FG Targets Growing Economy Through ICT

ICT in NigeriaThe Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, says the Federal Government will partner with the organised private sector to grow the economy via the use of Information and Communication Technology.

He made the remarks at a forum in Abuja with indigenous ICT professionals who have contributed to the growth of the Information and Communication Technology sector in Nigeria.

According to him, the Federal Government is already reaching out to ICT professionals across the country, considering the huge potentials that the sector possesses.

Meanwhile, other guests in the forum appealed to the government to make internet accessible to all by opening up the broadband.

They believe that availability of internet service would give birth to businesses that will have multiplier effect on the economy.

In another development, a group of professionals in Information and Communication Technology trained youths in a workshop organised to also to explore the opportunities in the ICT sector.

They advocated an education curricular that would encourage vocational studies in ICT.

Information and Communication Technology has become the bedrock of many developed countries of the world and experts at the gathering say Nigeria cannot be left behind, urging leaders to fully explore the ICT sector to grow the nation’s economy that is already in recession.

Economic Diversification: NNMA Advocates Use Of Data

Economic Diversification: NNMA Advocates Use Of Data The chairman, governing board of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Professor Etim Essien, has urged the federal government to employ the use of data in its planning, if it is serious about diversifying the economy.

Data collection which can be adequately generated through Information Technology according to the board, is essential to monitor the true state of the nation’s infrastructure, check all sectors and plan more efficiently.

According to Mr Essien: “no country can develop without data; and one of the problems Nigeria has been facing till date is that we don’t have data.

“How can you plan without data? – the easiest form of getting data is through IT,” he explained.

One of the areas which the NNMA believes the government can straighten out through the use of ICT is Nigeria’s population, as the challenge of the actual figure still lingers, although the estimate stands at 180 million.

Economic Diversification: NNMA Advocates Use Of Data

ICT Education

Findings from various countries confirm the positive effect of ICT on national
growth and even currently, ICT is said to contribute about 8% to Nigeria’s GDP.

Economic Diversification: NNMA Advocates Use Of Data
Adenike Osofisan

Some academicians such as the Director of the University of Ibadan, (School of Business), Professor Adenike Osofisan, also proposed that Information Technology should be made compulsory in every school, as a way of advancing development.

The Nigerian National Merit Award is an academic award conferred on distinguished scholars and intellectuals, who have made outstanding contributions to the academic growth and development of Nigeria.

Cross River, Huawei Sign MoU To Make Calabar Smart City

Ayade Presents 2017 Budget To House of Assembly, Cross RiverThe Cross River State Government and Huawei Technology of China, have both signed a Memorandum of Understanding to completely digitalise the state with a 3G and 4G network, thereby making Calabar Nigeria’s first smart city.

Asides providing 3G and 4G network connectivity, the contractor is also expected to provide fibre to homes, which will afford residents in the state the opportunity to download music, news, movies as well as research materials directly from their homes.

Signing the contract at the government house in Calabar, the State Governor, Ben Ayade, expressed excitement over the development, knowing that, the execution of the contract would herald the full digitalisation of Calabar and the entire state.

Ayade maintained that, the smart city project would ensure availability of cheap Wi-Fi services everywhere in Calabar.

“This will be the first time that data would be provided from the cloud. With this digital cloud, it will offer opportunity to get information with ease and comfort, including boosting research and academic works.

“The project is in partnership with Huawei of China, the equipment Cross River, Huawei, smart citymanufacturer, and Sino Infrastructure Development company Limited, as the technical partner in Nigeria for the project,” said Ayade.

He stated that “this partnership will provide cheap access to connectivity- Cross Riverians will know that Huawei is bringing the best technology to us. They are a known name in the world and a pace setter in the industry.

“Cross River deserves only the best which they have to offer,” he stated.

The whole state is going digital as the Cross River super highway will have super-connectivity, where all the best internet and technology services will be offered to users of the super highway.

Furthermore, Mr Ayade said “this will be the first fully smart city in Nigeria. Cross River will be the model for Africa and we are proud to be associated with this”.

Commissioner for ICT, Chief Offu Aya, said the importance of ICT development to any growing society, underscores the essence for the epoch making event which was witnessed by representatives from both countries.

“You have taken us to China to appreciate what Huawei has done in that country, a country with about 1.7 billion people, and how Huawei has turned China into a huge smart city and we have come back with a detailed report.

“Today is a very unique day for the ministry, as before the carnival, the pilot scheme will be ready where there will be free Wi-Fi services.

“This will make Calabar the first smart city in Nigeria, it will benefit Cross Riverians and Nigerians as it will make communication faster and easier,” Chief Aya stated.

In his response, the Managing Director of Sino Infrastructure Development Company, Mr Li Yamping, added that “Huawei and the Cross River Government will work as technical partners on the project and will both maintain the required standard and deliver as at when due”.

WhatsApp Introduces New Video Calling Feature

whatsapp, video callingSocial media application, WhatsApp, on November 14, 2016, announced its next step in efforts to connect people – WhatsApp video calling.

Via the application’s site, it stated “today we’re excited to announce the next step in our efforts to connect people – WhatsApp video calling.

“In the coming days, WhatsApp’s more than one billion users, can make video calls across Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices”.

The application which started as an alternative to SMS, “now supports sending and receiving a variety of media: text, photos, videos, documents, and location, as well as voice calls,” the group said.

WhatsApp was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton who had previously spent 20 years combined at Yahoo.

In 2014, it joined Facebook, but has continued to operate as a separate app, with a laser focus on building a messaging service that works fast and reliably anywhere in the world.

“Our goal at WhatsApp has always been to help as many people as possible stay in touch with friends, family, and others they care about. That means making a product that’s simple, easy to use, and accessible no matter where you are.

“We started with messaging and Group Chat. Then we added voice calling. And we did it in a way that works across thousands of device and platform combinations all over the world.”

Stating reasons for the latest development, the group explained: “We’re introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough.

“There’s no substitute for watching your grandchild take her first steps, or seeing your daughter’s face while she’s studying abroad. And we want to make these features available to everyone, not just those who can afford the most expensive new phones or live in countries with the best cellular networks.

“Over the years we’ve received many requests from our users for video calling, and we’re excited to finally offer this feature to the world.

They expressed appreciation to users of the app, while promising to “keep working hard every day to improve the service”.

Dogara Seeks Sustained Nigeria-India Ties In InfoTech, Others

dogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has called for sustained cooperation between Nigeria and India in the areas of information technology, agriculture and health, to improve the economy of both countries.

The Speaker made the call at a meeting on Friday with the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Ajjampur Ghanasyham, held at the National Assembly’s complex in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

Dogara also requested for a more flexible visa policy from India for Nigeria business owners, to further boost the trade volume between both countries which is currently in the region of 17 billion Naira in 2014.

The Speaker lauded the recent boost in the trade relations which had seen Nigeria becoming the largest supplier of crude oil to India, displacing Saudi Arabia, which resulted in more earnings for Nigeria.

The meeting was one of its kind that the Speaker had held with foreign envoys aimed at forging better ties.

In one of such meetings with a Canadian envoy, Dogara sought support from the Canadian government in the re-development of Nigeria’s devastated north-east.

Since he was elected the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dogara had stressed the need for more infrastructural development in Nigeria’s troubled north-east, urging Nigerians to keep praying for the country.

He said: “I will urge that we continue with prayers for Nigeria. If Nigeria will be exalted, it will be on the account of righteousness.

“With prayers there is nothing that cannot be achieved as a nation, as it is the promise of God that He will listen to the prayers of His people and that the word of God is “eternal and immutable.

“We need prayers from all Nigerians. When you continue to pray for your leaders for righteousness to rein in the affairs of the nation, definitely, Nigeria will be exalted and it will reflect on our citizens”.

MTN Launches App Developer Challenge

Nigeria’s leading Information Communications Technology Company, MTN has flagged off a competition for mobile application developers. The competition, MTN App Developer Challenge, is focused on development of local content relevant to the Nigerian market.

“The MTN App Developer Challenge is a demonstration of our commitment to deliver a bold new digital world to our various stakeholders, said Larry Annetts, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN. This initiative represents a tangible and credible platform to make our brand promise a reality as well as promote the growth and use of locally relevant content, which would help develop the Nigerian ecosystem via partnerships that are beneficial to the ecosystem at large.”

Mobile applications have become an essential feature for most mobile users, with a growing number of Nigerians now relying on their mobile phones as the preferred choice to stay in touch with developments in society. This has made local Nigerian mobile content more relevant and important than ever before.

MTN had partnered with neXva, a multi-OS app ecosystem solutions provider, to launch a branded version of the App Store called MTN NextApps Store, with a large focus on Nigerian applications.

Categories for entries in the MTN App Developer Challenge include Entertainment and lifestyle, Productivity, Games, Education, Health and a special category for student entries. The Best Overall Winner will receive a Hyundai IX35 car and N1 million in additions to a Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone as well as six months promotion on the MTN NextApps store. Six Winners that will emerge from each category will each receive N1 million and a Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone as well as six months promotion on the MTN NextApps store.

Participants are expected to submit applications via the challenge website mtnonline.com/challenge from 24 July 2013 to 24 October 2013.

From the 24 October till 24 November 2013, customers will be encouraged to visit the ‘Developer Challenge’ section of the Appstore to download their favourite apps. Based on the highest number of downloads, 4 apps will be selected per category. In addition to the top 4 apps per category, each of the 4 judges will select one wild card app per category. The Best Overall winner as well as winners from each category will be announced on 13 December 2013.

Restricting Social Media

[highlight]Social Media has come to be a daily routine in the world and has further broadened the term ‘Global Village’ ascribed to the world in terms of technology.[/highlight]

But it is of the view that the Social media networks can spell doom for one or an entity sometime depending on your views.

On Face Off today, our host Nneota had two IT Specialists, Tolu Ogunlesi and Gbenga Sesan to further enlighten viewers on why or not social media should be restricted.

BBC’s iPlayer To Debut On Windows Phone Platform

The BBC has announced that its iPlayer will land in Windows Phone platform soon

Making the announcement, BCC confirmed that all handsets running Microsoft’s mobile operating system currently cannot access the catch-up TV and radio service and to end this, the corporation said it will have to allow a web-based version of iPlayer to be accessed via a live tile – or square icon – on the Windows Phone home screen despite work going on to complete its Android app.

The head of the iPlayer team; David Price previously said that Android was “complex and fragmented with a huge difference between video playback capabilities” for different devices, causing problems for his developers.

By wrapping the iPlayer mobile website together with its proprietary Media Player plug-in, the broadcaster can offer access to streamed feeds of its material but will still not be able to let users download programmes for offline use – as is the case with its iOS app.

The move comes months after Microsoft agreed to pay the BBC a fee to use some of its online news stories within its Windows 8 desktop Bing Daily news app.

Nokia recently revealed that the Windows Phone Store now hosts more than 130,000 apps.

However, the marketplace still has notable holdouts including Instagram, Photoshop and an official Dropbox app as well as games including Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto and Temple Run.

However, a spokeswoman for BBC Global News said this latter agreement was a “commercial content licensing deal” and completely separate to the iPlayer contract.

Amazon Launches Cloud Player App For iPad And iPad Mini

Amazon today launched its Cloud Player app for the Apple iPad and iPad Mini, expanding the online retail giant’s footprint for its music streaming programme.

According to cnet.com, the app allows customers to stream or download music stored in Amazon’s cloud, play music already stored on the device, and manage or create playlists.

A quick check by CNET shows iPad users also can purchase songs from Amazon through the Safari Web browser like they can on iPhones and iPod Touches. In the past, iOS users were able to access Amazon’s apps but weren’t able to purchase items from Amazon. That’s largely because of an Apple rule designed to make sure it gets its 30 per cent cut on all sales apps generate.

We’ll bring you more update on it as it comes.

Getting its Cloud Player on as many devices as possible is important for Amazon’s strategy. While the company makes its own hardware, it makes more money from selling books, music, movies, and other products and services. While iOS users can’t purchase items directly from Amazon’s apps, being able to access the content via Apple devices at least broadens Amazon’s potential user base.

“Our goal is to make Cloud Player the most widely compatible cloud playback solution available, giving our customers the ability to buy their music once and enjoy it everywhere,” Steve Boom, vice president of digital music for Amazon, said in a press release.

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Google ‘X Phone’ A Wireless Charging Phone?

Google will be unveiling a new smartphone as early as spring of 2013, in conjunction with the Motorola, the mobile phone manufacturer Google acquired in May 2012.

Though its executives didn’t mention it in today’s earnings call, but the device called Google “X Phone,” may come as early as spring 2013.

At this point its existence and capabilities are pure speculation—rumoured features range from a bendable screen and a ceramic case to advanced gesture recognition technology—but whatever it is, it will be the first true “Google phone,” where everything from its hardware to its software will be under Google’s complete control. (Past efforts at creating Google-branded devices, as in Google’s Nexus line of phones and tablets, have always been partnerships with a variety of manufacturers outside Google.)

Twice during today’s earnings call, Google executives emphasized that when the company bought Motorola, Motorola already had a 12 to 18 month “product pipeline” in the works, which Google is still “working through.” Google could have shut down Motorola’s work on existing handsets, but that would have involved bigger short- and long-term losses than the company was apparently willing to take. It also means that all of the devices that Motorola has released since it was acquired were already in the works, and the same is likely to be true until at least spring of this year. (A good example is the Motorola Motogo! phone, which looks like a dated BlackBerry and doesn’t even run Android.)

Rumours have already circulated that Google will reveal a Motorola-built “X Phone” and “X Tablet” at its next developer’s conference, which is scheduled for May 15-17, 2013.

In today’s call, Google CEO Larry Page said that “In today’s multi-screen world, the opportunities are endless… battery life is a huge issue… when you drop your phone it shouldn’t go splat. There’s a real potential to invent new and better experiences.” Page also mentioned phone recharging as a pain point for people. This is speculation, but the obvious interpretation of these comments is that Google is working on—or at least thinking about—phones with extra-long battery life, some kind of novel (perhaps wireless) recharging capability, and a case that won’t break when the phone is dropped. (Which is possibly a reference to earlier rumours about Google’s X Phone using an extra-hard case that incorporates ceramics.)

FG Targets Infrastructure Growth In Telecoms Industry –Minister

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology; Omobola Johnson said government is on the driving seat of improving and developing the ICT industry in Nigeria to meet up with countries like India, Malaysia, claiming the Ministry has set Key Performance Index targets for itself.

In order to achieve this and more, the minister said the ministry is actually going into circulating internet connectivity across the nation and strengthening ICT business economy in the ranges of Small, Medium and Large scale enterprises which will be ICT focused and contribute to the nation’s GDP.

”In terms of the KPIs we’ve got some very clear targets that we have set for ourselves in terms of connectivity (broadband infrastructure) across Nigeria and ICT economy’”

The Minister said the ministry is keying into the potential of an ICT-driven economy in a developing economy like Nigeria, which will highlight development  in the economy and  governance as well.

Talking about the sustenance of these policies with a focus on improvement in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, the Minister said “the ministry is working with the World Bank, Ministry of education and the USP Fund in providing higher Institutions in Nigeria with a 10-GigaByte fibre optic link and afterwards connect them all to the internet so research and development can be easy for these institutions”.

Potty Training Now Made Easy For Parents With iPotty

This is coming across to parents as soothing and relieving news especially mothers because technology decided to look their way to aid them in the area of toilet-training.

Thanks to CTA Digital as it introduces iPotty for iPad for kids who are yet get toilet training.

Basically it is a potty trainer with an iPad stand built into it. The iPotty is compatible with Apple’s iPad2, iPad3 and fourth generation of iPads and is designed to engage kids who feel it difficult to stay at the same spot for too long.

Though the company has no plans to make its own potty training apps in the future, the iPotty currently comes with a handful of potty training apps designed by CTA Digital itself. About its design, the iPotty for iPad comes with an easy-to-clean and removable inner potty bowl, potty seat and splashguard.