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LAP congratulates Anambra law makers on inauguration - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The League of Anambra Professionals ( LAP) has congratulated newly elected Anambra senators, house of representative and sta...

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

LAP congratulates Anambra law makers on inauguration - ITREALMS

The League of Anambra Professionals ( LAP) has congratulated newly elected Anambra senators, house of representative and state house assembly members on their inauguration, assuring them of her support and cooperation in the collective efforts to make Anambra a modern and safe society, reports ITREALMS.

LAP President, Mr Chijioke Okoli SAN in a press statement made available to ITREALMS in Lagos, lauded the peaceful atmosphere under which they were elected and urged them to see their emergence and inauguration as opportunities to serve the people.

"We are delighted that you emerged under peaceful atmospheres in your various constituencies, a situation we note with great pride, as a sign that democracy is increasingly taking firm root in our state.


"It is therefore important that you do all within your legislative powers to improve the quality of life in our state. 

"Now that party politics is in abeyance, let us all join hands to develop the Anambra agenda and pursue same vigorously," he said.

Also, LAP drummed the support of the law makers for the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, stressing the need for cooperation especially from the Abuja law makers in order to sustain the development strides of the state.

While wishing them a fruitful tenure the statement indicated that LAP is prepared and willing to collaborate with the law makers on two of its flagship projects for the year-the Legal Aid Project and the One Anambra, One Agenda Summit.

ITREALMS recalls that the League of Anambra Professionals is a worldwide nonprofit platform for Anambra indigenes to contribute to making Anambra a modern and safe society. 

It has since inception, undertaken many activities that are helping to deepen democracy in the state.

*Editor

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Dangote Group deploys Freshworks to unify IT services - ITREALMS

The Dangote Group deploys Freshworks to unify information technology (IT) service management across its 19 subsidiaries, reports ITREALMS.

The Dangote Group, the largest indigenous industrial conglomerate in Sub Saharan Africa said the deployment of Freshservice by Freshworks, a cloud-based service desk software would help modernize the IT teams along with other business functions.

Integration of Freshservice offers a host of ITIL-aligned features, workflow automation, and powerful analytics, all accessible through a clean and intuitive interface.

The Dangote Group is the leading provider of essential needs in food and shelter in Sub-Saharan Africa with sustained market leadership in cement manufacturing, sugar milling, sugar refining, flour milling, operation of cement terminals, port operations, packaging material production, and salt refining.

The integration with Freshservice allows over 150 IT support agents, to streamline workflow management for over 10,000 + employees across its 19 subsidiaries, enabling them to seamlessly work across geographies. The integration is supported by AI-powered self-service, an employee-facing mobile app, that resolves IT issues swiftly with immediate ticketing of incidents and requests whenever and wherever they occur.

Freshservice supports Dangote group’s IT teams in the following ways: Improved operational efficiencies and effectiveness as well as streamline compliance.

Increased insights into how service management team are working, map their productivity and effectiveness - letting IT support managers identify areas to focus to improve employee on-boarding and service resolution.

Added contextual support- IT service agents can start a remote session to troubleshoot an end-user or customer problem from within Freshservice, where the agent has context about the issue across group companies.

Previously, The Dangote Group’s traditional ITSM setup relied heavily on disparate technologies and processes. After implementing Freshservice, immediate gains were achieved:
Average response time reduced from 7.5 minutes in 2017 to 5.4 minutes in 2018 — a 38 per cent improvement in the average response time 32.4 per cent increase in known tickets requests from 2018 from 2017​ Percentage of tickets resolved on first contact nearly doubled, increasing from 9 per cent of total tickets logged in 2017 to 16 per cent in 2018

Prasanna K Burri, Group CIO, The Dangote Group, said, “Rather than simply finding replacement system to our on-premise solution, we wanted to transform the way our IT teams work, with Freshservice we knew we had an opportunity to undergo a complete transformation of our IT service management, to add more value to our business by improving productivity at all levels”

“With the changing business needs of diversified conglomerates, there is an urgent need for agile software that can effectively manage complex business requirements at scale. With Freshservice, we are able to bring operational efficiency and service reliability to transform the way teams work across 19 subsidiaries of The Dangote Group” said Saurabh Prabhuzantye, Head of Business for Middle East and Africa, Freshworks.

*Editor

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Winners emerge in Zenith Bank sponsored 2019 Microsoft Office specialist championship - ITREALMS

The 2019 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship, sponsored by Zenith Bank, has produced six national winners who will be representing Nigeria at the World Championship taking place in New York, USA from July 28 – 31, 2019, reports ITREALMS.

The national winners of the 2019 Microsoft Office Specialist Nigeria Competition are:

· PowerPoint 2013 - Ayomide Abiodun, Aduvie International School, Abuja, FCT- Score 1,000/1,000 (Time Taken 9min 29sec).

· Word 2016 - Mbah Arinzechukwu Nnamdi, Faith Academy, Ota, Ogun State – Score 1,000/1,000 (Time Taken 12min 7sec).

· Excel 2013 - Pwahatado Vawe, Aduvie International School, Abuja, FCT – Score 1,000/1,000 (Time Taken 15min 14sec).

· Excel 2016 - Iyke-Osuji Victor Chibuzor, Faith Academy, Ota, Ogun State – Score 1,000/1,000 (Time Taken 16min 35sec).

· Word 2013 - Laah Asat Shawn, Regent Secondary School, Abuja, FCT – Score 1,000/1,000 (Time Taken 22min 16sec).

· PowerPoint 2016 - Udonsak Ubongabasi John, Faith Academy, Ota, Ogun State – Score 979/1,000 (Time Taken 16min 2 sec).

The students will be accompanied by the following two ICT teachers:

· Mr Timothy Osaigbovo, ICT Teacher, Aduvie International School, Abuja, FCT - the ICT teacher of the student with highest score in the 2019 MOS Nigeria Competition.

· Mrs Victoria Adebayo, ICT Teacher, Faith Academy, Ota, Ogun State - the ICT teacher of the school with the largest number of certified students in the Junior Competition – “2019 ReadManna Under13 Computing Fundamentals National Competition (Ages 8 -13)”.

Zenith Bank Plc, one of the biggest banks in the country by tier-1 capital and the most profitable bank in the country, has partnered with ReadManna, organizers of the competition in Nigeria, since 2007 and sponsored Nigerian winners’ participation in the World championship.

The championship is organized annually in Nigeria by ReadManna Empowerment Initiative, a not for profit company led by Mrs Edna Augusto and focused on empowering students and youth in Nigeria with practical and relevant basic computer skills aligned to global standards. ReadManna is authorised by Certiport Inc, a Pearson VUE company, the initiator of Certiport Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship for Students to conduct this international annual championship in Nigeria.

The MOS World Championship challenges students to demonstrate their proficiency in the use of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel - Versions 2013 and 2016, and is open to all students aged between 13 and 22 years that are enrolled in an academic institution.

This year’s competition, which was held over a period of 7 months between 1 October, 2018 and 30 April, 2019 received about 1200 entries from 21 Secondary Schools in Lagos, Abia, Kaduna, Ogun, Rivers, Kwara States and the FCT.

ReadManna boasts a remarkable record in the World Championship since it began to present teams to represent Nigeria in 2014, having produced world winners in various categories in the past. Olubunmi Agusto, Day Waterman College, Abeokuta, Ogun State, 2nd Place in Word 2007 and First African Champion (2014); Atafo Abure, Childville School, Ogudu, Lagos State, 10th Place in Excel 2010 (2015); Katherine Eta, Childville School, Ogudu, Lagos State, 10th Place in PowerPoint 2013 (2016) and Katherine Eta, Childville School, Ogudu, Lagos State, 3rd Place in Word 2016 (2017) have all done Nigerian proud at the global stage.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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9mobile gives more with one-year data bonus on smartphones - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
Customer-friendly telecommunication network, 9mobile, has extended its brand footprint of giving more with the launch of a new mobile device offer where customers can enjoy one-year data bonus on select smartphones including but not limited to Tecno, Infinix, Itel, Nokia 3.1Plus and Nokia 4.2 devices, reports ITREALMS.

According to Vice President, Marketing, 9mobile, Adebisi Idowu, this offer is available to new and existing subscribers and gives them the opportunity to enjoy up to 4GB one-off data upon activation, plus a one-year data bonus (up to 100%) upon purchase of monthly data plans from 9mobile.

He further disclosed that it is the only mobile device offer of its kind in the Nigerian telecom market which affords customers the opportunity to enjoy data bonus for a whole year.

Idowu said: “The new mobile device offer reinforces our unwavering commitment to give more value and benefits to our customers at all times. At 9mobile, we put our customers first and we are always passionately seeking innovative ways to ensure they get more value for their money because we are a caring network.”

Explaining the unique benefits of the offer, Idowu revealed that customers who purchase Tecno, Itel and Infinix mobile devices will get up to 2GB one-off data bonus, 100% data bonus for the first six months, and 50% data bonus for another six months upon purchase of 500MB monthly data plans or higher after offer activation.

He added that customers who purchase Nokia 3.1 Plus and Nokia 4.2 mobile devices will get 4GB one-off data bonus, 100% data bonus for the first six months, and 50% data bonus for another six months upon purchase of 1GB monthly data plans or higher after offer activation.

While stating that the offer is indeed another innovative offering to further extend the positive customer experience both at point of sale and after-sales, 9mobile will continue with its fulfillment of promise to delight customers and give them more value for money.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

ICANN, NASSCOM collaborate on Internet Innovation Research - ITREALMS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) today announced a joint collaboration on research and engagement activities that will foster innovation in Internet identifier technologies, reports ITREALMS. 

ICANN and NASSCOM’s Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (NASSCOM COE-IOT) have established a partnership center, known as the Internet Identifier Innovation Center, which will drive collaborative activities as laid out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by both parties in June 2018.

“We are excited about this collaboration, as NASSCOM COE-IOT has an extensive network within the industry and academia. This is ICANN’s first partnership center focused on technical research, and we anticipate that it will contribute to ICANN’s technical remit in ensuring the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems,” said David Conrad, ICANN Chief Technology Officer.

“This collaboration provides a structure for us to jointly identify research projects, particularly in new technologies related to the Internet’s system of unique identifiers,” Conrad continued. “The teams began research on the Domain Name System (DNS) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT) last year. This first research project focuses on testing the use of the DNS to update IoT firmware, studying how the proposed technology could scale outside a lab environment. This work is nearing completion and will contribute to a proposal in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) documenting the mechanism.”

The project team is comprised of ICANN technical experts, NASSCOM’s COE-IOT team, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad team, and participants from India’s Education and Research Network (ERNET).

Besides being a major information technology and telecommunications powerhouse, India has a fast-growing Internet ecosystem, with close to 560 million Internet users[1] today and exponential growth expected. India also leads the world in IPv6 adoption, with 56.8 percent of all connections being made over IPv6[2]. This environment provides a robust ecosystem to test new technologies.

Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM said, “This is the first collaboration of its kind, and with our combined resources we hope to witness significant innovation and development in the DNS and Internet space to support billions of IoT devices in the coming years. As a country, India can further strengthen its potential as an innovation hub through more investments in research and strategic collaborations. It is our global initiatives and relationships that will pave the road ahead and create an ecosystem that nurtures co-creation and innovative systems. We are confident that we will usher in a new wave of innovation and intelligence in the country with this association.”

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Dabiri-Erewa condemns destruction of vehicles @Nigerian embassy in London - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has described the attitude of a 32-year old Nigerian, Jeffrey Apkovweta Ewohime,  who destroyed several properties of the Nigerian embassy in London as despicable and condemnable, reports ITREALMS.

A press statement made available to ITREALMS by her media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said that such an attitude was unpatriotic, and an unconscionable act of indiscipline

Dabiri-Erewa said she received a report that Emohime went to the Nigeria Embasy in London on Monday, wanting to collect his passport which expired since Nov 2017 at about 2 p.m and was told collection of passports closed at 1pm.

He then insisted on collecting his passport, and was told to bring his collection slip which he could not produce.

According to reports from the Embassy, it would of course be wrong to hand over his passport to him, without his collection.

Nenye Dom/Editor
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Stop using children as human bombs in north-east Nigeria says UNICEF - ITREALMS

The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins has condemned in totality the use of children as human bombs in north-eastern part of Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

Speaking in Abuja, he said the use of children as human bombs in any combat or non-combat roles in the conflict in north-east Nigeria is condemnable.

“According to several reports, three children - two girls and a boy (ages unknown) – were used to detonate explosives that killed 30 people and injured 40 others at a community football viewing centre in Konduga, Borno today. UNICEF sends its condolences to all those who have been killed or injured in this horrific incident.

“It is unacceptable that children should be used in this way.

“UNICEF appeals to all those involved in this terrible conflict to protect children at all times and to keep them out of harm’s way.

“This incident brings the number of children who have been reported as having been used as human bombs to five, since January 2019. In 2018, 48 children - including 38 girls - were used in suicide attacks.

“We again call on all parties to the conflict in north-east Nigeria to immediately cease all attacks against civilians, to stop using children in this conflict, and to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.”
ITREALMS gathered that since 2012, non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children. 

In addition, some of the girls became pregnant in captivity and give birth without any medical care or attention.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Gwandu advises Ethiopia to avoid telecom liberalization pitfalls - ITREALMS

The Non-Executive Chair of the Commonwealth ITU Group (CIG) and the former Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Bashir Gwandu, has advised Ethiopia to learn from Nigeria as it moves ahead to liberalize its telecommunications industry for private sector investment, reports ITREALMS.

Dr. Gwandu stated this while delivering his lead keynote speech at the opening of the Innovation Africa Digital Summit (IAD) 2019 in Addis Ababa last week graced by telecoms executives and governments from Africa and around the world.

Senior executives from Vodacom Group, MTN Group, Etisalat, Safaricom, France Orange, Vodafone, ZTE, Huawei, Ericsson, Cisco, Airbus, Helios Towers, OneWeb, Mastercard, Intelsat, Thuraya, IBM, IFC, and several others attended the summit which also attracted Ministers from Africa, most especially the West and East Africa sub-regions.

The summit was opened by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accompanied by some of his Ministers. It was anchored by Extensia of the UK -co-organiser of the IAD Summit. The period of the conference coincided with the time a proclamation is being tabled before the Ethiopian Parliament for debate and consideration to liberalise the country’s telecom sector.

According to Reuters, Ethiopia’s telecoms market is considered to be ‘the big price’ and the last greenfield site in a push to liberalise, and end a state monopoly as well as open-up one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets.

In his speech at the conference, Dr. Gwandu dissected the telecoms market privatisation and liberalisation processes breaking the issues logically from the point of producing succinct legal frameworks for both the privatisation, and that of the telecoms regulation, right down to the market design and to the choices available to the government when it comes to competition planning up to the spectrum management and eventually service providers regulation.

He stated the need for strong and good regulatory framework, encompassing sensible set of rules that encourages investment and protects the consumer and requiring, effective, professionally competent and sufficiently empowered as well as sufficiently financed regulatory institution.

He emphasize that “Good enable laws are not just sufficient but government support must be total and not half-hearted, coupled with adequate funding that would attract good manpower to the regulator.”

Dr. Gwandu, a former acting executive vice chairman at NCC opined that government role should be restricted to policy formulation whilst a strong, independent regulatory authority should provide stable, transparent, fair, and non-discriminatory access to telecommunications resources in a timely manner.

He said the legal framework apart from guaranteeing independence of the regulator, must enable flexibility of the regulator whist remaining predictable, efficient, effective and accountable. “It should be the role of the regulator to ensure the existence of competition in all segments of the market devoid of market abuse or the exercise of significant market power by the participants” he said.

Gwandu emphasized that, “Liberalization of telecom market is essential for rapid network growth as experienced by other countries and private sector participation is essential for attracting investment. Innovation and new technologies in the telecoms sector is fast moving, it cannot wait for slow government bureaucracy to be approving investment funding and yet compete effectively.”

Bashir Gwandu stated that in looking holistically at the telecoms market, international segment should be examined where the complimentary options of international optical fibre and satellite links can be made available in a competitive manner.

According to him, international gateway liberalization and national backbone planning should ensure ubiquitous availability, open access, and finally on the last mile the spectrum remains key in view of the lack of sufficient last-mile fixed infrastructure.

He further stated that “Mobile is the largest technology platform in human history and mobile broadband is the most dynamic segment of the last mile market. Spectrum is a critical resource for mobile broadband but is only valuable if it is effectively deployed to enable appropriate networks and services for socio-economic benefits to citizens.”

Gwandu emphasised further that as wired infrastructure is limited in Africa except perhaps in South Africa, it is expensive to install. Wireless technology on the other hand is easier and faster to deploy and remains critical to expanding broadband access, and spectrum access is critical for wireless broadband deployment, and capacity.

“Robust wireless broadband requires various bands and appropriate slots size for assignment, the slot size determines how many towers an operator will need to cover the area, or re-use pattern or indeed how soon break-even will happen, how sustainable or profitable the telco will be etc” he said. He cited the mistake made by Nigeria in providing just over three megahertz (MHz) to Code Division Mobile Access (CDMA) operators and expected them to perform.

At the international level, he encourage Ethiopia to participate actively in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and African Telecommunications Union (ATU) activities to enhance regulatory harmonisation, thereby promoting economies of scale and enhancing cooperation on roaming, interoperability, Internet exchange points, and development of backhaul infrastructure.

He posited that Ethiopia should align spectrum release and technology neutrality roadmap to enable flexibility in investment, and in spectrum auction process, he advised the government to set objectives properly and to balance pricing of spectrum with rollout obligations.

“For rapid expansion of networks, Ethiopian government which controls land across the country should streamlined approval for Right of Way (RoW) and site acquisition, and to make the process a simple and one-stop shop activity” he admonished.

He also stated that tax holiday has proven to be useful in some markets but even more importantly, multiplicity of sector specific taxes should be avoided and that the multiplier effect of deferred-taxation will lead to more tax revenue from the sectors that are supported by the telecoms.

Furthermore, Gwandu stated that competition planning should be examined carefully so that resulting companies should remain sustainable –and in selling spectrum, the regulator should ensure appropriate sizes, and also not to sell out all available spectrum at once, which will reduce chances of corrective measures in respect of future competition corrective-intervention.

The Ethiopian government thought it wise to invite telecoms experts from around the world, potential Investors and other market players to partake in the unique forum that examined the best practices that the country can learn from, in its quest to restructure and open its telecoms market for foreign participation.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Pix: From Left: Dr Getahun Mekuriya the Ethiopian Minister of Innovation and Technology, in Handshake with Dr Bashir Gwandu Fmr. Ag.EVC NCC, after the Keynote Address by Gwandu and behind are Mr Adrian Hall the COO of Extensia and Mr Jens Schulte-Bockum Group COO MTN, at the IAD 2019 Summit Sheraton Hotel Addis Ababa.

Nigerian Air War identifies gaps in counter-insurgency operations - ITREALMS

•To be graced by IBB, Agu-Iyi Ironsi 
As stage is set for the launch of a book on Nigeria’s air operations in Sierra Leone, it has identified gaps with recommendations towards the successful prosecution of Nigeria's internal and external security operations, reports ITREALMS.

The book entitled: ‘Nigerian Air War in Sierra Leone from the Cockpit of Aggressor 08’, aims to provide vital lessons for the ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts in Northeast Nigeria.

It will be launched on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at symposium in Abuja on ‘Insurgency in the North East and the Effects of Post-Traumatic Disorders (PTSD) on soldiers, the family and society’ with the theme: ‘Identifying Potent Threats to our Peaceful Coexistence’, organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Green Heroes Foundation with the support of Africa Centre for Strategic Studies (Nigerian Chapter).

The former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), and former Minister of Defence, Amb. Thomas Agu-Iyi Ironsi are among the dignitaries that will grace the launch.

The aim of the book written by a war veteran, Air Commodore Abayomi Balogun (Rtd), is for three key main purposes: military history, lessons for the counter-insurgency and internal security operations, and more importantly, to expose the deadly effects of PTSD on the Nigerian military personnel in particular, their families and society in general.

Speaking on the issue at the weekend, Balogun said the book stands in the foreground as it looks at the conduct of the operation in the North Eastern part of Nigeria today, and how errors and misdemeanours that occurred in the past war campaigns are still erupting today which from the author’s point of view should have been abolished and corrective measures put in place.

According to him, the book was written to serve as a precedent enabling doors of understanding to be flung open to any armed personnel or military commander(s) within the Armed Forces of Nigeria who wish to add to their knowledge of combat if winning is the target when prosecuting any war.

The former Deputy Director of Air Operations, Nigerian Air Force (NAF), said the central idea of the book is summarized in the expectations of who a military leader should be and the attributes he must acquire before and during combat.

He said: “The need for synergy among security Agencies during operations, the need for adequate preparation, planning and proper coordination between elements involved in an operation are keys to success in battles.

“Joint operations or joint warfare is Team Warfare. The synergy that results from the integration and synchronization of Service components capabilities under a single Joint Force Commander (JFC) often maximizes the effectiveness and efficiency of the force.”

“Furthermore, the need for more intelligence gathering and timely dissemination among security operatives would surely ensure speedy conclusion of hostilities. Finally, efforts are required in the areas of welfare packages for deployed troops to sustain their fighting spirits and recognition of good deeds while at the front to sustain morale,” he added.

The second purpose of the book, according to Abayomi, is studying of military history, which provides an avenue for gaining an accurate assessment of conflicts using all available resources.

The Sierra Leone, Liberian and North East war veteran stressed that wars and conflicts may remain same, what changes in time are tactics, leadership, terrain and technological advancements.

While military history could be studied for various reasons, Abayomi said the most essential reasons to a soldier thus: the cause of the conflict, the social and cultural foundation doctrine on both sides, the leadership, logistics technology strategy and tactics.

He added: “To the military professional, the knowledge of military history is a basis for a true understanding of the nature of warfare.

“The knowledge of warfare can be gained through firsthand experience on the battlefield or indirectly through the study of past and contemporary conflicts from which one is not gifted to draw personal experience.”

“The opportunity for direct personal experience of warfare is limited and more or less beyond the control of the military professional. But he need not await a war to gain the experience; rather, he needs to undertake a study of military history which is essential for the successful prosecution of future wars.”

Abayomi in the book, extended his scope further by subtly standing on a berm and looking into the serious aspects like the dent caused by war through PTSD, stating: “As offence and crime walk hand-in-hand so is war and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders”.

To this, he delved into the effects of war and violence on soldiers, their families and the society

Abayomi noted that for centuries, there have been numerous casualties of war; soldiers with various physical injuries of war can be seen but we really know little of the emotional and the silent injuries of war on Soldiers, their families. These phenomena, he noted, is further aggravated by the effects of PTSD.

He said: “A war veteran affected by PTSD will often recall and re-experience the specific trauma of war when they dream, think or close their eyes. Hallucinations are not uncommon to war veterans as most times, they feel as if they were back in the traumatic environment.

“They may also react strongly to anything that reminds them of the trauma and may react violently sometimes.”

“Wars and violence have been proven to be a deeply scarring experience for many soldiers however, nothing can prepare them adequately for warfare as scenes like witnessing the death of colleagues and narrowly escaping death themselves are bound to be permanently imprinted in their memories sometimes forever.”

“How do we handle this latent threat to our peaceful co-existence Nigerians,” he queried.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Monday, June 17, 2019

URGENT! Veteran Journalist, Ben-Bright Mkpuma, needs kidney transplant - ITREALMS

The Ebonyi-born veteran journalist, Mr. Ben-Bright Mkpuma needs urgent kidney transplant, reports ITREALMS.

Mr Mkpuma, ITREALMS gathered, is a well-traveled and successful Nigerian journalist who has worked with so many local and international media organizations including one he set up himself – Watchdog, until he was diagnosed of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). 

He has been bedridden for some 3 years now since he started battling kidney failure and his condition has not improved and the only hope of survival now is to get a kidney transplant. 

ITREALMS also gathered that to stay alive till transplant is possible, hence he is currently undergoing dialysis at least 3 times a week with a nephrologist. 

"The financial burden has been so much for his family because the dialysis costs, at least N90,000 a week and N360,000 monthly, apart from medications that help control the blood pressure," a close family friend disclosed.

According to our source, the doctors have said that if he is not placed on dialysis, Mkpuma will die.

"Of the 17,000 new cases of CKD that are diagnosed yearly, only 2000 can afford dialysis treatment in Nigeria," according to medical experts.

Further, our source said that "To perform a kidney transplant for Mr Mkpuma, his family needs to raise at least 8.5 million. But even before that, there will be medical tests for possible donors, and each test cost about N2 million."

ITREALMS equally gathered that after a successful transplant, his doctors also said that there will be a Post-Transplant stage of recovery and reintegration. This includes drugs and injections for one year that will cost another N6 million. this is the only way he can be fit and live normal again. 

‘’I am asking for help from all Nigerians. My family has done their best but it won’t be enough unless I get more financial support from others. I need their financial help for the transplant and to live well again even after the transplant. God will reward you as you help me,’’ Mkpuma said on his sick bed. 

Prominent among media organisation Mr Mkpuma has worked with includes CNBC, Abuja Times, Financial Standard, Telegraph and AIT.

Kindly help Mr Mpkuma live again. Below is the bank account information for donation.

Account Number: 1003711887
Account Name: Ben Bright Mkpuma
Bank: Zenith Bank.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Pantami to keynote @2019 DigitalSENSE Forum on IG4D, IPv6 - ITREALMS

The Director-General (DG) of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami would on Thursday this week in Lagos give a keynote at the 2019 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) and Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable, reports ITREALMS.

Disclosing this development, the Executive Director, DigitalSENSE Africa Media, Mrs Nkem Nweke, and convener of Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum series, said that at the weekend that the over-arching theme for this year is on “Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) & Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable.”

Dr. Pantami’s participation has been confirmed by his office and would centre on his much expected keynote on “Security & Connecting Nigerians for Enhanced Internet Governance” during the technical sessions on Thursday, June 20, 2019.

She also said that the forum holding at the Welcome Center Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos, under the chairmanship of Executive Chairman, Connect Technologies, Chief Chris Uwaje, who is a former president, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) would equally have the President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) and Chief Executive of Nigeria Internet Exchange Point (IXPN), Mr. Mohammed Rudman in attendance.

Just as the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta would also be featuring at the forum marking the 10th edition of the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance for Development.

Pantami’s keynote, she said, is anticipated to offer some insights on the security readiness of the country with regards to connecting Nigerians for enhanced Internet Governance and on IPv6 networks, especially at this time the United Nations (UN) is emphasising digital cooperation and interdependence in a digital age.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITDA, Pantami, she noted, was appointed as DG of the development agency since 2016 and before then he has worked as an Academic in various capacities.

Pantami, she said, obtained first degree of BTech in Computer Science in 2002/2003 session from the Federal University of Technology Bauchi (popularly known as Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University) and later MSc in Computer Science as well as MBA in Technology Management from the same University.

Additionally, Pantami obtained his PhD in Computer Information Systems and Post Graduate Certificate in Research Methods from the prestigious Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, and United Kingdom. He is a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CSNA) professional, to name a few.

Further, she said, Pantami would be joining the Chief Technology Officer of Medallion Communications, Dr. Krishnan Ranganath, and the Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, Mr. Gbenga Sesan, to respond to a number of industry issues affecting connectivity in the Internet Governance space in Nigeria, including IPv6 efficacy.

She recollects that the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum series on Internet Governance for Development and Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable is organised by the DigitalSENSE Africa (DSA) Media, a certified At-Large Structure (ALS) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and internationally reputed as award-winning Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry analysts and perception managers; professionally affiliated to African Regional At-Large Organisation (AFRALO) for shaping the future of the Internet among others.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Tribune correspondent, Tom Garba, receives death threat in Adamawa - ITREALMS


An Adamawa State based journalist, Tom Garba has raised alarm over his life following a death threat he received in a phone conversation, at the weekend, from a suspected close allay of the Adamawa State Governor, Rt Hon Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, reports ITREALMS.

Garba who has been practicing in Adamawa State in the last nine years, said he has never faced such a threat before.

ITREALMS gathered that Garba reports for the Nigerian Tribune and also runs an online media, TGnews.com.ng.

The audio made available to ITREALMS, Garba said he received the death threat during a phone conversation with one Steven Maduwa who warned him that if he ever writes anything ‘good or bad’ about the Fintiri-led administration that he (Maduwa) would personally deal with him.

Maduwa was quoted in the audio as saying “If you ever write anything about Fintiri, whether good or bad. Record me; I will deal with you personally. I will deal with you physically. I will cut your throat if you write anything about Fintiri whether good or bad.”

According to Garba, “I want the general public to be aware that as certified journalist who has worked in Adamawa State in the last nine years, my life is in danger because of the death threat from Steven Maduwa.”




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Friday, June 14, 2019

Federalism, local government autonomy and the crisis of identity in Nigeria - ITREALMS

Commentary@ITREALMS:
Local government councils, counties, prefectures, cities, boroughs, municipalities, etc., the world over, are regarded as vehicles of grassroots development because of their closeness to the people. It is for this reason that it is often argued that they be granted enough financial strength and space to operate. However, the question of municipal autonomy—the extent of autonomy that they should be granted—remains a key question in public administration and governance the world over.

In some countries that operate a proper federal system, local government councils are granted enough powers by the federating units to establish and maintain their own local courts, fire service and even police. The general practice in federal systems all over the world is that the councils are often granted enough autonomy, especially financial, which enables them to manage their affairs, establish schools, build roads, clean the environment, build and maintain parks, and provide necessary developmental projects. This is in line with the general recognition of the role of local government as engines of grassroots development.

However, local governments in Nigeria have not lived up to their bidding in this regard. Many reasons are accountable for the pathetic state that the councils find themselves.

First is that the Nigerian state operates a quasi-unitary system of government which likes to call itself a federal system. So, like the nation itself, the local government system is mired in the contradictions arising from this national misnomer.

Second is the confusion caused by the constitution which grants “autonomy” to local government councils with one hand and withdraws it with the other. Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution, for example, provides that: “The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the government of every state shall, subject to section 8 of this constitution, ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.”

This is a typical exemple of the contradictions inherent in our quasi unitary constitution masquerading as a federal constitution. Thus we have a legal framework which in one breath establishes the local governments as units of government at the grassroots level and in another, positions them as appendages of the states to administer as they wish. This confusion is further acerbated by the fact that the same constitution recognizes the local government councils as units of revenue allocation from the centre but falls short of guaranteeing their existence as an “independent” tier of government.

Third is the overbearing, paternalistic and sometimes predatory oversight functions of the state governments (emboldened by the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution) which have been at the heart of policy summersaults and crises of identity affecting governance at the grassroots level.

Fourth, perhaps most crucial and central to the entire issue of nation building is the Nigerian psyche. The military coup of 1966 and the subsequent promulgation of a unitary decree by the General Aguyi Ironsi regime which effectively replaced our erstwhile federal system with a unitary system of government and the long period of military rule that followed did a lot of damage to the Nigerian psyche. As Prof Wole Soyinka once noted, you can take the hippopotamus out of the swamp, but you cannot take the swamp out of the hippopotamus. We have been able to chase the military out of government, but we have not been able to take the military out of our minds. The practice, structure and ideas of the military’s command and obey system are still ingrained in our psyche and have tainted our federalism and practice of democracy. Thus, federalism as currently practiced in Nigeria is paternalistic, feudalistic, tokenistic and executed with military fiat.

The local government councils have been worst hit by these systemic contradictions and military style governance because of their unfortunate position as the weakest tier of government. The constitutional provisions effectively put them in a position of orphans. Added to this is the fact that people today are still under the wrong impression that the local government councils lack the human capital to manage their own affairs. Hence, most often, decisions and policies affecting local government administration are made without the input of the critical stakeholders or people with practical experience in local government administration. Rather, what has been the practice is that we have people with a sense of entitlement, without any knowledge of intricacies of local government administration; people who for selfish or political reasons, rather than the public interest, take decisions for local government councils that end up being merely academic because they lack the practicality of implementation.

All these, in addition to our flawed federal structure and constitution, have been the reason for the failure of past reforms aimed at empowering our local government councils.

It is in this light that I view the recent directive by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit with suspicion. Has it come to stay? Can it be legally enforced within the present constitution and the type of federal structure that we practice? Was there a stakeholder engagement with actual practitioners of the system to ascertain the practicality of the directive and possible outcomes and how to tackle them?

For example, all the states of the federation presently operate a unified local government system wherein staff are centrally employed, trained, promoted and generally managed. Ditto for pension administration and payment of primary school teachers’ salaries. All these functions are performed by state agencies funded through the contentious Joint State Local Government Account (JSLGA) whose activities the NFIU directive intends to curtail because of the general notion of it being the avenue through which the state governors misappropriate local government funds. It is yet unclear how these functions and others crucial to local government administration will be handled under the NFIU directive.

I will be the first to agree without any reservation that the local government system as we currently have it is fraught with tremendous contradictions that must be resolved if Nigeria must attain grassroots development. I also agree with the popular view that a major way to do this is to empower the local government councils financially for them to be able to carry out their primary functions, hence the push for financial autonomy. I guess this is what the NFUI directive aims to achieve.

The fact, however, remains that financial autonomy is not all that the local government councils need in our current political structure to succeed. It might not be enough and might backfire if all possible outcomes are not taken into consideration and contingent measures put in place to address them. Therefore, with the benefit of hindsight of repeated reform failures, any solution that is geared towards solving the problems of local government within our present set up must be rooted in rigorous systemic analysis that is not artificial nor contrived in other not to produce defective outcomes.

Federalism, local government autonomy and the crisis of identity in Nigeria

The local government councils need financial autonomy, but what they need most is political autonomy: the freedom to be able to choose freely who to preside over their affairs through a process of free and free elections rather than selection. This is the only way to attract high quality representation at the local government level, those whose loyalty will be to the people.

It is noteworthy that the NFIU directive has been received with popular acclaim by the public. This an indication of the direction which the public wants local government administration to go in order to attain better service delivery, which in their perception—wrongly or rightly—the current system does not allow.

The state governors have always complained of the non-viability of most councils and the huge financial burden they have to bear by augmenting the income of the councils to enable them meet their salary obligations. I have no reason to doubt them. The NFIU directive might just be the opportunity to prove them right and erase the wrong public impression that they misappropriate local government funds.

The apprehensions and expectations that the NFIU directive has generated is expected in a polity and system like ours where contradictions, selfish power play and mutual suspicion are a currency in public administration. But instead of being adversarial, I urge all stakeholders to see it as a clarion call for all to join hands to proffer solutions towards empowering the local government councils for better service delivery.

There is no doubt that the implementation of the NFIU directives will throw up some major problems under our confused legal framework, but as a believer in Marxian dialectics, I have the assurance that whatever contradictions that are thrown up in the course of implementing the directives will be resolved within the general system that threw up the directives in the first place.

Pending when Nigeria decides whether to operate a two tier or a multi-tier federal system of government or to embrace full blown federalism as against the quasi unitary-federalism it currently operates, local government system in Nigeria will continue to suffer a crisis of identity.

*Austin Emaduku is a public affairs analyst based in Ekete, Udu Local Government Area of Delta State. He can be reach through: canoways@yahoo.com

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Cellular IoT modules reach 221m - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Berg Insight has estimated that global cellular of the Internet of Things (IoT) module shipments increased by 16 per cent in 2018 to a new record level of 221 million, reports ITREALMS.

Annual revenues grew faster at 24 percent, reversing the previous trend of decreasing average module prices. The 3GPP standards for LTE – Cat M and NB-IoT – will contribute substantially to growth in the next coming five years.

These new standards are designed to be less complex to limit power consumption and are priced more favourably to address the mass market and make it viable to connect entirely new applications. In the first half of 2019, several vendors announced 5G NR modules that will become available to developers in the second half of the year. Early adopters will include companies active in the PC, networking and OEM automotive segments.

The results of Berg Insight’s latest cellular IoT module vendor market share assessment show that the four largest module vendors have 61 percent of the market in terms of revenues. “Annual module revenues for the four largest market players Sierra Wireless, Sunsea AIoT, Gemalto and Telit increased by 13 percent to US$ 1.85 billion, with the total market value reaching approximately US$ 3.0 billion”, says Fredrik Stalbrand, Senior Analyst at Sweden-based IoT analyst firm Berg Insight. 

Sierra Wireless, for instance, leads IoT module revenues, followed by Sunsea AIoT and Gemalto. Sunsea AIoT leads in shipments and Quectel is number two in terms of volumes and in fifth place in terms of revenues. Fibocom reported the highest growth of 122 percent during the year, reaching US$ 189 million in cellular module sales.

The year marks the first in which a China-based vendor ranks as high as the second largest cellular IoT module vendor by revenue and six of the top ten vendors were from China in 2018. Sunsea AIoT emerged as a new major industry player in 2017 through the acquisitions of Longsung and SIMCom, which had been the market leader by volume for three consecutive years.

While there has been some consolidation among the larger suppliers, the long tail of companies with activities in the cellular IoT module market is growing. A number of new players have been attracted to the market, particularly in the emerging NB-IoT and LTE-M segment. Notable examples include the major Bluetooth LE SoC vendor Nordic Semiconductor and the Japanese electronics company Murata.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Accountability Lab rebrands with Integrity Icon - ITREALMS

The Accountability Lab has renamed is Integrity Idol campaign to Integrity Icon, reports ITREALMS.

Founder and Executive Director of Accountability Lab, Blair Glencorse, affirmed to ITREALMS that the decision was endorsed by the organisation’s global board of directors in May and takes effect today, June 13, 2019. 

Integrity Idol, ITREALMS gathered, is a campaign that the Lab has run since 2014 after launching in Nepal. The grassroots program celebrates public servants of integrity and has since expanded to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Mali, Liberia, Uganda, South Africa and, most recently, Mexico. 

The campaign invites the public to nominate outstanding public servants in various government sectors who demonstrate honesty and integrity under difficult circumstances. It also aims to reframe debates around corruption by ‘naming and faming’ do-gooders, rather than naming and shaming wrongdoers. The Lab then works with the winners to shift norms within institutions, build coalitions for reform and encourage young people to serve with integrity.

As said by 
Glencorse, the profile of the campaign has grown, it has become necessary to differentiate its public image. 

“Integrity Idol has grown tremendously and at this point we want to ensure it has a unique brand that stands out in the minds of people who want better governance everywhere. This rebrand will also allow us to ensure continuity across countries as the campaign grows to new places and with new partners,” Glencorse said.

The Country Director of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Odeh Friday, said the campaign is expected to ramp up significantly this year with a record number of nominations.

“The programme continues to grow and develop to incorporate more meaningful work with government partners and other stakeholders through collaborative effort. This rebrand creates an opportunity for us to refine the look and feel of our efforts as we go through this process, and together create a future where people with power are more accountable,” he said.

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