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Glo gets thumbdown for sacking 90 married female staff

ITREALMS : Glo Mobile has been receiving thumbdown for allegedly sacking over 90 female married staff on the occasion of 2018 Internati...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Glo gets thumbdown for sacking 90 married female staff

Glo Mobile has been receiving thumbdown for allegedly sacking over 90 female married staff on the occasion of 2018 International Women Day, reports ITRealms.

Latest in giving Glo knocks and thumbdown is the Public Interest Litigation Initiative (PILI), a non-governmental organization, which said they were hugely pained by Glo sack of these female employees.

A press statement made available to ITRealms in Abuja by the Executive Director, PILI, Prof Adesoji Adesugba, the NGO totally condemned Glo action in its entirety and manifestation, insisting Glo has adversely violated the rights of women as encapsulated in the United Nations (UN) Charter against discrimination on any basis, which Nigeria is also a signatory.

Also, the group said it was annoying to note that a global brand like Globacom “which ought to have stood firmly against such illicit acts by inculcating global best practices in her modus operandi has gotten itself contaminated in an avoidable error of this proportion.”

While recalling that preliminary investigation on the subject matter has thrown up several issues, Prof. Adesugba wondered why Glo could choose to deliberately undermine the letters of Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which explicitly defined what amounts to discrimination against women.

The statement reads in part: “It is disheartening to hear that these particular set of female staff who have worked very hard to take the company to the height it has attained today could be treated in a needlessly reckless manner. We at PILI find this unacceptable and have taken a legal action to challenge this glitch.

“It is going to be a legal fight to the finish until and unless very urgent and responsible steps are taken by Globacom to restate them back to their various positions with full benefits in addition to paying damages to them for distorting their career path or progress.

“Annoyingly, this unwarranted decision was taken when the International Women’s Day celebration for 2018 was around the corner. This is not only a violation of extant laws governing labour in Nigeria but also a complete deviation from global best practices where women who aspire to reach the zenith of their chosen careers are not only given a chance to excel but also supported to do so.

“The reasons adduced as accounting for their sack in the company is grossly insufficient. Globacom is tactically saying expertise and competence can be easily slaughtered. Let me remind Globacom that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Number 5 is also aimed at comprehensively achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls all over the world.”

As said by him, the time has come for all men of goodwill to rally round women in order to ensure that they successfully overcome any impediments on their way to becoming fully empowered economically, politically and socially.

“We have to start the process of ensuring that, no worker in Nigeria, particularly those affected by this action are not used and dumped after contributing immensely in training, mentoring and track record of service to their employers,” Adesugba submitted.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Between history and current demands in Nigeria

One of the propositions of Leftists’ theory of history is that human beings are the makers of their own history. A corollary to this – that human beings do not make this history simply as they wish, but that they make it with materials and circumstances fashioned and transmitted by and from the past – is as important as the main thesis.

This composite proposition has remained a pillar of Leftists’ political and social action. And it is one of the propositions which Leftists bring to the workers’ movement, revolutionary groups and, indeed, all movements that genuinely wish to change the world or segments of it for the benefit of the exploited, the dominated, the enslaved, the deceived, the humiliated and the abandoned.

An injunction that issues from this proposition is that those who fight for justice, freedom or equality should not lie, should not falsify history – however strong the temptation to do so may be. This is not simply a moral injunction. It is a political and ideological injunction because – as history itself has demonstrated over and over again - falsification of history ultimately weakens the falsifiers’ cause.

In late 1990, as a full-time member of the Editorial Board of The Guardian, I wrote a 10-part column titled A refutation of official history. The present article is offered both in anticipation of the appearance of an updated edition of that essay and as a commentary on the current wave of “politics-inspired” re-interpretations of our country’s history.

From about 1990 to 2005 there was an intense national media debate on a subject variously called “the national question”, “the ethnic question” or “the ethnic nationality question”. The first alternative name is considered the orthodox variant. Nigerian Leftists not only raised the intellectual level of this debate but also made it wider and more political by introducing the concept of Sovereign National Conference (SNC) and demanding for it. I took part in that debate both as a socialist and as a member of the Editorial Board of The Guardian.

Among the sharpest and most passionate contributors to this unstructured national dialogue from the Left were Comrade (Professor) G. G. Darah and the late Comrade (Dr) Bala Usman. But they entered the “National Question” and “Sovereign National Conference” debates from diametrically opposite ideological and political directions. The debate however never degenerated to personal abuses and never employed “ad hominem” arguments.

The National Question and Sovereign National Conference debates did not come to a close. Rather, it went into a lull. It remained that way until a couple of years ago. But when the debate resumed it did so as something entirely different: it had ceased to be informed by verifiable historical facts and true sequences of events; perspectives and methods could no longer be apprehended or characterized; the language had become simply horrible and the social media – unavailable to the last generation – had become the main platform for the debate – or rather, the abuse.

The concrete issues around which the “national question” debate or abuse is currently being fought may be grouped into three: One is the question of “restructuring” or “geopolitical restructuring” of the country. Positions being canvassed on this question include the retention of the present structure; “strong” restructuring; “weak” restructuring (if we may borrow the language of the current Brexit debate in Europe); and the right of any of the present six geopolitical zones to secede from the federation. The second issue is national political re-alignment (combinations and dissociations) in preparation for the 2019 general elections. The third issue is the current widespread destructions and killings which have been officially classified as herdsmen – farmers clashes.

We note, sadly, that there is no issue or sub-issue on the list of issues articulated above which we can say had been inspired by the Left or the popular-democratic movement either in its own name or in the name of the masses of Nigeria. Of course, all the issues affect the masses and their resolutions – one way or another – will, as usual, carry grave consequences for the masses.

It is, however, not the aim of this piece to squeeze into this small space explicitly Left demands such as popular-democratic restructuring and the massive re-deployment of the nation’s resources in favour of the masses as articulated in my previous article, Further notes on people’s manifesto. Rather, I wish to use the space that is left here to draw the attention of debaters to some elementary facts on the origins of, and political developments in, Nigeria up to the civil war. These are verifiable simple facts which you must respect if you intend to use your arguments and positions to persuade living human beings.

Fact One: In 1977, Professor Obaro Ikime, one of the earliest and most accomplished Nigerian historians, offered an important book on Nigerian history to scholars and non-scholars alike. The book is titled The Fall of Nigeria: The British conquest. It is divided into two parts. The second part, Episodes from the British Conquest of Nigeria, tells the stories of the British military defeat and occupation of 12 selected Nigerian communities: Lagos, Calabar, Oyo, Ilorin, Brass, Benin, Aro, Tiv, Borno, Zaria, Kano and Sokoto. If you put up a current map of Nigeria, you will see the spread of just some of the areas where military battles were fought between the British colonialists and the native populations between 1885 and 1914. Ikime studied these battles.

My proposition here is: By 1914 all the present 36 state capitals and the federal capital territory had British military presence – by conquest. Put differently: The colonialists decisively won each of the battles listed in the preceding paragraph and several others not listed, put the conquered territories together and forged a country they called Nigeria.

When our ancestors rose to resume the struggle, they rose not as individual communities, but as Nigerians fighting for the independence of Nigeria. And they won independence not as members of previously defeated autonomous communities, but as citizens of Nigeria. This point was made by Bala Usman and conceded by several debaters including myself. But the point, though a powerful one, did not settle and has not settled the question of national unity decades after independence. It has, however, eliminated a large field of arguments.

Fact Two: In 1900, the British proclaimed their ownership of three territories, namely: the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and the Colony of Lagos. In 1906, the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria was merged with the Colony of Lagos. And in 1914, the two protectorates were merged and named the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria with Lagos as capital. In 1936, the protectorate of Southern Nigeria was divided into two groups of provinces – the West and the East. By 1954 Nigeria had become a federation of three regions: North, East and West and the Federal Capital, Lagos. Independence was won for Nigeria on October 1, 1960. And in 1963, the fourth region, Mid-West, was carved out of the West.

Fact Three: On May 30, 1967, the whole of Eastern Region comprising the present southeast geopolitical zone plus the present Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River States was declared the Republic of Biafra. A 30-month war broke out. On January 15, 1970, the 1967 declaration was renounced and the status-quo ante was restored.

These are simple and verifiable historical facts which must be respected by debaters. They neither support nor oppose any of the current demands or opposition to any demand. But a truthful reconstruction of historical experience is a powerful weapon in any struggle for a just future. And that is why Leftists (socialists and radical democrats) invest so much energy in self-education and popular education.

*Edwin Madunagu, mathematician and journalist, writes from Calabar, Cross River State.

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Nokia unveils in-home WiFi solution‌

Nokia has introduced several enhancements to its in-home Wi-Fi solution that maximize Wi-Fi performance and simplify network management, reports ITRealms.

The new Wi-Fi solution, ITRealms gathered, expands Nokia's portfolio with meshed Wi-Fi gateways and beacons, delivering a new Wi-Fi Home Portal for service providers, introduces a mobile application for users and provides new software functions and analytics that improve network intelligence.

Whole-home Wi-Fi networks are increasingly being strained by the growing number of connected devices and signal interference that comes from appliances like microwaves, creating an influx of help desk calls by users frustrated with their Wi-Fi performance. With more than 30 percent of calls related to poor in-home connectivity, service providers are increasingly challenged with troubleshooting issues that are often the result of third-party Wi-Fi solutions. With limited network visibility into the home, this can lead to lengthy trial and error procedures or expensive visits to diagnose issues.

Nokia's in-home Wi-Fi solution overcomes these challenges with several new enhancements that improve the user experience and significantly reduce the time and complexity for service providers to solve network problems. These include:

Extended portfolio with meshed Wi-Fi solutions that include a wide array of premium, flagship and entry level Gateways and Beacons - Wi-Fi access points that consumers can install throughout the home to create an intelligent mesh, extend coverage and boost performance. Beacons quickly guide each device to the nearest or fastest access point, and ensure an optimal path through the network.

Software enhancements from Nokia to quickly upgrade selected existing gateways in the field to support meshed Wi-Fi networking capabilities.  
Wi-Fi Home Portal for Service Providers - Providing a single screen, holistic view of a user's in-home Wi-Fi network, allowing service providers to effectively manage devices, quickly identify and resolve issues or upsell new services - such as broadband capacity or additional beacons - to improve network performance.

New software and embedded analytic functions that compile insights on the network, devices and interference sources to automatically self-heal and optimize the Wi-Fi experience.

This includes algorithms that automate band and channel steering to improve overall performance and create full in-home coverage with seamless roaming capabilities without service interruption.

End-user mobile application - Delivering an intuitive, simple interface that provides a visual representation of the Wi-Fi network including a heat map to easily locate and manage dead zones and identify the right place to add new access points to fill coverage gaps. Customers can also quickly access device lists and management capabilities to create guest networks. 

The application gives users access to a wide array of self-install, network care and troubleshooting capabilities.

Federico Guillén, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks business group, said: "For many users, the concept of Wi-Fi and broadband access are synonymous, putting many service providers on the front line of customer complaints if Wi-Fi performance is impacted.  
Depending on the tools available to service providers, this can become either a business challenge or an opportunity. Nokia's enhanced in-home Wi-Fi solution is unique in that it addresses the customer need for a better Wi-Fi experience while providing service providers with the tools and visibility they need to quickly resolve issues, enhance customer loyalty and create additional revenue-generating opportunities."

Nenye Dom/GEE

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2017: Paradigm Initiative trains 667 youth on ICT, entrepreneurship

Prominent social enterprise in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, the Paradigm Initiative, has trained some 667 youth on ICT and entrepreneurship for the record year 2017, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms gathered was contained in the 2017 Annual Report of the organization released recently to the public.

ITRealms also reports that the Lagos-based organisation operates three training centres in Ajegunle (Lagos), Aba (Abia) and Dakata (Kano) on LIFE programme dedicated to empowering young people in underserved communities with life-changing skills, ICT, financial readiness and entrepreneurship skills.

The LIFE programme, which took off in Ajegunle in 2007, ITRealms gathered has now trained over 5, 000 in its eleven years of existence.

In 2017 alone, Paradigm Initiative graduated 248 trainees who successfully completed the 10-week intensive training programme at its three centres.

Equally, the organisation said, it trained another 96 through its newly-introduced LIFE@School programme. While yet another 332 female beneficiaries participated in various digital readiness workshop organised by the organisation.

“This brought the total number of beneficiaries of Paradigm Initiative’s digital inclusion efforts in 2017 to 667,” says the Communication Officer at Paradigm Initiative, Sodiq Alabi.

For the Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, Gbenga Sesan, was quoted in a press statement made available to ITRealms as saying “While our focus is on impact and not numbers, we are glad to see that more under-served youth are getting connected to opportunities through our digital inclusion and digital rights programs.”

The Digital Inclusion programme manager, Tosin Abolaji, noted that as for many of the trainees, the LIFE programme is their first productive contact with a computer system.

“Within ten weeks, we introduce them to the use of computer, Office Suite, web and graphics design, and programming languages, among other things. They leave our centres with useful skills that have seen many alumni’s earning ability improved significantly. We give them a solid foundation that could be leveraged for a career in the ICT sector or outside it,” Abolaji said.

“We don’t just provide free training. We also follow up with alumni to help them put their newly-acquired skill/knowledge to productive use. For instance, 15 of our 2016 trainees got internship opportunities while 147 of them are now using their skills as employees or as entrepreneurs. This is the kind of impact we live for,” Abolaji said.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Digital currency: NDIC issues special notice to banks, depositors

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has issued a special notice to all banks, depositors and the public on digital currencies in the nation’s financial market, warning of its implications as there is no substantive law backing such a transaction, reports ITRealms.
NDIC, ITRealms recalls originated from the report of a committee set up in 1983 by the Board of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to examine the operations of the banking system in Nigeria and subsequently recommended the establishment of a Depositors Protection Fund. Consequently upon which the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation was established through the promulgation of Decree No. 22 of 15 th June 1988.
Details of the special notice on digitalcurrency also known as virtual currency or cryptocurrency, as made available to ITRealms by the management of NDIC, include:
In view of the concerns expressed by the National Assembly and the general public about the incursion of Digital Currencies, the NDIC is issuing this warning to the users, holders and traders in Digital Currencies, including Bitcoins, Zcash, Monero and Litecoin, about the possible financial, operational, legal and security related risks that they are exposing themselves to.

Digital currencies are unregulated electronic forms of monetary value that can act as means of payment. A digital currency has no physical form and it is not issued by any central authority and is thus exempted from government support. It is not created, issued or guaranteed by a central bank. Digital Currencies are also referred to as Virtual or Crypto Currencies. Specifically, digital currencies are:

i. Neither currencies nor coins offered by any central bank like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or a Central Bank of any other country with authority to issue such currency.
ii. Not backed by any physical commodity, such as gold.
iii. Not deposits or instruments authorised by the CBN.
iv. Not insured by the NDIC.


i. Consumers are not protected when using digital currencies for payments
Digital currency ‘units or accounts’ are not recognized by the CBN and are not insured by the NDIC unlike bank accounts. There is no protection, refund rights or redress for users of digital currencies.
ii. Consumers can lose all their money due to Loss or Theft
Digital currencies are virtual money, stored in electronic medium called e-wallets and are vulnerable to losses due to loss of password, hacking, virus/malware attack etc. The loss of the wallet could result in the permanent loss of the digital currencies held in them.
iii. High price changes that could lead to zero value of the currency quickly
The inherent instability in the rates because digital currencies are not issued or backed by any government, with no investor protection and are not protected by deposit insurance. This exposes the users to potential complete loss of value.
iv. Absence of Authorized Exchange Platforms
Digital currencies are traded on exchanges established in various jurisdictions with unclear legal status. Consequently, the users of these platforms are exposed to financial, operational and legal risks.
v. Misuse for criminal activities
It has being widely reported that digital currencies are used in illicit activities in several jurisdictions, including unintentional breaches of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws.
vi. Negative Opinion of Digital Currencies by the world’s central banker
The head of the Bank for International Settlements labelled Bitcoin as “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme” and, due to the energy consumption required for mining it, an “environmental disaster”.
vii. Negative Opinion of Digital Currencies by the head of the World Bank
The head of the World Bank compared crypto-currencies to “Ponzi schemes,”….. “In terms of using Bitcoin or some of the crypto-currencies, we are also looking at it, but I’m told the vast majority of crypto-currencies are basically Ponzi schemes,” according to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

i. Bangladesh, Nepal, Ecuador, Bolivia and Iceland and Morocco have all banned Bitcoin in their territories.
ii. South Korea, a global centre for crypto-currency trading, said it would ban anonymous trading of virtual currencies.
iii. China’s Central Bank barred financial institutions from taking part in digital currency as well as exchange trading of Bitcoin.
iv. The European Banking Authority banned financial institutions from buying, selling or holding digital currencies.
v. The central banks of India and Mexico have issued a warning on the use of digital currencies.
vi. The central bank of Russia are “…totally opposed to private money, no matter if it is in physical or virtual form”.

In 2017, the CBN issued a Circular warning Nigerians against the use of digital currencies, including bitcoin, ripples, litecoin. The CBN stated that:
“The CBN reiterates that VCs such as bitcoin, ripples, monero, litecoin, dogecion, onecoin, etc., and similar products are not legal tenders in Nigeria.”
The CBN directed banks to “Ensure that you do not use, hold, trade and/or transact in any way in virtual currencies.”


"The NDIC has equally warned banks and Nigerians, through several platforms to stay away from digital currencies because the Corporation does not provide insurance cover to risks and loses associated with trading in any form of currency not issued by the CBN."

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Related interesting stories:

Virtual Currencies: CBN insists 'You’re on your own,' warns Nigerians

Imo Governorship 2019: Nick Opara-Ndudu declares, assures ‘Imo will rise again’

The former bank boss, Chief Nick Opara-Ndudu, has declared his intention to run for the governorship of Imo State, assuring that ‘Imo will rise again’ reports ITRealms.

Opara-Ndudu in a epistle to Imolites made available to ITRealms, lamented the condition of things in Imo State, including decrepit infrastructure across the state and in particular, in the rural areas.

“We must rise to the challenge of ensuring that government is held accountable for providing quality, durable roads; good hospitals, conducive environment for learning in our schools, etc,” he said.

Also, he said, that the current razzmatazz of ‘urban renewal’ which has seen the Governor Rochas Okorocha's   administration expand a few roads within Owerri metropolis must yield to a more orderly, structured and professionally managed infrastructure provision framework for the people.

“With the scourge of unemployment taking its toll on our teeming population of young people, we must begin to address the challenge of providing jobs and sundry forms of productive engagements for our citizens as veritable instruments for preventing them from engaging in crimes and varied forms of negative behavior,” he said.
Maintaining that the agricultural sector in Imo State, must be revamped and repositioned to unleash its latent capacity and create, at least, 200,000 jobs in a space of three years.

“In the same vein, we must rise to the challenge of providing a conducive environment for the industrial sector to create at least 50,000 jobs over a period of five years,” he said.

The Imo economy and its people, he said, have a capacity to attain these goals and more, provided we have the right leadership.

Opara-Ndudu, who is a staunch Catholic, further decried that most of Imo pensioners have been continually denied their benefits and rights as senior citizens, “we must rise to the challenge of redeeming our collective humanity by ensuring that their entitlements are paid Otherwise, posterity and the judgment of history shall be unkind to us all.”

Opera-Ndudu, who is a 1983 Accounting graduate from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, expressed dismay over the Imo state’s debt profile, which according to him, stood at an all time high in excess of N100billion.

“We must now address the urgent need of diversifying of our state’s economy and revenue base to cope with the challenges created by this needless and avoidable debt overhang. Governing Imo State is not going to be a tea party and we must collectively seek a new development template driven by new approaches and alternative revenue sources. Continuing reliance on existing revenue streams would only spell doom for our future development efforts,” he said.
For him, Imolites are indeed facing trying times that must be collectively resolve to change the status quo among others.

“Addressing the above challenges require a new skills set and a shift in our leadership paradigm. Imo State is in dire need of a governor who has capacity to provide the consequential leadership to face these challenges and surmount them for our collective good. That governor must be mature, experienced, and knowledgeable as well as accomplished in his field and above all God fearing and truly compassionate in his dealings with people,” the chartered accountant cum aspirant said.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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GTBank releases full year 2017 with PBT @N200.24bn

The Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) plc, has released its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges, reports ITRealms.

An appraisal of the results by ITRealms, showed positive performance across all financial indices, reaffirming the Bank’s position as one of the most profitable and well managed financial institutions in Nigeria, with its Profit Before Tax (PBT) standing at N200.24 billion as at end of year, under review.

According to the results, the gross earnings for the year grew by 1.1 per  cent to ₦419.2billion from ₦414.6billion reported in the December 2016; driven primarily by growth in interest income as well as e-payment revenues. Profit before tax stood at ₦200.2billion, representing a growth of 21.3 per cent over ₦165.1billion recorded in the corresponding year ended December 2016. The Bank’s loan book dipped by 8.9per cent from ₦1.590trillion recorded as at December 2016 to ₦1.449trillion in December 2017 while customer deposits increased by 3.8per cent to ₦2.062trillion from ₦1.986trillion in December 2016.

The Bank’s balance sheet remained strong with a 3.9per cent growth in Total Assets and Contingents as the Bank closed the year ended December 2017 with Total Assets and Contingents of ₦3.845trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ₦625.2Billion. In terms of Assets quality, NPL ratio increased to 7.7per cent in December 2017 from 3.7per cent in December 2016 largely as a result of classification of a single exposure within the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry.

In addition, non-performing loans, the bank said, would moderate to 4.6 per cent, which is below regulatory threshold, if we exclude this name from NPL ratio computation. Overall, asset quality remains stable with adequate coverage of 119.6 per cent, while Capital remains strong with CAR of 25.7 per cent. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) closed at 35.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively. The Bank is proposing a final dividend of 240k per unit of ordinary shareheld by shareholders in addition to interim dividend of 30k per unit of ordinary share bringing total dividend for 2017 financial year to ₦2.70 per unit of ordinary share.

In his reaction, the Managing Director/CEO GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said that the 2017 was a pivotal year for the bank.

“We delivered a strong result in a challenging environment; achieving record growth in earnings, carefully managing cost margins and leveraging our digital-first customer-centric strategy to deliver world-class services that are simple, cheap and easily accessible,” he said.

Agbaje further said that the result demonstrated the fundamental strength of GTbank’s franchise as well as the progress made in transforming the organization into a platform on which customers could build their businesses, connect with their consumers and access all the resources that they need to make their lives better.

GTBank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry as revealed by its return on equity (ROE) of 35.4per cent and cost to income ratio of 38.1 per cent evidencing the efficient management of assets and operational efficiency. Overall, the Bank has enshrined its position as a clear leader in the industry. In recognition of its innovation and hard work, the Bank received over 20 international awards in 2017.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Virtual Currencies: CBN insists 'You’re on your own,' warns Nigerians

The apex bank in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has insisted that virtual currencies are not legal tenders in Nigeria financial space, reports ITRealms.

Confirming this to ITRealms, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications at CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, warned Nigerians engaging in virtual currency to note they are doing so, strictly at their own risk.

ITRealms gathered that a virtual currency also known as cryptocurrency, is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets.

Also in a recent circular, entitled ‘Virtual Currencies not legal Tender in Nigeria’ Okorafor noted that this is in furtherance to an earlier circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on January 12, 2017 to all banks and financial institutions in the country.

As said by him, the Bank reiterated that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, Empowr, etc and Exchanges such as NairaEx are not licensed or regulated by the CBN.

“For the avoidance of doubt, dealers and investors in any kind of crypto currency in Nigeria are not protected by law,” CBN declared.

 Virtual currencies, he explained are traded in exchange platforms that are unregulated, all over the world.

“Consumers may therefore lose their money without any legal redress in the event these exchangers collapse or close business,” CBN spokesman insisted.

Members of the public, especially Nigerian, he said, are “hereby warned that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria. Accordingly, we wish to caution all and sundry on the risks inherent in such activities.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Paradigm Initiative commends NASS for passing Digital Rights Bill

Pan-African digital rights organization, Paradigm Initiative has commended the two legislative houses of the National Assembly (NASS) for passing the Digital Rights and Freedom bill, reports ITRealms.

The bill, ITRealms recalled was passed on Tuesday afternoon by the Senate following earlier passage at the House of Representatives last December, 2017.

The Bill, ITRealms gathered was a product of civil society efforts led by Paradigm Initiative beginning at the 2014 Internet Freedom Forum in Abuja, “provides for the protection of human rights online, to protect Internet users in Nigeria from infringement of their fundamental freedoms and to guarantee application of human rights for users of digital platforms and/or digital media.”

Speaking on the importance of the bill, Paradigm Initiative’s Digital Rights Programme Manager, Boye Adegoke said, “By the passage of this BIll, the legislative arm of government has shown a commitment to the development of digital rights in Nigeria.”

He expressed excitement about the provisions in this Bill regarding freedom of expression online.

“The bill will ensure that citizens can freely express their opinions online without interference. This is such a positive development at a time when Nigeria is moving into an election season and there are legitimate fears that there may be moves by some political interests to gag free speech in the country. 

The positive leadership of the National Assembly on the issue is quite commendable.” Adegoke said.

Also speaking, Director of Programme at Paradigm Initiative, Tope Ogundipe said “Nigeria has demonstrated remarkable leadership on the continent by passing this Bill. The Bill is quite important to the future of innovation and Nigeria’s digital economy in essence. It represents the needed framework to attract the partnership of global brands in the digital economy.”

Worthy of note about this bill, ITRealms gathered, is the provision of progressive legislative backing to online speech in the country.

Paradigm Initiative further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill to transform it into a law, making it Nigeria’s first law on human rights online.

Clause 14 of the bill, for instance, reads, “Every person shall have the right to freely express opinion online without interference, this right includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of digital frontiers”. Under this Bill, freedom of expression further includes the freedom to express and impart information and ideas of all kinds that can be transmitted to others, in whatever form, and regardless of media.”

Nenye Egbune/GEE

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MTN Foundation puts smiles on 1,500 kids

The MTN Foundation has put smiles on the faces of about 1,500 kids in 36 institutions across the country. Each establishment was gifted foodstuff and baby care products, reports ITRealms.
According to Dennis Okoro, Director, MTN Foundation, “the provision of basic living amenities and consumables to the less privileged is critical to the growth and development of our country. We are passionate about this and that is what these initiatives are about, making life better for the children of this great nation”.
The management of the homes visited expressed their gratitude for MTN Foundation’s care, which they described as timely and uplifting.
MTN Foundation Director, Mrs Mosun Bello-Olusoga noted that “Children’s homessuch as these typically have a hard time sourcing funds. We all need to do our part, we all need to do more. Moments like these give us the opportunity to step out, reach out and show love.”
During each visit, MTN staff and representatives of the Foundation spent time with the children, talking about life, interests and inspirations as well as playing with the kids.
“These are very special places with very special children. Bursting with ideas, kids are such great dreamers not bound by perceived limitations. They are so full of love, children are an inspiration to us all! I am grateful and honoured to have been part of this,” said Adekemi Adisa, a General Manager in MTN’s Human Resources Division.
Places visited include Kids with a vision Foundation, Jos; Katsina children’s home; Al Ansar home, Abuja; Bethesda Home for the Blind, Lagos; Grace Orphan Rescue Foundation,Rivers; Eruobodo Centre for Special needs children Ogun; Ancilla motherless babies home, Imo and Save the child motherless and abandoned babies home, Owerri, Imo state.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Early Re-election bid: Trumps seeks $1 contributions

President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump has commenced his relection bid with the request to supporters to contribute $1, about N360, per individual, reports ITRealms.

An appeal to this effect sighted by ITRealms, Trump urged supporters, especially who were there when the movement began.

“You were there when they said we were destined to lose. You were there when the Washington swamp tried to destroy our presidency,” he said.

According to him, “now I hope you will be there for my re-election campaign in 2020 as we keep fighting to make America Great Again!”

Trump also said that the big announcement comes on the day of a critical reporting deadline, urging supporters to step up with a contribution of ANY amount to show “you’re ready to fight for another BIG win in 2020?

He attributed the early campaign for re-election to the brutality of the fake news and rabidity of the Democrats.

“You’ve seen how brutal the fake news has been. You’ve seen how rabid the Democrats have become. We couldn’t wait until 2019 to start fighting for re-election. We had to start NOW!” he declared, stressing that he is not mechanization of the opponents.

“I don’t care how many more witch hunts they launch... I don’t care how many more lies they spread about me and my family ...  I don’t care how many more cowards write fake books to try and distract the people... Because there is NOTHING they can do to stop us from our mission to SAVE America,” he said.

Pointing out that now that it’s official, “let’s blow our first goal out of the park. Let’s show the media we’re fighting harder than ever before to make America great again!”

Just as He enjoined supporters to “Please make a contribution of just $1 before the first reporting deadline since our re-election announcement.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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@LSE: Nwankwo advises African countries on economic transformation via debt financing

The immediate past Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) in Nigeria, Dr Abraham Nwankwo, has admonished African leaders to initiate robust macroeconomic, transformation plans to drive debt-financed sustainable economic growth and prosperity, reports ITRealms.

Speaking on the topic “Sapping Africa’s Debt Financing Strategy: Removing Some Mental Cobwebs”, at the Fourth London Stock Exchange LSEG Africa Advisory Group (LAAG) Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, Nwankwo said such a transformation plan is needed as a formal policy document, “narrating how debt financing will be applied to launch economy unto a trajectory of self-sustaining prosperity; with credible macroeconomic figures at the beginning, intermediate and concluding stages: GDP figures, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, reserve position, etc.”

Nwankwo, who holds a PhD in economics, said Debt Financing, particularly external debt financing from the international capital market, appears to be the most predictable source for financing and refinancing Africa’s economic and social transformation over the next decade.

However, he stated that the real job for governments, particularly officials in charge of planning, finance and central banking is “to demonstrate with detailed credible macroeconomic plan, how this prospect can be safely actualized.”

He stressed that many African countries have failed to initiate credible transformation plan thereby squandering the opportunity to grow their economies through debt financing. “The government may be keen on debt financing but lazy to articulate a credible implementation plan, with macroeconomic deliverables, around debt financing.”

Added to this intellectual laziness on the part of economic planners is also what he called the “Rigid, non-imaginative advice from the IMF in particular, which encourages policy timidity, instead of planned boldness.”

He said the IMF usually relies on past and present deficiencies to preach against the possibility of future progress instead of focusing on how to cage or degrade those deficiencies to create a new trajectory of efficiency and prosperity.

He said: “Much of IMF advice on Africa’s debt financing misleads countries to commit what I first referred to in a 2017 publication as the “sin-of-avoiding-a-sin’(SAS)”

He further stressed that African countries would continue to rely on debt financing from the international capital market due to acute fiscal constraints, huge infrastructure deficit and huge reserves of exploitable opportunities in agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing, solid minerals, tourism and other sectors.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

National Assembly passes Digital Rights & Freedom Bill

The Nigerian Senate has finally passed the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, following in the footsteps of the Nigerian House of Representatives which passed the Bill on December 19, 2018, reports ITRealms.

The bill, ITRealms gathered was passed at about 1:09 pm Tuesday, and is a product of civil society efforts led by Paradigm Initiative beginning at the 2014 Internet Freedom Forum in Abuja, “provides for the protection of human rights online, to protect Internet users in Nigeria from infringement of their fundamental freedoms and to guarantee application of human rights for users of digital platforms and/or digital media.”

ITRealms also gathered that in 2016, Hon Chukwuemeka Ujam sponsored the Bill at the House of Representatives where it underwent rigorous legislative process before eventual passage last December.

The Bill was first tabled before the Senate for concurrence on January 16 2018, and was finally passed Tuesday, March 13, 2018. 

Notable of the Digital Rights bill, ITRealms reports provides progressive legislative backing to online speech in the country.

For instance, ITRealms reports that Clause 14 of the bill reads, “Every person shall have the right to freely express opinion online without interference, this right includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of digital frontiers”.

In addition, ITRealms gathered that under this Bill, freedom of expression further includes the freedom to express and impart information and ideas of all kinds that could be transmitted to others, in whatever form, and regardless of media.

Further, the Bill also made provisions towards the protection of data and right to privacy online as contained in Section 5 of the Bill, which reads in part “(1) Every person is guaranteed the confidentiality of his personal data.

“(2) The integrity and confidentiality of personal data and information of citizens is inviolable and therefore guaranteed... (6) All entities that collect, store and/or process personal data in the course of their activities shall have data privacy policies that are readily and easily accessible to the public.”

The Bill will now be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari for the presidential assent to transform the bill to a law, making it Nigeria’s first law on human rights online.

Chuks Egbune and Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

ITREALMS ... everything news digitally!

Pix: Senate President, Bukola Saraki

ICT4D Week 2018