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APC governors condemn emergence of irredentist movements

ITRealms : The governors elected under the All Progressive Congress (APC) otherwise known as Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has cond...

PC Summit 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

APC governors condemn emergence of irredentist movements

The governors elected under the All Progressive Congress (APC) otherwise known as Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has condemned the emergence of irredentist movements across the country, reports ITRealms.

The Director-General of PGF, Salihu Mohammed Lukman, told ITRealms in a press statement Friday, urge all decent voices in the country to speak up against these upsurge of desperate irredentist groups.

PGF also urged well-meaning Nigerians to support the emergence of a stronger and virile unified Nigeria for all to thrive.

The Forum insists that, regardless of our diverse identities and whatever differences, Nigeria has to thrive. Hence,‘ there has to be a nation first’.

According to PGF, they are always to promote all-inclusive government, for the development of policies and programmes that improve the life of every Nigerian citizen, regardless of ethnicity and religious orientation.

“It is with this in mind that the Forum condemns in the strongest terms the present secessionist and separatist agitations promoting ethno-regional identity in the country. These sundry factional groups, claiming to represent different ethnic nationalities, sow seeds of disunity and promote secessionist agenda in the nation. We decry and reject their activities in all intents and purposes,” he said.

The group acknowledged the rich diverse heritage of Nigeria as a country, noting particularly that the resurgence of desperate youth groups promoting ethno-regional identities and extremist positions from the different geo-political zones across the nation as currently experienced is a reflection of prevalent weak governance, economy and law enforcement system in Nigeria.

The challenge beforeus as Nigerians therefore is to commit ourselves to theunity of the country. We must create by all means necessary, a country that we can collectively call our home, irrespective of tongues and localities. This is a vision the APC as a party is committed to lead and for which the PGF is unapologetically and intrinsically loyal.These threats to national unity must cease totally and put away into history.

While acknowledging that as a nation, we do have challenges, PGF believe that the resolution of those challenges rest with the development of our democracy and with it, the ascendency of structured processes of national consultations, negotiations and invariably agreements. Some of the challenges are highlighted in the accompanied PGF Position – There has to be a nation first.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE 
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Catholic priest, Fr. Mathew Oguleru abducted

A Catholic priest, Reverend Father Mathew Oguleru has been kidnapped in Ijebu Ode, reports ITRealms.

Information available to ITRealms as at the time of going to the press, showed that Fr. Mathew Oguleru was kidnapped at the early hours on Wednesday, June 21 on his way to morning mass.

According to Fr Simon Mayungbe of Ijebu Ode diocese, Fr Mathew was abducted by his kidnappers while going for a morning mass, along Ilado, Ibefun-Ikorodu Road.

Fr. Mathew is a regular visiting priest at St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Mafoluku-Oshodi in Lagos.

Reacting to the kidnap, the parish priest of St. Jude, Rev. Fr. Joseph Ahukanna OP, condemned the act, urging parishioners and Catholic faithful to pray for Fr. Mathew safe release.

Also, ITRealms reports there is no immediate reason for his abduction other than to extort money, although no contact has been made by the kidnappers.

ITRealms gathered that lately the religious of Catholic faith have been targeted for kidnap.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Pix: Father Mathew

We’re leveraging ICT for massive online jobs - Shittu

The Minister of Communications, Barr. Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu has said his ministry is leveraging on Information Communication Technology (ICT) for rejuvenating Nigeria’s economy as well as encouraging massive online job creation through the implementation of various initiatives, reports ITRealms.

In a press statement by Victor Oluwadamilare, his Special Assistant on Media, the minister, in a keynote delivered at the opening ceremony of the Ife Youths Economic Summit (IYES 2017) Thursday, at Ile-Ife said, in this onerous task, 28,800 unemployed youths nominees across various states of the Federation were trained in online job (Micro-work and E-lancing).

The ministry, he also said has established incubation hubs in Lagos and Calabar, which are a private and public sector collaboration aimed at catalysing the ICT industry by helping Nigerian ICT entrepreneurs create successful businesses, support the interactions between innovations and their partners and developing indigenous skills and capabilities. H e added that the target of this initiative is to create 25 successful ICT businesses by 2015.

Striving to make the ICT sector, the 4th pillar of the nation’s economy in terms of contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he said the sector, which is the fastest growing and which has contributed 9.58 percent to the country’s GDP, trained 1000 Girls in ICT in collaboration with Huawei Technologies and have sent 20 best amongst the 1000 girls already in Nigeria to China in April this year for further training.

Barr. Shittu said in its efforts to fill the about 24 percent IT vacancies in the country, the ministry “plans to build technical and job-ready ICT skills to replace expatriate expertise with highly skilled Nigerians, increase the supply of local highly skilled talent to a fast growing sector and enhance ICT industry employment opportunities.

He said, “ so far, Digital Bridge Institute and other tertiary institutions are concluding an agreement with IBM (Skills Development and Research Institutes) to train 25,000 resources in 5 years (2013-2018) per institute.

“Similarly, partnership agreement had been signed with Cisco to build Cisco Academy for highest certification (CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert) in Nigeria and with Nokia on MLab Project. The implementation of the Nokia Life programme for farmers is also at an advanced stage.

“The modules to be covered in the one month following my opening addresses have been carefully chosen; software development which is at the foundation of ICT because you need to write the instruction for the computer in a language it will understand, the study of various electronics technologies which include computer hardware& software, operating systems, 
web-based information and applications, telephones and other telecommunication and multimedia products, e-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet and web enabling technologies which are products that can be used through or in conjunction with the world wide web to surf the internet.”

Speaking at the Summit, Barr. Shittu said that youths are cardinal members of the internet ecosystem and that the ministry is strategically inclined to bringing up initiatives to cater for the interest of the nation’s youth population and working closely with various partners at national, regional and global levels to ensure massive youth employment while fast-tracking the rejuvenation of the national economy.

He said the theme of the summit, “ICT as a Formidable Tools For Nigeria’s Economic Rejuvenation and Massive Job Creation”, is apt at this time that the country is moving out of recession and all hands are on deck to ensure gradual economic growth.

According to the minister, ICTs are creating new job opportunities and making labour markets more innovative, inclusive, and global and that there is a shift from traditional labour intensive jobs to technology-enabled jobs, adding that the ICT sector has come to play a critical role in the sustainable growth and development of nations.

Ayo Midele/GEE
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Next Einstein Forum unveils first-ever Africa Science Week

The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, has revealed plans to host NEF Africa Science Week in Abeokuta and Lagos, respectively, reports ITRealms.

NEF Ambassador, who specializes in petroleum and environmental geochemistry of oil basins, Dr. Sojinu Olatunbosun Samuel, will lead the event.

The AIMS President and NEF Chair, Thierry Zomahoun, said NEF Africa Science Week is the first coordinated science week across Africa.

“Our primary objective is to develop tomorrow’s scientists and technologists by engaging children and young people in scientific activities like science caravans and hackathons. Our activities will also demonstrate the critical impact of science to the general public. By bringing together key stakeholders from all sectors, we hope to catalyse investment in research and development and discuss best practices for attracting and retaining young people, especially girls and women, in the sciences.”  

Africa Science Week in Nigeria will witness exciting sessions such as engaging students in active learning of STEM using interactive experiments but also a Cancer/Hepatitis awareness walks on the streets of Ikeja, Lagos.

“The weeklong signature event will also strengthen research networks and communities of scientists across Africa and we hope that the next few editions will see technology facilitate coordinated regional activities. We would like to thank our partners in the public, academic and private sector for supporting this initiative. Africa will only compete globally if there are coordinated sustainable investments in building the pipeline of researchers and innovators,” said Mr. Zomahoun.

Africa Science Week in Nigeria is the first of a 13-country series. Looking to the future, the NEF will expand the reach of its Africa Science Week to 30 countries in 2018 and all 54 by 2020. Beyond numbers, the NEF hopes that Africa Science Week will grow to include major activities in schools and universities, and result in concrete collaboration between the research community and private sector. 

“Africa Science Week is the only platform bringing together actors passionate about science and technology. This is the best opportunity for the Nigerian youth to learn more about what science can achieve and how it changes life. I am proud to be part of this first edition”, said Sojinu Olatunbosun Samuel.

In line with the NEF’s Dakar Declaration, issued at the first biennial NEF Global Gathering, held in in Dakar, Senegal in March 2016, Africa Science Week will place public engagement at the heart of advancing Africa’s scientific agenda. The next edition of the NEF Global Gathering will be held in Kigali in March 2018 under the patronage of H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda.

Africa Science Week is funded by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Google and local sponsors in each country.

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Top Six tips to save time with smartphone

Time is an essential commodity that cannot be trifled with. Notable American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn captured it succinctly when he declared that: “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
Nevertheless, your smart phone, when used effectively, can be a very useful tool for helping you use time more judiciously. The following tips from the Research and Development Unit of Yudala, Nigeria’s fastest growing e-commerce outfit – will help you become smarter in saving time.

1.Set up task lists: Most busy people always seem never to have enough time in a day. This is often due to clashing engagements and loads of crucial tasks to attend to. However, your smartphone can make life easier for you in this regard by helping you make smarter use of your 24 hours. One of the ways to achieve this is by setting up a task list. You can create a simple spreadsheet with the major tasks you have set out to achieve each day with timelines attached to each. You can even set a reminder for each task. With this list accessible on your smartphone, you can work smarter and maximize your productivity. When managed properly, a task list can be a fantastic organizer.
2.Create access to your documents: Today’s fast-paced, knowledge-driven economy has resulted in more mobility, with more time being spent on the move and away from work spaces or the office. Valuable time and potential business deals will certainly be lost if you have to get to your laptop or the office to take action or respond to important correspondence. With your smartphone, you can access your emails, save your important documents online and access them on the move, thereby reducing down-time. Whether at home or out of the office, you can still get crucial work done with apps such as Microsoft One Drive, Google Drive or Dropbox which allow you to store and retrieve your documents whenever you need them.
3.Online Shopping: Considering the crushing daily schedule most individuals pass through to earn a living, finding time to visit an open-air market or physical store for your shopping needs may be a tough ask. This is where your smartphone comes in. Online shopping is gradually growing in popularity and you can leverage on this to manage your time more efficiently. Interestingly, platforms such as Yudala combine physical stores with an online presence, thus offering the consumer more convenience.
As a result, you no longer have to physically visit a store for your shopping requirements. You can place orders online and have your items delivered straight to your door, with the additional convenience of paying on delivery. Interestingly, some supermarkets have also caught the online shopping bug and now offer home delivery for provisions and food items.
4.Digital Banking: The days of filling out numerous forms and standing in a queue in a crowded banking hall while waiting to carry out a simple transaction are decidedly over. Banks and other financial institutions are fully in on the digital revolution.  Therefore, you can save more valuable time by cashing in on the ease of digital banking. With your smartphone, there is no reason why you cannot carry out all the transactions you previously visited a bank for. You can check your account balance, transfer money, request a debit card, pay bills and even set up a monthly savings plan. All you have to do is subscribe to online banking and download and install your bank’s app.
5.Educational/Reading materials: The increasing convergence of technology has seen the world shrink to a global village. An amazing depth of educational, informative and other reading content is available on the internet. This is in addition to books and materials related to your career, industry or area of study. These can be accessed from the convenience of your smartphone in various formats including audio, video and written form. What’s more, you can save valuable time by using apps such as Audible or Librivox Audiobooks to listen to useful literature or other contents while carrying out other activities such as your daily workout, a long drive or while cleaning or doing the dishes.
6.Travel arrangements and hotel reservations: Gone are the days when making travel plans can be a time-wasting affair.  With your smartphone and in the comfort of your home, you can save time by booking your flight and making hotel reservation. Irrespective of your destination, this can be achieved with a good internet connection and the right app on your smartphone. With your smartphone, you can make payments, check in online and choose a seat without physically visiting the airline’s booking office. This applies even for trips by road to other parts of the country, as a number of transport companies now have their mobile apps with which you can book and pay for a trip.
Time Management Apps

You can carry out all of the tips given above without additional time management apps, your smartphone is already equipped with the features mentioned.  However, there are many fantastic applications available for Smartphones in this category.  If you choose to use one of these, ensure that it complies with your overall strategies for better time management. A comprehensive task management application or program might have many valuable features, but if you find that its complexity means that you are spending a lot of time using it, you will be defeating the object of having an application to help with your time management in the first place.  If this is the case, consider using one of the myriad of other programs available or simply use the features already available on your smartphone.  Remember, the point of a task manager is to make you more efficient with your time and reduce the stress in your life, avoid anything that adds to it!

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Backlash: Atiku goes to farm on Rolex watch, agbada

For attempted farming on Twitter, the former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is now at the receiving end for sharing his farming picture on Twitter, reports ITRealms.

Investigations by ITRealms showed that on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, Abubakar at 9:42am tweeted a picture of himself entitled ‘farming season,’ but instead of getting thumb up, the tweeps are attacking him with venom from angry Nigerians.

Some of those who responded to the tweet told him that real farmers do not have the time to snap pictures for Twitter posting.

"Real farmers are busy in the farm not on Twitter. Real farmers don't dress in Agbada," one of the critics, @gentle_Chika said.

For @OmoAyeni, it was the question time; "what are we planting this time, another seed of corruption?"

Also for El Nino, wondered the farming season with which dress. As said by him, "The real farmers who feed Nigeria cannot even afford d cost of his cap to put cloths on theri back."

Yet for Dafidi @Molade87, this picture depicts "Operation Fool the Nation" saying its another Atiku's deceptive strategies to make myopic and gullible Nigerians vote for him in 2019.

Sean Omo_ni_gho, declared that there is no place where farmers plant with agbada dress and Rolex.

@Realking-Kesh asked if Atiku is not farming for his stomach, wondering how that caused the reduction in food prices in the Nigerian market?

"no be ur belle u dey farm for? hw dat one take reduce price of foodstuffs for market? U dey even farm with that kind wristwatch sannu?"

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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ACSIS wants more inclusion, multilingualism @WSIS forum

The African Civil Society on the Information Society (ACSIS) has called for more inclusion and multilingualism in the affairs and organization of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forums, reports ITRealms.

In his address to the forum which ended last weekend in Geneva, Switzerland, the President of ACSIS, Dr. Cisse Kane, appealed to the international community to support the WSIS Forum secretariat.

Welcoming the unique framework of the WSIS Forum, which he said, allows greater interaction between all actors in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

Dr. Kane also said this is essential in the present and future, given the centrality of ICTs in the lives and the necessity to link ICT with sustainable development goals.

He commended the remarkable work of the secretariat of the Forum, beckoning on all actors, including the private sector, to further support the WSIS Forum by providing it with sufficient resources to strengthen the inclusiveness and enhance its resonance.

According to him, some of these supports would include to:

1. Translate the entire website of the WSIS forum at least in all United Nations official languages;

2. Ensure that all sessions of the WSIS forum are interpreted in UN official languages ​

3. Translate all WSIS Forum programmes into all United Nations official languages

4. Provide a significant number of scholarships (at least 20 per continent) each year to enable the most deserving members of the civil society and academic sector to travel to Geneva and participate in the WSIS Forum

5. Provide the opportunity to supplement the governmental delegations participating in the WSIS Forum by some deserving members of the Civil Society and the Academic Sector.

Nonye Dom/GEE 
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EFCC not after Etisalat, we repaid 42% of original loan - Management

The management of Etisalat Nigeria has denied that they are being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following a petition to “the Federal Government asking that Etisalat be investigated” on how the funds from the syndicated loans were utilized, reports ITRealms.

The Vice President, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko told ITRealms that a simple interrogation of the rigorous process for securing a syndicated loan from a consortium of reputable banks would have exposed the truth to the original writer of this story and other media channels who have subsequently re-circulated the falsehood without interrogation or verification.

Concerned parties have access to Etisalat books and do not require an investigation into how the loan sum was utilized.

“All of the infrastructure investment and services for which the loan was secured, were paid through our banks and these are verifiable,” he said.

Dikko stressed the need for the media to correctly inform the general public by providing the needful macro-economic context around which the challenges encountered with meeting up with the loan obligation occurred.

“It would be recalled that the $1.2bn loan, a medium-term seven-year facility, was obtained by Etisalat Nigeria for the purpose of expanding its network and improving the quality of service on its network. The economic downturn of 2015 and sharp devaluations of the naira negatively impacted on the dollar-denominated loan by driving up the loan value, thus prompting Etisalat to request a loan restructuring from the consortium of banks,” he explained.

This, he said was contrary to the widely reported misrepresentations about Etisalat Nigeria’s debt obligation to the consortium of 13 banks, thus, it has become pertinent to set the records straight.

Dikko also said that prior to this time, Etisalat had in fact consistently and conscientiously met up with its payment obligations.

“As at today, we can categorically state that the outstanding loan sum to the consortium stands at $227m and N113bn, a total of about $574m if the naira portion is converted to US Dollars,” he said.

Emphasising that this in essence meant almost half of the original loan of $1.2bn, has been repaid, insisting that Etisalat continued to service the loan up until February 2017, when discussions with the banks regarding the repayment restructuring commenced.

“We hereby appeal to our media partners to continue to uphold the ethics of the profession by exercising some restraint particularly in the publication of such misleading and damaging information. We have been accessible and remain available to the media to clarify or verify information when required,” Dikko assured.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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Phase 2: Anambra trains 200 youth on skills acquisition

The Anambra State government has trained some 200 youth from the 21 Local Government Areas of the state on skills acquisition, reports ITRealms.

The programme, ITRealms gathered was put together by the Anambra State Government through the Ministry of Youth, Entrepreneurship and Sports Development.

The Commissioner, Youth, Entrepreneurship and Sport Development, Barr. Mrs Uju Nwogu, said in Awka that the training is in line with the efforts of Gov. Willie Obiano to empower the youths.

Also she said, that the training is designed to make the youths self-reliant and self-confident by equipping them with contemporary skills to combat unemployment.

“You may recall that last year at the Youth Centre in Mgbakwu, 200 youths of Anambra State were trained in various self-sustaining skills. “Now less than a year, another batch of 200 will commence the training.

“This is a demonstration of our believe that developing entrepreneurial mind-set in the youths is panacea to economic growth. We are sure that the enormous resources being committed for the success of this programme will be justified.

“Thank God for the governor who has made this possible because he believes in the youth as the future of our state,” she said.

The two-week training is conducted at the Federal Youth Development Centre, Mgbakwu, Awka North Local Government Area.

Ozo Nweke Ozo/GEE 
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Nigeria missing @Facebook Messenger Developer challenge

Nigerian mobile application developers were conspicuously missing on the winners of the first-ever Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge which ended recently in the city of Cairo by Facebook, reports ITRealms.

This is coming as Egyptian developers swept the top three finalists at the challenge within the three winning categories for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) from 60 finalists as part of the challenge.

ITRealms recalls that the Bots for Messenger Challenge was launched on February 15th this year, in 64 countries across the MENA region to recognize and reward developers who were able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.

The 3 top winners, 
ITRealms reports, won a prize of $20,000 USD and three months of Facebook mentorship.

In addition from the Middle East and North Africa, three runner-up teams won $10,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship. The announcement was made via Facebook Live by Ime Archibong, Facebook's Vice President of Platform Partnerships, on Monday.

MENA Runner-up/ Winning teams of these three categories are:

Gaming and Entertainment
Winner: Trivoxx from Morocco, winner of gaming and entertainment category, is a bot that allows one’s or a group of friends test their trivia on sports, science, and cities in three languages: Arabic, French, and English.

Runner-up: Mastermind Games Bot from Egypt is a collection of five interactive games to solve codes based on various combinations of logic and memory. Every time a user guesses the correct code, a cave safe will open to obtain a diamond. Users can share games with their friends as they vie for the top scores.

Productivity and Utility
Winner: If you like to read books, then you'll agree that Mr. Ink from Egypt is the winner in the Social Good category. Users can either type a book name, or snap a photo of the book cover, to obtain information about the book including its author, rating, and book description.

Runner-up: Evii from Jordan helps customers order and pick up food via its bot. Evii seize the opportunity to expand by building more end-to-end customers tools.

Social Good
Winner: MathHook from Egypt, is the winner in the Social Good category. It brings math into everyone’s life by helping users to solve complex math problems and search for math courses on YouTube across 3000 math videos. There's also a chat function to connect users with teachers or other students to solve math problems. MathHook is also a student submission to this Challenge.

Runner-up: Adam (9 months) from Egypt aims to create community for pregnant women via tools and guidance, and safe communication channels between community members. Adam utilizes additional features such as location services to let users search for nearby pregnancy care, baby or maternity places. It also has an analytics tool to log user actions in custom events with custom parameters to better understand community perspectives.

Says Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa: “It's been nearly five months since we first invited submissions for the 2017 Bots for Messenger Challenge and we're excited to share the winners. We were incredibly impressed with the bot submissions we received and the commitment to excellence that all the contestants have demonstrated, since the launch of the contest. We congratulate all the winners, wish them luck and thank all of the participants for making the Bots for Messenger Challenge a success! We look forward to seeing these bots continue to evolve into strong services for their communities.” 
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Wale Aboderin takes over from Ncube @AMI as chair

The Board of the African Media Initiative (AMI) has elected Mr. Wale Aboderin as the new Chair of the organization, at a session in Nairobi, Kenya, reports ITRealms.

Aboderin takes over from the maiden chair, Mr. Trevor Ncube, Executive Vice-chairman of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian, who has steered the organization since its inception in 2008.

Disclosing this, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the African Media Initiative, Mr. Eric Chinje, applauded Mr. Ncube, and his early co-Chair, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, for the valuable support and guidance of AMI during its formative years.

He also said that Mr. Aboderin, a Nigerian businessman is the Chairman of PUNCH, Nigeria’s leading newspaper group headquartered in Lagos; PUNCH publishes three print and two digital newspapers, and runs four major print presses across Nigeria.

Mr. Aboderin trained as a commercial pilot at the Burnside-Ott Flying School, Florida, United States. He was appointed chairman of the company’s board of directors in 2012. His tenure has witnessed groundbreaking changes in the editorial quality, management and fortunes of PUNCH, including a hugely successful redesign, the launch of several digital initiatives and the newspaper’s win of several local and international awards.

A popular sports enthusiast in Nigeria, Mr. Aboderin is the founder and owner of Dolphins Basketball Club, a leading African female basketball club, with local and continental honours. He is a former chairman of the Lagos State Basketball Association and a former member of the Nigerian Handball Federation.

“I thankfully accept this role and I believe AMI should help African media bridge the communication gap between policymakers and the citizens to allow for a two-way feedback engagement,” Mr Aboderin said. “During my tenure I will champion the AMI cause everywhere and ensure that Africans stop being suspicious about homegrown initiatives and support this organization.”

Further, Chinje said, with over two decades of direct involvement in media, Mr Wale brings a wealth of experience to the organization. Stressing he would surely help AMI refocus its work around the four major pillars of activity around which a new strategy is being developed, namely “strengthening media capacity (thematic specialization); content development and promotion; research; and performance incentives for media professionals.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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You can’t take over Etisalat - NCC

The apex telecommunications regulator in the country, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned the consortium of banks led by Access Bank plc, saying they cannot take over Etisalat through the back door, reports ITRealms.

The Commission through its Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, told ITRealms that the despite the indebtedness of Etisalat to the consortium of banks, insisting that such takeover negates the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 Section 38.

This, he said, showed that granting of a license is personal to the licensee and not transferable.

According to Ojobo, NCA 2003 Section 38, Sub section 1 states inter-alia that “The grant of a license shall be personal to the licensee and the license shall not be operated by, assigned, sub licensed or transferred to another party unless the prior written approval of the commission has been granted.”

Buttressing this, NCC noted that Sub section 2 stated “A licensee shall at all times comply by the terms and condition of the license and the provision of this act and its subsidiary legislation.”

NCC condemned the planned takeover of Etisalat Nigeria by a consortium of banks, saying the Commission was aware of the indebtedness and had made efforts to resolve the aligning issues along the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with a view to finding a resolution.
Unfortunately, the spokesman said, these meetings could not yield the desired results.

“The NCC wishes to reassure the over 21 million Etisalat subscribers that it will do all within its regulatory power to ensure that Etisalat subscribers continue to enjoy the services provided by the operator,” he said.

The Commission, Ojobo maintained, has taken proactive steps to cushion the impact of the takeover, this is without prejudice to the ongoing effort between Etisalat and the banks toward negotiated settlement.

“In view of the recent development, NCC wishes to reassure all stakeholders in the telecommunications sector in particular the subscribers on the Etisalat Network that the Commission will ensure that the integrity of Etisalat Network is not compromised,” NCC assured, stressing that subscribers would continue to enjoy the services provided by Etisalat.

ITRealms recalls that the bank consortium comprised Access Bank plc, Zenith Bank, GTBank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union Bank.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Arewa youth ultimatum unacceptable - Martins

The recent ultimatum by the Arewa youths coalition for the Igbos to leave the North on or before October 1, 2017, has been described as unacceptable the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, reports ITRealms.

Speaking in Lagos, Most Rev. Martins told ITRealms, aside that the directive is not acceptable, its capable of deepening the division being experienced across the country.

According to him, Nigerians stand to gain more living together hence they must shun every act capable of further polarizing the country.

The Archbishop also expressed deep concern over the discordant tunes and call for disintegration being championed by some youths across the country, warning of the consequences of another civil war.

He urged the federal government to do everything possible to find a lasting solution to the genuine agitations of the various ethnic groups in the country in order to give everyone a sense of belonging.

“This country needs to be more united now than ever before. We not want drum beats of war or hate speeches. We must not trade the unity of this country for selfish motives because we have much more binding us together than those that divide us. I believe that several of the genuine agitations by the various ethnic groups can be looked into by the federal government with the intention of resolving them amicably without necessarily resorting to secession or bloodletting as some are currently advocating,” he cautioned.

Further, the Archbishop urged all Nigerians to be vigilant and continue pray for peace in our nation and in our families.

Matty Umah/GEE
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CRK not removed from secondary school curriculum - FG

At last, the Federal Ministry of Education has refuted reports making a round that Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK), has was removed as a subject of study from the curriculum of public secondary schools across Nigeria, reports ITRealms.

The reports also alleged that the Ministry reintroduced Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) against CRK.

Director, Press at the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Chinenye Ihuoma, explained to ITRealms that the ministry designed a new subject which combined Civic Education, IRS, CRK and Social Studies into “Religion and National Values.”

Equally, Ihuoma told ITRealms in a press statement made available to correspondent that the alternation was not from the minister, but precisely from the National Council on Education (NCE).

“It is just as the council has said that History should be a subject of its own at the basic level in the first nine years. Now, a new subject has been introduced, called Religion and National Values. It is a fusion of religion and civics” she said.

Although Ihuoma confirmed she was yet to see the details, but noted that in a case where students have subject combinations at the same time, “everyone will attend lectures that correspond with their own religion.”

“Arabic and Islamic Studies are not standing alone. Islamic Religious Study and Christian Religious Study as well as national values will be taught under a new subject,” she insisted.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Pepper talks on ICT University

The proposed ICT University of Nigeria, the first of its kind in Africa and one of the pet projects of Nigeria's Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, has received the endorsement and goodwill of Facebook and other industry giants at the just concluded World Summit on the Information Society tagged WSIS FORUM 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Barr. Shittu, at a side meeting with Facebook Robert Pepper, a resource person at the conference, was assured of Nigeria's readiness for the ICT University take off. The university to be run on a multi - campus basis in six locations across the country with established infrastructure, will robustly address the dearth of adequate training of technocrats in the industry to meet international standards.

Mr Pepper, who was visibly elated by the Minister's disclosures, promised the full involvement and support of Facebook, saying it falls within the confines of Facebook vision for Africa.

In other interactions with representatives of Google, Access Partnership, Microsoft Group, AT&T and other investors targeting the African continent, the Minister was able to convince them that Nigeria, going by her population and strategic position as the largest economy in that region is the best investment destination for wise investors.

Meanwhile, many resource persons and Smart Cities investors have been invited by the Minister to attend Nigeria's Smart Cities Summit 2017,to be held in Abuja by the first week of August.

The WSIS Forum, which started on Monday June 12, 2017 and was rounded off last Friday, June 16.No fewer than 70 Ministers, including Nigeria 's Minister of Communications attended the week long summit. During the week, over 133 educative sessions were held with participants from across the member countries of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

It will be recalled that the six centres of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) with headquarters in Abuja and others in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Yola and Asaba, will form the nucleus of the ICT University of Nigeria Multi- campus proposed University, an initiative of the Muhamadu Buhari administration.

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EtiAccess coming your way, as bank loan forces Etisalat to change name

The Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited currently trading as Etisalat Nigeria may have been taken over by Nigerian banks led by Access Bank plc, reports ITRealms.

This may have led to industry watchers to postulate that Etisalat Nigeria may after all change its name to EtiAccess.

Confirming plans to tinker on the changing structure of Etisalat Nigeria including its shareholding, the Vice President, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, said the telco has commenced
restructuring with changes to its shareholding.

“As it had earlier stated in a release, the negotiations with the consortium of Lenders are considering a number of possible options,” he told ITRealms.

According to him, Etisalat Nigeria can now confirm the first stage of this has begun with a change in shareholding which was announced to the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange this Tuesday morning.

“Etisalat Nigeria can confirm discussions are on-going regarding other issues such as the trading name during this transition phase,” he revealed but added that operations and services to subscribers remain normal and would in no way be affected.

“We will continue to tap into the rich, creative and innovative resources within our workforce to build a stronger business upon the stable foundation we have laid in our 9 years of operations,” he declared.

Further, he expresses, Etisalat Nigeria profound gratitude to the Government, the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria for their patriotic zeal and tireless efforts at ensuring collaborative and productive engagement.

“We are also appreciative of the tremendous support we have received from the media since inception and we count on their continued support as we transition to a stronger business. We will update our stakeholders and the public on further developments shortly,” he said.

ITRealms gathered that as part of the outcome of the last meeting, the parties comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), EMTS agreed on June 23 date to transfer 100 per cent to United Capital Limited Trustees, on behalf of the bank consortium, but a few days to this deadline, owners of Etisalat brand, Mubadala, made a technical withdrawal by filing a takeover of its shares at the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, today, Tuesday, 20 June, 2017.

Thus, paving the way for the official takeover by the next in line of majority shares, which in this instance are the bank consortum led by by Access Bank plc.

ITRealms recalls that on March 10, this year, in order to forestall the crises capable of creating a backlash on Foreign Director Investor, the apex telecom regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), CBN and some 13 banks met in Abuja, with top on agenda being how to harmoniously restructure the Etisalat indebtedness worth.

The meeting which was held at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, was convened by the apex bank at the instance of NCC, to further deliberate on how best to stave off the attempt by the banks to takeover Etisalat.

While Etisalat reported owes Access Bank plc the sum of N40 billion, about $131 million, other members of the bank consortium include Zenith Bank, GTBank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union Bank.
Chuks Egbune/GEE
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