development.
“We need to take on our historic duty to firmly safeguard the UN’s central role in international and multilateral affairs, defend basic norms governing international relations, and uphold multilateralism, fairness and justice.
“By doing so, we will bring about a more equitable and reasonable international order and an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity,” Wang stressed.
The Chinese foreign minister emphasized that FOCAC remained a valuable asset for both China and Africa, such that it needed to keep pace with the times, to ensure that the Forum remains a shining example of China-Africa relations.
He announced that China was ready to work with Africa to make good preparations on the arrangements and deliverables of the next FOCAC meeting scheduled to hold in Senegal in 2021
Wang expressed the hope that the meeting will create greater synergy between China’s second centenary goal and the AU’s Agenda 2063, form new consensus on China-Africa solidarity, explore new cooperation areas, and bring new benefits to the Chinese and African peoples.
The ceremony also included the signing of some agreements between Nigeria and China in the areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the economy.
Edited By: Mouktar Adamu
The Management of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), says it has in the last 10 years shored up the Nigerian economy with over 8.5 billion dollars generated from Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
The Director-General of ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja when he received a delegation of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) led by its Chairman, Mr Kunle Hassan.
Izuwah, while reeling out the commission’s achievements, said that as at Sept. 30, the ICRC had issued 88 Outline Business Case compliance certificates and 39 Full Business Case compliance certificates.
He said that the commission was working in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to establish PPP units in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
He said that this was to facilitate well-thought-out infrastructure service delivery through well prepared and viable PPP projects.
The said disclosed that the feat had brought about 60 MDAs inaugurating their PPP units.
He said the commission could also use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to enhance the operations of Hajj and Umra operators and pilgrims.
Earlier, Hassan said the visit was to seek ICRC’s partnership to enhance private sector involvement in its operations and activities.
According to him, the Hajj commission presently does not run on government funding but on charges generated internally.
He said that Hajj, being one of the fifth pillars of Islam, had Nigeria as the country with the fifth largest contingent in the world with 95,000 pilgrims yearly.
“For an average conscious Muslim going on Hajj is a dream whether he is rich or poor. Sometimes because of religious sentiments, someone would rather sell all his cattle or his business to go to the pilgrimage.
“Nigerians have been going to Hajj for a long time and it is difficult or impossible to ask people to not go for the pilgrimage.
“The position of the government is ours too that government has no business using government funds to sponsor people to go on pilgrimage,’’ he said.
Hassan, however, said that to make going to Hajj affordable, the commission started the Hajj savings scheme which afforded intending pilgrims the opportunity save ahead of the pilgrimage.
“We have started the scheme with Jaiz Bank. We have also gotten the board’s approval for digital transformation plan to run all our operations digitally,” he said.
NAHCON chairman said that the commission was in the process of establishing a training institute for tourism for pilgrim operators so pilgrims could get value for their money.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Grace Yussuf