The Chairman, Information Technology Association of Nigeria, ITAN (Lagos Chapter), Mr Amos Emmanuel, harps that COVID-19 is a socio-economic reality warning us as a society to begin to take some re-innovation pills as recommended below.
The Chairman, while seeking views into the present deepening crisis across the globe from his Executive Council members over online teleconference meeting and x-rays solutions.
Speaking to TechEconomy.ng, the Chairman brought forth his thoughts on COVID-19 this way:
Partners and Friends of ITAN
“First, from Lagos, Nigeria, ITAN CEOs send condolences to friends, colleagues, governments, and associates of all regions with these alarming deaths wishing innovative cures be produced to save humanity from the current pandemic.
“We should use our valuable networks to build more enduring collaborations as we wish our various economies can pick up as soon as possible with viable win-win alliances.
Care for Doctors
“Medical health workforce MUST have unlimited access to protective equipment in the fight against the pandemic.
“These medics are not all residential in the hospitals so require coverage from security agencies during mobility to and from work.
“Medical profession leadership needs to be closer to the citizens so they can better understand the need for stay at home ruling.
Local Tech Ecosystem
“Tech ecosystem needs to be strengthened to nurture relevant innovations that address national crises in a timely manner. In our many generations of IT agencies and special ministries to tackle ICT developments in Nigeria we hope to begin to see a harvest of a sustained private sector led industry workforce appreciated by governments and supported by these agencies in a constructive and open, harmonious manner rather than in contest to the necessary demand for the supply of the industry that has matured and organised but has remained unlevelled in prosperity.
“Validated IT Services and organisations need to be considered essential services by the government and accorded priority attention in a pandemic like this to support health practitioners and taskforce function in optimally strategic ways using technologies.
“If we advocate economic stimulus for organised tech players which may serve as incentives that inspire a favourable comeback from the devastating blows their ventures have suffered from COVID-19, we would not be wrong! While we implore entrepreneurs to innovate more to fill the yawning gaps of society, the government should for posterity imbibe unconditional social change that encourages free fair demand for our supplies. #SocialChange #Demand4OurSupply form our hastages here.
“Academic Institutions are advised to put in place online educational infrastructure for students to study inexpensively from home as the pandemic risks schools being closed down for a long time. #ITANSocialInnovation
Internet Service Providers, ISP
“Recently WITSA through ITAN National President Engr. Tayo Adeniyi, applauded Internet service technicians in Nigeria and around the globe who are ensuring that we all have the connections we need to work remotely, attend school online, view virtual government proceedings and read vital news, to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We appreciate the ATCON leadership and associated arms of government in their frontline clarification of confusing stories in the public domains. International communities were as worried as ITAN Lagos committees engaged in information balancing.
“Integrating travel history information into routine NCDC’s tests could help stem the rapidly widening global coronavirus outbreak, as well as future pandemics, according to a study which may lead to new protocols for health technicians and officials working to contain epidemics.
“Travel history could be added to the routine information such as temperature and blood pressure collected in electronic medical records.
“Immigration passport control services need to be improved to ensure that these activities need to be reliably focused as in the present case travel accurate records have helped researching contact tracing for isolation.
National Identity harmonization
“We need to know that part of the reason we find the fight against COVID-19 difficult is as a result of our identity dataset challenge.
It makes the ontology of the nation’s data unclean and embarrassing for excellent data analytics that could have saved some lives and minimised panic! This has manifested by way of chaos as experts say palliative administration lacks data governance. As such transparency and accountability questions arise everytime.
Smart City Innovation Development
“We project an explosion in Innovation hubs that will evolve to steer a new generation of homegrown initiatives that churn products and services in the local tech space. Prayer is for priviledge people in authorities to allow a level playing field post COVID-19.
“Our ongoing Smart-City Innovation Capacity Development Programmes for the Youths will produce countless startups in many states.
“All the State governments now have the desired platform to realise its political agenda through our public-private partnership initiative. Youths will need to be empowered to see of what creative use they can be to their society in the overall goal to survive the smart city framework for each state e.g THE LAGOS SMART CITY PROJECT and from the point of view of a digital economy.
5G Internet and a Virus?
“It is worthy of note that ICT and trending technologies are emerging and fast getting multidisciplinary meaning different people will have differing opinions and are free to express themselves. In many instances very interesting debates have been held on 5G.
“A recent media report signed by Dr. Henry Nkemadu, Director, Public Affairs, NCC, debunks 5G as any deadly virus-supporting media. Instead, it is a fifth generation of mobile technology which is an improvement on today’s 4G technology with enhanced capabilities.
“The 5G technology provides the platform for new and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to improve the way we live and work. We therefore recommend a general and balanced perception of everyone seeing 5G as an enabler for the future rather than conflicting engagements for confusion.
Wellbeing of Nigerians
“We often have to take a few exercises and create remote work engagements in the lockdown to balance fatigue that would have manifested due to repeated stay at home. Other pastimes may include reading new books, video gaming, learning new instruments and for the programming at heart do some coding and testing. #Stayfit
“Following the increased shifting of meetings, lectures, and other forms of human engagements and transactions to the internet, there are grave concerns which made the Hon Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami issue caution to the public against activities of cyber criminals who may take advantage of any vulnerable entities to strike. #StaySecure
Business Continuity in a Lockdown
“It is indeed regrettable that a time comes when businesses lockdown. Some business entities with cloud computing capabilities are able to still run without hitch despite restrictions of personnel in a lockdown. Local solutions like CloudIntegra Software and CiFixPro from ITAN’s Programos Software Limited are currently empowering stockbrokers to trade realtime from extreme lockdown locations over the internet, therefore giving some activity that sustains the Nigerian economy in a lockdown.
“ITAN advocates that businesses and the government ensure a valid IT Infrastructure Plan is in place to reduce the risks at a time like this.. #ITANBizLockdown
Lockdown to Curb Virus Transmission
“Lockdown must be enforced, monitored nationally.
“Lockdown undoubtedly is one of the most efficient ways that other world leaders have used to manage COVID-19 but its ineffective management can be counterproductive to making us see a sustained levelling curve, due to a possible fresh rise from negligence. A Short-term price for a Long-Term goal attainment will require the right leadership in every region.“The nation is at a critical stage at this moment with deaths and fresh transmission declared by the day. We seize this opportunity to express appreciation for all those who have offered assistance in one way or the other in ensuring that Nigerian lives are spared in this pandemic, especially through innovation.
“And special thanks to the wonderful local content platform known as the FinTech1000+ who has formally been endorsed to assist in the tech4health operations of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC – hoping the government appreciates the need to take full benefit for winning this fight against COVID-19 and be ready to tie up loose ends in political administration devoid of sentiments to ensure we move to the ‘advanced nation’ status that we are overdue to have joined via tech innovation means, all of which are available in NIGERIA.
While applauding the givers, there is a need to improve the administration of relief distribution by governments, NGOs and other philanthropists by adopting processes that comply with quality assurance and safe distancing norms to avoid further virus transmission among these poor and vulnerable citizens as well as transparency and accountability standards.
“And that palliative items should be responsive to the physically challenged citizens of the society too.
Patronage for local Health solutions and services
“Many local players with numerous international partnerships have now grown production and assembly expertise in mass-producing state-of-the-art health sector sanitation chambers with disinfectant cabinets integrating (IoT) technologies for COVID-19 and future health standardisations including but not limited to ventilators.
“Numerous local apps have surfaced and we can identify a lot more research in the pipeline for more, given that the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON leadership has launched a National Think Tank to address concerns of every sector.
Personal Data Privacy
“Privacy concerns have in recent times become less important given that it is taken less seriously by many with its abuse commonplace.
“We seize this medium to remind Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General/CEO, NITDA of the responsibility to continuously strengthen public awareness and enlightenment about the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) on data privacy protection during this pandemic as numerous solutions deployed by individuals, governments and groups targeting its fight must comply to protect the innocent citizens from having their rights to personal data trampled upon unduly, especially where used for ulterior motives. #ITANPrivacy4All
“Unfortunately, corruption often thrives during times of crisis, particularly when institutions and oversight are weak, and public trust is low.
“We’ve learned from previous global health emergencies, like the Ebola virus and swine flu, that even in times of crisis, there are those who aim to profit from others’ misfortune.
“Identifying these corruption risks before they happen can help strengthen our global response and get health care to those who need it most. There are strategic lessons from the ICT4SIDS initiative of the United Nations on SPACE (Strategic Planning Acquisition and Control Education) adopting the SDG-Advisor toolset for corruption control in all agencies of government. ITAN member has championed Nigeria’s development agenda on the working group since 2010. SPACE4Nigeria had flagged off and will be beneficial for Nigeria’s adoption like yesterday.
“This is an African innovation ecosystem formed in 2019 by Programos Foundation – the charity division of Programos Software Group to make Africa reflect on the need to expand innovation trend-scouting, mentoring, showcasing for competitiveness rating on the global United Nations World Summit Awards WSA. It is targeted to improve the African continent’s pie of the global diameter of innovation upwards from the paltry 6% when Europe alone is doing more than 45% and Asia 14%, Latin America and Carribean 12%, UAE and Middle East 11%, North America and Oceania 11%.
“The ITAN LAGOS CHAPTER Chairman Mr Amos Emmanuel who is the United Nations World Summit Awards Eminent National Expert for Nigeria and founder of Innovationbed.Africa is currently administering a call for participation in the annual WSANigeria-Innovationbed Awards contests from each state of the federation for evaluation and promotion into the WSA 2020 competition database from Nigeria. As a Nigerian innovator register your product HERE.
“While the Global Enterprise Awards of ICT Excellence by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, WITSA will unfold post COVID-19 lockdown. #ITANInnovationCSR”, he concludes.