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Wednesday 29th March, 2023

Opinion

Making The Difference: The Many Firsts Of Smile Nigeria

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A Smile shop....... Photo: Guardian Nigeria

The pioneering work and series of innovations introduced by Smile Nigeria into the nation’s telecommunications sector have continued to set it apart among its peers.

Smile had from the inception created a network that outperforms the existing benchmark in the Nigerian market.

In 2013, it launched the first 4G LTE network in West Africa in Nigeria, in Ibadan, thereby revolutionising the way people access the internet.

It deployed the 4G LTE radio network in partnership with Ericsson, which enabled Smile to provide the most advanced telecommunications technologies and standards available anywhere in the world using the 4G LTE network technology.

Smile is also the first in Nigeria to launch Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) in 2016 on its 4G LTE network.

Compared to traditional 2G and 3G networks, VoLTE enables consumers to benefit from superior quality voice, video and data services on a single device and a single data plan.

Another first from Smile Nigeria is the SmileVoice App launched in March 2016. With the SmileVoice App, customers experience SuperClear voice, with data and voice over LTE on their mobile phones.

Again, Smile Nigeria pioneered 4G roaming with SmileKonnect in partnership with Nuu Mobile. Smile was the first operator in Africa to launch SmileKonnect in April 2019.

This service enables International 4G data roaming and empowers consumers to automatically access data services to send and receive e-mails, download and send business documents and much more.

In December 2019, Smile launched eSIM in Nigeria. The Smile eSIM is a downloadable application, and when activated the consumer can enjoy 10 FREE minutes’ local calls, unlimited on-net calls and SMSs.

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In March 2020, Smile unveiled UnlimitedPlatinum, which offers unlimited internet with no data limit. This is sequel to its earlier launch of Unlimited plans in 2016.

The UnlimitedPlatinum comes in handy for all data consumers, especially heavy data users. Anyone who subscribes to the Smile UnlimitedPlatinum, will for a period of one month, enjoy the luxury of unlimited downloads of everything desirable.

Very recently, Smile Nigeria introduced the Smile VoTLE smartphone. This first of its kind saw Smile introducing the first entry-level, dual-SIM, Voice Over 4G LTE-enable smartphone.

The smartphone gives customers quick and easy access to the best quality 4G LTE network in Nigeria, at a more affordable rate.

The SmileVoLTE dual SIM smartphone comes pre-loaded with applications including the SmileVoice App, WhatsApp, twitter, skype, Instagram, YouTube, music and FM radio and includes innovative features like fingerprint and face recognition for smartphone private access and security.

Evidently, Smile uses the best and most innovative technologies to offer its customers fast, reliable, high quality, easy-to-use and affordable communication services.

In doing all these, it remains a pacesetter.

 

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Opinion

NDPB At One: The Evolution Of Data Privacy Under Dr. Vincent Olatunji

“People who end up being first don’t actually set out to be first, they set out to do something they love,” thus, creating a lasting legacy for themselves.

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Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner/CEO, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau

By Yusuf YUSUF

The pioneer National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), is one man who has risen through the ranks, showing expertise both in administrative roles as well as the information technology field, as a formidable force whose trajectory of achievements keeps many on their toes.

All these, he has managed to achieve without giving room for the notion of imitation but rather, by setting an exemplary step in advancing policies to ensure the development of the status quo.

A Certified Public Private Partnership Specialist (IP3 Specialist) and a PECB Certified Data Protection Officer, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, (FIIM, IAPP, and NCS) is a promising figure the technology world needs to watch out for in coming years.

He joined NITDA in 2002 and has worked in various departments thereby rising to the position of director in 2014 and Acting DG in 2016 amongst other roles serving in various departments before his recent appointment as National Commissioner.

In just over a year, Dr. Vincent Olatunji is creating a new legacy as the pioneer National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau while setting the pace for the institutionalization of data protection laws in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) is an intrinsic segment of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy born on the 4th of February 2022, out of the need to uphold the National Digital Economy Policy for Digital Nigeria (NDEPS) by further strengthening as well as entrenching the protection of personally identifiable information and sensitive personal data.

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Such data includes emails, names, telephone numbers, house addresses, religious beliefs, political lineage, medical records, labour union affiliations, and information being uploaded online in line with standard global practices in a digital economy.

The objective of the bureau as stipulated by the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 (NDPR) include

  1. Safeguard the rights of natural persons to data privacy
  2. Foster safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data
  3. Prevent manipulation of personal data and
  4. Ensure that Nigerian businesses remain competitive in international trade through the safeguards afforded by a just and equitable legal regulatory framework on data protection.

While keying into the global digital revolution is inevitable, it is only pertinent that this rising need is met with accurate preparedness. It is on this note, a major milestone was recorded under the able leadership of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, with the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).

The NDEPS was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) in 2019. This subsequently led to the re-designation of the  Ministry of Communications to include the digital economy, thereby giving it a new phase.

With this development, the journey of the much-desired and envisioned Digital Nigeria began. This was, however, followed by several restructurings to accommodate the new set mandate of the Ministry. And such restructuring included the NDPR.

Unarguably, Dr. Olatunji has continued laying exemplary standards for any successor to measure up to in time memorial as he has managed to adapt existing resources and manpower to carter for the immediate needs of his bureau to ensure swift and immediate operations against all odds to kick start immediate operations.

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Stepping into the herculean task of laying a solid bedrock for data protection policies and strategies without giving room for doubts or sloppiness while distinguishing himself as a formidable force to reckon with, as a pioneer, may pose a major challenge to many.

This is because the way of the pioneer is always filled with different hurdles stemming from proper administration to implementation of policies. However, Dr. Olatunji draws strength from his love for his profession, leaving no stone untouched in his quest to achieve excellence as he emulates the popular saying that “People who end up being first don’t actually set out to be first, they set out to do something they love.”

The Bureau, within the last year of its establishment, has recorded significant growth under various parametres including but not limited to the following: –

  • Rate of increment of the public sector integration into data privacy and protection framework – 100%,
  • Rate of increment in the enrolment of DPOs from data controllers and processors across Nigeria – 600%,
  • Rate of increment in the licensing of Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCOs) – 50%

Similarly, revenue generation through the implementation of the NDPR has increased by over 60%.

The foregoing milestones are taking place at a time when the Digital Economy under Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is breaking records in its contribution to Nigeria’s GDP. The ICT sector for instance contributed 18.44% to the total real GDP in Quarter 2 of 2022 – outperforming virtually all other sectors.

The establishment of the Bureau, under the visionary leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has strengthened the bulwark of fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerian citizens in the data economy ecosystem and has, to all intents and purposes, earned Nigeria a pride of place in the arena of international data governance and human capital development.

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With the recent approval of the Nigeria Data Protection Bill by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for further ratification and endorsement by the National Assembly, we wish Dr. Vincent Olatunji, twice as much of successes recorded by him just in one year as he sets out to achieve greater developments in the strategic implementation of data protection laws in Nigeria.

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Opinion

How To Survive The Last Week Of January On A Budget

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January is renowned for being a month of extremely slow days, mounting bills and a long, grinding wait for payday. This is often the case for folks in paid employment. 

However, the difficulties that traditionally accompany the month of January impact entrepreneurs or those in business as well.

Usually, discretionary or disposable income is often limited and tightly guarded, with many potential customers trying to wade through to the end of the month after the customary lavish spending that trailed the previous year-end festivities.

With the current fuel scarcity plaguing most parts of Nigeria burning deeper holes in the pockets of the average Nigerian, there is a common consensus among many to see the back of January.

Beating the sapa occasioned with the January season often requires a certain level of skill and wits. It is better to stroll into February (the month of love) with a meagre balance or even broke than to enter it on your knees with a crushing bundle of debts on your back.

Here are a few ways you can see out the last week of the month in flying colours on a tight budget, courtesy of Konga, Nigeria’s leading composite e-commerce company.

1. Make Garri Your Friend

Just kidding, but then you might want to invest a little of your scarce resources on food or foodstuffs that are not so expensive but last for a long time. Food items like Garri, Bread, Beans, and the like, as they allow for varieties, would definitely come in handy if you are the type that cooks their own meals.

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2. Substitute

We know our help comes from God, but at times like this, you might like to forego your normal routine and go with more budget-friendly options. Instead of ordering an Uber or a ride to work as you’ll typically do, you may have to wake up earlier and commute via public transport. You can also substitute your expensive beverage for a 3-in-1 coffee or tea; instead of buying that pricey loaf of bread, you could opt for a biscuit instead.

3. Spend more time with friends and family members

The famous saying “The more, the merrier” has never been more beneficial. When things are tight, the best exit route is to be with people who could help lighten the load. With friends, you could share your resources and make the best out of the situation.

4. Be Content

This last week of January, beating sapa entails being content with yourself. In fact, phrases like YOLO or “If I perish, I perish” would do you more harm than good. Avoid frivolities, get only the necessities, understand that all fingers are not equal, and be content with what you have. Mr. James’ brokenness could be your average level, so no matter where you find yourself, cut your coat according to your cloth.

5. Look out for Cheaper deals

Most importantly, a major element to seeing yourself through January smiling is to be alert to juicy offers or the best deals. There is always an advantage to it, that satisfaction that comes from walking away with a sweet deal on a purchase. This is one of the reasons you must embrace Konga when it comes to shopping for all your items during this period.

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In fact, the ongoing Konga Jara promotion remains your best bet. It is an open secret today that most items are cheaper at Konga and you also enjoy the benefit of guaranteed quality and swift delivery.

In summary, if you’re able to stick to the points mentioned above, you’re well on your way to surviving these last 77 days of January, while leaving many of your peers wondering how you managed to pull through in such a brilliant fashion.

 

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Opinion

7 Mistakes Organisations Make That Cause Good Workers To Quit

The decision to leave an organization doesn’t just happen overnight

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Workers in an Organisation....... Photo Credit: Business Insider Africa

By A J HESS

Talk to any leader of an organization and they will tell you one of the things that bother them the most is losing good people. There is a saying that has become very common: “People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.” While many people do leave because of their relationship with the people they directly report to, the reasons are more varied in many cases.

Unhappiness is the main reason employees leave organizations. Yet, what exactly causes people to be unhappy? There are a number of factors that come into the equation that can cause people to conclude they could be better off working somewhere else.

The decision to leave an organization doesn’t just happen overnight. Usually, the conditions have been around for a long time, slowly draining the employee’s enthusiasm and desire to bring their best selves to work every day.  As Phil Johnson, founder and CEO of The Master of Business Leadership, says, “The drama, chaos, and conflict experienced in these toxic work environments lead to low levels of employee engagement.”

Here are seven issues that slowly drain a person’s desire to work for an organization:

LACK OF APPRECIATION

People spend a great deal of time at work, and if they get the feeling that they’re not being appreciated, it will slowly drain their energy and desire to give their best. The lack of appreciation can show up in various forms. Lack of recognition for their accomplishments is a key example. When we are working hard, doing good work, and nobody seems to notice, it kills our desire to continue to do more.

Another area is a lack of caring or taking an interest in our special interests, talents, and life outside of work. When we spend so much time at work, we expect others to take an interest in us as unique individuals, with special talents, needs, struggles, and home situations. And we want the people we report to support us when we are going through difficult times.

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“When employees feel a genuine connection with their leader, their role, and the organization, they are stronger collaborators and communicators, and are more engaged,” explains Debbie Muno, managing director of Genos North America.

UNFAIRNESS AND FAVOURITISM

While there are different levels of talent and responsibilities within organizations, we expect the standards for promotions and rules of conduct to be applied equally to employees in the organization. Few things are as upsetting as when organizational rules they’re expected to follow are not adhered to by the higher-ups.

Another sore point that really drains performance is when people perceive that promotions are given based on favoritism rather than meritocracy.  The resentment and anger resulting from these actions, or just the perception of them, create a toxic culture that causes good people to leave.

ALLOWING NO AUTONOMY OVER ONE’S WORK

In order to feel fulfilled in our work, we need to have some say in what our work looks like. Whether we have a choice on what we work on, have a say in company goals, or have a say in work-related decisions, we need to have choices to feel fulfilled in our career.

The best work happens when leaders trust us to know what to do and can count on us to do it well. Managers who act as guides and coaches—and are approachable when employees have problems—will see their staff perform much better than those who micromanage and allow their people little discretion over how their work is done.

SHOWING NO INTEREST IN EMPLOYEES’ PASSIONS

Organizations that expect employees to do their jobs without considering what they are passionate about not only miss out on harnessing those passions, but also alienate their people. It takes work, effort, and getting to know people to find out what their passions are. Unfortunately, many workplaces don’t have the desire to find out. As a result, those who believe employees are hired simply to fill a position and should leave their passions at home will find significant turnover among their teams. After some time, these team members will be looking at other companies known for an employee-first culture.

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On the other hand, those organizations that do make the effort to find the connections between their people’s work and their passions will see an increase in productivity, higher rates of job satisfaction, and a happier workplace overall. To that end, author Debbie Peterson recommends utilizing psychometric questionnaires. “[These] can ensure employees are in roles where their skills and personalities can shine, and ensure the longevity of the employee and their employment as well as the performance of the organization,” explains Peterson.

ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL STAFF APPRECIATION

Many organizations have an Employee Appreciation Day once a year when everyone is acknowledged and treated the same. The problem is that not everyone has the same skills, contributes equally, or regularly brings the same effort. Receiving the same recognition as someone who does the least work possible upsets those who go above and beyond, bring extra enthusiasm to their work, and give their best every day.

Not only should people be recognized for their achievements, but they also should be able to communicate how they wish to be recognized. In my book, The Other Kind of Smart, I talk about how important it is to get to know people in order to appreciate them in a way that powerfully connects with them.

A LACK OF MEANING

One thing millennials have become known for is wanting their work to have meaning and to feel that they are making a difference. Previous generations have wanted this as well but settled for less as they believed the workplace was not the place where this was possible. Now, millennials are a major part of our workplace and are rising to leadership positions. Finally, organizations have started to pay attention.

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Organizations must create a vision and share it with their people in a way that ensures everyone understands how their contribution makes a difference. Everyone wants to feel pride in their work and in the organization they work for. This will become increasingly important as younger generations, crucial to an organization’s success, demand this.

A LACK OF FUN AND PLAY

In previous decades, the idea that we should have fun at work would have left leaders aghast. Work was work, and people were expected to have fun outside of the workplace. We have since come to understand that having fun at work is a great way to invigorate people, give them something to look forward to, and even alleviate stress and boredom. “For instance, [some] high-tech firms now encourage employees to take table tennis breaks,” says Peterson, “with the added benefit that it promotes physical and neurological fitness.”

When people are not only allowed, but encouraged, to have fun in their workplace, they are more relaxed, are able to build camaraderie with their colleagues, and are motivated to perform better.

****Culled from fastcompany.com

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