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Corrupt practices: FG receives 282 tips from whistle blowers via ICT

Exclusive@ ITRealms : The Federal Government (FG) has said it received a total of 282 tips from whistle blowers on various corrupt prac...


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Corrupt practices: FG receives 282 tips from whistle blowers via ICT

The Federal Government (FG) has said it received a total of 282 tips from whistle blowers on various corrupt practices, especially with the aid of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), for the week ending March 24, 2017, reports ITRealms.

The government, ITRealms gathered received tips from whistle blowers from across telephone calls, Short Messaging Service (SMS), website and electronic mails (emails).

The use of the whistle blower website, www.whistle.finance.gov.ngITRealms gathered top the list of ICT tools deployed for this whistle blower initiative with a record of 95 tips.

This was followed by tips received through the Short Messaging Service (SMS) recorded 87 clues; while emails received on whistle@finance.gov.ng within this given period as tips was 51 and phone calls recorded 49 tips on its 09098067946.

Confirming this, the Special Adviser on Media to Honourable Minister of Finance, Festus Akanbi noted that since the platforms were opened there have been a total of 2,251 communications received.

In addition, he said that the website received 95 web-based communications that was received by the initiative. Just as 1,550 phone calls was received; 412 SMSes and 194 emails were received respectively.

He also said that the actionable tips received was 154 and some of them worth the while include 22 item lines with contract Inflation and conversion of government assets to personal use, topping the list, followed by subject of ghost workers, payment of unapproved funds, outright embezzlement of salaries of terminated personnel , improper reduction of financial penalties, diversion of funds meant for distribution to a particular group of people (farmers).

Equally, the Ministry said there have been diversion of funds to personal commercial Bank Accounts to earn interest; non-Remittance of pension & NHIS deductions, failure to Implement projects for which funds have been provided, embezzlement of funds received from donor agencies, embezzlement of funds meant for payment of Personnel emoluments, and violation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) regulations by keeping funds in commercial banks, as well as violation of FIRS (VAT) regulation by adjusting Value Added Tax payment  to name but a few.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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ICANN59 fellows emerged

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announces 55 individuals from 43 countries selected to participate in ICANN's Fellowship program at the 59th Public Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26-29 June 2017, reports ITRealms.

ICANN59, ITRealms gathered is a Policy Forum, hence only alumni of the Fellowship Programme were eligible to apply.

These successful candidates represent all sectors of society including; civil, government, ccTLD operations, academia, facets of the business community, technical, security and end user groups.

The Fellowship program seeks to create a broader and more diverse base of knowledgeable constituents with priority given to candidates currently living in underserved and underrepresented communities around the world, those who represent diversity of gender, sector, region, experience, expertise and/or have established financial need.

An independent selection committee assessed the 72 Fellowship applications received for this meeting.

ITRealms gathered that the list of selected candidates is accessible here: http://www.icann.org/en/about/participate/fellowships

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Access to WhatsApp encryption vs your privacy

In the wake of last week’s terrorist attack in Westminster, the British government on Sunday disclosed that its security services must have access to encrypted messaging applications such as WhatsApp, revealing it was used by the killer behind the parliament attack.

In this piece, Yudala – the largest online and offline retail chain – examines the benefits of WhatsApp encryption and why access to these encrypted messages by a third-party may mean less privacy for you.

Created in 2009 as an alternative to text messaging, WhatsApp is today one of the world’s most popular instant messaging service with over one billion users in 180 countries.

According to a May 2016 report from research firm SimilarWeb, WhatsApp is the top chat app in 109 countries, including Brazil, India, and the United Kingdom. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 to make a bigger play in the rapidly-growing messaging market, along with its own Messenger platform. At the time the deal was announced, WhatsApp had 450 million users worldwide.

Khalid Masood, the 52-year-old Briton who killed four people before being shot dead in a rampage in Westminster on Wednesday, reportedly used WhatsApp to send a message some moments before the assault – a discovery that has seen the UK government determined to gain access to the end-to-end encrypted messages sent through the app.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd affirmed that it was “completely unacceptable” that police and security services had not been able to crack the heavily encrypted service.

“You can’t have a situation where you have terrorists talking to each other — where this terrorist sent a WhatsApp message — and it can’t be accessed,” she said.

WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you're communicating with can read what is sent and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. Your messages are secured with a lock and, only the recipient and you, have the special key needed to unlock and read your message. For added protection, every message you send has a unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages.

It is also important to note that end-to-end encryption is always activated, provided all parties are using the latest version of WhatsApp. There is no way to turn off end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption is available when you and the people you message are on the latest versions of WhatsApp.

The benefits of end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp are numerous and has remained one of the major factors that has contributed to the growing popularity of the Facebook-owned service. These benefits include:

Privacy: With end-to-end encryption in place, people can communicate with each other and express themselves freely without fear of unintended people gaining access to their private stuff. This way, you can talk to your doctor about your medication, hold intimate chat sessions with your spouse/partner or have a discussion with an associate about a business proposal without the fear of being overheard or the call being tapped.

Safe group chats: Group chats are also safely encrypted, thereby lending an air of confidentiality to messages sent in such a forum. With encryption featuring in group chats, non-group members will have no clue at all about the happenings in the group. This makes it more attractive for people with like minds and interests to discuss their affairs in WhatsApp groups without the fear of being overheard.

Encryption works by default: Encryption setting is turned on by default by WhatsApp in all devices. If you are running the version of WhatsApp that has encryption support, you will be informed of this on your chat screen when you send messages across along with a lock symbol next to the confirmation screen. You can also verify the default ON setting by making use of a unique QR code on the phone of each contact in your list. In case, for some reason, the default encryption setting does not get activated, you can do it yourself through a simple process. In your chat window, just click on your contact’s name at the top of the window to display his or her profile details. You will find an option to turn the encryption on.

WhatsApp can’t read your messages: End-to-end encryption means that even if it wanted to, WhatsApp cannot gain access to your messages. In other words, only the sender and receiver can read intended messages. Not even WhatsApp employees or hackers will be able to gain access to the messages sent or received. This applies to any form of messages – text, images, videos and files.

Encryption works on all devices: The encryption in WhatsApp works using an open-source protocol known as Signal that is developed by an organization called Open Whsiper Systems. This company has worked in close association with WhatsApp in determining its requirements and the level of encryption to be provided. The app ensures that smartphones featuring this app support the encryption and decryption keys to be applied to messages going out and coming into the device. The encryption technology is supported by all recent WhatsApp versions running on Android, Windows, iPhones, and Nokia phones. Keeping in line with the usual trend, WhatsApp first introduced encryption on Android before extending it to other platforms.

Even in error, you are protected: WhatsApp has become very focused on making encryption mandatory that it now refuses to work on unencrypted messages. If a person tries to send a contact an unencrypted message, WhatsApp will immediately prevent him or her from doing so. Additionally, the sender will be informed that this is because the messages being sent from his or her end are not encrypted.

No server hacks with end-to-end encryption: When the encryption process was first implemented by WhatsApp, it took place over a central hub. Messages management and key exchange coordination take place centrally, apart from central control of the encrypted code that is executed on both the servers and mobile phones. However, this did not result in complete safety and paved way for end-to-end encryption. As a result, messages will get decrypted only on the receivers’ handsets rather than in between the server and the handsets.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Ifeanyi Ubah, Jimi Agbaje, lead speakers to CYON Business Summit’17

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil & Gas Industry Limited, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah will be leading speakers to the 2017 Business Summit by the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), St. Jude Catholic Church, Mafoluku Oshodi, Lagos, reports ITRealms.

Disclosing this, the President of Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), St. Jude Catholic Church, Mafoluku Oshodi, Lagos, Emmanuel Agbo and Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson, Cynthia Diko, said in a public statement made available to ITRealms that the summit theme would be on ‘Discovering the Hidden Treasure of the Nation.’

The summit, ITRealms gathered would be presided over by the former governorship aspirant in Lagos State and chief executive of Jaakay Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals Limited, Mr. Joseph Olujimi Agbaje.

Other speakers, Agbo said, include the Chief executive officer, Zaron Cosmetic Limited, Ms Oke Maduewesi and chairman, African Centre for Business Development, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa.

Also, Agbo said that the business summit will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at the Dini Hall, St Jude parish compound, Mafoluku-Oshodi.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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CBN to monitor sale of Forex by banks, sets rate @N360

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all banks in the country to immediately begin sale of forex for BTA, PTA, Tuition and Medical fees to customers at not more than N360 per dollar, reports ITRealms.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications at CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, disclosed this in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja on Monday.

Also, CBN has directed all banks to ensure immediate posting of this changes in their banking halls nationwide.

“CBN will sell to banks at 357 naira per dollar. Banks are to post the new rates in the banking halls of their branches immediately,” he said.

According to him, CBN would be monitoring this directive by sending examiners to banks to ensure the new rates are implemented and directive complied with.

“Banks are prohibited from selling FX funds meant for invisibles to Bureau De Changes (BDCs),” he said.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Graham warns African digital workers of ‘parastic capitalism’

Oxford based digital expert, Professor Mark Graham, has warned African digital workers over what he tagged as danger of ‘parastic capitalism’ where digital companies give little back to the places where they are embedded and platform workers are left to fend for themselves, reports ITRealms.

Addressing the 4th UNI Global Union held in Dakar, Senegal, Prof. Graham drew attention on his recently launched paper “Digital Labour and Development” and the corresponding report “The Risks and Rewards of Online Gig Work At the Global Margins,” saying that there is an alternative to the ‘Upwork.com’ and ‘Mechanical Turk’ model which is unfortunately successfully pushing the platform economy in its image.

“Unions must work together to produce an alternative which safeguards the rights of workers. There is no time for excuses because the new structures are being put into place now,” he said.

He also said that the Union could imagine organisations committed to transparency and identifying best practices doing a lot to ensure that workers are paid living wages, have appropriate social and economic protections, and aren’t saddled with an undue amount of risk.

“So, a Fair Work foundation instead of a Fairtrade foundation – verifying and certifying these sorts of things. We can also use what we know about the socially disembedded nature of this work, to push for more of it to be sourced through firms, social enterprises, non-profits, and of course cooperatives – of the non-platform – variety - that adhere to local labour laws.”

“The geographically dispersed nature of digital work platforms has made it extremely hard to regulate. There are many who thrive in that environment. But the role of labour regulation should be to help the most vulnerable. One solution may be that employment status should be established in the place that a service is actually provided. Why should an employer based in Germany or the US be able to avoid adhering to labour laws and minimum standards just because they used a digital platform to connect with a worker?” Graham said.

The UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings' said research into the Future World of Work followed by action was crucial.

“We have to face the reality - the research that has been undertaken by Oxford University, the World Economic Forum, the OECD and others all points to a bleak future of employment which cuts across many sectors. This poses policy questions at all levels and there needs to be more urgency in the policy response,” Jennings said.

Chuks Egbune with additional report from APO Dakar/GEE 

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Pix: Professor Mark Graham

Turkish Airlines offers eXPhone service for roaming passengers

The Turkish Airlines is now offering "eXPhone" service for an uninterrupted communication during the flight, reports ITRealms.

Turkish Airlines, ITRealms gathered is the Europe’s Best Airline for the sixth consecutive years, said the revolutionary service, will redefine flight experience for its customers across the its over 200 destinations while on board.

As an extension of Wi-Fi and live TV availability on its Boeing B777 and Airbus A330 aircrafts, Turkish Airlines said it is being enabled through the initiative to offer a mobile internet connectivity by eXPhone to its guests.

Passengers on Turkish Airlines will begin to enjoy the service commencing from April 2017.

“By using this service, passengers will be able to send text messages (excluding voice messages), check their e-mails and browse internet (including social media platforms) with their own mobile phones,” the airline said in a statement.

According to the airline, the stages of the process for the usage of the service are two-pronged.

“First, the cabin crew will make an announcement to inform the passengers about the service’s current availability for on-board use, after the take-off.

“Second, provided that the “Data Roaming” mode is activated on passengers’ mobile phones, the exPhone service will automatically run, which will be used till the flight is ready for landing.”

The airline also confirmed that the service has been tested to offer communications service that allow its passengers to run their businesses and exchange communication with relatives and friends while on-board.

“The eXPhone service, which is offered in close cooperation with Panasonic and AeroMobile, has successfully been tested on-board during a flight with the participations of our relevant authorities, via one of our cabin attendant’ mobile phone.

“The eXPhone service will be billed by the passengers’ mobile phone operators, and the prices will vary depending on their individual roaming contracts. Passengers may find the details of this service in Turkish Airlines’ inflight magazine, SkyLife.”

Turkish Airlines has always been at the forefront of deploying technology to offer improved flight experience for its customers.

In December, 2016, the airline selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) advanced eX1 inflight entertainment and communications (IFEC) system and Global Communication Services for its new fleet of narrow body aircraft.

The eX1 solution is an advanced narrow-body IFE system. Its uncompromising industrial design, high-definition display technologies and high fidelity audio create a home theater atmosphere that draws passengers into an immersive entertainment experience.

The system will include Panasonic’s unique Passenger Data Integration (PDI) service, which will allow Turkish Airlines to add higher levels of personalisation to its inflight experience.

The PDI will also allow Turkish Airlines to seamlessly recognize the travel preferences of their guests and recommend content, services and amenities specific that will enhance their experience both in flight and in their destination city.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Nigeria commences online Visa on Arrival

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has commenced a liberalised online Visa on Arrival (VOA) facility to the public for foreign investors and willing professionals desirous of coming to Nigeria, reports ITRealms.

The Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Thursday, said that‎ the measure was part of the resolution of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) aimed at attracting foreign investors to the country.

“‎As a critical member of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the NIS has automated its visa application and processing services at all entry points. This is to ensure that all genuine requests for Visa on Arrival facility from any part of the world are processed and issued within 48 hours (two working days),” NIS boss said.

He explained that the‎ online VOA application and processing facility is a product of robust visa reforms regime intended to bring Nigeria in tandem with global best practices and attract Foreign Direct Investors and skilled professionals into the country.

Also, the controller-general said that the new process was‎ designed to eliminate all unnecessary bureaucratic visa processing procedures in Nigerian Missions abroad. Stressing this would be of great help for potential visitors from countries where Nigeria does not have a Mission.‎

He said that‎ ‎a dedicated e-mail address oa@nigeriaimmigration.gov.ng has been deployed where visa applicants, their representatives or companies could forward their requests and details.

Advising applicants to use functional e-mail addresses where copies of approval letter shall be forwarded upon a successful process and payment.‎

“Applicants are, however, to note that successful payment online is not an approval and should not proceed to Nigeria until you have received ‘Visa on Arrival Approval letter’ duly issued by the NIS Headquarters, Abuja.”‎

He said that a VOA desk had been opened at all international airports in the country where visas would be issued upon the presentation of all the necessary travel documents and evidence of visa payment.

The NIS boss expressed optimism that the VOA process and the introduction of the harmonised arr‎ival and departure cards would go a long way in attracting investors to the country. 

Nonye Dom with additional reports from NAN/GEE

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Dell, Intel launch cloud ecosystem hub for EMEA

Dell EMC and Intel have launched a new web-based Cloud Ecosystem Hub, to provide Cloud Service Providers (SPs) in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as well as end users with an online one stop site to unify and simplify access to Dell EMC’s cloud proposition and resources, reports ITRealms.

Country Manager, Dell EMC Nigeria, Travers Nicholas said that the hub will connect customers with SPs to help establish stronger marketing efforts, enabling digital transformation and significantly growing long term Cloud business.

This new unified platform demonstrates Dell EMC’s commitment to providing choice and unique solutions to every customer and removing obstacles to cloud adoption through hosting an online cloud portal for Dell EMC Technology, making it easier for customers to select the right SP to address their needs. For SPs, the hub will be a platform to launch key initiatives and drive new business through the marketplace. With sales revenues in the hardware market decreasing and much of the Cloud market set to transition over to hybrid Cloud, it is expected that Cloud SPs will acquire a considerably larger market share over the next five years[i] and Dell EMC and Intel will act as key business enablers to all parties.

“Historically, vendors have failed to support Service Providers in their campaigns and the Dell EMC Cloud Ecosystem represents a game-changing development for both Service Providers and customers alike,” said Eric Velfre, senior vice president, Compute and Networking Sales Dell EMC EMEA. “By simplifying access to the Dell EMC Cloud value proposition and offering content and support for co-marketing projects, we can generate awareness and enable new capabilities to achieve greater profitability for our partners. Through the Dell EMC Cloud Community we can also drive demand from the customer towards Service Providers and capture feedback to help develop future Dell EMC Cloud technologies” he said.

The country manager also said that the One-Stop site for enterprise customers, the Cloud Ecosystem Hub promises to help them understand how to transform their businesses, with a dedicated repository of up-to-date resources and assets explaining the value proposition and benefits offered by Dell EMC’s Cloud technologies. Customers will be able to select SPs through bespoke searches to find the most relevant solutions for their businesses, with options to contact providers directly through the platform. The Cloud Ecosystem Hub will also allow customers to discover and register for broader industry events organised by SPs and Dell EMC.

The Cloud Ecosystem Hub, he said, includes an array of new tools for SPs, including LeadPool demand generation, allowing partners to identify ‘hot’ vendor agnostic leads, along with additional resources to help promote offerings directly to customers.

As said by him, the platform also provides the latest insights and information around Dell EMC’s and Intel’s Cloud technology offerings to help SPs build a stronger portfolio. In addition Dell EMC will allow SPs to run co-marketing campaigns with tools to assist in the creation of marketing assets, campaign building and client and influencer networking, featured within the marketplace.

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Grass Cutting scam: I've no power to give contract...

Grass Cutting scam: I've no power to give contract...: NaijaAgroNet :   ​The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir   David Lawal  has said he does not award contr...

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

SOPHiA Genetics berths @7 African research centers

Leading data-driven medicine, Sophia Genetics, has listed African hospitals to be integrated with SOPHiA, the company’s artificial intelligence, for their clinical workflow in order to advance patients’ care across the continent, reports ITRealms.
The chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, Sophia Genetics, Jurgi Camblong, made this known at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) in Phoenix.
ITRealms also reports that some medical institutions at the forefront of innovation already using SOPHiA in Africa, Camblong said, include, PharmaProcess in Casablanca, Morocco; ImmCell in Rabat, Morocco; Al Azhar Oncology Center in Rabat, Morocco; Riad Biology Center in Rabat, Morocco; Oudayas, Medical Analysis Laboratory, Morocco; Center for Proteomic & Genomic Research (CPGR) in Cape Town, South Africa; and Bonassama District Hospital in Douala, Cameroon.
African hospitals, Camblong pointed out, are adopting SOPHiA to get up to speed and analyze genomic data to identify disease-causing mutations in patients’ genomic profiles, and decide on the most effective care.
“As new users of SOPHiA, they become part of a larger network of 260 hospitals in 46 countries that share clinical insights across patient cases and patient populations, which feeds a knowledgebase of biomedical findings to accelerate diagnostics and care,” the CEO said.
According to Camblong, since inception, noted that SOPHiA vision has been to develop innovative technological solutions that analyze patients’ genomic profiles to offer better diagnosis and care to the greatest number of patients, wherever they live.

“Today, I am very proud that SOPHiA is triggering a technological leapfrog movement in healthcare across Africa,” the founder said.
Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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NCC, law enforcement agencies brainstorm on telecom infrastructure security

As part of efforts to drum more support for the security of telecommunications infrastructure in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and law enforcement agencies assembled in the city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State for brainstorming, reports ITRealms.

Correspondent reports that the consciousness of the centrality of telecommunications and the revolutionary benefits the nation has derived from the exponential growth in the telecommunication sector, was the bottom-line for the session.

ITRealms also gathered that they were concerned about the attendant challenges, particularly the antics of criminals who through vandalism of telecom infrastructure, theft, and use of pre-registered SIM cards, are causing disruptions in telecom operations and undermining efforts at consolidating sectoral gains.

This, NCC said, was why the Commission is currently holding sensitization workshops for law enforcement agencies in all geopolitical zones of the country.

According to the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, this workshops have been designed as a strategic partnership and collaboration between NCC and the nation's security sector, to embolden enforcement processes; the laws and regulatory frameworks; challenges of prosecution; and how ICT enables effective policing.

He also noted that similar workshops have been held in Lagos and Kano as anchors for the South West and North West zones respectively.

ITRealms further gathered this workshop under review targets the law enforcement agencies in the South South zone.

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, represented by Mr. Efosa Idehen, Head Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, commended participants for good attendance and robust participation.

He also requested all law enforcement agencies to amplify the voice of the Commission, particularly in its determination to make 2017 Year Of The Telecom Consumer, a programme unveiled just a week ago to sensitize the public and heighten awareness about consumer issues across the industry.

“The increasingly strategic role of telecommunications and ICT in the economy, the fact that the commanding heights of the economy and all other sectors ride on telecoms services provided by operators regulated by NCC demand that the challenges confronting telecom operations be tackled speedily,” he said.

Idehen explained the current collaborative initiative of the Commission with the security sector to ensure that law enforcement agencies are conscious of their roles under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, and other extant laws, regulations, guidelines and directions guiding telecommunication operation in Nigeria, up to and including arrests and prosecution of those who contravene the telecom laws in Nigeria.

This, he said, would help to ensure that the Quality of Service and the Quality of Consumer Experience are improved upon qualitatively with concrete benefits to the consumer, the telecom industry and the country at large.

ITRealms reports that participants at the workshop included personnel from the Office of the National Security Adviser; the Nigeria Police Force; Nigerian Customs Service; the Department of State Services; and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Season 2: Be a Millionaire with Skye Bank goes to Owerri for draws

The season 2 of the Reach for the Skye Millionaire reward promo is headed to the capital of Imo State, Owerri for its upcoming draw, reports ITRealms.

Scheduled to hold on Thursday, 30thMarch, 2017 in Owerri, Imo State, ITRealms reports that the exercise aligned with Skype Bank’s effort in encouraging savings culture and rewarding loyal customers.

ITRealms recalls that already the first millionaire, Olusola Olusegun Ezekiel, emerged at the first draw of the Season II which took place on February 16th, 2017 in Ikorodu, Lagos.

Skye Bank's Group Head of Retail Banking, Ndubuisi Osakwe explained that to participate in the draw, customers are encouraged to open any Skye savings account and make a minimum deposit of N10,000 over a 30day period.

“If however you already own a Skye savings account, with additional deposit of N10,000 minimum, you increase your chances of becoming the next millionaire. The more you save, the better your chances of emerging a millionaire,” he said.

ITRealms also reports that up for grabs are monthly cash prizes of N100,000 for 10 customers; N50,000 for 10 customers and N20,000 for 20 loyal customers.

“There will also be free gift of recharge cards for the first 200 dormant accounts re-activated on a monthly basis,” part of a press statement to ITRealms read.

Skye bank has used the ‘Reach for the Skye Millionaire reward promo initiative to change lives, accelerate employment generation and develop indigenous entrepreneurs; while encouraging savings culture among Nigerians.

According to Skye Bank's Group Head of Retail Banking, Ndubuisi Osakwe, the reward promo was instituted by the Bank to encourage savings culture, especially amongst the mass market segment.

"As a bank, we are committed to continually satisfy the needs of our customers; as well as empower and encourage savings culture in them, through rewards like this and also provide opportunities for them to establish small businesses with limited capital provided.

“The reward focuses on retail banking that is anchored on the premise of building a long lasting relationship with our customers based on trust; as well as supporting the financial inclusion drive of the CBN meant to bring a lot more people into the financial system and the formal economy,” Osakwe said.

ITRealms recalls that ‘Reach for the Skye is a year-long promo, with series of monthly raffle draws during which more and more winners will continue to emerge.’

The promo which was endorsed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, usually have at least a representative of the Commission present during the draws in order to ensure transparency in all processes.

Ayo Midele/GEE 
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

CS2 hosts 20 Nigerians to cyber drills on new DDos threat

Leading cyber security solution power house, the Consultancy Support Services (CS2) Limited has hosted some 20 Nigerians to a global cyber drill on the “Emergence of a New DDoS Threat,” reports ITRealms.

The newly emerging Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), ITRealms gathered reflect largely the intentional paralyzing of a computer network by flooding it with data sent simultaneously from many individual computers.

Confirming Nigeria’s participation in this global cyber drill to ITRealms, the executive chairman of CS2, Alhaji Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola, said that his team successfully hosted 20 Nigerian participants for the Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) and Cyberdrill 2017.

According to him, the session was hosted with the theme “Emergence of a New DDoS Threat.”

“Participants were drawn from a wide range of security, public service organisations and the private sector,” he said.

Ajijola explained that the exercise which commenced “22-03-2017, 2:00 AM” was held at the Penthouse, Ogun State House, Central Business District, Abuja Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“It started with preliminary reviews at 2 am Nigeria time (GMT+1) with the actual cyber drill commencing at 3 am 22 March 2017,” he said, stressing that this is representative of real-world situations.

“Hackers don’t work regular hours,” Ajijola said, emphasizing that all assignments were completed, thus successful.

“We are pleased to note that all assignments were successfully completed,” he said.

Ajijola further told ITRealms that APCERT teams from 18 economies including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, People's Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam) participated in the drill, and additionally with 4 CSIRTs from 4 member countries (Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Pakistan) of the OIC-CERT www.oic-cert.org.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Killers of late Cynthia Osokogu to die by hanging

The two-member gang of Okwumo Nwabufo and Olisaeloka Ezike charged with the murder of Ms Cynthia Osokogu, a Facebook friend, have been sentenced to death by hanging, reports ITRealms.

Ms Cynthia Osokogu, ITRealms gathered was a postgraduate student of Nasarawa State University, at the time of her death on July 22, 2012.

ITRealms recalls that Ms Osokogu was murdered by the duo convicts on July 22, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lake View Estate, Festac Town, Lagos.

Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, found Nwabufo and Ezike guilty as charged by the state.

Also, the judge held that the circumstantial evidence brought by the state in proof of the six counts of conspiracy, murder and stealing against the accused persons were cogent, complete, unequivocal and compelling, hence sentenced both to death by hanging.

*Ozo Nweke Ozo with additional reports from The Punch & Channels TV/GEE

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Buhari, Saraki commiserate with Britons over Westminister terror attack

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned Wednesday’s terrorist attack near the United Kingdom Parliament Building at Westminster, London, reports ITRealms.

This is coming as the Senate President, Dr. Olusola Saraki has also extended the sympathy of the National Assembly to the government, parliament and people of UK over the attack.

The President, who sympathized with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, assured her that the government and people of Nigeria “stand with Britons at this sad and trying moment in their country.”

As said by President Buhari, “terror attack anywhere in the world is condemnable,” stresing that the whole world must join hands to defeat the perpetrators of terrorism.

He prayed that God Almighty will comfort the grieving families and heal the injured.

In a related development, the National Assembly (NASS) through the President of Senate, Dr. Saraki declared that any attack on any Parliament in the world is an attack to all parliaments.

He also condemned the attack while urging for improved security at parliaments across the world including the National Assembly Abuja.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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Mara acquires multichannel platform, Nimbuzz

An African multi-channel platform of online and mobile technology innovations that are designed to connect people across emerging markets, Mara Social Media, has acquired global platform Nimbuzz Assets, reports ITRealms.

Nimbuzz, ITRealms gathered, was initially released in May 2008 is a powerful cross-platform mobile calling and messaging app. The app can be installed on computers, mobile phones, smartphones, and tablets. Nimbuzz offers its users the ability to make voice and video calls, enable chat and file sharing worldwide. The app has over 200 million users and is available for Android, iPhone, and Symbian, MIDP, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and PC & MAC clients.

Anubhav Nagar, CEO of Mara Social Media said “We see a strong momentum for consumer messaging apps, which are set to overtake social media apps globally. 

According to reports and current trends it is clear that social media apps are likely be eclipsed by messaging apps in the next two years. This is the opportunity, which we identified with Nimbuzz.”

As part of this acquisition, Mara gains access to Nimbuzz’s & Holaa’s unified platform as well as their international assets, IP & Database. The acquisition provides a strong foundation for our future growth in emerging markets. Nimbuzz Instant messenger & Holaa has a user base of 200 million registered users spread across India and the Middle East.

Ahuti Chug, Chair of Mara Social Media said “Users are now demanding a messaging app experience that goes beyond entertainment or communications. We see this as a gap in the offering of the existing messenger players in most markets and it opens up a huge opportunity for Mara to tap in to. We are extremely excited about this move and with the fact that it makes us a global player in this space.”

Mara will roll-out a new hybrid approach for the Nimbuzz messenger which would be an amalgamation of content, Incubator platform, smart market place and consumer communities. Mara plans to integrate the Nimbuzz platform with its existing Mara platforms including Mara Mentor and Mara Jobs into Nimbuzz Messenger and vice versa.

Mara Mentor is a free online mentoring platform that connects ambitious entrepreneurs and business leaders globally and can be accessed via a web-based platform and a mobile application that’s available on iOS and Android.

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LoRa technology to prevail on ecosystem

Latest white paper on Long range (LoRa), and low power wireless technology has indicated that this platform would prevail the ecosystem in the years, showing that no one technology meets all technological needs, reports ITRealms.

According to the Whitepaper, the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) market is often viewed as a technology battleground from which one solution will emerge as the winner and de facto standard.

But LPWAN, ITRealms report, use cases so varied that no one technology will meet all requirements, as some LPWAN technologies are better suited for certain applications than others.

Given the size of LPWAN market and varied nature of applications, the WhitePaper also showed there is room and, in fact, a place for multiple complementary options.

ITRealms further reports that this whitepaper focused on LoRa wireless technology for the Internet of Things (IoT), specifically addressing LPWAN applications and covering the value proposition of LoRa, the applications for which the technology is best suited, and the ecosystem of technology adopters.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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