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Enugu done well in infrastructure development – Ugwuanyi

ITRealms : The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has declared that his administration has done well in infrastru...


Monday, August 14, 2017

Enugu done well in infrastructure development – Ugwuanyi

The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has declared that his administration has done well in infrastructure development, reports ITRealms.

Gov. Ugwuanyi in a goodwill message to the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) during the first annual conference of the group at the weekend, made available to ITRealms by the chief press secretary, Uwakwe Abugu.

According to Abugu, the Ugwuanyi administration has done considerably well in infrastructure development as it has begun its plan to create more urban centres and break the jinx of having Enugu as a one-city state.

The result of this exhibition of utmost responsible disposition, he said, in handling the finances of the state which, of course, earned the governor awards and plaudits from organizations, groups and individuals.

As said by Ugwuanyi, one other major step taken so far by this administration is the reinforcement of the state’s internally-generated revenue machinery by bringing in professionals to run the affairs of the Inland Revenue Board.

“So far, it has upped the ante in revenue generation beyond the imagination of close observers of that sector of the state economy, making it possible for the state to continue to meet up its obligations at the level it has done so far,” he said.

Pointing out that, irrespective of the overriding problem of inability of many state governments to pay salaries and meet up with other responsibilities of governance, Enugu State government has continued to pay salaries and pensions between the 23rd and 25th of every month.

“Yet, our best strategy from the onset has been to run a very frugal system based on fiscal discipline at all levels of government,” Ugwuanyi emphasized.

The governor who described members of the Guild as responsible operators of the respected new media platforms across our dear nation, commended GOCOP on the theme of 2017 conference which centres on “Sustaining Growth Through Diversification of the Economy.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Eko to host 27th AFRINIC public policy meeting

The commercial nerve centre of the Nigeria’s economy, Lagos, also known as Eko, would in November this year, play host to the 27th public policy meeting of the African Network Information Center (AFRINIC), reports ITRealms.

The meeting, ITRealms gathered would bring to the centre of excellence, hundreds of key players in the African and global Internet industry sector.

The event tagged AFRINIC 27, ITRealms gathered would serve as a platform for technocrats and businesses to discuss policies, trends, resources and challenges in growing Internet for sustainable development in Africa and the Indian Ocean Region.

Confirming this to ITRealms  recently, chairman of AFRINIC who doubles as President of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Rev. Sunday Folayan, said, the six-day event would be hosted by AFRINIC in collaboration with NIRA.

He also disclosed that the event slated for November 27 through December 2, 2017 is held annually and consists of keynote speeches, policy discussions, seminars, workshops, tutorials as well as other forums for sharing of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) knowledge within the African region.

“The 2016 edition was held in Mauritius and was attended by over 250 delegates from 48 countries around the world,” he said.

The registration for the event, he further told ITRealms could be completed at AFRINIC website.

ITRealms equally gathered that whereas Internet penetration in Africa has grown from 11 per cent to 28.6 per cent in just five years despite challenges such as cyber security, it is lower when compared to the rest of the world.

Measurable parameters such Internet Protocol (IP) address allocations, ITRealms further gathered, showed that the continent is quite behind.

ITRealms recalls that in April 2017, AFRINIC entered the depletion phase of fourth version of IP Addresses (IPv4) way behind other four continental regional Internet registries who are already distributing the newest version IPv6 in earnest.

Nonye Dom/GEE 
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Police, Web Asserts partner on crime reporting app

The Nigeria Police under the leadership of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris is partnering Web Assets Nigeria Limited to deploy an innovative mobile application known as Hawk Eye, reports ITRealms.

This, the Chief Executive Officer, Web Assets Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Kayode Aladesuyi, told ITRealms, is furtherance of efforts to curb insecurity across the country, just as all is set for launch in Abuja on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. 

He explained that Hawk Eye is a mobile app that allows users to report crimes anonymously to the Police via video, voice or text.

The solution, he said, integrates the Hawk Eye Mobile phone app for the public, the iPolice mobile app for the officers on the field and a control room dashboard and dispatch functionality.

The system will empower citizens to work with the police in the fight to curb incidences of terrorism, especially Boko Haram and other violent crimes.

It was developed by Lagos based tech firm Web Assets Nigeria Limited, in partnership with US based tech firms BBGN&K and tech giant Microsoft along with the active collaboration of the Nigeria Police.

Speaking ahead of the launch in Abuja,Mr. Aladesuyi, noted that the security challenges facing Nigeria are surmountable with proper synergy between the security agencies and members of the public; a synergy that Hawk Eye embodies.

He remarked that Hawk Eye may well be the technology to close the relationship between the citizens and the police, thus providing human intelligence required for more effective policing, crime control and security.

The Tech enthusiast explained that with Hawk Eye, citizens are empowered as source of human intelligence in the fight against crimes such as kidnapping, terrorism, robbery, human trafficking etc. 

The system, he said, is expected to enhance the community policing plan recently announced by the government to improve security in the country. 

The project, he disclosed, is managed by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) in charge of ICT, Foluso Adebanjo of the Nigeria Police Force, insisting that all reporting is ANONYMOUS, the app does not identify nor capture the information of person filing report.

He emphasized Hawk Eye truly empowers citizens to report crime anonymously 24/7, stay safe with the ‘find me’ locator and to receive public announcement during emergencies. It equally provides the Nigeria Police with the right resources for effective and efficient response to crimes reported by citizens.

According him, the platform is now available for reporting by citizens in FCT and coming to Lagos in September with roll out planned for other States.

He also said this app was developed by Lagos based tech firm Web Asset., which is working with US based tech firms and tech giant Microsoft to develop the system and provide key technologies such as facial recognition and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)with the active collaboration of the Nigeria Police.

He explained that security of life and property is an indispensable ingredient for national growth and development.

“Hawk Eye is a demonstration of the commitment of the Nigerian Police to work in partnership with communities and the Nigerian public to continue to improve the security situation across the country” he said, stressing that Hawk Eye is a revolutionary technology because of the enterprise tools it provides police to respond, address and manage crimes reported.

Aladesuyi said while the Hawk Eye app allows users to report crimes anonymously to the Police by video, voice or text.

“The app is part of a comprehensive security solution that involve the equipping of patrol vehicles with Mobile Device Terminals, providing performance management, data as decision tools and the revamping of the police command and control centers. Essentially the Nigeria Police, provide with the right resources can now provide effective and efficient response to crimes reported by citizens,” he said.

Citizens, he said, are empowered with this app, as source of human intelligence in the fight against crimes such as kidnapping, terrorism, robbery, human trafficking etc.

“The system is expected to enhance the community policing plan recently announced by the government to improve security in the country.The project has been managed by DIG ICT, Foluso Adebanjo of the Nigeria Police Force. All reporting is ANONYMOUS, the app does not identify nor capture the information of person filing report,” he said.

In addition, he said, citizens could download the Hawk Eye Crime Reporting app for free select crime type to be reported capture image, video or call for help.

Emphasising that the system uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) location services, on the user’s mobile phone to identify user’s location for immediate police response.

He assured the app is now available for reporting by citizens in FCT and formal launch is coming to Lagos in September with roll out planned for other States.

Hawk Eye is available in English and Native languages (English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin).

“With Hawk Eye access to report criminal and other nefarious activities is only an app click away,” he said, urged Nigerians to ‘Spot It. Report It!’

ITRealms gathered that Hawk Eye is expected to launch in Lagos in September following the launch in FCT.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bunmi Blair guns for National U-17 job

The former Nigeria National U-15 and U-13 media officer, Bunmi Blair has expressed interest to occupy the same position at the Nigeria National U-17 team, reports ITRealms.

Blair, ITRealms gathered has responded to the recently advertised vacancy by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The journalist-cum-football coach who is currently with Nigeria National League, NNL team, FC Abuja, says he hopes to help produce players who are technically, tactically, psychologically and physically sound in line with NFF’s goal of winning the senior FIFA world cup by 2022.

The NFF had recently declared vacancies in the national U-17, U-20 and U-23 coaching positions and urged interested persons with minimum CAF-C certificates to apply.

Bunmi Blair a graduate of Kogi State University Anyagba and also a CAF-B licensed coach says he is interested in the position of assistant coach of the National U-17 team.

“I see this as an opportunity to create a new set of world champions with the quality and specifications demanded of a footballer at the highest level. If we are passionate enough about our vision of reaching the FIFA world cup final by 2022, we must ensure our youth teams are tutored by coaches who are familiar, passionate and ready to learn new tricks involved in youth football development.” Bunmi said.

Bunmi, who celebrated his 34th birthday on August 2nd is well known for his match reading and analytical capabilities and is one of the 30 coaches who recently took part in the STAR/NPFL/Arsenal coaching clinic in Abuja.

“I try at every opportunity to improve myself, at the beginning of this year I was privileged to be a part of the LA LIGA/NPFL coaching clinic for youth team coaches where we learned how the Spanish team rose from their status as perennial underachievers at international competitions to becoming world champions.

In July this year, I was also privileged to be one of the 30 coaches in Nigeria who participated in the STAR/NPFL/Arsenal coaching clinic which emphasized on coaching philosophy or style of play as epitomized by Arsenal FC boss Arsene Wenger.” Bunmi said.

The radio OAP with top Nigeria radio stations, Cool-Wazobia-Nigeria Info FM, Abuja had in the past helped shape talents like Taiwo Awoniyi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Clement Ogbobe, Chidera Eze and Club Brugge’s new boy Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure.

He has also understudied several top Nigerian coaches like Emmannuel Amunike, Manu Garba and Haruna Ilerika among others.

NFF’s vice president Shehu Dikko at a function recently in Abuja described Bunmi as a highly intelligent young coach with great prospect.”

Banji Boye/GEE

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What makes GOCOP thick!

It is my pleasure to welcome everyone to this historic event. Today is a major milestone for our Guild, which was formed about four years ago to check all forms of professional misconduct by new media proprietors and their journalists. Be it blackmail, fake news, rumour mongering, or copyright infringement.

GOCOP has grown in leaps, and so has been its influence. At our inaugural meeting on October 9, 2013, we had only nine members in attendance. Last night when we had our congress and elected new leaders, the room overflowed with members. We now have at least 55 members, with many more members queuing up to join, indicating a dramatic ballooning of the nation’s online media space.

Yet, becoming a member of GOCOP does not come easy.
Our constitution demands that to be admitted:
a. You must have practised journalism for at least 10 years.
b. Non journalist who establishes an online news publication must appoint an editor who has practised for at least 10 years.
c. Your company must be registered as a media entity with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
d. Members must have verifiable and functional office in Nigeria.
e. You must have a minimum of two reporters and other layers of staff.
f. Your online publication must have been in existence for a minimum of one year.
g. You must be recommended by at least two financial members of the association.
h. To be admitted to the Association, the Screening Committee must certify that you have met the requirements (a to g) above.

You may lose membership:
a. If you fail to keep your financial obligations to the Association for at least three years.
b. If you are proven to have engaged in any form of unethical conduct.

We have an Ethics/Disciplinary Committee, and membership of GOCOP is usually revoked once it is proven that a member engaged in any form of misconduct.

Over the years, we have peer-reviewed each other, and ensured that members remained on the path of professionalism. At one of our meetings we agreed to name and shame members who indulge in any form of professional misconduct. We have engaged authorities and private sector entities in our country on how to enhance professionalism in our country and deepen trust in the media.

Since the inception of this Guild, the online media space in Nigeria has ballooned. A number of online news platforms have sprung. This exponential growth has, understandably, come along with a lot of positives and not a few negative developments.
While this expansion in the space signify healthy increase in access to information by Nigerian citizens, as well as democratization of the space to give way for diversity of voices, it at the same time portends series of problems.

Chief among these is the unhealthy dose of fake news and hate speech being dished out through some of these websites and blogs. Indeed, some of the platforms appear to have been set up solely for propaganda, smear campaigns or for the spreading of hate.

Just like security agencies and those in authority, we are equally worried about the proliferation of fake news sites that trade in fake news, and those who exist to spread hate. 

We are concerned beyond our standing as patriotic citizens but also as online publishers because of how the activities of some unscrupulous elements are giving us all a bad name.

While we will continue to advocate for widening of the space for citizens to express themselves, GOCOP is ready to support authorities concerned in a bid to sanitize this industry. 

We however demand that all stakeholders, including this guild and all other identified Nigerian media stakeholders join hands to find solution to this problem. We are for sanity but we do not want a regulatory environment that gags or muscle the nation’s media space.

Now GOCOP is ready for any another phase in its history. That is why I am glad that we are passing on the baton today to an outstanding team of members elected yesterday. I am optimistic that this Guild will only grow stronger.

*Speech by immediate past acting president of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), Musikilu Mojeed.

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70% of Christian books published in Nigeria have no ISBN

Christian literature is now playing major role of winning souls for Christ but some writers are not following the rules of the game. 70% of Christian writers today published without obtaining ISBN numbers. The National Library of Nigeria (NLN) doesn’t have records of their publications. 

Mr. Wole Adedoyin, the National President of the Association of Nigerian Christian Authors and Publishers (ANCAPS) made this known after a brief press conference on the 2017 edition of Nigerian Christian Literature Award (NCLA) held in Ibadan yesterday. 

The research recently carried out by our body showed that 70% of christian writers in the country published without obtaining ISBN and 50% of them don’t even know that the National Library of Nigeria (NLN) is the regulatory body for ISBN in the country.

According to Mr. Adedoyin “Christian writers are always in hurry to publish, some of them also believe they don’t need ISBN because they are not writing academic textbooks for schools and colleges.

Even Christian writers who published with ISBN erroneously obtained them from printers and not from the ISBN regulatory body (NLN). I think the National Library of Nigeria (NLN) branches across the country need to take their ISBN campaign to different religion organizations and bodies”.

 “NLN should now focus their beam light on religion organizations and denominations. They should sensitize and educate them on why they should obtain ISBN and where to get it from. Some printers and publishers are now awarding ISBN numbers as if they have the machines manufacturing the numbers at home, Adedoyin added.

National Coordinator of Nigerian Christian Literature Award however described a book without ISBN number or not obtained from the National Library of Nigeria (NLN) as illegal or unconstitutional publication.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

FRSC boss applauds new GOCOP executives

The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, has applauded the Publisher of The Eagle Online, Dotun Oladipo, on his emergence as the President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers during the association’s election held on August 9, 2017 in in Lagos State, reports ITRealms.

The Corps Public Education Officer of FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, told ITRealms in a press statement that the Corps Marshal used the opportunity to express his gratitude to the Guild for the zeal with which the members have helped the Corps promote its safety messages through their different online platforms.

Also, Kazeem said that the Corps Marshal equally congratulated Maureen Chigbo, the Publisher of RealNews magazine, who emerged the Deputy President of the Guild; Danlami Nmodu, Publisher of Newssiaryonline, Secretary General; Segun Adeleye, Publisher of World Stage, was elected the Financial Secretary; Janet Mba-Afolabi, Publisher of the Scroll, who is the Treasurer; and Olumide Iyanda, Publisher of Qed.ng, who emerged the Publicity Secretary of the Guild.

ITRealms recalls that GOCOP is a non-governmental, non-partisan, non-profit making organization, for the highest strata of working journalists who have attained the exalted position of editors in the journalism profession, with focus on online practice, across Nigeria.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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Friday, August 11, 2017

Obi prescribes tripartite solutions to recession

The immediate-past Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi has prescribed a tripartite solution to the Federal Government for Nigeria to get out of economic recession, reports ITRealms.

Mr Obi was a Guest Speaker at the 1st Annual Conference of the Guild of CorporateOnline Publishers (GOCOP) held on Thursday at Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja in Lagos, and spoke to the theme "Sustaining growth through diversification of the economy."

He contended that Nigerian economy is already diversified, stressing that the non-oil sector is contributing about 80 per cent to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), noting that the tragedy is that the oil sector however accounts for 90 per cent of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.

The three ways to put the economy back on the path of growth, he said, include that government must as a matter of urgency embark on aggressive savings, diversification of the economy towards manufacturing and lastly investment in developmental education.
“Diversifying our economy through manufacturing and investment in education is what we require today to turn around our economy,” he said.

Describing himself as a trader and businessman, Mr. Obi pointed out that by aggressive savings, Nigeria will be able to get the resources to bring about micro economic stability to the country, defend the currency and be able to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and portfolio investments and unlock the resources to invest in the deteriorated infrastructure.

Another Guest Speaker and Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Mr Bayo Onanuga, charged GOCOP to come up with code of conduct for online media practitioners.

He also charged the leadership of the Guild to pursue capacity building for members through workshops and seminars to broaden their knowledge.

The NAN boss assured that his organisation would collaborate with GOCOP in generating contents, not only text but videos and photographs.

On his part, the keynote speaker, Prof Akinyemi Onigbinde, posited that we need to restructure the polity before talking about diversification of the economy.

"Let me say this and it is with all sense of responsibility, that the proponents of this 'diversification' theory, with respect to the chronically ill Nigeria economy, are not being honest.

"Indeed, I dare say they are being mischievous, just as they insist on playing Nero as our Rome prepares to go up in flames. Truth is, for Nigeria, it may well be one-minute to midnight, if we continue to ignore the ‘first principle’ in nation-building. 

"So, what is responsible for Nigeria’s arrested development, to put it in a counter thesis to GOCOP request: Nigeria economy cannot enjoy a sustainable growth and neither can it be diversified because there is even no basis for economic growth. 

"As I had earlier suggested, what economy are we to diversify? And As I had also insisted on, there can be no economy to be diversified, hence there will be no growth as to speak of ‘sustainable growth.’

"But let us, however, say that Nigeria will continue to remain in a state of suspended animation, economically, so long as some sections of the Nigerian nation space feel short-changed by the Nigeria political economy, due, largely, to the operations of present structure of the Nigerian state.

"Truth is, so long as the centre holds a ‘veto power’ over the economic activities of Nigeria so-called federating units, so long will Nigeria manifest destiny remain dormant," Prof Onigbinde said.

Representatives of GOCOP key partners like FRSC, Mobil, NLNG, EFCC delivered goodwill messages calling for sustained relationship while the GOC 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General PJ Dauke, presented paper on counter-insurgency.

At the end of the one-day conference, the newly elected Executive Committee of GOCOP was inaugurated under the leadership of Mr Dotun Oladipo, Publisher, The Eagle Online.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE 
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Smart cities must be innovative, sustainable – DG NITDA

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has said that smart cities must thrive to be innovative and sustainable, reports ITRealms.

Pantami disclosed this to ITRealms at the Smart Cities summit in Abuja on Wednesday during a session on ‘Smart Technologies and Infrastructure: Communications Technologies, Platforms and IOT Aplications for Smart Cities.”

“We should be innovative about it and ensure implementations are sustainable,” he declared.

He is convinced that commitment to the development of Smart Cities in Nigeria, will encourage the rapid advances in Internet of Things (IoTs) technologies, platforms, tools and other related technologies, inclusive of mobile and cloud technologies, capable of developing the technological landscape of nation and making lives livable for the people.

The focus, he said, should be on short and long terms plans for building green field cities as well as rebuilding or retrofitting existing cities to be smart, future ready and sustainable. We need to be conscious of climate change. There is need to build a sustainable business model, our own architecture for smart initiatives and ensure the right infrastructure are available.

Pantami pointed out that infrastructure such as broadband, 5G, electricity, smart devices and agents, smart urban spaces, web-based applications, mobile technologies and e-services as well as open government data issues are crucial to achieving sustainable smart cities.

“You may recall that The Nigeria Smart City Initiative (NSCI) was created and established in February 2016 by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to reflect the agency’s then vision of championing e-governance in Nigeria,” he said, stressing that NITDA did this with the aim of providing the enabling environment and capacity for local governments and private enterprises to improve the quality of city environment and lives of the people.

NSCI, he said, has some key principles and strategies: Public Private Partnership (PPP) driven and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, which encouraged tools and solutions to be designed with scalability in mind with a view to enable replicability and measurability.

“The programme is also tied to the agency’s collaborations with the National Information Agency (NIA) of South Korea and the World e-Government Organization of Cities and Local Government (WeGO),” he said.

Uboshe Uboshe/Doris Minimah/GEE
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Oladipo emerges GOCOP President ahead of 2017 confab

The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) have elected the publisher of The Eagle Online, Dotun Oladipo, as President, reports ITRealms.

The election conducted on Wednesday at Adna Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, saw Oladipo who is the current General Secretary of the association emerging as President.

Also elected into the National Executive Committee of the Guild are the Publisher, Real News, Maureen Chigbo, as Deputy President; Publisher, Newsdiaryonline, Danlami Nmodu, Secretary General; and Publisher, Metro Watch, Collins Edomaruse, Deputy Secretary General.

Others are the Publisher, World Stage, Segun Adeleye, Financial Secretary; Publisher, The Scroll, Janet Mba-Afolabi, Treasurer; and Publisher, Qed.ng, Olumide Iyanda, Publicity Secretary.

The election was conducted by a committee led by the Publisher of Global Patriot, Simon Ibe.

Speaking after the election, the outgoing Acting President of GOCOP, Musikilu Mojeed, thanked the electoral committee for organising a free and fair poll.

Mojeed congratulated Oladipo and his team, calling on all members of the Guild to give them all the needed support.

The new Executive Committee will be inaugurated at the 1st annual conference of GOCOP holding on Thursday, August 10 at Renaissance Hotel, Isaac John Street, Ikeja.

The theme of the conference is: “Sustaining Growth through Diversification of the Economy.”
Keynote Speakers at the conference are university teacher, Prof. Akin Onigbinde; the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Bayo Onanuga; and a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, will also be speaking at the conference.

Buratai will speak on the tackling of the Boko Haram insurgency in the face of the country’s economic reality.

Former Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Sun Newspapers and now the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina; and the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of New Telegraph Newspapers and also the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Funke Egbemode, will participate in the discussion.

Uj/ N. Dom/GEE
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Official! Western Union partners Liverpool Football Club

The Western Union Company and Liverpool FC today announced a multi-year partnership that will see Western Union, a leader in global payment and money transfer services, become an Official Principal Partner and the Official Money Transfer Partner of Liverpool FC. They will also become the Club’s first-ever Official Shirt Sleeve Sponsor - with the Western Union logo appearing on LFC shirt sleeves.

As the official Money Transfer Partner of Liverpool FC, Western Union will use its global cross-border digital transfer and payments platform to provide money transfer capabilities to the club. Western Union will offer fast, easy digital payments and money transfers for Liverpool Football Club and its fans, linking them to their home communities or to virtually anywhere in the world.

“The businesses of Western Union and Liverpool FC are both driven by our passion for bringing communities together, whether that be through moving money or delivering the excitement of football experiences,” said Jean-Claude Farah, President of Global Payments at Western Union. “This partnership goes far beyond a badge on a shirt, as we will be bringing our digital money transfer expertise to better connect Liverpool FC and fans around the world.” 

Billy Hogan, Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director at Liverpool Football Club said: “Western Union is an instantly recognisable brand with a truly global footprint and we are absolutely delighted to welcome them as our first ever Shirt Sleeve Sponsor and official Principal Partner. We are very much looking forward to working with Western Union through this partnership to create new experiences and opportunities for our fans both in the UK and abroad.”

The two organizations mirror each other in their storied histories and truly global followings. Just as football powerfully transcends borders and brings people together, Western Union has a 160-year global brand history of connecting customers across more than 200 countries and territories. The 125-year-old Liverpool football club has more than 700 million active followers globally across television, social and traditional media.

“We are proud to celebrate a sport that unifies billions of people worldwide, and to work with a partner that so closely shares our values,” said Elizabeth G. Chambers, Chief Strategy, Product and Marketing Officer at Western Union. “Our customers are digitally-savvy and on-the-go, moving not just money but their human capital - their cultures, values and sporting allegiances. Like us, Liverpool FC has an active and diverse global following who want to be a part of something bigger and we can help them achieve this.”

Western Union continues to drive its ambitious digital expansion in countries across the world, and will harness its deep cross-border and fintech capabilities to improve the payments experience for the club as well as LFC fans, suppliers and business partners. Whether close to home or far afield, they can look to Western Union to help move money when, how and where they need it.
Western Union’s logo is the first to appear on the sleeve and sixth to appear on the shirt, since the inception of Liverpool FC.

The partnership will see Western Union benefit from a diverse range of LFC marketing and promotional rights, including digital and social media support, pitch side LED messaging, and branding across Anfield stadium, its fan lounge and the Club’s media channels. Also included are exclusive hospitality and conference opportunities, and access to International pre-season tours, Liverpool FC players and Legends.

To celebrate the launch of the partnership, Western Union will be offering Liverpool FC fans in the UK, Ireland, France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden a fee-free* money transfer promotion, running from August 10 through until the end of August.

The Western Union patch will be available free of charge to all LFC fans that have purchased a 2017-18 Liverpool FC shirt and will be available in-store and online from Sunday 27th August. Full details will follow on .

Bayo Banjo/GEE
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Internet direct link: SACS links Africa to South America

The Angola Cables has commenced its link between South Africa and South America kicked off, with the launch of the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) in Sangano, Angola, reports ITRealms.

SACS, ITRealms gathered, is the first direct link between Africa and South America.
SACS is a subsea cable with 40 Tera bytes per second (tbps) of capacity that will extend more than 6,500 km to Fortaleza, Brazil which began on the Angolan coast in the municipality of Quissama, being constructed by NEC Corporation.

The launch event was attended by José Carvalho da Rocha, the Angolan Minister of Telecommunications and Technologies, local and international business leaders, as well as the shareholders and guests of Angola Cables.

The installation of SACS, ITRealms reports, has been considered a strategic project for Angola to advance the region’s digital economy and to improve global communications.

The chief executive officer, Angola Cables, António Nunes, noted that data centres and Internet Exchange Points, benefit immensely, just as it offers a paradigm shift in Africa’s telecommunications sector.

“For Angolans, the time to access content available in America – the largest centre for the production and aggregation of digital content and services – will improve fivefold,” he said.

Currently, he said, it takes approximately 300 milliseconds to connect between Angola and Brazil, stressing that with SACS, the latency – the time lag between a data packet being sent and received – is expected to be reduced to approximately 60 milliseconds.

“Angola is becoming one of the telecommunications hubs in sub-Saharan Africa,” Nunes said, adding that “Current cable systems, such as WACS, together with the SACS and Monet cables systems – complemented by local data centers – will improve connectivity, but also economically benefit Angola and the surrounding regions as tech companies requiring high connectivity establish and grow their operations in Africa.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE 
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Five factors fueling e-Commerce in Nigeria

E-commerce has become a global multi-million-dollar industry, with worldwide sales projected to hit an all-time high of $4 trillion in three years. Although accurate statistics on the volume of e-commerce transactions on the continent is hard to come by, research by McKinsey indicates that ecommerce will open up a new shopping experience for Africas growing middle class. 

According to McKinsey, e-commerce could account for 10 per cent of retail sales in the continent’s largest economies by 2025, translating into about $75 billion in annual revenue.

With more Nigerians embracing the e-commerce fare amid a growing awareness for globally celebrated shopping festivals such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, among others, the country could be on the verge of reaping big benefits from the sub-sector.

In this piece, the Research and Development Unit of Yudala, Nigeria’s fastest growing e-commerce outfit, takes a look at the factors fueling the growing attraction of e-commerce in Nigeria.

1.Growth in smartphone adoption: E-commerce is an industry that thrives on the smartphone culture. Nigeria remains one of the most attractive markets on the continent for smartphones and other tech gadgets –  a factor that has seen the growing influx of a number of smartphone brands all competing for a share of the juicy market. As a result, smartphone adoption is on the rise in Nigeria. 

This has gone a long way in boosting e-commerce in Nigeria, with the mobile devices category remaining one of the fastest moving among shoppers on the Yudala platform. Global digital giant Google recently announced the imminent launch of a smartphone made by Japanese brand, Freetel during its Google for Nigeria engagement with an attractive price point of N13,000. 

With more quality yet price-sensitive manufacturers coming on-board, the smartphone adoption trend is expected to rise further in Nigeria.

2.Rise in mobile internet penetration: Closely related to the above is the rise in mobile internet penetration in Nigeria. Current data made available   by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows that the number of internet users in Nigeria has increased to 91.6 million in June 2017.

According to the statistics released, internet users increased to 91,598,757 in June 2017 as against 91,565,010 users recorded in May 2017, showing an increase of 33,747. 

With more data-efficient browsers such as Opera Mini coming into play and mobile apps also presenting a convenient means of accessing the offerings of competing e-commerce brands, the appeal of e-commerce is well and truly on the rise.

3.Proliferation of e-commerce sites:  From the heady days of 2012 when only a couple of players held sway, the e-commerce bug has spread like wild-fire. New entrants have taken to the fray, expanding the scope of offerings and the conduct of e-commerce in the country. 

Some of them have challenged existing structures by providing more convenient options for the consumer to shop. Yudala’s fusion of an online platform with physical (brick-and-mortar) stores located nationwide comes to mind here. 

The first-ever drone delivery also achieved by Yudala during its debut Black Friday sales in November 2015 also captured the imagination, further raising the bar and setting new standards in the sub-sector. Others such as Payporte have made a huge splash through events sponsorship with the bank-rolling of the reality show, Big Brother Nigeria

These days, the average Nigerian has a plethora of e-commerce companies to choose from, a factor that has contributed in no small measure to the popularity of the industry.

4.Ease and convenience in shopping:  For most busy Nigerians caught up in the daily hustle of making ends meet in cosmopolitan cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, etc., the convenience and ease that e-commerce lends is a blessing. The days when the only option one has is to physically visit the market to get much-needed items seem to be over. 

Today, you can sit in the comfort of your home or office, check out an item online, place an order and have the item(s) delivered within a couple of days without hassles. This extra convenience works perfectly not only for busy business executives but also for expectant/nursing mothers and other categories of shoppers unable to find the time nor unsure of the right open-air markets to visit for needed items.

5.More options: Closely related to the point above is the variety of options e-commerce has provided for the average shopper to meet his/her shopping requirements. 

For many Nigerians, seeing and being able to touch an item beats just being able to see it on the screen of a mobile phone or laptop. Many still want to see, touch, feel and/or experience a product before they part with their money. With platforms such as Yudala fusing an online platform with offline/physical retail stores, the consumer has more options to embrace e-commerce, albeit from a traditional shopping stand-point. 

The consumer can order online and pick up the item or self-fulfil at the nearest store or better still, walk in to the store and purchase a product outright. Indeed, recent statistics show that a significant number of purchases made at Yudala’s physical stores originate from shoppers who had previously checked out the products online. 

These options have contributed to a large extent in improving the appeal of e-commerce for hitherto-unconverted folk in Nigeria.

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