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ETSI, OBE partner on FinTech certification

ITREALMS : The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and  Open Banking Europe  (OBE) have entered into a partnersh...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

ETSI, OBE partner on FinTech certification



The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and Open Banking Europe (OBE) have entered into a partnership to offer the public financial services with qualified certificates, reports ITRealms.

The event also known as the eIDAS Meets PSD2 workshop, tends to faciliate securing access to financial services with qualified certificates.

This will take place on 20 March 2018 at ETSI Headquarters in Sophia Antipolis (South of France). 

ETSI is developing a standard for the use of EU Qualified Certificates, as defined in Regulation (EU) No 910/201 (eIDAS), profiled to meet the requirements for securing communications between payment services under Directive (EU) 2015/2366 (PSD2).

This event is to explain the PSD2 Qualified Certificates as specified by ETSI in TS 119 495 and discuss its usage with eIDAS trust service providers and PSD2 payment service providers.

ITRealms gathered that a stable draft of the PSD2 Qualified Certificate standard ETSI TS 119 495 is available for public review and comments until 23rd March. https://docbox.etsi.org/ESI/Open/Latest_Drafts/ts_119495v000003_for-public-review.pdf

The organisers added that attendance to the workshop is free of charge and open to all upon registration.


Nony Dom/GEE

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Oluka, Showole, Karaduman, Ajayi made World Child Innovation Awards Jury

A four-man jury for the World Child Innovation Awards Nigeria (WCIAN) has been constituted, with the Editor of TechEconomy.ng, Mr. Peter Oluka, making the list, reports ITRealms.

Other members of the jury, as contained in a press statement made available to ITRealms, includes Dr Aminat Showole, Adem Karaduman, and Olajide Ademola Ajayi.

The award, ITRealms gathered is the brainchild of the founder of Turkish Elvan Groups, Mustafa Kadiroglu, an entrepreneur and innovator.

According to ITRealms reports, the group forged an alliance with Africa's foremost youth capacity development Not for Profit Organisation, Coderina after finding information about the group’s activities online.

The project targeted at 14-year old and below, is aimed at empowering the youth of Africa in the area of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to help them realize their full potential while also creating for them an opportunity to gain global and economic mobility.

Further, ITRealms gathered that the award would serve to use financial rewards and recognition as positive reinforcement for abilities of creative youths and young innovators.

This should foster a culture of "I can make things" within the teeming African youth population. While the programme will be launched in Nigeria on the 24th of February and the first awards events would hold in November 2018.

“It is also expected that the programme roll-out to other African countries will happen in 2019 to cater for other African countries with Nigeria as the central hub,” part of the press statement read.

Profile of the jury:

Dr. Aminat A. Showole
She is the Head of Department (HOD) Computer Science Department University of Abuja. Her research interests include Open Source Development, Open Government, Open Data, Big-data and Software Engineering Processes.

Dr. Showole is the Director of Engagement & Advocacy for Coderina. Her passions include empowerment and capacity building for the youth and women. She was the co-coordinator of the first ever FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament hosted by the University of Abuja.

She is a stakeholder of the National Internet Government Forum. She was a key Resource person at the 2015 Women Leaders Forum.

Her interests include entrepreneurship development, coaching, mentoring, research and development. All of which would be brought to bear on the jury of the Child Innovation Awards.

Adem Karaduman
Adem Karaduman graduated from Istanbul Kültür University in Istanbul. He studied Industrial Engineering and Business Administration.

He is the export manager of Africa at Elvan Group that is one of the best leading company within the Confectionery sector all over the World.

He is a firm believer that doing business should not be focused solely on profit but also on doing Social good.

Adem is very passionate about Africa and Africans and believes owing to the shared heritage between Turkey, his native country and some parts of  Africa, doing corporate social responsibility would contribute in no small measure in the area of youth empowerment.

His passion is fueled by the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

He is committed to helping African youth realize and fulfil their potential through the World Child Innovation Awards.

Olajide Ademola Ajayi
Ademola is an IT Manager at SAP Ireland. Passionate about Ed-Tech, creativity and innovation, He is the founder of CODERINA, an NGO working to promote and strengthen coding and STEM skills acquisition among African students and teachers.

He is involved in several STEM /Coding initiatives such as: EU Code week, CoderDojo and FIRST LEGO® League, Africa Code Week. Olajide is one of the lead mentors on the Coderina University Challenge (COUCH) and he has successfully hosted this program across Africa, in partnership with some African Universities e.g., most recently at the University of Abuja and National University of Lesotho.

He is a jury on the Ireland FLL Championship panel and coordinates similar activities in Nigeria and Ghana.

He holds a Masters degree in Computer Science as well as a PMI membership & Graduate Certificate in Innovation in Social Enterprise from the Dublin City University. Olajide is on the global jury of the World Child Innovation Awards


Oluka, Peter Ikenna
Peter Oluka (@peterolukai) is a practicing ICT Journalist; Tecnopreneur, PublicSpeaker, Speech Writer, amongst other Media Relations interests.

Currently, the Editor, TechEconomy.ng; prior to which he worked as Senior Correspondent, nigeriacommunicationsweek.com.ng. Peter’s quest for Developmental Journalism is exceptional.

Peter started his mainstream (print) journalism in 2010 with the Nigerian NewsDirectNewspaper based in Ogun State. His penchant interest and stunts registered NewsDirect’s presence in the league of Property & Environment and Labour pious media outfits.

Peter was a Nigeria Youth Merit Award (NYMA) nominee 2013. He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Information Management (IIM-Africa) and was awarded the Records and Information Management Best ICT Reporter of the Year by IIM-Africa in year 2014.

As a rising gem in the Nigerian Online journalism space, Peter is currently .ng domain name Brand Ambassador (2015 till date) and a certified Customer Relations Management Personnel by the Nesburg School of Business and Management (NESBG-Nigeria), Africa's foremost Persuasion School of Business based in South Africa.

He obtained PGD (Mass Communications) from NOUN in 2015; HND (Mass Communication) from the Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu in 2008.

He is a 2016 alumnus of the School of Media and Communications (SMC) Pan Atlantic University (PAU), and was recognised by the Nigeria Computer Society at the 2017 Nigeria Technology Merit Awards (NITMA).


 Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Defence Headquarter to collaborate with WorldStage

The Directorate of Defence Information, Defence Headquarter (DHQ), has called for a collaboration effort with WorldStage Newsonline, Nigeria’s leading online news platform for the appropriate dissemination of information about the activities of the military across the country, reports ITRealms.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the WorldStage office in Abuja, Brigadier General John Agim, Directorate, Defence Information noted that anyone who undermines the online media will do so at his own detriment.

“I want to assure you that you will have seamless information dissemination from Defence Headquarters, this is your Military, you should be proud of us,” he said, stressing that the Defence Information will continually provide information about the activities of the Nigerian Military across the country.

He observed that other developed countries that are battling insurgency have not been able to subdue it, but that Nigerian Military had subdued insurgency within a time frame.

Mr. Abiodun Folarin, Abuja Bureau Chief of WorldStage Newsonline, commended the Military for its role in securing the country, particularly on the fight against insurgency.

“We will continue to support the Nigerian Military to disseminate the right information to Nigerians. We have always supported the military in our own capacity and we are ready at all time to assist the Nigerian Military,” he assured.

 “If we continue with this relationship, your interest is also our interest, we will support the Nigerian Army,” he said.

On the emerging strategic role of online media around the world, Folarin said, “The online medium has a major role to play today in the battle on information space, and we are open to collaboration with the Nigerian Military.”

Uboshe Uboshe & Doris Minimah/GEE

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Pix: L-R:  Brigadier General John Agim, Directorate of Defence Information and Mr. Abiodun Folarin, Abuja Bureau Chief, WorldStage Newsonline during the Directorate of Defence Information courtesy visit to WorldStage office in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

Wonders@Senate: As strange Monkey swallows N70m meant for NSF

The era of strange animals gobbling up money of all denomination is not over as Nigerians were told that some N70 million cash have been swallowed by some Monkeys, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms reports has also led to the dethronement of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the chairman, Northern Senators Forum (NSF).

Briefing newsmen in Abuja after the Northern Senators Forum (NSF) sacked the elsewhile chairman of the informal group, another Senator, Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna) disclosed that they were told that the sum of N70m handed over to Senator Adamu from the last Senate went missing after a strange Monkey attacked his farm where the money was said to have been kept for safety.

“The N70m handed over to the Northern Senators Forum has been swallowed by monkeys in the farm,” he lamented.

ITRealms reports that Senator Adamu was accused of mismanaging N70 million belonging to the Northern Senators.

Meanwhile the Senator said his removal was of no significant effect as the position was an informal.
Rather, he alleged that he was being victimized for opposing Senate position to change the election time table for 2019 as proclaimed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

ITRealms also gathered that Senator Adamu’s partner-in-opposition to the amendment, Senator Omo-Agege has tendered an apology for being a lead figure that walked out of the Senators over the matter and even addressed the press, against the wish of the Senate.

Omo-Agege said he had since learnt from his mistakes.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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FRSC commends Glo for supporting road safety

Globacom has added yet another laurel to its basket as the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) recognized the telecom network for silent contributions to road safety in the country over the years, reports ITRealms.

The award was formally presented to Globacom at a high profile dinner marking the climax of the activities put together to commemorate the 30th anniversary of FRSC at the Nigeria Airforce (NAF) Conference Centre and Suites in Abuja.

Presenting the award to Globacom’s Acting National Coordinator, Public Sector Sales, Mansur Opakunle and the company’s Regional Head, North Central, Ike Onuekwusi, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Gida Mustapha, thanked Globacom for being a pillar of support to FRSC and consequently making the job of the Commission easier.

In an interactive session that preceded the dinner, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi formally recognised Globacom among the corporate bodies, which had lent their weight in support of the Commission in its bid to make the roads safe over the years.

He urged the company and the other corporate supporters not to rest on their laurels as the task to make the roads safe is a continuous one.

Earlier in a short presentation at the conference by Kolapo Sheriff of the Marketing Department of Globacom, the company stated that successful road safety measures employed by front-running countries across the world are backed by intelligent and innovative technology.

Sheriff said Globacom was happy to provide FRSC with such an intelligent and innovative technology which has helped the Commission in the efficient discharge of its duties.

According to him, Globacom’s revolutionary data services are the fulcrum of many of FRSC’s operational processes, even as the company continues to facilitate seamless communication among FRSC’s officers and men through the deployment of cost-effective communications solutions.

“With a world-class, cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure including a nationwide fibre-optic network, an international submarine cable from Europe through 14 African countries to Nigeria and the most extensive 4G LTE coverage, Globacom is a partner of choice to assist FRSC achieve its objectives,” he said.

He described Globacom as a partner of choice for organisations desirous of making giant leaps through intelligent deployment of technology.

Apart from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the occasions were graced by other high profile guests including former SGF, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, who chaired the Open House session, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, members of the National Assembly, past Corps Marshals and entertainment mega stars.


Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Akinwumi Isola: Monumental loss to creative industry - SYNW

The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) has described the recent demise of Prof. Akinwumi Isola, the renowned author of O Le Ku, Efunsetan Aniwura as a huge loss to nation’s creative industry, reports ITRealms.

Reacting to the news of the death in Ilesa country home, SYNW President, Mr. Wole Adedoyin, said that he was yet to come to terms with the reality of Prof. Akinwumi Isola’s death as it was hard to contemplate the void his passage has created.

Also speaking, the national secretary of SYNW, Mr. Izunna Okafor, lamented that the father of modern Yoruba literature passed away at a trying period in the life of the nation when his knowledge and intelligent are mostly needed.

“We wish to express our deepest condolences to the illustrious Akinwumi Isola’s family, him hometown and Oyo state in general. We further pray that God Almighty will give the family the fortitude to bear the grievous loss” Izunna said.


Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Technology awards excites Shell @Petroleum Summit

The Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Mr. Osagie Okunbor, has expressed excitement over the recent technology and innovation awards to the firm at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, reports ITRealms.

Okunbor who spoke at the award ceremony, described it as a recognition of the pioneering role of Shell Companies in Nigeria in local capacity development and Nigeria content.

“We are pleased that this feat has continued to receive recognition within and outside Nigeria. Beyond cost consideration, we were also looking to indigenise the know-how so that Nigerian engineers can acquire the necessary skills,” he said.

ITRealms reports that the Subsea Tree Refurbishment feat by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) in-country was what earned Shell Companies in Nigeria the Best Performing International Company in Technology and Innovation.

Also, ITRealms reports that the state-organised event was attended by Nigerian and international industry leaders.

SNEPCo, ITRealms  recalls, pioneered the in-country feat and achieved significant savings in the cost of the subsea equipment led by Nigerian engineers. A Subsea Tree is an arrangement of valves and other components installed at the wellhead to control and monitor production flow and manage fluids injection. SNEPCo embarked on a Tree Refurbishment initiative in 2013 to ensure timely delivery of the equipment at lower cost for the Bonga Phase 2 project, an in-field wells delivery and hook–up programme within the Bonga Field which has been in execution since 2007.

Further, ITRealms reports that on hand to receive the award presented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, were the Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Mr. Osagie Okunbor, and the Managing Director of SNEPCo, Mr. Bayo Ojulari.


Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Online fraud: Nigeria gets antiphishing.ng

The Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team (NgCERT) has launched an antiphishing project in the country, reports ITRealms.

According to reports reaching ITRealms newsroom, the project is already getting some tractions as it has recorded over five suspected websites as at the time of filing this report.

ITRealms recalls that ngCERT is the National CERT for Nigeria domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) with core value of promoting the philosophy of cybersecurity research initiatives in Nigeria.

Experts at ngCERT explained that phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in electronic mail (email) or other communication channels.

“The attacker uses phishing emails to distribute malicious links or attachments that can perform a variety of functions, including the extraction of login credentials or account information from victims,” ngCERT expert said.

ITRealms also gathered that the antiphishing.ng project is a collaborative effort to create a community driven public repository about phishing that works to build additional tools to benefit the security community at large.

“The goal is to provide users a simple and easy way to report phishing attempts,” our source told ITRealms.


ngCERT in collaboration with its partners have also categorised phishing reports into "phishing, malware, fraudulent and counterfeit," while urging Nigerians to report any suspicious site by visiting antiphishing.ng by entering the universal rural locator (URL) and relevant category that may be application as aforementioned.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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‘DEAL 2018’ trade show set to propel African leisure, amusement industries


The DEAL 2018 has promised to be the largest show in the amusement industry that is held closer to the African region, reports ITRealms.

 The show aims to provide an effective platform for the stakeholders within the African leisure, entertainment and amusement sector, as per International Expo Consults, the organisers of the show. Recent developments in the countries within the African continent have created the necessary demand for the leisure amusement industry operators.

“The amusement industry stakeholders including mall owners, retail operators, consultants and developers in Africa will immensely benefit by visiting the show in April this year. Each year we see a large representation of African trade visitors who visit our show to understand the on-ground industry developments. They strike deals with operators from across the globe that are present at our show. DEAL has been shaping the industry for close to two and a half decades and has made significant inroads and shaped several markets globally,” said Mr. Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.

Africa’s population is set to grow to 2.3 billion by 2050. In contrast to the rest of the world, however, its booming population is getting younger. African millennials are changing their consumer spending patterns, from markets to malls, where they can eat, socialize and get entertained at Family Entertainment Centers (FECs) apart from shopping. Also, there have been key amusement parks in Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and South Africa which have attracted people around the African region and the concept is fast catching up within the other countries.

FECs are mini theme-parks and are a collection of more than one attraction including rides, soft-play equipment such as the plastic maze of tubes, slides and ball pits, kid’s play areas, video arcades, redemption and carnival games. African gaming enthusiasts, can get a hands-on experience with the world of Virtual Reality (VR), the next big thing in electronic entertainment which is all set to become an integral part of FECs. With the help of VR technology, users can experience a new reality which only seemed possible in the motion pictures and video games.

“The future looks promising for the African amusement and leisure sector which has reported a steady growth on the revenue front. Africa has been growing in terms of tourism and infrastructure as well. Africa will see newer malls in the next couple of years and will be home to several global brands. The retail industry is taking shape on one hand, and so is the family entertainment industry and they are complementing each other,” added Mr. Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.

Themeparks and malls are set to be a crowd puller to raise the revenues to contribute to the GDP of African countries. Tourism in this region has seen a boost that is simultaneous to the economic growth being experienced across many parts of the continent. Reports predict that direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP will increase by 4.8% per annum, to USD121.3bn which is approximately 3.2% of GDP by 2026.

DEAL has led the amusement and entertainment space during this period and the testimony to this is the fact that exhibitors at DEAL 2017 have signed multi-million dollar contracts in just 3 days. Foraying into the 24th edition, DEAL 2018 expects to witness an even larger gathering of key players and visitors in the amusement industry from Middle East, US, Mediterranean, Asian, and especially African countries.

DEAL, since its inception in 1995 has developed into an unparalleled platform that gathers exhibitors, buyers, and professionals from the international amusement and entertainment industry. DEAL is the region's most anticipated and leading attraction for global and local stakeholders in the amusement and entertainment industries. The show is slated to be held from 9th-11th April 2018 at Halls 1, and Za’abeel Halls 1,2 and 3 at the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre.


Ogochukwu Nebenanya/GEE

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dana aircraft overshot runway in PH, no casualty

Dana aircraft from Abuja to Port Harcourt has overshot the runway on landing at the Port-Harcourt international airport, Omegwa, reports ITRealms.

The forty-nine passengers on board, ITRealms gathered, were successfully evacuated without any injuries or casualty.

Confirming this, the General Manager, Public Affairs at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said the runway at the airport has been closed, but soon will be re-opened after the necessary work had been done to ensure the runway is save for other flights to come in.

She also said the incident was suspected to have been caused by a heavy rain, which was accompanied by strong wind and storm in Port Harcourt axis.

“No casualty was recorded, as all passengers on board were safely evacuated,” she declared.
Of late, Dana has been in the eye of storm over air mishaps, especially in the past few weeks.

Just recently its emergency exit door was opened whilst landing at the local wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja,

Though the airline alleged an apprehensive passenger tinkered with the emergency exit while the plan still on the runway, alternate report showed there was no passengers at that particular exit to support the airline’s claim.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Destroyers of Nigeria posing as saviours - Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has challenged the media to contextualize their reporting so that those who destroyed Nigeria will not be made to look like the country's new saviours, reports ITRealms.

The Minister said this when the Chief Executive Officer of TVC Communications, Mr. Andrew Hanlon, led a team of top officials of the company on a courtesy visit to the Minister in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.

''We are on a rescue mission. However, the way a section of the media is reporting the challenges facing the country today does not reflect that understanding. They are making a corrective administration to look like the culprit, to give the impression that the rain started beating us in Nigeria only from 29 May 2015, to play down the challenges that this Administration has faced and which it issuccessfully tackling.

''For example, we did not get to where we are today in just three years. It has taken successive decades of bad governance, unbridled corruption, lack of probity, a culture of impunity and a near state of anarchy. These are the ills this Administration inherited and which it has set out to tackle. And this is what the media must reflect in their reporting,'' he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said but for the prudence, probity and the anti-corruption stance of this Administration, the situation could have been worse, adding: ''Instead of recession, we could have had a total collapse of the economy. The power grid could have collapsed altogether. Corruption could have overwhelmed the society. Boko Haram could have turned Abuja to Bama or Konduga. Food imports could have tripled what it was pre-May 29th 2015 and the Naira might have been worse hit.''

He, therefore, challenged the media to do more to educate Nigerians ''that it is hard to build but easy to destroy, that the same people who presided over yesterday's looting of our treasury are today posing as would-be saviours of Nigerians, that this Administration is rebuilding almost from the scratch with 60% less revenue, that the corrupt ones are spending millions of Naira to paint the government of the bad, and that Nigeria is not returning to Egypt''.

The Minister said when this Administration assumed office, the price of oil, the mainstay of Nigeria's economy, had dropped to around $30 from over $100, foreign reserves stood at a low of $24 billion, the Federal Government was borrowing to pay salary, some 27 states were owing arrears of salary, contractors were being owed over several years, infrastructure was in poor state, power generation was 2,690 megawatts, billions were being paid as 'fuel subsidies' to fat cats, corruption had emptied the treasury while 20 of the 27 local councils in Borno were under Boko Haram control.

''Today, the trend is being reversed and the results are showing: Foreign Reserves is now $42.8b, inflation has fallen for 12 consecutive months to 15.13%, 108 billion Naira has been saved from the removal of maintenance fees payable to banks pre-TSA, the nation is saving 24.7 billion Naira monthly with the full TSA implementation, the elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira, capital inflow reached $1.8 billion in the second quarter of 2017, almost double the $908 million in the first quarter, while Nigeria’s stock market is one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent.

''Nigeria has also jumped 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the world, the Administration has repeatedly given bailouts for states to pay salary, the Administration's Agricultural Revolution is a huge success, with agriculture export up year-on-year by 25%, rice import from Thailand dropping 644,000 Metric Tonnes to 22,000MT and rice farmers growing from 5 million to 12.3 million, the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme has created jobs for 61,352 cooks, and it is providing 6.4 million school children in 33,981 schools across 20 states with one meal a day,'' he said.

Alhaji Mohammed also noted that the N-Power programme has employed 200,000 graduates, that power generation has reached an all-time high of over 7,000MW, that infrastructural development is going on at a massive rate across the country, that corruption has been driven under the table and Boko Haram has been massively degraded.

He said a free press is indispensable to democracy, and assured that the Administration will not do anything to stifle the press.

Earlier, Mr. Hanlon had assured the Minister of TVC Communication's commitment to the country's audio-visual landscape, while announcing that a new radio station will open in Abuja in April as part of the company's aggressive investment programme.


Also on the entourage of the TVC Communications CEO were Mr. Ronan Redmond, TVC's Director of Commercial; Mr. Babatunde Kolade Otitoju, Head of News and Mr. Taiwo Amodu. the Abuja Bureau Chief.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE


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MRA inducts TCN into ‘FOI Hall of Shame’ for leaving Nigerians in darkness

The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has named the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) as this week’s inductee into the Freedom of Information (FOI) Hall of Shame for leaving Nigerians in the dark over its operations and activities arising from its flagrant disregard of several provision of the FOI Act, including its failure to submit annual reports and disclose information proactively, among others, reports ITRealms.
The TCN, ITRealms gathered, manages the electricity transmission network in Nigeria and is one of the 18 companies that emerged from the unbundling of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in April 2004. It is a product of a merger of the transmission and system operations parts of PHCN.  It was incorporated in November 2005 and issued a transmission license on July 1, 2006.
The TCN is currently fully owned and operated by the Federal Government.  It carries out activities which include electricity transmission, systems operation and electricity trading as well as taking responsibility for evacuating electric power generated by the electricity generating companies (GenCos) and wheeling such power to the distribution companies (DisCos).
In a statement in Lagos, MRA’s Programme Manager in charge of Digital Rights, Ms Eseohe Ojo, noted that as part of the reform programme of the Federal Government, the TCN is to be reorganised and restructured to improve its reliability and expand its capacity in the power sector.”
She interpreted the proposed reorganization and restructuring as evidence of a clear failure on the part of TCN to effectively carry out its mandate and the Federal Government’s recognition of public dissatisfaction with the company’s performance of its functions.
Ms Ojo accused the company of failing to use “the most essential tool in its toolbox, which is the Freedom of Information Act, in ensuring that Nigerians are well informed, updated and carried along in its operations, businesses and activities, which might have resulted in public understanding of its challenges and generated the necessary public sympathy for it.”
According to her, despite the fact that the core functions of the TCN ought to be guided by the principles of transparency, accountability and integrity, among others, “it has chosen to operate in silence and secrecy, thereby depriving Nigerians of the right to be informed while at the same time failing to deliver to them in an efficient manner an essential public service.”
She noted that since the coming into force of the FOI Act in 2011, the company had failed to submit a single annual report on its implementation of the Act to the Attorney General of the Federation, thereby violating section 29 (1) of the Act as well as the more detailed requirements contained in the Guidelines for the Implementation of the FOI Act, issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation in the exercise of his powers under the Act.
Ms Ojo said the TCN had also contravened the section 2 (3)(d)(i) and (e)(iii) of the Act as it failed to proactively disclose information relating to the receipt and expenditure of public or other funds of the institution as well as information containing applications for any contracts made by or between the company and another public institution or private organization, which includes the foreign loans of $1.5 billion and $500 million that it received for its operations and contract processes.
She added that this action had already caused the House of Representatives of the National Assembly to institute an investigation into the violation by the TCN of the Constitution, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, and the Public Procurement Act in October 2017.
Ms Ojo also cited as a further breach of the FOI Act by the TCN its failure to publish on its website or on any other public platform, the title and address of the appropriate officer to whom applications for information under the Act should be made, as required by Section 2(3) (f) of the Act, evidencing a clear lack of intention to provide members of the public with information as it is obliged to do by the Act.
She said the TCN had apparently also not trained its officials on the public’s right of access to information or records held by it and for the effective implementation of the Act as required by Section 13 of the Act.
Ms Ojo also accused the company of non-responsiveness to requests for information made to it under the FOI Act and cited as an example, requests made on several occasions by the Abuja-based non-governmental organization, Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC),  for information in the custody of the TCN, which were never granted or even answered.
She said: “One should perhaps not be surprised by this lack of responsiveness on the part of the TCN to requests for information as it is apparent from its failure or refusal to designate an appropriate official to whom such requests for information should be directed that it never intended to respond to any such request for information, regardless of whatever the FOI Act stipulates.”
Ms Ojo observed that although the TCN listed the names and titles of its management team on its website, it, failed to disclose the names, salaries, titles and dates of employment of all its employees, as required by the FOI Act.
She also noted that the TCN has failed to list the classes of records under its control in sufficient detail to facilitate the exercise of the right to information under the Act as well as the manuals used by its employees in administering or carrying out any of the programmes or activities of the institution as required by Section 2 (3)(b) of the Act.
Launched in July 2017, the “FOI Hall of Shame” draws attention to public officials and institutions undermining the effectiveness of the Freedom of Information Act through their actions, inactions, utterances and decisions.


Nonye Dom/GEE

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Kingdom Wealth Multipurpose Society debuts in South West

All is now set for the inauguration of the Kingdom Wealth Multipurpose Society (KWMS) in the South Western part of Nigeria, as one of the poverty alleviation and empowerment programmes, reports ITRealms.

KWMS, ITRealms gathered comes to town with the aim of uplifting the welfare of the people.

The inauguration slated for today, Tuesday, February  20, 2018 in Akure, the Ondo State capital, would other activities lined up to make it a resounding one.

According to the organisers in a press statement made available to ITRealms, the occasion will also witness the inauguration of the South West coordinators of the program during which Chief Adewale Omojuwa, the Adetolugbo of Ugbo Kingdom will be decorated as the grand patron and Dr. Alatishe Mike as the regional Director.

ITRealms also reports that the event is expected to draw to Akure, many dignitaries including government officials from both the public and the private sectors of the economy.


Ayo Midele/ED, Ops

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Alert: NITDA harps on implication of GDPR

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has alerted Nigerians on implications of the soon to be implemented European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), reports ITRealms.

According to the Director General/CEO, NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, they would like to bring to the attention of Nigerian businesses, especially those that collect, store and process personal data of European Union (EU) citizens for the provision of goods and services, and the general public, the implications of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

He noted that the regulation adopted on 27 April 2016 and which becomes enforceable from 25 May 2018 “is replacing the data protection directive of 1995. It applies whether the data controller - an organization that collects data from EU residents or processor - an organization that processes data on behalf of data controller such as data centres or the data subject – the person whose personal data has been collected is based within or outside any EU member state, if they collect or process personal data of EU citizens and residents.

“The Agency has realized that this regulation might have huge impact on Nigerian businesses and/or individuals that use Information Technologies to collect, store, process and transact on EU citizens personal data in EU territory or elsewhere. It is in the utmost interest of the Agency to protect Nigerian businesses from unnecessary exposure to the risks of this regulation and/or any regulations that might have negative impact on their businesses as well as the rights of Nigerians that have dual citizenship of any EU member state.

“NITDA therefore calls on Nigerian organisations that are controllers and processors of personal data of EU nationals to note that companies that meet the following criteria must comply:

             have offices in an EU member state;
             have no offices in any EU member state but processes personal data of EU nationals and residents;
             have more than 250 employees; and
             have fewer than 250 employees but its data processing impacts the rights and freedoms of data subjects or occasionally includes certain types of sensitive personal data.

“The regulation requires that data controllers and processors must seek consent from data subjects in an intelligible and easily accessible form, clearly specifying the purpose for the collection. It also stipulates that consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters and presented in a clear and plain language.

“A breach of the regulation can attract a fine of up to 4% of a company’s annual global turnover or an equivalent of twenty million euros (€20 million). Furthermore, companies can be fined up to 2 per cent for not having their records in order, not notifying the supervising authority and data subject about a breach or not conducting impact assessment.

“The regulation also gives data subjects the right to obtain from the data controller confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed, where and for what purpose. They also have the right to transmit data they had previously provided to another controller. Furthermore, they are entitled to have the data controller erase their personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data,” he said.

Therefore, he also said, NITDA is calling on Nigerian businesses, especially those carrying out online transactions and meet the GDPR compliance criteria to put in place appropriate measures to observe the provisions of this regulation to avoid being sanctioned for a liable breach.

“Organisations are also required to note the provisions of the NITDA Guidelines on Data Protection, issued in 2013 and currently being revised. In an effort to make the agency’s rule making process transparent and industry-focused, the revised guideline will soon be presented for stakeholder consultation as stipulated in the Rulemaking Process Regulation of NITDA,” he said.


Uboshe Uboshe & Doris Minimah/GEE

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ICT4D Week 2018