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Stakeholders Seek investment, Active Participation in Nigeria’s ICT Sector

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ICT

Stakeholders have reiterated the need for investment in Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology sector to boost its economy.

The views were expressed at this year’s Financial Services Innovators and Nigeria Association of Computing Students’ Innovative Challenge, tagged ‘#TechonDemand’ hackathon, according to a statement on Monday by Plexus Media Interlinks, the public relations agency for FSI.

The FSI and NACOS challenge held virtually from October 1 to 9, and physically from October 12 to 14, 2021.

The competition was organised to provide solutions in the digitisation of key sectors such as education, health, transport and financial services.

According to stakeholders at the event, Nigeria needs to invest in infrastructure and human capital development as well as promote indigenous contents in the ICT sector to boost its economy.

The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Abdullahi, said, “The [Nigerian] government has rolled out initiatives to see how we can invest in our people, as we realise that our greatest assets are our people.

“The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s policy is aimed at promoting indigenous content and helping Information Technology businesses to grow and thrive in Nigeria.”

The NITDA DG, therefore, called on Nigerian students to be innovative and to think of ways to use technology to solve problems and create wealth for themselves.

Abdullahi also urged them to leverage the FSI innovative challenge to create jobs.

“You do not need to start thinking of jobs after graduating. For you, the computer students, this is an opportunity to key into this,” he added.

The dream to build a global technology enterprise, the Executive Director of FSI, Mrs Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, said, would involve the active participation of every stakeholder, financial and non-financial institutions, fintechs and government agencies.

“I strongly believe that if we create an enabling platform for young innovators to thrive, we can make Nigeria a global leader in innovative technology,” she added.

The President, Nigeria Computer Society, Prof Adesina Sodiya, said NCS would continue to support and promote technological development and IT business for sustainable development of Nigeria.

On his part, the President of NACOS, Olamilekan Abolade, said, “We want to use our power as students to push for the rebirth of technology, which is the enabler for adequate innovations and ensuring productivity.”

Meanwhile, Wakanda, AAU and STEMInnovators emerged winners of the competition and the teams were awarded N1m, N500,000 and N300,000 prize money respectively.

FutureTrek, The Bells Team, Start Vest, GodHands, Halal Invest, Team KPT and Adashi, who came 4th to 10th positions also got a consolation prize of N100,000 each.

Team Wakanda presented a DigiPay, a USSD-based payments collection system, to clinch the star prize.

Presenting their solution, team Wakanda described DigiPay as a collection system that could allow merchants and associations in higher institutions to collect electronic payments from customers and members.

“The solution will enable the collection of payments for goods sold online, in physical stores or via social media, as well as for the collection of payments for associations in higher institutions,” the team added.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Fintech

Flutterwave Celebrates Inclusion in CNBC’s Top 250 Global Fintechs

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Flutterwave has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Fintech companies globally by CNBC and Statista.

Joining the ranks of industry giants like Ali Pay, Klarna, Piggyvest, and Mastercard, this accolade underscores Flutterwave’s impact on the financial technology sector.

This honor follows Flutterwave’s recent inclusion in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, highlighting the company’s pivotal role in transforming Africa’s payment landscape.

The recognition is a testament to Flutterwave’s dedication to innovation and excellence in providing seamless payment solutions across the continent.

Expressing gratitude, Flutterwave acknowledged its talented team, supportive board, reliable partners, and loyal customers for contributing to this success.

The company continues to drive progress in the fintech industry, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing financial accessibility and inclusion in Africa and beyond.

Flutterwave’s recognition on these prestigious lists marks a proud moment and a significant milestone in its journey, reflecting the company’s growing influence and leadership in the global fintech arena.

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Startups

Google Leads $250 Million Funding Round for Glance

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Google is leading a $250 million funding round for Glance, a mobile content provider.

This infusion of capital aims to expand Glance’s reach and solidify its market position amidst growing competition.

Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi Group, offers a unique service that delivers news, entertainment, and other content directly to users’ mobile screens without unlocking their devices.

With a user base exceeding 300 million across India, the US, Japan, and Indonesia, the startup has gained significant traction since its inception in 2019.

The funding round, expected to close in the coming weeks, marks a continued partnership between Google and Glance.

Google initially invested in the company in 2020, and this latest round will further enhance Glance’s capabilities to innovate and reach new audiences.

This investment reflects Google’s strategic interest in India, the world’s most populous nation, where it competes with tech giants like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon.

With India’s rapidly growing middle class and increasing smartphone adoption, the market presents vast opportunities for digital expansion.

The support from Google comes on the heels of a previous $200 million investment by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest individual, which valued Glance at over $1 billion.

The startup’s largest stakeholder, InMobi, continues to thrive as a pioneer in mobile advertising, with Glance benefiting from its expertise and resources.

As Glance prepares for this new phase of growth, it stands poised to redefine how content is consumed on mobile devices worldwide.

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Cyber Threats Surge as Nigeria’s Digital Economy Expands

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cybercrime - Investors King

As Nigeria’s digital economy flourishes, it faces escalating cyber threats, prompting the Federal Government to issue 33 cyberattack advisories in the past year.

These warnings, issued by the Nigeria Computer and Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), highlight the growing vulnerability of the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Since July 2023, ngCERT has alerted Nigerians to new attack methods and vulnerabilities. With 22 advisories issued in 2024 alone, the surge in cyberattacks coincides with the accelerated digitization spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly internet usage in Nigeria soared from 125,149.86 terabytes in December 2019 to 753,388.77 terabytes in March 2024.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) notes that increased digitalization has heightened cybersecurity risks, necessitating robust protective measures.

According to Check Point Research, Nigerian businesses face approximately 2,308 attacks weekly across all sectors.

The advisories reveal various cyber threats, including ransomware and banking trojans. A recent warning highlighted Grandoreiro, a malware targeting over 1,500 banks globally, affecting 41 banking applications in Nigeria alone.

These attacks aim to steal sensitive financial data, potentially causing significant financial losses.

Nigeria’s critical infrastructure is also under threat. In August, pro-Nigerien hackers attempted to disrupt MTN Nigeria’s network, although they were unsuccessful.

During the 2023 elections, the government recorded 12.99 million cyberattacks, underscoring the scale of the threat.

Cybercrime costs Nigeria about $500 million annually. This includes data damage, stolen money, lost productivity, and post-attack disruptions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked Nigeria as the 16th country worst affected by cybercrime in 2020.

Experts emphasize the need for stronger cybersecurity measures. Adesina Sodiya, a professor of Computer Science and Information Security, warns that cyberattacks will continue to grow in sophistication.

He stresses the importance of building a cybersecurity curriculum and involving experts in creating effective strategies.

In response, NITDA plans to reduce cyberattacks by 40% by 2027. “As we digitize, we must build with security in mind,” said Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA.

The agency aims to implement comprehensive strategies to protect Nigeria’s burgeoning digital economy.

As Nigeria’s digital economy expands, it must address the growing cyber threats that accompany this progress. By enhancing cybersecurity measures and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, Nigeria can safeguard its digital future.

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