Tuesday, March 29, 2011

KNOWLEDGE BASED SOCIETY FOR NIGERIANS VIA E-LEARNING

To help governments especially in the Less Developed Countries have a policy direction in the pilot of affairs in their countries, the UN provided development templates referred to as the Millennium Development Goals and with a timeframe, 2015 to achieve these goals. The ‘mother’ of all the goals is universal education because of its multiplier effects. An educated person is less likely to suffer extreme poverty but more likely to embrace changes that bring about improved quality of life.

One of the tools that is available in the 21st century and capable of fast tracking the process of achieving universal education is Information and Communication Technology, a combination of newer technologies of wireless phones, networked computer and the internet.

According to Frances Caincross, 2001, in her book, The Death of Distance, ‘the revolution that have arisen as a result of communication is simply democratic and profoundly liberating as it levels the imbalance between large and small, rich and poor, urban and rural, old and young, male and female, educated and uneducated among other exclusions’. She went further to state that communication revolution has the power to change social and physical space, capacity to amplify brainpower and the ability to enhance a knowledge based society…the kind of society that Nigerians are craving for.

In a meeting by the International Telecommunications Union held in Geneva, Switzerland, to find ways to use ICT to advance the MDGs, several targets were set. One of the targets set was to connect villages with ICTs and establish community access points to connect universities, colleges, secondary and primary schools. By so doing, educational materials would be available to the population irrespective of location and time through a process now referred to as electronic learning (e-learning).

Simply put, e-learning is a computer based teaching system that is distributed over the internet. It is a teaching process that can take place at any location, at any time and in accordance with the student’s learning rate using personal computers, cellular devices and the internet to design, deliver and manage information. It has several benefits, some of which include absence of borders, convenience, skill development, improved retention and personalized learning etc.

To the Ministries of Education at the three tiers of government and private schools administrators, Bynet’s e-learning solution based on the View-Core System, an integrated software solution that manages and delivers content electronically and interactively, enabling on-demand services is highly recommended.

Email us on inquiry@ibgnigeria.com or call us on +234 1 878 2864, +234 802 353 0007 for more information.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

World Water Day: Combating the Incidence of Cholera in Nigeria.


Water-related diseases such as Cholera are among the most common causes of illness and death, affecting mainly the poor in developing countries. They kill more than 5 million people every year, more than ten times the number killed in wars.

According to experts at the National Council on Water Resources (NCWR) that met in Abuja recently, Nigeria currently has the highest prevalence of water borne diseases in the world. This, they added, has resulted in high infant mortality in the country; a discouraging report in the realization of the UN Millennium Development Goals on reduction of child mortality and improvement in maternal health by the year 2015.


Women Villagers leave their homes in search of water. AP/Pervez Masih


Tackling this epidemic should be of concern to all.The good news is that an Israeli company, CQM has come forward with a product capable of abating the incidence of water borne diseases especially in poor and rural communities where potable drinking water is rare.

However, to position itself in the market, the company seeks a Nigerian Representative company of good standing and geographical spread for its range of water technology products which include the SR-DW (Water Purification by Electro-chlorination System) with many applications including the disinfection of drinking water and process water in the food and beverage industry, high purity water for pharmaceutical companies and disinfection of water in pools and industrial processes etc.

Indicate your interest in this business opportunity to work with local government councils, state governments, the federal government and corporate bodies in their search for clean and potable water.

Email us on ibgnigeria@gmail.com or call our office on 01 878 2864 or 080 2353 0007 for more information.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Standard Bank's Chris Newson 'keeps hope alive' for a stronger Nigerian economy

Mr Chris Newson, the chief executive officer of Stanbic IBTC, a subsidiary of South Africa's Standard Bank lent a voice to the growing number of voices proclaiming hope in the Nigerian economy. Check out the story below as reported by Next (www.234next.com).

Stanbic optimistic on Nigerian loan growth


Nigeria’s banking sector could see 20-25 percent loan growth over the next three to five years as demand for both consumer and infrastructure finance increases, the chief executive officer of Stanbic IBTC said.

Chris Newson, head of the Nigerian unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank, said growth would be driven by Nigeria’s significant infrastructure finance needs as well as the emergence of small businesses and a growing middle class.

“If you think about what would be a reasonable level of growth within risk assets across the industry, our sense is a 20-25 percent is not completely unrealistic,” Newson said on Monday in an interview as part of the Reuters Africa Investment Summit.

Africa’s most populous nation has a huge infrastructure gap. The government has announced multi-billion dollar plans to privatise the power sector in a bid to end chronic electricity shortages, while new roads, bridges and homes are being built in cities including the capital Abuja and commercial hub Lagos.

“There is an advisory opportunity but there is also an asset opportunity. Where we have liquidity and capital, as we do, we’ll be looking to take on some of those assets on to our own books,” Newson said.

A widening middle class in the nation of 150 million people, combined with the potential for the growth in small business as infrastructure improves, also present opportunities for personal and small business banking.

“We think the engine room of growth coming out of Nigeria will particularly be in that business banking, individual environment,” Newson said in his office in Lagos.

“The question of consumer finance is very, very young in Nigeria and the opportunity there we think over time is very significant,” he said.

He said Stanbic IBTC had 151 branches in Nigeria, double the number it had in 2007, and was still in an “investment phase”.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

PROMOTION OF PACKING HOUSES TO REDUCE POST HARVEST LOSSES FOR POTATOES, ONIONS ETC

Twelve countries in the West African sub-region are to benefit from a World Bank-assisted regional agricultural project under the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) reports Bassey Udo, Next Newspapers (www.234next.com) on its March 3, 2011 edition.

Nigeria is one of the countries to benefit from the $300 million facility. Other countries under the scheme include Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Benin, Gambia, and Niger. The WAAPP project is expected to assist farmers in agro-processing and value addition for agricultural products.

A major problem in agricultural production within the sub region is post harvest losses as the farming community mostly consists of small and marginal farmers. These farmers do not have the economic strength to retain the surplus produce till favourable market price and often compelled to sell their produce immediately after harvest when the prices are low. The solution to this problem lies in providing safe and scientific storage of their produce.

In agriculture, post-harvest handling is the stage of crop production immediately following harvest, including cooling, cleaning, sorting and packing. The instant a crop is removed from the ground, or separated from its parent plant, it begins to deteriorate. Under tropical and sub-tropical conditions, the losses due to poor handling and storage are reported to be in between 40-50 per cent.

The most important goals of post-harvest handling are keeping the product cool, to avoid moisture loss and slow down undesirable chemical changes, and avoiding physical damage such as bruising, to delay spoilage. After the field, post-harvest processing is usually continued in a packing house.

A packing house is a facility where crops are received and processed prior to distribution to market. This can be a simple shed, providing shade and running water, or a large-scale, sophisticated, mechanized facility, with conveyor belts, automated sorting and packing stations, walk-in coolers and the like.

A Packing House in Israel

Typically, crops are delivered to the plant via trucks or wagons, where it is dumped into receiving bins and sorted for quality and size. The crops are then transported via conveyor belts to the grading tables where it is visually sorted into three grades: top quality, average, and orchard run, and is then carried via belts to the packing tables (Wikipaedia).

The World Bank facility should be utilised in adopting technologies that would boost agricultural production and reduce post harvest losses in the sub-region. To achieve this, additional incentives should be given to educated youths to encourage them to go into modern and scientific agriculture. It is the future of the sub-region.