Yudala Zero Gravity

Monday, September 26, 2016

News break: Buhari names Isa Ibrahim-Pantami new D-G NITDA, 12 others FDA CEOs

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of new leadership for 13 Federal Departments and Agencies (FDA) of the Federal Government, including the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), where Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim – Pantami has emerged as the new Director-General, reports ITRealms.

Confirming this, Monday evening, the Director of Press at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi, told ITRealms that out of the 13 new leadership changes comprise four Director-Generals, five Executive Secretaries, a National Coordinator cum chief executive officer, a Managing Director, a chairman and a Federal Commissioner.

ITRealms also gathered that Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim – Pantami would take over from Dr. Vincent Olatunji at NITDA, who was been acting DG since last year when Mr. Peter Jack was sacked for alleged misconduct.

ITRealms reports that until his appointment to head NITDA, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami was a professor of Computer and Information Systems at the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia; and Chief Imam; Seeker of Justice; even as he is the author of ‘Orator & Conflict Resolution Student.’

Adebiyi also noted in press statement that the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) would now be headed by Mr. Joseph Ari as the new Director-General; Nigerian Content Monitoring Board has Engineer SimbiKesiye Wabote as the Executive Secretary; Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) headship went to Executive Secretary, Barrister Sharon Ikeazor; New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)         National Coordinator/CEO, Princess Akodundo Gloria; Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) now has Executive Secretary, Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi; Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority would have Managing Director as Umana Okon Umana.

Also, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons now has a new Federal Commissioner in person of Sa’adiya Faruq; Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has new Chairman, Engineer UsmanAbubakar; Petroleum Technology DevelopmentFund (PTDF) Executive Secretary, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau
Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) with the post of the Executive Secretary going to Yewande Sadiku.

Latest appointment at a glance:

Industrial Training Fund (ITF)
Mr. Joseph Ari
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)
Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami)
Nigerian Content Monitoring Board
Executive Secretary
Engineer SimbiKesiye Wabote
Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON)
Aboloma OsitaAnthony
Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP)
Mamman Amadu
Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD)
Executive Secretary
Barrister Sharon Ikeazor
New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
National Coordinator/CEO
Princess AkodundoGloria
Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF)
Executive Secretary
Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi
Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority
Managing Director
Umana Okon Umana
National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons
Federal Commissioner
Sa’adiya Faruq
Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC)
Engineer UsmanAbubakar
Petroleum Technology DevelopmentFund (PTDF)
Executive Secretary
Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau
Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)

Executive Secretary
Yewande Sadiku

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops
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Pix: Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim-Pantami

Adedugbe explains why first privately-owned Special Children's School opened in Lagos

The Executive Director of MD Nursery and Primary School, Lagos State, Omolara Adedugbe, on Monday said the school, which started as a school for students with special needs, was founded in the bid to prove that challenged children could also live normal lives, reports ITRealms.

Adedugbe, who founded the school along with her husband, late Dr. Anthony Bamidele Adedugbe, 30 years ago, said the objective had been achieved though it has been very challenging.

She said the vision of the school was that of her husband, a specialist doctor in dealing with children with disabilities, who wanted to enable parents see that they do not have to keep their children with special needs at home.

Adedugbe, who spoke with newsmen at the 30th anniversary thanksgiving of the school at its Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos State complex, said some of the special needs children have grown to become prominent members of the society, with one teaching in the Special School of MD Nursery and Primary school, having obtained a National Certificate of Education.

She said: “The whole idea was to erase the stigmatisation of being a special child. 
“We were the first in Lagos, but after the success we recorded, many others have also followed suit.

“We initially had challenges with parents who had regular children allowing them to mix with the special children. I must say the journey in 30 years has been challenging, but with lots of successes. One special child is now a teacher in the school here. So also are the regular children also doing well. Many are professionals in different fields,” she said.

Adedugbe advised parents with special children not to lock them up at home but give them the opportunity to develop their God-given talents, adding: “If they mix with regular kids, they will overcome their challenges.

“We are happy that a lot of parents are now coming out with their special children.
“And those with regular children have seen that being a special child does not come with anything contagious.”

Adedugbe said structures had been put in place for the sustenance of the initiative.
She said for the school to be thriving after the death of her husband showed that structures have been created.

“With or without me, the school can go on. “The vision now being run by others.
I started the school with my husband who had the vision. He died 10 years ago and 20 years after, we are still standing” she recalled.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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No privacy breach in Voters.NG says Ogunseitan

The operators of www.Voters.NG, an online voters registration assisted portal facilitating civic voters education and enlightenment project, has denied any breach of privacy in its activities, reports ITRealms.

This is coming as a not-for profit, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) had petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) alleging breach of privacy on the strength of alleged unauthorised release of citizens data to third party. The petition was based on Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 19th of September, 2016.

Responding to ITRealms inquiries, Mr. Oluwaseun Ogunseitan who is the Chief Technical Officer, First Digital Media Group, owners of Voters.NG, told correspondent exclusively that the data they have on Voters.NG are exactly the data the Independent National Electoral Commission (NEC) published at 120,000 polling centres across the country, therefore not exclusive.

He noted that some Nigerians have also called them to complain about compromising of their privacy, but he insisted that Voters.NG has responded appropriately.

“There is no personal data on the online Voters Register, that is not publicly available elsewhere offline or online,” he said.

Ogunseitan pointed out that basic allegation thrown at his team before now was on publication of date of birth, declaring “is not true.”

He explained that what INEC has on the public voters register, is the year of birth and not the date of birth.

“Our Voters website is for now passworded and we have a log of hundreds of access requests,” he said, stressing Voters.NG was not off for public access due to any petition but for stress-testing of the platform.

He was quick to add that what Voters.NG tends to achieve is to use the online voters project to ensure that Nigerians leave the world better than they met it leveraging on technologies.

Nenye Egbune/GEE
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Pix: INEC chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

IEEE launches Internet Policy Letters

The world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), has launched the inaugural issue of IEEE Internet Policy Letters, reports ITRealms.

Chairman of the IEEE Internet Initiative, Oleg Logvinov, said at the launch that IEEE took this project to connect the world of technical and policymaking communities for Internet Governance, cybersecurity and privacy in order to inform, debate and facilitate adequate decision making.

These, he said, are aimed at helping to ensure trustworthy technology solutions and best practices and to successfully address fundamentally new technology policy challenges.

“The IEEE Internet Initiative has established a neutral platform for meaningful dialogue to take place as Internet technologies and policies evolve and progress. This is what IEEE does so uniquely well: bringing technology and policy experts together around the table in open, balanced collaboration and extending local conversations to the global stage,” he said.

Logvinov also said the bi-monthly, Internet technology policy focused online publication aims at fostering an intellectual exchange of ideas between the world’s top subject matter experts, researchers and practitioners in the areas of Internet governance, cybersecurity, privacy and universal Internet access globally, regionally and locally.

Thus, he said, the IEEE Internet Initiative invites authors to contribute and receive recognition in the publication, urging potential authors to submit an article via emailing the managing editor.

The inaugural issue featured some of the following articles:
· "What We Are Doing, Why We Are Doing It" by Oleg Logvinov, IEEE Internet Initiative
· "To Change the Future, We’ll Team Up - Globally!" by Mei Lin Fung, People Centered Internet and Karen McCabe, IEEE.

Others are "Global Connect: Digital Ecosystem Architecture" by Susan Hyon Parker, Carnegie Mellon Open Learning; "Connectivity Can’t Unlock the Internet’s Promise Without Human Rights" by Peter Micek, Access Now and Carolina Rossini, Public Knowledge.

Nenye Dom/GEE
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Yudala+Uber equals to free rides to Zero Gravity

The latest of partnership between Yudala and Uber is to offer customers free rides to the momentous Yudala Zero Gravity across Nigeria, due to commence in Lagos on Sunday, October 2, reports ITRealms.

This is coming as attendees of the inaugural edition of Yudala Zero Gravity – a multi-city digital entertainment concert powered by pioneer composite e-commerce outfit, Yudala – are in for the time of their lives as the company has partnered with leading taxi service provider Uber to offer free rides for first time Uber riders to the concert venue.

ITRealms reports that Yudala Zero Gravity is gearing up for a kick off with a Contemporary Music Blast on Sunday October 2nd at the Landmark Event Centre from 3pm.

By using the code – YUDALAZEROGRAVITY, ITRealms gathered that every interested first time Uber riders could enjoy a free ride of up to N2,500 to the Landmark Event Centre, venue of the concert. 

“To enjoy this offer, the individual would have to download and install the Uber app on a smartphone and then apply the YUDALAZEROGRAVITY code when submitting the trip request,” sources from Yudala hinted.

Interestingly, existing Uber riders are not left out of the mouth-watering offer, as arrangements have been concluded to accommodate this class of customers making their way to the concert venue with special discount packages.

Headquartered in San Francisco – California, Uber Technologies Inc. is an American multinational online transportation network company. It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile "app", which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request, which the software program then automatically sends to the Uber driver nearest to the consumer, alerting the driver to the location of the customer. 

ITRealms recalls that as at August 2016, the service was available in over 66 countries and 507 cities worldwide. The Uber app automatically calculates the fare and transfers the payment to the driver. Since Uber's launch, several other companies have replicated its business model although not as successfully as Uber, a trend that has come to be referred to as "Uberification".

Currently offering its service in Lagos and Abuja with plans of expanding to other major Nigerian cities in the near future, Uber has quickly become the preferred taxi service for many, with its emphasis on safety, quality of the vehicles and professional drivers endearing the brand to Nigerians.

Yudala Zero Gravity is a three-city dual entertainment event which will feature a Contemporary Music Blast as well as a Rock Gospel Concert in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu.
The action kicks off on Sunday October 2nd 2016 with a Contemporary Music Blast at the Landmark Event Centre, Oniru. 

Already, a number of superstar artistes have been confirmed for the Contemporary Music Blast concerts in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu. The list includes Olamide, Iyanya, Phyno, Zoro, Sound Sultan, Flavour, Humble Smith, Naeto C, Cynthia Morgan, David Grey, Ali Baba, Akpororo and many more. Also, a number of premium corporate organizations such as Access Bank, Airtel, Stanbic Bank, HP, Lenovo, InnJoo Mobile, Uber and a host of media organizations including MTV Base, Trace TV, Urban FM, Classic FM, among others are on board as partners. 

Yudala Zero Gravity will witness pure acoustics and live performances from the best Nigerian artistes in both genres of music, many of whom will use the platform to launch new tracks. It is a platform to see and hear it first.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Cybersecurity Treaty: Nigeria yet to request accession 12 years after

Barely 12 years after the Budapest Convention on Cyber Security was put to force, Nigeria, the most populated black nation in the world may be foot-dragging over cyber security as it has not extended request for accession of this important Treaty, reports ITRealms.

Secretary of the Cybercrime Convention Committee (T-CY) Council of Europe Strasbourg, France, Alexander Seger, disclosed this to ITRealms, explaining that an accession request would lead to an invitation to accede.

He pointed out that once the instrument of accession is then deposited Nigeria would become a Party and thus be able to cooperate with other countries on the basis of this treaty.

Although, Mr. Seger expressed optimism Nigeria would soon do the needful to bluster the nation’s cyber security efforts to align with the global status.

“I understand that the Government (of Nigeria) is considering an accession request,” he said expectedly.

ITRealms gathered that the Convention was drawn up by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France in 2001 with the active participation of the Council of Europe's observer states like Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

Equally, ITRealms gathered that the convention or treaty entered enforcement phase three years after the draft was made on 1 July 2004, though as at time of filing this report, September 26, 2016,  49 states have ratified the convention, even as six states had signed the convention awaiting ratification.

The Convention, ITRealms gathered is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. In addition, it contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception.

Seger further listed some of the benefits of the Convention for Africa to include increased trust and efficient cooperation with other Parties, just as it would pave the way for participation in future standard setting, enhanced trust by private sector, technical assistance and capacity building to name a few.

Nigeria, ITRealms recalls only had a Cyberlaw passed in 2015 with lots of flaws already noticed including the reported fact that’s victims could be sanctioned to the tune of N2m for failure to report cyber-attack on his or her systems or networks.

Recent reports revealed that the Nigeria Cybercrime Act 2015 stated that “any person or institution, who operates a computer system or a network, whether public or private, must immediately inform the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordination Center of any attacks, intrusions and other disruptions liable to hinder the functioning of another computer system or network, so that the National CERT can take the necessary measures to tackle the issues.”

Also, the sub-section 2 inter alia stated “In such cases mentioned in subsection (1) above, and in order to protect computer systems and networks, the National CERT Coordination Center may propose the isolation of affected computer systems or network pending the resolution of the issues.”

ITRealms further gathered that the sub-section 3 of Section 21 stated “persons or institutions who are unable to report such incidents in a space of 7 days commits an offence for denial of Internet services and should pay ₦2 million into the National Cyber Security Fund.”

Remmy Nweke with additional report by Nenye Dom/GEE

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Budget padding scandal: No-one should be a judge in his own cause

Very few Nigerians will be amazed by the way the House of Representatives handled the allegations of budget padding and abuse of office which Abdulmumin Jibrin, former Chair on Appropriation, levelled against a fraction of the House leadership including the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, as well as 10 other members of the House. To ensure that the issue remains on the plate, Jibrin has been consistent in issuing statements through both the traditional and new media which clearly identify Dogara, Lasun, Ogor and Doguwa as the main targets of his charge. And to press the point, he rightly labeled the clique the QUARTET. 
But even in this atmosphere of suffocating change, nothing seems to have changed in the National Assembly, at least not in the House of Reps. Instead of investigating his allegations, the House in its typical, ever-evolving Machiavellian antics that the Nigerian populace has witnessed since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, presented a dubious resolution summoning Jibrin, himself the hunter as Professor Olatunji Dare, the ace satirist, would have characteristically put it, to appear before an ethics and privileges committee. Talk of the hunter being hunted. It’s as if there are no more people with conscience in the green chamber.

And the “honourables” scheming to nail Jibrin at all cost executed their act with a well-choreographed carnival-like fanfare, prancing about the floor without shame, hugging and back-slapping, each brandishing green scarves with the inscription: I Stand with Dogara. In the end, what ought to be a solemn occasion for demanding answers to the issues raised by Jibrin in the interest of public good, was turned into a grand spectacle of pure self-service and reckless endorsement of corruption.
Though originally well-spoken of by the public, the lawmakers by determinedly choosing the option of closing their eyes to the accused and turning the heat on the accuser shot themselves in the foot. That ugly display on the floor of the House has further reduced their worth in the eyes of the people.
And Dogara should know better. An experienced lawyer that he is, the Speaker knows the meaning of the well-worn Latin phrase deployed in the second leg of the title of this piece. Translated in English it means that, “No one should be a judge in his own cause.”  It’s a legal principle that forbids any person from assuming the role of a judge in a case in which he/she has an interest. In this particular case of budget padding and corruption in the House, Dogara, the Speaker of the House is one of the accused persons; to that extent, he is an interested party.
If the House must then investigate as it should the allegations against him and others, the logical step to take is for him to step down from his position as Speaker and allow for a colleague to be elected as Speaker for the purpose of presiding over the investigation. If at the end of investigation he is acquitted he returns to his seat as Speaker. It’s such a simple process that anyone who is not aiming at covering up would easily accede to in order to preserve honour and integrity. But by refusing to step down and subject himself to investigation, the Speaker leaves one with no other option than to deduce that he has something to hide or, at best, that he is indeed guilty of the allegations against him.
Anyone would be forgiven for drawing this conclusion, given the desperation with which Dogara exploited his position as Speaker to finagle a resolution of the House glossing over the budget fraud and corruption allegations involving him, and instead recommending his accuser for a most ridiculous trial for all kinds reasons including “campaign of calumny and infringing on the integrity of the House as an institution.”
But rather than denigrate the House of which he is a proud member as claimed by his traducers, the former chairman of appropriation merely stated the facts. And countless times he has challenged any member of the House who has evidence of malfeasance, corruption or abuse of office involving him to make them public. Up till the time of writing this piece, no one has picked up the gauntlet. 
In fact, the Speaker being one of the accused worsened his case with the clear violation of a sacred legal maxim through that House resolution presided over by him, and directing his accuser to appear before an ethics and privileges committee made up of members appointed by him. There can be no better example of sitting as a judge in your own cause. This is against the principle of natural justice, equity and good conscience.   
Besides, there is no way Jibrin will not be found guilty if he appears before the committee headed by Nicholas Ossai, who on July 26 told Premium Times that it was wrong for Jibrin to claim that the 2016 budget was “padded.” According to the report, Ossai said the budget was only “amended.” He was also quoted as saying, “In legislature, you don’t talk about padding. Budget is an appropriation bill and is like other bills that you amend. You know in bills you talk about clauses. Every head in the budget is a clause. So, legislators have power to amend it.” How would he now get justice before a man who has made this one-sided statement?
Still, this country has Jibrin to thank for his unprecedented revelations. Now, the depth of the rot in the House of Reps is in the open. Rather than applaud and encourage those working to crucify him, it will serve this country well to focus on his message and squeeze adjustments from it. It is the way to go if Nigeria is serious about entrenching transparency and accountability in public governance.
*Godwin Onyeacholem is a journalist. He can be reached on

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