- As Opera sets to invest $100m in Africa, $30m in Nigeria
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has assured that the agency would ensure that all beneficiaries of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) undergo desired sea time training.
Dr. Dakuku, who made this commitment while speaking at the second edition of the maritime students conference which took place in Lagos, also noted that discussions were now in advanced stage with some reputable maritime institutions across the world to facilitate sea time training for the graduates from the programme.
The NIMAS DG who was represented by the Agency’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi noted that the Agency’s budget for 2017 gave priority to capacity development, particularly acquisition of sea-time by graduates of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme.
“Arrangements to ensure that all graduates from the NSDP project acquire sea-time training has reached advanced stage. NIMASA is in the process of firming up all arrangements with select maritime institutions with capacity to directly facilitate sea-time training for our graduates. This direct approach is more effective and cost saving. Once the budget for 2017 is signed into law, the process will become faster”, he said.
Also speaking at the event, a former Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Temisan Omatseye noted that the Nigerian Seafarers Development programme has been improved upon by all Administrations in the Agency since it was first introduced in 2007.
Temisan therefore urged the youths to seek a career at sea, describing the maritime industry as capable of providing the much talked about jobs for the teeming youths.
On his part, Maritime Lawyer, Emeka Akabogu advised young Nigerians to take interest in maritime related courses to give them an added advantage to have a successful career in the sector.
So far, 1045 beneficiaries of the NSDP project have graduated representing 42% graduates of the over 2500 NIMASA sponsored beneficiaries.
The NSDP project was floated by NIMASA in 2008 to curb the dearth of trained and certified seafarers in the country which was identified as an impediment to Nigeria’s robust participation in the global shipping business.
In the meantime, developer of popular mobile browser, Opera, has made public its plan to invest $100 million, the equivalent of N30 billion, over the next two years to facilitate the growth of Africa’s digital economy.
The company, which aims to speed up internet adoption in Africa and strengthen the internet ecosystem with local partners, made this known at a press briefing in Lagos, yesterday, where it also declared readiness to set up shop in Lagos in the next three weeks, increase awareness of an affordable internet experience and spend between 30 to 40 billion on infrastructure in Nigeria.
Speaking on the company’s goal, Richard Monday, Vice President Africa, Opera Software said; “Africa is a very important market for Opera. Nine of the top 20 Opera Mini user countries are from Africa, as such we aim to invest heavily in Africa, build a local platform and grow with the local business partners. This platform will expand the user base for content providers, e-commerce businesses, operators, OEM’s and others to strengthen Africa’s internet ecosystem.
“We are working on providing infrastructure, improving data affordability via data compression, speedy content delivery, as well as value added services like e-commerce, to mention a few. Our key point is compressing data so it works on pretty much any phone. As it stands, 35 million people still need to be reached.”
On value added services, Song Lin, Chief Operating Officer, Opera Software, disclosed; “Opera is seeking local partners to integrate value-added services, mobile payment and data bundling into its browser product. This will grant consumers access to quality content and services, giving them the ability to transact easily on their mobile devices. The range of services to be added over the next 12 months will create a content and services hub that will provide African users with a truly unique experience.”
Speaking on the browser’s latest Artificial Intelligence, AI, system, Monday continued; “Opera is developing a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence engine for smartphone users that will ensure content discovery is at the heart of the browser. Opera users in Africa will get fully personalised and localised content delivered to their browser, the entry point for their internet experience, while data usage can be reduced as much as 90 percent. Opera is now working with over 47 top tier African publishers covering 107 web sites on this initiative.”
Additional report from Lagos