Posts tagged as: nigerian

Nigeria: Nama – Achieving Aircraft Landing At Zero Visibility

By Anthony Awunor

Recently, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) made inroads in the area of proper and efficient management of navigational aids which has helped in no little measure to ease landing of aircraft in all the airports in the country. ANTHONY AWUNOR, in this piece, looks at the performance of the agency in that regard.

Perennial recurrence of flight cancellations and delays owing to the weather abnormalities are major challenges airline operators face in the country.

In aviation, the situation becomes more worrisome due to, either heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, cloud including the harmattan haze phenomenon which usually occur towards the end of every year.

Cautious of the above fact, NAMA recently pledged its readiness in landing aircraft at zero visibility just as the agency also revealed its plan to install Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) in no fewer than 18 airports nationwide to ensure safety in the airspace.

Managing director of NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, gave the hint recently while taking journalists around the Kaduna airport.

According to Akinkuotu, the country has Category 2 ILS’ and had bought 11 new ones which it would be putting in airports including Minna, Benin, Ibadan and some other places while using others recovered on other airports.

He said the Category 2 ILS was effective enough to bring down an aircraft from at least 100feet from elevation and visibility of less than 800metres up to 1000 feet.

“We might also add that quite often we hear our pilots talk about what kind of capabilities we have in the harmattan and this system is a category 2 ILS which will bring us down to at least a 100feet to from elevation and visibility of less than 800 metres up to 1000feet which is quite good.

“Our harmattan can be bad but I am sure that for 95 per cent if not 100 per cent of the time with an operable ILS Category 2 system we should be able to get it every time. So come December there should be no reason or no excuse,” he said.

On replication, Akinkuotu added, “Government has tried, we have an order, contracts for 11 ILS, I know there is Lagos, Port Harcourt, Minna, Benin there is Abuja, Kaduna but they are 11 that are going to be installed. They are brand new but don’t forget that we are going to recover some items, Lagos has an ILS and I think Ibadan too is going to get from the new ones so whatever we recover, we will put them at some of the other airports. I would expect that over time when all of the assets are in we should be able to do not less than 18 fields.”

On the means of installation, the NAMA chief executive hailed the dexterity of the agencies’ engineers stating that they have been doing quite a great job over the years even when underappreciated.

“I must say here that it was done by NAMA engineers which sometimes they are not given the kind of recognition they deserve. Contractors tell us that they fixed it but they (NAMA) engineers fixed it and they have done a very good job as we have calibrated it,” Akinkuotu said.

In addition, NAMA as an agency demonstrated its technical prowess when it delivered its statutory obligation throughout the period that Kaduna International Airport was used as alternative to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja for the six-week runway repair period.

Despite all these efforts by the agency, there was recent allegation in some quarters claiming poor Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at the airports.

In their reaction, NAMA maintained that its landing aids were working at optimal level, stressing that the nation’s air navigation service provider has always adhered to the cherished rules and regulations of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) which Nigeria is a party to its charter.

According to a statement debunking the claim signed by NAMA’s general manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Olajumoke Adetona, the ILS/DME and VOR/DME in Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Bauchi airports were calibrated by South African Flight Calibration Company (FSCL) before the closure of Abuja airport for repairs of the runway recently.

It therefore, stressed that all the facilities presented were certified as operating optimally without restriction and within ICAO specifications.

In the same vein, the airspace manager of Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, Mr Lawrence Ajayi, refuted the claim that ILS at Runway 18L and 18R were unserviceable.

According to Ajayi, Runway 18R has precision approach lighting system which is one of the best in the industry, while 18L has simple approach lighting system because it is not busy at night, saying that both of them are working at optimal levels.

On the radios, he said radio frequency 127.3mhz has an improved range and is working perfectly just as the radio frequency 124.7 mhz is also in good condition and both of them are on presently.

Also refuting the allegation in the said publication, the director of safety electronics and engineering services, Engr. Farouk Umar, said in aviation, there was nothing like epileptic communication.

“It is either you are communicating or you are not communicating. If this were to be true, international flights would not have been coming into the country. Nigerian airspace is safe for both local and international flights,” he said.

He stressed further that “it is absolutely not true that some areas in the airspace have no communication at all.”

On the issue of ILS, Farouk said all the agency’s ILS were on Category Two, lamenting however that “most of the aircraft in the country do not even have the facilities to fly Cat3 because the aircraft need to be equipped with Cat3 facilities to be able to land in zero visibility, just as pilots themselves need to be trained on Cat3.”

The truth according to Farouk, is that “the ILS we have, you need other facilities at the airport and in the aircraft to complement them while the runway and the airfield lightings are not within the control of NAMA. Our ILS is Cat2 and the visibility minima is 800 meters which is okay.”

While advising journalists to check their facts well before rushing to press,Farouk assured that the Nigerian airspace was as safe as it could be anywhere in the world adding that the relative safety in the nation’s airspace over the last few years was indicative of the fact that NAMA is alive to its responsibilities.

Nigeria: Telecoms Sector Contributed 9% of GDP in First Quarter

By Adeyemi Adepetun

Nigeria’s telecommunications sector contributed about nine per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in quarter one of 2017. The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this, while giving a report on the sector in Lagos, yesterday, added that since the liberalisation of the industry, it has added about N15 trillion to the economy.

Danbatta, who explained that the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP increased from eight per cent in Q4 of 2016 to nine per cent in the New Year, noted that since his assumption of office as the EVC about 18 months ago, the industry has been adding between N1.43 Trillion and N1.45 Trillion to the economy quarterly.

The NCC EVC admitted that the quality of service offered by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) has not been impressive, he however, said there was a major improvement in the first quarter.

According to him, the continued drop in service quality has really created a huge gap between consumers and the MNOs, “reason for some drop in subscriptions.”

He said the commission will review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for the operators to meet, with a resolve that any of the MNOs that failed to meet up will be adequately sanctioned.

Though the Commission was practically silent on when telecommunications services will possibly improve in the country, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, Sunday Dare, averred that the commission had already read a riot act on poor services, saying that the Q1 2017 KPI results is under review.

Dare said there is no deadline on improving QoS on the part of the operators, “but sanctions are available.” Speaking more on the continuos drop in telephone subscription in the country, the NCC EVC disclosed that the commission discovered that some subscribers are migrating from 3G to 4G/LTE, “so they rather use WhatsApp to communicate and even make free calls. Consumers are moving away from high tariff services to a more cheaper and free services.”

Nigeria

126 Suspects Arrested As Boko Haram Infiltrate Borno IDP Camp – Army

The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had arrested about 126 suspected Boko Haram members at the Internally Displaced… Read more »

Nigeria: Fake Anti-Virus Raises Nigeria’s Volatility to Cyber-Attacks

By Adeyemi Adepetun, Femi Adekoya and Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze

Lagos and Abuja — Although the WannaCry ransomware that has been wreaking havoc has been stopped, there are indications that those who initiated the attack at the weekend could go on to alter the code and restart it all over again.

The list of African countries affected by the WannaCry ransomware includes, but is not limited to, South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and many more.

This poses a risk to Nigeria’s cyber space, which is predominantly characterised by a huge volume of fake, counterfeited and unlicensed software as well as illegal downloads.

Although the 2016 data of unlicensed software usage in Nigeria has not been released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), however, it claimed that as at 2015, 80 per cent of software used in the country are unlicensed. It put the value at $232 million.

Besides, The Guardian learnt through industry sources that there has been a major increase of about 55 per cent sales and purchase of various inferior anti-virus software in the last six months in Nigeria.

In addition, the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has also alerted Nigerians to the attack, warning especially Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and other stakeholders to be wary.

NITDA’s Director-General, Dr. Isa Ali Pantanmi, in a statement explained that WannaCrypt spreads by itself between computers and does not require human interaction, stressing that it restricts access to the affected system as well as demanding for the payment of ransom.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) urged Nigerians to obtain software patch released by Microsoft in March 2017 to fix the Ransomware Virus; plan scheduled penetration tests on the networks and systems to ensure protection and availability at all times.

NCC urged subscribers who use their smartphones as substitutes to computers for Internet access to protect themselves and their devices by not opening e-mail attachments/links from unknown sources; not clicking pop-ups and applets on unknown websites and installing effective antivirus software for their mobile devices.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu has stressed the need for the country to build a resilient cyber defence to check cyber crime.

Speaking at the cyber security summit organised by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja, the minister noted that Nigeria loses over N127 billion to cyber crime, adding that the financial implication could be more as large number of incidents remain undetected or unreported.

He urged the participants to come up with strategies that will build better and safer cyber space for all.

Nigeria: Gory Tales As Another Batch of 258 Nigerian Deportees Arrive Lagos Airport

By Lawani Mikairu

It was gory tales yesterday at the cargo section of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos as another batch of 258 Nigerians were yesterday deported from Libya.

The deportees who arrived the cargo section of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 10.00pm aboard an Airbus A333-200 and were received at the Hajj Terminal by the National Emergency Management Agency narrated how they were brutalised like animals in Libya.

Mr Akhere Ken, one of the deportees from Edo State, said he has been in detention in Libya in the past one year after he was arrested on board a boat while trying to cross the Mediterranean sea to Italy. About One hundred of them were cramped into a room not enough to accommodate Twenty people with resultant suffocation to death of one inmate almost every week.

“As one inmate dies, more Nigerians are brought and squeezed into the room. Any inmate with medical condition is not given even common paracetamol.We watch helplessly as our friends die before our very eyes,” Ken said.

Other deportees who were also aboard the chartered Libya Airlines Airbus A330-200 with registration number 5A-LAU and profiled by the NEMA official late into the night had similar tales of woes to tell..

They were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) , the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.Officials of NEMA, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), were also present.

Dr Onimode Bandele, the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, said the returnees were made up of 220 males, 18 females and 20 children and infants.

According to Bandele, “Since December 2016, we have been able to bring back 1,268 Nigerians and the exercise will continue in collaboration with the IOM.The Federal Government is collaborating with the various state governments to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees. “

Also speaking, Ms Julia Burpee, Public Information Officer, IOM, said the organisation had facilitated the return of over 7,000 Nigerians from various countries in the past 16 years.

Nigeria

126 Suspects Arrested As Boko Haram Infiltrate Borno IDP Camp – Army

The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had arrested about 126 suspected Boko Haram members at the Internally Displaced… Read more »

Nigeria: Finally, Govt Commences Ebola Screening At Nation’s Airports

Photo: The Guardian

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

By Winifred Ogbebo, Ejike Ejike, Tunde Oguntola, Uche Onwurah and Doyin Ojosipe

Abuja — The federal government has finally started screening and checks against the dreaded Ebola disease at airports across the country.

Checks by LEADERSHIP yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, revealed that sanitisers and scanning apparatus called thermal scanners were already installed by port health services at arrivals terminal of the airport.

Our correspondent who visited the airport in Abuja observed that international passengers were properly undergoing screening for symptoms of Ebola. Similar screening is ongoing at the Lagos airport.

All facilities needed for the screening exercise had been in place since 2014 when Nigeria first experienced the disease and made frantic effort to contain it.

This paper had reported on Monday that, unlike in 2014 when hand sanitisers were placed at strategic places within the airports and temperature tests were carried out on travellers, checks had yet to be put in place against the deadly disease.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) and the National Emergency Management Agency had assured Nigerians of their readiness to check and tackle Ebola.

Responding to how prepared the country is for the disease, the acting general manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Henrietta Yakubu, had said last week that passengers still fill forms to ensure that those arriving the country through the airports were not potential carriers of deadly diseases.

“There are sanitisers at our arrivals with the scanning apparatus called thermal scanners being installed by the port health services. The scanners have camera monitor that displays pictures, aside the capturing of temperature. The port health officials are always at alert and we will also inform them of the need to increase their surveillance”.

Also, the spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sani Datti, disclosed that the agency had started consultation with relevant stakeholders on how to manage any eventuality.

Meanwhile, the gederal government announced yesterday that it has set up an Ebola Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) as part of the move to prevent the spread of the Ebola Disease in the country.

A statement by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) noted that the EPWG was part of the resolution reached at the emergency meeting held by the federal government on Monday.

According to NCDC, the working group is made of representatives from the department of public health and port health services of the federal ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO).

There are also representation from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), US Centers for Disease Control, the African Field Epidemiology Network and the University of Maryland Baltimore.

NCDC said the group is saddled with the responsibilities of guiding the country’s preparedness activities.

It would be recalled that the federal government had convened an emergency meeting on Monday, after NCDC received formal notification from WHO of an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on May 12, 2017.

Nigerians were thrown into a frenzy of panic, following the declaration of Ebola outbreak in the DRC by WHO, but the federal government urged all to be calm and go about their normal activities, assuring that it has given directives to Port Health Officials to screen everyone on international travels in to the country.

The federal government also urged Nigerians to be very observant and report any suspected cases to the NCDC through the agency’s toll free line: 0800-970000-10.

While reaffirming its directives on Port Health Authorities to intensify existing screening procedures at all ports of entry, the federal government, according to the

statement, assured yesterday that “there will be an increased focus on reinforcing principles of infection prevention and control to all healthcare workers across the country.

“Nigeria’s response to Ebola in 2014 was recognized globally for its speed and efficiency. NCDC and its partners will leverage this successful in its preparedness to prevent, detect and respond to the unlikely situation of the introduction of the virus to Nigeria”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has assured of its readiness to partner with the federal government in its preventive measures being put in place against Ebola.

The association, however, said protection for its members was sacrosanct as it would not want to put the lives of its members at risk.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP yesterday on phone, the president, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof Mike Ogirima, said, “We are ready to partner with the federal government. Our members have been sensitized against the deadly scourge.

“But what we are asking is protection for our members nationwide. Protective gears like hand gloves, face masks should be provided”.

Ogirima expressed satisfaction with the measures being put in place by the federal government to prevent the virus from resurfacing in the country.

He said, “The government has ignited the prevention system; there is red alert already and there is screening at the entry ports. So, we are satisfied with all these arrangements”.

FG Saves N53bn From Ship Building Fund

Meanwhile, the federal government disclosed yesterday that it has been able to save N53 billion from ship building fund through rebranding of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who gave the hint expressed confidence that more funds could be sourced for the government from the maritime sector.

He said, “They were so many faculties of Maritime in universities when we came. We went about rebranding them and stopped that contract award in which money gotten from the ship building fund are meant for Nigerians who built ships.

“Maritime transportation is the one to access the fund to buy more vessels. We kept that money, we are saving it now. The last we heard about it was that we had saved N53bn” he added.

Amaechi noted that President Buhari has approved a new security infrastructure that will reduce piracy and robbery in that sector.

The minister said, “We believe that more fund can be gotten for the government, from the maritime sector and the president has approved a performance audit of the maritime sector.

“Part of the problem of the maritime sector is the fact that we have had issues with insecurity on our waterways and the president has approved a new security infrastructure that will reduce piracy and robbery in that sector”.

According to Amaechi, there is need to save the country from corruption, even as he said that the ministry would introduce the single window which is between Nigerian Customs and Nigeria Ports Authority to move goods within 48 hours.

He said that the ministry has awarded three contracts for repairs of Lagos – Ibadan rail, Kano – Kaduna rail and Port Harcourt – Calabar rail based on the loan collected from the China EXIM bank.

The minister stated that China EXIM bank has approved $1.2bn, while the federal government has released its own counterpart funding for Lagos – Ibadan rail, which will be completed in December 2018.

He stated that work has started on Itakpe-Warri rail but the N60 billion allocated for the project was removed by the National Assembly, stating that if that was resolved, the work would be completed.

… Creates 193,469 Jobs In Works, Housing Sectors

Meanwhile, the federal government hinted yesterday that it has created 193, 469 jobs, with 40,429 direct and 153,040 indirect jobs in works and housing sector, within the two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this in Abuja at 10th edition of the town hall meeting to celebrate the mid-term of President Buhari’s implementation of the economy recovery plan.

According to him, the construction of roads, power projects, housing projects and macro impact on jobs were gradually increasing the purchasing power and money in the economy.

He said, “In the last three months we have been travelling by road to ascertain the condition of these roads.

“We need to do more but gradually the roads are becoming better. Our artisans and construction works are getting back to site bit by bit. We are also doing our best to address power challenges in the country”.

Nigeria: Allow States to Generate, Distribute Power, Says Tambuwal

By Eric Meya

Sokoto — Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has called for a review of the law on power generation in the country, so that states would be allowed to generate and distribute electricity.

The governor who spoke yesterday while opening the 2017 Law Week of Sokoto State branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said the existing practice of states generating power and evacuating it to the national grid was no longer in the best interest of the country.

He also said there should be a review of the method of appointment of states’ representatives to federal agencies such as the Federal Character Commission, National Population Commission and the Revenue and Fiscal Mobilisation Commission.

He canvassed for the separation of the offices of the Federal Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to avoid partisanship and hampering the ability of the latter to prosecute cases without bias.

The governor also supported a review of the revenue sharing formula so that states and local councils would get more allocation.

Tambuwal suggested that the railway service should be removed from the exclusive legislative list so that interested states would be able to invest in it.

He assured the NBA that its members would be included in the proposed general review of the state’s laws, which he described as obsolete.

“The laws have to be properly updated to address present realities. Imagine, some of the laws are still using pounds and shillings,” he stated.

Nigeria

After Buhari… ?

With the president on medical leave again, ambitious figures are positioning themselves favourably for what might happen… Read more »

Rwandan Filmmaker Nominated for AMA Awards 2017

By Eddie Nsabimana

Clementine Dusabejambo’s film A Place for Myself has been nominated for this year’s Africa Movie Academy Awards slated for June 18 in Nigeria.

The nomination was done on Sunday, May 14, at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) ahead of the official nomination gala, which will be held at the same venue on June 3.

The aim of the awards is to recognise excellence and professionalism in the African film industry and to unite the African continent through arts and culture.

The final list of the nominees was assessed and decided by the AMAA Jury of 6 judges led by the awards founder Peace Anyiam Osigwe and the jury president Bernie Goldblat.

This year’s edition will focus on performances in film during the last twelve months on the continental scene under 29 different categories.

The annual event has become the biggest gathering of movie makers across Africa and the Diaspora.

Dusabejambo’s film is up against Nigerian films Bout and Silence, Senegalese movies A Place in the Plane and Marabout, Angolan Kieza, Ghanaian-American film On Monday last Week and Nigerian-British short film Yemoja: Rise of the Orisa in the ‘Efere Ozako AMAA 2017 Award for Best Short Film’ category.

Dusabejambo’s film earned her a prize at last year’s Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), where she emerged overall winner.

“The process is clear and nominations are made regardless of the country from which the filmmakers come. What counts is creativity and quality that match the criteria,” said Goldblat.

Over the years, the event has been attended by numerous international media representatives, Hollywood celebrities, Nigerian policy makers, African statesmen, journalists, film industry professionals, actresses and actors across Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Caribbean.

The Nominations in full:

Best Short Film

“Bout” – Nigeria

“A Place For Myself” – Rwanda

“On Monday Last Week” – Ghana/USA

“Silence” – Nigeria

“Kieza” – Angola

“Yemoja: Rise of the Orisa – Nigeria/UK

“Marabout” – Senegal

“A Place in the Plane” – Senegal

Best Diaspora Feature Film

“Fences “

“Birth of a Nation”

“Double play”

“Moonlight”

Achievement in Production Design

“Call Me Thief”

“76”

“Queen of Cathway”

“The Last of Us”

“Felicitae”

Best Designs Category

“LogunLofe”

“Ayanma”

“Queen of Cathway”

Award For Best Nigerian Film

“Green White Green”

“93”

“CEO”

“76”

“OloibiriAyanma”

Award For Best Animation

“Black Barbie” – Ghana

“Got Flowers” – Nigeria

“Gyrow” – Nigeria

“Pull” – Nigeria

Award For Best Documentary

“Legacy Of The Hills” – Mali

“Makoko: Future Afloat” – Nigeria

“House in the Field” – Morocco

“Vivre Riche” – Cote D’Ivoire

“House of Nwapa” – Nigeria

“Mama Colonel” – Democratic Republic of Congo

“The African Who Wanted To Fly” – Gabon

“La ColereDans Le Vent” (Anger in the Wind) – Niger

Award For Best Film in an African Language

“LogunOfe” – Nigeria

“Call Me Thief” – South Africa

“Félicité” – Senegal

“Vaya” – South Africa

Award For Best Film by an African Living Abroad

“Saving Dreams” – Nigeria/Canada

“While We Live” – Burkina Faso/Sweden

“Theory of Conflict” – Nigeria/United States of America

“A Mile in My Shoes” – Morocco/Canada

“Hell’s Fury” – Nigeria/United States of America

Award For Best Diaspora Short

“Kbela” – Brazil

“Ca$h Out” – United States of America

“The Tale of Four” – Curacao

“90 Days” – United States of America

Award For Best Diaspora Documentary

“I Am Not Your Negro” – Haiti/France

“13th” – United States of America

“Les heritiers du Vietnam” – Vietnam

“Horace Tapscott, Musical Griot” – United States of America

Award For Best Diaspora Feature

“West Indies Gang” – Guadeloupe

“Fences” – United States of America

“Birth of a Nation” – United States of America

“Double Play” – Curacao

“Moonlight” – United States of America

Award For Achievement in Production Design

“Call Me Thief” – South Africa

“Félicité” – Senegal

“76” – Nigeria

“Queen of Katwe” – Uganda

“The Last of Us” – Tunisia

Achievement in Costume Design

“Queen of Katwe” – Uganda

“Ayamma” – Nigeria

“Keteke” – Ghana

“The Last Of Us” – Tunisia

“LogunOfe” – Nigeria

Award For Achievement in Make-Up

“Dora’s Peace” – South Africa

“Oloibiri” – Nigeria

“Ayamma” – Nigeria

“The Last of Us” – Tunisia

“Slow Country” – Nigeria

Award For Achievement in Soundtrack

“Vaya” – South Africa

“93 Days” – Nigeria

“A Mile in My Shoes” – Morocco

“76” – Nigeria

“Félicité” – Senegal

“While We Live” – Burkina Faso/Sweden

Award For Achievement in Visual Effect

“Wulu” – Mali

“Oloibiri” – Nigeria

“Whale Caller” – South Africa

“Queen of Katwe” – Uganda

“Slow Country” – Nigeria

Award For Achievement in Sound

“93 Days” – Nigeria

“Félicité” – Senegal

“Vaya” – South Africa

“Wulu” – Mali

“Dora’s Peace” – South Africa

Award For Best Film

“The Last Of Us” – Tunisia

“A Mile in My Shoes” – Morocco

“76” – Nigeria

“Vaya” – South Africa

“93 Days” – Nigeria

“Queen of Katwe” – Uganda

“Félicité” – Senegal

“Wulu” – Mali

“Call Me Thief” – South Africa

Award For Best Director

DaoudaCoulibaly – “Wulu”

Steve Gukas – “93 Days”

Mira Nair – “Queen of Katwe”

IzuOjukwu – “76”

Daryen Joshua – “Call Me Thief”

Akin Omotosho – “Vaya”

Alain Gomis – Félicité

Ala Eddine Slim – “The Last Of Us”

“Said Khallaf” – “A Mile in My Shoes”

Award For Best First Feature Film by a Director

“Happiness is a Four Letter Word” – Thabang Molaya

“Green White Green” – Abba Makama

“Wulu” – DaoudaCoulibaly

“Bunjoko” – Kizito Samuel

“The Last Of Us” – Alaeddine Slim

“Rain” – Daniel Mugerwa

Award For Best Actress in a Leading Role

Vero Tshanda – “Félicité”

Lydia Forson – “Keteke”

Lupita Nyong’o – “Queen of Katwe”

Bimbo Akintola – “93 Days”

Josette Bushell-Mingo – “While We Live”

Rita Dominic – “76”

Khabonina Quebeka – “Dora’s Peace”

Zimkhitha Nyoka – “Vaya”

Award For Best Actor in a Leading Role

Sambassa Nzeribe – “Slow Country”

Ibrahim Koma – “Wulu”

Richard MofeDamijo – “Oloibiri”

Amine Ennaji – “A Mile in My Shoes”

David Oyelowo – “Queen of Katwe”

Dann Jaques Mouton – “Call Me Thief”

Ramsey Noah – “76”

Jahwar Soudani – “Last Of Us”

Award For Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Inna Moja – “Wulu”

Theresa Edem – “Ayamma”

Taiwo Ajai Lycet – “Oloibiri”

Nmonde Mbusi – “Vaya”

Somkele Idhalama – “93 Days”

Angelique Kidjo – “CEO”

Award For Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Adonijah Owiriwa – “76”

Warren Matsimola – “Vaya”

Olu Jacobs – “Oloibiri”

Papi Mpaka – “Félicité”

Richard Seruwazi – “While We Live”

Majid Michel – “Slow Country”

Award For Best Comedy

“Funny Enough” (SnaaksGenoeg) – South Africa

“Three Wise Men” – Nigeria

“Keteke” – Ghana

“A Trip To Jamaica” – Nigeria

Award For Best Young Promising Actor

Pabillo Koza – “Dora’s Peace”

Medina Molanga – “Queen of Katwe”

Azwille Shanane- Madiba – “Vaya”

Austin Rose – “Call Me Thief”

Adam Kanyama – “While We Live”

Lagos State Award For Best Nigerian Film

“Green White Green”

“93 Days”

“CEO”

“76”

“Ayamma”

“Oloibiri”

Award For Achievement in Screenplay

“Oloibiri” – Nigeria

“Dora’s Peace” – South Africa

“Félicité” – Tunisia

“While We Live” – Burkina Faso/Sweden

“Vaya” – South Africa

Award For Achievement in Editing

“Call Me Thief” – South Africa

“Vaya” – South Africa

“While We Live” – Burkina Faso/Sweden

“CEO” – Nigeria

“Félicité” – Tunisia

Award For Best Nigerian Film

“Green White Green”

“93”

“CEO”

Award For Best Achievement in Cinematography

“The Last of Us” – Tunisia

“The Whale Caller” – South Africa

“Félicité” – Senegal

“Vaya” – South Africa

“A Mile in My Shoes” – Morocco/Canada

Nigeria: Ebola – Nigeria Intensifies Screening At Airports

Photo: The Guardian

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

By Nike Adebowale and Oladeinde Olawoyin

Following the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, the Nigerian government has beefed up checks at its various airports.

The federal government also urged Nigerians to remain calm as it is committed to ensuring that the disease is not imported into the country.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, spoke while inspecting thermal screening machines at the Port Health Stand of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“We want to assure Nigerians that we have never stopped screening people, it has been going on at the international wing of all the airports in the country, although passengers may not have noticed it”, a statement by the ministry on Monday quoted Mr. Adewole as saying.

“There is no reason to panic, everything is under control. If there is a need to screen local passengers we would do that but for now we are concentrating on passengers on international travels,” he said.

The minister was at the airport to assess if the screening machines were functioning perfectly as Nigeria stepped up surveillance in detecting fever of any kind.

The country began health screening at international airports during the Ebola crisis of 2014, and the screening has continued since then.

Mr. Adewole urged the public to report any signs or symptoms of fever to the nearest health facility.

In his remarks the Director, Port Health Services, Hassan Garba, said that sophisticated thermal camera installed at the airport captures all arriving passengers with or without their knowledge, adding that anyone showing red on the camera would be quietly called aside for questioning.

The Minister directed that any passengers with fever arriving from a county where Ebola has been detected should be taken for further investigation.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an Ebola outbreak in the DRC on Friday, saying that at least one person had been confirmed dead due to the virus in the country’s north-east.

However, the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, assured Nigerians of adequate surveillance at Nigerian airports following the outbreak of the disease.

In a statement on Monday, FAAN assured passengers and airport users of safety at the nation’s airports.

According to the agency’s spokesperson, Henrietta Yakubu, adequate measures have been put in place to checkmate the re-occurrence of any such outbreak in Nigeria.

Mrs. Yakubu emphasized that all measures adopted in 2014 to curtail the dreaded virus remain very much in place and have been fortified.

According to the statement, the Ebola Screening Points and detecting machines have been fully re-instated at Nigerian airports.

She also disclosed that the agency was also collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health, through the Port Health Service, to reactivate the Ebola Awareness and Sensitization Campaign.

On Monday, the World Health Organization confirmed a second Ebola case in Congo.

“So far there are 19 suspect cases, including three deaths and two lab-confirmed cases,” a WHO spokesperson in Geneva said.

The first case was confirmed on Friday in Bas-Uele province in the north-east of the country.

But in its statement released in Lagos on Monday, FAAN said there was no outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria or at any Nigerian airport.

The agency, therefore, urged air passengers and airport users to go about their business activities without fear.

Nigeria was declared free of Ebola virus by the WHO in October 2014 and the country praised for its handling of the disease which caused about 4,500 deaths across West Africa.

Nigeria: Nigeria’s E-Commerce Sector Searches for New Strength

By Adeyemi Adepetun

Across the globe, businesses are going online. This has been championed by the Internet technology. The Internet value chain, estimated to worth $5.8t, has brought with it a lot of opportunities in all spheres of life. Economically, socially, and culturally, the Internet continues to greatly impact on nations, communities, institutions, and individuals, as seen in new ideas like e-governance, e-learning, e-banking, and of course, e-commerce, among others.

Growth Potential

Indeed, Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is currently finding strength in eCommerce, a sub-sector estimated to worth N3.06t ($10b), according to market observers.

While e-Commerce continues to grow, the same is seen with the rest of Africa and most part of the world. More and more Nigerians are embracing the online shopping system as their preferred platform for buying and selling goods and services.

Online platforms such as Jumia, Konga, Dealdey, Yudala, Payporte, Vconnect, Kara, Fashpa, Gloo.ng; OLX; Wakanow, among others have pushed the frontiers for Internet businesses in the country, getting about 400,000 online orders every 24 hours in Nigeria.

eCommerce has become a thriving global industry. A recent report released by the Oxford Business Group revealed that retail sales hit a whopping $22b figure globally in 2016, with online shopping figures accounting for a major part of this outlay. In advanced climes where access to the Internet and of course, literacy levels stand at appreciable levels, eCommerce has become a lifestyle for many.

Interestingly, global retail sales, of which eCommerce makes up a major part, is projected to rise further to an estimated $27t by 2020. Chief Executive Officer of Konga, Shola Adekoya, said the platform kicked off 2017 with a multi-million dollar investment from Naspers and Kinnevik, and it gave reason to reflect on the progress of both Konga, and the wider eCommerce industry in Nigeria.

Adekoya said Nigeria boasts the largest population in Africa, which is set to increase from 180 million today to 440 million by 2050, with GDP expected to grow between 4.5 and nine per cent each year in between. He stressed that with larger percentage of Nigerians now connected to the Internet – a figure that’s on the rise fueled by a growing middle class, eCommerce industry clearly has potential.

He however, said reaping these online rewards isn’t straightforward. According to him, to encourage Nigerians to make more online transactions, the ecommerce industry must find innovative solutions to the table of online sales, such as fast and easy payments and refunds, and trouble-free deliveries and returns. “Perhaps, it’s the passion and commitment involved in bringing Nigeria’s strong trading culture online that makes our country an attractive proposition for investors.

“When we started Konga in 2012, we knew we had to innovate to be successful. Today, I am proud of the progress we’ve made. We are a homegrown Nigerian business, tailored to our local customers’ needs and committed to delivering the highest standards of service in the market. We’ve significantly grown our marketplace to service local seller and customer needs, and we’ve built much of our own nationwide delivery network from scratch, empowering 80 local franchisees in the process, as well as, building a proprietary third party logistics and warehousing service. We’ve also launched KongaPay, which has materially increased our prepaid orders and reduced friction in the payment process,” he stated.

Average Nigerians Are Still Traditional Shoppers

From Yudala’s perspective, the Head of Corporate Communications, Gideon Ayogu, said the eCommerce sector could provide a major lift for the economy, if adequately strengthened.

He lamented that despite the growing appeal of the initiative, available data shows that the shopping behaviour of majority of Nigerians is still largely traditional – with many preferring to see, touch or experience the product in action before making the buying decision.

According to him, despite the huge strides recorded in the eCommerce landscape, especially with the massive awareness for globally celebrated shopping festivals such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, among others – the average Nigerian is still an unrepentant traditional shopper.

“This traditional shopping behaviour goes a long way to justify the unique Yudala model of combining an online store with physical offline stores located nationwide. Cases abound of most walk-in customers actually admitting to having checked out a particular product online, but still preferred to physically visit the store to see the product before purchase,” Ayogu stated.

Challenges Limiting Ecommerce Growth

The Guardian gathered that some factors limiting eCommerce growth, include lack of trust, poor or no Internet connection in some major areas; unsavoury experiences from delivered orders.

Commenting on the issue of lack of trust, Ayogu said many Nigerians live in constant dread of online fraud and will do anything to avoid using their debit card to process payments electronically.

According to data from the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) the year 2014 saw 1,461 reported cases of electronic or e-fraud, with actual losses grossing N6.216b. In 2015, about 946 attempted e-fraud cases were also recorded by banks, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and Mobile Payment Operators (MPOs), resulting in an estimated loss of N5b.

Recently, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, indicated that about N78b is lost yearly in Nigeria to all forms of cybercriminal activities. “This reality has stunted the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria.”

It is an open secret that eCommerce is driven by access to the Internet. However, Internet access for many in this part of the world is an expensive venture. Worse still, the number of Internet users seems to be declining. Going by the most recent statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the number of Internet subscribers dropped to 91,274,446 in January, as against 91,880.032 users recorded in December 2016, showing a decline of 605,586. This is one of the major reasons why the average shopper remains seemingly stuck in his largely traditional shopping ways.

An online shopper, Bimpe Akindele, also raised the issue of unsavoury experiences from delivered orders. She said the eCommerce experience in Nigeria has been stalled by the action of some online retailers who end up disappointing the customer with the delivery of items different or inferior in quality from the one seen or ordered online.

In such a case, she stressed that the customer has to bear the inconvenience of having to either navigate the thorny process of seeking a refund or waiting an extra lengthy number of days to get the right item. This is why ensuring that “What you see is what you get” remains a unique selling point in the e-commerce market.

A telecoms expert, Kehinde Aluko said a recent report revealed that the Nigerian eCommerce industry recorded a handsome $1.9b figure in 2016 and the figure is expected to reach an estimated $3.9b in 2020. “However, e-commerce in Nigeria remains a predominantly urban phenomenon. For many in the hinterlands and rural communities hobbled by the absence of the most basic infrastructure, e-commerce will remain an abstract concept for a long time. To reach these ones, siting a physical store not too far from their location remains the best bet,” he stated.

Seeing And Touching Syndrome

Ayogu wondered why many shoppers with access to the Internet still end up carrying out most of their e-commerce purchases in physical stores? For many Nigerians, seeing and being able to touch the item beats just seeing it on the screen of a mobile phone or laptop. Majority still want to see, touch, feel and/or experience a product before they part with their money.

According to him, commerce in Nigeria originated from a traditional standpoint, stressing that nothing feels better than haggling with a seller face-to-face and eventually securing a bargain. The glint in the eyes of the buyer and renewed spring in the steps are a sight to behold. “For now, at least, e-commerce will struggle to completely wipe away this culturally-ingrained shopping behavior.”

Going Forward

Chief Executive Officer of Jumia, Juliet Anammah, in an Interview with The Guardian, said: “Apart from providing adequate security in the country, the things that could be done are pretty straightforward and seemingly simple, take Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) for instance. In most countries, the public national postal service like NIPOST serves as the biggest logistics partner in eCommerce because they are in every city. If NIPOST was working efficiently, which I believe government can do with some determination, we would not need to invest at all in logistics. I would only get a warehouse, assemble my products and get them to the nearest NIPOST office where consumers can pick their items. With this, the cost of distribution or delivery will be grossly reduced.”

According to her, the entire infrastructure network really affects vendors mainly, saying apart from Lagos; other ports in Port Harcourt and Calabar are not functional. “If those ports were functional, everyone will not be shipping through Lagos. We are now compelled to serve our customers in Benue or Yobe State from Lagos inventory. If those ports were functional and with Calabar – Ogoja- Northern road functional, we can reduce the period of delivery from four to two days. All these are linked to infrastructure – seaport, road and rail network and all these things are what government can do.

“The third thing is related to the foreign exchange market. The foreign exchange market requires certainty, especially for foreign investors, importers and exporters. They must be sure that this is the rate and it is applicable to everyone, more so if they want to source from the market they can be sure of the process to follow. It’s one thing to liberalise the foreign exchange market and another to build certainty into the process of liberalisation. This will help the average manufacturer and vendor who need raw materials to produce goods they can sell online. There are really many other things government can do but these are certainly the urgent ones.

Head of Digital Media and Strategy, VoguePay, an online payment platform, Oluwole Ogunlade, wants the trust issue resolved, saying it remains a big challenge in the eCommerce industry, reason the sub-Sector is experiencing hitches.

He noted: “This is the reason a customer would want to pay for products on delivery. Nigeria is still a cash-driven economy. There is the need to develop and encourage the cashless Nigeria project, which will reduce the incidence of carrying cash around.”

Ogunlade said the country would do better if the initiative becomes robust, advising online platforms to always ensure that the products they put up for sale are genuine and match specifications. “This is where the issue of trust also comes in,” he added.

Nigeria: Nimet Advocates Better Use of Climate Information in Agriculture

By Joke Falaju

Abuja — The Director General/CEO of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi, has advocated better use of climate information in agriculture to rebuild the sector and make it sustainable.

Mashi made the recommendation, while presenting a paper titled: “Agrometeorological Service Delivery for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Nigeria” at the Senior Executive Course Programme, held at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Plateau State.

He said; “Effective climate information and services will not only transform agricultural production from labour-intensive high risk endeavor to knowledge based strategic enterprise, but will also enable sustainable utilisation of resources to achieve food security in the country.”

Speaking further, he asserted that climate and weather variability play an overriding role in determining the amount of physical productivity of agricultural crops, livestock and forests, as well as, the risk of the failure of the productivity.

The DG also disclosed that with over 100 years climate information on Nigeria in its archive, NiMet has been playing crucial role addressing the issues relating to climate variability and change, and the possible impact on agriculture production and food security in particular.

He urged the Federal Government to set in motion the National Framework for Application of Climate Services (NFACS); use of Information Communication Technology (ICT); and enforcement effective intervention policies, among others.

Nigeria

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