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Kwara Hosts 250 Tech Ecosystem Builders To Ease Govt Businesses



Kwara State Government at the weekend assembled at least 250 tech ecosystem builders across Nigeria to develop ideas and digital skills that will address some of the problems associated with government businesses in the country and beyond.

Fidel Info reports that The two-day event, which attracted participants from states like Cross Rivers, Kano, Nasarawa, Niger and Kwara, saw contestants coding all night, seeking to proffer solutions to letter and memo tracking systems; data capturing system; medical record systems for hospitals; election monitoring systems; among others.

Organized by the state-owned Ilorin Innovation Hub led by Temi Kolawole, some of the ICT talents were rewarded with monetary prizes at the end of the pitching exercise that was keenly supervised by a panel of judges.

Prominent among the participants and mentors were the Country Director, UK Nigeria Tech Hub, Justina Oha; House of Reps candidate (APC) Ilorin West/Asa Federal Constituency Hon. Mukhtar Shagaya;  representative of the Director General National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA) and Director Zonal offices of the agency Babajide Ajayi; Vice President IHS Towers Kazeem Oladepo; Memunat Monsuma; CEO Plat Technologies Ltd Engr Taofik Abdulkareem; and some government officials, including the State Commissioner for Communications Hon. Sadiq Buhari;  Executive Chairman Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) Folashade Omoniyi; Managing Director, Ilorin Innovation Hub, Temi Kolawole; Executive Chairman, State Geographic Information System (Kw-GIS) Abdulmutalib Shittu; GMD Harmony Holdings Abdulmajeed Abdullahi; and Acting GM state Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) Abdulquowiyu Olododo, among others.

Country Director, UK Nigeria Tech Hub, Justina Oha, in her keynote address, said e-solutions are now becoming part of the processes globally, commended the state government for going digital and for the choice of Temi Kolawole as the head of Innovation Hub.

She said the United Kingdom is interested in collaborating with Nigeria and Kwara in particular to develop an enabling tech ecosystem.

“The governments of this World are looking for e-solutions to become a part of their processes, and regardless of the outcome tonight you are all winners as you are contributing to the digital economy of this World and the solutions that will matter,” she said.

“Technology drives innovation. It has come to stay and it will continue to be so. It is really difficult imagining where the World will be in the next ten years just because of the principles of multiplicity. Things are happening in a very accelerated space. And staying alive with your vision in technology is a sure way to become part of that movement”.

“We will continue to work together to develop an enabling tech ecosystem in Nigeria and in Kwara state. God bless this state and all of you,” she added.

Temi, for his part, said they organized the programme to unlock some key solutions in government, and also kick-start a revolution in the way government is run in Nigeria.

“We believe the government can become more efficient via adoption of technology and digital transformation. The current mode of communication in government agencies is still mostly

paper-driven, which comes with several risks. We are putting this hackathon together to unlock some key solutions in government, and also kick-start a revolution in the way government is run in Nigeria, while supporting local talent,” he said, while speaking with newsmen late Sunday.

He said the contestants were grouped into 50 teams with each of them allocated areas of focus and identifiable problems in government businesses to solve, adding most of them are indigenes, who he said, were picked to encourage them harnessing their talents in digital space.

“They have worked on solutions on letter and memo tracking systems, data capturing systems, and medical record systems for hospitals. You know how in hospitals the files are physical. When you go to hospitals you start looking for your files, after asking you for your cards. We can rather digitize all medical records; you just enter a patient name or number, and it brings out all their records. It can even be between life and death when you spend 30 minutes looking for a patient’s file. So these are little things that can be done to solve problems in our society, using technology.

“Another example of a project that we have is the election monitoring systems. You know we have different kinds of issues in the elections, you can send in pictures where incidents happen. You can also look at the scores; how different candidates are performing in different polling units and wards just as a way of tracking and keeping accountability to compare results from different sources,” he added.

Other projects already put in place, according to Temi, was the garment factory online platform — a newly established firm by the Kwara state government, where he said people can order wholesales from anywhere in the world.

Shittu, one of the jurists at the  competition, said they expected contestants to create ideas, the solutions to solve those ideas, and to assess their ability to build those ideas within the two days the event lasted, as well as their (ideas) marketability in the society.

“We have a lot of sponsors here. We have Whogohost, FibreOne, and so on. They are all here sitting down to look at the take that are here. So the talents are going to be taken on board, nurtured fully and be given the assistance they need to develop these solutions they have made and make them marketable. Some of the solutions they have made are meant to be sold to the state and the whole World”.

Memunat Monsuma – a technology expert from Edu local government of Kwara state, who spoke to the topic: “Facilitating Gender Equality on Technology”, said 89 percent of Kwara women are not IT compliant, explaining some.of the steps she has been taking to address that.

She said she has trained over 5000 women so far about the use of the internet to enable them to meet up with the global expectations.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of monetary gifts to the winning teams. The first prize (N2m) went to Team Health stack; Team INOVATIF got the 1st runner-up prize of N1m, while Team KidsTech, which is the 2nd runner up, received N500,000.

The likes of Team Machine Glow, Team Kids tech and Team Soft A1 were all rewarded with N100,000 consolation prizes for being adjudged the Best User Interface; Best Presentation; and Most sophisticated teams respectively.

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Lai Mohammed bags international advocacy job



Ballard Partners, an international governmental affairs firm has appointed Alhaji Lai Mohammed, immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, as Managing Partner of its first office in Africa.

In a statement issued by the firm and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, Mohammed is to serve as Managing Partner of its newly opened Abuja office and its satellite office in Lagos.

With its headquarters in Washington, Ballard Partners specialises in all aspects of governmental and public affairs, including legislative and executive agency advocacy.

In the statement, Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and founder said they were opening their first African office in Nigeria to expand the firm’s international footprint to three continents.

He said the opening of the office, would also help in building upon the important work they had done on behalf of African nations and companies in Africa and the U.S.

On the choice of the former minister, Ballard said that Mohammed “has a long record of public service and is one of the most respected officials in the country.

Adding that “his outstanding reputation and exceptional experience will be invaluable to our firm”.

Ballard recalled that since the advent of Nigeria’s fourth republic in 1999, Mohammed played key roles in the political life of his country as Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Governor of Lagos.

He added that Mohammed was also the National Spokesperson for the Opposition for over a decade (2005-2015) and a candidate for the Governorship of Kwara State in the 2003 General Elections.

The statement also reflected the former Minister’s happiness in accepting the international job.

“I am very pleased to join Ballard Partners and to open the firm’s first office in Africa,”

“Ballard Partners has an impeccable reputation internationally and is well known for its success representing African countries and American firms in Africa.

The opportunities in Nigeria are substantial and I look forward to helping the firm’s clients achieve their objectives,” Mohammed was quoted as saying.

Born in Oro, Kwara state, Mohammed graduated with second class upper honors with dual degrees in modern European languages (majoring in French) and law.

He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1986.

The former Minister has also been awarded several diplomas in different parts of the world including Diplomes d’Etudes Francaise 3ieme Degree in both Dakar, Senegal and Vichy France

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I Owe My Success To God, President Tinubu, President Buhari – Aregbesolaa



Immediate past Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has attributed the success of his political career to President Bola Tinubu and Former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Aregbesola, while paying a homage to the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr.) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, to mark his homecoming reception in Osun, noted that the support of the two leaders of the country, enabled his success in the roles.

He expressed gratitude to family, friends, colleagues, and associates for standing by him throughout his sojourn as Commissioner, Governor, and Minister praising them for their support.

He used the occasion to enumerate some of the interventions and projects he attracted to Ijesaland during his tenure as Minister.

His words: “We thank God for how far he has brought me.

“Again, I must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for counting me worthy to be made a minister and also President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for counting me worthy to be a commissioner in Lagos. Because from there, God continued to uplift me to where I’m today.

“If you recall, when I left government in November 2018, I came here to pay homage and thanked God for a successful tenure.

“After my tour of duty as Minister in Abuja, I felt it was proper for me again to come and pay homage as a worthy son of Ijesaland.”

“Some of the projects God used us to achieve and facilitate to Ijesaland are the Fire Service Zonal Training School, 3,000 capacity custodial centre under construction, Passport front office, Regional passport production centre, Covid-19 crisis intervention fund Hospital, Ilesa and the National Institute of Domestic Security.

“The institute is a research and training centre for all paramilitary agencies in Nigeria and all over Africa,” the former Governor of the State of Osun stressed further.

In his remarks, the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr.) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran praised the Minister for being a worthy son of the Ijesas.

The monarch recalled with nostalgia the myriads of projects and achievements recorded while the former Minister governed Osun, and his imprints, which stands him out as a worthy ambassador of the state.

He prayed for higher responsibility and God’s continued benevolence on Ogbeni Aregbesola

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Details: Amosun’s Men Latch On To Something New as They visit President



Loyalists of Senator Ibikunle Amosun appeared to have regained their voices in the political circle of Ogun state.

They are latching on to a recent happening happenstance to claim renewed relevance.

Former Governor Ibikunle Amosun was a recent guest of President Bola Tinubu.

Amosun’s are leveraging the development to make claims of a deal that will return them to reckoning the Ogun state political circle.

Amosun lost out to Abiodun in a protracted battle for the control of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun state.

The winner takes all approach of Abiodu saw Amosun and his men completely sidelined ahead of the 2023 general election.

Attempts by Amosun to remain relevant by planting his loyalists in a rival political party, Action Democratic Congress (ADC) for the election did not amount to much.

Along with his preferred ADC Gubernatorial candidate, Otegbeye, all other candidates didn’t were beaten at the polls

Amosun’s men went low profile since then until his recent visit to President Tinubu.

They are leveraging on the Senator’s throwing backing Tinubu to become President – during APC Primary and Presidential election – to claim the visit was to fine-tune arrangements that would return his men to relevance in Ogun politicis

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