Policy Rambling – Needed Change for Growth in Nigeria’s Technology Startups

I have had to spend some time thinking about the steep path most technology startups in Nigeria are faced with.

Base don this conjecture I believe the government has a role to play in at least one aspect. One way I think would be of immense help would come in form of well structured tax-breaks for new technology startups.

A tax break for technology and software companies for the first three years of operation could be structured so that only those companied that meet a set of requirements would be allowed to participate.

We can include the conditions below, even as I must say that this in not an exhaustive set of requirements.

Companies that would benefit from a tax-break:

  1. Must have a staff strength of not more than 4 employees.
  2. Must be in the business of technology innovation or software development.
  3. Must be willing and capable of providing verifiable information about progress and business activities.
  4. Must provide bank account statements as evidence in cases where business has not commenced.

This is just one of my quick ramblings about the technology startup landscape in Nigeria and Africa.

See this report by the Omidyar Network on accelerating entrepreneurship in Africa results from a detailed survey.

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Thuggee – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Today I explore some of the histories of our present day world. Nigeria has some levels of violence I’m only beginning to understand.

Looking through the history books I saw a story about the Thuggees of India – a criminal gang of robbers.

If Nigeria is to stomp out some of these acts of violence the Police might want to consider using some of these methods: My friend working on iPolice might also be interested in this read.

Reasons for successful eradication of the Thuggees included:

  • the dissemination of reports regarding Thuggee developments across territorial borders, so that each administrator was made aware of new techniques as soon as they were put in practice, so that travellers could be warned and advised on possible counter-measures.
  • the use of King’s evidence programmes gave an incentive for gang members to inform on their peers to save their own lives. This undermined the code of silence that protected members.
  • at a time when, even in Britain, policing was in its infancy, the British set up a dedicated police force, the Thuggee Department, and special tribunals that prevented local influence from affecting criminal proceedings.
  • the police force applied the new detective methodologies to record the locations of attacks, the time of day or circumstances of the attack, the size of group, the approach to the victims and the behaviours after the attacks. In this way, a single informant, belonging to one gang in one region, might yield details that would be applicable to most, or all, gangs in a region or indeed across all India.

via Wikipedia.

 

For the Moment Enjoy Cheap Calls on MTN Zone

1. When you see the MTN Zone on your phone at about 60, 70, 80, 90%, then dial: *135*1# and Send/Ok

2. After that immediately dial: *135*7# and Send/Ok. Please, if don’t type this second one, you will not be able to receive calls.

3. When you want to make calls, it will show you the percentage discount of the call. Assuming you want to call another MTN line: 0703.2733047. The network will show something like 50% or 90%. What it means is that you will be given a discount of 50% or 90% on the call you want to make. If you like the discount, just place your call. With this measure and feature, you can make 5minutes call with N20 only.

4. If you want to migrate back to the package you were using before, do dial: *135*9# and Send/Ok

via NigeriabestForum!.

Nominees for the 2012 Future Awards Announced, DBanj, BudgIT, Efiko in…

The 2012 Future Awards nominees list is out.

THE FUTURE AWARDS, described by the World Bank as “The Nobel Prize for Young Africans”, after unveiling its spectacular Young Person of the Year nominees earlier this week, has now released the full Nominees List for all 21 categories.

Voting begins immediately! The voting numbers are 33120 (All networks) for Nigeria, and 1523 (Expresso & MTN), 1910 (Airtel) for Ghana. You can also vote on www.thefuturenigeria.com [1]. According to the organisers, voting takes only 50% of the second stage of judging, so winners are not selected by voting popularity – there is a 4-stage judging process involving a Board of Judges and an Independent Audit Committee. There is also a one-week period for members of the public to make complaints about any of the nominees to the awards Central Working Committee (CWC). Please send complaints to info@thefuturenigeria.com.

All the nominees will be celebrated at an invitation-only media and VIP Nominees Reception on Saturday, 4 August 2012 – where they will also be inducted into the elite The Future Alumni Network. The Reception is also a yearly charityfundraiser – and this year, the event will be raising money for the Down Syndrome Association of Nigeria, a pioneering advocacy platform for children with Down’s Syndrome.

“Though there were remarkable difficulties in getting young leaders and entrepreneurs closer to 20 than 30, but we are excited to have yet arrived at an inspiring run-down of young Nigerians,” said CHUDE JIDEONWO, who is the Executive Director of the Future Project. “We gave ourselves the tough task of finding innovators, entrepreneurs and the kinds of young people you don’t always hear about, which is the essence of The Future Awards and we are as always, incredibly proud of the nominees we have.”

Profiles of the nominees will be published on the official website www.thefuturenigeria.com and on www.facebook.com/thefutureawards by July 31, 2012. Let the race begin!

THE FUTURE AWARDS 2012 NOMINEES LIST

_*Note that, due to the adjusted The Future Awards calendar (it was moved from its traditional January to August, the period in review is October 2010 – May 2012. Nominees who were still 31 years as at March 2011 (six months into the period in review) are therefore eligible. _

CHANGE
Best Use of Advocacy
1.      Ferdinand Adimefe (Interface Foundation)                28
2.      Olumide Makanjuola (The Initiative for Equal Rights)    25
3.      Orode Jade Uduaghan (Pink Pearl Cancer Foundation)      22
4.      Adamma Umeofia  (WeBuilt: Nigeria)                      20
5.      Chizoba Imoka (Unveiling Africa Foundation)             25
6.      Esther Agbarakwe (Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition)     28
7.      Priscilla Usiobaifo      (Brave Heart Initiative)       28
8.      Babafemi Oyediran (Rural Enterprise Development
Project)                                                        29
Best Use of New Media
1.      Japheth Omojuwa                                         28
2.      Gidi Traffic                                            22
3.      Ediong Umoh                                             25
4.      #OccupyNigeria                                          26
5.      #SaveOke                                                28
6.      Beacons                                                 29
7.      Nmachi Jidenma                                          24
8.      Wale Adetula                                            27

CREATIVITY

Creative Artist Of The Year
1.      Obi Somto (Photographer)                                23
2.      Bayo Omoboriowo (Photographer)                          25
3.      Chibundo Onuzo (Writer)                                 21
4.      Bobo Omotayo (Writer)                                   29
5.      Imole Balogun (Photographer)                            23
6.      Remi Adegbite   (Photographer)                          30
7.      Onyeka Nwelue (Writer)                                  30
8.      Mohammed Abbagana       (Painter)                       26

Designer of the Year
1.      Adebisi Anita (Ms Makor)                                23
2.      Kola Kudus      (Kola Kudus)                            30
3.      Olorunyomi Omoniyi Makun (Yomi Casuals)                 27
4.      Toluwaloju Olowofoyeku (Toju Foyeh)                     23
5.      Osakwe Amaka (Maki Oh)                                  26
6.      Rukky Ladoja/Obi Obi/Tola Ayanwale (Grey)               27/29/27
7.      Ugonna Omeruo (House of Nwocha)                         28
8.      Akpos Okudu (Akpos Okudu)                               25
EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE
Public
1.      Akin Rotimi      (Ekiti State Governor’s Office)        31
2.      Banks Omisore (National Assembly)                       29
3.      Chime Asonye (The Presidency)                           26
4.      Ohimai Amaize (Ministry of Sports)                      31
5.      John Gomiluk Otokwala (Securities and Exchange
Commission)                                                     28
6.      Adaeze Nnamani (Ministry of National Planning)  31
7.      The Corper (National Youth Service Corps)               All ages
8.      Hadiza Abdullahi (The Presidency)                       31

Journalism
1.      Chiemelie Ezeobi        (Thisday)                       24
2.      Tolu Ogunlesi (NEXT/Forbes Africa)                      29
3.      Alkasim Abdulkadir (CNN)                                31
4.      Toyosi Ogunseye (The Punch)                             29
5.      Oluyinka Ezekiel Adeparusi (National Mirror)            30
6.      Tomi Oladipo (BBC)                                      27
7.      Barnabas Hunjo (Radio Nigeria)                          28
8.      Elo Nkereuwem (NEXT/Premium Times)                      31

Corporate
1.      Adim Isiakpona (Marketing Manager, HP)                  27
2.      Seyi Ogunro (Associate, Banwo & Ighodalo)               29
3.      Aneto Okonkwo (Manager, Google)                         27
4.      Ngozi Nkwoji (Senior Brand Manager, NB Plc)             30
5.      Tomiwa Adesida (Head of CSR, Sahara Group)              32
6.      Tomijogun Ogunlesi (Campus Brand Manager, Reckitt
Benckiser)                                                      28
7.      Kayode Jegede   (General Manager/Head of Facility
Management, Deux Project)                                       30
8.      Tokini Peterside (Communication Manager, Moet
Hennessy)                                                       24

INNOVATION
Science and Technology
1.      Ahmed Mukoshy (Yrn.me)                                  23
2.      Nnoduka Eruchalu (Ploggin.com)                          22
3.      Olumide Adewunmi (Gidilounge)                           27
4.      Zubair Abubakar (Nigerian Constitution BlackBerry
App)                                                            29
5.      Chinwe Njokwu (Novel designs for microwave antennas using
Nanomaterials)                                                  27
6.      Seun Onigbinde (BudgIT)                                 26
7.      Femi Alade      (Pliris Mobile)                         30
8.      Raheem Temitope Bello   (geoUtil, a solution for 70%
current household energy consumption)                   19

Education
1.      Gossy Ukanwoke  (Beni Online University)                24
2.      Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (Bookneto)                            21
3.      Tosin Jegede (One Child, One Book)                      31
4.      Adebayo Adegbembo (ASA)                                 29
5.      Otto Orondaam (Slum to School Project)                  26
6.      Desiree Craig (Efiko)                                   23
7.      Tolulope Sangosanya (Love on the Streets)               30
8.      Obinna Okwodu (Robotic teaching in secondary
schools)                                                        21

ENTERPRENEURSHIP
General
1.      Oyigoye Doyle (Nylahs Catering)                         30
2.      Kola Oyeneyin (Venia Business Hub)                      31
3.      Titus and Tobias Igwe (Speadmeals Mobile Kitchen)       24
4.      Aisha Maina (Aquarian Consult)                          31
5.      Ayodele Arigbagbu (Dada Books)                          32
6.      Osaru Alile & Lape Caxton-Onakoya       (Caxton-Alile)  30
7.      Ola Orekunri (Flying Doctors Nigeria)                   26
8.      Ladi Delano      (Bakrie Delano Africa)                 30

Agriculture
1.      Ajo Kunnuho John (Animal husbandry)                     29
2.      Omoteso Sogo Ayodele (Piggery/Fishery/Poultry)          27
3.      Tochukwu Onyemelukwe (Jaeet Nigeria Limited)            30
4.      Olukayode Adeoye (Whails and Chase)                     32
5.      Ayodeji Adeyinka Adeoye (Irewolede Farms)               30
6.      Fawolu Taiwo (Abivict Farms)                            28
7.      Olusola Amusan (Olusola Amusan Company)                 22
8.      Zechariah Obasola (Crop farming)                        30

Media/Communication
1.      Julie Odia (WOW)                                        31
2.      Adaora Mbelu (Innovation Factory)                       26
3.      Uyi Omokaro (DM2)                                       30
4.      Bobby Taylor (Bobby Taylor Consulting)                  30
5.      Komolafe Adesola         (Media Insight)                30
6.      Samuel Olatunji (Big Sam Media)                         30
7.      Uche Eze (BainStone)                                    29
8.      Funmilade Alalade (Elev8)                               28

Entertainment
1.      David Adeleke (HKN)                                     20
2.      Keke Hammond (Flytime Productions)                      30
3.      Tana Adelana (Tana Adelana Productions)                 28
4.      Emmanuel Dole Onoja (Delphino Entertainment)            28
5.      Don Jazzy (Mo-Hits/Mavin Records)                       30
6.      Cobhams Asuquo (CAMP)                                   31
7.      Mamah Nwanchukwu (Ape Planet)                           28
8.      Clarence Peters (CAPital Dreams Pictures)               29

Technology
1.      Ayodeji Adewunmi/Opeyemi Awoyemi/Olalekan         28/24/28
Olude  (Jobberman)
2.      Ajibola Modupe (OTG Playa LLC)                          29
3.      Jason Njoku (Iroko Partners)                            31
4.      Eno Essien (Rheycrak)                                   30
5.      Bode Pedro (Veda Technology)                            29
6.      Kayode Disu (IISA)                                      29
7.      Temi Kolawole (Antigravity)                             27
8.      Femi Alade (Pliris Mobile)                              30

ENTERTAINMENT
On Air Personality of the Year (Radio)
1.      Oladotun Kayode (Cool FM)                                       28
2.      Twitwi (Wazobia FM)                                             32
3.      Toke Makinwa (Rhythm FM)                                        26
4.      Maltida Duncan (Rhythm FM, Abuja)                               31
5.      Tolu “Toolz” Oniru (Beat FM)                                    30
6.      Nike Adewuyi (Splash FM, Ibadan)                                27
7.      Lorenzo Menakaya (Lion FM, Enugu)                               26
8.      Mazino (Smooth FM)                                              30

On Air Personality of the Year (TV)
1.      Dolapo Oni      (Studio 53/Mnet)                                28
2.      Denrele Edun (Channel O)                                        28
3.      Uti Nwanchukwu (Jara/Mnet)                                      30
4.      Ill Rymz (Nigerian Idol)                                        27
5.      Andre Blaze (Nigezie)                                           29
6.      Adams Ibrahim (Soundcity)                                       24
7.      Yvonne “Vixen” Ekwere (Silverbird TV)                           25
8.      Maupe Ogun (Channels TV)                                        29

Musician of the Year
1.      Davido                                                          19
2.      Wizkid                                                          22
3.      Tim Godfrey                                                     31
4.      Ice Prince                                                      26
5.      Flavour                                                         29
6.      Naeto C                                                         30
7.      MI                                                              30
8.      Bez                                                             29

Actor of the Year
1.      Ini Edo                                                         30
2.      Tonto Dike                                                      26
3.      OC Ukeje                                                        31
4.      Ivie Okujaye                                                    26
5.      Gideon Okeke                                                    29
6.      Ramman Hassan                                                   30
7.      Kabirah Mojisola Kafidipe                                       31
8.      Lala Akindoju                                                   25

Producer of the Year Music
1.      D’tunes                                                         22
2.      SamKlef                                                         27
3.      DJ Klem                                                         28
4.      Jesse Jagz                                                      28
5.      Ikon                                                            29
6.      Fliptyce                                                        30
7.      Legendary Beats                                                 23
8.      J Sleek                                                         24

Producer of the Year Screen
1.      Clarence Peters                                                 29
2.      Victor Sanchez Aghahowa                                         29
3.      Onye Ubanatu                                                    31
4.      Ishaya Bako                                                     26
5.      Ladi Odebunmi                                                   21
6.      Adeola Oloyede                                                  32
7.      Anietie James Ekins                                             27
8.      Deji Adeniyi                                                    31

YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR
1.      Bankole Wellington [Banky W] (Musician/Entrepreneur/
Activist)                                                               31
2.      Dapo Oyebanjo [D’banj] (Musician/Entertainment
Entrepreneur)                                                           32
3.      Jason Njoku (Media Entrepreneur)                                30
4.      Peter and Paul Okoye [Psquare] (Musician/Entertainment
Entrepreneur)                                                           31
5.      Linda Ikeji (Blogger/Media Entrepreneur)                        31
6.      Chinwe Njoku (Scientist)                                        26
7.      Idris Akinbanjo (Journalist)                                    30
8.      Raheem Temitope Bello    (Scientist)                            19

via CPAfrica.

The New Etisalat Free Internet browsing Tweak

A few days ago, I saw a thank you message in my mailbox from a faithful reader on how he’s been able to browse free with his Etisalat SIM after our last chat. His reaction went like this;

…good evening Mr Ahmsta… I have good news for you…. After the last mail I sent to you, then the next day my MTN BB subscription expired. Then I just made up my mind to use Etisalat for a trial. I started with daily BB subscription for N100. Then I inserted the exact settings as you posted for MTN. But surprisingly after my subscription expired, I could still browse, free of charge. I am still using it. Oga you really tried a lot… I can’t say it’s my work but it’s your words of encouragement that made me win, cos if you could remember when I asked you if the settings would work for other networks you said its only tested on MTN, but believed it would also work for the other networks…

Thanks my oga, God bless. 1love!!!!!!

Real good news, isn’t it? Well I thought of getting the full details on how he did it because I have limited time in testing and yes… It’s just the same as I posted previously, in other not to waste much time talking about stuff behind let me go straight away to how he was able to do it

How To Setup The New Etisalat Free browsing.

First all you have to do like he said above is to recharge a N100 on your mobile,

After that, then you need to subscribe for the etisalat internet blackberry plan by dailing *499*3*2#, Few minutes after that yo will get an SMS message like the following:

Welcome to the Etisalat blackberry Complete voice plan.

That’s all you’ll need. Restart your mobile then configure your gadgets like this

Mobile

Connection name : Ahmsta Connection

Data Bearer: Packet data

Access point name: blackberry.net

Username & Password : web

Authentication: Normal

Homepage: http://www.ahmsta.com

After filling those, then click option >> Advance settings

Network type : IPv4

Phone IP address : automatic

DNS adress: (primary: 8.8.8.8, then secondary: 8.8.8.8)

Proxy Server Address: 10.71.170.5

Port: 8080

For your computer just configure your browsers / applications to use you can use the same configure for the MTN Bis or rather use this

Access point – blackberry.net

Click Advance and set your DNS as follows

DNS address: (primary: 8.8.8.8, then secondary: 8.8.8.8)

Proxy address:- 10.71.170.5

Port:- 8080

That’s all,

In this case, Ultrasurf is not really needed, but if you still use it, it will sure work

NOTE: Its likely you get billed if you recharge while using this, so its better you opt out before you recharge your account.

Thanks to you Nibras Muhammad.

via browsing Tweak.

What are the Best Tools For Mobile Application Development?

I recently had a strong hunch about mobile based development seeing I live in a country where almost 100 million people haver access to mobile phones.

Looking at the available platforms with the only motive being to develop for the platform that has the most delightful qualities.

I was looking for the following:

1. A very popular mobile phone platform. By platform I mean the Operating system and mobile devices together.

2. A mobile platform that has very good penetration in Africa, and Nigeria, or one that is gaining user adoption fast.

3. A platform that supports economy class mobile devices, and not just the high end devices like the iPads, etc.

4. A platform that supports HTML 5 and has existing tools for seamless mobile application development and testing. The testing part being very, and I mean VERY important.

5. A platform

So I decided to hold off this post for a while up until I found a solution to this heinous situation. I tested some of these tools to see how well they did on my list of qualities above.

If you guessed my result would be awesome and very encouraging, then I can only say you are a very optimistic individual and may your wishes come true. But that assumption was not to be.

Looking through Blackberry (RIM), Android, and IOS (Apple), these seem to be the most active platforms outside of the world of feature phones that have literally flooded the emerging markets of the developing world.

It would be best to develop for at least one of these platforms.

So after some considerations, I settled with the blackberry option. My first experience was a hard stumbling block as the first tool I downloaded and tried (Ripple) was a total mess. Maybe my timing was wrong, but I happened to get a version of Ripple that just didn’t work.

Looking though forums and blog posts, I could only find out that many people had the same problem and could not find a solution.

Finally I settled for the Chrome browser plug-in which seemed to work fine. I wonder why I didn’t consider that option first.