Lekan Paul

Stop Press: Nigeria @ 60 Logo Not Plagiarised

The attention of Chain Reactions Nigeria, The Temple Management and TBWA Africa have been drawn to an unfortunate conversation in some sections of the online media regarding the recently unveiled logo for the Nigerian Diamond Jubilee Celebration (Nigeria at 60) by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR). 

Few hours after the unveiling of the Nigeria at 60 anniversary Logo, myriads of reviews poured in from different stakeholders across the country as expected. As envisaged, the views expressed are symbolic of our diversity as a nation. In fact, it captures what we are celebrating. The theme of the Diamond Jubilee Anniversary, TOGETHER, is all about how we have stayed together as a people despite our diversity.

This isn’t surprising as major brands and government initiatives have undergone barrage of condemnations and commendations in times past.Are we surprised? No.

It is commendable that the Nigerian government has done the right thing by engaging the services of Nigerian professionals to develop the thematic direction, campaign strategy and the logo for the Diamond Jubilee celebration pro bono. In the past, you would have heard that the Nigerian government engaged the services of some foreign agencies for some nerve-cracking and ridiculous sum of money.

PLAGIARISM

The primary allegation of plagiarism on the unveiled logo deserves a quick dissection. To Plagiarise, according to Oxford Language Dictionary, is to take someone else‘s work or ideas and pass them off as one’s own. 

Interestingly, the emptiness of this narrative lies in the fact that peddlersperhaps do not understand the meaning or they feigned ignorance so as to drive their usual hatred for the Nigerian governement. To meet the qualified meaning of this definition, it means the Nigerian professionals who designed the campaign picked another logo that is exactly like this or similar to this and delivered it to the Federal government. Have they shown Nigerians the logo that looks exactlylike the Nigeria @ 60 logo from another jurisdiction? No. Instead of saying that the diamond looks similar to the one they have found on the internet, they have disingenuously alleged that Nigeria plagiarised her 60th Anniversary logo. What a convenient narrative but a disservice to our fatherland.

A quick check on the internet shows that there are thousands of diamonds with crystals that look alike. The images on the Internet are there in any way for creative usage and purposes. Some are backed by rights and paid for while others are free. You can also not copyright an open source material. It is like numbers and words. Let us even assume without conceding that the Nigerian creative professionals who created this design were desperately looking for a logo, where would they have gone? The internet or the mines? Also, a diamond, being a precious stone, cannot be expected to be found anywhere. If a religious institution had used the Diamond as a logo element, will it still pass off as plagiarism? 

OUTRAGEOUS COSTINGWithout an announced budget or costing being declared from the Presidency, some social media commentatorshave hastily concluded that the logo was designed with an outrageous amount. 

Should we put the perpetrators on a national medium to justify this claimwith verifiable evidences, we will be offered with silence and mischief. The Nigeria at 60 logo was designed pro-bono out of sheer zeal and patriotism for Nigeria by a consortium of Nigerian marketing communications and talent management companies. This controversy is a great disservice to these Nigerian professionals who have invested their time into giving Nigeria a beautiful identity in commemoration of her 60thanniversary.

For now, we appeal to millions of good-spirited Nigerians, this celebration is ours. It is a celebration of the Nigerian people. Not even the present feeble wind will dampen our passion for our beloved country.

God Bless Nigeria  

For: Chain Reactions Nigeria

      The Temple Management Company

      TBWA Concept

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How To Earn Mega Bucks As A Database Administrator, By Priye Maxwell

It has been called the happiest job in the world.

While that assertion is debatable, what is not debatable is that you will definitely be smiling to the bank.

Database administrators (DBAs) are in high demand right now and companies are willing to pay handsomely for qualified hands.
According to a recent poll, database administration is listed as the 4th best technology job in the world. It is also ranked as the 15th best STEM job as well as the 30th best job overall.

In reaching these conclusions, the research took into account several factors such as remuneration, the potential for growth and the work/life balance.

How Much Can You Earn As A Database Administrator?
According to salaryexplorer.com, the median monthly salary of Database Administrator working a nine to five job in Nigeria is #318,000.

The lowest average salary is #176,000 while the highest average salary is #428,000 (note that the actual maximum salary is higher than the highest average).
Allow us to do the math for you on what that translates to in terms of a yearly salary. Excluding bonuses, the median salary for a Database administrator in Nigeria is #3,816,000 per annum.

The lowest average is #2,112,000 per annum and the highest average is #5,136,000.
Should you choose to seek work abroad, your earning potential could increase exponentially.

For example, in the United States, the media yearly salary is $90,070 while the lowest and highest average salaries are $66,200 and $116,000 respectively.

We’ll let you do the math on that.

What Does A Database Administrators Do?
A database administrator is responsible for the storage, organization and security of a company’s most precious asset- its data. While keeping the data protected from outsiders, the DBA must simultaneously ensure that the data easily accessible and translatable to the people who need it, whenever they need it.

For example, the database administrators of your bank, while tasked with protecting your personal information, must also ensure that you have access to your bank account via your app at all times.

The basic duties of a DBA include the following:
The DBA is responsible for upgrading and installing application tools and the database server.

The DBA modifies the database structure when necessary.
The DBA handles licensing renewals and maintaining compliance with database vendor license agreements.

The DBA would be responsible for tech support for database systems.

As a DBA, you would be required to optimize the performance of the database.

The DBA secures user profiles and permissions within the database.

The DBA plans, executes and checks backup strategies.
The DBA migrates the database as is required.

The Future Looks Bright
As data needs grow across economic sectors, the demand for database administrators is expected to grow as well.

Experts project that employment in this profession will grow by 10% over the next decade.
Wages are also projected to increase over time.

With Nigerians companies’ ever-increasing adoption of digital solutions, the future looks bright for DBAs in this country.

How To Become A Database Administrator
Becoming a DBA requires the possession of certain personality traits such as problem-solving skills, proactivity, curiosity and logical thinking.

You will also need a solid I.T background and relevant Oracle or Microsoft certifications.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Academy offers a suite of Oracle certifications that will help prepare you for a future in database administration.

As our society moves towards a more tech-based orientation, database administration is becoming a more relevant and coveted profession and one you should strongly consider.

Visit nitda.gov.ng today and register for the NITDA academy to begin receiving online classes. It is absolutely free.

Priye Maxwell, a tech enthusiast wrote from Port-Harcourt

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NITDA To Partner With NSIA On Start-Ups

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is to partner with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) towards investing in Start-ups.

NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Abdullahi today accompanied by his management team paid a courtesy visit to the NSIA management where the two Federal agencies discussed areas of collaboration that will culminate in the provision of digital infrastructure that will assist start-ups in furtherance of the digital economy policy of the Federal Government.

NITDA is the government agency that develops and regulates Information Technology in Nigeria.

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Polaris Pearl Account To Equip Women To Run Profitable Businesses

Polaris Bank has pledged that its Polaris Pearl account will equip women entrepreneurs with the requisite knowledge, skills, and support to run their businesses profitably.


The Bank announced that following from its interaction with women across the country, it has discovered that most of them are unable to access finance to either stabilize or scale their businesses mainly because of a lack of awareness on how to leverage bank funding to drive and sustain profit. It notes that this finding is contrary to the popularly, but erroneously held view that unavailability of finance is the main challenge facing the average business woman.


Speaking further on the benefits of the Polaris Pearl Account, the Bank’s Group Head, Products and Market Development, Mrs. Adebimpe Ihekuna, explained that lack of proper guidance on access to opportunities is also a major hindrance to women in their entrepreneurial ventures. She noted that “we have carefully designed Polaris Pearl Account for women or groups of women entrepreneurs who initiate, organize, and operate a business enterprise to fulfill an existing need for the purpose of making profit.”


Furthermore, she affirmed that “with Polaris Pearl, Women Entrepreneurs do not only have access to collateral-free loans but are also regularly supported in understanding vital aspects of business development such as business training, business tips and positioning for new opportunities. We also support them with requisite skills on emerging local and global trends that may impact their businesses”. 
She also said that “many women entrepreneurs who have embraced the Polaris Pearl product have so far enjoyed numerous incentives such as business name registration, health check, business plan development, and a host of other value-adding benefits.”


Speaking on the value proposition of the Polaris Pearl, the Bank’s Acting Managing Director/CEO Mr. Innocent Ike, explained that “Polaris Bank is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and hence a critical stakeholder in the global conversation about gender inclusion and women empowerment especially in enhancing their access to finance and business opportunities.” He explained that the empowerment of Nigerian women constitutes one of the six pillars of Polaris Bank’s corporate citizenship and Sustainability focus. 

Polaris Pearl account can be opened through the Bank’s account opening portal at https://accounts.polarisbanklimited.com/opening/ or visit any of our SurePadi agents in your neighbourhood, as well as any Polaris Bank branch closer to you.
Polaris Bank is a future-determining Bank committed to delivering industry-defining products, and services, across all sectors of the Nigerian economy. 

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UBA Business Series To Support SME’s, Business Owners With Brand Positioning, Marketing Strategies

In its continuous bid to support the growth of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME) and equip them with the necessary tools to strengthen and sustain their businessesPan African Financial Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc is set to organise another edition of its quarterly UBA Business Series. 

The UBA Business Series which is held quarterly, is an MSME Workshop and a capacity building initiative where leading business leaders share insights on best practices for running successful businesses in the face of huge economic challenges. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic presented a huge challenge to many entrepreneurs and to help mitigate potential losses, UBA through its business series has been providing businesses with essential tips that would help re-evaluate their models and strategies as they wade through these uncertain times.

The topic for this edition of the UBA Business Series is ‘Brand Positioning and Marketing for Businesses Post COVID 19’, and it will hold on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 via Microsoft Teams. UBAwill be hosting the Managing Director, Nitro 121, Mr Lampe Omoyele, a brand management professional, who will give business leaders and upcoming entrepreneurs tips on the best ways to ensure their businesses survive especially in the wake of the pandemic. Omoyele who is also the Founding Partner, The LucentConsulting Company, is a widely respected business leader and mentor in the marketing and advertising industry of sub-Saharan Africa.

The event which is open to all participants will be held virtually starting at 2pm WAT on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 and interested participants can register here, or via http://bit.ly/UBABusinessSeriesReg.

UBA’s Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, Jude Anele, who spoke ahead of the workshop, said with his vast experience in brand management, Omoyele will point small business owners in the direction needed to galvanise their brands and position it in such a way as to attract the right customers.

Anele pointed out UBA’s unending commitment and deep passion to help small businesses, which according to him, remains the engine of any developing economy. “We are well aware that small businesses are the backbone of the economy in every country. In many climes, businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 98.2% of all businesses. This no doubt aptly captures the importance of SMEs to a thriving economy which is why UBA is committed to seeing them flourish.”

UBA’s Group Head, Marketing and Customer Experience, Michelle Nwoga, said the bank’s passion is hinged on ensuring that customers and entrepreneurs run businesses that can stand the test of time with requisite knowledge and experience required to take their businesses to the next level.

She explained that the seminar is open to all business owners and leaders across Nigeria, adding that intending participants can register quickly to be part of the invaluable experience.

United Bank for Africa is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than twenty million customers globally. With footprint in 20 African countries and presence globally in the United Kingdom, the USA and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services. 

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Fuel Subsidy Removal: The Needless Furore, By Maryam Shettima

Mr President is in the eye of the storm recently for bravely realizing the inevitable expungement of the fuel subsidy in Nigeria, brave due to the extreme furore and knee jerk reaction by some gullible and credulous Nigerians, who are convinced that, this decision is most inhumane and anti masses. Yet, conflictingly, deep within their minds, they are secretly relieved in knowing that the removal is an absolute necessity. Also, they are not unaware of the fact that, Nigerian masses are neither directly nor indirectly benefiting from the obsolete policy. Thirdly, put them in the same position and the same condition, they would not be any different.

The term subsidy means a sum of money granted by the state or a public body to help an industry or business keep the price of a commodity or services low. For decades, Nigeria had a policy to subsidise petroleum product, especially on PMS, which is one of the most consumed petroleum products in the country. This, over the years, has become a thorn in the flesh of our National Economy, due to blatant abuse and corruption by many beneficiaries as would be outlined later. Experts in the field consequently argued that Nigeria can actually do better by removing the subsidy regime in petroleum, and instead, putting the money to use by developing other sectors with emphasis on health-care, infrastructure and agriculture.

For the past two decades, after democratic governments took over from the military in 1999; this topic has been a major bone of contention. The three past Nigerian leaders had a long and onerous battle with Nigerians, in an attempt to convince the Nigerian masses that subsidy is merely an exploitative and self-serving mechanism some unpatriotic elites use, to deprive the nation of its hard earned resources. This battle proved to be a hopeless one….almost!

Why does any attempt by the government to right the wrongs of subsidy hit a brick wall? Did the subsidy regime truly help in providing enough gasoline to our vehicles and industries? Who are the major beneficiaries of the subsidy idea and Why are they averse to the policy being abolished? Most importantly, what are the benefits Nigerians stand to gain in the eventuality of its removal? These are some of the questions, that are begging to be explored on this topic.

Going back to memory lane, in 1999 the price of petrol in Nigeria was N11 per litre, by 2015, despite the subsidy, the price had skyrocketed to N145 per litre, an increase of over 15 times the initial 1999 rate! Coupled with that, the incessant scarcity of petroleum in a country that parades itself as the sixth largest petroleum exporter all these years, is awfully disturbing and beyond shameful.

In reaction to this quagmire, experts like Malam Sunusi Lamido Sunusi: Former Nigerian Central Bank Governor, and former Emir of Kano argued, that the subsidies on petroleum products succeeded in making Nigeria the only oil exporting country that does not enjoy the benefits of increase in the price of crude oil in the international market. According to him; firstly, he reasoned we needed to fix the price of petroleum products ourselves, but then, we do not refine these products! How can you fix the price of a product that you do not produce? We produce crude oil but regrettably the price we fix is for refined products. Thus, suffice it to say….we are fixing the price of what we never produced, as a result, we end up paying enormously for NOTHING. The money meant to improve other more deserving sectors, now is monopolisedby a few individuals, consequently deepening the fissures of poverty in the country. This plunged us in a bleak situation whereby while the rich are getting richer; the poor actually keep getting poorer.

Malam Sanusi Lamido is not alone in this argument, Former Minister of Finance; Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala also in a nine paged document, presented to the Federal Executive Council in 2011, similarly leaned toward the same direction of thought, as carried by Vanguard Newspaper of 25th December 2011:

“During that briefing to ministers, Okonjo-Iweala, in a document, titled, BRIEF ON FUEL SUBSIDY, (by) Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the coordinating Minister for the Economy / Honourable Minister of Finance explained the key facts about subsidy, what fuel subsidy is all about, deregulation of the downstream sector  benefits for deregulation), why the subsidy was going to be removed, pointing out that it was a major fiscal and financial “BURDEN” on the nation, those who benefit from the subsidy as well as the relationship between subsidy and the Federal Government of Nigeria’s budget, among other things”.

From her point of argument, the former minister laboriously, and convincingly, pointed to the fact that, the benefit of subsidy’s removal far outweighs its stay. The policy is nothing but waste of resources and a huge needless economic scam in the name of making the products cheaper for the masses. On the final analysis, if government budgeted N10 for subsidy the masses only get a meagre fraction of Kobo out of it, while some subsidy elites are smiling to the bank with the rest. This systematic siphonage of our common wealth by a few subsidy elites can be clearly seen, if we are to consider the 2018 NEITI report alone, which stated that Nigeria spent about N722.3 billion on fuel subsidy! In healthcare, this amount can build 6 world class standard hospitals each in one of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The money also if carefully invested on energy sector, can provide our country with over 2000megawatts! This can give a tremendous boost to power generation and lead to massive industrialization, which would in turn provide employment opportunity for millions of “qualified” yet jobless youths in the country. In the area of Agriculture, the money can guaranty food security in Nigeria, and improve farming and other agro allied products in the country.

Interestingly, this same amount of money could also build Ten Dams with modern irrigation facilities, which would also improve agro business in Nigeria, and launch Nigeria in the league of major exporters of Agricultural products for the inexhaustible foreign consumption.

It is both curiously perplexing then, how some politicians who maximally exploited subsidy removal as the cardinal principle of their campaign, now turn back to be its major adversaries! The former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the PDP Presidential candidate in the

2019 elections happens to be one of these. He was quoted recently, attacking President Buhari’s decision on the removal and argued thus on his Twitter handle:

” Federal Government finally withdraws the fuel subsidy and price fixing bazaar that had been rife with corruption and stalling investment. This is something patriots have been calling for and for which I was demonised “

Even the Chief political adversary of PMB, from the above statement, believes the policy is corruption permeated, which every patriotic Nigerian must fight to a standstill. Subsidy removal will at least have two major advantages, killing one major form of corruption and also encouraging investors to put their money in the sector. These at the end of the day, will witness more refineries built in Nigeria, provide job opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths, and would translate to a source of income for more projects development, in transportation , healthcare , housing, and many more sectors.

Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a two time governor in Kano State and former Minister of Defence also kicked against the President’s unpopular decision on subsidy. However, if we are good students of history we could remember vividly how in 2011, during fuel subsidy removal’s nationwide protest, the same governor ordered for the shooting of the protesters in Kano. According to him, the idea is ill-timed and inhumane, but like the Chairman of Nigerians in diaspora acknowledged, much as the idea is painful, coupled with Corona Virus pandemic and a slump in the global economy, still agreed the decision is unavoidably necessary. As far as the oppositions are concerned the only right time for the removal is when they are in power, as long as as they are out of it, no time will ever be right!

As far as “WE” are concerned, it is a welcome idea, Nigerians need more focus on developing projects, they have no or limited luxury of enjoying as a result of subsidy regime, the wise and far-sightedly man, took the painful decision, not to further the harsh economic conditions Nigerians are in, but to alleviate their suffering, fight corruption, improve, lay out and solidly set the stage for more infrastructures, and a solid foundation for National Economic growth. There is no way we can stop fuel smuggling across our boarders with the current pricing system. The subsidy removal will bring more investment in the sector, government will get more income for projects implementation, and in the long run, prosperity and progress will reign!

#webelieve!??

Maryam I Shettima is an Abuja based social media activist, and the CEO of #webelieve!?? movement.

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FG Hails Kwara Gov Over Social Investment Programme

Federal Government has commended Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq over the state’s social investment programme, hailing him for pushing through the safety net with appreciable improvements on the model that was understudied from the presidency.

Uzoma Nwagba, chief operating officer of the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), said in a commendation letter to the Governor that he was glad that AbdulRazaq followed through on the programme — barely one year after he visited the headquarters of GEEP in Abuja.

GEEP, which comprises MarketMoni, TraderMoni, FarmerMoni, is a component of President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) that seeks to empower small businesses and lift as many people as possible out of poverty line.

Nwagba said Kwara’s version of the programme has also turned out to be a huge success with at least 21,623 petty traders getting interest-free loan to upscale their businesses and thousands more to benefit from its Owo Arugbo — a part of the social programme that targets vulnerable, old people. 

He specifically commended “the excellent work you are doing with your own programme (Owo Isowo, Owo Arugbo, etc)

“I am really excited to see that you carried on that vision, and it is working in Kwara. You even made improvements (e.g. mandatory BVN, etc) over and above ours.

“The commencement of the programme made me very happy, Your Excellency, especially the replication of the clear process and transparency (of the scheme).

“Because Kwara has built a ready platform and project infrastructure locally, you are ready for the World Bank CARES project.”

*Rafiu Ajakaye

_Chief Press Secretary to the Governor_ 

_September 14th, 2020._

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Nigeria’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration: FG Calls For Active Involvement Of Nigerians In Creating A Brand, Other Event Elements

On the 1st of October, 2020, Nigeria will be celebrating its Diamond Jubilee as it turns 60 years. It is a day that reminds every citizen about the dawn of the nation we call our country, a diverse nation with resilient and hardworking people. Nigerians have gone far and wide, impacting their communities and the world at large.

To celebrate Nigeria’s Diamond Jubilee, the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR has approved an inclusive National Independence Celebration program in line with Covid-19 protocols and guidelines. To ensure inclusiveness, the thematic and creative aspects of the event would be designed by Nigerians for Nigeria. The theme of the celebration is “Together at 60.”

As the saying goes, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. The Federal Government therefore wants to use this opportunity to celebrate our strength as one indivisible country. Also provide opportunity for Nigerians to choose their brand and harness the power of our creative minds to create other elements that will form the Brand of the Anniversary. The Sub Committee of the Interministerial Committee came up with a challenge in which they are looking for talented, critical thinking and creative individuals or teams to produce the slogan, photograph, and a poem for Nigerians to mark the country’s 60th Anniversary, from 1st October 2020 to 30th December 2021.

To vote for the best brand and participate in the challenge, visit the challenge portal: https://nigeriaAt60.gov.ng. The best brand and concept will be presented to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and will be used in celebrating Nigeria’s 60th Anniversary. The winners will also receive prizes, in addition to being part of this epoch-making event.

As the country eagerly awaits the unveiling of the winning brand and other elements of the celebration, we look forward to the active participation of all.

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,
Chairman, Diamond/Innovation/Change Sub-Committee,
Nigeria @60 Interministerial Committee

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Here Is Why You Should Join A Tech Hub ASAP, By Sylvester Martins

Many of the world’s most significant technological breakthroughs came about as a result of collaboration between talented people.No man is an Island. Two heads are better than one. Collaboration is key. Team work makes the dream work.

Pick your preferred phrase from the above, they all mean the same thing and most importantly, they are all true. They especially ring true in the tech world where progress is achieved in partnership and cooperation.
This is why hubs fulfil such a vital function in the space. Hubs bring together like-minded people and foster practical learning, vital collaboration as well as healthy competition.

No wonder the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the stewardship of its Director-General, Mal. Kashifu Abdullahi has in the past one year of his assumption of office gave tech hubs a pride of place in his programmes.

Three Special Purpose IT Hubs have been deployed in University of Lagos (UNILAG), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), and Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna respectively. In furtherance of his resolve to spur IT development for teeming youths across the country, 2000 laptops were provided to institutions across all geopolitical zones. As if that is not enough, NITDA held an online innovation challenge titled “Nigeria’s COVID-19 Innovation Challenge” where three winners emerged, winning cash prizes of N1m, N750.000, N500.000 respectively.

Apart from NITDA’s tech hubs in the aforementioned institutions, the Federal Government is also investing in tech hubs across the six geo-political zones. Not many know the benefits of joining a tech hub. Here are few reasons why you should:

  1. Energy Is Infectious
    Tech hubs can be some of most high energy places in the world and if you are in one, some of that energy will certainly rub off on you.
    Hubs are similar to bee hives. Everyone is there to work and everyone is in go mode.
    From ideation sessions in the conference rooms to heated intellectual disagreements by the water dispenser, the mental exercise is constant.
    Being in an environment like this will give you lots of creative energy to play off of.
  2. They Are Great Places To Network
    Chances are that you will meet a future collaborator, client, vendor, employer or employee at a hub.
    Through consistent interaction with your hub members, you will be able to form friendships and forge alliances through which you can earn money, referrals or both.
  3. Share Problems. Solve Problems
    Your greatest asset at your hub is not the dependable WiFi or the constant electricity.
    It is the fellow professional sitting across from you. It is the experienced programmer sitting beside you. It is the talented graphic designer you bump into on your way in every morning.
    Being part of a hub allows you to pick the brains of your peers share as well as gain valuable insight from multiple perspectives
  4. Expand Your Horizon
    Working in the midst of diversely skilled professionals can only rub off positively on you. Observing what other specialists do, how they do it and why they do it will help you develop an appreciation for what they do and an understanding of what they need.
    Not only will this help you become a better team player, it will also help you become a better team manager and a better contractor to your clients.
    Consequently, you will develop into a more well-rounded professional and business person.
  5. Get Exposed to New Opportunities And Learn New Skills
    Learning takes several forms in the hub. You could learn from your peers’ mistakes, benefit from the guidance from more experienced hub members or receive training from hub facilitators.
    NITDA Information Technology hubs are equipped with the networking and computing devices necessary for the production of state-of-the-art Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) production machines.
    At their centers, you will receive practical training in the production of PCB devices and other valuable skills.
  6. If you are tech savvy, don’t waste anymore time. Take advantage of the numerous opportunities available in NITDA by following their twitter handle @NITDANigeria and checking up their website, www.nitda.gov.ng. IT is the new global money spinner and if you are a tech enthusiast like me, you will hurry now to make hay while the sun shines!

Sylvester Martins, a tech enthusiast wrote from Lagos

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Fani-Kayode’s Gaffe and the Rot in the Media, By Gidado Shuaib

Of late, the Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has come under heavy media flogging from various persons, journalism unions and top columnists, condemning his attitude towards a Daily Trust journalist, Eyo Charles, during a press conference.

Without attempting to belabour the issue, I wish to recall how the incident happened as well as the attendant media backlash. First, it is instructive to know that a press conference, in other words, is a platform on which a journalist and newsmaker interact through a question-and-answer parley. It is a form of drilling to which a newsmaker is subjected for onward transmission to the public.

However, Fani-Kayode, during one of such parleys, turned down a journalist’s question and, as if that was not enough disservice to the intent of the platform, this fellow had the effrontery to call this benign journalist all sorts of names. Well, thanks to Social Media. Fani-Kayode’s assault against the journalist would have been history.

An archetypal precedent has long been set. Although, it was not in our clime. At a press briefing in the White House last year, US President Donald Trump used somewhat unprintable adjectives to describe and ‘disparage’ the personalities of both the CNN and NBC White House Correspondents.

Both Peter Alexander of the NBC and his CNN colleague, Jim Acosta, were not spared the verbal ‘missile’ of the utterly-rambunctious US Number One citizen.

Mr Trump repeatedly blasted the two US reporters, reminiscent of the Femi Fani-Kayode and Eyo Charles’ ‘fiasco’ in Calabar penultimate week.

Trump never minced words in telling the CNN reporter, at a point: “You are very rude, and a terrible person. CNN should be ashamed of having you as their reporter.”

As for Fani-Kayode, who is a self-acclaimed activist, his reaction only exposed him as not being different from every other person he condemns.

On the heels of the sad incident, one of the foremost Civil Society Organisations in the country, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), came out to unequivocally condemn Fani-Kayode’s belligerent assault against the reporter, reiterating that press freedom and freedom to do journalism could not be joked with, especially at this time when COVID-19 had taken its toll on the journalism practice.

“While we are not unaware of the Fani-Kayode’s regular antagonistic reaction and response to issues, we uphold our position that Press Freedom and journalism must be respected and protected at all levels.

“We express total discomfort not only in thoughtless use of the word “stupid” but also reported threat and intimidation of the journalist during and after a press conference held in the state.

“We also find the reaction of the Former Aviation Minister worrisome and tantamount to silencing the media freedom; as he is known to hitherto leverage the media in expressing a personal view and opinion on issues without fear or intimidation,” CISLAC’s Executive Director, Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, had said in a statement.

Now, although Fani-Kayode has regretted and apologised for the public gaffe—an afterthought anyway; what remains befuddling is the fate of journalism in Nigeria. Remember that the journalist, after the incident, had come out bruised and tattered. Nobody was saying anything about him, not even a word of encouragement to make him stay put in the course of objective journalism pursuit.

Sadly, we live in a society where journalists are constantly killed, harassed and intimidated for doing their job, but little or no care has been shown to address this rising menace.

It should be noted that most journalists in the country are either unpaid or underpaid, leaving most of them to be bootlickers of one politician or the other. Until media owners pay journalists well and promptly, enforcing the ethics of the profession will remain a major problem.

As at this moment, only a few publishers constantly pay what can truly be described as a take-home package. Many Nigerians are now discouraged from joining the profession, thereby now exploring other sectors they find lucrative.

Recent reports have revealed that newsroom employment has significantly decreased. The COVID-19 outbreak has also led to a rapid scaling back of advertising spending, which has inadvertently led dozens of newspapers to cut budgets and furloughs.

Similarly, a dozen media think-tanks in the country like the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Enough is Enough, International Press Centre, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, and Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism had commissioned surveys, following perceptions that journalists were being exposed to danger in the course of covering the pandemic.

One of the surveys, filled by 463 journalists – correspondents, reporters, editors, freelancers, and presenters from 73 print, broadcast and online media across 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory – revealed that there had been poor attention to the needs, safety and welfare of journalists covering the pandemic.

Drawing from these responses, media proprietors were urged to prioritize the welfare of their reporters.

The media, especially in Nigeria, and at this particular juncture, must step up its game by doing everything necessary to protect the inalienable rights and privileges of members of the fourth estate in the country.

Against this backdrop, it is my humble submission that media owners should come up with innovative ways to generate revenue for their platforms as the present advertising model can no longer work, in as much as such finances are needed to sustain the business.

Also, as far as I am concerned, it will not sound too ambitious for politicians and other elites in the country to emulate the best practices of developed nations and begin treating journalists like kings and not dregs.

Only then, will the media and Nigerian journalists take its pride of place in the heart of the masses, and even become society’s true watchdog.

Gidado Shuaib, a media researcher, is the editor of The News Digest. He can be reached on giddyshuaib@gmail.com.

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NEC 10th Edition: UBA Foundation Calls for Entries, Introduces Digital Submission Portal for Students

UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has today commenced the 2020 edition of its annual National Essay Competition in Nigeria with a call for entries.

Now in its tenth year, the National Essay Competition (NEC) is part of UBA Foundation’s education initiative which is aimed at promoting the reading culture and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition amongst secondary school students in Nigeria and across Africa. 

This year’s edition, which is the 10th since inception, has been modified to ensure ease of access and increased participation of senior secondary school students from the comfort of their homes through the introduction of a digital submission portal. 

Taking into consideration the effects the Covid-19 pandemic has had on lives and incomes across board, the UBA Foundation has also increased the prize money for the 2020 edition of the NEC by 33 per cent as the first prize winner will get an educational grant of  N2.5m, up from N2m in 2019. The second and third prize winners will now receive N2m and N1.5m educational grants respectively, from N1.5m and N1m which were awarded in the previous year’s competition. 

The Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation, Mrs. Bola Atta stated that with the newly introduced digital submission portal, more students in secondary schools across the country will have the opportunity to scan and send in their entries and compete to win educational grants for study at any university of their choice on the African continent.

She said, “As a Foundation, which is the CSR arm of the United Bank for Africa – a fully digitalised bank, we are driven by the mantra to always innovate and adapt to our constantly changing environment. This year, we thought hard about how to ease the pains that everyone is feeling. Students have not been able to go to school and there has been a lot of anxiety in families trying to ensure that educational gaps do not emerge.  It is imperative for us at the UBA Foundation that our impact programmes do not wane. We also need to design them to be as inclusive as possible so that those students who don’t have easy access to computers can still participate in the competition with a chance to win grants towards their tertiary edification.’ 

Atta explained that the choice of topic for this year’s edition is one that helps promote creative and analytical thinking in students whilst helping them become problem solvers. The essay topic selected is Do you think that the lock – down during the Covid-19 pandemic was an essential measure in spite of the hardship it has brought economically? What would you have done differently and why?”

All entrants are to hand write their essays and upload scanned copies of their handwritten entries as well as ID on the digital portal at www.ubagroup.com/national-essay-competitionbefore October 2,2020. They may also drop off the handwritten essays at their nearest UBA business office for onward submission to the UBA Foundation.

The judges who are made up of esteemed professors from reputable Nigerian Universitieswill receive all the essays on a digital drive, evaluate them and select the top 12 finalists all of who will take home consolation prizes including personal computers. 

The finale of the NEC this year will be conducted virtually as the initiative rolls out across 19 more countries in Africa.

UBA Foundation embodies the UBA Group’s CSR objectives and seeks to impact positively on societies through several laudable projects and initiatives. The Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of books to students across Africa under the ‘Read Africa’ initiative aimed at encouraging and promoting the reading culture in African youths.

Students can apply for the National Essay Competition 2020 at: www.ubagroup.com/national-essay-competition;

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DG’s 1 year In Office: Minister Commissions Projects, Launches NITDA’s Remodelled Logo

In commemoration of his one year in office, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Abdullahi has launched the remodelled logo of the agency and its rebranding which was commissioned alongside other projects this morning by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Patanmi. 

In his opening remarks at the event, the DG stated that the projects to be commissioned by the Honourable Minister was conceptualised during his tenure as Director-General. Dr. Pantanmi was the immediate past DG of NITDA. He stated that the rebranded NITDA is in line with the Digital Economy Policy of President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Among projects commissioned by the Minister include the integrated Computer Emergency Response and readiness centre which is aimed at enhancing the security of Nigeria’s cyberspace, Digital Studio for virtual learning, the Digital Centre amongst others.

Hon. Minister Patanmi also officially unveiled the core values, vision and mission statements in alignment with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.

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