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Google commends FG on eNigeria, restates commitment to digitally connect citizens



Google, a Search Engine company, on Thursday, commended the efforts of Federal Government through the National Information Technology Development Agency on effective regulations to promote e-governance in the country.

Titi Akinsomi, the Head of Public Policy Google Nigeria, made the commendation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria at the just concluded eNigeria Conference and Exhibition organised by NITDA in Abuja.

According to her, regulations by NITDA has assisted in providing enabling environment for Information Technology development in the country.

She said: “There is an increasing drive to not just regulate for technology but actually regulate to enable the sector.

“It is no longer just about having a regulation but increasing it to be able to provide the right set of policies and guidance for those who are playing in digital sector.

“Enabling the sector also brings the delivery of such regulations and enabling an environment where regulation is not to curb but rather to enhance and enable more development.

“NITDA has been existing but at this point with the present leadership of the agency, we have seen improved engagement with traditional IT players
and within those who play in the non-traditional space.”

Akinsomi, however, said that harnessing the potential in the IT sector for economic growth would require building capacity of human resources in
the industry and addressing infrastructure problems with regards to internet access.

She said that the country has a huge number of youthful population skilled in their ways of approaching problems and the country needs to
leverage on their skill for digital growth.

She reiterated that Google was committed to working with relevant stakeholders in the country to bring about growth in the IT sector, adding that it was working to connect Nigerians to free internet networks.

She said: “We need to build capacity and address infrastructure challenges and then support and enable the start ups to harness the potential in the IT industry.

“Supporting the start-ups is not just with finances but a holistic approach that helps them live beyond the initial seed stage so that they can grow,
become sustainable and they can effectively compete beyond that local market.”

The Google public policy head added that the country had enough youthful population that was intelligent in terms of the way they approach problems.

She said: “Google is highly committed to granting internet access to Nigerians: we are here to invest in a long term not to invest in a ‘waka pass’.

“We are here to develop to make the promise of the digital economy a reality in Nigeria.”

Akinsomi recognised that internet access was like a venture which had propelled the company to start its Google free Wi-Fi programme to enable access to Nigerians.
She said that the company was working with local partners to be able to make the most in a sustainable way with free Wi-Fi and working to address the gaps in the local market.

She recalled that the company in July announced that it was targeting 200 free Wi-Fi sites in the next one year and some sites were already operational in Lagos with other states underway.

Akinsomi added: “We are being deliberate about going to where there is need, we have been doing a lot of training, digital skills and development training skills, we follow the people.”
eNigeria Conference and Exhibition held between November 5 to November 7 and had in attendance IT stakeholders, experts from the industry, academia, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, private sector, investors, start-up entrepreneurs among other IT dignitaries.

eNigeria was targeted at gathering local and international IT experts to discover new opportunities provided by increasing advancement in technology innovation.

eNigeria conference is also to encourage start-ups and ICT entrepreneurs, aimed at accelerating the development and access to digital products, services to millions of Nigerians, and to ultimately create Africa’s largest single digital market by 2020.


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Yaba Psychiatric Hospital doctors’ strike enters 4th week



The strike action embarked on the 31st of July 2019 by the  Association of Resident Doctors, Federal  Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba has entered its fourth week.

The doctors are protesting what they have described as a “severe lack of doctors to provide seamless delivery of mental health service.”

The strike action was reviewed on Monday August 19th, 2019 when the doctors deliberated for over six hours to review their ongoing industrial action.

The review meeting was called due to timely interventions of key stakeholders.

After their deliberations, the resident doctors in a statement made available to the press “resolved to CONTINUE our industrial action to insist on standard mental health  care for our clients and quality work experience for our overworked doctors, until such a time the Hospital Management deems it fit to meet our singular demand!”

Find below their resolutions:

“1. The Hospital Management is insensitive to the plight of over 535 in-patients and 220 outpatients daily who now receive suboptimal, if not pernicious,  mental health service in the 20 days that this industrial action has been allowed to fester without goal-directed interventions

2. The Hospital Management has blatantly refused to replace the annual exit of resident doctors  for the past four years. Instead, they have let  patient load and clinical work increase significantly for hapless resident doctors  whose health and academic pursuits have suffered irreparably

3. In light of the above, the Hospital Management’s insistence on employing only FIVE locum doctors is highly provocative of our demands. It hardly improves the status quo which already puts overworked resident doctors at the brink of academic failure, health challenges and malpractice suits

Our Resolution

We have resolved to CONTINUE our industrial action to insist on standard mental health  care for our clients and quality work experience for our overworked doctors, until such a time the Hospital Management deems it fit to meet our singular demand!

To this end, we call on Nigerian citizens and the  Presidency under the able leadership of  President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Hospital Management to do the needful in line with the Next Level Agenda of this administration.

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Meet Kashifu Abdullahi, new DG of NITDA and ‘architect’ of cashless banking in Nigeria



President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the new Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA.

The appointment was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Below is the profile of the new NITDA helmsman

Born on February 21, 1980, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

Mr Abdullahi is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years of experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture, across both private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the USA, University of Cambridge in the UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

As the 1st Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s Public Sector, he is also a certified project manager and solution architect. He also has many professional certifications in networking, telecommunications, service management and Solution design such as: Huawei telecommunications engineer, Cisco design professional, ITIL, Prince2, etc.

He has worked at Galaxy Backbone as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead, Technical Solution Design Team between 2004 to 2013.

In 2014, he joined Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives 360 view of the Bank’s IT infrastructure and easy decision on new IT investment. He was part of the team that executed software license rationalization which has increased cost savings for the bank in license annual subscriptions.

Mr Abdullahi was a key resource in the development of IT standards for the apex bank, which has reduced mean time to deploy/integrate new system by over 20%. One of his major achievements as a Technology architect was the production of 7 Solution Architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless society in Nigeria.

He joined NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the Director General/CEO. Being the IT regulatory body in Nigeria mandated to implement National ICT policy, he Managed execution of strategy which has increased ICT contribution to Nigerian GDP by over 13% in Q2 2018.

The new DG coordinated Local Content initiatives that has increased ICT local production by over 200% in 2017.

He also overhauled IT clearance process and encouraged shared services among agencies. This has helped Federal Government saved over 16Bn NGN from IT projects.

Mr Abdullahi also oversaw procurement process that has reduced cost of major projects by over 5% in two consecutive annual procurement cycles.

Additionally, he managed project execution that has implemented over 300 IT infrastructure intervention.

Mr Abdullahi is a member of both British Computer Society (BCS) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) in addition to many memberships to his credit.

He is a recipient of 100 Leading Telecom and ICT Personalities in Nigeria – By Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

Mr Abdullahi is from Hadejia, Jigawa State, and he is married with children.

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Ambode speaks on EFCC search, says ‘no cause for alarm’



Former Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has urged his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding as there was no cause for alarm.

Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Habib Aruna, spoke on the backdrop of a search by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on his Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence where the anti-graft agency conducted the exercise without any incident.

He said the Commission has not opened any direct communication with him on any issue, adding that he was ready and willing to respond if or when they do so.

The statement reads: “This morning, operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, former Governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise the operatives left without any incident.

“The former Governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs he is ready and willing to respond.

“The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.”

The former governor reiterated his belief in the rule of law and due process and remains grateful for the opportunity to have served Lagos State diligently and conscientiously.

It would be recalled that Ambode, in an earlier response to allegations by the EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, insisted that no account of his contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the Commission as those accounts were opened and operated by the Lagos State Government.

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