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Pantami decries non-utilisation of NIN database by security agencies to tackle terrorism

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Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Adewolu Adeleke (left); Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa; Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta; Special Assistant, Innovation and Technology to the Lagos State Governor, Olatunbosun Alake; Minister, Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami; Chairman, House Committee on Communications, Prince Akeem Adeyemi and Chairman, NCC Board, Prof. Adeolu Akande, during the maiden edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content Expo 2022 at Landmark Centre, VI, Lagos on Monday. 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has decried the non-utilisation of the National Identification Number (NIN) database in the country by security institutions in the fight against­ insurgency, banditry and terrorism.Pantami, who said though the national database is still work-in-progress, noted that information available can help mitigate the rising insecurity in the country.

The Minister spoke in Lagos on Monday, on the sideline of the forum organised by the Nigeria Office for Developing the indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS), an agency domiciled in the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

While acknowledging the escalating insecurity challenges in the country, Pantami said “though there are issues of banditry and other security challenges, some questions should be forwarded to the security institutions because what we have done is to establish the database, which is still work in progress. So far, there are over 86 million citizens in the database. What I inherited in 2020 when the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) was transferred to me was only 41 million.

“Note that NIMC was established in 2007. In 13 years, they recorded 41 million and from October 2020 to date, we increased it by 45 million. The database is available and security institutions have power that whenever crime is committed to access the database. There is the Provision of Law, the Cybercrime Act 2015, they have Power of Lawful Intercept, that have been provided by law. They don’t need to come to us.

“From January to date, no security institution has confronted me, the Chairman or the EVC of NCC, that this crime has been committed, we want you to provide information and we denied them. It has never happened.“Our work is to provide a database, which we have provided, but they have not come to ask for it in tackling crimes. They are not making use of it. The NIN database is there for assessment,” he stressed.Pantami, while urging Nigerians to ensure they get their NINs and link it with their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, said obtaining NIN is not optional; it is mandatory by law.

He stressed that the National Identity Management Act 2007, Section 27, states clearly that obtaining NIN is mandatory for all citizens and legal residents and “it is not allowed for one to obtain a passport, driver’s license or enjoy any government services without NIN.”

Speaking on the benefit of getting identified with NIN, he said, “firstly, obtaining it is a provision of the law and the law has been in place before I was appointed as a minister and before NIMC was transferred to me in October 2020. We only enforced it.

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“Secondly, NIN has many benefits. You can’t go to any developed country and work there without an identification number. In the USA, you need a Social Security Number; in the UK, you need a National Insurance Number. If you go to India, with all their population, you need a number to be identified with. So, this is not only for Nigeria. In all other countries, developed and developing countries, they all have their identification numbers.”

According to him, establishing a national database is key and prerequisite towards economic development, national planning and others. “No better planning without a national database. So, our target is to ensure that there is a national database in place, which will be one of the major legacies we are going to leave behind, a central database for Nigeria. We shouldn’t be just estimating our population; we should be factual about it.’’“The benefits of national ID far outweigh any population figure. When the census is over, the record is kept aside, but through NIN, you have a database, where you will have all the demographics and be able to plan very well. So, we should not limit it to security. Though, security remains a priority and it is because of this that we compromise economic gains sometimes for it. As long as both of them cannot be pursued simultaneously, the preference is security over the economy because without the former, there cannot be the latter. If a country is safe and stable, the economy will grow.”

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Enugu Govt partners tech firm on training to tackle youth unemployment

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Enugu State Governnent has partnered a tech firm, African Leadership Accelerator (ALX), to train youths on online tech skills to tackle unemployment and idleness.

The state government and ALX Africa had made it possible for all Enugu State youths to access free-of-charge training on Artificial Intelligence (AI) applicable to all field of human endeavours and jobs.

Speaking further on the partnership on Thursday in Enugu, the state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Lloyd Ekweremadu, said that the partnership was meant to up-skill and upgrade knowledge newly or already acquired by the youths in the state.

Ekweremadu said that the partnership and the benefit it would bring to the state “is part of the employment vision of Gov. Peter Mbah to reduce unemployment in the state by about 70 per cent by 2030”.

According to him, what we set out to achieve is to ensure employability of Enugu State youths both in locally and international labour market, which is highly competitive.

“His Excellence, Gov. Peter Mbah is keen on developing the capacity of youths and creating their capabilities for them to compete at the global world employment market.

“We intend to use technology, tech enhancement and development to drive this process and ensure youths in the state cover up the knowledge and employability gap,” he said.

Ekweremadu said that the state would start with AI training, which will be done for all youths free-of-charge and thereafter other system and software training/courses would be done online at a reduced cost.

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He advised youth to take advantage of the trainig, adding the youth ministry was fashioning out ways to tackle the issue of getting a place within the metropolis where youths with challenge of not having power supply, internet connectivity, a laptop, tablets and android phones can participate in the training.

The Country General Manager of ALX Africa, Ms Ruby Igwe, said that the partnership on various tech training would bring modern skill sets closer to the people especially youths that needed tech skills for employment purpose and to create their own start-ups and be employers of labour.

Igwe said that the free-of-charge AI course training would be for youths between the ages of 18 and 35; while it would run for six weeks on online platform of ALX Africa.

She said that participants, who successful undergo the course, would be certified as well as have opportunities to participate in other online courses that would enhance their knowledge and reposition them to a vintage position in the global market and international mobility of labour.

“The curriculum for our courses especially the AI course is from a reputable US school and the same course is runned globally and even locally in some countries in Africa and one or two states in Nigeria. So, it is nothing short of internationally acceptable AI training.

“After the AI Course, other online courses, meant to equip youths with soft and international sellable online skills, will follow in partnership with the state government to ensure we carry hundreds of thousands of youths along and prepare them for the competitive future ahead,” she said.

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FG to inaugurate advanced facility for Gas Leak Detection Device and Printed Circuit Board technology

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NDDC presents award letters to foreign post graduate scholars
• Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, will commission the Amal Technology’s production facility for Gas Leak Detection Device and Printed Circuit Board at Idu, Abuja on Thursday, December 21, 2023.
The Gas Leak Detection Device, known as Amal Aerio, is an advanced innovative solution developed by Amal Technology to detect gas leakages and avoid explosions
The homegrown innovation was initiated by Amal Technologies Limited and supported by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) under its Research & Development innovation intervention, which has a Technology Incubation and Innovation Centre (TIIC) domiciled within the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Under the NCDMB’s Research and Development Framework, it facilitates ideas to market and provides institutional and funding support for market-driven research. It also supports the commercialization of breakthrough innovations with high market prospects.
The Gas Leak Detection Device is known as Amal Aerio, and the commissioning ceremony will be performed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, supported by the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe.
Other dignitaries expected at the event include the Minister of Solid Minerals, the Minister of State Steel Development, the Minister of Science and Technology, the Director General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Director General, Energy Commission and members of the National Assembly.
Amal Aerio is a gas and smoke detection device and it adopted Internet of Things (IOT) to introduce into the market a device that prevents fire disasters by alerting homeowners users through phone calls and text messages in the event of a gas leak. The facility also has the capability for Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing.
With NCDMB’s support to Amal Technologies Limited, the company’s products are guaranteed to be made available to Nigerians and exported. In this regard, NCDMB is deepening in-country capacity for research and development, leveraging Nigeria’s oil and gas resources to catalyse its industrialisation.
The innovation complements the Federal Government’s decade of gas policy and in particular, the drive to deepen the utilization of cooking gas in homes across the country, a press release by NCDMB, stated.
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TikTok removes 1.4m Nigerian user’s videos in Q3 2023

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TikTok removes 1.4m Nigerian user’s videos in Q3 2023
• TikTok
The short video platform owned by Bytedance, TikTok, has reported that during the third quarter of this year, it deleted 1.4 million videos uploaded by Nigerian users.


According to The Times, Nigeria was one of the top 50 nations from which videos abusing the site’s policies originated in Q3, the platform claims. During the evaluation period, 136.5 million videos were taken down from the internet worldwide.

The business noted in its recently published Community Guidelines Enforcement Report that 90% of all content removals for the quarter occurrehe top 50 markets where policy violations were documented.

One or more of TikTok’s policies, which cover topics like Integrity and Authenticity, Privacy and Security, Mental and Behavioural Health, Safety, and Civility, among others, were allegedly broken by the removed content.
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