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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

NBTE's VISIT TO IPOKIA: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING



Recall that when the current imbroglio that followed the pronounced conversion of our highly revered MAPOLY to a University started, I have not said anything publicly. Today, I feel constrained to place on record the most recent happening, on which destiny of thousands of students had been hung.

Also remember that NTBE had been billed to visit the site of the proposed take-off campus of the newly established Ogun State Polytechnic, yesterday, Monday, 4th December, 2017. That actually took place yesterday.

Expectedly, the Ogun State Government through its fifth columnists have started sing-praising its own 'efforts' over the ongoing construction works at the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia. So much so that there are talks as if the 10-man NBTE team has 'granted' accreditation to the polytechnic.

It is however imperative to set the records straight. You deserve to know what played out yesterday.

Firstly, there is no accreditation for the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia. Recall that the Ogun State Governor had sometimes in August been quoted to have said they had approval for '42 courses'. This visit yesterday has confirmed, that was a BLATANT LIE. Everyone and anyone with Polytechnic experience knows that for accreditation to occur, there shall be a team of resource persons (from various Institutions) for various programmes with NBTE staff as support staff for the various teams - this did not happen at Ipokia. Though, some widely experienced technocrats are also involved in institutional accreditation, the 10-man team to Ipokia is an ADVISORY TEAM who lacks powers to accredit an institution or its programmes. Therefore, the essence of the visit ab initio is for the government to attempt a 'shortcut' which in the end, amounted to a share waste of funds and resources.

Contrary to the widely circulated reports, the head of the team, Engr Nuru Yakub is NOT the current ES of the NBTE.

The team, while at Ipokia observed the virgin land at the permanent site and the 'mad rush' for the completion of the 'temporary campus' which it also observed does not have the necessary facilities upon which an accreditation can be granted.

It was credited that about 3 members of the NBTE team openly condemned some activities; including but not limited to the location of the hostel accommodation (which is just at the digging level), the time length it will take for the facilities to be completed, the very notable absence of crucial facilities (Library, Health Centre, Sports Complex, etc) that should have accompanied even the temporary campus. How do you teach Polytechnic students without STUDIOS, LABORATORIES and WORKSHOPS? None of these are yet available. You can be sure there is even no MASTER PLAN.

In all, there was no TIME, all through the exercise yesterday, that the team leader failed to indicate that their visit (which was forced upon them by the Ogun State Government who paid to NBTE for the visit) was ADVISORY and that useful advise will be given. Why then is the government trying to confuse our people?

A look at the hurriedly printed students' handbook of the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia will vindicate this write up wherein various degrees of errors could be observed. Ranging from 2 Directors of Environmental Studies, to a Town Planner heading the School of Business Administration, and some programmes listed as courses and others as programmes. Is this the best we can do for the 'Gateway State'? I also wonder if, after the visit, the buses of MAPOLY re designated to OGUNPOLY buses for the purpose of the visit will be rechristened back to the original owners (MAPOLY). Can't the state government afford to buy buses for the Institution they created? I wonder if same will be done when the NUC comes calling for the resource inspection of MAUSTECH! 

I have spoken that ye may know, correct the wrong impression already being created that the institution has been granted accreditation. Unsuspecting students, parents and members of the public be WARNED!NBTE's VISIT TO IPOKIA: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Recall that when the current imbroglio that followed the pronounced conversion of our highly revered MAPOLY to a University started, I have not said anything publicly. Today, I feel constrained to place on record the most recent happening, on which destiny of thousands of students had been hung.

Also remember that NTBE had been billed to visit the site of the proposed take-off campus of the newly established Ogun State Polytechnic, yesterday, Monday, 4th December, 2017. That actually took place yesterday.

Expectedly, the Ogun State Government through its fifth columnists have started sing-praising its own 'efforts' over the ongoing construction works at the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia. So much so that there are talks as if the 10-man NBTE team has 'granted' accreditation to the polytechnic.

It is however imperative to set the records straight. You deserve to know what played out yesterday.

Firstly, there is no accreditation for the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia. Recall that the Ogun State Governor had sometimes in August been quoted to have said they had approval for '42 courses'. This visit yesterday has confirmed, that was a BLATANT LIE. Everyone and anyone with Polytechnic experience knows that for accreditation to occur, there shall be a team of resource persons (from various Institutions) for various programmes with NBTE staff as support staff for the various teams - this did not happen at Ipokia. Though, some widely experienced technocrats are also involved in institutional accreditation, the 10-man team to Ipokia is an ADVISORY TEAM who lacks powers to accredit an institution or its programmes. Therefore, the essence of the visit ab initio is for the government to attempt a 'shortcut' which in the end, amounted to a share waste of funds and resources.

Contrary to the widely circulated reports, the head of the team, Engr Nuru Yakub is NOT the current ES of the NBTE.

The team, while at Ipokia observed the virgin land at the permanent site and the 'mad rush' for the completion of the 'temporary campus' which it also observed does not have the necessary facilities upon which an accreditation can be granted.

It was credited that about 3 members of the NBTE team openly condemned some activities; including but not limited to the location of the hostel accommodation (which is just at the digging level), the time length it will take for the facilities to be completed, the very notable absence of crucial facilities (Library, Health Centre, Sports Complex, etc) that should have accompanied even the temporary campus. How do you teach Polytechnic students without STUDIOS, LABORATORIES and WORKSHOPS? None of these are yet available. You can be sure there is even no MASTER PLAN.

In all, there was no TIME, all through the exercise yesterday, that the team leader failed to indicate that their visit (which was forced upon them by the Ogun State Government who paid to NBTE for the visit) was ADVISORY and that useful advise will be given. Why then is the government trying to confuse our people?

A look at the hurriedly printed students' handbook of the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia will vindicate this write up wherein various degrees of errors could be observed. Ranging from 2 Directors of Environmental Studies, to a Town Planner heading the School of Business Administration, and some programmes listed as courses and others as programmes. Is this the best we can do for the 'Gateway State'? I also wonder if, after the visit, the buses of MAPOLY re designated to OGUNPOLY buses for the purpose of the visit will be rechristened back to the original owners (MAPOLY). Can't the state government afford to buy buses for the Institution they created? I wonder if same will be done when the NUC comes calling for the resource inspection of MAUSTECH! 

I have spoken that ye may know, correct the wrong impression already being created that the institution has been granted accreditation. Unsuspecting students, parents and members of the public be WARNED!


Source: PressClub
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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Facebook to Open Nigerian Hub Next Year in African Tech Drive

Facebook will open a "community hub space" in Nigeria next year to encourage software developers and technology entrepreneurs and become the latest technology giant to pursue a training programme in fast-growing Africa. 

The US social media company said the centre would host an "incubator programme" to help develop technology startups, while it will also train 50,000 Nigerians in digital skills.

Africa's rapid population growth, falling data costs and heavy adoption of mobile phones rather than PCs is attracting technology companies looking to attract more users.

Facebook did not provide details of the period over which its planned training would take place in Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country with 180 million inhabitants.

"We understand the important role Facebook plays here in Nigeria with developers and start-ups and are invested in helping these communities," Emeka Afigbo, its regional head of platform partnership, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Facebook said the training - aimed at software developers, entrepreneurs and students - would be offered in cities including the capital, Abuja, Port Harcourt in the south, Calabar in the southeast and Kaduna in the north.

Last year Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited technology companies in Lagos and his charitable foundation provided $24 million (roughly Rs. 155 crores) to Andela, which trains developers.

Google's chief executive in a July visit to Lagos said the company aimed to train 10 million people across the continent in online skills over the next five years. He also said it hoped to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Although Africa may not offer as much opportunity to add consumers as China or India, because large wealth gaps mean that many people in places like Nigeria have little disposable income, Facebook said more than 22 million people already use its social media website every month in Nigeria.

Widespread poverty means mobile adoption tends to favour basic phone models. That, combined with poor telecommunications infrastructure, can mean slow internet speeds and less internet surfing, which tech firms rely on to make money.


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Facebook Could Soon Ask You to Upload a Photo to Confirm Your Identity, Test Shows

To strengthen security for its over two billion users, Facebook may soon ask them to upload a photo that clearly shows their face to prove that they are not a bot. Facebook is testing a new type of captcha test that will use faces to verify whether real users are accessing the social network, and not bots. The fresh development has been spotted in a screenshot and has been confirmed by the company. Notably, tech giants like Apple and Microsoft already have their own solutions (Face ID, Windows Hello) to provide face verification on their systems and platforms.

Twitter user @flexlibris on Tuesday posted a screenshot that shows the new verification method. As seen in the screenshot, Facebook asks users to upload a photo that "clearly shows" their face to verify their identity. "We'll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers," the screenshot reads.

Facebook confirmed the test to Wired on Tuesday, saying the photo test was intended to "help [Facebook] catch suspicious activity at various points of interaction on the site, including creating an account, sending Friend requests, setting up ads payments, and creating or editing ads".

A Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying that the photo test is one of several methods, both automated and manual, used to detect suspicious activity.

The process is automated, including identifying suspicious activity and checking the photo. To determine if the account is authentic, Facebook looks at whether the photo is unique, the report said. The test was spotted by users as far back as April, the report notes.

Further, users were locked out of their accounts while the photo was being verified.

A message said: "You Can't Log In Right Now. We'll get in touch with you after we've reviewed your photo. You'll now be logged out of Facebook as a security precaution."

Facebook users who suspect their account has been compromised can go to Facebook.com/hacked.
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MAPOLY: Amosun appoints Akin Ajayi as new Dep. Rector, gives deadline for Ipokia registration.

Almost two months after the Ogun State Government appointed Mr. Ayodeji Salimon as the new Rector of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic ,Abeokuta ,the government has appointed a senior lecturer from Science Laboratory Technology Akin Ajayi as the new Deputy Rector of the institution.

He was appointed on Wednesday just as the staff of the institution continue with the indefinite strike.
The appointment came as the state government gave a-24 hour deadline for members of ASUP to indicate interest whether to work at the new Polytechnic in Ipokia or not.

The state government had begun the process of transformation of MAPOLY into Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology and had ordered the staff to transit their status to the new Polytechnic in Ipokia.

The development had led to an indefinite strike by the workers of MAPOLY which had affected the second semester examination as it had been put on hold .

In the internal memorandum DATED November 29 and issued from the office of the Deputy Registrar of the institution and directed to all academic staff through Directors / HoDs/ Head of Units, with refrence number MAP/ADM/CON.70/VOL.XVI.231.

The letter read

“Take off of Ogun State polytechnic, Ipokia.
“Following the receipt of a circular from the Ministry of Eduction Science and Technology, on the above subject matter, I am to inform you that His Excellency, the governor of Ogun state Senator Ibikun Amosun has directed that as many academic staff of MAPOLY who are desirous of transiting her staff to the Ogun state Polytechnic, Ipokia are urged to established such interest with immediate effect.

“A compiled list/ details of interested academic staff will be forwarded to the ministry latest by Thursday 30th Nov. 2017.

“You are therefore to indicate your interest at the office of the undersigned with immediate effect”.
It has been gathered that the union had unanimously agreed to shun the deadline while it embarks on the strike until the demands are met by the government .

The new deputy Rector might be officially announced by the government any moment as Ajayi has accepted to up the task.

Source: Platform Times
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Sunday, 26 November 2017

MAPOLY: Newly Admitted HND and ND part-time Students Starts Clearance

Sequel to the recent admission given to applicants of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, admitted students can now proceed to start their clearance.

Having paid the prescribe acceptance fee of #25,500, students can now embark on their clearance by printing out the clearance form and attached three photocopy of original o’level result, three photocopy of ND result, a copy of IT completion letter and acceptance receipts. Affix one passport photograph on each of the documents, except acceptance fee receipt and IT completion letter.




Take the documents to your respective school office for appropriate signature and confirmation.

You are advised to start your clearance as early as possible because immediately the strike is called off exam commences for the present students on campus which may result in delay as officers of the school will be busy attending to students. Take advantage of this strike to get it done easily.


Do you want to register for the MAPOLY National Diploma (ND) form for 2017/2018 Academic session?

We can help you get the form for ₦3,500. When we register you, we will whatsapp or e-mail  your printouts (Photo card and Application details) and login details.

We will send SMS you when your name comes out on the admission list with the next steps to take to secure your admission.

Please contact Expy Multimedia or Call / whatsapp 08080085555 or visit us at 82, first floor, Chief Amosun plaza, Oluwo junction, Onikolobo, Abeokuta, Ogun State.


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Saturday, 25 November 2017

Thinking about starting an eCommerce business?

E-commerce is a booming industry in Nigeria and has changed the way Nigerians shop in the country. The face of shopping in Nigeria has changed significantly in the recent years. Gone are those days when the customer had to go to the brick and mortar shops.

The demand for electronic transactions has attracted payment facilitators from Europe and Asia who are investing in Nigerian electronic infrastructure projects.  Online commerce and financial technology in Nigeria is strengthened by fast growing youth populations, expanding consumer power, and increased smartphone penetration.  The current Ecommerce spending in Nigeria is estimated at $12 billion, and is projected to reach $75 billion in revenues per annum by 2025 (McKinsey).

Many e-commerce ventures entered the market namely Konga, Jumia, Yudala to name a few. Africa Internet Group owns online retailer Jumia and 9 other e-ventures.  Its best-known venture is online retailer Jumia, one of Africa’s better funded startups.  Since its inception in Lagos in 2012, Jumia now operates in 22 African countries selling everything from diapers to IPhones and microwaves.

The company had €33.0 million in revenues during the first 9 months of 2016, following a 56% drop in revenue attributable to economic depression despite spike in its customer base. Konga was set up in 2012 as a competitor to Jumia, selling a wide range of products from home appliances to groceries.  During last December (2016) Yakata, another competitor reached over 155,000 orders, valued at nearly €10.0 million for the month alone.

This industry seemed so lucrative that China’s Alibaba and Japan’s Rakuten are already in the process of starting their operations in Nigeria. It is predicted that the $14.5 billion ecommerce industry will eventually become a $60-$10 billion industry by 2025.

There still appears to be a positive opportunity for an entrepreneur who wants to establish an e-commerce company. Hence, the first thing that comes to mind is: “How to start an e-commerce company in Nigeria?”

The laws pertaining to the e-commerce companies in Nigeria are evolving. Initially, there was a sense of pandemonium regarding the legal sanctity of such companies. However, to be clear, such companies have to work in accordance with the National Information Technology Development Agency Act, 2007, (NITDA Act) eCommerce regulation now falls under the scope of authority of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

In 2015, the Federal Government signed the Cybercrime bill into law to prohibit and prevent fraud in electronic commerce.  The purpose of the Cybercrimes Act of 2015 extends beyond prohibiting, preventing and criminalizing online fraud, but also prescribes punishments and sets the institutional framework for enforcement.  The goal is to protect e-business transactions, company copyrights, domain names and other electronic signatures in relation to electronic transactions in Nigeria.

Legal Considerations for an e-Commerce Startup
•             Register your ecommerce business
•             Decide on a domain name
•             Build the online marketplace
•             Add a Payment Gateway
•             Setup an Accounting System
•             Create the Website Privacy Policy
•             Setup the Terms & Conditions
•             Create Service Level Agreement (SLA)
•             Partner with a Logistics Company
•             Market your E-commerce venture


Legal Considerations for an e-Commerce Startup

1.            Business Registration
An e-commerce entrepreneur is still seen as a real business owner thus, you will need to register your business. The first step that you need to take is to choose a business structure. The type of business structure chosen will depend on certain factors such as budget and funding, taxation, etc. To read a comprehensive guide on the procedure for business registration in Nigeria, click here

2.            Domain Name
 The major legal consideration to have when choosing a domain name is to ensure that your domain name is not already in use by another person. This is because the Nigerian Cyber Crime Act 2015 makes it a punishable offence for anyone to intentionally register a domain name that is already been used by another.


A quick search on https://godaddy.com/ will quickly reveal if a name is available for use on the internet. However, you will still need to make sure that the name is not already registered as a business name elsewhere.  A search at the CAC or other appropriate quarters will be an extra layer of protective measure for the entrepreneur.

3.            Website Development
After registering the domain name and your company, one needs to design the website and get the platform ready. The success of the venture would depend on the interface of the website and what it has to offer. Not everyone is well versed with programming/coding, hence, the project can be outsourced to freelancers or one can even hire people to do the same or can even use standard website templates from OpenCart, Magento, Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.


An e-commerce business would typically require that you develop and maintain a website. In developing your website there are usually two options:
•             Develop it by yourself; or
•             Hire a professional web developer.

If you choose the first option, ensure that images, logos and design used in developing your website are not already owned by another person. Try not to just copy images, logos or designs on the internet without getting due consent from the owner. This is because there is always the potential risk of being subject of copyright-violation claim.

If you choose the second option which is to hire a web developer, you would need to sign a contract with your web developer that would spell out the intellectual property rights and obligations. It would be wise for this contract to include non-disclosure obligations as well. This is important to prevent exposure to liabilities and preventing the web developer or a third party from leveraging on insider information about your business idea obtained while developing your website.

      4. Data Privacy
 As an e-commerce entrepreneur, a good part of your business transactions would require that your customers disclose sensitive private information about themselves over the internet.  Such could include: credit card details, bank account details, names, addresses, employment status, age, marital status, family and ethnic background of an individual. Because the internet is a breeding zone for hackers who usually exploit these data to the detriment of the people that disclose them, it becomes very necessary that you protect your customers from these potential hackers.

The NITDA Draft Guideline on Data Protection and the Nigerian Cyber Crime Act, 2015 contains rules and regulations that an e-commerce outfit should follow. It is an offence to breach these rules.

The best way to abide by these rules is by integrating these rules in your data management software and through a carefully drafted Privacy Policy, and Terms & Conditions.

      5.  Credit Card Transactions
It is common practice for online business owners to integrate a payment gateway on their websites through which customers pay for goods bought or services rendered online. This can be done via two methods; (1) by directly applying to be issued a merchant account or (2) by using the services of third-party provider (e.g. GTpay, Pay pal, E-transact) who is already registered as a merchant account.

Whatever method that you choose to use, it is important that you conduct your due diligence to ensure that the merchant account chosen complies with the Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council, (PCI SSC) guidelines. The PCI SSC is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures created jointly in 2004 by four major credit-card companies: including Visa and MasterCard. It is intended to optimize the security of credit, debit, and cash card transactions and protect cardholders against misuse of their private data.

For online transaction with consumers, the e-commerce website must set up a payment gateway. Possible options are:
1.            Interswitch
2.            VoguePay
3.            Paystack
4.            GTPay
5.            Paga

To apply for a payment gateway in Nigeria, following documents may be required
o             BVN
o             Address proof
o             ID Proof
o             Website Terms of Use
o             Privacy Policy of the Website
o             Memorandum of Association (MoA)
o             Articles of Association (AoA)
o             Certificate of Incorporation
o             Bank A/C details (Should be in the name of the business)


      6. Trademarks
 Trademarks are images, logos, pictures, symbols, names, signs, designs, colors, sounds and jingles etc. which distinguish your product or service from others. With the surge in e-commerce related activities, it is now easier for one’s trademark rights to be stolen or infringed upon. By registering your trademarks, you will have exclusive right of use and can institute a legal action against anybody who infringes on this right.

You should also look at trademark issues as a duty you owe other people not to infringe on their own trademarks rights.

7. Online Advertising Rules 
Advertising of goods and services in Nigeria is regulated under the code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotions Guideline of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

It provides amongst other things that:

•             The commercial nature of the communication must not be concealed or misleading; it should be made clear in the subject header.
•             There should be clarity of the terms and offer and devices should not be used to conceal or obscure any material factor such as the: the price or other sale conditions likely to influence the customer’s decision
•             There should be clarity as to the procedure for concluding the contract.
•             All marketing communications sent via electronic media should include a clear and transparent mechanism enabling the consumer to opt-against receiving future solicitations.

      8.  Tax Considerations
The law on taxation in Nigeria requires that so long as you have a business in Nigeria or you derive your income from Nigeria, you would be liable to pay tax. Therefore an e-commerce business owner whose business is targeted at the Nigerian market and who derives revenues or income from such a business is liable to taxation in a manner applicable to businesses with traditional offices in Nigeria.
In conclusion, remember that ignorance is not bliss. Thus, it is important that as an e-commerce entrepreneur, you get acquainted with these legal considerations and protect your business accordingly. This is because any mistakes made and any neglect of duties owed to your customers (e.g. duty to ensure customers’ data protection) can be very expensive. It may attract unnecessary legal costs to your business while undermining the longevity of your business.

In any case, while you educate yourself on these legal considerations and comply with the relevant rules and regulations that have been laid down, do not shy away from letting your customers know how you are protecting their business transactions. It is a sure way of promoting the integrity of your business, attracting and maintaining a loyal customer base.

9.            Setup an Accounting System
An accounting system is essential to keep track of various transactions that the business will make with customers, suppliers, payment gateways, logistics partner, etc. It would give an idea of how much revenue the business is making, are you making any profits, what are the expenses. This information will help you to draw inferences and guide to make critical decisions for the startup venture.

Here are following free and paid services you can use to manage your accounts:

1.            QuickBooks
2.            Zoho
  
10.          Create Service Level Agreement (SLA)
This form of agreement with vendors and partners is crucial for the success of an e-commerce entity. Such an agreement should include provisions pertaining to issues like defects in product, delivery of product, remittance, late delivery, shipping etc. Such an agreement would ensure a cordial working relationship with the e-commerce entity and the vendor(s) concerned.
  
11.          Partner with a Logistics Company
Delivering products on time is crucial for winning a customer’s trust. So it is important to choose a courier partner that has a long range of network (home and abroad) and has a good track record to deliver assignments on time. Once there is consensus between both the parties (courier company and the e-commerce startup), it is important to sign an agreement that should include courier rates, delivery time/period and billing period. The billing period can be on a weekly/fortnight or even monthly basis depending on the startup’s convenience and/or mutual agreement.

Here are the leading logistics companies you can tie-up with:

1.            Courier Plus
2.            Tranex
3.            ErrandEx


12.          Market your E-commerce venture
To grow the company, it is important to market the e-commerce startup and increase its brand image. As earlier mentioned, online marketing in Nigeria is growing at an exponential rate and people tend to buy online than stepping out. Potential buyers look out for better options. One can market their e-commerce portal either online or offline. 

Online paid platforms like Google and Facebook can be used to market themselves. Having an active online presence on social platforms like Twitter, Google+, Facebook etc. can increase traffic on your e-commerce portal. 

For offline marketing, the same can be outsourced to relevant marketing agencies that have a good reputation and can provide better marketing options that suit one’s budget.



Go for a bespoke design and let Expy Multimedia create your eCommerce website
Contact our experts to find out how Expy Multimedia can help you build an optimised and profitable e-Commerce site!

Phone: 08080085555
e-mail address: info@expymultimedia.com
 
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