Sunday, June 23, 2024

Dangote refinery accuses IOCs of plotting downfall - ITREALMS

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... Laments NMDPRA licensing to import banned dirty diesel, jet fuel

The Vice President, Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria of doing everything to frustrate the survival of Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals. Edwin said the IOCs are deliberately and willfully frustrating the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by jerking up high premium price above the market price, thereby forcing it to import crude from countries as far as United States, with its attendant high costs.
Dangote refinery accuses IOCs of plotting downfall - ITREALMS
Speaking to a group of Energy Editors at a one-day training programme, organised by the Dangote Group, Edwin also lamented the activity of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), in granting licences, indiscriminately to marketers to import dirty refined products into the country. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Nigerians data not compromised says NIMC, advises against giving data to phishing websites - ITREALMS

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The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has debunked media reports on the alleged exposure of sensitive data of Nigerian citizens as it concerns the Commission amongst many other data-collecting agencies, reports ITREALMS.
Nigerians data not compromised says NIMC, advises against giving data to phishing websites - ITREALMS
A civil society organisation, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) had a few days ago alleged that some Nigerians sensitive data are up for purchase at N100 on some websites across the world wide web.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Who or what is responsible for Hajj deaths? - ITREALMS

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The debate:
As the death toll rises, debate is raging over whether bad organization, weather or gate-crashing pilgrims are to blame for more than 1,000 reported deaths in Saudi Arabia during the annual Hajj religious gathering.
Who or what is responsible for Hajj deaths? - ITREALMS
Muslim pilgrims use umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun as they arrive to cast stones at pillars in the symbolic stoning of the devil, the last rite of the annual hajj.

CBN hosts NESG, OPS to dialogue on economy - ITREALMS

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has hosted a dialogue between the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and the Bank’s leadership to explore strategies for enhancing Nigeria’s financial sector.
CBN hosts NESG, OPS to dialogue on economy - ITREALMS
The meeting held at the bank's Lagos office last Wednesday, focused on exploring how broad-based monetary policy communication and guidance can positively influence the global investment community's perception of Nigeria and on determining the right bundle of monetary policies and interventions to increase the productive sector’s growth.

FG highlights AKK Gas pipeline's massive impact on economy, industrialisation - ITREALMS

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The Federal Government has highlighted the huge multiplier impact of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project on the nation's economic growth and industrialisation.
FG highlights AKK Gas pipeline's massive impact on economy, industrialisation - ITREALMS
This was made known during the visit of three cabinet Ministers to the AKK Gas Pipeline Project Site where they inspected the River Kaduna crossing milestone of the project in Kaduna, on Friday.

NITDA, UBEB to foster digital literacy @FCT schools - ITREALMS

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is set to collaborate with the Federal Capital Territory Universal Basic Educational Board (FCT-UBEB) towards revolutionising the way young Nigerians engage with technology and equipping them with necessary skills to thrive in an increasingly digital world, reports 
NITDA, UBEB to foster digital literacy @FCT schools - ITREALMS
The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa made this known when he hosted a delegation from the Head-to-Head Debate Committee of FCT UBEB led by its Acting Executive Chairman, Dr Alhassan Sule, at the agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja to discuss possible areas of collaboration.

Major data breach: Pay N100 and get sensitive government data of Nigerian citizens online - ITREALMS

In a shocking revelation, Paradigm Initiative has found out that several unauthorised websites are claiming to hold and provide access to sensitive personal and financial data of Nigerian citizens for as little as 100 Naira. This alarming development presents a major breach of the fundamental rights to privacy, a breach of data privacy rights and poses significant risks to individuals and the national economy.

On the 16th of March, 2024, an online media outlet, Fij.ng, published a story on its platform, with the headline, "ALERT: XpressVerify, a Private Website, Has Access to Registered Nigerians' Data and Is Making Money From It." In that publication, the media outlet presented an investigative story of a website with the web address, www.XpressVerify.com.ng, that had access to the personal data of Nigerian citizens and commercialised the data for personal gain. Even though the website was quickly taken down, Paradigm Initiative is currently seeking legal redress on behalf of Nigerian citizens. 

Following the XpressVerify incident, further research was undertaken and it was discovered that another actor tagged AnyVerify.com.ng has been operating in the digital space of Nigeria since November 2023.

From our research, AnyVerify.com.ng is a website involved in the commercial distribution of personal and private data of Nigerians. On its webpage, a drop-down displaying the myriads of data services which the website renders can be observed. These include personal data such as the National Identity Number (NIN), the Bank Verification Number (BVN), a virtual NIN, Driving License, International Passport, Company details, Tax Identification Number (TIN), Permanent Voter's Card (PVC) and Phone Numbers. All these are sold by this website to any interested party for the sum of N100.00 (One Hundred Naira Only) for each data request.

This website was visited five hundred and sixty-seven thousand, nine hundred and ninety (567,990) times in February 2024 and one hundred and eighty-eight thousand, three hundred and sixty (188,360) times in April 2024. 
Due to the severe implication for millions of Nigerians, we have through our legal partners, Vindich Legal, served a pre-action notice to the following Government Agencies: National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Key Concerns:
Privacy Violation: The unauthorised access to personal data is a blatant infringement on the privacy of Nigerian citizens. The dissemination of such information could lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and other malicious activities, including data owners being targeted by burglars, kidnappers or terrorists who buy data that includes home addresses.

Economic Impact: The availability of sensitive financial data online can undermine the stability of Nigeria's banking system. Fraudulent transactions and identity theft can erode public trust in financial institutions, potentially leading to a financial crisis. This is exacerbated by recent findings of huge losses suffered by financial institutions in Nigeria due to digital manipulation.

National Security: The breach of driver's licence information and other personal data can compromise national security. Such information can be exploited by criminal elements for unlawful activities, posing a threat to the safety and security of the nation.

Legal and Ethical Implications: The existence of these websites highlights significant gaps in data protection and cybersecurity measures within the country. It underscores the urgent need for robust data protection laws and stringent enforcement mechanisms to safeguard citizens' data.

Government Response:
The Nigerian government is urged to take immediate and decisive action to address this critical issue. This includes:
  • Conducting a thorough investigation to identify these illegal online activities.
  • Enhancing cybersecurity measures to prevent further data breaches.
  • Implementing Nigeria’s Data Protection Act, strengthening the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), and guaranteeing the independence of the NDPC, to ensure the privacy and security of citizens' information.
  • Raising public awareness about the risks associated with data breaches and providing guidance on how individuals can protect themselves.
Court Reliefs Sought:
A Declaration that the act of unauthorised access to the data of Nigerian citizens by AnyVerify.com.ng and commercialization of the same violates the provision of Section 37 of the Constitution Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria 1999 (CFRN).
A Declaration that by virtue of Section 30 And Section 39 Of The Nigeria Data Protection Act (NDPA) 2023, all involved agencies of government have a duty to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security and integrity of citizens' sensitive personal data.
An Order of court mandating a full investigation and publication of the investigative report regarding the personal data breach occasioned by the data leak to AnyVerify.com.ng and its customers by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

An Order of the court directing all involved agencies of government to release official information to the public regarding the activities of their agents and sub-licensees. 
An Order of court directing the involved agencies of government to provide restitution in form of compensation to data subjects who have been affected by the data leak. 

Call to Action:
We call upon all stakeholders, including government agencies, financial institutions, the private sector, media institutions, researchers, and civil society organisations, to collaborate in addressing this data privacy crisis. Protecting the personal information of Nigerian citizens is of paramount importance, and collective efforts are needed to restore trust and ensure the security of our nation's data infrastructure. Nigerians have made a lot of sacrifices and trusted the government with their personal data in exchange for a social contract that includes security, so it would be ironic to leave all of that data in the hands of bad actors such as kidnappers, burglars and terrorists.

Attached: Photo

About PIN

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) connects under-served young Africans with digital opportunities and ensures the protection of their rights. We have worked in communities across Nigeria since 2007 and across Africa since 2017, building experience, community trust, and an organisational culture that positions us as a leading non-profit in ICT for Development and Digital Rights on the continent.

Across our regional offices in Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and beyond, we have impacted more than 150,000 youth with improved livelihoods through our digital inclusion and digital rights programs. Our programmes include Life Skills. ICT. Financial Readiness. Entrepreneurship (LIFE) training programme, a digital readiness workshop for girls, and Life at School Club programme.

We have also built online platforms that educate and serve as safe spaces for reporting digital rights violations. These mediums, in the form of reports, short films, and educational online platforms, include Ayeta, Londa, and Ripoti.

, du Kenya, du Nigeria, du Sénégal, de la Zambie, du Zimbabwe et d'ailleurs, nous avons aidé plus de 150 000 jeunes à améliorer leurs moyens de subsistance grâce à nos programmes d'inclusion numérique et de droits numériques. Nos programmes comprennent Life Skills. TIC. Préparation financière. Entrepreneuriat (LIFE), un atelier de préparation numérique pour les filles, et le programme Life at School Club.

Nous avons également créé des plateformes en ligne qui éduquent et servent d'espaces sûrs pour signaler les violations des droits numériques. Ces supports, sous forme de rapports, de courts métrages et de plateformes éducatives en ligne, comprennent Ayeta, Londa et Ripoti.

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

How modernizing payments can secure the future by Elvis Eromosele - ITREALMS

Commentary@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

Payment is the fulcrum of human interaction. And like everything else, it is constantly changing. The move from barter to commodity money was followed by currency and we are today in the realm of digital payments.
How modernizing payments can secure the future by Elvis Eromosele - ITREALMS

It is clear that to go forward efforts must now be geared towards modernizing the payment infrastructure across the African continent. This is imperative to promote innovation, drive economic growth, and help the continent gain a competitive edge.

Today, Africa stands at the cusp of a digital revolution, and the need to enhance the inclusivity and integrity of digital payments cannot be overstated. This transformation is not just about integrating new technologies but about simplifying processes, increasing trust, and ensuring the availability and reliability of payment systems.

Africa may well be at a critical juncture in the journey of digital transformation, an inflection point. To underscore the significance assertion, two forums in June arrived at the same conclusion.

The first was the Digital PayExpo 2024 by Intermarc Consulting with the theme 'Redefining Payment'. It was followed by Interswitch, ACI Worldwide Customer Engagement event tagged ‘Modernizing Digital Payment Infrastructure for Innovation, Growth & Commercial Advantage.’

Both sessions essentially concluded that the rapid proliferation of digital technologies has opened new avenues for financial inclusion, allowing more people to participate in the global economy. However, this potential can only be realized if digital payment infrastructures are modernized to meet the demands of today’s fast-paced, interconnected world.

The place to start is building trust through availability. Trust is the cornerstone of any financial system. For digital payments to gain widespread acceptance, they must be reliable and available at all times. Experts argued that the trust quotient in digital payments is directly proportional to their availability. When users can depend on payment systems to function without fail, their confidence in digital transactions increases. This is a fact.

Of course, modernizing payment infrastructure also involves implementing robust systems that ensure high availability. This means reducing downtime, minimizing transaction failures, and providing seamless user experiences. Financial institutions must, as a matter of urgency, invest in technologies such as cloud computing, blockchain, and artificial intelligence to create resilient and scalable payment systems.

The second thing would be to simplify the user experience. At the heart of digital transformation is the goal of simplification. Complex and cumbersome payment processes deter users and hinder the adoption of digital financial services. To drive growth, it is essential to simplify these processes, making them intuitive and user-friendly.

Innovations such as contactless payments, mobile wallets, and real-time transaction processing are examples of how simplification can enhance user experience. By reducing the friction in payment processes, businesses can attract more users and facilitate smoother transactions.

Another way to boost the adoption of digital payments is by ensuring transaction integrity. Those who should know insist that one of the major challenges in digital payments is maintaining transaction integrity. Issues such as fraud, data breaches, and identity theft can undermine user trust and disrupt the financial ecosystem. As digital transactions increase, so does the need for robust security measures.

The way forward of course involves implementing advanced encryption technologies, multi-factor authentication, and blockchain can help ensure the integrity of digital transactions. These technologies provide a secure framework that protects user data and prevents unauthorized access, thereby bolstering trust in digital payment systems.

Furthermore, everyone, from regulatory agencies to players, must consider digital transformation as the path to unprecedented growth. In truth, digital transformation is more than just a trend; it is a pathway to unprecedented growth. By modernizing payment infrastructure, businesses can unlock new opportunities for expansion and innovation. Digital payments enable faster, more efficient transactions, reducing operational costs and increasing profitability.

Moreover, digital payment systems facilitate global commerce by breaking down geographical barriers. Businesses can reach new markets and customer segments, driving revenue growth and enhancing their competitive advantage. The adoption of digital payments also promotes financial inclusion, bringing underserved populations into the formal economy and driving socio-economic development.

The experts are in agreement; modernizing digital payment infrastructure is a critical step towards fostering innovation, driving growth, and gaining commercial advantage. So, as Africa navigates the inflection point of digitalization, it is essential to focus on building trust through availability, simplifying user experiences, and ensuring transaction integrity.

Evidently, by embracing digital transformation, businesses can not only enhance their operational efficiency but also contribute to a more inclusive and secure financial ecosystem. The future of payments is digital, and the time to act is now!

*Contributed by Elvis Eromosele, a corporate communication professional and public affairs analyst, wrote via: elviseroms@gmail.com

TECNO hosts Nigerian Idol top 7 @City Mall - ITREALMS

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The flight to stardom with the Nigerian Idol Top 7 took a brief detour at the TECNO Exclusive Store in Ikeja City Mall, where fans got to spend the day with their favourite Idol. 

The atmosphere was electric as the top 7 contestants arrived, ready to connect with their supporters and showcase their talent.
TECNO hosts Nigerian Idol top 7 @City Mall - ITREALMS
Milen Oyinlola, PR/Media Manager for TECNO, warmly welcomed the Top 7 contestants. 

Adebayo, Rudman, Sesan, Iloezumma join speakers faculty @2024 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Africa forum on IG4D - ITREALMS

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Messrs Gbenga Adebayo, Muhammed Rudman and Gbenga Sesan as well as Ms Francisca Iloezumma have made it to the speakers faculty of the 2024 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Africa forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) slated for Thursday, June 27 by 10am at the prestigious Welcome Centre Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos, reports 
Adebayo, Rudman, Sesan, Iloezumma join speakers faculty @2024 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Africa forum on IG4D - ITREALMS
Confirming this in Lagos, the Lead Consulting Strategist, DigitalSENSE Africa, a project of ITREALMS Media group, Sir Remmy Nweke, said that they would be speaking at the panel session on ‘Stakeholders role in innovative digital economy and safer civic space in Nigeria’ by sharing their respective representation perspectives.

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Reprieve for UNILAG student, Aminat, who lives in swampy, flooded apartment+video - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! Reprieve is on the way for the 300-level University of Lagos (UNILAG) undergraduate...