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9mobile says moreblaze, more data bonus - ITREALMS

ITREALMS :  Customer-friendly telecommunications company 9mobile, has increased value on its daily data subscription packages, declaring...

Thursday, October 17, 2019

9mobile says moreblaze, more data bonus - ITREALMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Yakata 2019: Konga rolls out loans to merchants - ITREALMS

Foremost e-Commerce giants Konga has taken a step further towards making the 2019 edition of its Yakata sales an unforgettable experience for its customers. To this effect, Konga has made available soft loans and credit facilities for merchants on the Konga Marketplace, reports ITREALMS.

Konga Yakata – as Konga’s Black Friday sales are known – is widely regarded as the biggest sales event in Nigeria’s annual shopping calendar. The sales extravaganza occupies a special place in the consciousness of millions of Nigerian shoppers, many of whom look forward with eagerness to its commencement.

By extending soft loans to the merchants on its platform, Konga is hopeful of equipping the merchants with the capacity to grow their business and make more products available to shoppers ahead of the 2019 edition of Konga Yakata.

“Konga Yakata is around the corner and our intention is to make it the best ever in the history of the company for our customers,” disclosed Co-CEO, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh. “For all of us at Konga, nothing comes in the way of ensuring our customers are satisfied. This is why we have taken the uncommon step of providing credit facilities to merchants on the Konga platform in preparation for Konga Yakata 2019.”

“We understand that our customers will be looking forward to the widest assortment of genuine products across multiple categories on Konga. This is why we are committing significant funds into expanding the carrying capacity of our merchants for the sales fiesta.

“No other sales event comes close to Konga Yakata. Therefore, it is only fitting that Management has decided to go all out and make it a memorable one for our teeming customers,” Ekeh enthused.

Indeed, access to loans and credit facilities one of the encumbrances that has constantly hobbled businesses in Nigeria in their attempts to scale. This remains a huge challenge for most small business owners who have limited access to credit facilities and loans with favourable interest rates.

This point is not lost on the management of Konga – Nigeria’s only omni-channel retail platform – which under its new owners, has achieved remarkable growth and expansion, setting it on the path of profitability.

“We have partnered with Simple-Fi to make these loans available at very low and convenient interest rates of 2.08% only. Merchants on the Konga platform can also take advantage of flexible repayment plans,” Ekeh concluded.

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Why FirstBank Fintech Summit 3.0 matters - ITREALMS.

Leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has adduced reasons why it hosted the third edition of annual Fintech summit with the theme: Banking + Tech = Solving Real Problems, reports ITREALMS. 

Adducing these reasons on Wednesday in Lagos, the Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Gbenga Shobo, said, “Our Fintech Summit 3.0 was convened to set the tone for discussions that promote disruptions in the digital space, especially in the financial industry, as we recognise the opportunities for inclusive growth and influence of Fintech not just in banking but also business operations across all industries." 

The 2019 edition of Fintech summit, he said, built on the successes achieved in the last two editions.

“FirstBank in the last few years, has used technology to deliver solutions to promote financial inclusion. With over 33,000 Firstmonie Agents in 36 states doing over N2 trillion worth of transactions. We are reducing poverty with our Agency Banking footprint. 

"Our Firstmobile application has become the foremost mobile banking application in the country with over 3 million users doing over 14 million transactions monthly. It is one of the major gateways for Financial Inclusion where everyone can download the app and open an account at their own convenience! This was not the case a few years ago. 

"Our USSD channel, *894#, is also solving Financial Exclusion problems for those who do not have easy access to internet data. With over 8 million users today, transactions worth over N4 trillion have been consummated using this channel," he pointed out.
The 2019 summit, ITREALMS reports came with a conference and panel sessions made up of tech experts, start- ups, regulators and other stakeholders to deliberate pressing issues, trends and upgrades in the application of technology in the financial services industry, with Victor Asemota, Founder, Swifta Systems & Services as the keynote speaker.

With the evolution that has taken place in the financial services industry in recent times, especially through the advent of technological inclusion in business operations across all industries, this year’s event focused on how technology can aid the solving of large scale societal problems within the context of financial services in Nigeria. The event cuts across multiple panel sessions to deliberate issues and prospects in the business management across the financial technology ecosystem with a view to having participants exposed to the trajectory of current and future opportunities in the Fintech ecosystem.

The panel sessions comprised experts with over two hundred combined years of experience in the Financial and Technological Industry space to deliberate on topical issues in today’s technologically driven business world. Topical issues to be discussed are: Solving Business Problems; Solving Regulatory, Security & Legal Problems and Solving Lifestyle Problems.

Amongst the FirstBank team of speakers and moderators are Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications; Olayinka Shittu, Chief Transformation Officer,

Oluwatoyin Aina, Group Head, Energy Downstream & Int. Oil Trading; and Taiwo Shonekan, Head, Customer Experience & Value Management.

Debo Odunlana, CEO, Doctoora Health; Damilola Emuze, COO/Co-Founder, Scholarx; Edward Popoola, CTO/Co-Founder, Cowrywise and Chinedu Azodoh, Chief Technology Officer, Max.Ng are the panelists in the Solving Lifestyle Problems session.

The Solving Business Problems panel session include Victor Asemota, Founder, Swifta Systems & Services; Lola Ekugo, Head, Digital Innovation Lab, FirstBank; Akindele Phillips, CFO/Co-Founder, Farmcrowdy; Deepankar Rustagi, CEO/Founder, Vconnect & Omnibiz and Dayo Ademola, Head of Innovation, EFInA.

The panelists in the Solving Regulatory, Security & Legal Problems are the Sam Okojere, Director, Payment System Management Dept, CBN; Tosin Faniro-Dada, Head, Startups (Lagos Innovates), LSETF; Odunoluwa Longe, Co-Founder, DIY-Law & The Longe Practice; Bunmi Akinyemiju, CEO, Venture Garden Group and Harrison Nnaji, Chief Information Security Officer, FirstBank.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Pix: Callistus Obetta, Group Executive, Technology & Services, FirstBank; Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, FirstBank; Victor Asemota, Founder, Swifta Systems & Services and Keynote Speaker at the event (FirstBank FinTech Summit 3.0); Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank and Abdullahi Ibrahim, Executive Director, Public Sector FirstBank at the FirstBank FinTech Summit 3.0 held in Lagos Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

OGP and Imo’s Good Governance Voyage-1 - ITREALMS

One of the cheering news in Imo State today is that the administration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha has submitted a Letter of Intent to join the Open Government Partnership, Nigeria. This confirmation came from the Secretariat of OGP Nigeria, Abuja. The implication is that the state has made some commitments in the area of Open Government.

Imo State government sources identified some of the commitments made by the state to include: Access to Information, Anti Corruption, Open Budgeting, Fiscal transparency, Open Contracting and Citizens Engagement.

Enquiry at the OGP National Secretariat revealed that a Letter of Acceptance of Application to Imo State has already been signed by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice and will likely arrive Owerri, the State capital this week.

Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that focuses on improving government transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens through technology and innovations. It was launched in 2011 by eight founding member-countries, following their endorsement of the Open Government Declaration. The eight countries are: Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, The Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America.

Nigeria joined the OGP in July 2016, two months after President Muhammadu Buhari attended the Anti- Corruption Summit organised by the government of the United Kingdom in May, 2016. At the Summit, the Nigerian President reaffirmed his government’s commitment to strengthening anti-corruption reforms and bringing integrity to governance through leadership by example. He announced Nigeria’s commitment to Global Open Government Partnership principles and directed the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to implement the commitments made in London.

ALSO READ: 100 days of Emeka Ihedioha by Chris Uruakpa - ITREALMS

In July, 2016, the Federal Ministry of Justice, under the leadership of Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, organised a Stakeholders session on the OGP to identify members of the Steering Committee and to discuss the implementation framework of the OGP Principles. One of the highlights of the meeting was the self-selection of the Civil Society representatives at the Steering Committee. Subsequent meetings were held, where the Action Plan and other related issues were discussed.

For OGP to be operational in any state, such a state is required to implement commitments made by the state government; endorse a high-level Open Government Declaration; deliver a state action plan developed with public consultation (government and civil society); Commit to independent reporting on their progress and contribute to peer learning.

Now that the administration of Chief Emeka Ihedioha, pursuant to his electoral promise of entrenching good governance has commenced this journey, steps need to be taken to close the gaps identified in the process.

For the first time in eight years, Imo State annual Budget is online- on the state official website. This is part of the proactive disclosure obligations of the state government under the FOI Act. This, no doubt is a step in the right direction.

The giant strides of the Governor Emeka Ihedioha-led administration in the areas of ease of doing business and open contracting cannot also go without mention.

However, there is need for a stakeholders’ session for state and non-state actors on OGP implementation in the state. The need for members of the state steering committee to emerge cannot be overemphasized.

Again, pursuant to the commitments, there is need for efforts to be fast-tracked towards adopting the Freedom of Information Act in the State. The summary of commitments on Access to Information is implementation of the FOI Act in Imo State. Although the FOI Act is applicable in all states of the federation, having an Imo State version will further show the commitment of the present administration in Imo State to transparency principles.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the present administration in Imo State, led by Governor Emeka Ihedioha is committed to entrenching openness and accountability in governance. This indeed, is a new beginning for Imo State.

While we await a Letter from the OGP Nigeria National Secretariat, accepting Imo State’s application, the foundation needs to be laid for a smooth implementation of OGP principles in Imo State.

Steps need to be taken to make Imo citizens own the OGP process, to ensure effective implementation, lest it becomes another elitist initiative.

The time to act is now!

*Dr. Walter Duru, a Communication expert is a member of the National Steering Committee of OGP, Nigeria, where he co-chairs the Access to Information Working Group. He also chairs the Board of the Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria.
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FG insists, ‘we don’t play politics with security, welfare of citizens’ - ITREALMS

The Federal Government (FG) has said, there is no playing of politics with the security and welfare of citizens, reports ITREALMS.

The FG made this remark through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Katsina on Tuesday at a Special Town Hall Meeting on Security (Banditry, Cattle Rustling and Kidnapping).

“Today's Town Hall Meeting is very unique. Since we started in 2016, this is the first time that we are having Governors from the APC and the PDP as panelists.

''This is first a testimony to the fact that this Federal Government does not play politics with the security and welfare of citizens and secondly, a reflection of the patriotism, commitment and nationalism of the Governors, irrespective of their party affiliations,'' he said.

The event had in attendance the PDP Governors of Sokoto and Zamfara, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Alhaji Bello Matawalle respectively, as well as the host Governor Aminu Bello Masari of the APC.

The three Governors joined the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohamed; Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd) and the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as panelists.

Alhaji Mohammed said even though a lot of successes have been recorded in tackling the unique security challenges in the North West, such efforts have not been receiving much publicity in the media.

“Unfortunately, the progress that has been made in combating banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping has not made the kind of headlines that the security challenges were making at their peak. It has therefore become imperative for the Federal Government, working with the affected states, to provide a platform for the Governors of the front-line states to highlight the successes they have achieved in their various states in tackling these cases of insecurity, as well as for relevant Federal Government Ministers to highlight the efforts that have helped to drastically reduce the level of insecurity in the North West,” he said.

The Minister expressed delight that the unrelenting efforts of the Federal Government as well as the determination and innovative efforts of the governments of the affected states have yielded positive results.

He said the Federal Government will continue to use the Town Hall Meetings to regularly give account of its stewardship to the people, in addition to getting a feedback as well as input from them, thus enhancing citizens’ participation in governance.

In his remarks, Maj.-Gen. Magashi (Rtd) said three of the nine special military operations in the country are concentrated in the North West, in order to most effectively tackle the security challenges in the region.

For his part, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Aregbesola, said 6,000 personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps are currently operating in the North West, with six hundred of them deployed as Agro Rangers to tackle farmers-herders clashes.

There was consensus among the participants at the event that there has been a tremendous improvement in the security situation in the North West.

A number of suggestions were made to further enhance security in the region.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Pix: From left: The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Bello Masari; Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Bello Matawalle; Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd) at a Special Town Hall Meeting on Security in Katsina on Tuesday.

Mining Industry; How digital solutions drive cost savings - ITREALMS

Mining operations everywhere are experiencing constant profitability pressures from two directions: continued commodity pricing volatility and global demand variability. Africa-based miners are no exception, reports

These dynamics have caused mining companies to re-evaluate business models and seek smarter, more efficient modes of operation that focus on sustainable cost management practices and improved productivity.

The mining sector isn’t unique in this regard. Many of the world’s leading industries—manufacturing, oil and gas, healthcare, and others—have also recognised this need for change. While the exact improvements vary from industry to industry, the path to transformation is similar: an emphasis on improvements at both the asset and process levels through the application of leading-edge digital technologies across the Industrial Internet value chain.

By harnessing the combined power of machine sensors, edge-to-cloud connectivity, advanced data capture, and powerful analytics, the Industrial Internet can deliver deeper insight into mining operations than ever before.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Education: Parents besiege Oyo public schools over new policy - ITREALMS

The Government of Oyo State has announced that it was pleased to discover that measures taken thus far in the implementation of the free education policy have started yielding fruits.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa made available to newsmen on Monday indicated that the huge number of parents applying to register their wards in the state’s public primary and secondary schools is a clear evidence that the free education policy of the administration is well received by the people.

“We are particularly pleased that a number of parents have been besieging the Oyo State Ministry of Education in the past few weeks to make inquiries on steps to be taken to transfer their wards from private schools to public schools.

“The huge turnout of parents and guardians seeking transfer for their wards to our public schools in view of the free education policy of Governor Makinde’s administration, has, therefore, necessitated the introduction of some administrative measures which are meant to control admission and safeguard illegality in the admission process.

Some costs have, therefore, been introduced to offset administration procedures as approved by the administration.

The cost of obtaining forms for transfer of pupils/students to Oyo State public schools are stated as follows:

i. Inter-state; from major cities across the country including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt-N15,000 (Fifteen thousand Naira);

ii. Other states of the federation-N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira);

iii. Those seeking transfer from within Oyo State-N7,500.00 (seven thousand five hundred Naira;

iv. Transfer from outside Nigeria-N20,000.00 (Twenty thousand Naira).

The statement further read: “As we have started before now, the policy of the state government is to promote free education in line with its desire to uplift the standards and enhance excellence in educational pursuits.

“In line with the current administration’s four-point service agenda, Education, Health, Security and Economic expansion via agriculture value chain have been so designated as the major pillars. The administration hereby assures the people of its commitment to implement the agenda for the good of all in Oyo State.

“Let us also place on record that the decision to implement the charges listed above is not aimed at constraining the people, but to ensure standardization in the process of transferring pupils and students from private to public schools.”

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Oyo leverages dry port, partners NAFDAC to rid state of illicit drugs – ITREALMS

The Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde has said they are ready to leverage the dry port, just as partnering with the National Agency for Foods, Drugs, Administration, and Control (NAFDAC) to rid the state of illicit drugs, reports ITREALMS.

Governor Makinde, who stated this while receiving the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mrs. Mojisola Adeyeye in a courtesy visit to his office, said that NAFDAC was very crucial to the sustenance of sound health in the country.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, also indicated that the state government was already warming up to take full advantage of the Dry Port being constructed in Ibadan.

The Governor said: "Health is one of the pillars which this administration is resting on. We believe if there is security and a healthy body, we can go out to work and move from poverty to prosperity.”

"NAFDAC and this government will definitely be partners in progress. A couple of things have also happened here so far. In Oyo State, I believe in the next maybe a year or two, we will have our own dry port here. It is in our own interest and that of NAFDAC that we plan for expansion in the scope of activities for the state office here because of the headache of Apapa in Lagos,” he said.

The Governor said that his administration will assist NAFDAC to combat the menace of illicit, and substandard drugs across the State adding that the State would look into the requests tendered to him by the agency and act as appropriate.

“It was imperative for the state to support NAFDAC in order to ensure protection of lives of the people against illicit drugs and dangerous processed food,” he said.

He said that with the emergence of Dry Port in Ibadan, the work of the agency would be definitely needed.

“If somebody is coming from the Northern part of the country and he can pick his container here in Ibadan, why would he have to drive to Lagos. They will pick it from here and make a turnaround back to the Northern part of the country,” he said.

Further, he stated that now that the standard gauge rail line by the Federal Government has reached Ibadan, the state will make adequate use of the Dry Port located at Olorisa-Oko in Akinyele Local Government as according to him, people from the South East, South-South, the North and majority of South West states would not have reasons to go to Apapa in Lagos to clear their cargoes. 

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Tech innovation to boost healthcare services in West Africa - ITREALMS

The West African Healthcare practitioners have been told to take advantage of the several premium healthcare solutions and technologies in the advanced economy to improve the West African healthcare sector, especially in Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

Speakers at the HealthCare Business Conference (HBC) of the Medic West Africa Exhibition and Congress, held in Lagos, South West Nigeria, expressed no doubt that technological innovation will help bring healthcare services to millions of citizens in the subregion, moreso in Nigerians.

Dr. Chibuzo Opara, Co-CEO, DrugStoc, said that advanced medical technology can improve the standard of medical practice in Nigeria saying that that can be done through the introduction of innovative ,high quality affordable and state-of-the art medical equipment.

Beyond the impact of technological innovation on the health sector, the practitioners also had the opportunity to examine the issue of business management alongside bookkeeping skills.

Highlighting the essence of business management, Country Director, Iqvia and Board Member of Healthcare Foundation of (HFN), Mr. Remi Adesuen said that most members of the HFN are in the SMEs sector of the economy and they offer primary healthcare services to Nigeria contrary to the notion that primary healthcare is that of government.

According to him, over 70 percent of Nigerians access their healthcare through the private sector noting that 60 percent of the practitioners are SMEs, who needs business skills and technology to give the required medical care.

He said that the HBC which was held in partnership with Anadach Group was designed to give its members attending the Medic West Africa Exhibition and Conference access to knowledge on business planning, model and innovative approach to healthcare business.

Besides those, he said that the SMEs were taking through the rudiments of bookkeeping and the regulatory laws of the several agencies that they deal with so that they don’t go against the laws of their operating environment.

He stated that the deployment of digital technology is the best adoption for the SMEs in today’s health sector particularly as the business began to grow.

Adeseun advised that the SMEs common together to access some basic services that bother on accounting, business and other related services so that the cost of those services can be reduced for them.

He called on them to look for opportunities of partnership or collaboration with other players in the public or private sector that would bring the benefit of economy of scales to bear on their businesses and improve the nation’s healthcare.

According to him, although health is a social services, the era when it was run entirely as social service has ended and as such it must be run presently as a business for the services to be sustainable.

He stated if enough fund is not generated to cover the source of fund for the business wither it is government or private, the free health will fail because there will be no longer materials for the business.

To avoid such scenario, he suggested the health insurance scheme which he said has proved effective in most advanced countries of the world saying that the Nigeria health insurance scheme has failed because it was not mandatory.

First Vice President of HFN, Dr. Festus Osoba disclosed that the Foundation is an advocacy group enable the private sector healthcare practitioner to speak with one voice in the country saying that this year it is focusing on the business aspect of healthcare services.

He noted that they are concern about the impact of technological innovation in the sector noting that was why in one of presentation focus was on electronic data, investment in data management as well as implementation and project management since data can help them grow their businesses.

He added that HFN wants their members to be patient-centric and the right of the patient protected so that the healthcare system meets global standard.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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L-R: Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu, Partner Anadach,Mrs. Bimbo Ogunare Senior Manager, Ernest& Young, Dr. Abayomi Sule, Managing Director, Tillit MSME Microservice, Mr Remi Adesuen, Country Director, Iqvia and Board Member of Healthcare Foundation of (HFN).

Fidelity Bank canvasses better data sharing - ITREALMS

The Executive Director, Operations and Information, Fidelity Bank Plc, Gbolahan Joshua has advised data validation agencies and organisations to adopt appropriate policies that provide financial institutions with the required flexibility to utilise available customer data, reports ITREALMS.

Joshua who gave the counsel during a panel session at the 10th anniversary celebration of Verve in Lagos recently, explained that this would assist banks in the country drive new levels of customer engagements across digital channels and systems. He harped on the need for data generating institutions in Nigeria to explore fresh ways to collaborate with one another. Alluding to the importance of data validation as a major driver in enhancing the Know Your Customer (KYC) policy, Joshua noted that harmonization of disparate databases will accelerate lending processes by Banks.

“Digital identity is very critical in digital banking operations. Industry collaboration must be embraced by both financial institutions and database generating institutions to simplify digital banking operations” he said.

Whilst stating that the bank was not averse to data sharing, Joshua said that the lender had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Open Technology Foundation (OTF) for the adoption of a standard Application Programming Interface (API) for its operations as a financial institution.

Open Banking is a system that provides a user with a network of financial institutions’ data through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). The Open Banking Nigeria Standard defines how financial data and services should be created, shared and accessed.

By relying on networks instead of centralisation, open banking helps customers to securely share their financial data with other financial institutions.

The panel discussion was moderated by Chief Executive Officer, Verve International, Mike Ogbalu III. Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Payment Processing, Interswitch, Akeem Lawal, Head, Consumer Distribution, Ecobank Nigeria, Stanley Jacob and Executive Director, Retail Bank, FCMB, Olu Akanmu also featured as panelist at the event.

Mike Ogbalu expressed gratitude to Fidelity Bank and all partners of verve that were present at the event whilst assuring them that endless possibilities awaits the digital space in Banking.

The event which offered a unique opportunity for all participants to network with the industry’s brightest, had in attendance, a number business leaders and industry experts who gave valuable insights into the latest tech trends and shared experiences.

Nenye Dom/Editor

Sunday, October 13, 2019

What you should know about Dr Tarek Kamel - ITREALMS

Dr. Tarek Kamel was born on May 8, 1962 and died on Thursday, October 10, 2019. As African Internet community mourn his exit at the age of 57, there are some facts worthy of note, reports ITREALMS.

Tarek as he is fondly called, started his career as a network support engineer for the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, then an assistant researcher at the Electronics Research Institute.

On returning to Egypt from Germany, Kamel became manager of the Communications and Networking Department at the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC/RITSEC), and gained a professorship at the ERI. It is during this period (from 1992 to 1999) that he established Egypt's first connection to the Internet, steered the introduction of commercial Internet services in Egypt and founded the Internet Society of Egypt.

Also, Kamel joined the ministry of communications and information technology since its formation in October 1999, where he had been appointed senior advisor to the minister following his pioneering efforts in ICT. He was board member of Telecom Egypt from 2000 to 2004 and a board member of Egypt’s Private Public Technology Development Fund (TDF) to support start ups and incubators in ICT from 2002 to 2004.

Kamel served as the minister of communications and information technology from July 2004 to February 2011.

Besides his ministerial role, Kamel was the chairman of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI) and the Information Technology Institute’s (ITI) Boards of Trustees.

Kamel served as a member of the Internet Society (ISOC) Board of Trustees and as vice president for chapters from 1999 to 2002. He is a founding member and a previous board member of the African Network Information Centre (AfriNIC). He acted as Chairman of the Executive Bureau of Arab Telecommunications and Information Council of Ministers from 2004 to 2008 and the Chairman of the Ministerial Conference on Communication and Information Technologies of the African Union from 2006 to 2008. In recognition of his leadership in the ICT sector, the South African Ministry of Communications named him, in 2005, "Top Minister in Africa with an ICT Portfolio".

In August 2012 ICANN appointed Kamel to serve as a senior advisor to its president, making him the first national of a developing country to fill one of ICANN's senior management posts. Prior to joining ICANN, he was a board member of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority of Egypt from April 2011 to July 2012.

May Tarek rest in perfect peace.

*ITREALMS with additional report from

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

African Internet community pays tribute to Dr Tarek Kamel, seeks 100 signatures - ITREALMS

The Africa Internet technical community is seeking 100 signatures in honour of Dr Tarek Kamel as tribute to many of his pioneering efforts on the continent, reports ITREALMS.

Kamel, a former Senior Advisor to the president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), remained the first African to be appointed in that capacity.

“Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support,” the organisers of the tribute said.

They also urged people to read more about Kamel and sign the petition.

As at the time of filing this report, ITREALMS gathered that over 30 signatures have endorsed the tribute.

ITREALMS recalls that Tarek was a member of the Internet Society (ISOC) Board of Trustees and vice president for his chapter between 1999 and 2002.

A founding member and former board member of Africa Network Information Centre (AfriNIC), Kamel acted as Chairman, Executive Bureau of Arab Telecommunications and Information Council of Ministers from 2004 to 2008 and the Chairman of the Ministerial Conference on Communication and Information Technologies of the African Union from 2006 to 2008.

Based on his leadership in the ICT sector, the South African Ministry of Communications named Kamel in 2005, the "Top Minister in Africa with an ICT Portfolio.”

In August 2012 ICANN appointed Kamel to serve as a senior advisor to its president, making him the first national of a developing country to fill one of ICANN's senior management posts.

This is coming as African Internet community also plans to host a session on Kamel’s honour during the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN66) in Montreal, Canada.

The AGM is slated for between November 2 through 7, 2019.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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FG plans to license WebTv - ITREALMS

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) may have concluded plans once again to regulate the Internet with the proposed licensing of Web Television (WebTV), reports ITREALMS.

ITREALMS gathered, was originally a brand owned by Microsoft as one of the first entries in the much publicized convergence of the World Wide Web with television. Unlike in cable TV, which entails users to buy a set-top box, Web TV requires just sign up with the WebTV access service and browse Web pages using a WebTV's browser and a hand-held control as long as one has Internet access.

With the growth of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) WebTV has since assumed an international dimension with advance of Internet as as a marketing tool and outlet for independent creators to display their work, thereby has shown improvement in Web television via quality, thus rivaling network television.

According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lia Mohammed during the inauguration of the National Broadcasting Commission Reform Implementation in Abuja on Thursday, which has some six weeks to submit its report.

The Committee is to upgrade list of breaches of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ''Class A'' offence in the Broadcasting Code.

“Amendment of the NBC Act to enable NBC license WebTv and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria,” he asserted.

Other highlights of his speech underscored the fact that FG planned to among other things, “establish and publish a new regulation for the licensing of web and Internet broadcasters/International broadcasters in Nigeria.”

Also, he said the Committee is to work out modalities for immediate establishment and “publicize a new sanctioning, fines and penalty regime that is in line with international best practice, promote professionalism and serve as a deterrent to erring practitioners against misconduct, especially hate speech, violence and spread of fake news.”

Further, he said, the Committee is to work on finally putting an end to all forms of monopoly detrimental to the actualization of the immense potential of the broadcast industry.

The Committee has six weeks to submit its report and is made up of seven wisemen and a woman, including: Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, Director of Monitoring of the NBC; Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, Acting Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON); J.K. Ehicheoya, Esq, Director, Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture; Hajia Binta Adamu Bello, Secretary, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON); Mr. Ibrahim Jimoh, Director of Administration, FRCN; Hon. Agbo Kingsley Ndubuisi, Board Member, NBC, and Mr. Joe Mutah, Chief Press Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Pix: The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (fourth from left); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe (third left); Prof. Armstrong Idachaba (fifth from left); Mr. Ibrahim Jimoh (extreme left); J.K. Ehicheoya Esq. (second left); Hajia Binta Adamu Bello (fourth from right); Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa (third from right); Hon. Kingsley Agbo Ndubisi (second from right) and Joe Mutah (extreme right) when the Minister inaugurated the Committee on the Implementation of Reforms in the National Broadcasting Commission in Abuja on Thursday.

SYNW commends Obiano over Juliet Chudie’s appointment, demands more - ITREALMS

The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) has commended the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for appointing one of their own in the state as a Special Adviser on Youth Empowerment, even as they demanded for more especially in Literary Matters, reports ITREALMS.

The National President of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Mr. Wole Adedoyin who confirmed this to 
ITREALMS, described the appointment as recognition of hardwork, and eulogized Gov. Willie Obiano for giving youths opportunities and voices in his administration.

He disclosed there are many young ones out there who have a lot to contribute in development and governance of every state, Mr. Adedoyin also called on other governors of the various states in the federation to emulate such gesture and give youths more opportunity, maintaining that such will also help to spur other youths to play their drums well in their various fields of endeavour.

ALSO READ: Why we celebrate Chinua Achebe annually 

Also, he urged Governor Obiano to consolidate on this feat by appointing another young writer, like the Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers in the state, Mr. Izunna Okafor as an aide on Literary Matters, being an internationally acclaimed award-winning author/journalist and convener of the Chinua Achebe Annual Literary Festival.

"Anambra State is a hub of literary figures in Nigeria, and in fact, the first state to reckon with when it comes to literary matters, having given the world arrays of literary champions; and as such, the state deserves to have an aide who will stand as a liaison officer between the government and writers in the state both established and burgeoning writers" he said.

Adedoyin pointed out that Anambra State is expected to be the first state to set the pace on having such an aide on Literary Matters, which no state government has ever had in the history of the country.

“I trust Gov. Obiano is best expected to set such pace, being a youth-loving Governor. So, as I appreciate him, I also urge him to buy into this humble suggestion," SYNW president said.

In her reaction, the newly appointed SA on Youth Empowerment in Anambra State, Mrs. Juliet Chudie described it as a call to serve, and appreciated Gov. Obiano for finding her worthy to hold such a revered position, and giving her the opportunity to serve the state and Ndi Anambra.

She promised to employ her wealth of experience and knowledge in the discharge of her duties, so as to contribute her own quota in actualizing Gov. Obiano's transformation agenda for the state, especially through the aspects of youth empowerment and development.

Mrs. Chudie who is a member of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter) is a native of Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, and the founder of Juliet Chudie Foundation, founded in 2015.

She is the author of 'A Mother's Heart Bleeds' and the winner of the CSA Award as the Creative Writer of the Year 2018, and has through her foundation, touched many lives, empowered many youths and restored many hope in various localities of the state.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

RELATED STORY: Young Writers pay tribute to Gabriel Okara 

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Panelists canvass how to make Africa’s energy work - ITREALMS

Panelists at the three-day African Oil &Power conference and exhibition, have canvassed how to make Africa’s energy to work, reports ITREALMS.

According to those in a renewable energy panel moderated by Esther Lediga, Managing Director of Intra-Afrika Advisory, CEOs of companies operating in the sector from across the continent agreed that the clean, reliable and sustainable energy has a big role to play in lighting up Africa.

“Renewables have moved at a very fast pace. Many governments are still getting their heads around how to implement it in the best possible way. The benefits of renewable is multi-fold,” said David Masureik, CEO of New Southern Energy.

On building a sustainable renewable energy future, Maduna Ngobeni, Head of Regional Programmes at IPPO, said: “We shouldn’t compete with each other. We need to strive for a common goal – we need to understand where we want to be and how we get there. How exactly do we make the environment conducive? What kind of project do you want? The private sector needs clear framework that will show: ‘for the next five to ten years, this is how we will roll it out’.”

In tune with this, the CSIR’s Energy Centre Head, Dr Clinton Carter-Brown, in an AOP talk session addressed South Africa’s energy transition to decarbonisation based on mostly renewable energy and highlighted that the transition presents more opportunities than challenges for the country.

“South Africa is well-positioned to be among regional and global leaders transitioning the energy system. Therefore strategic investment in research and development initiatives that speak to technology innovation and industrialization are paramount.”

In a utility of the future panel discussion joined by Sustain Power, Matleng Energy Solutions, USAID/Power Africa and more, the panel agreed on a customer-focused and sustainable strategies as the way forward. Rather than seeing the difficulties facing Africa as obstacles, the panel believes that these challenges hold the potential for Africa to get ahead of trend.

“Everyone wants to get off the grid. It’s a chance to leapfrog. If there’s an opportunity to leapfrog into new technology in Africa … [we] can become a leader in this worldwide.”

In the latter part of the day, the conference saw a panel discussions on financing the power sector. Participants on the panel included DMWA Resources, Afreximbank and others.

Noble Energy delivered a presentation on the Alen Gas Monetization, followed by Sasol and South Africa’s Independent Power Producer’s Office (IPPO) which highlighted how South Africa’s transition into renewable energy needs to factor in the human reliance on the coal industry.

“Our transformation is also very much a process that needs to consider the impact on the economy and the impact on the people who are deployed in the sectors that are affected,” said Sandra Coetzee, Acting Head of the IPPO.

The Africa Oil & Power conference and exhibition will conclude on October 11. The program for the final day will be centred on the theme Driving Investment and African Trade.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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