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.

Wapic Insurance Harps on Adherence to Risk Management



Wapic Insurance Plc has stressed the importance of adhering to risk management practices by information communication technology (ICT) operators.

This was the thrust of a oneday seminar organised by Wapic Insurance in Lagos recently.

The seminar, which had the theme, “Mitigating Risk in the Telecoms & ICT Industry: Challenges & Solutions, according to the company, was targeted at ensuring that its clients in the telecommunications industry manage their risk effectively and efficiently towards greater productivity and value creation.

Addressing participants at the seminar, Managing Director Wapic Insurance, Mrs Yinka Adekoya, said through the seminar,Wapic Insurance wished to extend its risks management series to stakeholders within the IT  sector.

She defined risk as a constant in life and in all business endeavours.

“In a progressively globalising world, risk management is in fact a measure that calls for constant remodelling, and fine tuning to fit evolutions in business and the world in general.

Globalisation has allowed for the proliferation of digital solutions,telecoms and insurance is one very important risk management measure.

There are also many more ways that insurance can provide fortification for this industry than the ways in which we currently do. At Wapic, it is our desire to always lead in all that is worthy, and to provide maximum value to all our clients, and that is why we have organised this seminar,” Adekoya state

She said insurance companies believe that if operators in ICT and telecommunications become more aware of the risk facing their businesses and investments, they will be more proactive and strategic in the process of achieving better productivity.

 According to her, this will not only impact the sector, but also contribute significantly to the economy and overall development of the country. 

She also said the seminar series, which started in 2017, was organised by the company to add value to the businesses of its clients across different sectors of the economy.

Also speaking, the President, Association of Telecoms Companies, Olusola Tenoola, commended Wapic for the initiative noting that mitigating risks was important in the telecommunication industry.

NigComSat Partners Others on Capacity Building




In line with the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) roadmap and objectives of the federal government, the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN), Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) and Sawtel Technology Limited have signed a tripartite agreement for the implementation of an e-learning management system for both civil and public servants in Nigeria.

The agreement, when implemented would see the public-sector productivity boosted by improving their skillset using broadband.

Announcing the collaboration and its impact on both the civil servants and the public servants, the PSIN Administrator, Dr. Abdul-Ganiyu Obatoyinbo, highlighted the importance of ICT in manpower development, stressing that the agreement will see the institute deploying ICT to train civil servant simultaneously regardless of their location using cutting edge technologies to achieve this objective.

“It is a known fact that without ICT in today’s world you cannot make impact. Public service has the mandate of training and we cannot achieve that without ICT.

“We will definitely need ICT infrastructure to execute these training because we cannot bring everybody out physically. But we are here to achieve the target that we want to in all our economic industries, which includes the ease of doing business.
“ICT is key, even the strategic plan approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as projected by the government, it shows that ICT is the central key,” Obatoyinbo said.

He added, “We strongly believe that by the time this infrastructure is in place in about six weeks we should start seeing some immediate regulation. I am confident that by the time the e-business rating is carried out under the next assessment Nigeria would have risen up to about 50–60 ranges. So, that only happens when capacity building is in place because you train a staff you get the results.”
Also, the Managing Director of NigComSat, Abimbola Alele, revealed NigComSat’s willingness to partner PSIN and Sawtel to take the institute to greater height.

“I congratulate you because you are expanding the horizons of not just only the civil servants but the military, paramilitary and so many other agencies that want to push governance, and you are utilising the best instrument available right now globally, ICT, to train them because ICT is currently the main driver in the world today.

“You are not only being ICT compliant but you are also saving lives of people travelling long distance to come here, and also saving government resources because people would pay per diem to come here but with this agreement people can remain at their location, receive the same content, same information for training and seat for exams simultaneously,” she added.

On the importance of such agreement, the Executive Director, Marketing at NigComSat, Samson Osagie said, “The tripartite agreement is all about realisation of the policy objectives of the ICT roadmap in Nigeria. It is our own way in advancing this ICT roadmap in Nigeria.

“Our contribution is to assist in developing the capacity of the public civil servants in Nigeria through our critical ICT infrastructure. We would provide the critical infrastructure through the optimisation of satellite services to the MDAs.”

CHEDI, W’Bank Staff Empower 40 Women in FCT



Citizens Health, Education and Development Initiatives (CHEDI) and World Bank staff have empowered 40 women in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in various skill acquisition and trades.

The empowerment was a collaborative effort by CHEDI and staff of World Bank’s Nigerian Country Office to assist women through interventions such as training and skill acquisition.

Speaking at the training’s graduation ceremony at Durumi, Abuja, Executive Director of CHEDI, Selina Akunna Enyioha explained that the empowerment was geared towards reducing poverty among women across the capital city.

She stated that with CHEDI, the aim is provide proper skill acquisition, adding that, “some people claim they have skill acquisition training, but when they go there, there is nothing to show for it.

“We budgeted to train 30 participants and empower only 8 of them due to paucity of funds, but we ended up training 40 participants because it was a very difficult task for our staff to stop others who wanted to join the training.

“We wish we had more funds to accommodate all that had wanted to be trained. Based on the advice of our training consultants and also to encourage all the 40 participants, they are all to receive certificates of participation, while the 30 originally chosen participants will be empowered.

Enyioha said, “This was not really easy, but we have to over-stretch ourselves to ensure that we empower all the 30 trained participants. It was not easy setting out and abiding by the criteria for the selection of those to be empowered, as all the participants demonstrated serious commitment to the programme.

“Consequently, we have invited SMEDA and the Central Bank of Nigeria responsible for supporting small scale businesses to talk to us on how to go about sourcing funds to start and sustain these skills we have just taught you for these three weeks.

“You will also recall that our health consultant sensitised you on the importance of taking care of your children for routine immunisation, family planning and ante-natal care services.

“CHEDI staff boosted the programme by adding HIV counselling services. Our target was 300 persons but we tested 328. Those who tested positive have been referred to our partner health facility for further treatment and care,” Enyioha maintained.

A staff of World Bank, Gloria Joseph-Raji urged the women to deploy their skills to ensuring poverty is extinct from their households. She commended the efforts of CHEDI and partners in putting up the skill acquisition programme for the women.

Also Speaking, Senior Manager, Development Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Njideka Nwabukwu tasked the women to embrace CBN’s grants aimed at women to promote entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.

Nwabukwu called for more concerted efforts in assisting women to overcome poverty and economic hardship.

Mrs. Dorcas Barau, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiary of the empowerment programme, commended CHEDI and staff members of the World Bank for their enormous support to women in Durumi District.

LG joins in bringing robots to the living room


                                                      LG Hub robot


AS Artificial Intelligence, AI, gains ground in the ICT space, it becomes clearer that a new way of service provision is in the offing. A new technology like robotics is tipped to have a massive impact on consumers in the decades to come.
Already some consumers have confessed they prefer interacting with machines. So it is only a matter of time before they become affordable and accessible to the average household. The explosion of accessibility will result in a wide range of different models for almost every conceivable purpose. No matter how they are implemented, robots and automated systems will be a vital part of the future city.
Meanwhile, product manufacturers are not oblivious to this fact. They apparently have come to understand that the emergence of smart home technology has totally altered dialogue about the role of technology around living rooms. Technology has advanced to a level that it now communicates and get individual components connected to guarantee efficiency and greater optimization in the home.
For instance, home equipment manufacturer, LG Electronics says its new product, the Hub robot, is a very good example of technology that can address the concerns of an entire smart home and city together, under a single user -friendly interface.
Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition technology easily allows the robot to connect to other smart LG home appliances, bringing them under a single streamlined ecosystem.
Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition technology easily allows the robot to connect to other smart LG home appliances, bringing them under a single streamlined ecosystem. Managing Director, LG Electronics West Africa operations, Mr. Taeick Son said: “The future is here with us therefore we must fully embrace technological advancement that is sustainable and can seamlessly fit into a smart city life for consumers. We will continue to ensure that our innovative products are in line with the master plan for an ideal smart future city.”
He also said the company’s range of OLED signage solutions offers the ideal package for future city planners looking to liven up public areas with interactive displays. In addition to offering the highly accurate picture quality that has made OLED famous, these screens are both flexible and dual-sided. This means that there will be less wasted space and installers will get more of an impact per panel. These adaptive OLED screens can be tailor made for any location.

E-learning: New Horizons’ biz skills certification to prep-up Caleb Varsity students


New Horizons Computer Learning Centres has charged students of Caleb University, Imota in Ikorodu, Lagos State to embrace Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and e-business skills for a secured future.General Manager, Education Business, New Horizons, Bolaji Olaoye, speaking at the New Horizons Infotainment Fiesta organized at Caleb University to introduce Huawei ICT Academy from Huawei Technologies Limited, which is reputed to be a leading OEM in telecoms networking globally, encouraged the students to acquire Huawei skills and certification so as to position themselves as tomorrow’s indispensable professionals in the ICT industry, both locally and internationally.
Olaoye said, “We are here to add highly-sought extra value to Caleb University students. Caleb University happens to be one of our partner universities and the whole idea is that we are enhancing the quality of our existing technology offers to them with more robust, hot and latest technologies.We decided to further sensitize the students on the necessity to always validate their skill set with External International certification (EIC).
Olaoye said, “We are here to add highly-sought extra value to Caleb University students. Caleb University happens to be one of our partner universities and the whole idea is that we are enhancing the quality of our existing technology offers to them with more robust, hot and latest technologies.We decided to further sensitize the students on the necessity to always validate their skill set with External International certification (EIC).
We place emphasis on skills so that when the students acquire the skills which we impart to them through our partners, they now validate it with External VUE/Prometric International Certification Examinations so that any one of them that travels abroad will not go and be doing menial jobs, but will be able to compete with their counterparts”.
He particularly emphasized skills acquisition saying that the prevailing socio-economic challenges confronting graduates in the country is becoming extremely serious as reliable report from Nigeria Bureau of Statistics reveals that about 70% of Nigerian graduates are unemployed or under-employed. He said these are the potential captains of industry and they can only be captains of industry if they acquire top of the range competitive skills.
Vice Chancellor, Caleb University, Prof. Ayandiji Aina appreciated New Horizons for its initiative and called on other universities in the country to equip their students with internationally-rated ICT skills as a matter of top priority.
“New Horizons brought the idea of bringing other partners like Huawei Technologies and they are setting up Huawei Academy here. That means they want to have a platform to interact with the students to update their skills in ICT,” he said.In his complimentary presentation titled ICT: A Sure Panacea to Graduate Unemployment & Career Success in the 21st Century, New Horizons Assistant General Manager, Educational Services, Mr. Ferdinand Ezeala said while other sectors are shrinking, opportunities are multiplying in ICT/e business sector as he itemized the global jobs and career opportunities that Nigerian graduates can explore in ICT.

Aptech hinges national development on ICT stability, expansion



Stability of Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector would be critical to the country’s development.

This, according to the Director, Aptech Computer Education, Lekki, Lagos, Joseph Ebinum, has become necessary if the country must play big in the comity of nations.

Ebinum warned that Nigeria is being left behind by other countries of the world, including Africans, which have adopted favourable policies and created enabling environment for business growth.

BROADBAND PLAN DEBACLE: 30 percent penetration target divides ICT sector

…We’ve achieved 22 percent – NCC
…Your calculation is incorrect, replies Paradigm Initiatives
…Achieving 8% in next five months unlikely -NiRA
The expected result would remove barriers to expanding services to the mass market for deeper penetration and adoption. However, five years down the line, the impact of the National Broadband Plan is still mired in debate and argument. Although both the Ministry of Communications Technology and the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, say the country has achieved 22 percent penetration out of the target and hopes to achieve full target within the remaining few months to end of the year, last mile broadband penetration which formed the basis and primary aim of the plan, is still a mirage in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC Prof. Umar Danbatta said part of ongoing efforts by the commission to meet the 30% broadband target is to license three additional Infrastructure Companies, Infracos, bringing the number to seven in the country. Danbatta, said the three Infracos were awaiting approval as the commission had earlier licensed two early in the year to lay the foundation for internet penetration and increased broadband services.
The two Infraco companies are: Zinox Technology Limited for Southeast and Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited for Northeast. He noted that the licenses were issued based on NCC open licensed model which is in line with the National Broadband plan 2013-2018. Before then, Mainone Cable Company had been licensed to provide services in Lagos metropolis, while IHS got its license to cover the North Central geopolitical zone and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Danbatta said: “These licenses have contributed to the growth of internet in the country and also increased the number of users from 28 million in 2012 to over 103 million as at May 2018”. Wrong calculation, faulty implementation.
But the Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Mr Gbenga Sesan, expressed a contrary view. He feels the 22% broadband penetration claim is deceptive. In his calculation, the actual penetration since the plan birthed in 2013 cannot be more than 10 percent.

“However, Nigeria is busy counting mobile broadband. The target of 30% is not just for mobile broadband. When government said we have achieved 22%, they are counting multiple SIM cards owned by the same persons, that is not what it should be. It is lazy to do that. Count subscribers, don’t count SIM cards and the number will drop to less than 10 percent. “We can’t achieve 30% by the end of this year, it is impossible. But we can achieve that 30% in the next two and half years, which means we need to begin to work now. This is why more Infracos should be licensed urgently” he added.
Thirsty fish in an ocean
Nigeria’s case is like a fish complaining of thirst inside the ocean. A deluge of submarine broadband cable investments by private concerns like Mainone, Glo 1, West African Cable System,WACS and NITEL’s Sat 3, have a volume of terabytes lying fallow on the shores of Lagos while the country struggles fruitlessly to achieve last mile deployment. Broadband service providers have attributed this to the inability of the Federal and state governments to harmonise the Right of Way (RoW) levies that give operators access to deploy services.
The National Economic Council (NEC) RoW guideline stipulates N145 per metre for laying fibre network in every part of the country. But it is observed that states have arbitrarily fixed their own charges which range between N1, 500 and N6000. While states like Rivers and Abia, charge N1,500 and N2,000 respectively, others like Lagos, Delta and Ogun charge up to N5840, N4,600 and N6,500 respectively. Yet, only a paltry 38,000 km fibre out of about 120,000 km of fibre network required for pervasive coverage has been deployed in Nigeria.
Poor Internet stats
In September 2017, the International Telecoms Union (ITU) ICT Development Index ranked Nigeria 143 out of the 176 member states, which was exactly the same ranking as 2016 and behind many other African countries including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco and Cote D’Ivoire. In a similar development, the country’s mobile broadband penetration only inched up to 22 per cent from 21 per cent the previous year, thus showing almost no progress.
Industry observers have expressed worry that this is not the way forward for a country that has made tremendous progress in telecom development and should ordinarily plug into broadband revolution, seamlessly. The frightening aspect of the development is the opinion that the effects are adversely telling on the economy of the country and may soon throw Nigeria back into a pariah state. Slow national development, low attraction of foreign direct investment and inadequate infrastructure, are part of the effects the country is said to be feeling as a result of inability of the action plan to lift the broadband development to a desired end.
Way forward
Sesan also took a shot at what he feels could bring reprieve. “RoW prices that are causing trouble should be addressed. All the relevant ministries, transportation, works, communication and other stakeholders need to come together to address it with private sector people and agree on something that is feasible “It has been advised that when you dig the road the first time, create a huge pipe, so that when others are coming they will not need to dig again. We should stop thinking mobile alone but also think about terrestrial infrastructure. We are not going to deliver 100 GBPS to homes with mobile phone. We are in a critical stage and if we are not careful, in the next five years, we will miss the last revolution,”.
The President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association, NIRA, Rev. Sunday Folayan, said to achieve the 30% target, a lot of mobilization needs to be done across board to ensure all stakeholders key into the target. For him, the main focus of attaining deeper penetration should be to impact people’s lives.

“We should not be slaving for internet. We need to keep accurate data of the digital resources we have to attract investment in the sector. That is the essence of keeping data, using what you have to get what you want instead of expending energy.“Right now, we are spending a lot for the world to have easy access to us. It should not be. The world should be the one paying, building the internet because of the access they will have. We need to reverse that mentality that internet is out there. We need to create our own content locally so that the world will come for our content and when they come for our content, they will build our infrastructure.”
Dean of NIRA Academy and former Registrar of Computer Professionals of Nigeria, Mohammed Shehu, said: “We are not there yet, but we are actually making progress, believing that with the right attitude and government working the talk, we can get it. “It is a matter of seriousness. If government says it wants to achieve the target, it will. But it takes strong political will”
“I am faulting the plan implementation because I am one of those who put together the plan. It was a good plan but the implementation has been defective. We have become deceptive; NCC’s 22 percent broadband penetration claim is faulty. In fact, it is less than 10%. In the broadband plan, we set three conditions: we said it will be 1.5MBPS, it will not buffer and the focus should be mainly on terrestrial infrastructure.