Fayose Hails Jonathan’s Appointment As Leader Of Tanzania’s Election Observers

fayoseEkiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has hailed the appointment of former President, Goodluck Jonathan as leader of a 33-nation observer mission to the general election to be held in Tanzania on Sunday, October 25.

Mr Fayose described the appointment as “a global recognition of the former president’s democratic credentials.”

He said, “Jonathan’s appointment to lead the Commonwealth observer team, comprising of 33 countries is in recognition of his remarkable role in the last presidential election, in which he conceded defeat, thereby saving Nigeria from catastrophe that even the international community thought would befall the country”.

Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said that; “Jonathan should be celebrated and I am happy that the world is beginning to give him the deserved recognition and celebration less than five months after he left office”.

He said, Dr Jonathan’s courage and spirit of sportsmanship in accepting the outcome of the presidential election despite the obvious shortcomings, saved the nation from political chaos and violence, adding that; “Jonathan provided the foundation on which democracy is standing in Nigeria today and one is not surprised that he is being asked to lead the Commonwealth election observer team from 33 nations to Tanzania.

“Even if those who benefited from his show of love and commitment to the peace and development of Nigeria are paying him back with persecution and victimisation, I am happy that the former President and those who worked with him are being celebrated globally.

“Today, four of those who worked with Jonathan, who were called thieves by our friends on the other side, are holding top positions in international organisations.

“Mrs Omobola Johnson, the immediate past Minister of Communication Technology is a Honorary Chairperson of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a United States based global coalition; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister now chair the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, (GAVI), as well as Senior Advisor to Lazard, a 167-year-old global investment firm; Mrs Arunma Oteh, former Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the Treasurer and Vice President of the World Bank and Dr Akinwumi Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development is President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Mr Fayose added: “I therefore congratulate Dr Jonathan and urge those presently holding power in Abuja to emulate him by putting Nigeria and its interests first”.

ICT Minister Says Poor Infrastructure Hindering E-Commerce Growth

Omobola JohnsonNigeria’s Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, has emphasised the need for more investments in infrastructure in the telecommunication sector to boost e-commerce, insisting that the sector had the ability to create jobs.

At the Bayelsa State Investment Forum on Friday, Mrs Johnson told the participants that the ICT sector was the second largest contributor in the services sector, contributing about 17 per cent to GDP.

But she pointed out that a look at its contribution to the growth of the financial and insurance sector, education sector and public administration amongst others would show it was contributing more than the 17 per cent.

At the moment, lack of infrastructure has limited access to the internet in Nigeria, 36 per cent of the over 150 million population having access to the internet.

“Nigeria is still lagging behind when you compare the internet penetration to that of some other African countries.

“Internet connection is an obstacle to doing business on the internet. If I don’t have internet connection or the connectivity is slow, I will not bother trying to buy my goods online,” she said.

Mrs Johnson said that one of her ministry’s priorities was to “connect Nigeria with fast fibre optic wireless infrastructure to ensure that every single Nigerian has access to the internet at a speed that is reasonable”.

She further stressed that the growing number of local companies on the internet needed the necessary infrastructure to thrive, pointing out that Nigeria is doing well in product and services.

The e-commerce economy, she said, would grow faster when the entire country is connected.

“We need to look at how we develop human capital to support this business. We are building out infrastructure that is worth billions of dollars and we need to have local capacity to maintain the infrastructure. We need more software developers, we need more software engineers, we need more network engineers and we need many more people in the ICT sector,” Mrs Johnson said.

She further said that the government had put in place policies that would help investment in the sector thrive.

Nigeria, through its National Broadband Strategy, is looking to increase internet penetration, covering 30  per cent of the country by 2018, with 80 per cent of the population having access to the internet.


Building Digital Infrastructure Is First Step To Technology Growth – ICT Minister

ict ministerThe Minister of ICT, Omobola Johnson, has said that building digital infrastructure and improving internet accessibility are first steps that should be taken in making Nigeria vast in technology.

She said that for Africa and Nigeria to be connected, there has to be a robust, cost effective and reliable ICT infrastructure.

She also noted the need for ICT infrastructure to be used as economic benefit, thereby creating digital awareness for people, to know how to use the internet in terms of education, business and entertainment.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, live from Abuja, Sunrise Daily, the Minister explained that in the last 6 months, the Universal Service Provisions Fund (USP), mapped the whole country to see the rural areas that lack ICT infrastructures which is one of the main focus for the ICT ministry. She added that although some of the areas may not be commercially viable for telecom operators, they are economically active, as they could create more productivity.

“There are people there that are running businesses and generating income, we can increase their productivity by moving in there with the help of USP subsidy to encourage network operators to go to those areas”.

The Minister further explained that most SMEs could not afford the use of ICT infrastructure because it was expensive for businesses trying to grow. “With the help of Cloud technologies which is a software application, SMEs will be able to use technology,” she said.

“Statistics show that SMEs that use technology grow 50% faster than SMEs that don’t use technology”.

The Minister also explained that there was a grate difference between quality of service and infrastructure, stating that the delivery of service in Nigeria can be better. She mentioned that infrastructures especially at the ongoing World Economic Forum On Africa had improved with high standard through the co-operation of the Federal Capital Development Authority.

She also pointed out that  some states, Anambra, Ondo, Bayelsa and Katsina were working with the ICT Ministry to improve the quality of internet service and develop the infrastructure in their states.

FG To Boost SMEs Through Information And Communication Technology

sd_omobola_johnson_on_focus_on_communication_tech_pt1_180113The Federal Government on Thursday said measures are being put in place to assist Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to boost their businesses through Information And Communication Technology (ICT).

The Minister of Communication Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson, who announced this at a gathering in Abuja, said the federal government is providing the enabling environment for small and medium scale enterprises to grow.

The minister however appealed to state governments to encourage small and medium scale enterprises by eliminating multiple taxation. The gathering witnessed discussions onmechanisms for developing SMEs as catalysts for inclusive economic growth and job creation in Africa.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, however assured the gathering that the federal government is working towards removing barriers militating against the growth of SMEs.

The event attracted small and medium scale entrepreneurs is aimed at empowering Africa’s small and medium scale enterprises through information and communication technology.

ICT Is The Fastest Growing Sector Of The Economy- MInister

The Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson on Thursday identified ICT as the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy.

She also added that “there are still tremendous opportunities for growth, job and wealth creation which various Stakeholders in the sector can tap into”.

The Minister stated this in her keynote address at the meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology holding in Akure, Ondo State Capital.

She noted that the Council acts as a consultative body for the Governments of the Federation in matters pertaining to ICT with a view to achieving some degree of uniformity in the sector.

Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko in his opening speech commended the efforts of the Minister in ICT development.

He however called for the bridging of the gap of access to ICT between the rural and the urban populace as well as the poor and the affluent in the society.

Goodwill messages were delivered by few key Stakeholders at the meeting, including the Chairman House of Representative Committee on ICT, Hon Oyetunde Ojo and the President of Nigeria Computer Society, Prof David Adewumi.

Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju in a chat with Channels television explained some of the areas in which ICT has been applied in the State’s health sector.

This is the second meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology, coming after the first and inaugural meeting which was held in Abuja last year.

The National Council on Communication Technology is a forum for interaction of Stakeholders in Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria.

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”.

Communication Technology Ministry is growing -Minister

On Question time today, the Minister of Communication Technology; Mrs Omobola Johnson who has been in office now for a year after the President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan created the new office.

Looking at her personal background, there’s no doubt that she probably is the person fit for the office as a pioneer as she is knowledgeable in the I.T field with a bachelor degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester and a Master’s Degree in Digital Electronics from Kings College London.

Question Time decided to put on the hot seat to know what steps her ministry has been taking in the past year to make sure that Nigeria is listed amongst nations that has embraced ICT and as a developed country too.

The Minister also spoke about factors militating against quality delivery of telecom operators in the country and what has been done to tackle these challenges.

Minister promises to tackle poor telecoms service in the country

The Minister of Communications Technology, Omobola Johnson, has promised to tackle the poor quality of service in the telecoms sector, adding that the issue will soon become a thing of the past.

Mrs Johnson made the statement on Thursday during the House of Representatives’ Committee on Communication’s oversight visit to the ministry.

According to the minister, “we are working hard to improve the operating environment towards ensuring that issues of inadequate number of base stations, arbitrary cost and lengthy process of acquiring right of way were addressed.

She also said interruptions to cable laying, willful and accidental damage of fibre optic cables and base stations, among others, would be resolved for service quality to improve.