Renowned technology leader and former President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr. Chris Uwaje has called on the Federal and State Governments to partner with innovative indigenous Nigerian brands with nationwide reach such as Konga to ease the impacts of the coronavirus scourge on Nigerians.
As a matter of fact, the world has been reeling from the coronavirus pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan, China. Nigeria has not been left out; with authorities declaring a ban on religious gatherings, schools and international flights, among others, in a bid to curtail the spread.
With the country battling to rein in the virus, the importance of getting test kits, drugs and other essential resources across to Nigeria’s huge population, especially in the rural areas and hinterlands is a major requirement. Consequently, Uwaje has called on the Federal and State Governments to leverage the logistics expertise of Konga to urgently handle the distribution of these essentials to the last mile without stories.
He stated this while chatting with newsmen on software interventions that could help in resolving the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. The software genius, who was recently appointed Africa Chair for IEEE-World Forum on IoTs, held that software applications can only complement the efforts of researchers in identifying and certifying the process of developing vaccines or drugs for the virus. Also, he warned that there is no time to learn, unlearn and relearn as the crisis is hitting millions in seconds.
‘‘Our initial solution which I consider as First Aid is to reach the last mile and not just Lagos and Abuja. You can use globally certified facilities such as the ones at the disposal of Konga. It is one thing to spend billions of dollars in the name of the citizens of the country without reaching those it is meant for.
‘‘I speak from a place of experience as I have used Konga’s delivery facilities for a small sensitive project and the sponsors were impressed. The Konga Group possesses quality structured warehouses distributed nationwide, with power and partial cooling system to maintain the required temperature for these highly sensitive supplies. Also, they have deployed huge analytic applications and biometric tools to capture accurate data and also own logistics vehicles nationwide.
‘‘This is very difficult to build in Africa. Frankly, I am not sure why they invested so much but Nigeria is now in a position to benefit from it. The Federal and State governments can leverage on this and their experience to save money. Another interesting thing is that these facilities have integrated cloud-based cameras for global monitoring by sponsors as the deployment happens.’’
While advising the media to be cautious with their reports on the pandemic in order not to induce panic, he assured that all hands are on deck by global experts to find solutions, even as he noted that it is a commercial decision for the developed countries as they are burning their reserves which could affect them in the long run unlike poor countries like Nigeria which did not save much for the rainy day.
Nigeria has been battling to contain the coronavirus scourge since an undisclosed Italian, who returned to the country on February 24 became the first confirmed case. Although the Italian has made a full recovery and has now been discharged, Nigeria has however racked up more confirmed cases of the coronavirus thus far, further sparking fears of a major crisis. Furthermore, there have been renewed calls for better personal hygiene and social distancing among the populace in a bid to curb the coronavirus menace.