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FG, IBM enter digital skills deal - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The Federal Government (FG) and technology giant, the International Business Machines (IBM) West Africa, have entered a partn...

Friday, January 17, 2020

FG, IBM enter digital skills deal - ITREALMS

The Federal Government (FG) and technology giant, the International Business Machines (IBM) West Africa, have entered a partnership deal in the area of Digital Skills development in Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

This deal consummated yesterday between the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) on behalf of the government and Country General Manager for IBM West Africa, Mr Dipo Faulkner, on Thursday 16th January 2020 via signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abuja.

ITREALMS gathered that the partnership gives impetus to the digital, innovation and entreprenuership skills of the economic development plan of President Muhammadu Buhari, is a quantum leap in the Digital Economy strategy of the Ministry.

Spokesperson to the Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Uwa Suleiman (Mrs) was quoted as saying that the MoU provides a platform to empower Nigerian youths with digital literacy skills, to enable innovation, design and development of indigenous solutions, self sufficiency and make Nigeria a hub for critical skills for Africa and the world at large.

"Under the partnership, and in line with the Digital Literacy initiative and drive of Dr Pantami, IBM will through its Digital Nation Africa Initiative, provide free training to Nigerians for a period of 12 to 16 weeks, in diverse areas of Information Technology.

The objectives of the MoU are mainly, she said include to:

1. Create awareness and support in the development and use of digital tools and applications to improve the delivery of government services;

2. Create a pool of Nigerians with digital skills validated by globally recognized certifications;

3. Bridge the gap between the academia and the industry through sensitization on digital tools and skills; and

4. Lower the access barrier to digital tools for the citizens.

Addressing IBM representatives led by the Country General Manager, the Honourable Minister expressed satisfaction at the organisation’s response to the Digital Economy policy by, sufficiently keying in, to bridge the divide between the academia and the industry, education and entrepreneurship.

Dr Pantami noted that “to achieve a Digital Economy, digital skills are central, and this has been adequately captured in the second pillar of the Digital Economy Strategy Policy Document as approved and launched by the President on the 28th of November 2019”. The Minister further disclosed that the importance of Broadband in the implementation of a Digital Economy is the life line to its success and this again has been reflected in the seventh pillar of the strategy document.

"The importance of broadband penetration in achieving a digital economy has given rise to the National Broadband Committee to ensure that we thoroughly address the impediments to broadband penetration and achieving a Digital Economy”.

Pantami encouraged institutions of learning to give priority to skills, especially digital skills over paper qualifications as according to him, “digital skills are more relevant in today’s world of emerging technologies, therefore we must encourage innovation and drive digital literacy and skills among the populace”.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony which held at the Minister’s conference room in Abuja, the Country General Manager Mr Dipo Faulkner, stated that “IBM works with governments and key Ministries to address the societal impact of digital technology, leveraging our investment in education with platforms such as IBM Digital Nation Africa. This new collaboration furthers our aims of scaling digital job skills across Africa”.

Further, ITREALMS also gathered the programme has been scheduled to take off in February 2020.

Uboshe Uboshe


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New cyber threat detection, response powered by Sophie - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
Leader in network and endpoint security globally, the Sophos, has proclaimed the availability of Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR), a fully managed threat hunting, detection and response service, reports ITREALMS.

The re-sellable service provides organizations with a dedicated 24/7 security team to neutralize the most sophisticated and complex threats.

These types of threats include active attackers leveraging fileless attacks and administrator tools such as PowerShell to escalate privileges, exfiltrate data and spread laterally, as explained in the SophosLabs Uncut article on Lemon_Duck PowerShell malware. Attacks like these are difficult to detect since they involve an active adversary using legitimate tools for nefarious purposes, and Sophos MTR helps eliminate this threat.

“Cybercriminals are adapting their methods and increasingly launching hybrid attacks that combine automation with interactive human ingenuity to more effectively evade detection. Once they gain a foothold, they’ll employ ‘living off the land’ techniques and other deceptive methods requiring human interaction to discover and disrupt their attacks,” said Joe Levy, chief technology officer at Sophos. “For the most part, other MDR services simply notify customers of potential threats and then leave it up to them to manage things from there. Sophos MTR not only augments internal teams with additional threat intelligence, unparalleled product expertise, and around-the-clock coverage, but also gives customers the option of having a highly trained team of response experts take targeted actions on their behalf to neutralize even the most sophisticated threats.”

Built on Intercept X Advanced with endpoint detection and response (EDR), Sophos MTR fuses machine learning with expert analysis for improved threat hunting and detection, deeper investigation of alerts, and targeted actions to eliminate threats. These innovative capabilities are based on Sophos’ acquisitions of Rook Security and DarkBytes technology, and include: 


Expert-led threat hunting: Sophos MTR anticipates attacker behavior and identifies new indicators of attack and compromise. Sophos threat hunters proactively hunt for and validate potential threats and incidents, and investigate casual and adjacent events to discover new threats that previously couldn’t be detected 


Advanced adversarial detection: Sophos MTR uses proven investigation techniques to differentiate legitimate behavior from the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) used by attackers. Coupled with enhanced telemetry from Sophos Central, which provides a detailed, full picture of adversary activities as part of the service, the scope and severity of threats can be determined for rapid response.


Machine-accelerated human response: A highly trained team of world-class experts generates and applies threat intelligence to confirm threats, and takes action to remotely disrupt, contain and neutralize threats with speed and precision.


Asset discovery and prescriptive security health guidance: Sophos MTR provides valuable insights into managed and unmanaged assets, vulnerabilities for better informed impact assessments and threat hunts. Prescriptive and actionable guidance for addressing configuration and architecture weaknesses enables organizations to proactively improve their security posture with hardened defenses.

Sophos MTR is customizable with different service tiers and response modes to meet the unique and evolving needs of organizations of all sizes and maturity levels. Unlike many MDR services that focus on monitoring and threat notification, Sophos MTR rapidly escalates and takes action against threats based on an organization’s preferences.

Sophos MTR is now available from registered Sophos Partners worldwide. Read more on Sophos News, and visit Sophos.com for additional information.

What our partners and industry analysts say:
“Enterprises are facing sophisticated attacks from every direction, and it’s absolutely critical that they can not only detect threats, but also respond to them quickly,” said Aaron Sherrill, information security senior analyst at 451 Research. “Many vendors claim to offer response capabilities, but in reality, few take the actions needed to eliminate threats as part of their core managed detection and response (MDR) offerings. Sophos MTR combines Sophos’ consistently top-rated endpoint protection with human expertise and troves of threat intelligence collected from SophosLabs to create an entirely new offering that meets a mounting market need.”

“The only way to protect against today’s advanced threats is to combine the best tools with the brightest human minds,” said Jeremy Weiss, cybersecurity practice lead at CDW. “Sophos Managed Threat Response is a game changer, combining machine learning with human analysis for an evolved approach to proactive security protection. The customizable offering strengthens our existing threat hunting capabilities and helps us better protect our customers.”

“Cybercrime doesn’t sleep – it’s always ‘on’ – and organizations need around-the-clock protection,” said Ken Hamilton, president and CEO at Total Tech International Inc. “With Sophos Managed Threat Response, Total Tech customers can rest assured that they’re covered even during the second and third shifts that are notoriously difficult to staff. Security health recommendations deliver additional tremendous value, empowering us to take immediate action on improving security defenses.”





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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

US says 'Nigeria's entrepreneurs, key to Africa prosperity' - ITREALMS

 

The United States (U.S.) Consul General, Ms Claire Pierangelo has declared that Nigeria's entrepreneurs are key to the Africa's prosperity, reports 
ITREALMS.

Speaking Tuesday in Lagos, Pierangelo reiterated the importance of Nigeria’s entrepreneurs to the continued growth of economies in the West African sub-region and the prosperity of the continent.
Ms. Pierangelo told participants at a one-day capacity-building seminar for the first cohort of U.S. sponsored Tony Elumelu Foundation alumni, that population trends in Africa’s largest economy will not only mean that Nigeria could become the world’s third most populous country by 2050, but events in the country could have wide-ranging global repercussions going forward.

“If Nigeria is successful, its extremely young population will represent a tremendous source of productive labor and an extremely attractive market for a variety of products and services. Its success will be Africa’s success and the world will also benefit from the creativity and resourcefulness of its people,” Pierangelo observed.

“That is why the government of the United States cares so deeply about supporting entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Right now, according to sources, small to medium sized enterprises run by entrepreneurs create about eighty –five percent of all jobs in this country. We are therefore committed to working with you and our local partners, including the Tony Elumelu Foundation, to help you maximize opportunities to use your drive and skills to create a better Nigeria for all of us,” she added.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ms. Ifeanyinwa Ugochukwu, who expressed the organization’s appreciation for the partnership with the U.S. Consulate General, highlighted the importance of strategic alliances for the country’s sustained economic development.

“It is clear that development aid does not solve economic problems, handouts never work in the long-term and in no developed country does government shoulder economic burdens alone. On the other hand, partnerships such as this support the job-creating, solution-driven mentality which Nigeria needs to lift itself up,” she pointed out.

The seminar also included a presentation on “Globalization and Nigeria” by John Doggett, a Senior Lecturer at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. It concluded with a panel discussion on the “Key to Success” featuring Olori Anita Ololade Odozi, fashion entrepreneur; Adebola Williams, Co-Founder of Red Media Africa; AfricanFarmer Mogaji, CEO of AfricanFarmer; and Omowale Ogunrinde, CEO of Field of Skills and Dreams.

The United States Government in October 2019 entered partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to promote entrepreneurship initiatives in Nigeria, through a public diplomacy grant of $105,000 or approximately N37.8 million.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Despite Amotekun threats: APPPS lauds Southwest Governor’s response - ITREALMS

Despite threats from some groups in the north, the Association of Progressive Political Parties (APPPS) has lauded the six southwest governors over their response on security challenges facing the region in today Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

The governors mapped out for commendation include the Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, Gov. Kayode Fayemi, Gov. Dapo Abiodun, Gov. Seyi Makinde and Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu over their recently launched regional security outfit known as “Western Nigeria Security Network - Amotekun” aimed at protecting and securing the southwestern region and her citizens.

Also commending all the governors for their proactive efforts that led to peaceful existence among the citizens of the region. The group however called for more cooperation and intelligence sharing among the citizens of the region and security agencies.

APPS Chairman, Mr. Wole Adedoyin, told 
ITREALMS that the group applauded the southwest governors for providing modern equipment to the newly established security outfit to fight crime in the region.

ITREALMS recalled that Governors in the South West Zone on Thursday, last week in Ibadan flagged-off the operations of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun), stressing that it would complement the mainstream security agencies in the country.

“Southwest Governors have not only committed huge financial resources to provide the state-of-the-art equipment to fight crime, but has also provided the right leadership needed to ensure that the equipment are adequately put to use.” Adedoyin said.

Ayo Midele/Editor
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NBC must re-position industry to use 70% local content - ITREALMS

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately implement measures aimed at re-positioning the broadcast industry so as to raise the use of 70 per cent of local content, reports ITREALMS.

In addition, he said, it would sanitize the industry, creating jobs, promoting local content, boosting the advert industry and bringing the broadcast industry up to par with the best practices from around the world.

The Minister said the directive becomes necessary following the submission of the report of the committee which he set up to work out the modalities for implementing the recommendations approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to re-position the broadcast industry.

''Following my satisfaction with the report which was very professional and detailed, I wish to direct the Commission to take the necessary measures to effect the implementation of the various provisions therein. This directive covers the provision for the regulation of the web and online TV/radio; regulation of international broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria; hate speech; human resource and staff welfare; funding for the reforms implementation; monitoring; Independence of the Regulator and ease of issuing Licenses as well as competition and monopoly issues,'' he said.

Major highlights of the Minister's directive include new regulations to compel broadcasters to utilize the content and services of Nigerian independent producers, in fulfillment of the regulatory requirements for 70% local content, rather than the current abuse of the rules which allow many loopholes for the production of such content in jurisdictions outside Nigeria.

This, he said, will empower local producers with proper funding and investment, enhance foreign collaborations, develop the local industry, raise the standard of local productions and ultimately lead to job creation.

The new regulations will also ensure that producers of content are paid promptly for adverts and sponsored content placed on all TV, radio and broadcast platforms, ensure that the production of adverts are localized to create and promote local production and, where it is not, to attract a charge every time such an advert is aired, with the charge being put into a fund to help develop local expertise in production.

For musical content, a new regulation will ensure that broadcasters are prevented from illegal and unpaid use of musical works without payment of the applicable license fees and/or royalties required by music rights owners.

Similar provision will prohibit exclusivity of sporting rights in Nigeria, as a new regulation now mandates broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share such rights with other broadcasters to boost reach and also maximize utilization by all broadcasters of premium content, in order to grow their platforms and investment in other content.

''This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcaster in the television and radio markets, having removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees,'' the Minister said.



He expressed the confidence that the new regulations, which are due to come into effect this month, will re-energize the broadcast industry, deliver real value in the sector and grow the creative industry for the benefit of the practitioners.

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Of victors and vanquished: Biafra, 50 years after - ITREALMS

MidWeekCommentary@ITREALMS:
January 15 marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the Nigerian Civil War and the official end of the short-lived Republic of Biafra. It is unlikely there will be any national event to mark the occasion other than the annual Remembrance Day ritual which has become nothing but a cash cow for those involved in organizing the ceremony. But the civil war was not only a defining moment for Nigeria, it has continued to define the country. As Prof. Yakubu Ochefu notes in the introduction to the 2013 book, Nigeria is Negotiable, “The corporate existence of the country has been tested twice. It was formally broken once (1967-70) and pronounced broken once (April 1990). It took a horrible civil war to restore the entity when it was broken and an equally brutal attempted coup when it was pronounced.”

Fifty years after the end of the civil war, what lessons have we learnt as a nation? It appears not much. At the end of the war in January 1970, when the remnants of the Biafra high command signed the article of surrender, the victors, the “Federal forces” proclaimed, “No victors, No vanquished.” Unfortunately, 50 years after, it has become evident that the cheque of “No victors, No vanquished” issued in 1970 is not cashable. The debate is still raging whether the war was necessary and if the region that became known as Biafra had a moral right to secede.

Answers vary depending on who is responding. But one thing is certain. That war was preventable if only the government of the day led by Yakubu Gowon was intent on presiding over a country built on justice and equity. Here is Gowon—quoted in The Man Died, the prison notes of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka—not only appeasing the g√©nocidaires but proclaiming a divine right to rule—a right that has become the refrain of the relics of the born-to-rule ideologues: “Fellow Northerners, Today, I want to direct this appeal specifically to you all…You all know that since the end of July, God, in his power, has entrusted the responsibility of this great country of ours, Nigeria, to the hands of another Northerner…Since January this year, when some soldiers put our country into confusion by killing our leaders, both political and military, the country has not recovered fully from that confusion. The sadness caused in people’s minds by the January event has led to troubles by civilians in the North in May, causing loss of lives. I receive complaint daily that up to now, Easterners living in the North are being killed and molested, their property looted. I am very unhappy about this. We would put a stop to these. It appears that it is going beyond reason to the point of recklessness and irresponsibility…” That was Gowon as head of state in October 1966, nine months before the civil war began in July 1967.

Fifty years after, those who still live with the victors’ mentality that because a people were “defeated” in a civil war, they should perpetually stay under have remained in control of the country. Looking back, it appears the vanquished have not paid the full price—whatever that is—for daring to test the supposedly divinely ordained and non-negotiable corporate existence of the country. A little example will suffice. On Sunday, September 29, 2019, I arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport wearing a T-shirt with the inscription, “We Are All Biafrans,” the title of my book first published in May 2016, later updated, and republished in November 2018. I was arrested by officers of the State Security Service (SSS) and detained for more than six hours, first at their office at the airport and later at their headquarters in the Aso Drive area of Abuja. The first question I was asked at the airport was, “You are a Biafran, how come you have a Nigerian passport?” I am not aware there is a sovereign nation called Biafra and I made that known to my interrogators.

That question was not altogether surprising but coming from what is supposed to be the nation’s elite intelligence agency, it struck me that we were in a deeper mess than I had imagined. We can play the ostrich as much as we want, but the truth is that the division that precipitated and characterized the civil war looms large. We will be deluding ourselves to think for once that the civil war is over. Everywhere you turn in Nigeria, the angst, fear and loathing that were the hallmark of the civil war impose themselves. Fifty years after the end of the civil war, we have expanded the scope of the vanquished. Our country is as divided, if not more divided, as it was at the beginning of the war in 1967.

Today, the chickens of impunity and injustice have come home to roost. Yesterday’s men who supervised this tragedy in its infancy are today looking for an easy way out. In 1996, exactly three decades after he became head of state, Yakubu Gowon, with the permission of then murderous dictator, Sani Abacha, set up “Nigeria Prays” “to put an end to the various problems plaguing Nigeria.” I am not averse to prayers, but we cannot pray our way out of the current mess whose origin goes back to more than five decades. In what looked like a bitter homecoming, the other retired general, the billionaire businessman, Theophilus Danjuma, who was front and centre in Ibadan in July 1966 when Nigeria’s second coup took place, was in the ancient city again in December 2019. This time, in a sombre mood, he told a bewildered audience: “If I tell you what I know that is happening in Nigeria today, you will no longer sleep.” This catharsis which ought to be a mea culpa came on the heels of his earlier statement describing the Nigerian Army as an army of occupation. All I can say is, speak, general, speak! Say what you know. The country needs to reconcile its past with the present.

As part of the healing, on Monday, January 13, there will be a “Never Again” conference in Lagos to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the civil war. Organized by Nzuko Umunna, a pan Igbo socio-cultural group comprising Igbo professionals both at home and in the Diaspora and Ndigbo Lagos in collaboration with civil society organizations, the aim of the conference is to address the “seeming lack of political will towards a robust and focused interrogation of the civil war, its causes, and hard lessons.”

The January 13 conference is aptly named “Never Again.” It is going to be a tall order because remembrance entails an appreciation of history, that is, where it exists. Today, there is no official history of the Nigerian Civil War, not even from the “victors.” Last year, I attended the public presentation of the book, Elections in Nigeria: The Long Road to Democracy by Prof Shehu Abdullahi. Shehu. Both retired generals, Olusegun Obasanjo, a civil war commander, and Yakubu Gowon were at the event. Obasanjo joked about how his boss, Gowon, set up a high-powered committee at the end of the civil war in 1970 to write the history of the war. By the time Gowon was overthrown by Murtala Muhammed and his cohorts, which incidentally included Obasanjo, on July 29, 1975, not a single line had been written. The audience erupted in laughter. That is the tragedy of Nigeria!

Nigeria can still redeem itself. It has been 50 years since we proclaimed, “No Victor, No Vanquished.” It is time to truly end the war; and it is not just the war against Biafra, as Soyinka noted, but that against the millions of duped and dispossessed citizens. That is the only way we can avert another war!

*Chido Onumah, is author of We Are All Biafrans, A Participant-Observer’s Interventions in a Country Sleepwalking to Disaster.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Fayemi tasks Ekiti indigenes on tax payment, flags off 4 roads projects - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has tasked citizens on prompt tax payment, even as he flagged off construction of four major roads linking seven local government areas of the State, reports 
ITREALMS.

The roads are Agbado-Ode-Isinbode- Omuo road linking Gbonyin and Ekiti East local government areas; Ilupeju- Ire- Ijan-Igbemo road linking Oye, Gbonyin and Irepodun-Ifelodun local government areas; Oye-Ikun-Otun-Dairy farm road which link Oye, Ilejemeje and Moba council areas, and Aramoko-Erijiyan-Ikogosi road in Ekiti West local government area.

Flagging off the construction works, on Monday, the governor reiterated the commitment of his administration to meeting the aspiration of the people for infrastructure. He also challenged the people on their civic obligations, including tax payment.

Dr Fayemi who was hailed by the people for embarking on the road projects, assured that no part of the State will be left out in terms of infrastructure development.

He said his government has continued to pursue lofty goals in spite of daunting financial challenges.

The governor disclosed that the administration has sourced for funds to execute the capital projects which are captured in the 2020 budget.

"Permit me to reiterate the resolve of this administration to make all parts of the state accessible by good roads as enshrined under the Infrastructure and Industrial Development pillar of the five cardinal points of this administration. In our quest to restore Ekiti values, government has continued to pursue lofty goals even in the face of daunting challenges. We are not allowing paucity of funds to deter us in the execution of our programmes", he said.

While speaking on Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo- Ijan road, the governor expressed optimism that the road reconstruction would address the challenges of moving the finished products of Ire Burnt Bricks as well as movement of the people in the area.

He added that the road will enhance the socio-economic development of the people in the affected towns.

On Oye-Ikun-Otun-Dairy farm road, Dr Fayemi said the rehabilitation work would not only provide job opportunities for engineers, artisans and casual workers among others but would also boost the operations of Ikun Dairy farm which was recently taken over by Promasidor Nigeria Ltd.

He explained that the project was commenced in 2011 with its scope on selected sections but the new scope of work involved "total asphalt overlay from Oye to Ikun, with an extension to Ikun Dairy Farm up to Ekiti State boundary with Kwara State".

" This road will boost the economic activities of this area and enhance agribusiness. You will recall that recently the State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Promasidor Nigeria Ltd on resuscitating Ikun Dairy farm for milk production. This road project, when completed, will boost the operations of the company, facilitate easy access to the farm and marketing of the dairy products. The State's Internally Generated Revenue will be improved , apart from providing jobs for many of our youths", Fayemi said.

The governor noted that the Agbado-Ode-Isinbode -Omuo road which is a shorter route to Abuja from Ekiti State was long abandoned by motorists and became a death trap.

He said the road, on completion, and the extension of the Dangote-handled Obajana-Kabba road to Omuo, commuters would have a new lease of life.

His words: "By the tine it is completed and with the concurrence of the Federal Government to extend the current construction being undertaken by Alhaji Aliko Dangote from Obajana-Kabba and now from Kabba-omuo, Ekiti would enjoy a much shorter and safer journey to the Federal Capital Territory and the northern part of the country".

Dr Fayemi warned the contractors handling the four projects against substandard jobs.

He advised them to ensure "strict adherence to specifications with a view to delivering high quality, durable and serviceable roads within the stipulated time".

The governor also called on citizens and residents of the state to fulfil their civic obligations, especially tax payment, in order to strengthen the government's capacity to meet their expectations.

He said the citizens support would enable government actualise the quest for infrastructure development and make Ekiti state better.

Members of the benefiting communities rolled out the drums to welcome the governor whom they thanked immensely for remembering their long abandoned roads.

The Onire of Ire Ekiti, Oba Victor Bobade said Fayemi's decision to reconstruct Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo-Ijan road was not unrelated to his relationship with the people whose pains the governor also felt.

Oba Bobade said the road project would enhance the development of his domain, Ire Ekiti as well as tackle the challenge of transporting goods from Ire Burnt Brick factory which ad revived by Fayemi in his first tenure.

Another traditional ruler, Olomuo of Omuo Ekiti, Oba Noah Omonigbehin thanked Fayemi for spreading development to other parts of the State; adding that the reconstruction of Agbado-Ode-Isinbode- Omuo road will reconnect Omuo, Isinbode and Ode people who have been cut off from one another by the very deplorable road. Each of the contractors handling the roads was given 12 months to complete the project.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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FIDIC, AfDB enter five-year deal ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) has secured a major agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB.org) that will see the international funding organisation include the use of seven FIDIC standard contracts for the next five years, reports ITREALMS.

Under the terms of the agreement, FIDIC has granted the Bank a non-exclusive licence to refer to the seven major FIDIC contracts (see list in notes below) for projects they finance and the documents may be used as part of the Bank’s standard bidding documents. The contracts include the latest 2017 Second Edition FIDIC contracts and 1999 editions, which cover a wide range of international construction and infrastructure work.

The move by the African Development Bank is another significant endorsement for FIDIC contracts from a multilateral development bank, following similar agreements signed with the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in recent months.

FIDIC chief executive Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin said: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with the African Development Bank, an organisation doing fantastic work fighting poverty and improving living conditions for people in Africa. The signing of this agreement means that FIDIC has now entered into similar licencing agreements with almost all of the major global funding organisations. By adopting the FIDIC contracts on major projects, the AfDB is demonstrating that they endorse the fair and balanced approach that these documents offer to parties on major construction contracts and we believe that this will create more certainty in the market as banks, lenders, investors and clients adopt them.

“The Bank’s endorsement should also provide additional comfort to the financial, institutional and private equity investors operating in the global market to adopt the use of FIDIC standard procurement contracts as an effective tool to mitigate the risks associated with investable infrastructure asset class.”

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Frank Mvula the Bank’s Director of Fiduciary Services & Inspection, said: “We are glad to have concluded an agreement with FIDIC that would enable us to incorporate FIDIC contracts in some of our standard bidding documents. There is no doubt that the use of FIDIC contracts is a step towards enhancing equity and fairness as well as efficient and effective contract management as emphasized under the Bank’s new Procurement Framework.”

FIDIC President Bill Howard said: “I’m delighted that FIDIC has concluded this agreement with the African Development Bank. It’s a key aim of ours to strengthen FIDIC’s relationships with the multilateral development banks and other international funding institutions as improved communication and cooperation will bring benefits to the whole industry. Agreements like these can only be good for FIDIC, the global infrastructure sector and the banks and I look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with the Bank over the coming years.”

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor


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Monday, January 13, 2020

DEMS Volunteers applauds JAMB on NIN suspension; seeks FG's attention to NIMC - ITREALMS

ITREALMS
The Digital Economy Media Support Volunteers, DEMS Volunteers, has applauded the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, for suspending the use of National Identification Number, NIN, as a requirement, for registration, in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, reports ITREALMS.

The Group said that, JAMB’s decision, has saved innocent students from stress and falling prey, to unforeseen NIN registration racketeers, who may have perfected plans to defraud the candidates, due to the urgency of the situation.

The Director General of DEMS Volunteers, Prince Stan Okenwa, said that, it is, also, commendable that, JAMB has not ruled out the mandatory use of NIN, for 2021 UMTE registration, stressing that, such tactical intervention is, a win-win situation for JAMB, NIMC, (National Identity Management Commission) and the parents/students.  

The Body, however, expressed fears that, NIMC may not be receiving adequate attention, from the Federal Government to address the technical, human resource and other issues the Commission is currently battling with.


“It is still fresh in our minds, the statement accredited to the Director-General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, who, reportedly, said that, the nation’s identity management will not succeed, unless there is, strong political commitment, on the part of government, backed by adequate funding.

“Engr. Aliyu Aziz’s comment, on Monday, December 9, 2019, at the 6th General Assembly of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council, (NTRC), held at the Arewa House, Kaduna, speaks volumes, as regards the state of things at the Commission.

He was quoted as saying that, “like any government reform, political will and strong leadership, are required to implement the national identity project.”

“Therefore, it is a no brainer that, NIMC was not going to meet up the JAMB requirement.

“Our fears, were confirmed again, on Saturday, when the DG said that, they registered only about 2million supposed JAMB candidates, out of an expected 10million.

“Thus, with 1,000 registration centres, out of a supposed, (standard), 4,000 centres, the whole thing, was a trial and error process. This must be addressed, as the nation requires adequate national data and identity management, to meet up with the digital economy agenda.

While reiterating DEMS Volunteers’ readiness, to partner with NIMC to highlight the progress made in NIN registration and the challenges faced by the Commission, Prince Okenwa, further urged the Federal Government, to ensure that, NIMC increases the number of registration centres up to 10,000, by 2021, replace damaged data collection systems, or, repair faulty ones, for smooth registration process.

“The secret of digital economy and development planning is a credible national biometric database. This is one of the reasons that FG should increase the capacity of NIMC”, DEMS Volunteers said.

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@30th: Home Science to ring bell at Stock Exchange - ITREALMS

In marking its 30th anniversary, the Home Science Association Secondary School, Ajegunle-Alakuko, Lagos will be ringing the bell at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

The ringing of the opening bell, ITREALMS gathered, refers to the moment a securities exchange opens for its normal daily trading session.

For HSASS, the bell will be rung on January 28, 2019 by the President of the school, Mrs. Anna A. Amodu.
The programme of event for the 30th anniversary made a available to ITREALMS by the Vice Principal of the school and Chairman of the Organising Committee, Mrs. B. F Adepoju, showed that the celebration would commence on January 27, 2020 with a medical outreach and road walk.

Also on the same day, a friendly match will take place between HSASS and Christ the King College, Gbagada, Lagos.
On January 28, apart from the visit to the NSE, there will also be inter schools debate and Variety Day.

While on January 29, she said, the school will have a Thanksgiving Service, anniversary speech and luncheon.

Since it was established and started taking part in the examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council, its students have recorded 100 per cent success, available data showed.

ITREALMS further gathered that Mr. John Kenny Olokose is the current Principal of the school and has brought several innovations to the running of the school, including a Career Day talk.

Last year, the Editor of The Nation, Niyi Adesina; and prominent presenter, Doyin Kukoyi, were among those who tutored the students on how to chart their career path.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Renewable energy impact Tom double by 2030 - ITREALMS

ITREALMS: 

The share of renewables in global power should more than double by 2030 to advance the global energy transformation, achieve sustainable development goals and a pathway to climate safety, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable electricity should supply 57 per cent of global power by the end of the decade, up from 26 per cent today.

A new booklet 10 Years: Progress to Action, published for the 10th annual Assembly of IRENA, charts recent global advances and outlines the measures still needed to scale up renewables. The Agency’s data shows that annual renewable energy investment needs to double from around USD 330 billion today, to close to USD 750 billion to deploy renewable energy at the speed required. Much of the needed investment can be met by redirecting planned fossil fuel investment. Close to USD 10 trillion of non-renewables related energy investments are planned to 2030, risking stranded assets and increasing the likelihood of exceeding the world’s 1.5 degree carbon budget this decade.

“We have entered the decade of renewable energy action, a period in which the energy system will transform at unparalleled speed,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “To ensure this happens, we must urgently address the need for stronger enabling policies and a significant increase in investment over the next 10 years. Renewables hold the key to sustainable development and should be central to energy and economic planning all over the world.”

“Renewable energy solutions are affordable, readily available and deployable at scale,” continued Mr. La Camera. “To advance a low-carbon future, IRENA will further promote knowledge exchange, strengthen partnerships and work with all stakeholders, from private sector leaders to policy makers, to catalyse action on the ground. We know it is possible,” he concluded, “but we must all move faster.”

Additional investments bring significant external cost savings, including minimising significant losses caused by climate change as a result of inaction. Savings could amount to between USD 1.6 trillion and USD 3.7 trillion annually by 2030, three to seven times higher than investment costs for the energy transformation.

Falling technology costs continue to strengthen the case for renewable energy. IRENA points out that solar PV costs have fallen by almost 90 per cent over the last 10 years and onshore wind turbine prices have fallen by up half in that period. By the end of this decade, solar PV and wind costs may consistently outcompete traditional energy. The two technologies could cover over a third of global power needs.

Renewables can become a vital tool in closing the energy access gap, a key sustainable development goal. Off-grid renewables have emerged as a key solution to expand energy access and now deliver access to around 150 million people. IRENA data shows that 60 per cent of new electricity access can be met by renewables in the next decade with stand-alone and mini-grid systems providing the means for almost half of new access.


The booklet "10 Years: Progress to Action" can be downloaded here.









Isaac Oyimah/NaijaAgroNet/Editor

Njalo.ng to restore confidence on easy sell, easy buy - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:

Free classifieds platform, Njalo.ng has emphasized safety and convenience to sellers and buyers, thus simplifing the process to encourage more Nigerians to embrace online marketplace, reports ITREALMS.
According to the Co-founder/Chief Technology Officer of Njalo.ng, Mr. Emeka Orjiani, the reasons are not farfetched.

He said Njalo is on the mission to restore the confidence of Nigerians, and indeed African to ecommerce through hassle-free, secured and convenient process.

Explain how to sell or buy on Njalo.ng, Orijani said:

Posting ads on Njalo.ng is easy and fast, just take the following steps to proceed:

Step 1.

Click on Njalo.ng ads for FREE NOW

Step 2:

Complete all the information about your item such as title, category, region, description, price and add photos (at least three photos needed for cars and phones).

Step 3:

Double-check the phone number and other information

Step 4:

After filling out the required fields, click on “Post” button.

Once you post your ad, you will be immediately redirected to our registration page.

Step5:

Your advert will be published shortly once Njalo.ng moderators have approved it

Step6: Once your advert is live, you will receive a notification.

“Be ready to receive incoming calls from your potential buyers”, he said.

Speaking further on market acceptability of Njalo.ng, the CTO said, “It has been awesome. In fact, the response has been overwhelming in the sense that we just wanted to start on a low-key note but the sellers and buyers are coming in thousands”.

“This further confirms that Nigerians are ready to embrace classifieds that ‘care’ about them, their needs and respond to their queries instantaneously. It takes a click to get us chatting with you. So, try Najlo.ng today”, he concluded.

The platform that went live on Monday January 06, 2020, made a promise to empower millions of individuals and businesses in Nigerians with free access to sell anything ranging from smartphones, cars, laptops, clothes, shoes, bags, property, furniture, books/literature, kiddies’ wears, job placement/vacancies, amongst others.

Nonye Dom/Editor

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Omo Jesu II investiture: Cleric tasks Nigerians to fear God - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:

Nigerians have been tasked to imbibe the 'fruits of the Spirit' and fear God as laid down by Jesus Christ “so that insecurity, joblessness, economic crisis, political and social upheaval can become a thing of the past in the country”.

Giving the admonition in Ondo, Ondo State last weekend was the founder of New World Church of Peace, Primate Samuel Akinyosoye.

He spoke at the investiture of the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Motailatu Church of God (MCG), Senior Superintendent Gabriel Akinadewo, as OMO JESU II of the church.

The event was held at the international headquarters of the church.


'Omo Jesu' (Son of Jesus) is the highest title in the church founded by Saint Isaiah Moyinlorun Akinadewo (Omo Jesu) in Ibadan on June 14, 1964.

Isaiah Akinadewo died on December 26, 2014 and was buried two days later.

The investiture was supervised by Akinyosoye, Primate Adeolu Adesegha, Primate Ebenezer Agunbiade, Pastor David Adeoti, Special Apostle Ebenezer Akinboboye, Rev. Apostolic Mother Deborah Fatuwase, Senior Superintendent G.A. Boluwaji and Superintendent Apostle Sorimakin Akinlolu Joseph.

Other elders at the event were Special Apostle Godfrey Dottie, Special Apostle Victor Adelalure, Special Apostle Abayomi Daramola, Senior Apostle Isaac Akinfe, Apostle Adura Omolola, Elder Isaac Adegboyega, Elder Emmanuel Akinselure, Elder Yekini Hamzat and a popular Ondo lawyer, Rev. Yomi Oshodi who supervised the signing and presentation of Certificate of Investiture.

Officers of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and Motailatu Organisation Worldwide also witnessed the epoch-making spiritual event.

To add colour to the installation were officers of the church from the Akinadewo Family led by the Secretary to the Board of the church, Senior Superintendent James Akinadewo,

Superintendent General Apostolic Mother Serah Akinadewo, Apostolic Mother Cecilia Adesusi, Superintendent Hezekiah Akinadewo, Superintendent David Akinadewo, Superintendent Babajide Akinadewo, Senior Apostle Bodunrin Akinadewo and Senior Apostle Micaiah Akinadewo.

Members of the royal family from Ondo were led by Olori Abiodun Adekolurejo, wife of the late Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Robert Itiade Adekolurejo.

The new multi-million naira Cathedral of the church was also dedicated during the event.

Akinyosoye, who thanked God for the life of the founder for imbibing the fruits of the spirit in his children, said: “We can all see today how the founder, who is my spiritual elder, trained his children in the way of the Lord. All of them have continued where their father stopped. This event is instructive because today is the fifth year anniversary of the burial of their father and the eldest son is being installed as Omo Jesu II.

“There is crisis in Nigeria today because people are not ready to imbibe the spirit of God. When you have fruits of the spirit in you, spiritually and physically, your life will radiate love, peace, goodness, meekness and happiness.

“Pitiably, Nigerians don't love themselves again. Even some men of God now behave worse than the devil. That is why you read stories of some aggrieved people attacking and burning churches. You also read the story of a so-called man of God using a fellow human being for ritual. Christ did not teach us these vices. I urge Nigerians to show love to their fellow human beings. Whether you are from the North, South, East or West, we are all Nigerians, created by God.

“And our God is a God of vengeance. If you treat your fellow Nigerians with evil, evil will follow you.

Addressing children of the founder, amid clapping and shouts of Halleluyah, Iye, Hossanah, Akinyosoye said: “I thank God for witnessing today's event. Your father (Isaiah Akinadewo) worked for God and humanity. We can all see the reward today. You must continue with this legacy”.

With singing by choristers and dancing by the congregation, the investiture was conducted according to divine guidelines as instructed by the founder.

Members of the Army of Salvation led the procession with elders reading verses in the Bible.

Akinadewo, while receiving the certificate and staff of office, urged the laity, parishioners and elders of the church not to forget the advice of the Biblical Prophet Isaiah who said “if you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land”.

He also urged Nigerians to “retain God in your knowledge for peace to reign in the land”.

Describing 2020 as a year of Restoration, he declared that God will show mercy “to those with strong passion for the word of God”.

Akinadewo also conducted the yearly 'Calendar Prayer' of the church.

Pix: Akinadewo receiving the certificate from Oshodi

Pix 2: 2020 Calendar prayer.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Buhari receives CPN, reaffirms technology efficacy in public sector - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:

The Nigerian President, General Muhammadu Buhari (retired) has received in audience the leadership of the Computer Professionals (Registration Council) of Nigeria (CPN) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) declaring that ‘‘technology in public service delivery is no longer a luxury, but a pressing necessity," reports ITREALMS.

Speaking Thursday in Abuja while receiving CPN led by its president and chairman-in-council, Prof. Charles Uwadia, President Buhari noted that Information Technology (IT) has become a driving force for social and economic change, nowadays, stressing that his administration through actions, has shown commitment towards changing the narratives positively.

“The future belongs to IT. What was unimaginable 20 years ago is a reality today. Accordingly, we have introduced numerous policies and have made substantial investments to ensure the benefits of this technology-driven age is felt by 200 million Nigerians.

“Indeed, our strategy for inclusive economic growth can only be achieved by leveraging the technology tools available to us,’’ he said.

President Buhari used the occasion of the courtesy visit by representatives of the computing and IT professionals in Nigeria to enumerate some benefits of using technological tools to implement government policies.

“Already, we have seen the benefits of using technological tools for lending to farmers as well as monitoring crop performance especially in some of the more remote locations.

“We also leveraged technology to fight corruption and reduce leakages and inefficiencies in public service delivery. You are all aware of the significant investments we made to upgrade our policy and military platforms as we battle pockets of insecurity in parts of the country.

“Furthermore, our social investment programs are built on technological platforms that allow us to positively impact the lives of some of poorest members of our society,’’ he said.

The President, therefore, requested the computer body to continue to partner with Government at all levels to ensure the benefits of this tool are realised and at the same time its threats are eliminated.

Prof. Uwadia in his remarks applauded the President for demonstrating the political will to accelerate national IT development with his physical presence at the e-Nigeria conference and awards, on four consecutive occasions, over the years.

On behalf of IT professionals in the country, Uwadia expressed gratitude to President Buhari for appointing two seasoned professionals, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami and Kashifu Abdullahi as Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), respectively.

“Your Excellency, we, the IT professionals, commend you for the immense and giant strides that your administration has made and is still making in nation-building. Within the space of the past four years, you have achieved a lot, using the instrumentality of ICT,’’ he said.

CPN president also outlined some of the outstanding achievements of the current administration in the sector to include the issuance of "Executive Order (EO1) on the promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment, Executive Order (EO3) on Support for Local Content in Public Procurement by the Federal Government and Executive Order (EO5) on Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Local Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology.

Others are unveiling of the National Digital Economy Policy at the 2019 e-Nigeria conference, exhibition and awards; implementation and enforcement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) which saved the Federal Government of Nigeria billions of naira by eliminating thousands of ghost workers.

Further, the Buhari administration was commended for the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and increasing government revenue by over N3 trillion as well as entrenching transparency and accountability, among others."

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor 

Canon unveils remote enabled Robotic Camera System CR-S700R - ITREALMS

The Canon Europe has released its remote control system for still image shooting on its latest in stock, Robotic Camera system CR-S700R, reports ITREALMS.

Sports photography and news media use remote photography extensively to capture still images from various viewpoints or angles that cannot be achieved with conventional photography methods. The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R is a release driven by the needs of professional photographers to operate cameras remotely to shoot still images for the media and is part of Canon’s commitment to deliver convenient solutions.

Remote control solution for EOS camera operation

The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R revolves around a remote pan head that can be used to remotely control and shoot still images using a compatible EOS camera[1]. This system includes a small and lightweight gateway box, the IP camera controller CR-G100. The Camera Remote Application CR-A100 (sold separately) enables users to control multiple cameras from a PC, display live view images, and remotely trigger a camera or simultaneously shoot with multiple cameras.

Main features and components

The remote pan head uses a centre type rotational axis that makes the optical axis of the camera perpendicular to the rotational axis of the remote pan head, enabling smooth remote operations such as zooming, panning, tilting, and rolling. Ideally suited to follow subjects that move at high speed during sporting events, the remote pan head benefits from a compact design with a turning radius of approximately 260mm and can be used upright or underslung.

The IP camera controller CR-G100 is a gateway device to connect the camera and the remote pan head. It easily connects to a PC for remote operation using only a wired LAN (Ethernet) cable. The extremely compact and lightweight design has been developed specifically for still image shooting. Various terminals (digital terminal, Ethernet terminal, remote control terminal, etc.) necessary for connecting to cameras, pan heads, etc. are grouped together to simplify previously complicated and bulky wired connection.

The Camera Remote Application CR-A100 software (also available separately) controls the Robotic Camera System CR-S700R and cameras via a PC. It displays live view images from multiple cameras using the IP camera controller CR-G100 and can control a single camera or simultaneous shoot using multiple specified cameras, streamlining the workflow of still image shooting at the news site.

Robotic Camera System CR-S700R availability

The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R and the Camera Remote Application CR-A100 will be available from mid-February 2020

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