… As NITDA bags DWTC award
Beyond the six technology entrepreneurs currently showcasing their products at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2018, there is now funding hope on the horizon for many technology start-ups in Nigeria. This was the result of a well-packaged investment forum organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the global technology show, where the Nigerian delegation took turns to advertise huge potentials for investments in the country’s ICT sector to potential investors from across the world.
Funding has been a major challenge confronting many start-ups in the country, however, investors from across the world have indicated interest in exploring the potentials in Nigeria ICT ecosystem, especially, start-ups. Specifically, a Venture Capital (VC) currently based in Mauritius, ArifSaiyad & Associados Ventures, with a $15 million fund for African start-ups has expressed interest in investing part of the fund on Nigerian start-ups. Founder and CEO of the VC, Mr Arif Sayad, said he had seen a lot of potentials in Nigeria and would be looking viable start-ups in the country to invest part of the VC fund in.
Another VC from Egypt, Endure Capital also expressed satisfaction with Nigeria’s pitch at the investor forum, adding that Nigeria is a place to be for the venture. Partner at the company, Waleed Khalil said the company would be partnering with other companies in Nigeria to invest in start-ups.
Other investors who listened to pitches from the six Nigerian start-ups in Dubai were impressed by the innovations of the young entrepreneurs and promised to engage them further to see how they could partner with them.\
NITDA in its bid to grow the ICT sector with local capacity has been empowering tech start-ups in many ways. Part of such efforts is the international exposures being given to the young entrepreneurs by sponsoring them to GITEX and other international events. This year, the agency had sponsored six start-ups, each from the geo-political zones in the country to participate Future Stars event holding alongside GITEX.
In his opening speech at the forum, the Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Pantami , highlighted the potentials and opportunities in Nigeria for investors. According to him, Nigeria has a ready pool of young “digital natives” awaiting investors in the ICT sector. “With a population having an average age of 18.2 years, Nigeria is the 22nd youngest country on earth. The youthfulness of our population is an asset and the fact that many young Nigerians are ICT enthusiasts even makes it better. Investors can be assured of accessing a large pool of youthful and skilful employees at a fair-price, more cost-effective than engaging employees in other parts of the world” he said.
“Innovation is part of our DNA as Nigerians and there are several stories of innovation across the globe that has the imprint of Nigerians. HopStop, an online city transit App acquired by Apple for a whopping $1billion, was owned by a Nigerian-born Entrepreneur. In August 2018, a team of Nigerian teenagers won the first place in the junior division of the Technovation World Pitch Summit that took place in Silicon Valley. A Nigerian entrepreneur also developed Mekamon, the world’s first gaming robot, with the special ability to customize the gaming bot to perform personalized functions. He got a dream deal with Apple pricing each unit at $300 and putting them in nearly all their stores in the United States and the United Kingdom” Pantami added.
He pointed out that while African startups raised $560 million in 2017, Nigerian startups accounted for $114.6 million of the amount. “These investments and stories of innovation underscore the viability of the Nigerian startups and the capacity of Nigerians to conceive ingenious ideas. We invite you, our potential investors, to take advantage of this massive talent pool as you invest in Nigeria” he said.
Giving a total assurance to the potential investors, members of National Assembly present at the forum said they would do everything possible to terms of legislation to ensure that investors enjoy smooth operation in Nigeria. According to the Vice Chairman Senate Committee on ICT, Senator Foster Ogola, the lawmakers would be ready for suggestions on any area requiring legislation to address challenges confronting investors in the country.
Meanwhile, the organisers of GITEX, Dubai World Trade Centre have commended NITDA for its consistency in promoting ICT development in Nigeria. This feat earned the agency the DWTC award which was presented to NITDA’s DG at the end of the Africa Investment Forum in Dubai. According to DWTC has been playing significant roles in in the growth of ICTs in Nigeria and deserved a commendation.
-Culled from New Telegraph
ASUU to FG: You must pay N50b before resumption
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday insisted that the federal government must N50billion revitalisation fund for it to consider suspending its ongoing strike.
The Union also said it had lost confidence in government making empty promises which it will not keep to after agreements have been reached.
Other conditions attached to the suspension of the strike is the presentation of concrete evidences of the payment of the promised N20billion earned academic allowances and showing how the balance of N85billion will be paid with timelines.
ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi who stated this on Sunday in Ibadan while speaking to newsmen added that the members of the Union have said only concrete evidences of implementation by the government would make them return to the classrooms.
According to Ogunyemi, while ASUU has rejected Government’s proposal of N20billion (which is to be paid in two tranches) made by the government on the revitalisation of Universities, the union is asking government to mainstream the earned academic allowances into the 2019 budget which is still being worked on by the National Assembly.
He lamented that the Nigeria’s ruling class does not see education as a priority but prefer to create new education colonies of private educational institutions which cannot meet the needs of Nigerian children.
$217.7b looted in Nigeria in 38 years – Magu
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has revealed the total money stolen in Nigeria between 1970 and 2008 was $217.7 billion.
Magu made this known during annual conference of the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, held in Abuja.
Represented by the EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, Magu said Nigeria constituted about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share of illicit financial outflow.
He said: “In February 2015, a High-level panel on illicit Financial Flows from Africa constituted by the African Union under the chairmanship of the former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, revealed that Nigeria ranked first among 10 African countries by Cumulative Illicit Financial flows between 1970 and 2008.
“The total outflow from Nigeria for the period was $217.7 billion, constituting about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share.”
Magu also said the investigation, arrests, prosecution and asset recoveries undertaken by EFCC over the years confirmed that the level of corruption in Nigeria was truly staggering.
He said: “The various investigations, arrests, prosecution and asset recoveries we have been undertaking at the EFCC over the years have confirmed to us that the level of corruption in Nigeria us truly staggering.
“Thus horrible and inhuman crime is being perpetrated by individuals and groups in both the private and public sectors all over the country.
“The latter include serving and defunct state governors, cabinet ministers, high ranking officers, chief executives of parastatals, and top bureaucrats in the state and federal government agencies.
“The alarming rate of corruption committed by these unpatriotic elements can be partly seen in the number of convictions secured by the EFCC from Nigerian courts since I assumed duty as the head of the Commission in 2015.
“The figure stands at 103 in 2015, 195 (2016), 189 (2017) and 312 for the period January to November 2018.
“The total figure for the period January 2015 to 2018 is a mind blowing 799 convictions.
“In the process of such convictions, the EFCC recovered: N794.5 billion, $261 million, £1.1 million, 8.1 million euro and CFA 86,500.
“Other recoveries under my tenure include: Seized 407 mansions, 281 under interim forfeiture and 126 under final forfeiture.
“Confiscated hundreds of filling stations, petroleum products, real estate, heavy machineries and investment shares.
“Seized 87 lands, 56 under interim forfeiture and 42 under final forfeiture.
Acting IG Adamu reverses Idris last-minute postings
Strong indications emerged Tuesday that four out of the seven Deputy Inspectors-General of Police in the Nigeria Police Force may leave the force alongside the former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who retired on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the DIGs, who are members of the Police Management Team and senior to the acting IG, Mohammed Adamu, might be forced out of the service to pave the way for him to set up a new management team he could work with.
It was gathered that those that might be affected by the reorganisation include DIG Maigari Dikko in Charge of Department of Finance and Administration; DIG Joshuak Habila, Department of Operations; DIG Emmanuel Inyang, Information and Communications Technology; and DIG Agboola Oshodi-Glover, Logistics and Supply Departments.
Police sources said that DIGs Mohammed Katsina (Research and Planning Department); Sani Mohammed (Training and Development Department); and Peace Madueke -Abdallah (Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department) who were promoted late last year could survive the impending purge of the Police Management Team.
“The three DIGs were on the same rank as Adamu last year. In fact, Abdallah was a Commissioner of Police the same time the acting IG was also a CP, so they were almost on the same level. By virtue of this fact, the new police boss may include them in his management team and save their career from sudden death.”
It was gathered that Abdallah, who has about six years to retire, may be the worst casualty of the purge if Adamu decided to dispense with all the police management team members.
The decision to retain any of the PMT members rested on the acting IG, who is expected to write to the Police Service Commission about his chosen team members.
Meanwhile, the new Police Chief has reportedly reversed some last-minute postings and redeployments carried out by Idris few days before his retirement.
It was gathered that the redeployment of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, by the former IG was overturned while other senior officers who were also posted to new commands and formations had been asked to stay action until further notice.
This development, sources said, meant that the redeployment order by Idris would not be obeyed unless sanctioned by the acting IG.
Shortly after meeting with the DIGs in his office at the force headquarters, Adamu was seen going from floor to floor, meeting officers and familiarising himself with his men.
The acting IG, who was decorated with his new rank at the State House by President Muhammadu Buhari, hailed from Lafia, Nasarawa State, and is a holder of Bachelor of Science degree in Geography.
He enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as Cadet Assistant Superintendent and had attended several Senior Officer Courses on Law Enforcement, Crime Prevention, Control and Management within and outside Nigeria.
Before his appointment as acting IG, he was at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.
He was also the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti and Enugu states and also Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5 Police Command Headquarters, Benin, Edo State.
Earlier on Tuesday, the acting IG said the police under his watch would be professional and fair to all parties while providing security for the general elections beginning on February 16.
Adamu stated that there were rules of engagement for the Nigeria Police, adding they would be strictly applied in dealing with security matters. He stressed that the police would not pander to the desires of any groups or interests.
Adamu was decorated by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa. Idris, who was appointed IG in 2016, bowed out on Tuesday as he retired from service at the age of 60 years.
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