Nigeria’s First Smartphone Assembly Plant Launched In Lagos

AfriOne Nigeria Limited launched Nigeria’s first assembly plant geared towards the manufacture of smartphones and other consumer devices. According to a spokesperson for AfriOne;

This marks the availabilty of the first in-country produced smartphones for sale in then Nigerian marketplace.

The fact that AfriOne range of smartphones are said to be the “first Nigerian-made smartphones”, is true to a certain extent. The assembly plant located along the Oshodi Expressway of Lagos state assembles smartphones and other devices from imported components.

The AfriOne assembly plant was launched with the Champion and Gravity range of smartphones but will produce more consumer devices and accessories. AfriOne co-founder and CTO Hemang Kapur said;

We [will] offer a wide range of feature-rich and technologically loaded product lines from dual sim mobile phones to educational tablet PCs and even android smart watches

The assembly plant currently employs a staff strength of 150 — 200 one the lines, administrative and non-administrative staff.

TechPoint

Seven Ways Social Media Can Ruin Your Life

Social media has become a part of our daily life and many of us cannot do without it. What you don’t know is that your addiction to social media is affecting your lives negatively. Read on to know how social media can ruin your life.

According to Jumia Travel, phone users should perhaps cut down on the hours they spend on social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Overthinking emoticons

Some people while interacting or chatting with someone else share an emoticon; they begin to give all sorts of meanings and interpretations to it. It is funny that just because of an emoticon, they get themselves all worked up and worried. Why? It is just an emoticon.

Checking/updating every second

You have become so attached to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat that you are checking and updating them every second. The day you don’t access your accounts because you don’t have data, you become hysterical and irrational. It is not a matter of life and death.

Bragging about likes, followers and comments

The number of likes, followers and comments you have has become a thing to brag about and show off. The rule is that the more followers you have, the more traction and engagement you get. True, you do not have to boast about it. Some people go as far as buying likes, followers and even comments.

Posting without thinking

Many of us have converted social media to an abuse platform. A place where we criticise and troll people. As a result, more and more people are in trouble because of what they share and say on social media. Presently, a popular United States-based Nigerian journalist, Kemi Olunloyo, is being prosecutedfor the content she shared on social media. Always, think before you share.

Making up just because you want to share picture on Instagram

This is peculiar to girls. They do not have anywhere to go but they dress up, apply make-up and take beautiful pictures just to post on Instagram or Facebook. It is ridiculous.

Staying up late

We all do this. We spend hours flying from one social media platform to another. Meanwhile, we are very sleepy but we still continue browsing. Surprisingly, they sleep off while on Twitter or WhatsApp. Hence, many of us don’t get enough sleep because of social media.

Seeking social media validation

Seeking social media validation can lead to depression. This is because you wait for others to give you approval for your life activities. If you don’t get the desired response, you become depressed. You should stop seeking social media validation and live your life.

FG Launches Finance And Accounting Software ‘OneBook’

In a bid to curb financial embezzlement and increase lucidity in the financial sector of Nigeria’s economy,  the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance has launched an accounting software portal which is known as ‘One Book’.

This initiative is one of the measures that the Federal Government is taking to ensure improvement in Public Financial Management across every level of government. It is focused on enhancing efficiency, accountability, and transparency of government finances. The software was launched at the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for March 2017.

OneBook has been described as a “unified accounting and reporting solution”. According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun,

OneBook is tailored for the public sector, It’s everything from budgeting, warrant issuance, payments, reconciliations and reports- Kemi Adeosun

Furthermore, OneBook is suitable for every state in Nigeria, this is because OneBook provides a portal through which both local and state governments can manage and report their finances on an accrual basis, thereby every state can subscribe to it.

Also at the launch, Kemi Adeosun explained that besides transparency and efficiency, another pivotal advantage of the OneBook Software is that, it will propel consistency and comparability, because ‘everybody’s accounts will look the same and be prepared on a similar basis’.

According to the Minister, the software which will intensify ‘the Public Sector Financial Management, analysis and performance reporting’,  is acquiescent with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

‘The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) works to improve public sector financial reporting worldwide through the development of IPSAS, international accrual-based accounting standards, for use by governments and other public sector entities around the world.’

Misappropriation of funds has always been a major challenge facing the Nigerian economy, it has eaten deep into every level of the government. And this is as a result of the government transactions hasn’t been limpid enough. The government often take on several interventions to restrain misappropriation, but most haven’t been effective.

One can only hope that with the aid of the OneBook software, clarity, transparency and efficiency will be restored to the financial sector in Nigeria.

TECNO Launches Phonepad 3 In Lagos

Africa’s frontier phone maker, TECNO Mobile unveiled its latest device at a launch hosted at the alluring Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos on Monday, March 27, 2017.

Addressing the media, TECNO tablet Business Unit Manager, Eric Liu said, “the modern business man can worry-less about having to carry laptops wherever he goes and stick to the PhonePad 3 which is a user-friendly high-end device designed for improved business communications and productivity.”

Over the years, the TECNO phablet has progressively transformed and the latest device in the series – the PHONEPAD 3 is not an exception. The latest addition tagged Do business, stay mobile’ was made with the intention of allowing users an improved and efficient business life.

Spotting several upgrades from its predecessor, the device parades a well-crafted metallic unibody. The PhonePad 3 is much slimmer than one’s imagination. Parading a bigger screen, the PhonePad 3 is equipped with a 7-inch HD screen and a high screen to body ratio reaching to 74% gifting its users a larger and clearer view of everything. The HD display undeniably offers a brilliant and vibrant effect.

 

For a phone that is powered by a 4100mAh battery which can go up to two business day usage when fully charged and a 2GB RAM, you can be rest assured it was built for easy multitasking and no more panic in losing battery life wherever you go. The device is equipped with a 16GB internal memory which is expandable for 128GB via its MicroSD card slot.

TECNO has completely improved the user experience on the PHONEPAD 3 by adding several top notch pre-loaded apps such as the CamCard and CamScanner to help users manage business contact details and scan documents respectively at a single tap.

Also, speaking at the launch, the Retail Sales Manager of TECNO Tablet, Emeka Onuh said, “With the release of the PHONEPAD 3, we want to continue to show that TECNO is not taking its foot off the pedal in bringing very competitive smartphones to users across the African mobile market. The new device dramatically improves every aspect of a modern business man thereby facilitating proper business communications and efficiency.”

The new TECNO phablet without a doubt will be one of the most sought after devices to grace the African mobile market this first quarter of 2017. TECNO, is surely raising the technological bar and securing more fans with each of its smartphone releases and the PHONEPAD 3 undeniably is not an exception.

 

MTN Loses 714,000 Internet Subscribers

Nigeria’s telecommunications networks lost 1,275,573 internet users in February, with MTN losing  714,700 subscribers, the highest.

The NCC made the disclosure in its internet subscribers’ data for February.

The publication indicated that internet users on both Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks dropped from 91,304,755 in January to 90,029,182 in February.

It also showed that, of the 90,029,182 internet users in February, 89,998,873 were on GSM networks, while 30,309 were on CDMA networks.

It  showed that the GSM service providers lost 1,275,573 internet customers as they recorded 89,998,873 users in February as against 91,274,446 they recorded in January.

The CDMA operators retained 30,309 internet subscribers in February as recorded in January.

The data revealed that MTN had 30,300,705 subscribers browsing the internet on its network in the month under review. MTN recorded a drop of 714,700 internet subscribers in February after recording 31,015,405 in January.

According to the data, Globacom had 26,932,485 customers surfing the net on its network in February, revealing a decline of 143,787 users from the 27,076,272 who surfed the internet on the network in January.

Airtel had 19,468,684 internet users in February, reducing by 149,801, the number of customers in its January record of 19,618,485.

The data also showed that Etisalat had 13,296,999 customers who browsed the internet in February. It recorded a decrease of 267,285 users from the 13,564,284 users it recorded in January.

The NCC data revealed that the CDMA operators, Multi-Links and Visafone, had a joint total of 30,309 internet users on their networks in February, maintaining their January record.

According to the data, Visafone had 30,305 customers surfing the internet in February, while Multi-Links had four.

Nigerian Scientists Invent Technology To End ‘Tomato Ebola’

…farmers in Kaduna State hail impact

Worried by the ravaging effects of the tutsa pest popularly referred to as tomato ebola on production which led to loss of crops and scarcity of the product, which adversely affected Nigeria’s economy in 2015, a team of Nigerian scientists from the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan Oyo State, have invented a technology that will reduce the plague to the barest minimum.

Leader of the team, Dr. Abiola Oke who was tracked by journalists from Kaduna on the team’s sustainable management of tutsa on tomatoes to the state, explained that the technology has proved to be effective in handling the challenge.

She explained that they were on ground to sensitize the farmers on methods they could use in overcoming the challenge which led to lose of billions of Naira in investment of tomato farmers in the country in 2015.

Dr. Oke who is  an Entomologist/Researcher, said she was happy that the technology which was developed after careful research has been able to tackle the challenges for which it was conceptualized.

She said that all they did was to study the pest tutsa and found that it is a pest that is active and night and is also attracted to light, hence, the development of the technology which is the use of a tray and rechargeable lamp.

“The technology is a use of tray tray and rechargeable lamps. The tray is filled with water, sprinkled with a little detergent and a stone in placed inside, after which the battery powered or rechargeable lamp is placed on the stone.

“One the tutsa which lays the eggs that damage the tomatoes come to the light, they fall into the tray and are trapped, hence drown and die in the water,” she said.

When asked if the technology would be affordable to farmers who are mostly in the rural areas, she said that each set up costs less than N1,000, which is used for purchasing the major tools; a plastic tray and a lamp, adding that the research and the tools for the set up of the technology and the funding is being sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

On how the scientists aim to reach out to all the farmers in the tomato area, she said their team on a first phase would be touring tomato producing states in some states, where they would donate trays, lamps and detergents to the farmers.

“As a sustainable scheme, we would organize meetings and workshops for leaders of farmers groups within the catchment areas from where there would be a multiplying effect as they go back and train others,” she assured.

When questioned by the newsmen, a farmer in one of the locations visited in Samaru-Zaria, Kaduna State, Malam Isa Ibrahim praised the team for inventing the technology that will put an end to the tutsa which is causing nightmare to tomato farmers.

He said that with the development, they would reach out to other colleague and give them the good news that there is a cheaper and more efficient way to deal with the pest that has been threatening their source of livelihood.

“Now we have seen the effect of this technology. It is far cheaper and more effective than the pesticides we have been using,” he added.

The technology which was introduced to the farmers on Saturday evening, was evaluated on Sunday with encouraging results.

Africa Launches Domain Name, DotAfrica

Thirty-two years (March 1985) after the first domain name .com was introduced, Africa has finally launched its own domain name — dotAfrica (.africa), a generic Top Level Domain (gLTD).

The new .africa domain, has been officially launched by the African Union (AU). This laudable initiative will give Africa its own distinctiveness.

With dotAfrica, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity,” — Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Head of African Union commission.

The aim for .africa is to “foster relationship within the continent and portray Africa as an internet community”. Africans will be able to connect better with the world, by businesses being able to create their website.

This achievement was not attained without its fair share of legal battles. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for a long time was unable to grant .africa, because of several legal disputes that were ongoing, but now, dotAfrica has emerged victorious and launched officially by the AU.

What to expect from .Africa

According to Lucky Masilela,  the CEO of the South African based company (ZA Central Registry) that will manage the gTLD, .africa is going to be a market disruptor that will assist in lowering the cost of domain names,”

Lucky Masilela further explains:

The process is the same as registering any other domain name. One will have to contact an accredited registrar (ISP) and they will assist with the registration process.

If you are a trademark-holder ICANN prescribes a process, which we as the registry operator need to follow to ensure genuine trademarks are protected and sold to the valid entity……….”The trademark-holder will need to register their trademarks with the ICANN Trademark Clearing House or the Mark Validation System.- Lucky Masilela.

The .africa domain will be available to the general public from the 4th of July, 2017. You can visit the official website and enter your email to be alerted when it goes live.

Techpoint

SystemSpecs Releases Remita Mobile App, Unveils New Remita Logo

SystemSpecs, a leading financial technology company in Nigeria and owners of Remita, today announced the release of the beta version of their much anticipated Remita Mobile Application, to empower individuals to view multiple bank balances on one screen, make payments from and to various bank accounts including microfinance banks, settle various bills to Federal and State Government agencies as well as other billers, easily manage their expenses, and other key capabilities that allow users stay in firm control of their finance.

“Remita Mobile App will provide individuals with a much easier way to manage their finance,” said John Obaro, SystemSpecs’ Managing Director at a ceremony held recently in Lagos where a new Remita logo was also unveiled. “Now, with Remita App, customers of various banks will experience increased convenience, as they would be able to access their various accounts, seamlessly settle bills, and stay in firm control of their finance, anytime, from anywhere, on a single app.”

With this app, individuals will be able to send and receive money from the comfort of their phones, without needing any other mobile app or visiting any bank branch. Also with the app, payers can respond to payment requests from restaurants, shopping outlets, schools, family, friends or other billers by quickly snapping a QR code from their smartphone or tapping their device against the biller’s to complete transactions.

“We are optimistic that this solution will contribute significantly to transforming the financial culture in Nigeria,” said Adédèjì Olówè, Executive Director at SystemSpecs. “Not only will users be able to effortlessly settle utility bills using their mobile phones, Remita App’s exciting expense management feature will enable them make more financially intelligent decisions as it provides easy-to-understand colourful charts which analyse and display expense patterns.”

Also on the occasion, the winners of the Remita Seed Fund for startups received financial support to tune of one million naira each. They had emerged winners after successfully pitching at the fifth edition of StartUP Friday organised by the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), a subsidiary of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The beneficiaries are Temie Giwa-Tubosun of LifeBank Technology and Logistics Limited, Damilare Ogunleye of Lasiko Ltd, and Taiwo Ayanleye of Stutern Limited.

Speaking on the gesture, John Obaro said: “We are always glad to support innovative tech-driven startups to grow and scale their businesses. Remita Seed Fund is one of our contributions to the advancement of Nigeria’s technology ecosystem. It is our belief and desire that it will help these three tech startups to take their ideas to the next level.”

Commenting on the rebranding of Remita, David Okeme, SystemSpecs’ Chief Marketing Officer, said: “The new Remita logo signifies our entry into a new phase in the history of the brand and represents our strong desire to consistently remain top of our customers’ mind.”

Speaking further, Okeme added: “We expect that the new Remita identity will affectionately resonate with existing and potential users, especially at this time we are introducing another innovation to them with the release of Remita Mobile App.”

With Remita Mobile App, payments can be requested in the most convenient manner. Whether from customers for services rendered, from family and friends for various purposes like weddings, birthdays, for ‘aso-ebi’ payment contributions, or any other need. Funds or payment request can also be made by generating QR codes and sharing with customers and friends via email or other social media channels.

Asides the standard industry security measures which have been built into the app, Remita has specific security layers that guarantee the integrity of all access and transactions, including Personal Security Number, fingerprint authentication, One-Time Password Verification, among others.

Olówè however added that, “Currently, six Nigerian banks—Zenith, UBA, Access, Wema, FCMB, and Providus—have been fully integrated on the mobile application, with more banks already lined up to be introduced in the coming days when we take the solution out of the Beta phase.”

Not only individual bank accounts can be accessed on Remita Mobile App, as individuals who play various roles on their corporate bank accounts will be able to play such roles on the App in addition to being able to conveniently manage their various personal bank accounts.

The app is the mobile version of the multiple award-winning Remita payment solution, which has revolutionalised the payment processes of various individuals and organisations in Nigeria for more than a decade.

The beta version of Remita Mobile App is available for download on the Google Play Store

Three Nigerian Banks To Take Over Etisalat Nigeria

The ownership of telecoms company, Etisalat Nigeria may have changed hands as three unnamed Nigerian banks have reportedly taken over the management of the company.

While NCC officials have waded into the matter to ensure that the company is not taken over by the banks because of the effect that could have on the industry, it is reliably gathered that Etisalat Nigeria will indeed be taken over by three Nigerian banks.  The takeover is a result of debts incurred over the years by Etisalat.

According to sources, Etisalat obtained loans — amounting to $1.72 billion — from a consortium of foreign and Nigerian banks in 2015 to facilitate reconstruction and expansion of Etisalat’s network operations here in Nigeria.

The banks claimed that they are being pressured by Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to reclaim the loan by all means.

According to the unidentified NCC officials, the NCC as the regulatory body for telecoms in Nigeria, has tried best possible means, interacting with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to see that the banks would not have the right to take over. However, as of Tuesday, the NCC approved the takeover, which will occur today.

An unidentified Etisalat official blames their inability to pay back the incurred loan on the current recession in Nigeria. The banks said to be involved in the takeover are Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank.

Etisalat Nigeria is a subsidiary of Etisalat, a multinational United Arab Emirate-based telecommunications services provider, which operates in about seventeen countries, in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

There are certain rights that parent companies have over their subsidiary companies, and before a takeover can ensue, these rights will have to be examined.

GE Partners Tony Elumelu Foundation To Train Entrepreneurs At Lagos Garage

Leading multinational, General Electric (GE) and leading entrepreneurship The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) have announced a partnership that would allow up to 25 Tony Elumelu EF Entrepreneurs to participate in a dedicated 4-week advanced manufacturing training program every year at GE’s Lagos Garage – a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration.

The partnership results from the mutual interest of both organizations to foster economic growth and empowerment in Nigeria by building a skilled workforce and driving entrepreneurship development in the country.

Expressing her thoughts on the collaboration, GE Director of Communications & Public Affairs Patricia Obozuwa said: “We are happy to collaborate with a reputable organization such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation on this skill building initiative. There is a lot of alignment between TEF and GE’s commitment to the development of Nigerian entrepreneurs and we look forward to seeing some great success stories from TEF participants on the training program”, she added.

Speaking on TEF’s commitment to empower Nigeria’s entrepreneurs, “We welcome the collaboration with GE, world’s top 10 most innovative companies, to spur the growth of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs, Nigeria’s new innovators. This program will help them to further develop their products and business models as a follow up to the Foundations’s Entrepreneurship Programme”, said Parminder Vir OBE, CEO Tony Elumelu Foundation.

The training program will, among other things, expose participants to a wide spectrum of topics that are essential for manufacturing and design in the 21st Century; sharpen teamwork, communication, and creativity skills of participants; promote excellence in the practice of design and manufacturing within and across professions; expose selected entrepreneurs to real-world design and manufacturing problems, bring concepts to reality and cultivate the entrepreneurs’ ability to express, evoke and shape experience through design and manufacturing.

GE created the Garages program in March 2012 to reinvigorate interest in invention, innovation, and manufacturing in America. This program went global with two workshops in Lagos in 2014 and in December 2016, GE launched a permanent space, co-located with their Lagos offices dedicated to the training of young Nigerians in advanced manufacturing and business development. By playing a role in the development of the advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Nigeria, GE hopes to create jobs, build local knowledge and capability, and encourage technology-based innovation in the manufacturing sector.

The entrepreneurs in this class will exclusively come from the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, its 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs, capable of changing the face of business across Africa