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How To Leverage Digital Technology – Juliet Ehimuan

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How To Leverage Digital Technology - Juliet Ehimuan

When I became a certified developer, I got a job that offered me ten times what I was earning. I kid you not, ten times! – Adaobi F.

At Google, we talk about moonshot thinking, 10X results. This is really about amplifying your goals, results and aspirations in the order of the magnitude of 10X. Putting a man on the moon is a moonshot. Creating a self-driving car involves moonshot thinking.

All around us, there are opportunities to create moonshots. What is the purpose of education if not to help you 10X the quality of your life with the opportunities available to you, helping you go beyond limits?

Adaobi, who is quoted above, was able to 10X her earning power by leveraging eLearning and online modules to become an Android certified developer. She was an aspiring developer, writing code at home in Abuja. Her dream was to be a skilled developer. She got a job that required her to move to Lagos. There, she discovered the Google Africa scholarships program being run in collaboration with Udacity and Andela. She applied, and to her joy was accepted into the program. She had to share her time between her work and her study, and would study modules on her mobile phone in transit, sometimes in a keke maruwa. Her hard work paid off and she passed her exams and became Android certified.

Following this, Adaobi applied for a job as a developer. She was shocked at how smooth and easy the interview process was. Being a certified developer changed the game for her, and she was offered the job that, in her words, paid her ten times her previous salary. Her husband confirmed the impact of this opportunity on the family and Adaobi’s ability to support the family financially. Adaobi also basked in the confidence of now being able to assess her skills on the global scene. She said, “I can actually say I’m a world class developer, not just that in my community I’m okay – in the world, I’m okay.”

Adaobi’s new found opportunities opened up to her because she took advantage of learning opportunities that were freely available via online teaching and learning resources on the internet. We live in exciting times where our daily lives are dominated by innovation. The education landscape is also gradually changing as new inventions and new ways of teaching become the norm. It’s worth noting that innovation does not only mean technology, but it encompasses any creative, new way of doing things. If it improves learning, processes and systems, or solves a real problem, then it is innovation. In Adaobi’s case, she learned how to be a developer, firstly by leveraging an informal, virtual classroom.

To what extent are we innovating our educational system at all levels? In countries where there are challenges of infrastructure, limited access to leading edge and up to date learning materials, high and unaffordable fees, and out of date curriculum and inadequate funding, it is imperative to lead the way in embracing innovative ways of developing capacity at scale. ICT-enabled learning can be an effective tool for closing these gaps. ICT can bring world class teaching and learning resources literally to the fingertips of a young lady going to work in a Keke Marwa somewhere in Nigeria. ICT will not resolve all of Africa’s education problems, but it can help to fundamentally change the current paradigm of skills development systems.

There’s nothing more important for our success than to educate the next generation if we are to make Africa an economic powerhouse. However, looking at the current population and the explosive population growth expected in the next decades, we cannot rely only on traditional formal learning to build capacity at scale. Our youth need some key skills to thrive in today’s world: critical thinking, complex problem solving, and creativity. These are crucial in being able to develop local solutions to local problems, and sparking more home grown entrepreneurs which are key to economic growth.

There are three key trends that we can take advantage of: the first is mobile phone penetration, and in particular smartphone penetration. There are currently over 45 million mobile internet users in Nigeria, and over 30 million smartphones. Smartphones are growing at 14% year on year rate. As device prices continue to drop, more people now have access to smartphones (even if low-end).

The second useful trend is cloud computing. To access good quality educational content, it is no longer necessary to buy a thousand servers. One can subscribe to different services from different technology providers, and “rent infrastructure from the cloud.”

The third trend is big data. Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – generated by businesses on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important. It’s what organizations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.

More and more people are more comfortable with sharing personal information than ever before, and as a result there are lots of extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions. The insights from the data can be used to customize content and make learning more relevant to users. These three trends have created an opportunity.

Deploying and distributing technology, leveraging a low cost, scalable infrastructure, would make technology solutions accessible and affordable to educational institutions; and informal teaching and instructional platforms in Africa.

It is important that the educational curriculum is up to date and relevant in the 21st century. While some institutions grapple with the challenge of updating their educational curricula, we can be deliberate about harnessing relevant online tools and making them available to students at little to no cost. Schools and other educational bodies or the Ministry of Education can negotiate volume discounts and licenses to make these curricula available for faculty and students to enhance their knowledge. Teachers can be equipped to stay ahead and connected to the business environment, creating a better alignment between research and the needs of the business community. We have access to a world of information at our fingertips. All we need to do is teach people how and where to find it. Nationwide advocacy on the need and opportunities for skills development would be essential to drive adoption.

Content on the platforms should include basic, intermediate, and advanced learning modules in different fields, covering both academic and vocational studies. All these modules should be optimized for access via mobile phones. Deliberate interventions to reduce access barriers would also be necessary. For example, free or discounted data bundles to access the online learning materials can be negotiated with Telecom operators by providing subsidies or other incentives.

The ability of these initiatives to raise productivity and build capacity at all levels is non-trivial. For example, a driver spending hours of idle time waiting between assignments can use that time productively to upgrade himself by learning relevant modules on his phone. A lot of idle time exists in the course of each day – time spent in a taxi or on a bus sitting in traffic, time spent waiting in line for a service, or even waiting to get a job.

If we wonder about the scale of this task, I would assert that this is readily accomplished by organizations like the Ministry of Education, the Nigerian Universities Commission, relevant NGOs, and other institutions involved in capacity building if the will exists. The challenges may seem daunting but the opportunities are just as compelling. Collectively, we must work to transform challenges into opportunities by adequately – and proactively – exploring new innovative ways of creating results and impact. The world is fast changing, hyper-connected, ever more complex, and becoming more fragmented. We can leverage these trends in a way that shapes our future to our sustained benefit. The window of opportunity for doing so is now.

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Inflation hits 17 month high following border closure

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Inflation hits 17 month high following border closure

Following the border closure, Nigeria’s inflation rate has hit a 17 month high and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that the rise in inflation will drop in another three to four months.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, told Channels Television on Tuesday that the effect of border closure cannot be ruled out.

The latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showed inflation figures at a 17-month high, rise to 11.61% in October.

Emefiele said:

“Inflation goes up from 11.22 to 11.61 between September and October, and mainly it’s because of the border closure.

“I am not going to entirely disagree, because of border closure that has resulted in some supply shortages because of goods that are being dumped into the country.

“I don’t like the fact that prices went up momentarily from September and October, but the beneficiaries are Nigerians and companies where we have seen a situation where people have jobs, farmers who produce poultry and those benefiting from import of cars legitimately.

“In as much as I do not like the fact that inflationary pressures are coming up right now, I’m also saying that it will moderate and very quickly, maximum of another 3 to 4 months aggressively downwards.”

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Review hate speech fine from N500K to N5 Million – Lai Mohammed to NBC

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Lai Mohammed on Hate speech

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is to come up with new regulations for internet and mainstream broadcast organizations.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed revealed that the Federal Government gave the directive. He disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday after he received reports from the committee inaugurated last month to study and make recommendations on the government’s proposals to reform the NBC.

The minister also urged NBC to review its fines from N500,000 to N5,000,000 for breaches relating to hate speeches.

Furthermore, he recommended the suspension of a broadcast license for organisations that willfully repeat infractions on three occasions.

The minister had on Monday stated that the recent move by the Federal Government to regulate the social media space from fake news and hate speech is not aimed at gagging the media.

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ICPC sends list of corrupt public officers to FG

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ICPC office

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has forwarded the names of some public office holders under investigation and recommended them for suspension.

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, at an event organised by the agency and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in Abuja, said that the commission discovered that some civil servants served conviction terms and returned to work as if nothing had happened.

“Such persons should be flushed out of the system in accordance with extant laws. We have communicated Iist of such persons to government”, NAN quoted him as saying.

“We advise digital information sharing between anti-corruption agencies and the financial services sector critical to preventing money laundering and other corruption prevention measures.

“All Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) as a policy ought to have seamless access to existing databases of suspects and the profile, biometric of persons of interest.

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President Buhari rewards Customs Officer who rejected bribe

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President Buhari has presented an Integrity award to a Customs Officer, Bashir Abubakar, for rejecting a N150m  bribe.

 

Buhari also presented an award to Mrs. Josephine Ugwu of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. The recipients at the opening of the two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in Public Sector held at the State House Banquet hall, Abuja.

 

The event is being organized by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in collaboration with Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

The Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Abubakar rejected 412,000 dollars (N150 million) bribe offered to him by drug traffickers to import 40 containers laden with Tramadol, a controlled and highly addictive drug.

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Governor of Kinshasa disgracefully beaten by Congolese men in France

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Governor of Kinshasa

The Governor of Kinshasa, Gentiny Ngobila Mbala received a major dose of disgrace while shopping in Paris, France.

A viral video shows the Congolese Governor being beaten by his fellow countrymen. He was also pushed to the ground over a reason yet to be disclosed.

Watch the video below;

 

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DSS finally speaks up on continued detention of Omoyele Sowore

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Omoyele Sowore in court

The Department of State Service has finally spoken up on the continued detention of the convener of the #RevolutionNow protests, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the spokesman for the Service, Mr. Peter Afunanya, insisted that the appropriate persons have not come for his release.

He claimed that personnel of the service were being threatened and despite that, the DSS has continued to hold the rights of citizens in high standard.

The DSS spokesman explained that those who came for Sowore’s release were protesters and administrative procedures must be followed for him to be released.

He stressed that only the persons who stood as sureties for Sowore can secure his release from the DSS custody.

Sowore has remained in the custody of the Service, weeks after a Federal High Court in Abuja granted him bail along with his co-defendant, Mr. Olawale Bakare, with some conditions.

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Another tanker carrying kerosene has fallen in Onitsha

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Tanker in Onitsha

Another tanker has fallen at Tarzan area, along Owerri/Onitsha expressway, in Onitsha, Anambra State on Tuesday.

The tanker was loaded with kerosene reports and it would be the tenth tanker to fall around Anambra State, within a space of two months.

In October, two tankers ladened with petroleum products fell in Onitsha, causing loss of lives, wares belonging to traders, houses and cars parked in automobile mechanic workshops.

Tuesday’s incident happened at about 10 am, which showed that the driver defied a previous order given by the state government which banned tankers from carrying petroleum products in the state at day.

The state police command’s public relations officer, SP Haruna Mohammed confirmed the incident, saying that men from the command were on ground to forestall any outbreak of fire.

Governor Willie Obiano, while placing a ban on the movement of Petrol laden tankers a month ago had called on security agencies, including the police to strictly enforce the ban.

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Pastor arrested with coffin, female underwear in Enugu

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Enugu pastor

A self-acclaimed pastor, Sunday Egbo has been arrested by the Enugu State Police Command and paraded after a small coffin, multiple female pants and braziers were recovered from his house.

Samuel is the General Overseer and founder of Christ Mercy Ministry, Ajuonu, Obukpa, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The end came for the said pastor after he allegedly raped a female member who had come for prayers.

The development led to his arrest and subsequent recovery of the items.

He told journalists that he procured the coffin and other items from a native doctor in Kogi State, with the hope of making money and attracting favour.

While admitting to raping the female member, the pastor said, “I paid the native doctor N200,000, to get the coffin and the flute. He told me to do certain things, after which I will get a Ghana-Must-Go bag full of money in my room.

“But after two weeks, the money did not come as the native doctor told me.”

He left advice for other men of God.

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10 corpses get burnt in fire outbreak at OAU morgue

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corpses in oau morgue

It is double wahala for dead body as ten corpses were burnt in a fire outbreak that occurred at the morgue of the Anatomy Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State today November 19th.

The corpses were being used by the students of the department for their practicals were kept in the OAU morgue.

 

Confirming the incident, the spokesperson for Osun Police Command, Folasade Odoro, said no life was lost in the incident.  She added that the cause of the fire is being investigated.

 

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62 year old man sentenced for drug trafficking in Lagos

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Man in prison for drug trafficking

A Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a 62-year-old man, Nurudeen Aremu, to nine years in jail for drug trafficking in cocaine.

Aremu was charged by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on three counts bordering on conspiracy and drug trafficking.

Aremu was first arraigned on March 7, and he pleaded not guilty. However, on Nov. 14, he opted to change his plea and was subsequently re-arraigned. On his re-arraignment, he admitted guilt.

On Nov. 15, the Prosecution counsel, Mrs Juliana Iroabuchi, tendered nine exhibits which were all admitted.

Justice Onyetenu found Aremu guilty of the offence and sentenced him to four years imprisonment on count one, three years’ imprisonment on count two and two years jail term on count three.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel said that Aremu committed the offences on Dec. 27, 2018.

She said that he was arrested at the Gate C, Departure Hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, during an outward clearance of passengers on board an Ethiopian Airline flight to India.

Iroabuchi said that Aremu concealed 2.66kg of cocaine in a brown travelling bag.

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