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Truecaller under probe for breaching Nigerians’ privacy rights 

Truecaller is currently being investigated by the Nigerian ICT Agency, the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA)

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Call filtering service, Truecaller is currently being investigated by the Nigerian ICT Agency, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). NITDA made it known that it would be investigating Truecaller for allegedly breaching privacy rights of Nigerians.  

Reasons explained: In a statement signed by its Director-General, Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa, the agency said that section 6(f) of the NITDA Act 2017 empowers it to render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors.

“Initial findings revealed that the Truecaller Privacy Policy is not in compliance with global laws on data protection and the Nigerian Protection Regulation (NDPR).The findings also revealed that there are over 7 million Nigerians who are active users of the Service, hence the need to enlighten the public on some of the areas of non-compliance as well as guide those affected,” Inuwa said. 

Inuwa said that contrary to the belief of its users, the Truecaller app collects more information than it needs.  

How Nigerians can protect their privacy: According to Inuwa, Nigerians can take advantage of the Article 4 of the Truecaller Privacy Policy which states that, “If any persons do not wish to have their names and phone numbers made available through the Enhanced Search or Name Search functionalities, they can exclude themselves from further queries by notifying Truecaller via its website at www.truecaller.com or as set forth in the contact details…” 

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[READ ALSO: TICAD7: Digital Agriculture next frontier for economic development in Africa]

He also said members of the public could choose to delist themselves from the Truecaller Service completely. 

Going forward, the agency assured Nigerians that NITDA would continue to monitor the activities of digital service providers with a view to ensuring that the rights of Nigerians are not unduly breached while also improving the operational environment to support ethical players in their bid to get the maximum benefit from Nigeria.  

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What you should know: Like other Africans, Nigerians are still vulnerable and exposed to data breaches because of the absence of data protection law. When data breaches occur, there is no legally stipulated process to sort the case neither are their laws put in place detailing data protection responsibilities on the data holders. Hence the need for the government to enact a data protection law for its citizens. 

[READ ALSO: DND costs telecom operators N221 billion loss]

Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Agriculture vs Unemployment: Buhari’s farming policy has a major flaw

How workable is Buhari’s plan to send able-bodied young people to the farms as a way of solving unemployment in the country?

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Agriculture vs Unemployment: Buhari's farming policy has a major flaw, Does sending "able-bodied youths" to the farms increase productivity?, Agricultural financing, Top AgriTech deals currently on sale in Nigeria – June 2020

Two weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that food and fertilizer importers should not be given access to foreign exchange by the CBN.

The President added that Nigeria has lots of young people (median age of 17.9), hence, agriculture is a means to solve unemployment among youths. 

“We have a lot of able-bodied young people willing to work, and agriculture is the answer,” the President said.

However, Nigeria’s problem in Agriculture is not a lack of personnel, but a problem with productivity. 

READ: Can Agriculture replace Oil in Nigeria?

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Is productivity related to manpower in other countries? 

The Netherlands is Europe’s largest agriculture exporter, boasting of Europe’s most advanced agriculture sector. In 2019, the Netherlands exported €94.5 billion worth of agricultural goods. That is a 4.6% increase in the €90.4 billion export figure for 2018. Around two-thirds of this growth is due to an increase in export prices, while a third is due to higher export volume.  

In 2019, the Netherlands had a labour force of 9 million, and just 2% of that figure is employed through agriculture. Meaningless than 300k people produce €94.5 billion worth of agricultural exports in 2019. 

READ: GTBank, Access Bank, 11 others pay workers N271.64 billion in H1 2020

What about other emerging economies? 

Comparing Nigeria to the Netherlands does not paint a proper picture as the latter is a typical first world nation with most of the labour force out of agriculture.

However, other emerging economies also have large agriculture sectors, which could be comparable to Nigeria’s. 

The top 4 rice exporting nations of 2019 were India ($7.1 billion), Thailand ( $4.2 billion), USA ($1.9 billion), and Vietnam ($1.4 billion). 

The United States is the only top 4 exporting rice nation that is not regarded as an “emerging economy.”  

(READ MORE: Lessons Nigeria can learn from Microsoft’s Global Skills Initiative)

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Does agriculture play a major role in their economic workforce/ productivity? 

India: The Asian giant has a labour force of 494 million, of which 44% are employed in agriculture, the Industry employs 23% of Indians while the Service economy employs 31% of Indians. 

However, despite being the world’s largest exporter of rice, agriculture produce did not even make India’s top ten exportsas industrial goods were responsible for India’s top ten exports. Mineral Fuels made up India’s top export in 2019 at $44.1 billion, followed by Gems and Precious Metals at $36.7 billion, and Computer Machinery at $21.2 billion. 

India’s I.T sector is also a major producer of Indian productivity with domestic revenue expected to hit $44 billion in 2020, while exports revenue was estimated at US$ 147 billion. 

ThailandThe world’s second-largest exporter of rice had total exports of $245 billion in 2019, with a labour force of 39 million which is even less reliant on agriculture than India. 

READ: Zenith Bank blows past Access Bank as customer deposits cross N4 trillion

Agriculture contributes 8.4% to Thailand’s GDP, with Industry at 39.2% and Services being the highest contributor at 52.4%. 

Food is not a major top 5 export from Thailand, as Computer Machinery was its major export in 2019 at $40.2 billion, followed by Electrical equipment at $33.9 billion and Vehicles at $28.9 billion. 

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(READ MORE: EFG Hermes highlights sectors that will boom Post-COVID)

VietnamSoutheast Asia’s star economy was the 3rd largest emerging economic rice exporter in 2019, with a labour force of 57 million. Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of $11.12 billion in 2019, from exports of $264.189 billion. 

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Agriculture contributes 15.3% to Vietnam’s GDP, followed by industry at 33.3% and Services at 51%. 

Vietnam exported $126 billion in electrical equipment in 2019 alone, with smartphones and spare parts making up $51.38 billion of that amount. Footwear exports came at $24 billion in 2019 while clothing was $16 billion. 

From the data above, agriculture which employs a component of emerging market economies does not contribute the most to their productivity, as manufactured goods are a major source of export income and rising. 

READ: Zenith Bank blows past Access Bank as customer deposits cross N4 trillion

Does sending more people to the farms increase productivity? 

Affiong Williams, the founder of food processing company ReelFruits, says that she does not think sending more Nigerians to the farms will increase productivity because “There is very little material productivity to achieve by increasing physical labour on the farms. Productivity increases in Agriculture, which moves the needle on production output, are more impacted by things like fertilizers, mechanization, and increased technical expertise. Manual labour is no match for any of those things.

READ: Pension: Low RSA balances – a subtly growing concern

What does Nigeria need to do to improve yields? 

The over-reliance on smallholder farming, in my opinion, is the biggest hindrance by the government to improve agro yields,” she added.

She added that even though the current model may be seen as a “development activity,” it barely achieves its true aim. 

To improve the output of any crop, one needs to do a lot of testing and control for so many factors to be able to arrive at the right conditions which increase productivity. Smallholder farmers do not have the resources to do this type of ‘A/B testing’ as it were and so it is very difficult to get true information and disseminate the right techniques that all of these farmers can apply.

“I think the government needs to enable more commercial farming by the private sector who are able to acquire the resources to increase productivity and disseminate such learnings at a faster pace, she said.

(READ MORE: IMF expects Nigeria’s GDP to shrink by 5.4% in 2020)

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

Bottom Line: The Nigerian government is not focusing on the aspects that increase productivity in agriculture which experts say are fertilizers, mechanization, and increased technical expertise, components that cannot be replaced with more human capital in the farms. 

Secondly, growth in Nigerian agriculture yields can only be done through large scale commercial farming with the ability to conduct tests to find the right techniques for farmers.  

READ: MARKET UPDATE: CBN’s historic agriculture lending; Is it yielding the desired results? 

Finally, compared to contemporary emerging economies, Nigeria is seriously lagging behind in both agriculture exports and manufactured exports,  as Nigeria’s top ten agriculture exports hit just N289 billion between April 2019 – March 2020. 

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AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement – Trade Minister

The Minister revealed that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA.

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AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement- Trade Minister, FG meets group to access AfCFTA's $650 billion market, UNIDO’s $60m investment programme to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation - FG, FG to strengthen economic ties with Turkey, FG moves to facilitate tax incentives for SMEs, Made-in-Nigeria vehicles gulp N364 billion from FG

Minister of Trade, Niyi Adebayo said Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement soon.

The Minister disclosed this during a meeting with the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA), Mene Wamkele on Monday.

Recall that Nairametrics reported last week Mr. Adebayo said that Nigeria is actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries to meet the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“As we gear up to meet the demands of the enlarged continental market which will be fostered by AfCFTA, we are actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries,” the Minister said.

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In today’s meeting, The Minister told the delegation that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA, which would implement Nigeria’s roll-out strategy in a bid to take advantage of the agreement. He added, “Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the agreement within the shortest possible time”.

The African Union announced in August that the first commercial deal of AfCFTA will be taking off on January 1, 2021.

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FG inaugurates Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation

The Minister said that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.

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FG increases hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million, moves against monopoly and antitrust, Coronavirus, covid-19, Minister of information briefing

The Federal Government inaugurated a Steering Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC), with the aim of making Nigeria’s film industry a continental entertainment power.

This inauguration was performed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja on Monday. The Minister added that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.

“What we are doing today is to simply reposition the NFC in a manner that will enable it to play the role statutorily assigned to it,” he said.

The Minister added that Nigeria’s film industry is a major boost for Nigerian soft power and entertainment, citing the need for repositioning by the FG as a means to enable effective service delivery for the film industry to grow.

The Minister added that Nigeria lags behind her film making counterparts in the film production value chain, citing Nigeria’s 142 movie theaters compared to 782 in South Africa and 11,209 in India and many others. He urged state governments to invest a part of their infrastructure budgets for the entertainment industry as a means to generate jobs and grow the GDP.

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“It is important to appeal, especially to our state governments, to invest in infrastructure in the industry. I don’t think it will be too much for the state governments to ensure they build at least one cinema house in each local government area of their state. That will give us additional 774 cinema houses, ” he said.

The Minister added that the role of the NFC is to regulate Nigeria’s film industry and organise professional practice in the sector and also addressed challenges facing the NFC like the inability to produce its own films for commercial purposes due to the law establishing the Corporation limits on its operational functions.

Lai Mohammed said the NFC will be repositioned as the FG has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct due diligence on the corporation and the sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialization.

“Dear members of the SC, your appointment into this committee comes with huge trust and belief in your ability and capacity to make this reform happen. I therefore urge you to consider this a critical national assignment that requires unflinching commitment and zeal,” he stated.

The members of the Steering Committee are: Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Mohammed as Chairman; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe; Director-General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh; Managing Director, NFC, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, and Director, Industries and Communications, BPE, Abdullahi Dikko, as Secretary.

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