- Nigeria to Partner Kenya, Rwanda on Optimal Use of ICT
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has disclosed that, the federal government has commenced a working relationship with Kenya and Rwanda governments on the maximum use of ICT to improve the financial inclusiveness of an average Nigerian.
Also, he said that federal government is contemplating establishing a communications bank which will be a development bank that will assist in the financing of communication and ICT companies based in the country .
Shittu disclosed this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital at the weekend while fielding questions from journalists on the state of the nation.
He said that Nigeria has to bury her pride and visit the two smaller African countries to learn how they have advanced in their technological knowhow and how they have used communication and ICT to improve the living standard of their citizens .
Shittu observed that in Nigeria today, less than 50percent of the local government areas lack banking facilities hence they are being excluded from physical policies of government but with the e-banking being introduced.
He explained that Nigerians can operate financial transactions from their homes as well as transact other official business through their GSM including applying for international passports
The minister also explained that the establishment of the bank would create a welfare society and assist operators of communication companies to access working capital at low interest rate lamenting that foreign ICT operators are finding it extremely difficult to operate presently in the country hence the need for the Federal Government to come to their aid.
According to him, telecommunication business is very expensive as it requires huge capital explaining that $240million would be needed to obtain a license while installation of a mast would attract about N40billion.
The minister described the Ministry of Communications as the second after the petroleum sector in terms of revenue generation to the coffers of the federal government, stressing that in the past 16 years, GSM operators are contributing about 12 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He added that the communication sector is the highest employer of Labour today in the country noting that, the federal government was doing everything possible to create an enabling environment for operators of that sector so that business would run more profitably.
Shittu disclosed that there are also plans to produce SIM cards through local production adding that a letter to that effect has been forwarded to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for approval
Speaking on the laws guiding the operation of GSM in the country , the minister said non registration of SIM cards attract a fine of N250,000 and recalled that recently MTN paid the federal government the sum of N80billion out of the N330billion fined the company for failing to deactivate over five million unregistered SIM cards.
He announced that NCC, which is under his ministry, has introduced a toll free line for members of the public to make complaints about deficiencies they face in their mobile services.
Shittu however, urged the federal government to improve its power sector optimally and provide adequate security for communication installations to guide against vandalism assuring that the future of communications in the country is very bright under the present administration.
FG Lifts Ban on New SIM Cards’ Issuance
The federal government yesterday reversed its policy banning the sale of new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, in agreement with industry stakeholders, also yesterday revised the National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration.
According to him, the activation of new SIM card, banned in December last year, will begin in April.
Pantami directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure the provisions of the National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.
He said the implementation of the policy and issuance of new SIMs and other suspended activities would resume on the same date, provided that verification had been completed and the guidelines fully adhered to.
According to a statement by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, an earlier policy was approved on February 4, 2020, while the revised policy was developed in early March 2021. The policy was further improved and endorsed for implementation by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 26, 2021.
According to the statement, the final amendments to the revised policy, based on the directives of Buhari to make the use of the National Identification Number (NIN) mandatory for all SIM registration, were completed on April 14, 2021.
The policy includes guidelines on new SIM acquisition and activation, SIM replacement, new SIM activation for corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M), among others.
The statement said: “For the corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a telecoms master (at the minimum of an executive management level) to provide the operational primary NIN representation. The telecoms master will also be responsible to ensure that the users provide their NINs to serve as a secondary NIN.
“For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point-to-point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.”
Pantami stated that progress had been made in the NIN registration process.
“Nonetheless, the federal government is committed to supporting all Nigerians and legal residents to obtain a NIN. The biometric verification process has been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the NIMC standards.
“The revised policy will ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture. The guidelines in the policy have been painstakingly developed and while they are thorough, it should be noted that they have been developed that way in national interest since the SIM is essentially a national resource. Citizens and legal residents are encouraged to bear with the government as the process has been developed in the best interest of the country,” the statement added.
Walmart eCommerce Sales to Grow by 21% in 2021 to $65 Billion, Nearly a Sixth of Amazon’s $367 Billion
A massive boom in click-and-collect trends is expected to accelerate Walmart’s pandemic-driven momentum through 2021.
According to the research data analyzed and published by ComprarAcciones.com, Walmart’s online sales will grow by 21.2% to $64.62 billion in 2021. Its share of US online sales will rise from 6.7% in 2020 to 7.1% in 2021.
Based on the latest NRF ranking, Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer, followed closely by Amazon. Its total sales for 2020 – both online and offline – amounted to $559 billion, more than $200 billion ahead of Amazon’s figure.
Click-and-Collect Purchases will Grow by 15% to $83 Billion in 2021
Walmart’s US online sales for 2021 will almost double eBay’s estimated $38.67 billion. They will also be higher than the combined total of $60.59 billion that Best Buy, Target and The Home Depot will generate.
However, the big box retailer will be far behind the top US online marketplace, Amazon. Amazon’s sales are projected to reach $367.19 billion, nearly six times the Walmart total. Its share of US online sales will increase from 39.8% to 40.4%. Third-party vendors on the platform will grow sales by 16.5% to $220.39 billion. That will be 60% of total sales.
Among the factors driving Walmart’s growth is its huge brick-and-mortar footprint which drives online sales via click-and-collect. It has more than 4,700 stores in the US and 90% of Americans live within a 10-mile radius of one of them.
The click-and-collect trend saw significant growth in 2020. According to an eMarketer report, US shoppers made purchases worth $72.46 billion using the method. Compared to the 2019 total of $35.02 billion, the figure marked a growth rate of 106.9% YoY. It accounted for 9.1% of all online purchases, up from 5.8% in 2020. The growth is expected to carry into 2021. Total sales are also set to rise by 15.2% to $83.47 billion.
Service Robots to Hit $30B in Sales by 2022, a 30% Increase in Two Years
Unlike the industrial robotics sector, service robots have received a boost from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to data presented by BuyShares, the entire market is expected to continue growing strongly and hit over $30bn in sales by 2022, a 30% increase in two years.
Americas Lead in the Use of Service Robots, Entire Market to Hit $12B Value in 2022
Recent years have witnessed a surge in the use of service robots, as they offer increased productivity and convenience in both professional and private settings. The entire market is divided into two main segments. Commercial robots are used to perform tasks in a business environment, like medical robots and automated guided vehicles used in warehouses.
Personal service robots include convenience robots, which perform tasks like cleaning and vacuuming, and entertainment robots, such as toys and photography drones.
In 2018, the entire market generated $13.7bn in sales volume, revealed the Statista survey. This figure surged by almost 70% in the next two years, reaching $23.1bn in 2020. The growing demand for service robots is expected to continue this year, with the sales value rising by another 17% YoY to $27bn. By the end of 2022, this figure is forecast to jump by another $3bn.
Statistics show the service robotics market is led by the Americas, with an estimated sales value of $10.8bn in 2021, up from $7.4bn before the pandemic. This figure is forecast to jump to over $12bn in 2022.
As the second-largest region, the Asia Pacific is expected to hit almost $7.4bn in sales volume in 2021, a 20% jump in a year. The European market follows with a $7.3bn value.
Medical Robots to Generate One-Third of Total Sales Value
Statistics show that most service robots are used in the medical industry, expected to generate almost $9bn or 33% of total sales value this year. In the next twelve months, this figure is set to jump to $10bn. Technical innovations and demographic developments drive the market growth of these robots.
Robotic technologies can be more precise and flexible than human surgeons, making robot-assisted surgery a popular option. Since they are immune to infectious diseases, medical robots have also been implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also widely used in diagnostic, rehabilitation, and nursing care.
Statistics show the Americas dominate the medical robot’s market. However, due to aging populations, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness the most significant growth in the future.
Convenience robots for domestic tasks ranked as the second-largest segment, with $6.7bn in sales value in 2021. This figure is set to reach almost $7.5bn next year. These robots are increasingly finding their way into households worldwide. Packed with different capabilities, they can make everyday life more comfortable. Statistics show the Asia-Pacific region is the leading market for convenience robots. However, the largest producer, iRobot, is headquartered in the United States.
As the fastest-growing segment of the commercial service robotics market, logistics is forecast to hit over $3.9bn in sales volume this year, up from $3.1bn in 2020. The pandemic fuelled eCommerce surge continues driving demand for logistics robots, as they help automate and optimize operations, enabling higher precision, lower costs, and faster delivery times.
The Asia-Pacific region is forecast to witness the biggest increase in sales volume. However, Europe is expected to maintain its position as the region with the most sales of logistics service robots.
Statistics show the entire logistics robots industry is set to continue growing and reach $4.5bn in sales by 2022.
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