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International Science,Communication Conference Holds in Abuja

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The second International Conference on Science Communication and Development in Africa shall hold in Abuja, Nigeria from October 17 -19, 2019 at the National Universities Commission Auditorium, Maitama-Abuja. The Executive Director, Institute of Strategic and Development Communication (ISDEVCOM), Professor Emmanuel Dandaura announced that the conference, which is jointly organized by the Nasarawa State University, Keffi and the University of Makerere, Kampala, Uganda will bring together over 250 key scholars, policymakers, scientists, communication specialist, andlegislators across Africa.
Dandaura noted that the theme of the conference “Humanising Science- Optimizing innovation and Communication for   Development in Africa” is critical at this point in time in Africa, as it will enhance necessary change in the continent.
The Conference is strategic at this point in time, as critical information, as it will ensure that the common man benefits from the scientific researches being conducted in Africa. The conference will also provide opportunities for inventors to exhibit their scientific products as well as drive discussions that could improve policy governing science, communication and research in Africa. The conference  will be opened Mohammed Abdullahi, Minister of State Science and Technology as chairman. Emeka Nwajiuba, Minster of State Education shall declare the exhibition open while the special guest of honour H.E. Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, Executive Governor of Nasarawa state shall declare the conference open. Other dignitaries expected are Legislators, top government officials, media professionals and scholars from many Africa countries.

The conference will also create an opportunity to connect with aglobal network of science journalists and communication specialists who are passionate about how the public can benefit from science and innovations.

“As we all know that science plays a major role in human development, because intrinsically, it attempts to provide solution to identified human challenges, and seek to impact society positively” However, in most developed countries, there is a wide margin between available scientific findings/inventions, and the application of such to improve the day to daylives of the populace. Communication is central to the process of scientific research, and facilitates the uptake of the findings in such a way as toimpact human lives positively. “It is against the background and more that the Nasarawa State University, Keffi and the University of Makerere, Kampala,Uganda are partnering with many local and international organisations to host the conference which is expected to be hosted across African cities in rotation
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InfoTech

Executive Order 5 as Path to Economic Growth

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By Sylvester Thompson

President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2018 signed the Executive Order No.5.  The Order was meant to set Nigeria on the path of viable and sustainable economic growth and rapid transformation, using the instruments of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

The Order was also meant to boost planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and technology for Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora.

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the immediate past Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, said that the Order was the initiative of President Buhari’s administration to boost the economy via STI.

The former minister spoke recently in Abuja, at a sensitisation workshop on the Presidential Executive Order No.5.

The workshop featured the launch of Complaints and Appeal Procedure of the Presidential Order No.

5.

Onu clarified that the Order was revolutionary, aimed at mandating procuring entities to give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts in line with the Public Procurement Act of 2007.

He stressed that the Executive Order also involved the engagement of Nigerian professionals in areas where their requisite expertise were available, among others.

“I am happy that already the effect of the Executive Order is being felt in the country, the University of Transportation, Daura, is one of the products of the Executive Order.

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“Also, as a result of the Executive Order, it became necessary to organise both the first and second Strategy Competitiveness Workshop for various regulatory bodies in the country.

“This helped to strengthen the operations of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for the good of the country,” Onu said.

Experts and stakeholders in the STI are optimistic that if the Executive Order No.5 is fully implemented, it would fast track the country’s industralisation and development.

An article on: “The Implications of the Presidential Executive Order No 5,” published by George Etomi and Partners, commended the Federal Government for initiating the Executive Order.

The authors wrote: “This is a policy in the right direction and has laid a proper foundation for an industrial, diversified and self-sustaining economy.’’

They noted that it was a step towards a sustainable path and to a future in which wholesale importation and consumption of foreign technology would be reduced.

They expressed optimism that the implementation of the Order was bound to impact positively on the economy of Nigeria, which also includes promoting the application of local content in STI.

Etomi and Partners said other positive impacts were that the Order would encourage indigenous experts in diaspora to return to Nigeria for public procurement purposes which would lead to improved standards and healthy competition.

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They reasoned that preference would be given to Nigerian companies and firms by procuring authorities in the award of contracts.

“Immigration agencies may create a special immigration class for experts in African countries to work and reside in Nigeria so as to share their knowledge with Nigerian experts, which would aid the capacity of the companies and foster inter-Africa relations.”

They also held that there would be increased production of local materials for building and construction.

Mr Ibiam Ogbuejiofo, the National Coordinator, Strategy Implementation Task Office for Presidential Executive Order 5(SITOPEO-5) at the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, said no civilian president in Nigeria issued an Executive Order before now.

He stressed that an Executive Order should not be confused with Presidential Proclamation or Memorandum or even Federal Government circulars, signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SFG).

According to him, the fundamental difference between the Executive Orders and the Federal Government service-wide circulars is that the circulars do not derive from Section5(1) of the powers of the President in the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He clarified that circulars are signed by the SGF and not the President, and that Presidential Memoranda was essentially an Executive Order.

“The difference is that an Executive Memorandum does not have an established process for how the President issues it.

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“It may also not be required by law to be published although publication to the general public is necessary in order to have general applicability and legal effect,” he said.

Ogbuejiofo explained that with an Executive Order, the President instructs how to work within the parameters of the       laws already set by the National Assembly, allowing him to push through policy changes without going through the National Assembly.

On the functionality of the Order, the SITOPEO-5 National Coordinator said the Executive Order remediation was aimed at the rapid movement of Nigeria to the fourth generation industrial development.

He believes it will improve Nigeria’s productivity and global competitiveness ranking, create enabling environment to mobilise local investment in `Made in Nigeria’ goods and services as well as attract foreign investments.

He said the Order was important for economic empowerment of Nigerian professionals, manufacturers and the youths among others.

Ogbuejiofo stressed that the Federal Government recognised that entrenching STI in everyday life is the key to achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.

“The full implementation of the Executive Order 5 will no doubt boost the realisation of Mr President’s  promise to move 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years,” Ogbuejiofo said.

Sylvester Thompson is of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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Science & Tech

FG to Partner UAE on Renewable Energy, Cutting-edge Technology — minister

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Federal Government said plans are ongoing to partner with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on renewable energy and cutting-edge technology to boost electricity supply in the country.

Assistant Director of Press, Ministry of Power, Mr Odutayo, Oluseyi, said this known in a statement in Abuja yesterday.

Oluseyi said that the Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, said this when he received a delegation from SamPro Group based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He said that the visit, which was led by Dr Kassim Gidado from the Group, was in furtherance of an earlier discussion on renewable energy during the visit of the minister to Dubai earlier in the year.

The minister affirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure there was effective power supply to Nigerians.

According to him, the Federal Government, through its energy transition programme, is  working toward the provision of renewable energy through the use of cutting-edge technology.

“Which is able to store, convert energy into electrical energy through natural resources,” he said.

The minister said that the cutting-edge technology, as presented by the group, would greatly improve electricity, and fit into the mini grid policy of the Federal Government.

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He said that Nigeria would benefit from the technical transfer of knowledge when the technology was fully deployed across the country.

Aliyu, however, directed further consultations between the ministry’s officials and SamPro Group to determine the next step of engagement.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the team, Gidado appreciated the minister for the opportunity to visit his office and promised to be committed in the engagement with the ministry of power.

“We strongly believe in promoting the local economy by investing, employing local resources, consumption of local raw materials and delivering 100 per cent local products to our clients,” he said. (NAN)

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InfoTech

Two Tech Start-ups Qualify for Gitex’s $200,000 Talent Show Price in Dubai

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From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos

Two Nigerian technology start-ups, Paddy Cover and Pricepally.com, have won the Lagos qualifiers for the Dubai World Trade Centre’s $200,000, while TruQ emerged the EIC and Lagos State winner.   

The insuretech firm, Paddy Cover, co-founded by Mayowa Owolabi and Tobi Obasa, and the food sourcing and distribution tech firm, Pricepally, owned by Luther Lawoyin, as well as TruQ, owned by Williams Fatayo, beat 24 other contestants who pitched their ideas before six judges.

   

The two winners will go on an all-expense paid trip to the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October to pitch their idea to over 400 investors and thousands of technology ecosystem players at the GITEX 2022 exhibition for a chance to win $200,000.   During the five-day business show, they will also enjoy mentorship and networking with world technology business leaders.

   

The Africa roadshow was organised by Gitex Global and sponsored by Dubai North Star, which represents the UAE Government, and partnered locally by the Lagos State Government and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).   

Addressing newsmen at the event, the Head, Corporate Planning and Strategy, NITDA, Dr. Aristotle Onomo, said the programme was “a platform to expose our start-ups to gain the right visibility, traction; be able to attract investors.”   

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Onomo, who represented the NITDA director-general, said the agency was passionate about start-ups, innovations, and was trying to catalyse the entire ecosystem in order to drive digital economy in Nigeria.   

“The North Star has come to harness the innovative skills already within Nigeria to start early marketing of the two to be selected and connecting them with various investors across the globe, so that even before they get to Gitex proper, they would have had a kind of visibility.”

   Similarly, the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Innovation and Technology, Tumbosun Alake, said “the initiative was meant “to give opportunities to our ecosystem start-ups with better access to local and foreign markets.   “At the same time, Dubai and Gintex are keen to be part of the start-up ecosystem in Lagos.

The number one objective is to grow our ecosystem; in terms of accelerating the state as a tech hub, it gives us more recognition globally because of our partners in the UAE.”   Explaining the Africa roadshow, the Director, Commercial Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, Zarko Ackovik, said the organisers “recognize that Nigeria obviously has the largest ecosystem in the whole Africa.”   

However, “we don’t see too much of African and Nigerian start-ups coming up for expansion, so instead of just sitting there, we decided to come to the region to offer the opportunity for the start-ups.   

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“The show brings them the opportunity to network, to go into competition, the $200,000 cash price money and the opportunity to take their start-ups there.   

“It is not just to compete and meet investors but also the exposure comes with a lot of the big media as well, and they create partnerships and networks, because the show brings 700 start-ups from over 60 countries, and investors coming from all over the world as well.

So, it is a great opportunity because Gitex brings a lot of people to the event over five days.”  Meanwhile, Akande Ojo of the United States-based Pinnacle International Consulting – country representative of Dubai World Trade Centre, said it would be African focus, Nigerian focus going forward.   

“A winner gets accommodation, space as a start-up to showcase yourself, they engage with investors, because technically you are part of their programme,” he explained.   

“This is the first time we are dealing with them to ensure that they can bring the event close to sub-Saharan Africa – Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, among others.   “The idea is that many of our start-ups are talented but they don’t have that bridge to connect with, because they don’t have the resources. So, they bring it close to you, we try to see the real talent, so the only thing it costs you is your car fare to come here, not flying to Dubai.”

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