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NITDA to create 30,000 jobs after COVID-19 pandemic

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The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, has said that the Agency’s Tech4Covid19 committee has come up with a plan to ensure that it retains about 100,000 ICT jobs, and create additional 30,000 in post-COVID-19 era.

The Director-General said this during his speech at the ISN North Regional Gathering 2020; a virtual event organised by Innovation Support Network (ISN) in collaboration with Ford Foundation with the theme “Repositioning Hubs for Post pandemic success”.

“We swiftly initiated several policies and programmes for the technology ecosystem and Startups to be able to withstand the impact of the pandemic.

“The agency has also rolled out these initiatives in order to ensure that technology continues to enable innovation and entrepreneurship while addressing challenges of the society.” the DG said.

Inuwa explained that the Nigeria COVID-19 Innovation Challenge is where Nigerians were challenged to come up with innovations; to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

He said that NITDA Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Support Scheme support startups and hubs across the country; “with over 130 hubs in Nigeria, we are finalizing plans to ensure that rapid intervention is provided for hubs and startups based on competence and carefully selected criteria.

“The agency is following up the startups with highly innovative ideas that were selected for further incubation and mentorship, this action supports indigenous and local content policy, thereby creating more jobs.”

The Director-General stated that another initiative of the agency is the Startup Clinic which is a platform for gathering Startups, mostly young people to meet with mentors, successful entrepreneurs, investors, Industry specialist, business consultants and hub operators with the goal of solving problems and challenges they were facing.

He noted that agriculture as the mainstay of the Nigerian Economy, it contributes a significant chunk of gross domestic product (GDP), which he said if properly harnessed, it will be a massive employer of labour.

“In order to improve agricultural practices and create jobs, the agency initiated its SMART Agric Project where it engages farmers and focuses on using precision/smart farming techniques to ensure significant improvement in efficiency and productivity thereby increasing crop yield; increased profit margin and create more jobs,” he said.

“Now more than ever there is a greater need to promote deeper collaborations and partnerships, attract funding from multilateral organisations, as well as guide stakeholders in designing and implementing innovative solutions peculiar to our need and created the needed jobs.” Mr Inuwa added

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NIGERIA

No going back on Water Resources Bill – FG

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The Federal Government has declared it will go ahead with the Water Resources Bill.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed told reporters the bill was not designed to cause water wars in the country.

He said the bill is a panacea to likely water conflicts in the country.

He said critics of the bill have either not read it or might be mischievous.

He said there is no hidden agenda behind the bill.

He said it is not a subterfuge reintroduction of RUGA.

Mohammed made the clarifications at a joint briefing with the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu in Abuja.

He said: “There is nothing new about the National Water Resources Bill. This is because it is an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence for a long time.

These are:

– Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004

– The River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004

– The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A, LFN 2004

– National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004

“So, why are the laws being re-packaged as the National Water Resources Bill 2020?

“The answer is that they are being re-enacted with necessary modifications to bring them in line with current global trends as well as best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

“The overall objective of this amalgamation is the efficient management of the Water Resources Sector for the economic development of Nigeria and the well-being of its citizens.

“The Bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of the people (i.e. for domestic and non-domestic use, irrigation, agricultural purposes, generation of hydro-electric energy, navigation, fisheries and recreation).

“The Bill will ensure that the nation’s water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all persons.

“Critics contend that the Bill is aimed at taking the resources of a certain part of the country for the use of herders. In other words, the Federal Government is seeking to implement RUGA by subterfuge.

“We also want to state that the Bill is for the good of the nation, and has no hidden agenda whatsoever.”

Adamu said the bill was sent to all the states for concurrence without any object.

He said the bill predated the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said:” This was never a Buhari bill, it is a bill for Nigeria. It started 2008 long before the President thought of winning election.”

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NIGERIA

#Fuel hike: No going back on strike, protest – NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has vowed to proceed with its planned strike and protest with effect from September 28 following the failure of the Federal Government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price.

Rising from its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja a few minutes ago, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the proposed action by the organised labour would proceed from next week.

He stated that the decision was unanimously taken by the chairmen of the 36 states and FCT chapters of the NLC.

Details later…

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#Technology: Sanusi Urges Youths To Explore and not Rely on Government

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The Former Central Bank Governor, CBN, Mohammed Sanusi (II), has urged Nigeria youths not to rely on government but to explore and create opportunities for themselves, especially with technology.

The former CBN governor who was the guest speaker on the second day of the Kaduna Investment Summit explained that over-reliance on oil has left the country unproductive.

“We need to think over and over again as to how we understand economics and what we see. How do we understand technology or electricity are we consumers or are we producers and that’s why investment in human capital is so important.

“Produce young men who know that they are worth more than just using their phone to import a pair of shoes,” he said.

Sanusi said Nigeria has to take economic diversification more seriously in order to experience growth and development.

Referencing Malaysia, Sanusi gave a breakdown of the economic growth of both countries within a 30-year period.

According to him, for Nigeria “there was an increase in wealth but without any structural transformation”.

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“We were growing but we did not diversify and that explains the huge levels of poverty in the country, it explains the huge levels of inequality in the country, it explains the vulnerability of the economy to shocks, it also explains the relatively slow pace of growth because when Malaysia started, they started from a GDP per capita level lower than Nigeria’s GDP per capita in 1985. It started from $310 to $4,045 while we started from $345 to $2,055”.

He also stressed the importance of the government creating the right environment and infrastructure for private businesses to thrive.

The former CBN governor who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency noted that with the right environment, the country can move away from being only consumers to producers of technology.

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