- Nigeria to Spend $144bn on ICT by 2019
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami has said, studies have shown that Nigeria will be spending $143.8 billion on Information Communications Technology (ICT), products and services by 2019.
According to him, Nigeria loses about $2.8billion annually from the importation of ICT goods and services, including $1billion spent annually on software imports.
The DG made the disclosure at the 2016 e-Nigeria conference, in Abuja, adding locally manufactured or assembled computers represent less than 8 percent of all the computers used in the country.
Pantami, while calling for private sector investment in the sector added: “We strongly plead with our international manufacturers to domesticate their products in order to achieve a win-win relationship.
“The diversification of our economy has become imperative in the face of dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
“ICT provides a veritable option for diversifying our economy because it has the added advantage of being able to improve efficiency and enhance productivity in all the other sectors of the economy.”
He however said that Nigeria was fortunate to have a large percentage of young Nigerians that have a high level of interest in ICTs, stressing that NITDA is creating an environment that supports high level ICT-based capacity building for them.
He said: “This will create the critical mass required to drive the Local Content programme of the federal government, championed by NITDA.
“We will collaborate with industry leaders and put policies in place to support young Nigerians to develop world-class ICT products. This plan informed our decision to invite several start-ups to eNigeria.”
Within the limits of the mandate set up for the agency, he said NITDA is being repositioned to filter the IT gadgets being imported to the country in the overall interest of the nation.
According to him, there is tremendous gain to be made from a local content policy that encourages the development of local ICT products and services, adding that this will significantly reduce capital flight.
The DG said: “NITDA will lay on regulation, local content development and capacity building, we are making concerted efforts to create, as well as review, existing standards and guidelines.
“This will enable us to regulate the sector in line with the highest global standards. We are committed to ensuring that the proliferation of fake and sub-standard ICT products and services in the country is eliminated or at least significantly curtailed.
“Security in the 21st century is highly reliant on ICTs and we want to encourage the development of ICT-enabled security services across all sectors of the economy. In addition to our support for the use of ICT for physical security, we are also committed to ensuring the cybersecurity of our nation.” he said.
He said NITDA as regulator of the IT industry, will correct irregularities, fight corrupt practices and resist unnecessary and unproductive interference in the affairs of the agency.
In his remark, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was the key note speaker at the occasion, said innovation in digital technology, has no doubt forced diversification on the country, adding that dependence on oil and gas is therefore becoming less important.
According to him, with the development of electric cars in Japan and China, who are importers of Nigeria’s oil, the country’s dependence on oil is gradually becoming irrelevant.
He said: “Nigeria may not be depending on oil for much longer because electric cars in Japan and China will depend basically on the the use of electric. By 2040, cars using electric cars will cost less than $20,000.”
He however regretted that the quantum leap being experienced in technology in the country is only delayed by the deficit in power, bandwidth and other infrastructure.
While assuring that government is investing heavily in technology, he stressed: “We have budgeted for training of 65,000 Nigerians in hardware as well as software in our social protection programme which has the collaboration of the ministry and NITDA.
“This means that we shall be building more local capacity to assemble hardware and software for development
“We shall focusing on technology for media and entertainment which which is relatively new. We intend to create a reservoir of human capacity in technology that can be exported internationally.”
With thee current pace of ICT growth, he assured, that Nigeria will lead India and China as a market for technology and innovation.
Poor Communication, Obsolete Navigational Aids Threaten Air Safety
The Senate Committee on Aviation has said that Nigeria’s airspace is endangered by poor communication between the pilot and the air traffic control (ATC) and non-functional and obsolete navigational aids.
Vice chairman of the Senate committee on aviation, Senator Bala Ibn Na Allah who is also a pilot spoke about the hard decisions pilots have to take every day in order to fly safely through the airspace with inadequate navigational equipment, noting that ineffective communication in the airspace has become inimical to air safety.
N’Allah recalled that these problems have been there over the years despite huge amount of money spent on projects to improve safety in the airspace.
The Committee berated the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), saying that the later has failed in its oversight functions to regulate the airspace management agency, It decried the billions of Naira spent on equipment procurement and execution without any discernible improvement in airspace safety.
Na’Allah observed that in the aviation industry, contracts are inflated and when compared to other countries, a 10th of what is budgeted to execute a project in Nigeria is used to provide the best of similar project overseas, adding “The navigational aids we have in Ghana, Togo, Dakar, Senegal, we have spent five times of the money they spent, yet we are yet to have the kind of equipment they have. So when we talk about funds the problem is much more than that. Collectively we have failed, so individually let us correct those mistakes that we made in the past. We do not have the funds now. We will never have the kind of funds that we had in the past in the foreseeable future. So we need to change our attitude now.”
The Committee promised to into the activities of the industry, the money the Senate appropriated to the different agencies and review the execution of the projects in line with the funds allocated to them.
However, the acting Managing Director of NAMA, Emma Anasi explained that paucity of funds have been the major factor for failure to implement projects in the agency and traced the history of communication and navigational aids in Nigeria airspace. He noted that expansion and multiplication of airports and air routes hampered the effectiveness of these equipment, which was initially made for relatively limited part of the airspace.
He said a major part of this problem would be solved if NAMA completes the on-going Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) automation, which is meant to improve communication in the airspace.
“When the project, which we call Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) automation was started it was designed to do two principal things. Create a V-SAT network in double redundant mode to enable us establish more extended VHF coverage sites and those sites are Benin, Calabar, Yola, Kaduna and many more. We have issues like that in Lagos, but this project by the time we finished it you can file your flight plan from you bedroom or from your cockpit because the network is web based. The network will also enable us to cover all the routes with radio communication to flight level 100. That is our target,” Anasi said.
Bolt Bags €20 Million From World Bank’s IFC to Expand Operations in Emerging Economies
Bolt, the leading European mobility platform, announced new funding of €20 million received from World Bank’s IFC.
“We’re delighted to announce that we’ve received €20 million in funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group”, Bolt said.
The investment came less than three months after the Estonian company raised €150 million in a round led by D1 Capital Partners.
Through this investment, Bolt will continue to develop mobility solutions that create earning opportunities, stimulate entrepreneurship and improve access to transportation in emerging economies. One of the shared goals of Bolt and the IFC is to empower women and improve their access to mobility.
According to Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC Senior Vice President of Operations, “Technology can and should unlock new pathways for sustainable development and women’s empowerment.”
“Our investment in Bolt aims to help tap into technology to disrupt the transport sector in a way that is good for the environment, creates more flexible work opportunities for women, and provides safer and more affordable transportation access in emerging markets.”
Recently, Bolt introduced a women-only ride-type in South Africa for her customers to address safety needs, enable women passengers to connect with women drivers, improve women’s mobility and access to earning opportunities.
Markus Villig, CEO of Bolt, said the goal of the company and its partnership with IFC is to Provide strategic value to emerging economies
“We are looking forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship, empower women and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Eastern Europe.
“Together with the investment from the European Investment Bank last year, we are proud to have sizable and strategically important institutions backing us and recognising the strategic value Bolt is providing to emerging economies.”
Crowdyvest Attracts New Investors and Appoints Tope Omotolani as CEO
Crowdyvest Limited, an impact-driven fintech platform, launched in 2019 by Onyeka Akumah and four other Co-Founders has today announced a big change in its leadership and additional investment in the company, in a bid to scale up as a digital savings company.
Crowdyvest was created to provide all-in-one financial solutions for individuals and businesses to achieve short or long-term goals while facilitating impactful growth in line with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The Fintech company went live in beta-stage in August 2019 but launched fully as a crowdfunding platform in January 2020 where its users and sponsors can sponsor high-impact opportunities that yield good benefits through its pooled sponsorships and individual projects.
Today, however, the company announced Onyeka Akumah will officially step down as the CEO of Crowdyvest and Tope Omotolani who is currently the Managing Director and also a co-founder, will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the startup, effective immediately. Notwithstanding this change in leadership, all the management and staff of Crowdyvest will be retained. And as a result of the new investment in Crowdyvest, the fintech startup will completely exit the EMFATO Holdings group and also transition from its previous crowdfunding model to making strides as the go-to digital wealth management and savings platform under Tope’s leadership.
Onyeka Akumah speaking on this development said, “I have taken this decision to step down as the CEO of Crowdyvest as a result of the new investment in the company which gives it good footing for scale. Today, Crowdyvest is exiting fully from EMFATO Holdings and we are very happy about the new investors led by Tope, and excited to see how Tope will lead this business to new heights. I will now focus more on leading Farmcrowdy and Plentywaka as CEO of both companies into new markets in 2021. Tope is a strong and amazing leader and I see her leading Crowdyvest to become one of the leading wealth management companies in Nigeria within the next 3-5 years. I wish her and the team all the best and will continue to advise them on their journey when needed’’.
The new CEO, Tope Omotolani also said, “It’s an honor and a privilege for me to be able to lead the team to the next level and next chapter of the business. Onyeka founded this company on the ethos of integrity and strong customer satisfaction and I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead this technology company into it’s next chapter. Our major goal and focus as Crowdyvest is that we see a lot of people become financially free and we’re able to do this by the products that we create on the platform”.
The emergence of female leaders has become a centrifugal force for good in the world and many organisations. For the first time, we’re seeing examples of female leaders emerging from across the generations to cross-weave their knowledge and drive for change and Crowdyvest is joining the wave of change having a Female Leader and CEO.
Crowdyvest is today launching the Crowdyvest Savings Platform to give savings options to over 10,000 subscribed members on it’s platform. This savings platform will give its members a variety of plans to help build a savings culture based entirely on their pace, so they can reach their life goals faster.
This savings platform has four products that are properly tailored to fit all categories of individuals, including the Millenials, Gen Z, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, and each of these products have their unique features and benefits. They are;
Flex Savings which speaks to our young and trendy Gen Zs and Millenials, gives them the opportunity to save as much as they like with the option of withdrawing their money at any time during the year with a withdrawal fee of 2%. The Flex savers also have the opportunity of 7 official withdrawal days which comes without a withdrawal fee.
Vault Savings here, users have the opportunity to safely deposit money into their vaults and lock it for a period of time (3 months, 6 months, or for years). Funds deposited in the vault will be locked and ineligible for withdrawal throughout the locked period. The vault savings is for long-term savings and is targeted at pensioners, trust funds savings, legacy savings, etc.
Pace Savings, savers have the opportunity to deposit money as they wish for a set target. The pace savings option is recurring starting with the least period of 3 months. The money can be deposited automatically into the plan or manually based on the saver’s preference. The plan is targeted at salary earners, entrepreneurs, etc.
Flex Dollar Savings gives savers the opportunity to save and earn returns in dollars. Crowdyvest Members have the opportunity to grow their savings in a more valuable & stable denomination.
Every saver enjoys the benefits of good interest rates from 12.5% to 15%, zero bank charges, plans tailored for everyone, and effective and prompt customer service. We also have referral opportunities where you can earn as much as NGN 1000 for every person you refer to Crowdyvest. For more information, visit the Crowdyvest website.
Previously as a crowdfunding platform, Crowdyvest was able to create an impact by funding 24 projects across various sectors including Agriculture, Real Estate, Transportation, etc, has worked with 9 project partners, has operated in 17 states with over 10,000+ active sponsors, over 90,000+ total users, and over 8,000 Monthly Active Users. Today, the company is a Digital Savings platform with closed membership, Crowdyvest will provide financial solutions for her community of individuals and organizations that are committed to long-term growth and financial freedom.
FirstWave Signs Level 1 Partner Agreement with pan-African technology company Moja Access
Leading Australian-headquartered, global, cybersecurity-as-a-service company, FirstWave Cloud Technology Limited (ASX: FCT) (FirstWave), is pleased to announce the signing of a three-year Level 1 Partner Agreement with Moja Access, part of CSquared Group (www.csquared.com), a pan-African technology company.
Moja Access is the Kenya-based operating company of CSquared, a joint venture between Google LLC, Japan-based Mitsui & Co, investment firm Convergence Partners, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group), with the goal to make commercially driven investments to improve and increase connectivity and internet access in Sub-Saharan Africa.
CSquared currently operates fibre and last mile WiFi networks in several cities across Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Liberia, with over 40 mobile operators and internet service providers relying on its infrastructure for serving mobile consumers and corporate customers. These four African nations had over 10 million Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and over 70 million internet users at the end of 2020.
In the initial phase of this partnership, FirstWave has deployed its recently launched FirstCloud™ WebProtect DNS platform for each of CSquared’s four territories for use by CSquared’s operating companies and Level 2 partners. CSquared’s operating companies’ partners and their end-customers will get the web security solution as part of their internet service on an “opt-out” basis.
As a consequence, revenue generation will commence immediately, and end-customers can ‘opt-out’ if, for any reason, they decide they do not want the service. Moja Access is currently in conversations with customers for uptake of this service.
The Partnership Agreement is for a 3-year term with rolling 6-month extension options thereafter and in keeping with FirstWave’s unique service proposition – democratising enterprise-grade cybersecurity-as-aservice – the vast number of MSMEs and Internet users across these 4 African nations can now be protected on CSquared’s network from cyber intruders, on a consumption basis, at an affordable monthly price.
FirstWave’s business head for EMEA & North America region, Sundar Bharadwaj, said, “CSquared Group’s Kenya-based entity Moja Access is a truly innovative partner for FirstWave in Sub-Saharan Africa with excellent credentials with its Telco and ISP client base. We look forward to expanding the reach for our Enterprise-grade cybersecurity solutions to small and large end-customers through this partnership.”
Lanre Kolade, Group CEO of CSquared, said, “We are very excited to have signed this partnership with FirstWave. Our clients, including Telcos and Internet Service Providers, will benefit from FirstWave’s differentiated SaaS products. It will allow us to rapidly deploy and sell on a consumption based monthly pricing model, enterprise grade cybersecurity services to all our clients and their end-customers, large and small.”
FirstWave’s CEO, Neil Pollock, said, “I’m delighted to welcome CSquared Group’s Moja Access as our 8th Level 1 partner and see initial revenues already flowing from the partnership. CSquared is a fast-growing pan-African service provider backed by two large global corporations Google LLC and Mitsui & Co. CSquared already delivers robust fibre connectivity and internet access to thousands of end-customers via its 40+ mobile operator and ISP clients. With revenues already delivered, the partnership has had a really positive start.”
This announcement has been approved for release by the Board of Directors.
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