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N125bn MSMEs intervention: IT critical to ensuring transparency – ITSSP



Bola Tinubu

The Information Technology Systems and Security Professionals (ITSSP) on Tuesday commended the Federal Government for its decision to energise Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises with N125 billion.

The Executive Secretary, ITSSP, Mr Rogba Adeoye, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Adeoye said that, however, regardless of how laudable the pronouncement was, the Information Technology Sector had a critical role to play in ensuring transparency of the disbursement process.

NAN reports that President Bola Tinubu had, in a national broadcast on Monday, announced a N125bn intervention for MSMES and the informal sector as drivers of the nation’s economic growth.

Tinubu said that, out of the sum, N50 billion will be spent on Conditional Grant to one million nano businesses between now and March 2024.


The president added that the administration would fund 100,000 MSMES and start-ups with N75 billion.

“The Information Technology (IT) sector has a critical role to play in the disbursement of the N125bn intervention to be floated for MSMEs.

“The role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool is to ensure transparency in the disbursement.

“The sector might not benefit from the funds directly, but it’s imperative to use IT as a tool in data management and disbursement.

“The critical assignment requires that ICT be used to identify beneficiaries, be it people or MSMEs, and to also be used to monitor the process.


“This is the way to ensure transparency, which is critical to success of government’s plans and also of concern to us as IT professionals,’’ Adeoye said.

The ITSSP scribe noted that the Innovation and Fintech Subsector were not mentioned in the palliative, most likely because it offered services.

He stressed that it was good enough to concentrate on Agriculture and Transportation for now, because they had a value chain that would connect industrialisation.

“The sectors that are to benefit for the funds will provide the palliative for citizens as well as promote industrialisation, which is much needed to improve the economy.

“Our own job for now is to use IT as tool in data management and monitoring the flow of the funds. That is the area that should concern us,’’ he said.


Adeoye said that he was hopeful that as government continued to brainstorm on solutions for economic growth, soon such interventions would get to the IT sector.


Entrepreneurs seek tax waivers on renewable energy products, say manpower development necessary



renewable energy sector

Some entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector on Wednesday called for tax waivers on renewable energy products in order to increase access and encourage more people to use green alternatives.

The entrepreneurs stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan while speaking on the importance of manpower development in renewable energy in Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer of Gacht Solar, Adekunle Audu, said training and retraining were essential to the uptake of renewable energy in Nigeria, especially the off-grid solar technology.

Audu commended Nexgen Energy for organising training for small and medium entrepreneurs to ensure renewable energy has wider acceptance through excellent service delivery.

According to him, the training opened him to new opportunities and networking which have been aiding his venture.


“The Customs duties we pay on our goods when we import (them) is so much and since power is one of the problems in Nigeria, if the government can at least do a tax waiver on some of our products it will really go a long way in helping the power sector,” Audu said.

Also, the Managing Director of Goldmine Technosolar Company, Mr John Olateju, said knowledge of renewable energy products and installation techniques were salient skills essentials for distributors of renewable energy.

He said this was due to constant technological advancement.

According to him, the Techfine training he attended was a good one which created networking among dealers, installers and stakeholders in the industry.

“If such a programme is organised from time to time, it will help installers to operate efficiently and have a voice which will be to the betterment of the nation at large,” Olateju said.


He said government could do a lot to make the renewable energy sector viable, such as encouraging end-users to take to renewable energy through various incentives.

Olateju said such a strategy would make the products affordable and available with the option of loan repayments to uptake renewable energy spread over five to 10 years.

“Considering the economy of this country, the government should be abler to do more than it is already doing, so that the price of renewable energy can be affordable to Nigerians,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Starkbase Consult, Mr Abiodun Oluborode, said manpower development through training and re-training helps people to acquire knowledge.

He said such knowledge would translate to growth and development, especially for start-up businesses.


Oluborode said he had acquired training from Nexgen Energy on how to calculate load on solar energy for installation for clients which had to improve service delivery.

He pointed out that this was something he did not know prior to the training.

Oluborode said most entrepreneurs who want to venture into the renewable energy business had been developing cold feet due to high taxes on the product.

He said this was in spite of the opportunities created by incessant power outages.

“The government should reduce tax one way or the other and encourage people to go into solar. You can see what is happening. Businesses are going down due to lack of power supply from the national grid.


“It should also encourage start-up’s’ businesses by providing them grants, especially for those who are into solar as it is being done for those in the agriculture sector.

”This is because I have a lot of people who want to go into the business, but they do not have the capital,” Oluborode said.

Also, a Sales Representative of Greenlife Power System, Mr Ayo Ogundiya, said government should provide an enabling environment for renewable energy operators.

He added that there were a lot of opportunities in renewable energy in Nigeria and, if harnessed, they can thrive and contribute to the economy of the nation.

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Virgin Galactic to launch its first space tourism flight



Virgin Galactic to launch its first space tourism flight

An 80-year old former Olympian with Parkinson’s disease would be one of three passengers on board Virgin Galactic’s first space tourism flight when it blasts off on Thursday.

Jon Goodwin, from Newcastle, would join Keisha Schahaff, 46, and her daughter Anastatia Mayers, 18, who is studying physics in Aberdeen, on the VSS Unity for the 90-minute trip.

The two women would be the first mother and daughter to make a trip to space after winning a coveted place in a prize draw.

Goodwin secured his seat 18 years ago after buying a 250,000 dollars ticket.

It would be taking off at 4 p.m. (1500 GMT) from New Mexico in the U.S., in the mothership VMS Eve and VSS Unity.


It would separate and take them into sub-orbital space, where they would briefly experience weightlessness, while looking back at Earth.

The trip would raise funds for Space for Humanity, a non-profit group which seeks to send ordinary citizens into space to give them a grander perspective on the challenges facing Earth.

The three would be joined by astronaut instructor Beth Moses.

In June Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic successfully completed the company’s first commercial spaceflight, taking Italian astronauts into space to conduct a number of scientific experiments.

The company is calling the first private astronaut mission on Thursday Galactic 02.

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