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Two Nigerian start-ups emerge semi-finalists at GITEX SuperNovaChallenge

Two Nigerian start-ups yesterday emerged semi-finalist at the Future Star contest held at the ongoing GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, UAE.

The two finalists came tops out of 108 contestants that participated in the innovation challenge.

They are Abdulhakim Bashir, CEO/Founder CHIKINI GUARD and Stephen Osawaru, CO-Founder 247MEDIC. CHKINI GUARD is a solution that can connect a hospital or doctor with people that need medical services with the patient. It was developed in a manner whereby you can log into the App, get a consultant and he will give you a prescription to carry out a test, and then send you to a doctor who will give prescription for treatment. The idea is to ease all the processes of moving to the hospital from your house or office.

According to Bashir, CHIKINI GUARD has the capacity to detect shoplifting and provides real analysis for shoplifting activities going in a shop. It analyses the information from CCTV camera using AI. It reports instantly via a connected video app. 247MEDIC on the other hand, is a solution that can reduce theft within a shop.

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It has Artificial Intelligence, AI application that can detect human body act and behaviour and alert the security to do the needful. Osawaru said he was optimistic they will make Nigeria proud by winning at the final stage. Commenting on the development, Minister of Communications, described the winners as genius with crazy and disruptive ideas that can turn the world around.

He called relevant agencies to mentor the Start-ups to enable them improve on their knowledge. The minister insisted that support for start-ups must improve adding that there is need to challenge success by being innovative. According to him, the start-ups need seed funding and enforcement to get to the level they ought to be, noting that Nigerians are so much addicted to foreign products by neglecting their own products.

He said research and development is critical but can only be relevant when they are turned into products and services. ‘‘I am happy to announce to you that two of our start-ups that came for this GITEX have emerged as semi-finalists.

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Our youths in Nigeria have crazy and disruptive ideas. What they need is mentorship. Mentorship is very critical, as it helps to avoid a lot of mistakes. Our agencies must improve their intervention for start-ups. ‘‘Research and development is critical but only if we identify the areas we need them. We must take the theories to practical.

Whenever we are taking on any research, let us make sure the research as a policy is implemented,’’ he said. Also speaking, the Director-General of NITDA, Rashifu Inuwa said that out of 10 start-ups Nigeria took to GITEX, two came tops at the semi-final stage of the innovation contest. For him, the performance was an attestation to the fact that Nigeria has youths that can impact the world with innovative ideas.

‘‘We came up with about 10 start-ups to this exhibition. Two out of the ten that participated are in the semifinal pitch. This show our Start-Ups have innovative ideas and they have ideas that can impact lives globally. ‘‘What they need is the right environment and mentorship for them to achieve what they want to achieve.

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A lot of start-ups are coming on in Lagos, the work we have been doing have started manifesting. ‘‘Before oil was the major contributor to GDP but now ICT has taken over with 13.6 per cent as against 8% of oil and gas. To achieve digital transformation, we need to consider the technology, the process and the people’’.’ On the ISO Certification award given to NITDA recently, he said:

‘‘The Certification focuses more on building the process, the right things we need to do to have the right environment. The idea for us is to have the feel for an organization to be certified so that we can preach to others. ‘‘If you want to go digital, you need to understand the cybersecurity before you put your services in a digital space.’’

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