May 19, 2020

Nigeria Worker Unions Choose to Suspend Strike After One Day

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)
Trade Union Congress (TUC)
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Nigeria Worker Unions Choose to Suspend Strike After One Day
Nigeria’s two largest worker unions were poised to strike to work out a deal to increase the minimum wage to cover rising inflation costs, but that strike was ended after one day. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) originally had plans to hold a “warning strike” to last three days. After shutting down activities in schools, offices and hospitals in major cities of Nigeria, government officials held a late night meeting on Tuesday to come to a resolution. The NLC and UTC represent millions of people who work as civil servants, medic, bank workers, air & road transport workers and employees in the oil and gas industries. Needless to say a prolonged strike would shut Nigeria down for the length of the strike. President Goodluck Jonathan hopes to have a deal in place to keep his country running, and the results of those meetings will be released later on this afternoon. Both the NLC and the TUC want minimum wage more than doubled from 7,500 naira to 18,000 to cover the rising cost of living in Africa’s most populated nation. Food and transport prices have been leading the way in increases as double-digit rises have occurred. Union leaders claim the government assured them the minimum wage would be raised, but such a raise has not happened – prompting the strike. In a show of support, workers from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) were also on strike. Power supplies weren’t affected by their strike, but the showing of solidarity was definitely present as they are helping millions of workers get the fair treatment many feel is deserved.

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Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

British Army
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”


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