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2018 recruitment: FRSC summons applicants for exercise - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has summoned all applicants for recruitment into the different cadres to check their...

ICT4D Week 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018

2018 recruitment: FRSC summons applicants for exercise - ITREALMS

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has summoned all applicants for recruitment into the different cadres to check their emails for updated information on the fitness exercise, slated for Monday 24, through Saturday, 29th September, 2018, reports ITREALMS.
The Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, told ITREALMS that applicants who do not receive any information through their emails before the date of the exercise are by this notice advised to report to the screening centres chosen in their application forms with the printed summary data page.

"In addition, all applicants, irrespective of Cadre applied for, are to come along with the following: originals of their credentials (for sighting), 2 sets of photocopies of credentials, medical certificate of fitness, and 2 passport sized photographs," he said.
Further, he said, applicants are to also note, for the avoidance of doubt, that they are to appear in white shorts, white round neck T-shirt, canvass and socks for the screening and physical fitness exercise.
Ayo Midele/GEE

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CBN gives insights on revocation of Skye bank license, Polaris Bank takes over - ITREALMS

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin I. Emefiele, has given some insights into the revoking of banking license given to Skye Bank plc, just as Polaris Bank makes a debut by automatic take-over of all customers, their accounts and records, reports ITREALMS.

Speaking in Lagos, Friday, Emefiele said in Lagos, revoked the license of the bank which has been on lifeline since 4th July 2016, and assured that the Nigerian banking industry remains safe as well as resilient, just as CBN will continue to live up to its responsibilities of promoting stability in the banking and financial system.

“Indeed, the bank’s performance has improved considerably compared to the pre-July 2016 era,” he declared, stressing that recent examinations and forensic audit of the bank has, revealed that Skye bank requires urgent recapitalization.

“… As it can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN. The shareholders of the bank have been unable to recapitalize it,” Emefiele said.

The CBN, he said, as a responsible and responsive regulator and in consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), have decided to establish a bridge bank, Polaris Bank, to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye bank.

“The strategy is for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to capitalize the Bridge Bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON. By this decision, the licence of the defunct Skye Bank is hereby revoked,” Emefiele declared.

Assuring all depositors that under this arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Monday, 24th September, 2018, to enable customers to transact their businesses seamlessly.

“Thus, all customers of Skye Bank shall be automatic customers of the new bank and their accounts and records duly purchased by Polaris Bank,” he asserted.

In addition, he informed ITREALMS that all employees of Skye Bank shall be absorbed by Polaris Bank under a new contract unless any employee decides to opt out.

Chuks Egbune/ED, Ops

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Osun 2018 Governorship election foretold - ITREALMS

Osun is topping the headlines as the governorship race hits the top gear. The ruling party is striving to retain power, while the opposition is struggling to regain it. The state has been electrified with political campaigns, unfulfillable electoral promises, freebies and rallies. The masses our politicians usually regard as unimportant has abruptly become the most important. The helmsmen and statesmen Osun people rarely see are now knocking on their doors daily to plead for votes. Davido is singing, but the terpsichorean Senator Adeleke is no longer dancing. Unpaid workers are suddenly being paid. Every candidate is acting cautiously in order to earn the highest votes on Saturday, 22 September, 2018.

Forty-eight political parties presented candidates, but the leading contenders, not listed in order of political strengths, are Fatai Akinbade for the Advanced Democratic Congress (ADC); Moshood Adeoti for the Action Democratic Party (ADP); Gboyega Oyetola for the All Progressives Congress (APC); Ademola Adeleke for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP); and Iyiola Omisore for the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Though many Nigerians think the PDP and APC candidates have an edge, the other three candidates are like the biblical David; underrating them is risky as they may spin a surprise.

This election is the most keenly contested governorship poll in Osun State. All the five major candidates are strong political figures with vast experience and a formidable support base. ADC’s Akinbade is a former state party chairman and ex-governorship aspirant under the PDP. He is also a former secretary to the Osun State government. ADP’s Adeoti is an ex-councilor, and former state party chairman of the defunct Action Congress (AC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He is also the immediate past secretary to the state government (SSG). APC’s Gboyega Oyetola is the immediate past chief-of-staff to the state government. PDP’s Adeleke is a serving senator representing the Osun-west senatorial district of the state. And SDP’s Omisore is an ex-senator and former deputy governor of the state.

Voter’s decision in the Osun election would be determined by a lot of factors. The ethnic politics being played at the federal level and other states of the federation is also reigning in Osun. ADP’s Adeoti has been playing the ethnic card. He is vigorously campaigning that the - unconstitutional but - conventional rule of rotating governorship position among the three senatorial zones of the state has been violated. Adeoti argues that since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999, only the Osun-West senatorial district is yet to produce a governor out of the three districts in the state.

The Osun-Central senatorial district produced Bisi Akande (1999-2003) and Olagunsoye Oyinlola (2003-2010). Both cumulatively ruled the state for over eleven years. The incumbent governor Rauf Aregbesola (2010-2018) comes from the Osun-East Senatorial district. Adeoti - who was a key member of the APC before decamping to the ADP - is aggrieved that the APC picked Oyetola, from the Osun-Central senatorial district, as her governorship candidate. Adeoti argues that the party’s ticket should have been given to someone, preferably him, from the Osun-West senatorial district. Ethnic affiliation controls voter’s emotion in Nigerian elections. Adeoti’s anti-marginalization campaign strategy may have earned him substantial votes in his constituency, the Osun-West senatorial district, but PDP’s Adeleke and SDP’s Omisore are also from this constituency.

Omisore, has many supporters, loyalists and admirers in the Ife areas. Ife-Central and Ife-East has the highest number of registered voters after Osogbo, the state capital. Omisore will earn substantial votes in the Ife regions, but not as he did in 2014 when he lost to incumbent governor Aregbesola. The party he contested under in 2014, the PDP, has a better structure and membership than his current party, the SDP. Under the PDP, Omisore came second in the 2014 election with over 200,000 votes in less than seven local governments.

Omisore’s governorship ambition is plagued by negative public opinions. Majority of the Osun population believes he ordered the assault on late Senator Isiaka Adeleke when they were both competing for the PDP governorship ticket in 2014. Omisore also has also been unable to erase the public perception that he is complicit in the assassination of Bola Ige, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney General. Even though Omisore has been tried and acquitted, his political opponents still raise the dust on Ige’s assassination during election season. As a veteran contestant with political structures across the state’s 30 local governments, Omisore’s accrued votes will predictably rank him among the top three, but may not earn him a win.

The ADC candidate, Fatai Akinbade, is not less good for the job, but he has a slim chance. His major backbone are yesterday’s men – former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo. The duo’s power and capacity have diminished so much that their lead backing can’t earn Akinbade a win. Obasanjo and Oyinlola are still influential, but their endorsement is just that extra support every candidate needs, they are not a strong winning determinant. Moreover, Akinbade scored below 10,000 votes when he was the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in 2014. In this election, Akinbade’s sole aim may be to frustrate the winning chance of the PDP, the party he recently left when he couldn’t secure the governorship ticket.

PDP’s Ademola Adeleke has a bright chance in this election, but he needs to make last minute efforts to further convince the voters that he has the intellectual ability to govern Osun, despite being less educated. The opposition is making political gains from Adeleke’s insufficient education and such may affect his victory. Nevertheless, Nigerians currently place less priority on the educational qualification of electoral candidates. Adeleke’s inadequate education may not affect his chances considering that Nigerians sacked Dr Goodluck Jonathan and elected a less educated Muhammadu Buhari as president in 2015.

The police on 19 September, 2018 invited Adeleke for arraignment over allegations that he was involved in examination malpractice and criminal conspiracy during the NECO examination he registered for in 2016. The presidency has reportedly instructed the police to stay action till after the election. President Buhari’s action on Adeleke’s case is constructive and highly commendable. But then again, Adeleke’s tribulation is a lesson that one must always plan for the future and education is the master key. The predicament of Adeleke, Davido’s uncle, may have influenced the famous singer to enroll for the mandatory NYSC scheme after graduating.

Adeleke won the last major election in Osun state to become a senator, after the death of his brother. If Adeleke has maintained a good relationship with the population that gave him sympathy votes during his senatorial election, he would earn more votes than the other candidates in Osun-West senatorial district. Adeleke’s chance of winning would have fade off if he had not reconciled with Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, his main rival during the PDP governorship primary election. The outcome of the same primary saw Akinbade pulling out to pick ADC’s governorship ticket. For Adeleke to have a comfortable lead, he must convince some of the PDP defector’s supporters, in the camp of Akinbade and Omisore, to vote for the PDP.

APC’s Gboyega Oyetola have almost all it takes to win the election. He belongs to the ruling party in control of the other five states in the Southwest. He’s a brilliant administrator with vast knowledge of Osun politics, having run the state with governor Aregbesola for over seven years, as his chief-of-staff. Oyetola is a viable instrument of continuity and the electorates would thumb him, if they are satisfied with Aregbesola’s performance. Oyetola also have the federal might which can technically manage the election in his favor. In addition, Oyetola enjoys the backing of Bola Tinubu – the man whose raging political sagacity has installed governors and sacked then president Goodluck Jonathan. Despite all this election winning essentials, Oyetola may not win. His victory is being caged by controversies and intra-party conflict.

Oyetola’s emergence as governorship candidate nearly shattered the APC. The party chieftains had initially zoned the governorship ticket to Osun-West district, but later abandoned the arrangement to back Oyetola from the Osun-Central district that has governed the state for almost 12 years. Although Oyetola emerged through a direct primary process, other contenders believe his emergence was based on the overbearing influence of his cousin, Bola Tinubu. This triggered disaffections, protests and the exit of influential figures from the APC. The party lost Moshood Adeoti, the immediate past SSG and current candidate of the ADP.

APC also lost Senator Bayo Salami; eleven aggrieved members of the State Working Committee; the ex-Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Sunday Akere; and the ex-Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Dr Wale Bolorunduro. Chairman of the Osun State Local Government Service Commission, Dr Peter Babalola also decamped. Other notable defectors are members of the state house of assembly representing Ede North, Iwo and Ilesa-West, which is the incumbent governor’s constituency. Ex-governor Oyinlola also defected from the APC to ADC before the primary. Politics is an all-inclusive sport. The exit of these persons and their supporters would have a significant damaging effect on Oyetola’s votes.

Such happened recently in Ekiti State. The ruling Ekiti PDP lost its heavyweights after Governor Fayose’s deputy, Kolapo Olushola, became the governorship candidate. Notables such as Prince Dayo Adeyeye and Senator Fatimah Raji-Rasaki decamped from the PDP to the APC. The ruling party later lost the election. APC’s Kayode Fayemi defeated PDP’s Kolapo Olushola with about 20,000 votes. Fayemi wouldn’t have got the winning votes if the PDP bigwigs didn’t decamp to the APC.

Another count against Oyetola is the populace perception that he’s another Lagos importee and Tinubu’s stooge, like Aregbesola. Some of the voters see thumbing Oyetola as licensing Tinubu to rule the state by proxy. APC’s victory partly depends on Oyetola’s ability to shred this notion. Efforts to convince the electorates might end up being unfruitful based on the recent happenings in Lagos. Tinubu’s obsessiveness, dictatorial tendencies, and alleged resistance to Governor Ambode’s reelection bid might make Osun people reject Oyetola, who is Tinubu’s cousin. Tinubu has many electable brains, far-reaching networks and large followers, but his take-it-all syndrome and godfather politics is making him lose the admiration of many. Nobody in Nigeria today, not even President Buhari, has made godfather politics obvious like Tinubu.

Aregbesola’s effort in the provision of infrastructure is commendable, but his inability to pay workers salary may deny Oyetola victory. Osun is a downright civil servants state and the non-payment of salaries, pensions and arrears has immensely affected the living standards of not just the civil servants alone, but the entire residents of the state. The working population may decide to deny APC their votes and that of their friends, families and associates. A similar situation made PDP lose the recent governorship election in Ekiti.

Osun election is a crucial way of testing the credibility of the recently concluded Ekiti governorship election. A comparative study of pre-election periods in Ekiti and Osun state exposed that all the factors that made PDP lose in Ekiti are present in Osun. Both states have incumbent two-term governors who cannot seek reelection, but wish to install their choice successor. Both the ruling Ekiti PDP and the ruling Osun APC presented top serving government officials as gubernatorial candidates. Both the ruling Ekiti PDP and the ruling Osun APC lost influential members after they conducted primaries. Both the Ekiti PDP and Osun APC ruling governments were owing salaries, arrears and pensions. If you assess the pre-election period in Ekiti carefully, you’ll discover that almost all the factors that made PDP lose in Ekiti are present in Osun.

Based on this premise, a win for the APC in the Osun governorship election is a strong pointer that something was fundamentally wrong with the Ekiti election, maybe rigged. The difference between Ekiti and Osun is that between six and half-dozen. The states are in the same region and have people of similar orientation, culture and background. Their governorship elections also hold within the same period.

The pundit would have ticked APC’s Oyetola as the prospective governor-elect, but the recent happenings in nearby Ekiti, which is similar to what is currently happening in Osun, makes the pundit cast doubt on his emergence. The ADC, ADP and SDP flag-bearer are strong candidates, but their party structure is somewhat weak to win a governorship election, even though such has happened before. Olusegun Mimiko and Ibrahim Shekarau won governorship elections under the (seemingly weak) platform of the LP and ANPP in Ondo and Kano states. But things have changed terrifically. It is currently very unpromising that an individual would defect to a less popular party on the eve of a governorship election and win in Osun. Such defections apparently can’t earn the defectors a win, but can extremely damage the winning chances of the popular parties they defected from. All election winning indices considered, Ademola Adeleke’s (PDP) emergence as governor-elect is predicted.

Note: Foretelling an election outcome doesn’t mean the pundit have access to one sacred information or the election winning strategy of any candidate. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of candidates to predict who’ll win is a common practice in developed nations. This doesn’t mean the pundits are compromising the electoral process or influencing the election results. Osun people have already decide who they’ll cast their votes for and nothing - not this piece - can easily change their minds. The pundit’s election prediction is made based on the expectation of a free, fair and credible election, not electoral fraud.

*Omoshola Deji is a political and public affairs analyst. He wrote in via moshdeji@yahoo.com

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Porbitas condemns military invasion of Dura Du in Plateau State - ITREALMS

Probitas, the Nigeria-based civil society group, has condemned the invasion of the Dura Du community in Jos South Local Government, North-Central Nigeria, by members of the Nigerian military, reports ITREALMS.

Communications Director, Probitas, Amaka Nwankwo in a press statement made available to ITREALMS, alleged that the soldiers who stormed the community three days ago, claim that they are searching for a missing retired General, Idris Alkali, who was reportedly last seen near a pond in the area. 

Probitas questions the legality of this action, which is capable of causing the loss of lives and property in an already volatile community.

The Nigerian Army must respect jurisdictional boundaries. The disappearance of a retired General is purely a criminal matter meant to be investigated by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and not the Nigerian Army. The fact that Mr Alkali is a former Major-General, does not give the army the right to usurp the powers of the Nigerian Police.

This mission is being headed by Brigadier-General Umar Mohammed, the Chief of Staff of Operation Safe Haven. Brigadier-General Umar Mohammed's unilateral decision to drain a local pond, revered by community members, must be resisted by the government, civil society and environmental activists.

The right thing would be to hand this matter over to the police and to take into consideration the concerns of locals who fear that the army is planning a full-scale desecration of their community. The authorities must consider other alternatives to draining the community's pond such as using deep sea divers and underwater cameras. 

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Osodieme warns fraudsters using her name for APGA ticket - ITREALMS

The wife of the Governor of Anambra State, and founder of the NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE), Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has alerted members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), political aspirants and the public to beware of the activities of unscrupulous individuals and influence peddlers who are going around promising political aspirants tickets in her name for the forthcoming party primaries and warned such persons to desist forthwith, reports ITREALMS.

Her Chief Media Officer, Emeka Ozumba in a press statement made available to ITREALMS quoted Osodieme as saying that she does not decide who gets APGA ticket neither has she mandated anybody to enter into discussions nor negotiations with APGA aspirants, warning that those using her name for such schemes if caught will be handed over to the security agencies.

"As a loyal party member, I stand by the promise of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of APGA, His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano which guarantees that APGA primaries will be free and fair. I have made no promises, endorsement or pact with any candidate. My candid advice to aspirants is to go out there with confidence and sell your programmes and plans for the people to the delegates. Trust in the Lord and do not give in to such fraudulent tales claiming that I have endorsed anybody," she said.

Furthermore, Osodieme charged all APGA aspirants: "Do not solicit or give anybody money on my behalf. Let your credentials speak for you, and remember that at the end there will only be one winner for every position. I wish you all the very best of luck.”

Ozo Nweke Ozo/GEE

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Scientists link dangerous fungal spores in lungs - ITREALMS

Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered a genetic mutation in humans linked to a 17-fold increase in the amount of dangerous fungal spores in the lungs, reports ITREALMS.

The study, published in Nature Communications could allow doctors to screen patients at risk from Aspergillus, and could easily be developed into a test.

When breathed in, Aspergillus can be life threatening and also make asthma much worse, especially in people with compromised immune systems. It is found in soil, pillows and compost but is capable of living anywhere in a moist environment, so breathing it in is unavoidable .

Aspergillus is normally cleared from the lungs but 4% of people have this newly discovered mutation and in them, Aspergillus thrives in the airways.

“People with asthma, who have had transplant surgery, TB and many other illnesses that lower immunity could feasibly be screened for this genetic mutation. And early detection could save lives,” said Dr Paul Bowyer who led the study funded by the Fungal infection Trust and supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.

Dr Sara Gago discovered the increased risk by comparing normal human cells to cells which had been gene edited to contain the mutation. The gene - known as ZNF77 - is mainly responsible for the extracellular matrix of the lungs’ epithelial tissue- the membrane that protects them. These mutated cells had a weak response to Aspergillus showing how key epithelial cells are to normal defences against this airborne fungus.

Dr Bowyer said: “Until now we never really understood why some people have a much higher Aspergillus load than others. Now that we do, it’s quite a significant advance in understanding this disease. We don’t yet know how or why the mutation occurs but nevertheless this discovery provides the basis for a simple and inexpensive DNA test in those who people who are more at risk from Aspergillus.”

Dr Gago is a Research Fellow funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animals in research. She added: “ZNF77 doesn’t actually occur in mice, so the only viable animal models besides humans are primates. Having developed a way to adapt human cell lines so that they can carry mutations associated with disease, we have avoided using primates or any animals entirely.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Vodacom wants network operators to collaborate on improved QoS - ITREALMS

The Commercial Director, Vodacom Business Nigeria, Solomon Ogufere has highlighted the need for businesses to begin to focus on new collaborative strategies to help deliver more efficient services for users, reports ITREALMS.

In his keynote presentation at the NigeriaCom 2018 Conference and Exhibition organised by Informa Telecoms Group, which took place at the Grand Ball Room of the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, he said, paramount issue of late is collaboration in order to achieve optimum quality of service for the end user.

The event broadly themed, “Leading Economic Resurgence through ICT Innovation", provided an excellent opportunity for various stakeholders within the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) space to deliberate on pertinent issues facing the sector today.

“With the increase in internet penetration around the world, the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) and new enabling technologies permeating every facet of business and life, there is an urgent need for swift development within the ICT industry and this can only be achieved through a paradigm shift.”

He said: “The shift must begin first from our approach towards collaboration, moving from opportunistic pseudo collaboration to symbiotic collaboration that leads to efficiency in service delivery, improved quality and a better all-round experience for the customer.”

As the rest of the world enters into the fourth industrial revolution, Africa as a Continent still lags behind in digitization efforts when compared to Europe, the United States and even Asia, showing that there is yet more ground to cover as it pertains to technological development and this cannot be achieved unilaterally.

Ogufere also noted: “The secret to solving the collaboration conundrum is to create a culture of collaboration which requires constant interaction. Industry leaders must move away from ownership mentality by creating avenues for collaboration at every point within the ecosystem and encouraging new entrants with specific expertise into the market.”

In conclusion, he said: “Collaboration is fundamental for sustained development across industries. As such, collaboration can be said to be the ultimate key ingredient for the development of the economy across all industries. Therefore, being the driving force of all development across the world, this collaboration must begin with technology.”

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Pix: L-R: Managing Director Telecom Advisory Services, Ambrose Nwadike; Chairman NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye and Commercial Director Vodacom Business Nigeria, Solomon Ogufere at the Nigeriacom conference and exhibition in Lagos.

Kwara 2019: APC governorship will be rigorous but transparent - Minister - ITREALMS

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the choice of the APC Governorship candidate for Kwara state will be made through a rigorous and transparent process, as the party is set to win the state's governorship election in 2019, reports ITREALMS.

The Minister, who is the leader of the APC in Kwara State, stated this in Ilorin on Wednesday, at a parley organized for the APC governorship aspirants in the state to present their vision and mission for the state.

He described as unprecedented the parley that saw 12 of the 13 governorship aspirants under the auspices of the APC present their manifestos to the state APC stakeholders at a well-attended and well-organised session in the state capital.

''This parley is one of a kind, perhaps unprecedented in the history of our dear state. It signposts our determination to conduct a transparent and hitch-free primaries, to do things differently from the past so that we can move our state forward and raise the living standards of our people. After all, governance is all about the people,'' Alhaji Mohammed said.

He said all eyes are on Kwara State because of the level of interest that has been shown in the governorship ticket of the APC in the state and the fact that the party is set to occupy the seat of power in the state in 2019.

The Minister said the parley will go down in history as the first time any political party in Kwara State will be organising such a forum as a platform to analyze the vision and mission of its aspirants.

Explaining the process, he said each aspirant was required to present his vision and mission to party stakeholders, in an open, transparent and organized manner.

''If you become the Governor of Kwara State under the APC flag, what can the long-suffering people of our dear state expect from you? How do you intend to ensure that the government serves the people rather than just one man? How can what has become a one-man rule be transmuted to majority rule for the betterment of the people? The answers to these and other questions will give us an insight into your plan of action for the state,” Alhaji Mohammed said

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Airtel takes 4G LTE to ‘Osha, Awka, Nnewi - ITREALMS

Airtel Nigeria has reaffirmed its positioning as a leading mobile Internet services provider as it announced the deployment of 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution Service) in Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi and other major cities and towns in Anambra State, reports ITREALMS.

Airtel says the switch to an upgraded 4G network in Anambra will boost trade and commerce; empower entrepreneurs, improve productivity, enhance personal effectiveness as well as enable telecoms consumers in Anambra to connect to their dreams.

Speaking during a launch at Soprom Hotel in Onitsha, on Wednesday, 19thSeptember, Regional Operations Director – South Region, Dapo Dosunmu, who represented the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said the 4G roll-out reaffirms Airtel’s commitment to empower more Nigerians, stimulate economic activities across all sectors as well as provide unfettered access to affordable and reliable mobile Internet services in Anambra.

“Today, we are unveiling our 4G service in Onitsha, Awka, Amawbia, Nkpor, Obosi, Ogidi, Ogbunike, Umuoji, Nsugbe, Onitsha and Nnewi. With this launch, we will power people, businesses and aid governance through technology.

“Specifically, our 4G launch in Onitsha will help boost commerce and also provide entrepreneurs a veritable platform to connect with more stakeholders,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, commended Airtel Nigeria for modernizing its network infrastructure in Anambra State.

“This event calls for celebration as Airtel’s current upgrading and modernizing of its network infrastructure across manor cities has come into Onitsha, the major commercial city in Anambra State.

“It is my sincere hope that the Board and Management of Airtel will continue to be committed to the empowerment of Nigerians in general and Ndi Anambra in particular; advancing the telecommunications’ infrastructure that stimulates accelerated economic activities across all sectors as well as provide affordable and reliable mobile network to your teeming customers.”

The event was attended by several dignitaries including Igwe Mike U.N Okonkwo Etusi, Owelle of Eziowelle; Onowu Eziowelle, Obi J. Akukwe; Dr. Charles Nwufor, Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Anambra State (Special Duties); Nze Uche Nwora, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Anambra Broadcasting Service; Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbelu, Chairman, Main Market, Osha and Desert Explorer, Chief Newton Jibunoh.

Airtel prior to the Onitsha 4G launch had unveiled its 4G LTE services in Ibadan and Abuja earlier in the year.

Ozo Nweke Ozo/GEE

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Former PermSec, Illoh denies stealing N14m SURE-P fund - ITREALMS

A former Federal Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Clement Illoh, has denied allegation he stole the sum of N14.1million funds from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme(SURE-P) at an Ikeja Special Offences Court, reports ITREALMS.

According to Radio Nigeria report monitored in Lagos, ITREALMS gathered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had closed its case against the ex-Permanent Secretary on May 16, with four prosecution witnesses testifying.

Opening his defence, Illoh led in evidence by Mr Onwukwe, his defence counsel, claimed the alleged stolen funds were legally sourced from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The ex-Permanent Secretary said the sum which was allegedly paid into his personal bank account called Clement and Bob Associates, was for organizing meetings of two departments of NIMASA and Ministry of Labour.

Illoh said that N3.5million, which was the funds leftover from the N14.1million budgeted for the meetings was expended on logistics, honorarium, stationeries and transport.

The defendant was arraigned on October 16, 2017 by the anti-graft agency on a three-count charge bordering on stealing.

Illoh was responsible for supervising numerous programmes including SURE-P and allegedly awarded fictitious contracts to himself via his company and friends, and denied the charges.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until October 25 and 26 for continuation of defence.

Ayo Midele/GEE with additional reports from Radio Nigeria.

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German Appellate Court rejects ICANN request to overturn self on WHOIS data - ITREALMS

A German High Court has rejected an appeal by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to reconsider the Court's own earlier decision, reports ITREALMS.

ICANN, ITREALMS recalled has been pursuing a preliminary injunction from the German Court to require EPAG, a Germany-based, ICANN-accredited registrar (that is part of the Tucows Group) to continue to collect elements of WHOIS data, as required under ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreement, which permits the registrar to sell domain name registrations for generic top-level domains.

ICANN received a ruling from the German Higher Regional Court in Cologne ("Appellate Court") last week, that rejected ICANN's request for review ("plea of remonstrance") filed by ICANN on 17 August 2018. ICANN's plea was filed to continue the immediate appeal in the ICANN v. EPAG injunction proceedings. ICANN initiated such proceedings against EPAG, to seek assistance in interpreting the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in order to protect the data collected in WHOIS. The Appellate Court again has determined that it would not issue an injunction against EPAG.

In making its ruling, the Appellate Court found that the preliminary injunction proceeding does not provide the appropriate framework for addressing the nature of the contractual disputes at issue, and that a decision in preliminary proceedings does not appear to be urgently needed. Again, the Appellate Court did not address the merits of the underlying issues with respect to the application of GDPR as it relates to WHOIS.

ICANN is continuing to evaluate its next steps in light of this ruling, including possible additional filings before the German courts, as part of its public interest role in coordinating a decentralized global WHOIS for the generic top-level domain system.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Adesina says ‘No country moves forward leaving talents on the sidelines’ - ITREALMS

“No country can possibly move forward in the 21st century if it leaves half of its talent on the sidelines,” says the President, African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina at the launch of FinDev Canada, in Montreal, while making the Bank’s case for supporting women, reports ITREALMS.

FinDev, ITREALMS gathered was launched six months ago with mandate to support the growth and sustainability of businesses in developing markets.

Also, FinDev Canada is a subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC), the country’s export credit agency.

According to Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, “With its universities, international organizations and multicultural population, Montreal is the ideal home for FinDev Canada.  From its Montreal base I am confident it will play a critical role in advancing our country’s international development agenda by offering a blend of public and private capital and building partnerships with businesses in developing countries, especially those operated by women and youth.”

Adesina gave the keynote address at the inaugural conference, urged participants to support women instinctively.

“Many of us have come from places – and have family in places – where the labor of women is absolutely essential to holding communities together. And yet so often, their labor is not even fully recognized. And all too often, women are denied their fair share of wages for equal work,” he said.

According to Adesina, the challenge was not just in Africa or even in North America. “In every society, this challenge represents a truly foolish squandering of resources.”

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

GITEX 2018: 407 startups jostle for NITDA sponsorship - ITREALMS

Estimated 407 sponsorships applications for GITEX 2018 were received by the Office for ICT Innovation & Entrepreneurship (OIIE), an arm of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as the portal closed last week for startups vying to be sponsored to the GITEX Future Superstars (GFS), reports ITREALMS.

The GFS, ITREALMS gathered is holding as part of the headlined events for GITEX 2018 from October 14-18, 2019.

Confirming this to ITREALMS, Head, Corporate Affairs at NITDA, Hadiza Umar, quoted OIIE as saying, NITDA plans to promote 10 startups to join their over 600 peers from over 45 countries at the Global Startups Movement in GITEX. This year, the themes focus on startups creating solutions addressing any of these problems: Smart Cities, Energy, Smart Construction, Healthcare, Education, Retail, Transport and Logistics.

The country’s tech-ambassadors are being carefully selected by a team that include officials of OIIE, innovation hubs and angel investors among others as part of the pre-selection processes and planning for Nigeria’s overall participation in GITEX 2018.

Startups are a major feature of Nigeria’s participation to underscore NITDA’s agenda to expose the country’s budding tech startups ecosystem to global investors, mentors and venture capitalists.

The GITEX Technology Week is a five day event showcasing the latest technology trends. The event draws participation from over 140 countries every year and attracts more than 90 countries Pavilions and trade visitors in excess of 150, 000.

“We remain firm and committed to promoting technology deployment and building our local IT industry to world standard through participation in global events that further exposes the players to trends in the industry,” said Director-General/CEO, NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami while recently inaugurating the GITEX LOC as well as the LOC for eNigeria.

Nigeria plans to promote three thematic activities this year on IT investment and exposure of indigenous tech companies. The activities are the Nigerian Pavilion, the Startups Innovation Hub, and the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) being put together jointly by the Nigerian government through the NITDA and the UAE government through the DWTC, organisers of GITEX.

The AIF is designed to attract to investment into Nigeria as a gateway to exploring business opportunities in Africa, particularly the ICT sector. The AIF will be drawing participation from the technology business communities in Asia, Europe, the Americas and the rest of Africa.

NITDA’s Director General, Dr Pantami said, “NITDA’s remains committed to its mandate to build a technology ecosystem that thrives on indigenous manpower connected to the global IT community.” Adding that young people are a critical focus of NITDA’s agenda to develop the IT sector.

Some of Nigerian startups are expected to compete in the GITEX Future Stars (GFS) competition which further exposes the winners to a large pool of global venture capitalists, mentors and angel investors.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Illegal detention: Court awards N10.5m to journalist Jones Abiri, NUJ applauds - ITREALMS

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday awarded the sum of N10.5 m against the Department of State Services (DSS) for the illegal detention of a journalist, Jones Abiri, for over two years without trial, reports ITREALMS.

Delivering judgment in a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed on behalf of the Yenagoa -based journalist by Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Justice Nnamdi Dimgba held that his detention for that period without trial constituted a violation of his right.

However, reacting, the Président, Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Comrade Abdulwaheed Odusile commended the nation's Judiciary on the Judgement quashing à criminal case levelled against à Bayelsa based Journalist, Jones Abiri by Department of State Security Service, DSS.

Comrade Odusile in a statement by the Director-General Team Odusile 2018, Dr. Qasim Akinreti, said the Judgement was a demonstration of thé fact that there is hope for common man.

The NUJ President who is seeking à second term of Office in the forthcoming Triennial Delegates Conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State said the Judgement would go a long way at sending a signal to the powers that be that ordinary Nigerians, especially Journalists should not be maltreated while discharging their constitutional duties.

He warned that as the 2019 Elections draw nearer, Security Agencies, Politicians and the General Public should see men of the Fourth Estate of the realm as partners in Progress.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Cryptocurrency without Internet enters Africa - ITREALMS


ONEm Communications reputed as cyptocurrency without the Internet has launched its mCoin “Pseudo-Mining” Program across Africa, reports ITREALMS

mCoin uses “Pseudo-Mining” for coin distribution to the masses. It involves people doing positive things and getting mCoins in return. To mark the occasion ONEm is rewarding people in Africa with mCoins by texting.

Users will receive 100 free bonus mCoins on sign up and the first ever SMS wallet. Additionally, they will receive a referral code to share with friends and family whilst also receiving more mcoins for every successful referral.

mCoin is the only Cryptocurrency that works with and without the internet. On any mobile anyone can own, store, earn, trade mCoin using a revolutionary SMS Wallet.

As reported by the World Economic Forum there are more than 4 billion people without access to the internet. According to the World Bank, affordable financial services can be solutions to overcome poverty, reducing income disparities and increasing economic growth. Cryptocurrency technology has the potential to be part of the solution. It can enable 2.5 billion unbanked people to access financial services.

mCoin was created to empower the unbanked people. It provides affordable financial facilities such as electronic payment, current and savings accounts for the billions of unconnected and unbanked people globally.

The ONEmWallet allows people to send mCoins between one another by using only a ONEm name i.e. @chris, instead of inputting a long wallet address. For the first time people will be able to transfer mCoins from an offline SMS wallet to digital app wallets. Many people can enjoy the security which is offered from a fully functional wallet that is essentially like an offline cold wallet.

Having blockchain technology accessible over SMS alongside real use applications is the first step in giving billions of unbanked people the chance to experience e-commerce on a basic mobile without the internet.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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