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Ransomware: NITDA urges sustained cybersecurity awareness campaign

ITRealms : The Director General and Chief Executive Officer, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Ali I...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

PDP uncovers plot by APC to rig election



 
The Acting Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff has said his party has uncovered plot by All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the December 5 governorship election in the state, ITRealms reports.

Dokubo-Spiff was speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa, the state capital,Thursday, he alleged that the opposition party in the state was planning to use the same cloned Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) that were used illegally during the botched APC primary to rig the governorship election.

ITRealms gathered that the use of the cloned PVCs at the primary election, he reminded the general public, was what caused the crisis that engulfed the party which, he also claimed, still persisted till date. Dokubo-Spiff, who deplored the move, said from all indications, APC was not ready to contest the election but only interested in finding a way to rig and take over the state.

According to him, the PDP had uncovered the rigging plot following intelligence gathering as he claimed that some elements in the APC willingly gave information about the planned use of the cloned PVCs said to be in circulation among members of the party and which would be used during the election.

He has, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to take urgent steps to investigate the rigging plot with a view to arresting the situation, ITRealms learnt.

“Clearly, the APC in Bayelsa State is not prepared for any election. From all indications, all they want is a situation whereby they will collude with some INEC officials to help them write results and announce their candidate as winner and then the PDP will go to court. We want to assure them that such will not happen. We will do everything within our power to ensure that no rigging takes place. We are mobilizing our people to vote and wait to protect their votes”, he said

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Bayelsa Polls: Alaibe abandons supporters, endorses Sylva



The former Governorship aspirant under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Timi Alaibe, has abandoned his supporters as he endorsed his rival in the botched party primary election, Timipre Sylva, ITRealms reports.

The endorsement  of Sylva, has been attributed to promise of board appointment and contract awards by the Federal Government. A deal to this effect was said to have been sealed at a meeting in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal, in Abuja between Sylva and Alaibe.

ITRealms gathered that the meeting which was initiated by Sylva, a reliable source said, had specific trade-offs that allegedly extracted commitment from Alaibe to support the former governor in his quest to return to the Creek Haven, the seat of government in the state.

According to the source, who pleaded anonymity, part of the deal was that Alaibe would be refunded a percentage of expenses he incurred during the primary election in addition to board appointment and contract awards. On his part, Alaibe as a matter of commitment would have to ensure that his supporters now rally round Sylva and work for his election.

Alaibe was said to have directed his supporters to work for Syla but the challenge is that the supporters are not yielding to Alaibe’s directive. It was gathered that most of Alaibe’s supporters have kicked against the deal with Sylva, expressing anger that they have been used and short-changed once again, ITRealms learnt.

A staunch supporter of Alaibe who pleaded for anonymity said the deal was not in the best interest of the followers of the former NNDC boss, maintaining that it was an arrangement with a personal interest and never that of party members who had suffered with Alaibe over time.

“The truth is that the deal is a personal benefit for Chief Timi Alaibe. In any case, we are not surprised by the deal because that is what Alaibe is known for. He has a way of abandoning his supporters after settling himself. This has been our experience over the years but it won’t work this time”, he stated.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Digital Migration: MCI signs N220b contract with KAON for Set-top boxes


The quest for Nigeria’s digital migration by 2017 received a boost recently with the signing of about $1 billion (N220 billion) contract agreement between Media Concept International and KAON, a South Korean set-top box manufacturers, ITRealms reports.

A set-top box (STB) or set-top unit (STU) is an information appliance device that generally contains a TV-tuner input and displays output to a television set and an external source of signal, turning the source signal into content in a form that can then be displayed on the television screen or other display device. It is also a device that enables a television set to become a user interface to the Internet and also enables a television set to receive and decode digital television (DTV) broadcasts. DTV set-top boxes are sometimes called receivers. It is necessary to television viewers who wish to use their current analogue television sets to receive digital broadcasts.

Speaking, Tuesday, on the occasion for the formal signing of the partnership agreement, the Chief Executive Officer, Agbeyo Babatunde, said that beyond the signing of the agreement, the event was also a celebration of resilient effort by the National Broadcasting Commission to achieve digital migration in Nigeria. He stated that MCI was unambiguous in the search for the best set-top box manufacturer to carry out the project and KAON is among the best three in the world.

The MCI boss said the commencement of full manufacturing operations will be by end of December, 2016, adding that the project is massive as it involves change from one technology to another. He added that the media is indispensible in the life of the people and that is why the project is worth celebrating.

He said one of the cardinal points of the agreement is that the manufacturer must come down to Nigeria to set up the factory for the production of the boxes. This he said was to forestall capital flight and create about 1000 jobs for Nigerians, ITRealms learnt.

The KAON Media/Sales Director,Young Kang, said his company is one of the best in Set Top Box manufacturing even as he stated that they are also in Korea, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and now in Nigeria  

Kang said that the boxes which have minimum life span of five years even under the harshest condition, will be given to Nigerians with one year warranty. He also said that Nigerians will be trained on how to assemble the boxes right here in Nigeria, adding that beyond set top boxes the partnership will produce phones, multi-screens and other mobile devices, ITRealms reports.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
 
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Nokia Network, SK Telecom alliance drives 5G in Korea



The Executive Vice President, Mobile Broadband, Nokia Networks, Marc Rouanne, has said that with SK Telecom in Korea, Nokia has achieved a unique distinction demonstrating that it is at the forefront of 5G-related initiatives, ITRealms reports.

"Together with SK Telecom, one of our long-standing customers in Korea, we have achieved a unique distinction demonstrating that Nokia is at the forefront of 5G-related initiatives. Moreover, this engagement also underpins our vision to be recognized as the enabler of 5G in Korea and across the globe, a goal that is the driving force behind all our R&D efforts in this area."

Chief Technology Officer, SK Telecom, Alex Jinsung Choi, said,  With the world's first demonstration of the cmWave technology, we have reached a significant milestone towards realizing 5G. The 19.1Gbps transmission speed we achieved almost meets one of the key capabilities of 5G defined by the ITU-R. SK Telecom will continue to work closely with Nokia Networks to maintain this momentum towards creating a new era of communications."

ITRealms gathered that SK Telecom and Nokia Networks recently together demonstrated Nokia Networks' cmWave technology, setting a new milestone that adds momentum to the standardization of 5G* technologies. In a joint 5G trial in South Korea, the two companies achieved 19.1 Gbps transmission speed over the air using 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), 8x8 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) transmission and 400 MHz of bandwidth.

This initiative underlines the leadership of both Nokia Networks and SK Telecom in developing the framework for superb 5G-based value propositions for users and fostering future service innovation. It also showcases the potential of 5G to transmit massive amounts of data in the blink of an eye, which would, for example, enable a user to download a full-HD movie in a matter of seconds, ITRealms reports.

2015 has been a landmark year for the ever-strengthening relationship between SK Telecom and Nokia Networks. Both companies have played a pivotal role in setting the pace for the telecommunications industry in Korea. In the recent past, they have successfully verified key technology for 5G core networks, demonstrated 600 Mbps data transmission rates using 4X4 MIMO technology over LTE and also commercialized a core LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology called 'Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination' (eICIC) for the first time in the world.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
 
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Signal Alliance to host dinner in honour of Tufekci




The Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Eastern, EMEA, CA Technologies, SeviTufekci and Nigeria’s senior business executives would be hosted to a dinner in Lagos by Signal Alliance on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, ITRealms reports

The meeting which is being put together by Signal Alliance, CA Partner in sub-Sahara Africa,according to a press release, is to enable senior executives in the financial, manufacturing and public sectors rub minds with Tufekci on security, service flow and disruptive technologies.

The  Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Signal Alliance, AdanmaOnuegbu, said, “The financial services sector is facing a lot of security issues and the CBN has given deadlines for a new security framework which all banks must adopt before June 2016. Also, pre and post-election activities the economy has slowed down making it imperative for businesses to improve internal service delivery for more efficient and effective external customer service, especially for those who operate from multiple locations. We want to engage and also share knowledge on how these can be successfully achieved.”

The office of the CTO in Europe works closely with CA Technologies’ largest customers and partners to ensure that the relevant solution strategy are designed and maps out appropriately to our customer needs. Tufekci is responsible for assisting customers to maximise their investment in CA Technologies’ solutions and exploit emerging technologies and techniques to improve IT performance and efficiency.

ITRealms reports that with over 18 years of experience in the fields of strategy, business development, sales and pre-sales, Tüfekçi has held management positions at CA since 1999.  She has successfully managed many IT management projects with major enterprise customers, developed technical sales and enablement strategies. She has also, defined and optimized routes-to-market and sales cycles.  Sevi is a CA Technologies spokesperson, authorized to address the media and the market on the continuous evolution and ability of CA solutions to drive maximum business value to its customers.

Tüfekçi has Bachelor Degree in Control & Computer Engineering from Istanbul Technical University (Turkey), a Master Degree in Computer Networking from University of Sheffield (UK) and an Executive MBA Degree from Boğaziçi University (Turkey).  She is a member of numerous industry association, ITRealms learnt..

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
 
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Friday, October 30, 2015

Etisalat partners LEARN to train youths for gainful employment



Unrelenting innovative telecommunications operator, Etisalat Nigeria, has partnered the Leadership Empowerment and Resource Network (LEARN) to hold a three-day capacity building programme for unemployed youths, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms also reports was in keeping with its persistent contribution to the development of the Nigerian youth.

The training coordinated by LEARN, ITRealms gathered was aimed at addressing the challenges of employability and equipping unemployed youths including fresh graduates with requisite employment tools that can give them advantage in the job market.

Speaking about the programme which has successfully trained hundreds of youths  in the last four years, the Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, affirmed that the capacity building programme seeks to empower unemployed youths with basic skills for gainful employment.

“Etisalat Nigeria is committed to the development of the Nigerian youth, and through this partnership with LEARN, which has been going on since 2011, we have been able to educate and empower hundreds of employable youths including fresh graduates with the requisite skills needed to function in their different career aspirations,” he said.

Dikko was optimistic that the training programme would further bridge the gap between the employed and unemployed classes in the society.

Equally speaking, the training facilitator and associate partner, Ace and Brands, Demola Aderibigbe, said the programme module was designed to help fill noticeable skill gaps found among job seekers. He identified such to include cognitive capacity, inter-personal communication and comportment among others.

The Etisalat-sponsored employment training is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility interventions which cover various areas of human life including education, health, sports, among others.

+Remmy Nweke (ITRealms) +ITRealms DSA 
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Pix: Facilitator and Associate Partner, Ace & Brands, Demola Aderibigbe, Training participants, Ebulueme Chinenye and Adigun Olakunle, and Specialist, Corporate Social Responsibility, Etisalat Nigeria, Chiweta Uraih at the 3-day Etisalat-Sponsored Lagos Empowerment and Resource Network (LEARN) Employability Training Programme held on Thursday in Lagos.

NICNPA award for NBC boss



ITRealms:
The Nigerian Independent Community Newspapers Publishers Association (NICNPA) has presented the Golden Award for Industrious Service to the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Emeka Mba for his outstanding performance in broadcast regulation and contributions to the overall development of the broadcasting sector in Nigeria.

Receiving the award from the Zonal Chairman, NICNPA South-South – Mr. Charles James Umejei, Mr. Mba expressed his gratitude for the recognition and noted that communication at the grassroots level such as community newspapers is very important to deepening democracy and building sustainable development in society.

The DG also expressed the desire of the Commission to work with rural based organizations such as NICNPA to achieve effective rural penetration when the digitization publicity and awareness campaign takes off fully.
 

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Battle against 'I am Jazz': Nigerian parents vs DSTV



Features@ITRealms:

Preamble:
FOR some days now, there has been a message making its round on WhatsApp among other social media plants, reports DigitalSENSE Business News. The message urged Nigerian parents to protest the planned broadcasting of a Transgender themed soap opera for children starting October 27, 2015 by the DSTV Nigeria within the nation’s airwave. 

The protest:
The protesters also told DigitalSENSE Business News that DSTV has been airing an advert for “I am Jazz on their TLC Channel 172 which is set to start showing on DSTV in Nigeria October 27.” According to protesters, the problem is that it is a reality TV series about Jazz, a transgender kid; an 11 year old boy who has “transitioned” into a girl.  They argued that this programme is not appropriate viewing for any youth in Nigeria; let along the young children. Therefore, the progenitors of the protest solicited support of all well-meaning adults and parents in Nigeria to stand up to be counted in order not to destroy the moral fibre of the nation. 

“Please let’s stand up to protect our children and the moral fibre of this country,” part of the message read. In addition, they protesters urged Nigerians to join the campaign against DSTV on TLC channel 172 by sending an email to the National Broadcasting Commission at info@nbc.gov.ng, and complain on their website http://nbc.gov.ng. As well, they urged that this message be sent to all sympathizers’ contacts, insisting that parents must do their part to protect the children. 

Nigerian parents kicked ….
This advice was well received as an average adult chatted in the course of this story, said they have received in excess of estimated five (5) per 10 Nigerian adults. Reacting to this protest, a clergy, Rev. Fr. Taiwo Emmanuel told DigitalSENSE Business News that the challenge with this protest against DSTV is that subscribers have parental control facility to block any channels or category of content they do not want to view. 

For another respondent, known as Mazi, yes, the clergy is right but the real question is how many viewers and parents particularly, have the knowledge and capability to manipulate this blocking mechanism called ‘parental control.’ 

This position, Mazi makes it imperative to have DSTV stopped from the source. 

Mazi’s position was corroborated by Madam Rose, who declared “… Honestly, I can’t even put on or turn off the TV in our house. I don’t know how to operate it but my little grandson knows!” Yet, another respondent, Chuks Dominic, who agreed with the clergy, that the issue of parents living up to the expectation is a big issue which must be addressed only by parents themselves. 

“Yes the protest is fundamental but have we also done our bits by going beyond monthly subscription of these services merely because we want to belong? I think we also owe it as service to God and man to do the needful by taking time off to learn how to put on the parental control in the devices we buy for our households,” he said, arguing that with the ongoing digital migration in broadcasting industry globally including Nigeria, “We have no choice. The ball seems to be in the parents’ court.” 

Also reacting, Mr. Chris Uruakpa argued that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) must continue to safeguard the Nigerian airwaves and ensure the rights of citizens to quality broadcasting. “The NBC must properly regulate the industry for the good of the society,” Chris Uruakpa declared. 

Parental Control Measures:
Noteworthy is that recently, a sister regulatory organization, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) released a research report on Parental Control measures for mobile telecommunications networks, which showed that over the past twenty years, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have changed the ways in which young people interact with and participate in the world around them. 

The increase of Internet access points, mobile technology and the growing array of Internet-enabled devices combined with the immense resources to be found in cyberspace provide children and young people with unprecedented opportunities to learn, share and communicate. 

DigitalSENSE Business News gathered that the benefits of ICTs which include the prevalence of Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) also known as pay TV, among other things, include broader access to social services, educational resources and health information. 

Reputational damage at stake:
Also, NCC measurement identified ICTs as helpful to protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse since children and families use the Internet and mobile phones to seek information and assistance, and to report violence. 

DigitalSENSE Business News further reports that despite the profound benefits of the ICTs to children and young people, even so they are susceptible to a number of risks through using ICTs. Children could be exposed to inappropriate content for their age, including contacts with potential perpetrators of sexual abuse. They can suffer reputational damage associated with publishing sensitive personal information online without fully comprehending the implications of their long term digital footprint. 

DSTV under investigation by NBC over transgender channel:
The broadcast regulator in Nigeria, the National Broadcast Commission (NBC) has commenced investigation of the allegations leveled against the DSTV Nigeria plan to air TLC channel 172 suspected to promote transgender programme, reports DigitalSENSE Business News. 

Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Awwalu Salihu confirmed this to DigitalSENSE Business News, saying that their attention has been drawn to the concern shown by some members of the public about alleged plans by the TLC channel on the DSTV to begin airing a programme, I am Jazz, the story of a transgender child. 

He also said that the Commission has since drawn the attention of the service provider to this concern and has received firm assurances that they will investigate, and if they confirm that the programme is indeed promoting undesirable ideas that would offend the Nigerian public, they would pull the plug on the programme. 

The National Broadcasting Commission, he said, further assured Nigerians that as the regulator of the industry it will continue to safeguard Nigerian airwaves and ensure the peoples’ right to quality broadcasting. 

NBC in a press statement made available to DigitalSENSE Business News he also said the Commission commended the concerned citizens that raised the matter for their constructive approach to the issue, stating that it is always ready to receive complaints from the public, and invited people to use the complaint facilities provided on the website of the commission, www.nbc.gov.ng, to report any unprofessional or harmful broadcast, which would help the Commission to properly regulate the industry for the good of society. 

The winner is … Nigerians:
Just a few hours after NBC announcement on the investigations, protesting Nigerian parents seem to have won the battle of ‘morals’ as the MultiChoice Nigeria has pulled down ‘I am Jazz’ expected to start airing tomorrow on DSTV, reports DigitalSENSE Business News.
The Public Relations and Talent Lead at MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Efosa Aiyevbomwan confirmed to DigitalSENSE Business News that they are aware of the concerns raised by viewers across various platforms, about the airing of “I am Jazz”, the story of a transgender child scheduled to show on TLC, Channel 172 on 27 October 2015.
Aiyevbomwan also said that based on these concerns, they at MultiChoice Nigeria, decided to pull off the schedule on ‘I am Jazz’ due to show on TLC 172.”After careful consideration and wide consultation from various stakeholders, MultiChoice informs its esteemed subscribers that the mini-series, “I am Jazz” has been pulled off the schedule.”
Equally, Aiyevbomwan said in a press statement made available to DigitalSENSE Business News on this matter that MultiChoice regularly assess the impact content have on customers and reassured them that their interests are always considered.
MultiChoice, however, pointed out that its decoders are encrypted with the parental control feature that empowers parents with ultimate control over what their children view. “We also encourage parents to make use of this feature as much as possible to ensure that their children only watch what their parents deem appropriate,” he submitted. 

Conclusion:
In the overall, the protest came in handy and as Nigerians click glasses over the pulling down of ‘I am Jazz’ it is important to note the enabling environment created by the NBC in this campaign by being proactive with likely complaint channels for customers of the broadcast industry conspicuously on NBC website and via electronic mail (email).

Nigerian parents, cannot be applauded enough for taking up this campaign and owning it as well as the nation’s media for making it a media affair, after all society begets the kind of media they want, just as one mass communication lecturer once put it, media cannot report on what is not available in a given society.

Finally, the management of MultiChoice must not be left out of commendation for listening to their teeming customers, especially in Nigeria, for at least being attentive to the lamentations of the customer as far as this case is concerned. 

It is very important to note the parental control feature on all payTV devices nowadays, especially the DSTV decoders and its crucial for parents to make out time to learn how to set these controls, which of course, the children from time to time unlock, hence, constant check is advocated.

 

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