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Experts Calls for Certification to Combat Electrical Quackery

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Experts Calls for Certification to Combat Electrical Quackery

By: Michael Mike

Experts in the electrical/power sector have called for rigorous skills development and certification among practitioners to combat the growing numbers of quackery in the industry.

This was the main focus at the 16th fellowship conferment of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) held in Abuja at the weekend

The President of NIEEE, Engr Felix Olu, highlighted the critical need to address the problem of unqualified individuals handling electrical jobs, which often leads to faulty installations and hazardous conditions.

He said: “Quackery in electrical work is a major issue due to the engagement of unqualified individuals and the use of substandard materials.”

He lamented that many people opt for the cheapest available options due to economic pressures, thereby exacerbating the problem.

Olu said to curb this menace, the NIEEE has been proactive for over a decade now, adding the recognising the impending crisis, electrical engineers across Nigeria came together to advocate for regulatory measures. He noted that these concerted efforts resulted in the proposal of a bill in the National Assembly to establish the Chartered Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering of Nigeria. This bill was successfully passed and signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

According to him: “This new regulation mandates certification for all electrical and electronic engineering practitioners in Nigeria, encompassing engineers, technicians, technologists, and craftsmen. Certified practitioners will now carry insignia such as badges, certificates, and seals, allowing the public to identify and verify their qualifications easily.”

He emphasized the importance of this regulation in reducing incidents of faulty installations and fire hazards. “With the establishment of this organization, Nigerians can now identify who is qualified to do electrical jobs, thereby significantly reducing the risk of accidents caused by substandard work,” he added.

Speaking on the event, Olu noted that it marked the awarding of fellowships to distinguished members of the NIEEE, recognizing their significant contributions to the profession and society. He explained that this prestigious honor is awarded after a rigorous screening process, ensuring that only the most qualified and dedicated professionals are recognized.

He noted that: “Furthermore, the NIEEE has been proactive in addressing current technological trends and their implications. The theme of the event, focused on artificial intelligence and digital transformation, reflects the institute’s commitment to staying abreast of global developments and educating both its members and the public. As engineers, we need to educate ourselves, share knowledge, and guide public policy to ensure that Nigeria keeps pace with global technological advancements.”

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technology, Prof. Nouruddeem Umar, while delivering his paper, stressed the need for monitoring and advancing the field of electrical engineering amid the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.

Umar highlighted the importance of digitization and the role electrical engineers must play in leading this transformation.

He said: “The current era is defined by rapid advancements in AI, machine learning, the Internet of Things, digital twin technology, and more. Our field is uniquely positioned to address diverse challenges across these areas. We must urge all our members to take responsibility and set an agenda for today’s challenges, leveraging our curriculum empowerment.”

He emphasized learning from global models such as China, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea, stressing the importance of upskilling the youth population to bridge the skills gap.

“Our youth are our greatest asset. Proper skill development will enable them to understand and engage with new technologies effectively. Support from ministries and agencies is crucial to provide the necessary infrastructure,” he said.

He called for a “train the trainer” approach to extend skill development to the wider community. “While government initiatives are important, experts within our institution must take the lead in upskilling. It’s our collective responsibility to ensure we meet the standards of our global contemporaries.”

Umar advocated for continuous learning and engagement through conferences and workshops to benchmark against global standards. He said: “Everyone here has the responsibility to upskill and address the present challenges. We must work hard to identify and close gaps in our field, ensuring we are well-prepared for the future.”

Experts Calls for Certification to Combat Electrical Quackery

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NAPTIP Promises Improved Strategies to Tackle Evolving Trend of Human Trafficking

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NAPTIP Promises Improved Strategies to Tackle Evolving Trend of Human Trafficking

By: Michael Mike

The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi has pledged that the Agency will continue to develop new strategies, expand cooperation, and foster more collaboration to keep pace with the evolving trends in human trafficking.

She gave the commitment in Abuja while unveiling the activities planned for the 2024 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, themed “Leave No Child Behind in the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons”.

The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2013 to be observed annually on July 30th to promote comprehensive, coordinated, and consistent responses at national, regional, and international levels to counter trafficking in persons. It aims to promote a human rights-based, gender- and age-sensitive approach in addressing all factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking, and in strengthening the criminal justice response necessary to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute perpetrators.

According to the United Nations, the 2024 World Day Against Trafficking urges accelerated action to end child trafficking, recognizing that children represent a significant proportion of trafficking victims worldwide, with girls being disproportionately affected.

On the activities lined up for the 2024 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Nigeria, Waziri-Azi disclosed that it is in collaboration with UNODC, IOM, ICMPD, and OHCHR and would be commencing from Saturday, July 28 to Sunday, August 4, 2024. She noted that the programmes have been carefully selected to reflect the theme of the celebration, insisting that: “These activities aim to create the needed awareness and impactful sensitization to address the concerns of all and reduce the vulnerability of potential trafficking victims.”

Wazir-Azi said: “I am pleased to state that our activities and interventions in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria are inclusive, involving various categories of stakeholders. For the first time, NAPTIP will commemorate the World Day together with the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP), our counterpart agency that would be visiting from The Gambia.”

She disclosed that the celebration will kick off on Saturday, July 27, 2024, with a female novelty match to “Kick Against Human Trafficking” involving NAPTIP officers and partners at the Wakanda Games Arena, Accra Street, Wuse Zone 5, starting at 8:00 am. On Monday, July 29, 2024, a Community Town Hall Dialogue will provide a platform for community stakeholders to voice their opinions and concerns, fostering engagement, transparency, problem-solving, inclusivity, and community cohesion. The Dialogue would be aired live on Radio Nigeria from 10.30am.

“On Tuesday, July 30, 2024, at 7:30 am, there will be an Awareness Walk from the Old Parade Ground through major routes in the Central Business District of Abuja, ending at the Unity Fountain. State Task Forces on Human Trafficking from 23 states across Nigeria will participate. From Wednesday, July 31 to Friday, August 2, 2024, we have planned a Bootcamp for all State Task Force members,” Prof. Waziri-Azi added.

Other planned activities include the Survivor’s Got Talent Grand Finale, sensitization and awareness creation in places of worship and public spaces, and a robust online awareness campaign.

Waziri-Azi urged everyone to join hands with the Agency to ensure a successful 2024 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons celebration .“Let us amplify our efforts, fortify our resolve, and work tirelessly to create a world where every child can thrive in safety and dignity. Together, we can and must leave no child behind in this crucial fight” the Director-General stated.

NAPTIP Promises Improved Strategies to Tackle Evolving Trend of Human Trafficking

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UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology Launched to Promote Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria

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UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology Launched to Promote Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

Nigeria’s plan to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) took a great leap with the official launch of UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology (RAM) in the country.

Speaking at the launch in Abuja, the Head of Abuja Office and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Representative to Nigeria, Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo said the event signifies a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s journey towards embracing ethical artificial intelligence practices.

Diallo said: “As we gather here at the UN House, we are reminded of the transformative potential of AI in driving innovation and sustainable development across our nation. UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology (RAM) stands as a beacon of guidance, ensuring that our advancements in AI are not only groundbreaking but also aligned with global standards of ethics and responsibility.

“We are particularly proud that Nigeria is joining us as part of UNESCO’s custodial role in promoting the ethics of AI worldwide. UNESCO’s Recommendations on the Ethics of AI, adopted by 193 countries, provide a robust framework for the responsible and ethical development and deployment of AI technologies. These recommendations emphasize human rights, fairness, transparency, and accountability, and it is heartening to see Nigeria committing to these principles as we work together to build an inclusive and ethical AI ecosystem.”

He added that: “As we gather here today, we are reminded of the profound impact that artificial intelligence has on our society. AI permeates many aspects of our daily lives, and its ethical implications have become a focal point for all actors within the ecosystem. Recognizing this, in 2023, UNESCO launched the Readiness Assessment Methodology (RAM) as a pivotal tool for implementing its Recommendation on the Ethics of AI, which was adopted by 193 countries in 2021.

“The RAM, with its comprehensive framework consisting of five dimensions, serves as a vital instrument for assessing a country’s readiness to implement AI ethically and responsibly. It highlights strengths and identifies infrastructural, institutional, and regulatory gaps, enabling nations to address these challenges effectively and create an ethical AI ecosystem.”

On his part, the Secretary General, National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM-UNESCO), Dr. Idowu Olagunju said: “I firmly believe that today’s discussions will pave the way for significant advancements in our national AI strategy, aligning with UNESCO’s global mission of promoting ethical AI.”

He asked: “Let us embark on this journey together, as we work towards a future where AI is harnessed for the greater good, in alignment with our shared values and ethical principles.”

Speaking to journalists after inaugurating the Steering and Technical Working Committees and Launching the Project, the Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy: Dr Bosun Tijani expressed the country’s readiness to take advantage of the value addition of AI, noting that the youths have already been sensitized and mobilized to evolve the use of AI

He appreciated the support from UNESCO to ensure that AI is ethically embraced, noting that the government is working on making the country one of the top countries in Artificial Intelligence.

He noted that with the diversity of the committees constituted for the AI project, Nigeria is on an interesting ride to the very top.

UNESCO’s Readiness Assessment Methodology Launched to Promote Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria

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Dangote vs. NNPC: A Tale of Sabotage and Misrepresentation

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Dangote vs. NNPC: A Tale of Sabotage and Misrepresentation

By: Shina Adewoye

During major football events, every Nigerian acts like a football coach. Around the elections period, everyone becomes a lawyer analyzing both pre elections and post elections matters.

Throughout various discussions, Nigerians take on roles as journalists and economists. This active participation is the beauty of democracy. However, problems arise when uninformed individuals try to present their opinions as facts.

On the Dangote issue, it’s striking that Nigeria, a member of OPEC and the world’s 7th largest oil producer, lacks a functional refinery. The NNPC doesn’t even have a laboratory, yet it questions the quality of products from Dangote’s world-class refinery.

Elon Musk, a vocal critic of Joe Biden and a supporter of Donald Trump, faces no personal attacks from Biden. This makes it puzzling why Dangote, Africa’s richest man, faces sabotage in Nigeria. The U.S. embraces diverse talents like Elon Musk ( a South African) and late Steve Jobs ( a Syrian) emphasizing its reputation as a land of great opportunities.

President Tinubu, also serving as the Minister of Petroleum, oversees an NNPC that falsely claims a 20% stake in Dangote’s refinery, while Dangote maintains they only paid for 7%. No action has been taken against those responsible for this irresponsible misrepresentation and embarrassment.

Moreover, Dangote’s $100 million claim for land in Lagos raises questions about the use of US $ in Nigeria as a legal tender.

Nevertheless, as an entrepreneur, Dangote is prepared for challenges. He built his refinery in a free trade zone, constructed his own port, and he can thrive without the Nigerian market by focusing on exports.

Nigerians should identify their real adversaries. Dangote can source crude oil globally and export the by-products.

Time will reveal the truth, and history will vindicate the just.

Shina Adewoye
Public Policy Analyst

Dangote vs. NNPC: A Tale of Sabotage and Misrepresentation

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