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ETSI’s new zero touch network group debuts

ITREALMS : An independent, not-for-profit, standardization organization in the telecommunications industry, the European Telecommunicat...

Monday, January 22, 2018

ETSI’s new zero touch network group debuts

An independent, not-for-profit, standardization organization in the telecommunications industry, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has introduced what it described as Zero touch network and Service Management Industry Specificiation Group (ZSM ISG), reports ITRealms.

The group which commenced work at the weekend also informed ITRealms that over 40 organizations have already joined the group since it kicked-off at ETSI on 10-12 January.
This, ETSI said underlines the importance of this new activity for future network and service management.

ITRealms noted that this first meeting provided the opportunity to elect a leadership team, start discussing the first topics to work on and initiate collaboration with other standards bodies, fora and open source communities.

ITRealms gathered that Klaus Martiny of Deutsche Telekom, was elected as chair of the ZSM ISG, while Nurit Sprecher of Nokia and Christian Toche of Huawei, were elected as vice chairs of the group. The Network Operators Council (NOC) advisory group elected Ashiq Khan of DOCOMO as chair and Serge Manning of Sprint as vice chair. 

One of the key achievements at this first meeting was the agreement on five working topics including the development of use cases, requirements, and reference architecture with an end-to-end view of a zero touch system as well as an analysis into areas such as automation techniques and the management of network slices.

Networks need to evolve towards programmable, software-driven, service-based and holistically-managed architectures, using technology enablers and catalysts such as NFV, SDN and MEC. New business models, including network slicing, will support new markets and impose unprecedented operational agility and higher cooperation across network domains. The resulting exponential increase in overall complexity makes automation a necessity. The goal of ETSI’s ZSM ISG is to provide an end-to-end solution to have all operational processes and tasks - delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance, and optimization - executed automatically, ideally with 100% automation.

“While 5G and its building blocks are being developed, it’s time to offer an end-to-end view focusing on automated end-to-end network and service management”, says Klaus Martiny, ZSM chair. “We want to offer the market open and simple solutions. A continuous feedback from all stakeholders will lead to the first implementations of the specifications which will be tested through Proofs of Concepts, the outcome being fed back to improve existing specifications. A strong collaboration and cooperation with others standards bodies and Open Source projects is important for the ISG.”

Participation in the Zero touch network and Service Management Industry Specification Group is open to all ETSI members as well as non-members organizations. For information on how to participate please contact zsmsupport@etsi.org. The ISG participants list is available on the ETSI Portal.


ITRealms further recalled that ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, aeronautical, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit association whose more than 800 member companies and organizations, drawn from 66 countries across five continents worldwide, determine its work programme and participate directly in its work.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Answer the call of Nineveh & May God's will prevail

In the first reading of today, from the book of the prophet Jonah, God spoke to Jonah, calling him to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh. Though Jonah tried to refuse, God showed him that the will of God prevails in all, so he changed his mind and went and preached to the people of Nineveh.

In the gospel, we see Mark's version of the call of the first four apostles, all fishermen. According to Mark, they left everything they were doing and followed Jesus.

We might begin to compare the difference between the immediate and earnest response of these apostles on the one hand, and the reluctant response of Jonah on the other. But I see something much more happening here which I want to point out for our reflection. They were all ordinary men who were going about their businesses. There was nothing remarkably extraordinary about them. Bring them among us today, they will blend with us, in our churches, market places, schools, offices etc. We will not notice them. They were ordinary people like you and me who were called to serve. Jonah responded reluctantly, but others responded immediately with zeal.

Just as these men were called, so God is calling all of us to serve Him in the world around us. I am sure that someway, somehow, when we look around us, we can all see something that is not going as it should. It might be in our families, in our relationships and friendships, in schools, in our workplaces, in our neighbourhoods and communities, the killing of innocent people in other communities far and near. God is calling us to do something about that situation and change it.

Answering God’s call might require a change in career for us. But not necessarily; Like the four apostles mentioned in today’s gospel, for most of us, it will not require a change in career. It might only require a transformation of our present careers into a means of service. The same line of trade, but on a different level. This becomes possible if we move away from pursuing only income and personal enhancement to seeking the glory of God and the benefit of humankind and all God’s creation.

For some like Jonah, answering God’s call to serve might take us to places we never dreamt of going, and to things we would rather not do. Little wonder, he attempted to run away from God. Jonah could be seen from the lenses of our contemporary world, as one who refused to pick God’s call or switched off his phone purposefully. He went reluctantly, in answer to the call to serve. Nineveh in our world today is found in families and relationships that are dysfunctional. Nineveh is found in the backstreets and alleys that are festering with vices of various kinds. 

Nineveh is found in board rooms that put profit before anything else, no matter its impact on people and the environment. Nineveh is found in the ivory towers of corporate businesses where the fate and destinies of billions of the world’s poorest are decided. Wherever we see the Nineveh to which God is calling us, let us do our best to answer the call to serve, difficult though it will be. Repenting and believing entails liberation from and liberation for respectively, it has to do with being attached to the person of Jesus and to journey along with him. Happy Sunday


* Rev. Fr Simon Peter Dzungwe contributed this from Ibadan, Oyo State.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Broadband: NCC outlines benefits of cost-based pricing, data services study

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has outlined some benefits of thorough study to determine the cost based pricing for retail broadband and data services in Nigeria, reports ITRealms.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the outcome of the report to be carried out by KPMG would facilitate setting of guidelines for the regulation of the pricing of retail broadband and data services in Nigeria and specifically determine Price cap and floor where necessary.

“To develop a regulatory pricing model based on the peculiarity of the Nigerian broadband and data services market coupled with international best practices; and design the framework for collation of data that will be used for the determination; as well as to determine the appropriate cost modeling technique and methodology to be adopted,” he said.

In addition, he underscored the fact that the study would assist in appropriating pricing regulatory measures to be adopted eventually; the need for ex-ante and ex-post regulation with respect to pricing in the retail broadband and data market segments.

It is expected, he said, that the study would enable the development of a suitable definition of big and new entrant and or small operators, if necessary; just as it would avail the  conduct of a general assessment of the retail broadband cum data market segment with a view of determining the appropriate methodology to be adopted; and to design a cost model that is suitable for determining retail prices for broadband and data services taking into cognizance the macro-economic, technology and technical relevant factors.

Further, he disclosed that the study would result in the determination of a uniform pricing structure within the broadband and data segment; ensuring effective competition in the broadband and data market segment; guaranteeing affordability and accessibility of broadband and data services in Nigeria.

Facilitating inflow, development and growth of the broadband market segment; and above, “the stimulation of further economic growth considering the catalytic role broadband services plays.”

Nonye Dom/GEE

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NITDA reorganises certification process for OEMs

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has reorganised the process of registering and certifying indigenous Information Technology (IT) Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), other government establishments, reports ITRealms.

Disclosing this to ITRealms, the Director-General cum chief executive officer (CEO), NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said it has become imperative to bring this to the notice of all stakeholders including organised private sector and public at large.

Also, a press statement made available to ITRealms, Dr. Pantami was quoted as saying that this reorganisation became necessary considering the incessant complaints received from consumers of indigenous IT devices.

“It is also aimed at facilitating and ensuring adherence to world class standards. This will guarantee the quality and durability of locally assembled devices,” he said, stressing that NITDA will henceforth mandate quality after-sales-support as a significant part of the registration and certification process and as mandatory part of the operations of all indigenous OEMs.

For this, he said, all previously registered indigenous IT OEMs whose certifications have expired should note that continuance of sale of machines and equipment not tested and certified by NITDA is a violation of existing rules and procedures of the Agency. They are therefore advised to initiate the recertification process with immediate effect. We also call on all customers to demand current certification of NITDA before devices are purchased from indigenous OEMs.

As said by him, all other entities desirous of assembling and selling IT devices in Nigeria should also apply to the agency for registration and certification.

Pantami further said that interested entities should note that only NITDA registered indigenous OEMs are entitled to the reliefs and incentives as contained in the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) 2013. The certification process of OEMs and the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT 2013 are issued and implemented pursuant to Section 6 of the National Information Technology Development Act 2007.

NITDA, ITRealms recalls was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a & c) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; and render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Senator Victor Umeh sworn-in @Senate

ITREALMS:
Finally the Senate on Thursday, January 18, 2017 made another history by swearing-in Senator Victor Umeh if All Progressive  Grand Alliance (APGA) as a member of the Senate, reports ITRealms.


This followed his election last Saturday after a rerun as the representative of Anambra Central Senatorial District in Anambra State.

Umeh currently is the only member of APGA in the Nigeria Senate.

His emergence followed defeat of 13 other contenders to clinch the seat, for a total of 64,879 votes out of estimated 67,000 votes cast in the seven local government areas that made up the zone.

That is a margin of over 95 per cent over his opponents.


The Anambra Central Senatorial District, ITRealms recalled had been without a senator since 2015 when the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu sacked Uche Ekwunife and asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct rerun election within 90 days.



The court also disqualified the People's Democratic Party and Mrs. Ekwunife from participating in the rerun.

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Umoren hands over to Ekuwem as SSG @Akwa-Ibom

The erstwhile Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Sir Etekamba Umoren, has handed over to his successor, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem in Uyo, capital of the state, reports ITRealms.

Reports reaching ITRealms newsroom, showed that the formal handover ceremony was held Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at the SSG conference room.

The ceremony, ITRealms reports was also witnessed by the Permanent Secretary in the office of SSG, Mr Uduak Iwoh, Executive Secretary Finance & General Purpose Committee, Barrister Janet Daniel, Directors, staff of the office and well-wishers of the new SSG.

ITRealms recalls that the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of Akwa-Ibom State (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, was on Tuesday this week sworn-in at the Government House Banquet Hall, Uyo, capital of Akwa-Ibom State.

The swearing in which was performed by the Executive Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Mr. Emmanuel Udom on Tuesday afternoon, tasked Ekuwem to use his wealth of experience in adding value to the state in his new position.

The occasion graced by friends and family members also saw Dr. Ekuwem adorned in his full regalia of his “Obong Ifiok Ibaka” title, saw the governor insisting that the unity of Akwa Ibom State is non-negotiable, stressing he was poised to ensure the whole state irrespective of tribes as part of his government’s political inclusiveness agenda.

“Akwa Ibom is all one, joined by a common destiny and aspirations and our unity in non-negotiable, our common ethos and fidelity to the Akwa Ibom project remains sacrosanct,” the governor said.

He also noted that the greatest asset by God to Akwa Ibom is her people, hence the people will make the different once united, just as he assured that every part of the state has a sense of belonging.

“I enjoin you to celebrate this mutually inclusive tendencies and put those naysayers, to shame that we will never be derailed from the path of unity and collectively sworn to uphold,” he declared, tasking Dr. Ekuwem on the high expectations of the government and the people who came to witness his swearing in.

Udom reminded Ekuwem that he must work to justify the reason for his appointment which was mainly to add value to the government industrialization process.

“We are happy that your name has gone across everywhere and it was your integrity that worked for you when you contested for and won as the President of Nigeria Internet Group” he said, urging Ekuwem to bring his leadership quality to bear so that the state could unite and bring everybody together, added, “from this moment nothing should divide the state as development has also been spread across the three senatorial districts.”

Akwa Ibom, Udom said, is one family, adding that nobody ever predicted where they were to be born, and sued for unity and love among all in the state.

He thanked the immediate past Secretary to Government, Sir Etekamba Umoren for a cordial working relationship with him from the time Umoren was the permanent secretary of the office of the governor till his appointment as then Secretary to Government.

Bassey Atim Bassey/GEE


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Gov. Okorocha: Of tyranny and discontent

A very significant eventa peaceful mass protest against the misgovernance and mindless plunder of Imo State by Mr. Rochas Okorochatook place in Owerri exactly a month ago, on Monday, December 18, 2017. It was organized by the Imo Peoples Action for Democracy (IPAD), a coalition of civil society and professional groups in Imo State. It didn’t get much media traction, not because it didn’t deserve national media attention. Part of the problem is the character of the Nigerian media. The other explanation was the concerted effort by Mr. Okorocha and his goons, aided by the Nigeria Police, to suppress the protest.

By the morning of the protest, radio stations in Owerri were running bulletins, issued by the Nigeria Police, claiming that the protest had been called off because the police had declared it illegal. That declaration was, of course, not only patently false but illegal considering that the Nigerian constitution guarantees citizens freedom of thought and expression.  

Not trusting their own propaganda, Mr. Okorocha and the police rolled out tanks, deployed various security outfits and laid siege to Owerri, searching vehicles coming into the city centre for protesters. Their machinations, and the massive security presence, notwithstanding, citizens of Imo State came out to show their displeasure with Mr. Okorocha’s harebrained polices. Expectedly, the police confronted the protesters, firing tear gas, attacking those who refused to disperse and confiscating banners and placards.

Interestingly, on the same day, Mr. Okorocha’s myrmidons, suborned by a vicious and clueless chief executive, gathered at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), Owerri, with full security protection, singing and dancing, to show their “support” for a man desperate for acceptance and approval even with the national opprobrium his time as governor has drawn.

A day before, as I distributed leaflets about the protest at an anti-imperialist youth camp organized by Social Action in Owerri, one of the young people I met informed me that the Imo State government had made available two million naira (N2,000,000) for youth from all the local governments in the state to dissuade them from joining the protest.
The responsibility of “sharing” the largesse fell on Onwueyiagwu Valentine who was just two weeks old on the job as commissioner for youth development.  

The young man in question told me, in an appealingly irreverent way, that when he and his mates were summoned by the obviously edgy commissioner, he had no inkling that he was going to convey Mr. Okorocha’s message that the youth should be paid to put the kibosh on the protest. He said his share of the money was three thousand naira (N3,000) and that he collected it to cover his transportation. He assured me he would participate in the protest. This is just an insight into how far a desperate Mr. Okorocha went to deny Imolites their right to protest his malfeasance.  
The December 18, 2017, protest was significant for three reasons: one, it laid to rest the myth that the tyranny of Mr. Okorocha could not be challenged; two, it showed the incestuous, and profitable, relationship between Mr. Okorocha and the Nigeria Police Force in Imo State headed by Mr. Chris Ezike, the state police commissioner; three, it marked the beginning of what would be a long-drawn-out battle to reclaim Imo State and rescue it from the grips of a grotesque mediocrity, to use Karl Marx’s apt description of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. I shall return to this third point.

Anyone who has taken, even a cursory, interest in happenings in Nigeria, will be piqued by the actions of the menace called Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the governor of Imo State. Two years after he took office on May 29, 2011, he orchestrated the impeachment of his then deputy, Jude Agbaso, by the State House of Assembly, on allegation of corruption. Okorocha installed his sidekick and chief of staff, Eze Madumere, as deputy governor.

For Imolites who had gone through a string of ineffectual governorsincluding Okorocha’s predecessor, Ikedi Ohakim, himself a devious administratorthe emergence of Mr. Okorocha in 2011 was a testament to the beauty of democracy and the power of the people. Mr. Okorocha’s antecedents did not qualify him to run a local government much less a state. His “fame” derived from what Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, describes as being an “appendage of power.” A semi-literate political freeloader who has toyed with the idea of running for president several times, Mr. Okorocha promoted himself as a “successful businessman and education philanthropist.” In April 2011, he “won” a highly controversial election marred by irregularities and became the fourteenth governor of Imo State since its creation in 1976.  
Let it be clear, some of those who oppose Mr. Okorocha today supported him a few years ago. They thought, then, that considering his so-called rag to riches story, Mr. Okorocha could empathize with the harried citizens of the state. Imolites were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the heels of a succession of depraved governors. It didn’t take long before Mr. Okorocha proved that governorship of Imo State was beyond his pay grade.

In a recent interview with Tell magazine, Mr. Okorocha noted: “My ideas drive me crazy.” He wasn’t speaking figuratively. Going by his own insane admission, there is no other way to describe his stewardship other than pure madness. Mr. Okorocha has embarked on the most reckless anti-people programmes Imolites have witnessed. He has demolished markets, displacing poor market men and women without providing succour. Civil servants are owed backlog of salaries and when they are paid, they are only given a percentage of their salary. Same for pensioners. He runs the finances of Imo State without recourse to the State House of Assembly. In an October 14, 2016, petition addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, a group, Concerned Citizens of Imo State noted, among other things, that Mr. Okorocha had destroyed the civil service in the state and rendered it ineffective.

According to the group, “The first thing he did after he took office was to publicly announce: ‘I do not believe in the use of files or in due process. Due process is due corruption; whenever I wake up, I move where my mind directs me.’ The governor makes appointments bypassing the state Civil Service Commission and with no regard for competence. Workers in the state civil service are the worst hit. Permanent secretaries, directors and professionals like doctors, engineers, architects and surveyors are mere spectators, even in areas where their specialty and experience are most needed. Their jobs have been taken over by Okorocha’s surrogates.”

Indeed, Mr. Okorocha’s mind has been directing him to all kinds of inanities. A few years ago, he woke up and his mind directed him to pull down the central library—an edifice older than Imo State and one which, as an undergraduate at the University of Calabar three decades ago, was a refuge for me and many in my generation and beyond—to construct what has turned out to be his personal cathedral.

Recently, not being able to pay civil servants, notwithstanding the billions of naira from the federal government to meet that obligation, Mr. Okorocha woke up one morning and his mind directed him to declare a three-day work week. He asked civil servants who were owed months of salary arrears to take up farming to make up for the unpaid wages. His latest idle fancy is erecting statues in Owerri. And Mr. Okorocha’s statues don’t come cheap as he gleefully told Channels TV in an interview a few weeks ago. He recently commissioned one, amid national outrage, of the certified rogue president, Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

Back to the issue of reclaiming Imo State. Today, the state has become the Okorocha fiefdom. For Mr. Okorocha, democracy simply means government of the Okorochas by the Okorochas and for the Okorochas. Last month, he announced his younger sister, Ogechi Ololo (nee Okorocha)deputy chief of staff for internal and domestic affairs—as commissioner for “happiness and couples' fulfillment,” and later, “purpose fulfilment.” He has no compunction naming public buildings after his family members. His father-in-law, Prof Anthony Anwukah, a former secretary to the state government under Mr. Okorocha, and now the junior minister of education, is the minister representing Imo State in the Federal Executive Council.

A few days before the December 18 protest, Uche Nwosu, ex-personal assistant, lapdog, and son-in-law of Mr. Okorocha, and currently his chief of staff, launched what was clearly his 2019 governorship campaign, leaving no one in doubt that the son-in-law is being primed to replace the father-in-law; a grand tragedy set to be replaced by a rotten farce, to paraphrase Friedrich Engels. Regrettably, some members of the do-nothing Imo State House of Assembly have already endorsed this caricature.

There is so much a people can endure. It is comforting that the Imo Peoples Action for Democracy has declared 2018 a year of rage! Now that the heat is on, those who aspire to lead Imo State in 2019 must stand up and be counted.


*Onumah is the author of We Are All Biafrans. Follow him on Twitter @conumah

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Miyetti Allah is terrorist organization – CAN insists

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) a terrorist organistion, reports ITRealms.

They also called on Federal Government and well-meaning entities and organisations like the United Nations and United States of America (USA) to chorus their declaration by designating Miyetti Allah, appropriately.

Speaking through its General –Secretary, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, at the National Christian Centre, Tuesday, CAN said that declaration of Miyetti Allah as a terrorist organization is long over-due, 

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately overhaul the National Security Council with a view to sharing its membership equally between Christians and Muslims and possibly those who do not belong to either.

CAN equally said that Miyetti Allah has proved beyond doubts that its mission is not merely to breed cattles,  describing as hugely unfortunate the backing such a group is enjoying from current security agencies in Nigeria, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. Ibrahim Idris Kpotum, particularly, given his recent utterances.

According to CAN scribe, Miyetti Allah has exhibited and committed genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Christians, especially the minorities in the Middlebelt.

"The Myetti Allah organisation should be tagged a terrorist organisation. Its leaders should be arrested and prosecuted for the genocide against the Christian minorities in the Middlebelt," CAN insisted.

CAN pointed out that the overhauling of the security apparatus of the country should start with the immediate replacement of the IGP Idris.

“We call for immediate replacement of the Inspector General of Police because our security can no longer be guaranteed.”

While advising President Buhari to eschew appointments built on religion, CAN said “No religion has a monopoly of competency, commitment and patriotism.”

Further, they called for immediate redeployment of all the Commissioners of Police nationwide, condemning in strong terms the attempt by this pro-Fulani government to introduce “cattle colonies.”

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Telia picks Nokia cloud to enhance mobile broadband

ITREALMS:
Telia company has chosen Nokia's cloud packet core solution to profitably deliver enhanced mobile broadband, reports ITREALMS.

The company also said that the choice would provide the massively scalable platform required as part of Telia's Next Generation Core.

With, ITREALMS reports that Nokia's AirGile cloud-native design enables Telia to benefit from a full cloud architecture, allowing it to streamline engineering and operations to run on a common infrastructure across all six countries in which it operates.

This, ITREALMS reports will contribute to Telia's ambition for competitive operations, lowering the cost of introducing and operating data services, substantially accelerating time-to-market for differentiated services and expanding business productivity.

Nonye Dom/GEE

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Implement consensus policy for IGO, INGO identifiers

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is seeking all ICANN generic top-level domain (gTLD) contracted parties to as a matter of urgency implement the new consensus policy concerning the protection of certain specific names of intergovernmental organizations (IGO) and international nongovernmental organizations (INGO) identifiers in all gTLDs, reports ITRealms.

This policy, ITRealms gathered  is  related only to those identifiers specifically approved by the ICANN Board in April 2014 following the conclusion of a Policy Development Process (PDP) conducted by the Generic Names Supporting Organization. 

According to ICANN, this direction does not include IGO and INGO identifiers for which Board approval is still pending or for which GNSO policy work remains ongoing.

ITRealms also gathered that contracted parties will have until 1 August 2018 to complete implementation of the new requirements for certain specific names of IGOs, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement (RCRC). 

Further ICANN explained that for INGOs, the implementation period will be 12 months from the release of the INGO Claims Systems Specification which is currently under development by ICANN org.

The protections, ITRealms gathered is within this policy pertain to specific names of certain IGOs, INGOs, the IOC, and the RCRC, according to the recommendations adopted by the ICANN Board.

"The policy requires registry operators to withhold the specified names from registration for IGOs, the IOC, and the RCRC at the second-level and provides an exceptions procedure for registration. For INGOs, the policy requires claims notices at the second-level" ICANN said.

Just as additional information is available at the ICANN Generic Names Supporting Organization working group and IGO/INGO implementation review team wiki pages.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Why Nigeria needs adequate pricing model - Danbatta

The Executive Vice Chairman and chief executive officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has explained why the Nigeria needed adequately defined  pricing model, reports ITRealms.

This, he said, would make certain the nationwide affordability and availability of broadband.

Danbatta said these in Lagos, Tuesday, while speaking at NCC organised stakeholders forum on the study to determine the cost based-pricing for retail broadband and data services in the country, held at the Digital Bridge Institute, Cappa-Lagos.

He told stakeholders that not only will a broadband pricing structure allow for affordability, but also throw up fair competition by checking price discrimination, excessive pricing, predatory pricing, margin squeeze and price fixing to name but a few.

Danbatta noted that to have a price structure for broadband is in line with the Commission’s mandate of creating an enabling environment and promoting fair competition in the telecoms industry and in line with the strategic objectives of the National Broadband Plan.

In futherance, ITRealms reports that NCC has appointed KPMG to study the 'Determination of Cost Based Pricing for Retail Broadband and Data Services Nigeria' and report back to the industry.

Nonye Dom/GEE

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Private conversation comes to Skype via Signal, Microsoft collaboration

A San Francisco-based software entity, Signal and Microsoft Corporation, have advanced plans to introduce a Private Conversations feature in Skype, powered by Signal Protocol, reports ITRealms.
The collaboration, ITRealms gathered, would see Signal and Microsoft bring onboard end-to-end encryption to Skype, to make private communication simple and ubiquitous.
With hundreds of millions of active users, ITRealms gathered that Skype is one of the most popular applications in the world.
This, the partnership disclosed they were excited that ‘Private Conversations’ in Skype will allow more users to take advantage of Signal Protocol’s strong encryption properties for secure communication.
ITRealms also reports that the Private Conversations feature is now available in preview for Skype Insiders.
“There’s still more to come,” the partnership to ITRealms in a press statement made available at the weekend.
ITRealms recalls that with this development, Microsoft has joined a growing list of organizations including WhatsAppGoogleFacebook, and Signal itself that have integrated the open source Signal Protocol into their messaging platform.
Officials, told ITRealms, “We’re going to continue our efforts to advance the state of the art for frictionless private communication, in our own app and in others. We’re excited about the future of Signal Protocol and the places it is going.”
Further, they said, “Signal is making private communication simple. We design open protocols, develop Open Source software, and give it away for free.

Though they noted it has been challenging work, “… We started this project because we think making things is fun, privacy is valuable, and cryptography is remarkable.”


Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Benue: Herdsmen attack is terrorism - Archbishop Martins

ITREALMS:
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace Most Rev Dr Alfred Adewale Martins has condemned in strong terms the recent killing of over 75 innocent villagers in parts of Benue and Adamawa States, describing it as an act of terrorism, reports ITRealms.

Archbishop Martins while commiserating with the family members and relations of the deceased said the attack is a national calamity that must be seen as an act of terrorism.

He also described as most unfortunate and regrettable the failure of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to effectively protect the lives and properties of the citizens from the hands of the marauders.

The visibly angry clergy man wondered why the FG incessantly failed to arrest the perpetrators and sponsors of the heinous crimes. 

"We often see people who openly come out in the media to justify the callous actions of the criminals while issuing threats that the killing would continue even as they deny knowing those who are responsible," he decried.

Pointing out that such inaction by the authorities was capable of sending the wrong signal to the masses that the marauding herdsmen are indeed above the law of the nation.

“While we acknowledge the efforts being made to beef up security in the affected places at this time, we cannot but say that it has come too late for those who have already been killed and those who have been maimed and inflicted with life-changing injuries," Martins said.

The Federal Government, he said, owes the nation the responsibility to ensure peace and equal attention to threats to peace across board. For instance, the failure to deploy the military to the affected areas to protect the people and flush out the perpetrators in spite of the various letters purportedly forwarded to the Presidency  by Governor Ortom of Benue State, gives one the impression that the matter was not given the serious attention that it deserved as was done in Niger Delta and the North East. Like many others, I feel strongly that the barbaric actions of the gun totting herdsmen and similar groups like them should be likened to acts of terrorism and should be so designated. We would like to have a clear idea of what it means to create cattle colonies in the various states in order to know about the proposed  lasting solution to these killings.”

While urging the Federal Government to urgently call an all-stakeholders meeting in Abuja to seriously appraise the root cause of the conflicts and find amicable solutions to them, insisting that cattle rearing remain a private  enterprise which  should be subject to similar laws guiding business enterprises across the country. 

“If the cost of doing the business in a sustainable way is too high for individual cattle owners, then banks should be given the mandate to provide loans at favourable terms in the same way as they provide for poultry farmers, for example.

Archbishop Martins went on to pray God to grant the souls of the departed eternal rest, healing to the wounded and consolation to those who mourn.

Uj. N. Dominic/ ED, ops
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ambazonia accuses Nigeria of abduction, demands release of President, 10 others

...  Indicts UK, UN, EU of negligence

The Interim Government of the former British Southern Cameroons known as the Federal Republic of Ambazonia has accused the Nigerian government of abducting its President, Julius Ayuk Tabe and 10 others, reports ITRealms.

AmbazoniaITRealms also gathered, accused the United Kingdom (UK) as the root-cause of current negligence, while the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) were accused of abandonment.
According to the Secretary for Communication & IT, Federal Republic of Ambazonia, Mr. Chris Anu, the people of the former British Southern Cameroons noted with dismay, that since the abduction d at gunpoint on January 5th, 2018, the President, Julius Ayuk Tabe and 10 other members of his Cabinet have not been granted access to any lawyers and family members by the Nigerian government. “which we are now aware that in complicity with the Cameroon regime in Yaoundé, engineered their abduction.”

They equally condemned vehemently, the fact that the Nigerian Government, more than a week after the abductions has not as much considered a press statement on the abductions even when the majority of those abducted are duly registered refugees in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a signatory to International conventions on human rights, and to be acting recklessly as it is doing in this case, is a bridge of those conventions,” he said.

Further, they called on the “Nigerian authorities to immediately effect the unconditional release of our President and the 10 others abducted along with him on January 5th.”

“We are demanding for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, Dr. Fidelis Nde Che, Dr. Henry Kimeng, Prof. Che Awasum
Dr. Cornelius Kwanga, Mr. Tassang Wilfred, Dr. Ojong Okonghor, Barrister Nalowa Bih
Barrister Shufai Blaise Berinyuh and Barrister Eyambe Elias.

“We would like to bring to the attention of the Nigerian Government, and the world at large the fact that these victims abducted in the guise of fomenting trouble in the nation of Cameroon are not Cameroonians. They are Ambazonians. And as long as the Cameroon Government continues the military occupation, assault, rape, killings and the savagery on property in the Ambazonian territory, our resolve to launch a campaign aimed at economic divestment in la Republic du Cameroun will not relent.

“We will target foreign companies that do business in La Republique du Cameroun and whose revenue supports Mr. Paul Biya’s corrupt and inefficient functionaries. It is time for Western Governments to pass a Cameroon Divestment Act that will force their governments to cut investment ties with companies doing business in La Republique du Cameroun. But if they don’t, our actions will definitely force them to do so.”

He insisted that the Interim Government will like to make this clarification; The Cameroon crisis isn’t about secessionists or separatists, as is being widely reported.
“Ours is rather a classic problem of a failed decolonization from British colonial rule. If Britain had granted Southern Cameroons independence like all other colonial powers did to their territories, this problem would not be here now. So let it be made plain and clear, Ambazonians are not separatists or secessionists, we are freedom fighters in the order of Nkrumah, Lumumba, Awolowo, Azikiwe, John Garang, Nyerere etc., fighting colonization by La Republique du Cameroun. The Union between La Republique du Cameroun and the Southern Cameroons was never consummated,” he lamented.

The IG of Ambazonia, he said, will continue worldwide campaigns for Southern Cameroons’ right to self-determination and continuous nonviolent protest within Cameroon until our dream of a completely free and independent Ambazonia is achieved. “Nothing less.” 

Abducting our leaders isn’t going to deter us, it will only just spur us the more. And killing, arrest, torture, rape and even a hundred thousand more refugees will not deter our resolve. 

He insisted that they have battled the injustice forced upon them by the British Government for 56 years.

“If the international community thinks we are now ready to let go at this juncture, it is mistaken. If the UN, EU, Commonwealth, the AU, the US and British governments want to stop a bloodbath in Cameroon, the time is now, not tomorrow. Every one of us, 8 million Ambazonians will be killed before our territory will be made part of Cameroun again,” he maintained.

Uboshe Ubhoshe/GEE

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Gov. Udom swears-in Emmanuel Ekuwem as SSG to Akwa-Ibom

The newly appointed Secretary to the Government of Akwa-Ibom State (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, has been sworn-in at the Government House Banquet Hall, Uyo, capital of Akwa-Ibom State, reports ITRealms.

The swearing-in which was performed by the Executive Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Mr. Emmanuel Udom on Tuesday afternoon, tasked Ekuwem to use his wealth of experience in adding value to the state in his new capacity of SSG.

The occasion graced by friends and family members also saw Dr. Ekuwem adorned in his full regalia of his “Obong Ifiok Ibaka” title, saw the governor insisting that the unity of Akwa Ibom State is non-negotiable, stressing he was poised to ensure the whole state irrespective of tribes as part of his government’s political inclusiveness agenda.

“Akwa Ibom is all one, joined by a common destiny and aspirations and our unity in non-negotiable, our common ethos and fidelity to the Akwa Ibom project remains sacrosanct,” the governor said.

He also noted that the greatest asset by God to Akwa Ibom is her people, hence the people will make the different once united, just as he assured that every part of the state has a sense of belonging.

“I enjoin you to celebrate this mutually inclusive tendencies and put those naysayers, to shame that we will never be derailed from the path of unity and collectively sworn to uphold,” he declared, tasking Dr. Ekuwem on the high expectations of the government and the people who came to witness his swearing in.

Udom reminded Ekuwem that he must work to justify the reason for his appointment which was mainly to add value to the government industrialization process.

“We are happy that your name has gone across everywhere and it was your integrity that worked for you when you contested for and won as the President of Nigeria Internet Group” he said, urging Ekuwem to bring his leadership quality to bear so that the state could unite and bring everybody together, added, “from this moment nothing should divide the state as development has also been spread across the three senatorial districts.”

Akwa Ibom, Udom said, is one family, adding that nobody ever predicted where they were to be born, and sued for unity and love among all in the state.

He thanked the immediate past Secretary to Government, Sir Etekamba Umoren for a cordial working relationship with him from the time Umoren was the permanent secretary of the office of the governor till his appointment as then Secretary to Government.


ITRealms recalls that the founding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Teledom Group and immediate past-chairman of the Board of Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority ( NEPZA ), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, was Monday named the new Secretary to the Government of Akwa-Ibom State (SSG).

According to the Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Akwa-Ibom State, Charles Udoh said that Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel made the disclosure, adding that Ekuwem, would be sworn-in on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at the Government House Banquet Hall, Uyo.

Udoh also informed ITRealms that the appointment of Dr. Ekuwem, a former President of Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) is part of a continuous effort to rejig the governance structure of the state which started with the swearing-in of 2 new commissioners less than two months ago.

Dr. Ekuwem who replaces Sir Etekemba Umoren holds a Bachelors degree in Engineering Physics, Masters Degree in Physics, Masters Degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering (Microcomputer-based Instrumentation and Control Engineering) and a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering (Computer-based Instrumentation and Control Engineering).
Until his appointment, Dr. Ekuwem was the Founder and CEO of Teledom Group and hails from Ofi Uda in Mbo Local Government.

Further, the Government of Akwa Ibom State appreciated the erstwhile Secretary to State Government Sir Etekemba Umoren for his services to the state and wishes him well in his future endeavours.
  
Bassey Atim Bassey/GEE


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Pix: Dr. Ekuwem and Gov. Udom after his swearing-in

ICT4D Week 2018