China invites Nigerian students to global IT contest

 

The China Association of Science and Technology has reached out to three secondary school students to represent Nigeria at the upcoming World Adolescent Robotics Competition in China.

The students Tawakalitu Giwa, Oluwaseun Omotayo and Ayomide Adetunji were members of Team Nigeria to the First Global Robotic Olympics in Washington DC, United States (US.) last year, sponsored by Aramex and Doculand Nigeria.

The students were picked based on their outstanding performance at the First Global Robotic Olympics where Nigeria placed 25th out of the 163 teams from 157 countries, emerging third of the 41 African countries in attendance.

Similarly, five students will be representing Nigeria at the next First Global Robotic Olympics coming up in Mexico City this  month.

Founded by philanthropic inventor Dean Kamen to inspire a passion for science and technology leadership and innovation among the world’s more than two billion youths, FIRST Global provides the framework for an Olympics-style robotics event that drives home the importance of obtaining the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills needed by future leaders to overcome the greatest challenges facing our world – today and tomorrow.

National Coordinator of the programme Mrs. Remi Willoughby, CEO, Roboglobal Educational Consulting said: “Without any doubt, Nigeria is slowly but gradually establishing herself on the map of technology developed nations. This may not be presently evident, however, it is an indication that progress is being made.”

According to her, “we have the right talents to compete successfully on the global stage and move Nigeria to a technology advanced nation, but we need the right support and encouragement and to do this, we need to quickly address the evident deficit in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our educational system.”

Aramex  and Doculand Nigeria  Managing Director and co-sponsor of the First Global Project in Nigeria, Faisal Jarmakani said: “These children are building the foundation blocks for a technology advanced nation and in the next few years will become global icons paving the way for other children to follow. If they keep getting the right support and encouragement, without any doubt, we will soon join other countries of the world where science and technology have become the backbone of their economic development.”

Konga to re-launch pay on delivery

 

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Konga, ecommerce platform is set to relaunch Pay On Delivery (POD) from tomorrow, starting with customers in Lagos before extending the service to other states from September 1.

This is after effectively achieving same day delivery of approximately 97per cent of product orders in major cities in the last 30 days.

Confirming the development, Mr. Nick Imudia, CEO Online, disclosed that Payment On Delivery was suspended when erstwhile owners – Naspers and AB Kinnevik were in discussions before the acquisition of the business by the Zinox Group.

“We have taken our time to restructure, improve our technology and capacity in terms of our own staff and logistics to meet customers’ expectations. We have invested substantially in our logistics arm, K-Express culminating in the acquisition of new line-haul trucks, delivery vans and motor bikes to meet the commitments of not just POD, but also achieve a minimum of 85 per cent same day delivery of major products categories by July 2019 across the nation as mandated by the Board of Konga.

“Someone must make it happen, and we have decided to take the bull by the horns with new mega warehousing and storage facilities being opened across the country with best in class technologies,” he affirmed.

Mr. Imudia also stated that Konga, in line with its status as the biggest composite e-commerce company in Africa, is expanding its retail network as promised by the company’s Management, with a target of 100 stores before the end of 2019 but with a long-term ambition of achieving 774 stores by 2022.

“Effective August 1st 2018 and considering Nigeria’s deficient payment system, Konga customers have several payment and delivery options. This will go a long way to excite our customers and expand the numerous order fulfilment channels available to our customers.

“In addition to pre-payment and payment on delivery, you have the additional option of ordering online to pay and collect from the nearest Konga retail store.”

Group to govt: deploy IT in economic development

 

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The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) has urged the three tiers of government to embrace technology to deliver services to the people. It warned that governments that failed to embrace technology have fallen while those that deploy technology have continued to rise.

Its Registrar, Mr. Allwell C. Achumba, who spoke during IT Professionals’ Assembly in Abuja,  said: “We live in a world driven and powered by intellect and technology, a world where we see nations rise and fall as a result of its embrace or neglect of IT. Therefore, we need to intensify our efforts at developing the IT profession in Nigeria. We should not pay lip service to our efforts at building a solid and highly respected IT profession in Nigeria. It is for the good of the profession, the nation as well as the professionals and practitioners who will be reaping the dividends of their sacrifice. IT profession has lots of prospects in Nigeria. Therefore, we should not be tired of putting more efforts and sacrifices especially in terms of effective regulation of the IT profession as well as discharging our financial obligations to the profession in order to make it what it should be in the country.

Also, speaking on the occasion which had: Professionalism in Information Technology; Past, Present and Future as its them, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said the Federal Government recognised the critical role of IT in its developmental agenda, and has therefore made IT a priority.

The minister lamented the poor state of IT in the country and challenged Council to work with government towards the attainment of the national goals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He also challenged the participants at the Assembly to discuss how the nation can facilitate technology – enabled learning as a way of preparing the youths for the future workplace.

In his opening remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha congratulated CPN on its 25th anniversary celebrations. He said governments all over the world were becoming smart, efficient with the adoption of appropriate technologies to drive governance and create the requisite enabling environment for national change and the much needed transformation.

He said, as the agency of government established to control and regulate the practice of Information Technology (IT) profession, the role of CPN in the scheme of developmental goals of government cannot be over-emphasised. He said IT is a critical sector and the flagship of other professions, and one that is viewed seriously in the course of the nation’s drive for sustainable national developments.   Mustapha said the establishment of CPN is government’s way of demonstrating its commitment to the development and deployment of IT in Nigeria. He expressed the confidence that the Council would keep aligning itself to the Federal Government developmental goals, especially in Science, technology and innovations.

In his opening remarks/welcome speech, the President/Chairman-in-Council, Prof. Charles Uwadia said that this year’s 2018 of the IT Professionals’ Assembly was special in many regards.

Firstly, it was the first since his election into office at the 23rd AGM.

Secondly, he said the Assembly coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the Council. The President/Chairman-in-Council said the choice of the theme for this Assembly, therefore involved an assessment of the progress that IT practice has made in the past 25 years in the country, where the country presently is regarding bridging the digital divide and deploring IT for our common good as a people, and also foraying and projecting into the future, regarding the boundless opportunities that our profession, IT practice portends for our dear nation, and her future.

 

Armed Forces trains military personnel on intelligence gathering software

 

First set of personnel of the Armed Forces trained on intelligence gathering software.

 

The first set of personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has successfully been trained on Aeronautical Reconnaissance Coverage, Geographic Information System (ARCGIS).

The training was organised by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in conjunction with the French Armed Forces (FAF), to build the human capacity of the Nigerian military on the deployment of information technology.

The 2-week practical training course designed for 10 train-the-trainers from the AFN intelligence corps, comprised of officers from the Nigerian Army, Air Force and Navy was held at the Defence Intelligence College (DIC), Abuja from 16–27 July, 2018.

The course centred on geo-analysis and geo-statistics was also geared towards broadening the participants’ knowledge on how to leverage on the various ARCGIS analytical tools for military intelligence gathering, to boost tactical combat operations.

At the graduation ceremony, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin appreciated the French Armed Forces for the training partnership and commended its Defence Attaché (DA) to Nigeria, Colonel Nicolas Rambaud for facilitating the capacity building initiative, to ensure the operational readiness of the AFN.

General Olonisakin said that ”the partnership would foster strategic relationship and defence diplomacy between both countries Armed Forces.”

While congratulating the officers for successful completion of the course, he said; “ARCGIS software course is vital as it would have positive impact in the various ill I tar operations across the country.”

He then urged the graduands to put to bear all what they have learnt into their military field of endeavours.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Director of Train at DHQ, Air Commodore Idoko Ohemu.

“The objective of the course was to train-the-trainers, noting that the graduands are future trainers as such they need to improve on the ARCGIS analytical tools and skills,” the Defence Attaché (DA) to Nigeria, Colonel Nicolas Rambaud said.

Colonel Rambaud explained that when adequately utilised the ARCGIS software would facilitate the understanding of military in-depth situation on a map, stressing that ”over the years, French military has effectively deployed ARCGIS software in its various military operations.”

No cost training
He commended the country’s  instructors for accepting to tutor the students at no cost.

The Commandant of Defence Intelligence College, DIC, Commodore EO Jaiyeola thanked the DA France for facilitating the training.

According to him, knowledge knows no boundary and terrorism has no boundaries.

He urged both countries’ military to continue to interface by bringing wealth of experiences and local content to bear.

The acting Deputy Commandant, Colonel UJ Gombe represented Commodore EO Jaiyeola at the event.

Entries for Huawei Programme Opens

 

 

Huawei Nigeria has called for entries from Nigerian university students to enter for this year’s Seeds for The Future Programmme. Seeds for the Future is Huawei’s global corporate social responsibility (CSR) flagship programme, initiated in 2008, which seeks to develop local Information and Communication Technology (ICT) talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the ICT sector, and improve and encourage regional building and participation in the digital community.

The Seeds for the Future Program was created by Huawei Technologies to proactively support the development of future leaders and innovators across the world. Huawei is committed to promoting ICT industry development in the countries it operates, and aims to drive long-term economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Speaking on the Initiative, its Managing Director, Mr. Li Frank said: “Talent is crucial for the growth and development of any industry, the rapidly growing ICT industry has greatly changed business models. As a result, across the ICT ecosystem there is an urgent need for large numbers of technical staff who can address the challenges posed by this transformation. For true and lasting development in Nigeria, we must look in the area of human capital development with a huge focus on youths.”

Over the years, Huawei has been investing in ICT skills and knowledge in Nigeria in an effort to boost employment, foster the development of knowledge-intensive products and services, and enhance the ICT skills of the future generations.

Huawei has done this successfully by implementing and supporting a number of schemes such as the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria (G-Win), 1000 Girls in Training, scholarships for The African University of Science and Technology (AUST), engineers training programmmes.

FG Restates Commitment to Innovation

 

 

 

As part of efforts to enhance technology development in Nigeria, the federal government has reiterated its commitment to supporting innovation in the country. 

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who said this during a programme organised by Google Nigeria in Lagos, assured the participants that the government would continue to support technology development through policies that will provide the enabling environment for businesses to grow. 

Commending Google Nigeria for its initiative to launch public WiFi in targeted public places, through the Google Station, Osinbanjo, said such initiative would afford more Nigerians the opportunity to have internet access to boost their businesses and lifestyles.

Announcing the launch of Google Station in Nigeria, in partnership with 21st Century Technology, the Vice President, Product Management at Google, Anjali Joshi, said the initiative would help address internet connectivity challenges in the country.

According to her, Google Station was launched in Ikeja Computer Village, Ikeja Mall, MMA2, Unilag and Landmark Event Centre, all in Lagos, to provide internet access to people. Google, she said, planned to extend the launch to 200 locations in five cities across the country by 2019, designed to provide internet access to millions of Nigerians. 

She said Google Station was first launched in India and Mexico, and that since then, it has been providing internet access to millions of people in those countries. 

Welcoming the Google Station initiative, Osinbajo said, “We want Google Station in more public places like the public markets that have large clusters of people. Beginning with Computer Village, Ikeja Mall, MMA2, Unilag and Landmark Event Centre is commendable, but we want to see this public WiFi in more densely populated public places.

“We have large concentration of people in public market places like Ariaria market in Aba, Main Market in Onitsha, Sabongari Market in Kano, Balogun and Ikporin Markets in Lagos. These are places where Internet access should be available.

Nigerians want access to education, e-Commerce and other forms of business through the internet. Millions of Nigerians have personal stories how the internet has transformed their lives and businesses and Google has told us how it has helped to give access and opportunities to several Nigerians and we need more of such opportunities,”he said.

Visa Rewards Nigerian Start-ups

 

 

 

Visa Inc., one of the world’s leader in digital payment has announced Nigerian start-ups – CredPal and Zowasel as winners in the Merchant Payments and Financial Inclusion challenges, in its first ever sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Everywhere Initiative.

The initiative is a global programme that was designed to encourage the development of “the next big thing in payments.”

The winning solutions beat 10 other contenders selected from 238 submissions to emerge as champions.

The programme was structured around three real life business challenges: Merchant Payments Challenge, which has to do with how to enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally or provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive e-Commerce and reduce cash on delivery.

The other structure – Social Business Payments Challenge- was about how start-ups can use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach and social media partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments.

The third, being Financial Inclusion Challenge, which was about how start-ups can leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers and provide them with secure transaction experiences, to build and enhance their confidence in the banking system.

According to the organisers, CredPal, won the “Merchant Payments” challenge and got $25,000 for its solution that allows business and individuals to pay for purchases in instalments across online and offline merchants, by providing them with instant access to credit at the point of checkout.

On the other hand, Zowasel, developed a solution which connects under-financed small-holder farmers with investors via mobile phone-based P2P lending and marketplace sales, as well as give them access to best agricultural practices.

Lexus Unveils Striking LFA Art Car

 

 

 

 

Lexus will unveil a uniquely painted LFA this weekend to celebrate the debut of its RC F GT3 contender in the Total 24 Hours of Spa endurance race.

The reveal of the LFA Art Car also marks the 10th anniversary of the Lexus “F” performance brand and showcases the brand’s passion and dedication to creativity and design.

The bespoke livery of this one-off vehicle was designed by Portuguese artist Pedro Henriques who transformed the supercar’s exterior with a striking black-and-white theme.

His design unites the lines of the iconic Lexus LFA V10 supercar with a flowing, organic pattern that embodies the feeling of movement and constant evolution. 

Henriques said his inspiration “was the idea of fluidity present in the contemporary life, where things are in constant movement and it’s hard to freeze anything.

“The lines in the drawings follow this feeling of going everywhere and never stopping; a progressive life. I hope to express a feeling where the car becomes a less defined shape, in constant mutation in its movement.”

The Emil Frey Lexus Racing team is competing with two Lexus RC F GT3 coupes in the 70th edition of the 24 Hours of Spa, the toughest race in the Blancpain GT Series championship.

The LFA Art Car will join the on-track parade tomorrow (Saturday) before the start of the main race.