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Digital Economy: NITDA launches ‘Smart Agric Platform’ to create jobs

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NITDA DG, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has launched a platform Smart Agro Business to connect Nigerians who are interested in investing in agro business.

The Director General of the Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE said that Smart Agro Platform comprises of farmers, government agencies, agric experts, banks and micro-lenders, extension services, hardware solution providers, software developers, customers, marketplace, among others across the agric value chain.

He said, “This project was conceived in order to support Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami’s focus especially in making his dream reality towards turning the country into digital-driving economy and ensure the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is end hunger and achieve good security by 2030.

The DG further noted that Smart Agro is the beginning of a transformation in the agriculture sector to enable farmers contribute effectively to the digital economy of Nigeria and create jobs for the teeming youths.

“What we did is to rethink agriculture differently, by creating a digital platform that will connect the Agric ecosystem and enable the possibility of new business models by the private sector which will, in turn, generate new products and services and create value across the Agric value chain,” he said.

He added that, “NITDA Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) is a project conceived to create about 6 million jobs in the next 5 to 10 years through our technology platform.

According to NITDA desk officer department of e-Government development and regulation Lukman Lamid the idea is to support 25 graduates in each of the 774 LGAs on modern agric methods, give them the resources and the right technology to enable them to manage their farms from planting to harvesting and marketing.

“This pilot phase is a proof of concept which had witnessed selection, training and support of 15 graduates in Gombe state on modern farming methods in collaboration with National Agriculture Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS).

“We have developed a digital platform in which its mobile app components will continue to serve NITDA supported farmers, any other farmer and all the ecosystem members when it is fully ready.

Lamid noted that ability to get information to monitor farms in real-time and connect with resources to manage farm effectively will improve crop yield, quality of farm produce per block of land and profit for these farmers.

“In the future, we would deploy and integrate smart technologies such as IoT on the platform to improve the accuracy and the processes of getting information in real-time, integrate with GIS technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Big data analytics among other emerging technologies to add more value to the platform.

Lamid stated that the innovation is a product of research paper “Towards Diversification of Nigeria Economy through Smart Agriculture” published by the Minister in June 2017 in International Journal of Computer Science and Information Technology Research.

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THE NATION

Cool FM’s Amin Mousalli, Allon Nelken, Kavitta Chellaram, Diana Chan, others for Ethnic Business Awards

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Nigeria-based foreigners who’re contributing to the nation’s economy in terms of visible investments and employment generation will be honoured and celebrated during the Ethnic Business Awards (www.theethnicbusinessawards.com) on Valentine’s day, February 14th, 2020 at the prestigious Oriental hotel Lagos.

These diaspora foreigners who have chosen Nigeria as home despite the stormy waters, according to the organizers of the epoch making event deserve more than celebration and will be honoured in different categories such as Ethnic Man of The Year, Woman of The Year, Entrepreneur of The Year, CSR Brand, Beauty Brand, Financial Institution to mention but a few.

On the Ethnic Man of The Year category are revered international business tycoon such Alli Mousalli of Cool FM, Allon Nelken, (Mega Plaza), Benoy Berry (Contec Group), Robert Tung (Wempco), Mann Lababidi of Crown Flour Mills to mention but a few while the nominees for Ethnic Woman of The Year are Diana Chan (GAC Motors), Kavita Chellaram (ArtHouse Contemporary) and Caterina Bortolussi of Kinabuti Fashions.

Diana Chan (GAC Motors)

Other interesting categories are the Ethnic Financial Institutions where the likes of Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered and Citi Bank are being nominated.

Foreign entertainers who’re making waves in the Nigerian showbiz industry will also be honoured in the catrgories itemized as Cross-Over Actors, Actress and Musician of The Year. Prominent African stars such as Juliet Ibrahim (Ghana), Princess Shyngle (Gambia), Cynthia Emade (Cameroun), Ela Mensah (Ghana), Okawa Shaznay among others.

Ella Mensah

The Ethnic Business Awards is aimed at recognizing and appreciating the outstanding contributions of foreign businesses, organisations, individuals and communities to corporate Nigeria, “this is like thinking outside the box, the awards is designed to reward and encourage innovations and excellence among Nigeria-based foreigners in enterprise”.

Inspired by the growing population of foreign investors, organisations, individuals and migrants communities who have impressed with remarkable inputs into the growth of the Nigerian economy, the Ethnic Business Awards [EBA] seeks to reward the best practices in commerce, international diplomacy and excellence across other industries.

Nigeria became Africa’s largest economy for the second year in a row according to a multinational professional services network, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in 2019. Beyond doubts, this feat would have been impossible without the faith reposed in her by men and women of other nationalities who have defied doom prediction to swarm Nigeria to grow her commerce.

The EBA (www.theethnicbusinessawards.com) pays very special attention to promising and established foreign companies, missions, communities, organisations and individuals of sterling qualities all of whom have been identified and grouped into different categories following a public opinion poll and wide consultations with some of the industry’s finest experts.

The event holds on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2020 at the prestigious Oriental hotel Lagos.

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THE NATION

We’re not recruiting, Nigeria Immigration warns

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned applicants against patronising fake recruitment sites as the Service was not recruiting.

A statement by its spokesperson, Sunday James, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the NIS Comptroller-General, Muhammad Babandede, issued the warning while reacting to the reported existence of fake NIS websites across the country.

It particularly noted that the website – https/nis/recruitmentname.ng – where unsuspected Nigerians were being duped, was fake.

“The service is hereby disassociating itself from the fake claims and advising Nigerians against subscribing to it as no recruitment is ongoing in the service.

“The service recruitment exercise is always advertised in reputable national dailies, televisions and on its website – www.immigration.gov.ng – and it is usually free,“ the statement noted.

He advised the general public to desist from patronising fraudsters and report any suspected case to the following platform and telephone number – nis.servicom@nigeriaimmigration.gov.ng. and 07080607900.

(NAN)

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THE NATION

UNILAG VC, Prof Ogundipe eulogises Pantami, says he is a man of integrity

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L-R: University of Lagos Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ogundipe with the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami when the latter paid him a visit in Abuja on Tuesday

The Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has described the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM as a man of unquestionable integrity who keeps to his promise.

The Vice Chancellor made his position known on Tuesday when he led the management of the institution to a courtesy visit to appreciate the Honourable Minister for the various IT intervention projects donated to the institution aimed at enhancing research and learning.

The VC also invited the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami to deliver a lecture at the upcoming convocation ceremony of the institution scheduled to hold in March.

In his remarks, the ‘Next Level’ vibrant, energetic and focused Minister, Dr Pantami pledged the Ministry’s commitment under his watch to bridge the gap between academia and industry, stressing that skills are very important and critical in driving a digital economy in Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister said “in Nigeria today, we are producing many potential employees and fewer potential employers”, adding that “in technology and most importantly in digital technology, if you can marry both degrees and skills that is the best, however, if it’s only one, then skills have priority over certificates”.

Dr. Pantami maintained that there is a need to think outside the box and enhance the skills of the younger generation through mentorship to drive a digital economy and position the country on the path of prosperity.

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