BY LINDA JACOBS, Lagos, Nigeria
The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, along with other government officials today unveiled a Smart Meter Initiative tagged “The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020”.
The initiative is in furtherance of ongoing efforts to address the metering gap in Lagos and Nigeria through the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, in collaboration with Eko Innovation Centre.
The unveiling which took place at a virtual press conference is widely applauded as a game changer as the Lagos state government will leverage the availability of bright local talents in Nigeria to develop and produce affordable smart electricity meters for consumers, and significantly reduce the revenue leakages in the sector and ultimately improve last-mile electricity supply.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in his remarks stated that the launch marks a significant milestone in the implementation plan of the state government towards improving access to electricity in the state and it is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the UN which aspires to drive universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.
He added that increased electricity access is one of the priority mandates of his administration given its significance in ultimately driving economic development of the State to enable it achieve the objective of making Lagos a 21st century Economy.
“This Lagos Smart Meter Initiative is an important way for the Lagos Government to demonstrate its commitment to improving electricity access and reliability for Lagosians. We believe that adequate metering of Lagosians and in turn Nigerians, would increase willingness to pay for electricity, improve productivity, and more importantly, continue to improve the living conditions of our people.”
“Now, as we launch the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020, we call on all relevant stakeholders – electricity sector players, technology experts, investors, regulators – to support this worthy cause as we strive to ensure sustainable electricity for all in Lagos,” he disclosed.
In his keynote address, Jedy-Agba explained that local design and production of affordable meters will be transformational for the industry and the economy at large and therefore urged all to support it.
“Lagos is an important state in Nigeria in terms of size, economy and resources. With a population of over 20million and the 5th highest GDP in Africa, Lagos is by far the biggest economy in Nigeria. Therefore, getting access to electricity right in Lagos is critical for access to electricity in the entire country.
“Electricity is an essential service, and we need to ensure that the benefits of smart meters flow to everyone. I call on all relevant stakeholders in the sector to support this innovative and impactful initiative– industry regulators, electricity sector players, technology experts, and fund providers.”
Similarly, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olalere Odusote said the initiative is expected to provide access to affordable smart meters for Lagosians to improve electricity supply, monitoring, and trust between electricity providers and end users while preventing revenue leakage. It is also expected to drive innovation and creativity while generating new interest in young people for the sector.
“Over the years, despite significant investments and resolutions around power generation and distribution, there remains a huge metering gap of over 60% of electricity consumers in Lagos and Nigeria. This metering gap is what we are seeking to bridge through the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon”.
“In line with the objectives of the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (BOS) Administration to make Lagos a 21st century economy, we have identified the need to intervene and support the facilitation of effective metering across the state, to ensure the provision of reliable electricity for Lagosians and Nigerians in the long-term,” he stated.
Doja Ekeruche, Advisory Board Member, Eko Innovation Centre explained that a call for application has been sent out to local talents in the tech community to submit their proposed hardware and software solutions using the guidelines stipulated on the Lagos Smart Meter website. All concepts will be assessed based on strict but transparent criteria to identify the most viable concepts proceeding to the next stage.
Furthermore, she highlighted that, “Judges with knowledge and expertise within power and tech ecosystem will review the entries and shortlist teams to proceed to the hackathon event. Final Winners of the Hackathon, in both the hardware and software categories, will win N7million. They will also be a part of the co-creation phase with other experts, and then proceed to the production and testing stage before the full commercialization of the smart meter”
Other participants at the event included the deputy governor of Lagos state, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Olatunbosun Alake, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Innovation and Technology; other Commissioners, Special Advisers and Heads of Parastatals from the Governor Sanwo-Olu administration; key representatives from the Energy and Technology Industry, journalists and other stakeholders.
LaPRIGA Awards Recognises MTN Nigeria For Community Relations
Leading telecommunications services provider, MTN Nigeria has been recognised for best practices in Community Relations efforts through its social investment arm, MTN Foundation, at the fifth edition of the Lagos Public Relations Industry Gala and Awards (LaPRIGA).
The annual event organized by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) was created to celebrate exemplary practices, professional accomplishments and long-standing leadership roles of stakeholders, PR practitioners, the media and corporate organisations. Through the awards, the Lagos State Chapter of NIPR aims to boost adoption of global best practices while in turn increasing awareness for the role of PR.
Commenting on the recognition of MTN Foundation’s efforts, Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary, appreciated the Lagos State chapter of NIPR for recognising MTN Foundation’s impact in over 500 communities across Nigeria. According to her, “We understand the crucial role PR practitioners play in strengthening relationships between corporate organisations and their stakeholders. At MTN Nigeria, we have enjoyed mutually beneficial relationships with media practitioners through which we have been able to reach more host communities with our health, education and economic empowerment projects.”
“We are honoured to not only receive this award but to have been nominated alongside other outstanding organisations. We remain committed to improving quality of life for Nigerians on a sustainable basis.” She added.
In 2019, MTN won two LaPRIGA awards for best in Crisis Management and Excellence in Internal Communication, this is in addition to a long list of decorations for the brand this year, including the 2020 Nigeria Risk awards for the most responsive organisation to the Covid-19 crisis, brand of the year at the Marketing Edge and Brandcom awards, Investors in People Employer of the Year awards, among others. Since inception, the Foundation has spent over N22 billion in 852 people-centred projects across the 36 states and the FCT, and impacted over 18.6 million lives.
Established in 1963, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), is the non-governmental, not-for-profit professional body of qualified Public Relations practitioners chartered by Decree 16 of June 1990 (now an Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) to regulate the practice and direct its development.
Good Together: MTN Nigeria and uduX Partner to Deliver Quality Music Content
MTN Nigeria today announced a new partnership with uduX, Nigeria’s first domestically launched music streaming service which offers users access to high-quality audio and HD music videos. The partnership will see MTN subscribers gain access to discounted data bundles for accessing content and streaming unlimited music on the uduX app.
Srinivas Rao, Chief Digital Officer, MTN Nigeria, described the partnership as reinforcing the company’s Good Together mantra, which advocates collaboration as a way to foster growth in different sectors of the economy.
“Our young customers are passionate about music. That is why we have consistently supported the development of the local music industry. We’ve partnered with uduX because we believe in their capacity to deliver high-quality, curated music from around the world, and contribute immensely to the continued growth of the music industry in Nigeria.”
“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” he added referencing the well-known African adage. “This partnership reaffirms our commitment to supporting the growth of indigenous companies and content through active collaboration.”
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of uduX, Chidi Aneto Okeke said: ‘‘With all three global major record companies signed to uduX among many others, we will be bringing our MTN/ uduX audience the creme of the global music scene and its international superstars, and of course we are committed to showcasing the very best of our African artistes. Our partnership with MTN bodes well for the entire music streaming chain, and especially the artistes who will get a chance to earn from locally generated streaming revenue. We are thrilled to be working with one of Africa’s leaders in telecommunications.”
With a library of over three million local and international music tracks and videos, uduX enables artistes, DJs, music content providers and aggregators optimize revenue across Africa and beyond. The music industry keeps seeing a rise in local talents and platforms like uduX and MTN who have been at the fore of promoting local content continue to set the pace.
Customers can register for the service via MyMTN app or go to www.uduX.com. The uduX app is also available for download in the Google Play and App stores.
Pantami To Deliver Keynote Address At Council Meeting In Owerri
L – R: Managing Director (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus.; HRH Eze TID Uba, Hon. Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Ikechukwu Sunday; Gombe State Commissioner for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Aishatu Umar Maigari and Director (|Planning, Research, and Statistics) Dr. (Mrs.) Nonye Nwachukwu, during a courtesy visit to Eze Palace in Owerri.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the ongoing 8th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy in Owerri, Imo State.
The ongoing 8th National Council on Communications and Digital Economy has a theme titled “Leveraging the Digital Economy Policies and Strategies for Economic Recovery in a COVID-19 Era and Beyond.” Scheduled from Friday, November 27 – Tuesday, December 1.
The meeting involves all stakeholders from 36 states commissioners and FCT,Security agencies, ICT stakeholders from the public and private institutions.
In a related event, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Musa Istifanus led the Council Members on a courtesy visit to the Palace of His Royal Highness, Eze TID Uba, of Owerri.
The Permanent Secretary said that the purpose of the Council coming to his domain is to introduce the Digital Economy to his people so that they can market their products around the world without necessarily being in the market.
He added that with the digital economy their children can be educated without being in the classroom. He noted specifically that this will get the youths to key into the Digital Economy and use the knowledge to make a living for themselves and improve the economy.
In his response, the Eze solicited the help of the Federal Government through the Permanent Secretary to resuscitate the NIPOST and make it fully functional, and to get the telecom service providers like (MTN, GLO, AIRTEL,9Mobile) to reduce the cost of telephone calls, and data adding that the cost of using the Internet to render their services is too high which makes it too expensive for the youths to key into the digital economy.
Members of the Council that accompanied the Permanent Secretary includes; the MD, NIGCOMSAT; Dr. Abimbola Alale, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, Post Master-General, NIPOST, Directors, and other stakeholders.
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