Science & Tech
Foundation launches app to assist Nigerians in emergency situations
The CANs Foundation, also known as the centre for Civic citizens’ Welfare and Community Development Africa (CWCDA), has launched an app to assist Nigerians in emergency situations in the country.
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Olajide Abiose, said at the launch of the app in Abuja, that the app, known as ‘Backup’, was developed with the support of the Open Society of West Africa (OSIWA).
According to Abiose, the Backup app, a new law enforcement anti-brutality digital intervention platform, would create an effective system for intervention and data collection in cases of brutality against citizens by law enforcement agencies.
He added that it would likewise improve the number of case management and prevention issues in law enforcement brutality, while supporting law enforcement agencies to identify officers tarnishing their image.
“CANs foundation a nonprofit organisation set up to use emerging technologies to solve social and development problems in Africa.
“Backup was created as our intervention to the unending crisis of law enforcement brutality in Nigeria
“We launched the app to give young Nigerians hope towards getting justice and support when they face any emergency situation.
“The app works by helping you to trigger an emergency and share your live location and information, particularly video and audio sound in real time, to both your emergency contacts, family, friends and other stakeholders who can provide intervention for you.’’
Abiose said that although the app was designed to focus on anti-brutality, it could be used for other creative purposes .
“People can apply it to different scenarios, so I will not be surprised if people apply it for robbery, kidnapping because what it does is to allow people know what you are experiencing at a point in time.
“It then gives them your location, in order for them to come and provide intervention,’’ he said.
He said that Backup could also help law enforcement agencies do their job better, adding that the foundation’s goal was to work with them to help identify the flash points where these incidents occurred.
Abiose added that it would also provide them real time data on what is happening in different parts of the country with respect to how the citizens were faring in the hands of their officers.
Already, the foundation had begun taking steps to work with the police complaints units and other agencies with set up designed for this kind of purpose, he said.
Mr Anthony Eromosele, CANs Programme Lead, said that the Backup app was launched as a result of complaints from youths and as a technology-driven NGO, it deemed it fit to provide an innovative solution to address the complaints.
“Youths were complaining about various human right violations, they go out but they don’t go back home yet you don’t even know their whereabouts.
“So, we felt the need to develop this app, where youths can actually report these violations they so often complain about and by whoever is perpetuating it .’’
Eromosele said that with the Backup app, people could keep track of the whereabouts of their loved ones who used the app to report the emergency situation they were in or which police station they were taken to, if arrested.
He said that the app was available on different app stores like Google play store, IOS, among others, and that for low income earners that could not afford smart phones, a USSD code would be provided to prompt automatic record and report of violent situations.
Ms Latifah Adesanyan, Product Associate, CANs Foundation, said that using the app was simple because “we feel the app developed should be a straight forward process .’’
Adesanyan said that this was because the foundation understood that when people were in emergency cases, they needed to be able to report as soon as possible.
“So in order to report a case on Backup, all you need to do is tap the red button which says report for self, so once you do that, automatically the system records happenings of the event with your camera.
“During the sign up process, you need to add an emergency contact, that’s those people who could be notified.’’
She therefore advised Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper to either report cases for themselves or report for others “this is something we thought of so that Nigerians can assist each other,’’ she said. (NAN)
Science & Tech
STI can help Nigeria diversify economy– D-G
Director- General of National Centre for Technology Management, (NACETEM), Dr John Omimakinde said with Science, Technology and Innovations (STI), Nigeria can transform from over dependence on oil revenue to a diversified economy.
Omimakinde said this at the 2023 STI Expo in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said that, if the STI sector was well harnessed, it would be a panacea to a strongly diversified Nigeria economy.
” For decades, scholars, policy makers, academics and practitioners have been engaged in heated debates that Nigeria’s development challenge is the ‘oil curse’.
“It is believed that the bane of development is the over dependence on a mono-product, crude oil.
“Recent happenings in the country have shown that Nigeria’s major development challenge is not the ‘oil curse’, but of not achieving economic diversification beyond it’s dependence on oil revenue,” Omimakinde said.
The NACETEM D-G confirmed that successive governments had looked beyond oil by shifting their attention to areas such as agriculture and the informal sector, among others, which yielded substantial results.
Omimakinde acknowledged that actualising the objective of successfully diversifying Nigeria’s economy beyond what was presently operational required looking in the direction of STI.
“NACETEM as a foremost knowledge support and policy research institution is convinced that the current STI policy can put us in the right direction.
“All we need to achieve sustainable development and diversification of Nigeria’s economy is contained therein, but it appears we have not fully deployed it appropriately.
“This has to change as implementing the STI policy as reviewed in 2022 will set Nigeria on the path of wealth,” he said.
Mrs Monilola Udoh, Permanent Secretary of the STI Ministry, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari had reaffirmed his commitment to his pledge allocating 0.5 per cent of GDP to funding research and innovations.
She said the Federal Government was actually funding researches which are domiciled in the ministry.
Udoh decried the lack of synergy among research institutes and others.
She also said: ”There were duplications of research works being carried out,” and urged for adequate communications, collaborations and cooperation among government agencies for value addition.
Mr Haastrup Olatunji, Chairman of NACETEM Governing Board, corroborated that Nigeria ran a mono-cultural economy as 85 per cent of her revenue was derived from oil and gas export.
He said: ”Naysayers may see that as not being good because of perceived neglect of other sectors of the economy.
“It is important to stress that lamenting the situation will bring us no good
“Rather, thinking through how to better the lot of Nigeria is what we require.
“STI is relevant to all sectors of the economy, it is an enabler of rapid growth and development,”Olatunji said.(NAN)
Science & Tech
GOOGLE EQUIANO SEA CABLE SYSTEM LANDS IN LAGOS
•It will generate 1.6m jobs, $10b GDP for Nigeria, says Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday witnessed the virtual landing of the Google Equiano Sea Cable System in Nigeria, saying the country will enjoy a boost of 1.6 million jobs and $10 billion in additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the next three years, on account of the new cable system.
He said with the landing of the sea cable system and other investments in high-speed internet, Lagos is about to witness an unprecedented digital revolution that will cement its global reputation as a hub for entrepreneurial innovation.
Speaking at the reception marking the landing of the Equiano Sea Cable System in Nigeria on Thursday at the Open Access Data Centre at Lekki in Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the new cable system is the latest element in the transformation of the physical infrastructure landscape, new roads, bridges, jetties, factories, municipal and national rail lines, among others being delivered by his administration and a host of partners and stakeholders across public and private sectors.
The landing of Equiano Sea Cable System will firmly position Nigeria as the regional connectivity and content hub for West Africa, attracting cloud operators, content providers, content distribution networks and their associated ecosystems.
It is significant and a demonstration of the seriousness with which Google LLC views Nigeria, the economic and demographic giant of Africa.
The new cable system is named after a Nigerian hero, Olaudah Equiano, who survived enslavement in the 18th century and went on to become a famous writer and anti-slavery activist.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration is more than ever determined to deliver on its promise to make and maintain Lagos as a safe, livable, innovative and prosperous megacity.
He said: “I am told that this new Equiano cable system, landing today, will deliver twenty times as much network capacity as any of the existing systems serving Nigeria.
“This means much faster internet speed, reduced cost, and greater access for our people. The net effect of this is much-needed jobs and economic growth. The economic impact assessment for the project estimates that Nigeria will enjoy a boost of 1.6 million jobs and 10 billion dollars in additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the next three years, on account of the new cable system.
“There is much to be excited about, at a time like this in the unfolding history of Lagos State and of Nigeria. We are seeing an unprecedented inflow of investments into every part of Lagos, from local and foreign investors who understand the immense business and commercial potential that the State symbolises.
“We say it often, that wherever Lagos goes, Nigeria and West Africa follow. With this in mind, as the government of Lagos State, we are more than ever determined to deliver on our promise to make and maintain Lagos as a safe, livable, innovative and prosperous megacity.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also commended Google LLC, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) and other investors for identifying with his administration’s vision for a truly 21st century Lagos and a megacity all will forever be proud of.
“I congratulate Google LLC for envisioning this huge project, and the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) for helping implement it to the highest levels of excellence. Your partnership is commendable, and should be seen as a model by other players in the ecosystem, a testament to how much can be achieved when synergy is pursued.
“In addition to this cable system, I am told that WIOCC is presently completing, on this same site, a Tier III certified, Open Access Data Centre, which will also host the landing station for the Equiano cable. This data centre will be the most client-centric data centre, and the largest data center campus, in West Africa,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WIOCC, Chris Wood, described the landing of the submarine cables as a major investment for Nigeria’s digital economy and Lagos State in particular.
He said the submarine cables will deliver high-speed internet connectivity at a reduced cost
Wood also appreciated Governor Sanwo-Olu for providing an enabling environment for the investment of this nature to birth in Lagos State.
Science & Tech
FEC Approves Science, Technology And Innovation Policy
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the revised Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy instituted 10 years ago.
Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing State House reporters on the outcome of the virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the approval shows the Federal Government’s commitment to improving the standard of living of Nigerians.
“We believe that this will help our country to keep narrowing the gap between us and the technologically advanced countries of the world.
We should be able also to overtake the way nations like China have done,” the minister said.
“There’ve been tremendous advances in science, technology, and innovation all over the world and this necessitated the need for our science, technology and innovation policy which was put in place in 2012, 10 years ago, to be revised so that we can keep pace with new and emerging technologies.
“The main objective is for us to use science, technology, and innovation, to improve the standard of living of our citizens and ensure that we have a high quality of life for all Nigerians.
And this we can get if our nation becomes more prosperous, and our economy is more globally competitive.
“Again, we’ll like to see Nigeria using this policy, to be one of the top scientific powers in the world.
We believe that this will help our country to keep narrowing the gap between us and the technologically developed countries of the world.”
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