‘Nigeria’s downstream digitization elusive despite huge benefits’

‘Nigeria’s downstream digitization elusive despite huge benefits’

Tech

Stakeholders have expressed concerned over the low introduction of digital technologies in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum industry value chain operations.

They insisted that despite the huge benefits and positive changes the initiative had brought to the sector across the world, the country lagged far behind.

Indeed, downstream operations, including refining of petroleum crude oil, and the processing and purifying of raw natural gas, as well as the marketing and distribution of products derived from oil and gas mirror the health of the industry and economy at large, as these have direct impact on the people.

While sophisticated technologies are increasingly revolutionising every aspect of petroleum downstream operations – from routing processes at refining plants to distribution of products, industry players argued that Nigeria still has a long way to go in this regard.

Indeed, operations such as retailing of products are becoming self-service, while distribution and transportation of commodities are becoming seamless, efficient, open and accurate through the deployment of new technologies in many of the world’s economies; lack of political will among policymakers has continued to frustrate catch-up efforts in Nigeria.

Considering that issues relating to corruption, transparency and accountability remain major challenges surrounding the governance of natural resources in Nigeria, industry players insist that full digitalisation would offer higher value for money in the industry.

This is particularly so in areas like production, to enhance productivity, ensure efficient use of materials, better product quality, improved safety, shorter workweeks for labour, and reduced factory lead times as well as stem corruption, while increasing revenue for private and public operators.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), recently revealed that daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, remained unknown, but experts argued that the high level of fraud committed across retail outlets, and challenges associated with haulage of products in-country, can be addressed if digital technology is deployed.

With new refineries coming on stream and old ones billed for overhaul, experts stress the need for government and private players to ensure that digital technologies are deployed for improved process safety, and asset performance.

These, will in turn, reduce unplanned shutdowns; and establish predictive maintenance with condition-based implementation by merging technology and maintenance data.

Latest report by the World Refinery Association (WRA), made available to The Guardian, indicate that since refineries, petrochemical plants, and other downstream facilities are complex installations, linking processing units with sophisticated digital technologies demand a clear plan that would prioritise clear business objectives.

Such objectives will also include knowledge of best practice in the field of digitalisation equipment software, special attention to ergonomics (in mobile device applications), careful planning about the architecture/application, including complete, accurate, structured database of equipment and technology objects and emphasis on ease of handling and access.

The report also stressed the need for organisations to achieve knowledge management for business processes so that implemented databases could be easily maintained. This will allow a long-lasting framework to be “built-in” with properly designed, user-friendly access, chemical process optimisation via loop-turning and yield optimisation, monitoring of equipment and unit conditions for predictive maintenance, training applications for operators and engineers, as worker safety is key for industrial automation.

According to the WRA report, digitalisation of processes translates into a more automated operating environment, and workforce adjustment.

Speaking on the development, the General Manager, Corporate Services, Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board (PEF), Dr. Goddy Nnadi, said there is a conscious attempt by the government to automate downstream operations, especially the services handled by the agency.

PEF(M)B is responsible for reimbursing petroleum marketing companies for any losses suffered by them, solely and exclusive, as a result of sale of petroleum products at uniform prices throughout the nation.

He said PEF(M)B had introduced its AQUILA programme to do away with paper work and human interferences across depots, and would in the coming weeks; launch the second phase of the initiative.

If the plan becomes a reality, Nnadi expects a fully digitised platform that would provide accurate data by monitoring activities from oil vessels to tank farms, depots and fuel stations across the country

Under the plan, payment system including receipts would be automatically generated, human interferences as well corruption would be cut off, accurate data on the availability and level of products at tank farms and petrol stations across Nigeria would be feasible, he said.

On his part, Chairman/CEO, International Energy Services (IES) Ltd., Dr Diran Fawibe, while urging marketers to digitalise operations of fuel stations across Nigeria, to make them self-service outlets, noted that this may be jettisoned because it would be capital intensive.

He said: “It is a whole lot of technology development. I am not sure the country has such resources, but I am sure it can be done depending on the amount of financial resources that could be deployed.

“Our problem in Nigeria is unique and that is why issues like this become topical. In other countries, people will want to digitalise to achieve desired objectives, but for DPR to pool the network that would embrace all the retail outlets and the refineries would be a tall order.”

He said one area government could quickly look at is to charge NNPC to automate operations in the refineries and depots, to ascertain when refineries are working, and predict happens across distribution channels.
But Spokesman for the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, who was contacted on the subject, did not respond to The Guardian enquiry.

The Managing Director, Mudiame International Ltd., Sunny Eromosele, noted that full automation of downstream processes is possible, but may remain elusive for now due to the absence of the required technology.

“I see digitalisation of the downstream happening in the future. But currently we do not have the technology. Most fuel stations are even still cash based. Digitalisation is needed for accuracy, improved delivery and safety.

“In Europe and America, fuel stations are now automatically self service. We need to drive the oil and gas sector with technology,” he said.

While Eromosele, called for investment in indigenous technology to propel such initiative, he, however, warned that emerging technologies could make more people lose their job in Africa.

Associate Lecturer, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), University of Ibadan, Dr. Olufemi Olarewaju, noted that since digitalisation reduces human interaction within processes, reduces waste, increases efficiency and reduces corruption, there was a need to encourage full upgrade of downstream activities into automated platforms.

Citing a recent innovation by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which allows permits to be generated electronically, he said digitalisation remained one of the basic ways to overhaul downstream operations, and address the challenges of corruption and inefficiency.

Abuja-based spokesperson for DPR, the industry regulator, Seidu Muhammad, did not also respond to The Guardian enquiry.

But Olarewaju argued: “If the level of digitalisation going on across the world can be applied in our context, there will be efficiency improvement, waste reduction; corruption reduction will be the immediate outcomes, government money will be secured because payment would be done online.

It is important for us to drive this type of innovations.

“The technologies are available; all we need is political willingness from the government.

When you automate, so many things will happen; human component will be removed, you will be able to block corruption, there will be transparency, and that makes accountability easier,” said Olarewaju.

Although Reuben Apollo, Spokesperson for the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), responsible for monitoring and regulating prices and supply and distribution of products, told The Guardian that the agency has plans for digitalisation, but did not give further details.

However, the WRA Report noted that the expanding roles of wireless systems in downstream facilities can enable companies to collect data unprecedented in richness and timeliness because the sensors increasingly rely on wireless communication networks rather than “hard-wiring”.

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Twitter chief defends not booting Infowars

Twitter chief defends not booting Infowars

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 20, 2014 Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, Chairman of Twitter and a founder of both, holds an event in London where he announced the launch of Square Register mobile application. Twitter chief Jack Dorsey defended Tuesday August 7, 2018, his company’s decision to allow far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to use the platform to spread his message, saying he hasn’t broken user rules. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey defended Tuesday his company’s decision to allow far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to use the platform to spread his message, saying he hasn’t broken user rules.

Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube have all banned Jones, who runs the website Infowars.

“We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories,” Dorsey said in a tweet.

“We know that’s hard for many, but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does.”

In a series of tweets on the subject, Dorsey said Twitter reasoned that it was journalists’ job to shine the light of truth on unsubstantiated rumors or sensationalized issues.

“If we succumb and simply react to outside pressure, rather than straightforward principles we enforce (and evolve) impartially regardless of political viewpoints, we become a service that’s constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction,” Dorsey tweeted.

“That’s not us.”

Jones has described Monday’s retaliation from an array of Internet giants as a “coordinated communist-style crackdown,” but it followed months of criticism demanding the social media services do more to combat disinformation and hate discourse.

His site Infowars has accused victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting of being “actors” in a plot to discredit the gun lobby.

Hoaxes and plots
Facebook said Jones violated its hate speech policies, adding that the pages were taken down for “glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”

Gunman Adam Lanza killed 26 people, including 20 children at the Connecticut school.

Jones has repeatedly claimed the massacre was a hoax and that the parents of the murdered first graders were actors, an accusation that has sparked death threats against some of the bereaved mothers and fathers.

Among the conspiracy theories Jones has peddled are charges that the US government was behind numerous terrorist attacks, including the September 11, 2001 strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Spotify, the streaming music online service, had already removed a number of Jones’s podcasts last week, accusing them of breaking its own hate-speech rules. On Monday, the Swedish company went a step further and banned his program altogether.

Apple removed most of Jones’s podcasts for violating hate speech guidelines.

In late July, YouTube took down videos posted by Jones and suspended him for 90 days.

After Jones sought to skip the suspension by broadcasting live on other YouTube channels, the online video platform said it closed down all of his affiliated channels, which counted some 2.4 million subscribers.

Pinterest also removed the InfoWars account.

Several ultra-conservative websites showed support for Jones, publicly backing his claim that he was a victim of a plot by Big Tech companies.

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ISPs struggle, connect 219,117 subscribers to Internet

ISPs struggle, connect 219,117 subscribers to Internet

The growth profile of licensed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country has continued to plummet.Statistics obtained by The Guardian from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) confirmed this. The statistics revealed that out of the 219,117 connections, only about 126, 378 users are active on the Internet through the ISPs as at first quarter 2018.

These connected lines were made possible by the efforts of 23 ISPs, including Spectranet, IS Internet Solutions, VDT, Cobranet, e-Stream, Cyberspace, MainOne Cables, Juniper Solutions, Backbone Connectivity, Hyperia, ipNX, Zeta-Web Nigeria, Ekovolt Telco Nigeria, Layer 3 Ltd, NetAccess Communications Nigeria, among others.

The implication of this is that the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9Mobile, which have Universal Access Service License (UASL), have remained the major gateway to the Internet in Nigeria.

The MNOs have connected 242.4 million lines out of which 162.5 million are active through the narrow band, the GSM technology.The NCC statistics showed that the services of Spectranet appeared most leveraged, as it single handedly claimed 193, 034 connections of which 115, 574 are active.

In terms of Point of Presence, the 23 operators’ have 1,066, with Spectranet having 630 while Cyberspace Limited has 135 across their areas of operations.The snail speed developments around ISPs in the country have been blamed on so many factors, including their inability to evolve good packages for consumers.

Speaking with The Guardian, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS) Deolu Ogunbanjo, said their major problems have been the ability of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to operate in that terrain. Ogunbanjo, who said the MNOs have changed their strategies from just voice offering to data services, noted that the economy should not be blamed, and saying: “ISPs must evolve to stay afloat. They should offer reduced but attractive tariffs.”

He called on the regulator to come up with policies that will keep afloat ISPs in the country.At a stakeholders conference in Lagos in 2017, NCC Director, Licensing and Authorisation, Ms. Funlola Akiode, said despite the fact that over 70 per cent of the Nigeria’s population are active mobile subscribers. The digital divide is still wide especially as regards rural dwellers.

According to her, in 2017, statistics of Internet users across Africa indicated that Nigeria has the highest users; however the country tends to be the lowest when measured in accordance with penetration rate. For instance, she said with a penetration rate of 48.8 million when compared with Nigeria’s population was just 0.3 per cent or 34 per cent, adding: “while our population is increasing in a geometric progression, the Internet usage and penetration rates are increasing in arithmetic progression.

Akiode revealed that in the past five years, the Commission licensed 103 ISPs nationwide, “but only 10 per cent applied for renewal of the licence.”She noted that as a responsive regulator, the sustainability of ISPs in telecommunications businesses in Nigeria was a primary interest to NCC.

The Consultative Forum identified the following as challenges confronting ISPs, the operating environment (big service providers operating in both the wholesale and retail segments of the market and under-pricing the smaller operators and taking their customers); inadequate infrastructure (need for deployment of more telecoms infrastructure and need for allocation of more frequencies to expedite deployment of data services); multiple taxation/regulation (the impediment in the deployment of data services by government agencies through taxes); type approval process (turnaround time for type approval of equipment is lengthy).

It was also identified that disparity between advertised Internet speeds and actual speed obtainable on the networks; inadequate provision of redundancy by ISPs to handle network down time and lack of compensation for downtime; poor quality of service; inexplicable depletion of data services, auto renewal of service among others.

To forestall the steep collapse of ISPs in the country, stakeholders appealed to NCC to manage the prices for Internet services, ensuring that all vendors have uniform prices given to the end user.

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Zone Tech Park begins  operations with $6.5m investment

Zone Tech Park begins operations with $6.5m investment

The Zone Tech Park.Photo: Medium

Zone Tech Park, a venture builder for startups, has opened with a promise to turn great ideas into products and services quickly, efficiently and profitably. Located in Lagos, Zone Tech Park is the brainchild of Bolaji Olagunju, an entrepreneur and Founder of The Workforce Group, an HR firm.

At the official unveiling at the weekend, Zone Tech appointed Toro Orero as the Chief Executive Officer. He brings experience with startups both as managing partner at Silicon Valley VC Fund DDF and the founder of the African Startup Institute and SpeedUPAfrica.

To date, $6.5 million has been invested in Zone Tech to build the infrastructure and environment needed to help African startups scale and compete globally.Zone Tech’s startups will have direct access to more than 400 domestic and international corporations, which are clients to Workforce.

Olagunju said: “African startups are faced with significant challenges that hinder their growth. Zone Tech will change the status quo and help individuals and their businesses to realize their full potential through education, venture building and strategic enterprise support.”

Some of the unique features of the hub include that it is open for startups at all stages in their life cycle, from those that are a great idea on paper to those with customers already on-board; its co-working space is free for startups, which are not charged for access to the tech hub’s multitude of services and advisers.

The Park supports its startups in preparing for funding rounds by giving access to a network of potential investors, accelerator programs and ecosystem architects.

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Large Michaels, Intel promo draws produce winners

Large Michaels, Intel promo draws produce winners

Managing Director, Large Michaels Limited, Michael Ezeamama (right) presenting the keys to the start prize of Kia Rio to the winner, Chigozie Igboanude of Reidata Nigeria Limited, at the just concluded Large Michaels-Intel sales promo grand finale in Lagos.

The Large Michaels and Intel national promo, which commenced in February this year, has produced winners, where the star prize winner went home with a brand new Kia Rio car.

The winners emerged at the weekend, during a raffle draw, which held at Large Michaels’ corporate head office in Lagos, under the close supervision of the National Lottery Commission, the Consumer Protection Council and the media.

A computer trader on Tinubu Square, Lagos, Igboanugo Chigozie, emerged as the star prize winner and went home with a brand new Kia Rio car, while others got consolation prizes like rice cooker, set of cooking pots, frier, and microwave oven. Other prizes include laptop and printer, which was won by the Managing Director of Geecat Solutions Limited, Amaka Enwerem.

Expressing his joy, the star prize winner, said he was grateful to God because he least expected he would win a brand new Kia Rio car. According to him, he has been purchasing computers and their accessories in bulk from Large Michaels stores in Lagos, but said he was amazed at the winning, because it was a single item of Intel Laptop that gave him the win.

Business Development Director at Large Michaels, Stanley Uzoechina, said the company deals on computers of all brands and that its sales were majorly in bulk purchase to wholesalers who in return, retail the products.

He however said Large Michaels also retail directly to customers who need to pick up single items. “Our prices come very affordable without compromising on quality, hence we have influx of customers at every of our locations nationwide,” Uzoechina said. He added that all products come with warranty designed to build customers’ trust.Managing Director, Large Michaels, Michael Ezeamama, said the promo sales, which ran for six months, was designed to appreciate customers for their loyalty.

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Designing African tech startups for trust

Designing African tech startups for trust

Ehis Asibor is a young man living the dream most people in diaspora aspire to live. He has a great job which enables him to finance tech startups experiments back home. His latest venture is Commissions.ng, an online business accelerator and marketplace aggregator in one. He had launched “Justfor5k” and “Adblabla” in the past. He taught himself PHP and built most of this last startup by himself while still in full employment as an “oil man.”

Before he started his latest experiment, he took the time to visit me to discuss his strategy in detail. He didn’t want this startup to fail as his previous attempts had done. I asked him what the most important lesson was that he had learned from past failures? He put it down to trust. We started to look at the ways to design his product and startup for “Trust”.

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After his two previous startup experiments failed to gain traction, he decided to ask questions to know from others what he had done wrong. One of those people he questioned was a relative from Edo state. This relative told him true to “street” fashion “Bros, you dey do this thing like 419. Naim make people no take am seriously…..419 no dey advertise”. The meaning was that people thought his business was fraudulent as there was no advertising. One could not distinguish it from what 419 fraudsters did as they also didn’t advertise themselves. He learned a bitter lesson about visibility and trust from that simple statement.

Ehis decided that for commissions.ng, he was going to seek more publicity than he had done with his other to attempts. I asked him if there was a cheaper way to create awareness without spending too much on visibility and advertising? He decided that an affiliate or agent network would also achieve the same momentum.

Branding
I learned a better lesson recently after we launched our retail agent network. We had tested the name on the agents (our primary customers), but we had not tried the name on the customers of the agents. We discovered that the name “Omnibranches” didn’t resonate with the customers. The agents loved it, but the customers were not fond of it. “MTN” is easy to pronounce but “Mobile Telecommunications Network” is too long. We decided to look for a shorter brand. For Ehis, “Commission” is a simple word and it is easy for his primary customer to understand. Testing it on the streets with the end users is a different matter entirely. We decided to perform design sprints to test everything including the brand.

Distribution
Advertising and visibility are essential, but there are very successful consumer brands in Nigeria who do little or no advertising. They have remained profitable and ubiquitous for only one reason – distribution.

I have always maintained that the best products never win in African markets, it is the best-distributed product that wins. You can do all the advertising, but all your efforts go to waste if the product is not available to the consumer. Advertising reinforces the brand, but distribution reduces the friction of choice or decision fatigue. They are excellent if they go hand in hand. The commissions.ng affiliate and agent model made a lot of sense for distribution, but it needed more coverage to be effective. We looked at partnerships with existing agent networks including Omnibranches.

Customer Service
According to Greylock Partners “Customer Service Is Your Brand.” Things will sometimes not go as planned even with the best-built systems. The response to the customers during a crisis is one of the most important ways to build trust and confidence. Far too many startups make this an afterthought rather than a strategic imperative. A lot of them never survive the first major crisis as the wrong perception spreads much faster. Startup teams start small, and it is typical for everyone to be hands-on. The problem is that a developer might also be the worst person to talk to a customer in times of crisis. You would want to be as human as possible and put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

The new trend in serving customers is “Customer Success.” What it simply means is that you help the customer achieve desired outcomes through your product and services associated with it. We can write a full article on this topic alone. For commissions, there was the need for a dedicated customer success team. We struggled on how to get this to fit a lean budget, but it was crucial and not a choice.

Internal culture of trust
All the elements mentioned above building stones of consumer trust seem to be commonsense approaches but is very easy to get one wrong at the expense of the other and still achieve negative consequence. The most significant element of trust is the internal culture within the company. Companies that have a high level of confidence internally are also able to project that outwardly.
Read more on guardian.ng/contributors/victor-asemota/

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Back to the future…The future of work

Back to the future…The future of work

Dr. Vivienne Ming

When we think about job displacement our minds often go to factory workers and calls centers, but as leading artificial Intelligence expert Dr. Vivienne Ming points out in a recent interview with the Financial Times, the middle class in professional services may be the most challenged in this computed future. Ming cites a recent competition at Columbia University between human lawyers and AI counterparts reviewing agreements with loopholes. The AI found 95 per cent of them in 22 seconds, it took the humans over an hour. As a lawyer reading this you may have two conflicting emotions: concern, but the other should be joy that your life is about to get easier; free of the day to day drudgery of reviewing agreements, allowing you to concentrate on what really matters. This is what technology does – an advantage to highly complementary skills.

Regardless of the disruption or industrial revolutions, history tells us that humans have always leveraged innovative technology to create new jobs and industries as certain jobs require human ingenuity, as such, can only be performed by humans. This is the promise of human potential. That said, the transition leading up to these new job and industries has typically been characterized by a lot of uncertainty about the future.

The uncertainty is an information problem. Will the less skilled humans be rounded up and sent to colonies by the robots? These are is the sort of questions and panic uncertainty can cause. Experts tell us we need to retrain and reskill the work force, but it’s not as easy as taking the red or blue pill. Potential employees don’t know what skills they require for the Matrix and as a result cannot upskill. On the other hand, employers want job-ready candidates who can immediately land in role.

Building the workforce of the future will require blended responsibility of employer led training and government led motions. Our current approach to education and vocation will need to be reviewed as the gig economy becomes the core of the labor market.

What kind of skills will Africa require in this new economy? What will be Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Rwanda’s comparative advantage going forward? Our Governments need to identify what their comparative advantage is over other countries, and what sort of labor force they should be developing by paying focus to what people in our countries do well that machines cannot do?

Employer led training will be integral in reskilling the current workforce. In the private sector, organizations should invest in design led training programs or give mandatory time off to employees to upskill themselves in new areas, as well as, boost creativity and take advantage of skills led training resources like LinkedIn learning or freemiums like Coursera at work. Governments should also invest in civil servants by creating similar opportunities.

There needs to be a shift in educational policies with an increased focus on vocational skills and other forms of certifications. In Nigeria, Abia State has recognized that vocational skills have a positive socio-economical effect; and has championed the ‘Made in Aba’ initiative which capitalizes on the ‘can do entrepreneurial Nigeria spirit’ to produce quality good made in Aba for local consumption with a long-term goal for export. This template can easily be adopted by other Nigeria states.

Educational institutions need to begin adequately preparing people for the skills that will be in high demand in the job market. The current focus on STEM should continue and expand to developing artificial intelligence, quantum computing and machine learning capacity for academia, scientists and policy makers.

Governments and educational institutions should continue investing in digital skills by creating more technical colleges which can be achieved by partnering with organizations who can help train and build a local technology ecosystem. Best practice can be seen with the recent MOU the Government of Rwanda signed with Andela (a company that specializes in training software developers) to open a Pan African technology hub in Kigali. This sort of partnerships should be encouraged and are available as multinational technology organizations are always scouting for locations in Africa with rich technology talent and an enabling environment to establish engineering and technology centers – build and they will come.

There is a fair amount of work to be done, but it is a shared responsibility between governments, private sector organizations and other interested stakeholders. There is no going back to the future; the AI revolution is being televised daily. It’s time to get the labor market and workforce ready for the new computed future.
Haraya Makama is the Government Affairs Director – Microsoft MEA Emerging Markets

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Lagos ICT cluster project takes off, targets more investments

Lagos ICT cluster project takes off, targets more investments

Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm

The Lagos State Government has announced the commencement of the Yaba Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Cluster project, termed: KITE@Yaba. KITE, which stands for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, is to provide an enabling environment that will facilitate and support the development of a technology cluster and ecosystem within the Yaba District of Lagos.

It is expected that this initiative, which is being championed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, will contribute significantly to the economic development of Nigeria and position Lagos State as the hub for innovation in the country, and preferred destination for technology investors and innovators.

The State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm, on Monday, noted that KITE@Yaba is a public-private partnership (PPP), driven by the government and supported by several industry experts and advisors along the technology value chain.

The project is positioned to proffer recommendations to the government of Lagos State on eight critical areas to foster an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in ICT, namely access to funding; access to market & demand; infrastructure; policy regulation and governance; talent, skills and education; research and development; network and collaboration; and advocacy and marketing.

KITE@Yaba also included the design and construction of a world class ICT Park for which LASG has already acquired 30,000 square metres of land in the Yaba area.
The project’s governance structure comprised a Project Steering Committee (PSC), an Industry Advisory Board (IAB), the Project Delivery team and Subject Matter Advisors. The PSC is co-chaired by Hakeem Fahm and former Minister for Communication and Technology and Senior Partner of TLcom Capital LLP, a technology venture capital firm, Dr. Omobola Johnson.

Other members of the steering committee include Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Uzammat Akinbile-Yusuf; Special Adviser on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule; Chief Executive Officer, IBILE Holdings Limited, Abiodun Amokomowo and Country Managing Director, Accenture, Niyi Yusuf. Accenture will provide project management office (PMO) support as Project Delivery Lead.

The Industry Advisory Board (IAB), which was inaugurated in June 2018, is chaired by Johnson, and comprises notable technology industry stakeholders including CcHub, Google, Microsoft, MainOne, Andela, Flutterwave, General Electric (GE), and Ibile Broadband, University of Lagos, and Lagos State University.The role of the IAB will be to provide overall leadership and direction to the project to ensure its objectives are realised and ensure value for money to Lagos State based on experience and expertise.

Over the next 18 months the PSC and IAB will review designs and plans, provide professional advice, and engage in local and international awareness plans to drive further support for interest and investments in the project.

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Security operatives task Nigerians on new online threats

Security operatives task Nigerians on new online threats

• Global Accelerex committed to cyber safety

Security operatives in the country have beckoned on Nigerians to keep abreast of latest technologies in order not to fall prey to online predators.According to them, numbering over 40 from across 15 security agencies, they gathered at the Global Accelerex Cyber Crime Seminar for Nigeria’s Security Agencies in Abuja, last week and canvassed for new model in tackling cyber breaches, which to them has become highly prevalent worldwide.

From the Nigerian Navy, Commodore Hamza Ibrahim said Cyber Security is about process, technology and people, adding: “The human element must be constantly strengthened and nurtured through continuous training and education. This seminar is therefore an avenue to build capacity and create awareness, which is critical to the improvement of security operations.”

Chief Superintendent of Police, Aminudeen Muhammad concurred with the importance of keeping abreast with the latest technological advancement. He applauded Global Accelerex for coming up with this initiative, saying it would increase efficiency and improve resilience to online threats.

Executive Director, Business Development and Chief Operating Officer of Global Accelerex, Kayode Ariyo, expressed appreciation to the Office of the National Security Adviser and all the security agencies for their selfless service, and reiterated the company’s commitment to support programmes that will make the cyber space safe.

He added that, by investing in people, “our security apparatus will be stronger and stay ahead of cyber criminals. We are confident that this forum will help to further improve the strategies employed in the course of duty and make the cyberspace safer for all.”

While emphasising the importance of the public and private sector jointly engaging in the fight against cyber criminals, Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer of Global Accelerex, Stanley Ugochukwu Peters, stated that, “Cyber security is critical. We must all come together to support the effort of the government in ensuring the safety of our cyber space. We decided to compliment the endeavor by organising this seminar. The feedbacks from delegates have been positive and I believe we have made a significant impact.”

Awogbemi Olanrewaju of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission disclosed that the knowledge gained from the forum cannot be quantified. He thanked the organisers for hosting the event just as he acknowledged that the course content has broadened the horizon in identifying cybersecurity breaches and combating insider threats.”

The seminar afforded attendees an opportunity to learn the latest in Cyber Crime Trends and Mitigation Techniques, Cyber Security Art and Science, Defensive Strategies, Security Operations Centre (SOC), Risk Management and Penetration Testing. Indeed, the skill of officials was enhanced.

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20 things to know about the new Andriod 9 Pie

20 things to know about the new Andriod 9 Pie

Google has unveiled a new Android generation software named Andriod 9 Pie which will be launched by August 20.

Google initially announced a preview version of the software in March, then demoed some features at its annual I/O developer conference in May.

The new version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 9 pie is a software baked with artificial intelligence to make your phone smarter, simpler and more tailored to use.

As this new software is set to be launched, here are the 20 things you need to know it.

1. It is not surprising Google named its latest Andriod software, Andriod Pie, as previous ones were named after gourmets. For example, A previous Android version was called Oreo. Before that was Nougat, preceded by Marshmallow and Lollipop.

2. Android 9 pie is currently available on Pixel phones and devices that participated in the Beta program from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Essential. while all other qualifying Android One devices will receive this update before the end of the year.

3. Android 9 will help you get things done faster with App Actions, which predicts what you’ll want to do next based on your context and displays.

4.This new software feature Smart Text Selection which recognizes the meaning of the text you’re selecting and suggests relevant actions.

5. Unlike other Android software, Android 9 Pie is baked with a redesigned Quick Settings, a better way to take and edit screenshots, simplified volume controls, an easier way to manage notifications and more

6. Android 9 brings important privacy improvements, such as TLS by default and DNS over TLS to help protect all web communications and keep them private.

7. Andriod pie also features a lockdown mode for extra security, that locks down your device with the push of a button. When enabled, it lets you disable the fingerprint sensor or trusted voice unlock (reverting to your backup unlock methods such as a PIN or pattern).

8. With a single home button, you now have the option to ditch Android’s traditional three-button navigation and go with gestures instead.

9. Android Pie mostly focuses on backstage improvements designed to make Android phones work faster while saving battery life through Adaptive battery which prioritizes the apps you use most and limit battery power for apps you use less.

10. Android 9 introduces tools that aimed to prevent phone addiction. A new dashboard tells you how much time you’ve spent using your phone, and the time spent on individual apps. Users can also set time limits on how much they use a certain app. The new feature comes as Silicon Valley which tries to combat tech addiction.

11. Andriod 9 pie has an official dark mode option in the Settings app. Instead of relying on the wallpaper in order to trigger the dark mode, users can now decide whether to always use dark mode, light mode, or let the phone decide for itself.

12. Android 9 has added OCR support for S2S in Camera and Pictures to make text even more accessible. Simply select text when using the camera or picture gallery, and the text will be highlighted and read aloud.

13. Andriod pie also features a new Accessibility Service which makes it easier to understand conversations by dynamically adjusting over 100 settings to boost the audio in scenarios such as a loud restaurant, bar, or concert.

14. Adaptive Brightness is also a new feature in the new Android software. Users’ phone learns how to set screen’s brightness in different lighting environments and automatically does it for you over time.

15. With Android 9, there is a multiple camera support which enables developers to create immersive experiences using streams from two or more physical cameras, such as on devices with either dual-front or dual-back cameras. Examples include depth, bokeh, stereo vision, and more.

16. The new OS has Work tab in launcher, this enables one to visually separate work apps with a tap on the work tab to see work apps all in one place and turn them off with a simple toggle when you get off work.

17. Android 9 now provides the ability for Enterprise IT admins to define freeze periods up to 90 days during which time devices in their fleet will not update the Android OS. This ensures their devices states remain unchanged during a critical time like holidays.

18. With Android 9, you can connect up to five Bluetooth devices and switch between these devices seamlessly. Incoming phone calls will be sent to all connected Bluetooth devices that can accept, so you’ll never miss a call.

19. On compatible hardware, apps can now use UI controlled by the secure hardware to get your confirmation for a sensitive transaction, such as making a payment and apps take advantage of tamper-resistant hardware to protect their private keys, making it harder than ever for malware to steal their credentials.

20. Andriod 9 also make use of External camera support which supports external USB / UVC cameras on certain devices.

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