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WorldStage Economic Summit’19 prepares Nigeria for 4th revolution - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The 2019 edition of the WorldStage Economic Summit (WES) is focusing on the theme ‘Getting Nigeria Ready for Challenges of 4t...

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

WorldStage Economic Summit’19 prepares Nigeria for 4th revolution - ITREALMS

The 2019 edition of the WorldStage Economic Summit (WES) is focusing on the theme ‘Getting Nigeria Ready for Challenges of 4th Industrial Revolution’ reports ITREALMS.

An annual global platform for addressing economic challenges through diagnoses and application of practicable solutions to inspire new thinking in business operation, economic reform and policy formulation/implementation, this year’s event will hold on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 by 10.00AM at the prestigious Event Centre, The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lagos, Nigeria.

WES 2019 is hosted by the World Stage Limited to address the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution through the sub themes: Relevant laws and policies requirement for Fourth Industrial Revolution; Developing infrastructure, industries and Business Models for Fourth Industrial Revolution; and Urgent reviewing of education curriculum, Developing Skills and building capacity through massive investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

According to Mr Segun Adeleye, President/CEO, World Stage Limited, WES 2019 will create opportunity for the policy makers and the private sector to identify their roles in the new scheme of things to position the country as a net producer of technology, rather than a dumping ground.

He said since the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution also known as Globalisation 4.0 was first introduced by the World Economic Forum at its Annual Meeting in 2016, the awareness on how businesses and nations can tap into the phenomenal has been spreading.

“The fear that Nigeria is about to miss out of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the advent of “cyber-physical systems” involving entirely new capabilities for people and machines, may not be entirely unfounded going by the level of awareness across every sector of the economy,” he said.

“WorldStage Economic Summit 2019 will draw attention to the areas that require urgent attentions by relevant public and private bodies regarding adoption of fourth Industrial Revolution as a major player.

“For Nigeria to be at the driver sit of technology, WES 2019 will create opportunity for the policy makers and the private sector to identify their roles in the new scheme of things for the country to be positioned as a net producer of technology, rather than a dumping ground.”

Ayo Midele/Editor
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Monday, October 21, 2019

NCC, GBB, i-naira back MoDiTech’19 - ITREALMS

As final touches are being put for the maiden edition of Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum 2019 (#MoDiTECH2019) scheduled for this Thursday, October 24, 2019 in Lagos under the theme: Power of Digital Services, it has attracted backings from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Galaxy Backbone (GBB) and reports ITREALMS.

The #MoDiTECH2019 is being organised by in collaboration with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, as a platform for inter-sectorial review of economic impacts of emerging technologies; giving particular attention to the disruptive potentials of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Robotics, FinTechs and mobile phone economy around retail and service provision.

MoDiTECH which holds at Victoria Crown Plaza Hotel (VCP), Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, has as the Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami is the special guest of honour.

Other special invitees expected at the forum are the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta; the Director General of the National Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi; the Managing Director/CEO, Galaxy Backbone Limited, Architect Yusuf Kazaure; the Managing Director of Rack Centre, Dr. Tunde Coker; the President, African ICT Foundation (AfICTF), Mr Tony Ojobo; the Chairman, Connect Technologies & Africa Chair for IEEE, Chris Uwaje (Oracle), while the Founder, CWG Plc; Entrepreneur in Residence, Ausso Leadership Academy, Austin Okere is scheduled to present the keynote address.

Other speakers include, the Managing Director of Global Accelerex Limited, Tunde Ogungbade; the Co-Founder/COO, Digital Encode, Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale; President, African ICT Foundation, Mr. Tony Ojobo; Co-founder/CTO, Digital Encode, Dr. Oluseyi Akindeinde; the Chief Operating Officer, FinTech Association of Nigeria (FinTechngr), Dr. Babatunde Obrima; the President/CEO, Medallion Communications, Engineer Ikechukwu Nnamani; the Founder Rise Labs; Nigeria’s First AI powered Learning, Research & Work Readiness Centre, Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji; the Chief Technology Strategist, Debbie Mishael Consulting & Board Member Global Advisory Council, EC-Council, Engr. Frank Ogochukwu; the CEO,, Hillary Ugo Nwaukor amongst others.

It will feature C-Level executives including CEOs/CFOs/CROs/CCO/CIO; Directors and Heads of trading, operations, research, analytics, investment, strategy, digital, compliance, risk and data analysts; and senior regulators and policymakers; drawn from the FMCGs, Financial Industry including Fintechs, Banks, Insurance Companies, etc., AgriTech, Logistics, Cyber security companies, amongst others.

Speaking on the choice of the theme, the Editor,, Mr. Peter Oluka, said that paradigm shifts obvious panned the world to the inherent advantage facilitated by disruptions in communication (Telecoms), access to this technology is increasing income and Return on Investments (B2C & B2B), improving access to Services such as smart metering, Health (eHealth) and Transportation (Mobility), making Financial Services more convenient (FinTech/Banking), and increasing the GDP (Tax/Revenue) of entire country.

The FinTechs for instance, he said, are simplifying the user journey by leveraging technology and giving millions more people access to financial facilities.

“So what’s the next big thing? Where will the jobs be, and how can companies carve out a competitive advantage in the compelling global economy? 5G is coming. The NCC for instance, has issued spectrum for research on 5G; so that should be the thinking of player in different sectors?

He said that the event promises to make a difference as ground-breaking solutions shall be unveiled along many dimensions of the Forum.

On his part, the Deputy Editor, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, said that MoDiTECH is credible platform to showcase disruptive technologies that even the government can leverage to address societal issues and improve on the economic indexes.

He reiterated “For instance, the volume of data in the world is growing by 60% every year and for financial services in particular, the effective handling of data will be central to future business strategy especially with the unleashing of 5G technologies”.

“So, Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (ModiTECH’19), in this maiden edition, aims at pushing for “The Power of Digital Services” by disrupting existing technologies for the advancement of the economy at large”.

He added that the Forum has already attracted attention of senior executives and technology innovators/disruptors from across within and outside the country.

*ITREALMS Reporter/Editor

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Minister directs NCC to address costly, illegal deductions of data - ITREALMS

The Federal Ministry of Communications has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to quickly address high cost and alleged illegal deductions of data from unsuspecting telecommunications subscribers in the country, reports ITREALMS.

Reacting to the report from UK-based price comparison website — Cable, Nigeria is not among the top 10 African countries with low average price of data, a position the Honourable Minister of Communications, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami finds worrisome.

He noted that considering the fact that the country has over 174 million internet users according to the report made public by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Minister also finds it unacceptable that with the prevailing high cost of data in Nigeria, the citizens still do not enjoy value for money as subscribers’ battle daily with illegal deduction of data, poor Quality of Service (QoS) among others.

“It is on this backdrop that the Honourable Minister directed NCC, the telecom regulators as a matter of urgency to immediately work hand in hand with the telecom operators and ensure they are a downward review of the price of data in Nigeria, improved quality of service provided and also checkmate the illegal deduction of subscribers’ data,” Pantami’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Yusuf Abubakar disclosed in a press statement available to 

The Communications Minister gave this marching orders shortly after being briefed by the commission on the progress made in the implementation of the Short-Term Performance targets set for it to achieve.

He recalled that early last month, the Minister directed the commission;

I. To bring to an end the issue of sales of pre-registered, unregistered and partially-registered SIM cards; and

II. To stem the tide of illegal deduction of the data of subscribers and work towards the downward review of the cost of data; and

III. To ensure compliance with the maximum 2% Call Drop Rate directive to telecom operators.

The move, he said, was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari directives to ensure that all agencies under the supervision of a ministry are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Further, Dr Pantami reminded NCC that as a regulator, their major priority should be protecting the interest of Nigerians and urged them to uphold professionalism and diligence in the discharge of their official responsibilities.

The commission also tabled challenges of the operators which includes vandalism of telecom infrastructures, inadequate power supply, right of way, hooliganism, multiple taxations among others and used the opportunity to call for the swift intervention of the Minister to address the issues.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Nigeria to host 'Feel Africa’ edition @AFRIMA, pledges support - ITREALMS

Nigeria has concluded plans to host the 2019 edition of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) with the theme: Feel Africa, reports ITREALMS.

This is coming as the Federal Government has pledged full support for the successful hosting of the event, even as the country prepares to host the 
AFRIMA in Lagos, between 20 and 23 November this year.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the pledge in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.

''When you look at the All Africa Music Awards, it's one of the biggest awards for the music industry in Africa, and what government has done in the past is to provide the enabling environment for the awards to take place.

''We provided support services for AFRIMA, we gave them the backing they need and I think it's on record that the AFRIMA editions that have been held in Nigeria have been among the most successful.

''This year again, we are ready to partner AFRIMA professionally, give them the maximum support such as effective media coverage and also help them in reaching out to other critical stakeholders,'' the Minister said.

He said part of the reasons why Nigeria has successfully hosted the music awards is because the country has relaxed its visa regime, with the visa on arrival policy, thus making it easier for people to come in.

AFRIMA, which was first held in 2014, was established in collaboration with the African Union (AU) to reward and celebrate musical talents and creativity in Africa as well as to promote African Cultural Heritage.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Pantami, CBN halt MTN, mobile operators planned N4 charge per USSD – ITREALMS

The Honourable Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has ordered a halt of the proposed MTN Nigeria’s charge of N4 per 20 seconds use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), due to commence Monday, October 21, 2019, reports ITREALMS.

Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) opposed plans by MTN to charge their subscribers for USSD, access to banking services from October 21.
USSD, ITREALMS gathered, is often referred to as ‘Quick Codes’ or ‘Feature codes’; is a communications protocol used by Global System for Mobile (GSM) cellular telephones to communicate with the mobile network operator's computers.
“Yello, as requested by your bank, from October 21, we will start charging you directly for USSD access to banking services. Please contact your bank for more info(rmation),’’ the message purportedly from MTN read.

But reacting to what has become a viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria and other Mobile Operators notifying subscribers of a four naira (N4:00) charge per 20 seconds on USSD access to banking services from the 21st of October 2019, Pantami said his office has been undated.

According to the Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications, Uwa Suleiman (Mrs), the attention of the Federal Ministry of Communications has been drawn to the text message making around, allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria and other Mobile Operators.

She said, the office of the Honourable Minister of Communications, Dr Pantami, is unaware of this development and has hereby directed the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure the operator suspends such plans until the Honourable Minister is fully and properly briefed.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, also opposed plans by MTN to charge their subscribers for USSD access from October 21.

Briefing newsmen, CBN Governor said at the just-concluded World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings, in Washington on Sunday, denied the MTN decision insisting that the request negates the progress of the industry.

MTN had in a Short Messaging Service (SMS) to some subscribers, stated that the decision was on the request of the banks and would take effect from Monday, October 21, this year.

“Yello, as requested by your bank, from October 21, we will start charging you directly for USSD access to banking services. Please contact your bank for more info(rmation),’’ the message read.

For CBN governor, “About five, four months ago, I held a meeting with some telecom companies as well as the leading banks in Nigeria at Central Bank, Lagos. At that time, we came to a conclusion that the use of USSD is a sunk cost. What we mean by a sunk cost is that it is not an additional cost on the infrastructure of the telecom company.

“But the telecom companies disagreed with us, they said it is an additional investment on infrastructure and for that reason, they needed to impose it. I have told the banks that we will not allow this to happen. The banks are the people who give this business to the telecom companies and I leave the banks and the telecom companies to engage.

“I have told the banks that they have to move their business, move their traffic to a telecom company that is ready to provide it at the lowest possible, if not zero cost. And that is where we stand, and we must achieve it,’’ he said.
ITREALMS gathered that the transactions to be affected by the charges include intra and inter-bank money transfers, via the use of USSD, among a few others.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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WebTv licensing: No amount of attacks will stop us says Minister - ITREALMS

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has declared that no amount of attacks, sponsored or otherwise will stop the implementation of the recommendations outlined for the sanitization of the national broadcasting industry, reports ITREALMS.

Part of the recommendation, he said approved includes the amendment of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act “to enable NBC license WebTv and radio stations.”

Speaking to ITREALMS on Sunday at a ministerial briefing in Lagos, Alhaji Mohammed, insisted that all the recommendations as outlined for NBC Implementation Committee recently set up by the Federal Government will be executed to the letter.

“Let me be straight: No amount of attacks, sponsored or otherwise, will stop the implementation of the approved recommendations,” he asserted.

According to him, only non-patriots and anarchists will kick against measures aimed at putting an end to what he called “fake news and hate speech.”

These, he said, are rampant in the broadcast industry.

“Only those who are guilty should be afraid of the efforts to sanitize the broadcast industry,” he maintained.

Pointing out that responsible broadcasters have nothing to fear, stressing that its not a move to stifle free speech or gag anyone.

“But purveyors of fake news and hate speech should not expect to sleep easy,” he said.

Some of the highlights of the recommendations include:

i) Independence of the NBC from political interference in the exercise of its regulatory powers, particularly with respect to the issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting license.

ii) A review of the National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting laws to reflect the following amendments;

- Upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5,000,000 for breaches relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency

- Wilful repeat of infractions on three occasions after levying fine on a station to attract suspension of license

- Upgrade of breach of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ''Class A'' offence in the Broadcasting Code, among others.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Makinde appoints SAs for ICT, youth and sports - ITREALMS

The Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has approved the appointments of Mr. Bayo Akande and Mr. Kazeem Bolarinwa as Special Assistant on Information Communication Technology (ICT)/E-Governance and Special Assistant on Youth and Sports respectively, reports ITREALMS.

According to their letters of appointment, the duo appointments were with immediate effect.

The Special Assistant (Print Media) to Governor Makinde, Moses Alao, in a press statement available to ITREALMS, quoted the Governor as charging the duo to see their appointment as a call to service and “to discharge their duties with absolute loyalty, dedication and diligence.”

The new Special Assistant on ICT and E-Governance, Akande, holds an M.Sc. in Business and Management from Aston University and a B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sheffield.

He has, for many years, been a player in the Technology Industry as the founder and CEO of Orb Solutions, a full service technology company that specialises in the areas of managed technology services, server management, IT support as well as web and mobile app development.

“Orb has successfully developed E-commerce platforms, financial trading platforms, University Management systems and mobile apps for a number of blue chip clients such as Total E & P Nigeria Limited.

“Akande’s in-depth knowledge of the Technology Industry has enabled him in the establishment of West Midlands CBT Ltd, a technology services company that was established in 2013 primarily to bring about a revolution in how examinations are conducted in Nigeria. “The company sees to the operation of thousands of computers between Lagos and Ibadan. It conducts JAMB examinations and distant learning exams for Universities such as the University of Ibadan, National Open University of Nigeria amongst others,” the statement said.

Bolarinwa, the newly-appointed Special Assistant on Youth and Sports, is a 29-year-old Ibadan-based good governance advocate, who graduated with a First Class in Business Administration and holds a Masters in the same field.

“He has demonstrated competence in Business Development, Youth ‘Advocacy and Emancipation’ over the years, with his contribution towards rewriting the narrative of Ibadan to the world, using the social media.

“As a 26-years-old, Bolarinwa as a seasoned Business Consultant, founded his consulting firm Ireign Classique Consult Nigeria with branches in Kaduna, Kano and Jigawa, with which he traverses NYSC camps (such as Oyo, Osun, Kaduna, Kano, and Jigawa NYSC camps) to impart knowledge in Nigerian youths through public speaking and to orientate them for skill acquisition.

“His company is registered as a Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) partner with the Federal and some states government.

“In 2018, Bolarinwa convened a political movement called Deliver Oyo (DO), a movement geared towards preaching good governance, youth participation in politics and advocating for leadership. With this platform, he was able to traverse the zones of Oyo State and all tertiary institutions in the state to preach his belief.

“Bolarinwa was one of the advocates of Not Too Young To Run in Oyo State,” the statement added.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Airtel says we offer more value in new data plans - ITREALMS

Telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has said it offers massive increase in data allowance on its weekly and monthly data tariff plans in a new move, reports ITREALMS.

This, the teleco also said, is to enable mobile internet consumers to enjoy more value at heavily discounted rates.

The new data tariff review applies to most of the weekly and monthly data plans of the telco including its mega plans.

Under the new tariff, customers who subscribe to the N3,000 monthly plan will get 8GB data; consumers who buy the N5,000 monthly plan will get 15GB of data while customers who subscribe to the N20,000 Mega plan will be credited with 110GB of data, valid for 30 days.

Airtel also introduced a new data plan specifically designed for heavy data users, seeking more value to stream online, chat and download movies. The new plan gives 6GB of data weekly for only N1,500.

The telco said the reviewed data tariff plan will ride on its expansive 4G network, which covers over 100 major cities and towns.

Commenting on the new data plans, the Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Dinesh Balsingh, said prevailing consumer trend indicates a growing demand for data/mobile Internet and Airtel is well positioned to take the lead in providing the right value offerings as it currently has the largest 4G network in the country.

“As the preferred mobile internet services provider, Airtel is committed to offering superior value to telecoms consumers across the country and our newly revamped data plans is a testament to our commitment to empower our customers. With the same price, our customers now have higher data allowance to do much more and get more out of life; to succeed, to become more productive and to do so much more” he said.

To activate the Airtel data plans, customers are advised to dial *141#. The data plans are available to all prepaid and postpaid customers on the Airtel network.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Osinbajo says free education policy in Oyo commendable - ITREALMS

The Nigeria’s Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has commended the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on his fee education policy in the State, reports ITREALMS.

This came as Governor Makinde maintained that free qualitative education has come to stay in the State, adding that education remained the best form of poverty alleviation and empowerment that can be given to the youths.

A press statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Saturday, indicated that both Osinbajo and Makinde were guests of the Presiding Bishop of the Victory International Church, Bishop Taiwo Victor Adelakun, at the 30th Anniversary of the Church/ Divine Proclamation Service for Dominion University, held at the Rehoboth Cathedral, Ibadan.

Osinbajo maintained that he was happy that Governor Makinde has taken up the challenge of providing free qualitative education in Oyo State.

According to Osinbajo, though President Muhammadu Buhari, on June 20, 2019, declared that education would be free across the country for the first nine years covering primary to junior secondary school, the Federal Government could not force the States to key into that declaration.

He promised that the Federal Government would work with the states to deliver free qualitative education, saying: “We will support them in whatever way we can to ensure that they achieve the objectives of free and compulsory education.”

In his address at the occasion, Governor Makinde maintained that his administration would make the necessary investments on education without caring about who will take the credit down the line.

He added that that his administration would lay the right foundations for the free education policy to thrive.

Governor Makinde congratulated Bishop Adelakun, asserting that the proclamation of the Dominion University would be the beginning of the journey that would produce the kind of leaders that Nigerians want.

He added that the Oyo State Government would support Dominion University.

The Governor said: "Truly, we understand the fact that four years is not enough for us to really get to where we are going but four years is enough to lay the solid foundation upon which successive administrations will build upon.

"Of course, some of our leaders will tell you that at their own time in school during the time of Papa Obafemi Awolowo, they got free education. Papa has been long gone but we still see the impact today and that is what education, as one of the pillars that this administration is resting on, is all about in Oyo State.

"We will make all the necessary investments and won't care who takes the credit.”

He further said: "I do sincerely congratulate the Church and I believe that this proclamation is the beginning of a journey that will produce the kind of leaders that we want for our state and for our country.

"I want to pledge the support of the government of Oyo State to the Dominion University. It is actually common with politicians to organise poverty alleviation programme but I believe that when you give an individual knowledge, the individual will eventually take him or herself out of poverty.

"So, I thank you our dear father in the Lord for this vision. We will key into it and give it necessary support.

"Also, I appreciate the Number two citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for being part of today's event. You have been there like I saw in the video clip and this shows your commitment to take majority of our youths out of poverty.”

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Pix: From left, Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; Presiding Bishop, Victory International Church, Rehoboth Cathedral, Bishop Taiwo Adelakun and Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde during 30th year anniversary of the church and Divine Proclamation service for Dominion University held Rehoboth Cathedral, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo State Government.

Textile industry: FirstBank's fashion statement with local attire - ITREALMS

For many years, until the early 1980s, the Nigerian textile industry was the highest employer of labour, after the public sector. Sadly, the industry is in dire straits battling for survival in recent times.

Among the challenges that confronted the sector were policy inconsistency leading to closure of many textile companies occasioned by poor power supply, smuggling, poor access to finance and high operating cost, among others.

It is unarguable that the closure of many textile companies contributed to the rise in the country’s high unemployment rate, rising insecurity and other social vices.

It is against this backdrop that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, recently lamented the country’s descent from being a textile giant to a mediocre player in the world economy.

Emefiele said Nigeria used to be home to Africa’s largest textile industry in the 1970s and early 1980s with the employment of over 450,000 people.

ALSO READ: Why FirstBank Fintech Summit 3.0 matters - ITREALMS.

“The textile industry at that time was the largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the public sector, contributing over 25 per cent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector.

“The industry was supported by the production of cotton by 600,000 local farmers across 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

“This sector supported the clothing needs of the Nigerian populace, as our markets were filled with locally produced textiles from companies such as the United Textiles in Kaduna, Supertex Limited, Afprint, Texlon, Enpee and Aswani Mills, among others.

“In addition, the cotton growing sector has gone dead, thereby depriving thousands of smallholder farmers the chance to earn a living.

Furthermore, a large proportion of our clothing materials today are imported from China and countries in Europe,” Emeifele stated.

It is against this background that First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, in line with its celebratory 125th anniversary , themed, “Woven into the Fabric of Society”, on Oct. 2 commemorated the country’s independence with a locally made textile attire.

Specifically, the bank set aside Oct. 2 to have all staff wear a locally made textile attire adorned in its 125 anniversary logo and over 18,000 staff across the bank and FBN Holdings participated.

The bank in a statement attributed the initiative to moves to celebrate the country’s 59th Independence anniversary and at the same time support the textile industry.

“The native attire fashion statement by FirstBank and the FBN Holdings Group is rooted in our trust in the diverse opportunities the textile industry provides.

“And indeed its contribution to national growth and development, vis-à-vis the job opportunities, youth and women empowerment, as well as the entrepreneurship driven influence its creates cannot be over-emphasised.

“The bank is indeed honored to have been woven into the Fabric of Society in the last 125 years and is committed to keep promoting activities and opportunities that contribute to the growth of the textile industry.” it added.

Apart from the above initiative, FirstBank also provide access to market and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) of the fashion industry with an initiative tagged Fashion Souk.

The bank partners with Eventful Nigeria Ltd with Fashion Souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants.

The bank also in a bid to ensure sustainability of the industry recently introduced fashion design loan specifically designed to offer financial support to the participants in the textile industry.

The bank’s fashion design loan with a single obligor limit of up to two million naira is targeted at tailors, dressmakers and traders in clothing accessories with no tangible collateral required.

To be eligible for the loan, applicants must have been in line of business for a minimum of three years.

Commenting on the development, Mr Moses Igbrude, Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), described the initiative as a wonderful concept.

“I hope those in the local textiles value chain will key into it and take advantage of this initiative.

“FirstBank should also ensure that the concept is properly communicated to the larger audience to ensure more patronage of locally made textile,” Igbrude said.

He noted that the Federal Government on its part should encourage institutions that are supporting our local industries by way tax incentives.

Also speaking, Mr Shehu Mikail, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the bank’s support for local fabric and the textile industry.

Mikail said that the initiative would boost the morale of interested bodies who would like to venture into local fabric in promoting our culture to the world.

He said that the bank should focus on the fashion designers who would be ready to promote Nigerian mode of dressing to meet the world class in fashion design.

“This will help in promoting Made in Nigeria fabric and it will also encourage an interested investor to venture into textile industry business and this will transform our economy,” Mikail said.

*Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma contributed this from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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Friday, October 18, 2019

FG requests India's support for Nigerian Film Industry - ITREALMS

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has enjoined the Indian Government to support Nigeria's film industry with the technology that will enhance the quality of films produced in the country, reports ITREALMS.

The Minister made the call in Abuja on Friday when he received the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Abhay Thakur, on a courtesy visit to his office.

“I think Bollywood is probably the biggest film industry in the world, closely followed by Nigeria, but while we are proud of what Nollywood is doing in terms of content, I think we still need to do more in the area of technicality and technology and I think this in one area that I would want us to concentrate on in our bilateral relationship,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed was quoted as urging India to extend support to the area of capacity building for the lecturers of the Film Institute in Jos, in order to enable them to acquire the requisite and relevant knowledge, which will be imparted to the film makers.

“I want India to avail Nigeria of the opportunity to train not just our budding producers and film directors, cinematographers and the like but probably if India can stretch its hands of friendship to our Film Corporation, especially the Film College in Jos, so that they can be able to improve the technical quality of our films.

“I still believeUj that in the area of content, we have very rich content, very fecund imagination but I think in terms of the quality of the films, we still need to do much more and I don’t think there is a better place we can look forward to than India for this,” he said.

According to the Special Assistant to the President, office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, the Minister was quoted as saying that in spite of the huge population of India, it still shares some similarities with Nigeria, particularly in the plurality of culture and religion.

He sought the assistance of India in the area of capacity building for Nigeria’s cultural officers, as well as the provision of scholarships for Nigerians in culture-related fields.

In his remarks, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Thakur, said in order to further deepen the ties between the two countries, the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is organizing Journalists Exposure Visits for a select group of Nigerian journalists to expose them to specific, Africa-focused business events in India.

He also extended an invitation to Nigerian cultural troupes to participate in the India-Africa Cultural Festival, which is coming up in December, as a platform to showcase the cultural endowment of the country.

The High Commissioner, who said his country is enjoying a long standing relationship with Nigeria, especially in the areas of trade, film, media and culture, disclosed that India is also organizing special events in the area of Performing Arts, music and painting.

He said over 50,000 Indians are currently residing in Nigeria, which he described as India's biggest trading partner in Africa.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Pix: Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (right), presenting a souvenir to the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Abhay Thakur (left), when he paid a courtesy visit to the Minister in Abuja on Friday.

Infrastructure Dev: Sanwo-Olu, Okonkwo engage ASPAMDA, Trade Fair Market Leaders - ITREALMS

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday, met with market leaders from Alaba International Market and Trade Fair axis in Lagos West senatorial district, alongside the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, reports ITREALMS.

The consultative meeting, which was at the instance of the Governor and coordinated by Mr. Okonkwo, lasted for about 90 minutes and it was centered around the State Government’s plans to improve security and upgrade infrastructure around the markets.

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, Gov. Sanwo-Olu said the discussion was aimed at fostering collaboration with the traders and to carry them along in the plans of the Government. The Governor said he was pu satisfied with the conditions under which businesses were conducted in the markets, expressing disappointment over the state of roads and absence of relevant public facilities around markets. In fulfilling his campaign promises to the traders, Sanwo-Olu said his administration was prepared to change the condition by investing in infrastructure that would improve the quality of lives and commercial activities in the area.

He said: “We have just finished an interactive meeting with the leaders of various markets around Alaba, ASPAMDA, Trade Fair areas in Lagos West Senatorial District and the discussion was coordinated by our friend in the banking sector, Fidelity Bank. We all agreed that we all have roles to play to address infrastructure and other challenges around the markets. As a government, we are taking up the responsibility to design an all-inclusive model that will improve the economic wellbeing of people around the markets. Once we put infrastructure in place, not only would businesses flourish, employment will also be created.” Aside constructing network of roads surrounding the markets, the Governor said part of the Government’s long-term plans was also to complement the efforts with provision of amenities, including fire stations, clinics, general hospitals and security protections that would aid commercial activities in the markets.

Sanwo-Olu said the market leaders agreed to work with the Government on documenting all businesses in their respective jurisdictions, which would facilitate easy payment and collection of tax for developmental purposes.

The Governor said: “we had conversations around being socially responsible. So, we will see the traders living up to the expectations in terms of doing what they are meant to be doing to support government in the areas of their taxes, wages and levies. We also want to eliminate multiple taxations; any agency that is not meant to be around the market will be stopped.

“We also discussed security issues, and I assured that government would help to improve on the security of lives and properties in the area and the state in general. We will address the menace of Okada riders all around those markets. We will also ensure that the work that is going on around Lagos-Badagry Expressway is well coordinated, so that they can have some relief at various periods of the day, even when construction is going on.”

The Governor said the meeting would not be the last in his engagement with the market leaders, pointing out that Chairmen of local councils in which the traders operate would be invited to subsequent discussions before the start of regeneration work across the markets within the senatorial district.

Fidelity Bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, hailed Sanwo-Olu for partnering with the market leaders to drive the regeneration programme, saying the Governor understood the importance of engagement in leadership. According to him “Fidelity Bank was one of the first banks to open in the area and we understand their challenges from the extensive engagements we do have with them. We bank most of them and when there are issues we come together to interact and find solutions. This is exactly the approach that Gov. Sanwo-Olu is using today. The Governor has outlined a course of action and we also use our knowledge of their needs and working in collaboration with the government, to come up with a model that will work for all stakeholders. The traders are ready to take this collaboration to the end and make sure they have better market conditions so when they want to pay their taxes, they will pay them happily.”

President General of Alaba Amalgamated, Chief Fabian Ezeojika, said the discussion with the Governor and his Deputy was fruitful, promising to mobilise traders to respect the agreement made with the State Government.

Markets and dealers represented at the meeting included Alaba International Market, Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA), BBA Trade Fair, Alaba Fancy and Furniture Dealers, and Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN), among others

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W Initiative plans for Health Month, targets 2m women, families - ITREALMS

Flagship women empowerment programme from Access Bank Plc, the 
W Initiative, has outlined plans for 2019 W Health Month, reports ITREALMS.

The plans, ITREALMS gathered,are aimed at improving community awareness on health issues that affect women and their families by bridging knowledge gap, providing access to health checks and encouraging healthy lifestyle habits.

All through the month of October, 
ITREALMS gathered, the W Health Month will focus on key areas such as infertility, endometriosis, vesicovaginal fistula (VVF), cancer, maternal and neo-natal mortality among others.

The Coordinator ‘W’ initiative, Access Bank Plc, Ayona Trimnell, said: “Globally, the month of October is dedicated to raising awareness for Breast Cancer, a major health issue affecting mainly women. However, as an institution with focus on women, we are expanding the scope to shine the spotlight on 5 salient health issues affecting women and their families.

The 2017 African Research and Population Centers, estimated 40,000 maternal deaths in Nigeria, making the country the second largest contributor to maternal mortality worldwide. There is need for us to change the story one woman at a time and we at Access Bank have been moving the needle in our own way through our flagship product, the Maternal Health Service Support (MHSS).

Activities planned during the period include free health screening, health talk by specialists, fitness classes, fund raising to support these causes etc. The Health Month will wrap up with an advocacy walk tagged ‘Walk for Women’s Health’ on Saturday 26 October 2019,” he said.

Established in 2014, the W Initiative is home to everything Access Bank has to offer women. This includes both financial and lifestyle needs. Under the Initiative, participating women and their families have access to a wide range of privileges including access to credit facilities to meet business and healthcare needs, the ‘W’ community which provides insights on family matters, health, career, lifestyle and finance. This is in addition to special offerings for the home such as discounts and freebies on health, beauty and fitness.

Health screenings will hold every Tuesday at October designed partner locations across the country.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Pix: L-R: Njideka Esomeju, Regional Sales Director, Lagos 1, Access bank Plc; Aituaje Iruobe (aka Waje ) Music Artist; Ayona Trimnell, Coordinator, ‘W’ Initiative, Access Bank Plc; and Ada Udechukwu, Head, Women Banking, Access Bank plc at a meet-and-greet event to launch the Women's Health Month this October 2019 in Lagos recently.

James Hope College acquires America International School, offers 40% scholarship - ITREALMS

The James Hope College (JHC) has acquired the American International School Lagos (AISL) Lekki Campus facility to establish James Hope College in Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

At the signing ceremony held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, ITREALMS reports, that the Governor of Lagos, His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the United States Ambassador ably represented by Carol Cox, the Chairman of AISL Board, Ali Safieddine and other prominent persons were in attendance.

While giving his speech at the event, the Founder/Chairman of James Hope College, Mr. Jim Ovia stated that the College would continue to offer full scholarship based on merit, to 40% of all the students that would be admitted into the school.

James Hope College, a co-educational initiative of the Jim Ovia Foundation, offers a combination of British and Nigerian curricula. James Hope College is a Cambridge Associate School, a member of Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and Association of British Schools Overseas (AoBSO). JHC is in partnership with Microsoft Imagine Academy and GL Education. JHC is accredited by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), Pearson Edexcel Examinations, and British Schools Overseas (BSO.

With the acquisition of this property, James Hope College is set to replicate in Lagos the outstanding academic performance it is known for. More importantly, the offer of full scholarship to 40% of the students on merit ensures that the school’s equal opportunity model of academic excellence is extended to all students regardless of their state of origin.

James Hope College Lagos will open its doors to students in September 2020.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Pix: Chairman, Jim Ovia Foundation, Mr. Jim Ovia,CON ( 3rd Left), flanked by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu ( 3rd right); Representative of the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Carol Cox (1st Left); Chairman, Board of Directors, American International School Lagos (AISL), Mr. Ali Safieddine; Managing Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi, Prof Konyinsola Ajayi, SAN; and Member, Board of Trustees, James Hope College, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo Obe, OFR at the signing ceremony of the acquisition of American International School Lagos Property to establish James Hope College Lagos held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

9mobile says moreblaze, more data bonus - ITREALMS

Customer-friendly telecommunications company 9mobile, has increased value on its daily data subscription packages, declaring more data for subscriptions on its moreblaze, reports ITREALMS.

Subscribers, ITREALMS gathered will enjoy as much as 150 per cent more data flux for the same price on 9mobile’s daily data plans.

With the reloaded Moreblaze daily data plans, 9mobile subscribers get a 150% increase in data value at no extra charge. They can also get 650mb data at the newly introduced rate of N200 to enable customers enjoy faster browsing and streaming experience without tearing their pockets.

Moreblaze is 9mobile’s mobile broadband data portfolio available in a range of options that afford subscribers the opportunity to choose their preferred data plan. It comes in variants of daily, weekly or monthly subscription, smartpaks, and video streaming plans. Any of these plans enables data-dependent businesses and individuals to do more through reliable, consistent and superfast internet connection.

Speaking on the data service, 9mobile’s Acting Director, Marketing, Layi Onafowokan said in addition to making internet access pleasurable for all, the telco is offering this increase in data volume for the same price as an avenue for more subscribers to join the network and enjoy the best-in-class internet experience that Moreblaze offers.

“At 9mobile, we are always delighted at seeking innovative ways to wow our existing and potential customers, hence, we continuously revamp our data offerings so that all categories of customers on our network can have access to fast and reliable broadband service that suit their needs”, he said.

Onafowokan added, “Moreblaze offers all categories of users fast and reliable broadband internet to enjoy a richer online experience while surfing the internet. Students can livestream online course content seamlessly; content creators, bloggers and small businesses that make a living online can also upload their content without interruptions, simply by relying on the unrivalled experience that Moreblaze offers.”

He stated further that aside offering superior quality data experience, Moreblaze stands out for granting access to all social media and chat platforms, and it also allows customers to pause and resume their plans on 9mobile’s streaming plans. With a simple dial of *200*3*1# or click of the link, users can activate this whole new world of data experience.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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