The National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) has released a statistic from its ongoing assessment in Nigerian communities, which revealed that about 9.45 million Nigerians located in 35 states of the Federation are poor.
The NASSCO statistic is from the agency’s National Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households. According to NASSCO, as of January 31, 2020, the 9.45 million Nigerians in poverty were from 2.25 million poor and vulnerable households.
Nairametrics learnt that the poor individuals are living in 43,258 communities in 421 local government areas and 4,347 wards located across Nigeria. The Poor and Vulnerable Households are part of a database being built by NASSCO, so the census of poor population in Nigeria is expected to continue.
It was stated that the building of a database of poor Nigerians would serve as a bridge between poverty alleviation outreach and the poor population within the country, thereby, bridging the gap between the poor communities and social programs for the poor.
In a statement posted on its official Twitter account, NASSCO stated that “What we are building is an information system that supports outreach, targeting, registration and determination of potential eligibility for one or more social programs for poor & vulnerable Nigerians. Here’s the status of the register so far.”
The National Social Register we are building is an information system that supports outreach, targeting, registration and determination of potential eligibility for one of more social programs for poor & vulnerable Nigerians. Here's the status of the register so far. pic.twitter.com/EQQb9JFCus
— NASSCO Nigeria (@NasscoNigeria) February 7, 2020
[READ MORE: Why rich Nigerians will pay more in new tax regime)
The number could be more: While NASSCO’s database building is still ongoing, the World Bank has already stated that the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty might increase by more than 30 million in 2030. According to the World Bank, the current economic situation and the level of unemployment in Nigeria would be key contributors to the increased extreme poverty.
The measures being taken by President Muhammadu Buhari to mobilise revenue is expected to impact the living conditions of Nigerians. The Finance ACT, which consists of the increased VAT (from 5% to 7.5%), is already increasing cost of living despite some food items being exempted.
Also, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has warned that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria might rise to 33.5% this year from 23.1% of last year.
N40 billion Probe: Drama as Reps order arrest of Ag MD NDDC after walking out on them
Pondei walked out of the hearing after accusing Hon. Tunji-Ojo of corruption.
The corruption allegation drama going on between the National Assembly and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) took a new twist as acting Managing Director of the commission, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei and his team on Thursday, walked out on legislators investigating the alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure in the commission.
In a reaction to the development, the House of Representative Committee on NDDC, has issued a warrant of arrest on the acting Managing Director.
Pondei walked out of the investigative hearing on Thursday in Abuja, after accusing the Chairman of the House of Representative committee on NDDC, Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo) of corruption.
According to the acting Managing Director, “We in the NDDC are not comfortable with the Chairman of this committee, presiding over the matter. He is an interested party and we do not believe that the NDDC can have justice because he cannot seat on his own case.”
“We have no issue of appearing, we appeared before the Senate ad hoc committee and as long as he remains, we will not make any presentation,” he said
However, the issuing of warrant of arrest by the lawmakers, follows the unanimous adoption of the motion by Rep. Benjamin Kalu at the investigative hearing On Thursday in Abuja.
Kalu, who is the spokesman of the house, commended the committee members for the maturity that they have displayed despite the provocations of the NDDC boss.
Kalu in his statement said, ”I want to refer this committee as well as the invited guests to section 60 which says that, the Senate or the House of Representatives shall have powers to regulate its own procedure.
“It is within the parameters of the law that the house regulates its activities, this is a committee affair and not a personalised affair.
“I want to move that this committee invokes the provisions of section 89 of the Constitution and invoke our powers on warrant of arrest to compel the agency to come and answer how they have administered the money appropriated to them,” he said.
The committee, later passed a vote of confidence on the Chairman, while describing him as a man of integrity and a leader of high reputation.
Earlier in his speech, Tunji-Ojo said that documents from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation when there officials appeared before the investigative panel showed that NDDC had spent N81.5 billion between January and May 2020.
Why Artificial Intelligence will separate winning banks from losers amid COVID-19
Banks around the world were already under pressure to fully deploy Artificial Intelligence prior to the pandemic.
Banking experts from around the world believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become the differentiating factor between banks that will succeed and those that will fail, in the new era of global banking.
A new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, which was sponsored by Geneva-based banking software company Temenos AG, surveyed some 305 banking executives from around the world. 77% of these bankers stated that AI will separate winning banks from losers.
The role of COVID-19 pandemic
The report also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has put global banks under immense pressure to readjust their strategies and align with the technological requirements of the 21st-century banking industry.
“Retail, corporate and private banks were already under pressure to deploy new technologies and reshape their company cultures in order to compete with big tech firms and payment players. Now, as digital banking surges due to the coronavirus pandemic, this task is more pressing than ever,” said some part of the report.
Key findings from the report
- 66% of banking executives say new technologies will continue to drive the global banking sphere for the next five years while regulatory concerns around these technologies remain top of mind for banking executives (42%).
- 77% of bankers believe that unlocking value from AI will be the differentiator between winning and losing banks.
- 45% of respondents are focused on transforming their existing business models into digital ecosystems. Therefore, banks are expected to continue to adapt their internal structures to digital technologies in order to enhance customer experience, product offerings, and new revenue streams.
The backstory and the present concerns
Prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic which has destabilised the global economy and raised major health and safety concerns, many banks around the world were already making major efforts towards the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in their daily operations. Bank customers were encouraged to make use of digital banking solutions in a bid to reduce traffic in banking halls.
To a large extent, this worked, although the pandemic really helped to accelerate the pace. However, the widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence has not come without some concerns/challenges. According to the report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, data bias, “black box” risk, and lack of human oversight as some of the main concerns bothering bankers.
The report did, however, specify some regulatory guidelines on how best banks can deploy Artificial Intelligence, as you can see below:
- Ethics and fairness: banks must develop AI models that are ‘ethical by design’. AI use cases and decisions should be monitored and reviewed and data sources regularly evaluated to ensure that data remains representative.
- Explainability and traceability: steps taken to develop AI models must be documented in order to fully explain AI-based decisions to the individuals they impact.
- Data quality: bank-wide data governance standards must be established and applied to ensure data accuracy and integrity and avoid bias.
- Skills: banks must ensure the right level of AI expertise across the business in order to build and maintain AI models, as well as oversee these models.
Why it matters
Artificial Intelligence is expected to remain very relevant for banks, even after the COVID-pandemic must have finally been brought under control. Therefore, it is expedient for banks around the world to really develop their AI capacity in order to succeed both during and after the pandemic.
You may download Forging new frontiers: Advanced Technologies will Revolutionise Banking by clicking here.
NITDA launches technology and entrepreneurship scheme
The programme will create local content in Nigeria’s ICT space and jobs in the innovation and tech sector
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has launched its Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Scheme that is specially designed for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Tech startups.
This was disclosed in a statement shared by the agency and signed by Head, Corporate Affairs, and External Relations, NITDA, Hadiza Umar. In the statement, she explained that the scheme, which targets young skilled Nigerians, would enable the digital economy needed for the growth of the nation’s economy.
She said, “It is part of Nigeria’s plan to create 100 million jobs in 10 years, and the program would be beneficial for ICT and tech startups in the nation. There is the need to build support systems that would help in reducing the barriers of entry for startups while increasing the capacity of hubs and startups to create new bankable products and services.
“NITDA initiated a scheme to provide opportunities for building the capacity of both hub owners and start-ups to ensure massive creation of technology entrepreneurs and jobs within the industry.”
According to her, the Digital economic Policy goes in line with the NITDA scheme which ensures skilled hub managers have the necessary support for tech startups and “build innovation ecosystems in their localities.
“It will also build the capacity of hubs to support startups and build local innovation ecosystems, encourage innovation, increase technology and entrepreneurship skills among aspiring and existing entrepreneurs” she added.
She also said the programme will help create local content in Nigeria’s ICT space, render services, and jobs in the innovation and tech sector. The hub managers are required to sign agreements with NITDA to enable them to train managers for other regions. Covering infrastructure needs like Internet and power supply.
“The participants will also be matched with mentors and guided by coaches as they build out their products and services. At the end of the training period, participants will be required to choose if they would like to begin a startup or to get a job,” she added.
She revealed that those who sign up will be placed in a six-month incubator programme which will allow them to gain skills and work experiences needed to build a digital economy. Interested participants are advised to apply, as the portal closes on the 24 of July. See the portal here