" ITREALMS: January 2010


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

37th meeting: Nairobi insecurity worries ICANN

Worried by increasing reports of insecurity in Kenya, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), last weekend, met in an emergency session to deliberate on the implications of the situation to its forthcoming 37th public meeting slated for March.

The leadership of ICANN’s emergency meeting, was attended mainly by board directors alongside interested internet community members from Kenya, and across the globe, who were hosted to a special meeting via teleconferencing by the chairman, ICANN board, Mr. Peter Dengate Thrush.

Although at the end of the session, ICANN President, Mr. Rod Beckstrom reiterated commitment of ICANN to host the meeting in Kenya, in spite of the events in downtown Nairobi on January 15, this year.

He stated in ICANN’s blog that employees and board directors jointly re-assessed the security situation, exploring the possibility of moving the event out of the downtown Nairobi area to a suburb, but determined that no suitable venue was available.

“We have listened to the community. Many are looking forward to Nairobi, some expressed concerns, particularly in the light of the events in downtown Nairobi on January 15. Accordingly, ICANN staff and board have reexamined the security situation,” he said.

Beckstrom also said that ICANN reached out to the Kenyan government as well as other nations with operations in Kenya for their risk assessments of the situation.

“The consistent feedback was that the overall risk assessment of Nairobi had not changed,” he said.

He said, on the ICANN chief executive officer (CEO’s) recommendation, the board has approved moving ahead with the ICANN Nairobi meeting.

At the same time, he said, ICANN recognizes that many developing country cities have higher ambient levels of street crime and much of the world including the United States (U.S.) and Europe are presently confronted by international terrorist threats and attacks.

“Both are simply facts of life. Also, as with all ICANN events, we will continue to monitor the security situation in case there are any material future changes. For any ICANN community members who do not travel to the event, remote participation will be available for many of the meetings,” he assured in a blog post dated January 22, 2010.

He disclosed that given ICANN’s commitment to “One world. One Internet, Everyone connected” they have engaged and will continue to engage with the whole world as far as this matter is concerned among others.

“We greatly appreciate the assistance of Kenya, the host country, and their commitment to address ICANN security concerns. In addition, the ICANN board has approved further security investments by the CEO as necessary for the event, and the CEO will become personally involved in reviewing the security plans,” he said, stressing that having travelled to Kenya for over six times in the past, he looks forward to participating in this ICANN session.

Additionally, Beckstrom noted that having been to Kenya six times, he looks forward to participating in this important ICANN International meeting.

Participants at the special meeting apart from the chairman and president of ICANN included directors, namely Dennis Jennings (Vice Chairman), Harald Tveit Alvestrand, Raimundo Beca, Steve Crocker, Gonzalo Navarro, Rita Rodin Johnston, Raymond A. Plzak, Rajasekhar Ramaraj, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, Bruce Tonkin, and Katim Touray amidst some board liaison organisations.

ITRealms Online recalled that on January 15, 2010, Somalis residing in a Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh reportedly staged violent protest in the capital against the deportation of a jailed Muslim cleric throwing up the fear that it may stoke religious unrest.

Reuters report that while the protest was organised by Kenyan Muslims, many of the protesters who engaged security forces in the heart of Nairobi for over eight hours were discovered to be Somalis.

The report further indicated that some protesters carried flags identified with Somalia’s hardline Islamist rebel group al Shabaab and there were reports of mobs attacking Somalis in retribution for the mayhem.

“We warned of a situation like this. It seems Kenyan security forces are simply categorising the whole community as a terrorist group,” said cleric Sheikh Hassan Qoryoleey, stressing that was not the case.

“The majority of Somalis are peace-loving people,” he said.

The Kenyan government quickly put the blame for the violence that killed at least one person on extremist youths exposed to “foreign elements” and assured Muslims in Kenya their religious freedom and civil liberties would be respected.

Equally, it reported that parents in Eastleigh have been worried for some time that religious schools funded by Somali rebel groups have been recruiting and luring youths to Somalia.

“The (Kenyan) government has played down frequent warnings from ordinary people,” said moderate cleric Qoryoleey.

“They are repeating the mistakes of Somalia, where we played down the consequences of extreme ideology.”Madrassa (Islamic) schools and a radical 24-hour cable channel in Kenya have become new breeding and indoctrination grounds for rebel groups based in Somalia, residents were quoted as saying.

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ICT: Shaky start, glorious ending (2)

Enhances Voice SMS & Mobile Lite:
Also, during the year under review, the Second National Operator (SNO) Globacom, enhanced its Voice Short Messaging Service (Voice-SMS) with additional five new features, namely ‘Save, Replay, Forward, Group Messaging and Reply,’ while the validity for each Voice-SMS allows for messages to be held until after 10 days within which the recipient could still listen to them.

MTN Nigeria on the other hand launched its Mobile Lite in the six geo-political zones of the country. Mobile Lite is a mobile assistance centres, which the operator said is to take customer care to another level. Just as MTN currently has about 2000 Connect Stores, and had plans to raise the figure to 6000 by next year.

Fraudulent promos, sites worry operators:
Operators of telecommunications across the networks in the country in 2009 expressed worries over the sudden large amount of fraudulent websites and promotions as well as the use of their trademarks for fraudulent purposes by scrupulous people.

Leading Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and the Second National Operator (SNO), Globacom raised alarm over the usage of their concluded promos or even the on-going ones to engage subscribers fraudulently.

Alerting telecom users on its network on the fake promo website, Globacom officials on the activities of fraudsters who are exploring both concluded Glo Win n Rule promo to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

Then Executive Director, Legal Services at Globacom, Mrs. Gladys Talabi had said the unscrupulous persons have designed a fake website, www.glowinners.com to defraud un-suspecting innocent Nigerians.

“What they do is to send SMS to innocent subscribers informing them that they have won huge sums of money in the ongoing Glo Win & Rule promo. They then ask the subscriber to call a number or go to the promo website to provide detailed information required to claim their prizes,” Mrs. Talabi said.

According to her, such information may then form the pool of resources which the swindlers could use to exploit the innocent subscribers, explaining that on the fake website, the scammers wrote: ‘’If you have received a message from our SMS Gateway as one of the promo winners, you are requested to verify your code here.”

Hence, officials of the telecom company disassociated Globacom from the website, promising that it would work with relevant government agencies to combat the menace of cyber crime.

“Apart from this, when subscribers are called to inform them of their winning, they are directed to go to Globacom office nearest to them, where they meet Glo staff openly to verify their ownership of the line and to confirm their identity only. Besides this, no other personal information is requested,” Mrs. Talabi stressed.

MTN warns ...
In a related development, MTN Nigeria said it does not use Short Messaging Services (SMS) to call up winners, insisting that subscribers who won in any of its promos are called like Globacom, to inform of their win and directed to approach any of its Friendship Centres nationwide, which are painted in the company’s colours.

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), MTN Nigeria, Mr. Bola Akingbade, accompanied by the Corporate Services Executive, Mr. Wale Goodluck, at a recent media parley, warned Nigerian subscribers on the network to be wary of fraudulent promotions being perpetuated by a few Nigerians, insisting that MTN does not have any promo tagged ‘Yello Hunt’ for now.

Akingbade also said MTN concluded its successful Treasure Hunt last February and subscribers needed to be warned because the operator has never used SMS to notify any winner in its promo, but maintained that any campaign by MTN is carried out to compensate loyal customers and prizes presented publicly.

He insisted that MTN has no reason whatsoever to demand sending of recharge cards for winners to redeem their prizes. “Nigerians must be wary of what scammers are doing. MTN runs promos to reward customers and when people win, we call them and not via text messages,” he asserted, stressing that the subscribers must ignore any such SMS even if the scammers use his name or the names of any of MTN’s management staff as the sender.

Malaysia hosts IMPACT:
At the international level, the global headquarters of the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) was inaugurated in Cyberjaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to house the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) currently presided over by Mr. Mohd Noor Amin.

GCA is an international framework for cooperation aimed at finding strategic solutions to boost confidence and security in an increasingly networked information society, spearheaded by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The IMPACT headquarters was inaugurated by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, who is also chairman of IMPACT’s International Advisory Board, and ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun TourĂ©.

IMPACT is the world’s first global public-private initiative against cyber-threats. This collaboration between ITU and IMPACT provides ITU’s 191 members states with the expertise, facilities, real-time information, and rapid access to resources to effectively address the world’s most serious cyber-threats. It will also provide training and skills development on the technical, legal and policy aspects of cybersecurity.

Global issue deserves global approach:

For the ITU chief scribe, Dr. Hamadoun Touré, cybersecurity is one of the most critical issues of this century, thus it is a global issue, demanding a truly global approach.

“And it is therefore gratifying to see - and to be part of - this growing coalition against cyber-threats worldwide. The collaboration with IMPACT complements our efforts in strengthening cybersecurity and we look forward to expanding the cooperation between governments, the private sector and educational institutions,” he said.

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU, Mr. Sanjay Acharya, informed that while the GCA will be housed at the IMPACT Centre, ITU will have a ‘virtual showcase’ in Geneva of the early warning system, crisis management and real-time analysis of global cyber threats.

“IMPACT initiatives, such as the Global Response Centre as well as training and skills development, security assurance, research, and international cooperation will be conducted under the auspices of the GCA,” he said.

On top of this, ITU said its Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) will facilitate the deployment of IMPACT services, such as the Global Response Centre (GRC), which aims at providing state-of-the-art cybersecurity capabilities for ITU member states to strengthen network security worldwide.

The first phase of physical deployment he said was launched in some 20 countries with further deployment in 50 countries expected this year.

Mr. Amin had noted that they were proud to announce that IMPACT’s operations have progressed positively since the inception of the board. “From 27 member countries during our launch in May 2008, the collaboration with ITU now allows the 191 ITU member states access to IMPACT’s facilities and enhanced international cooperation,” he said.

For the first time ever, the hardware interest group in the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN) in collaboration with the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), held an international conference at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja in April 2009.

ITAN President, Dr Jimson Olufuye, while disclosing this said a delegation from WITSA led by its chairman, Mr. Dato’ Dan E. Khoo lead a team at the three-day meeting holding at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja between April 21-23, with theme: Advancing the Dynamics of ICT Policy Engineering for e-Government (ADIPENG-09).

He also said that the essence was to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria as part of nation’s benefit of its membership, inaugurate the WITSA/ITAN/NCS Government Advisory Group.

Accompanied then by the Regional Director, D-Link, Mr. Chris Uwaje, Mr. Olufuye noted that a handful of state governments, business entities and the Federal Government have IT policies, and there is no doubt that these policies needed to be taken to the next level for better government service delivery on the e-platform for the people and for effective governance across the government and organisations.

According to him, it was an opportunity for states, local government and entities without an ICT policy to adapt better practices for a leapfrog experience, stressing that the international meeting would focus on ICT policy decision makers across all levels of government in the country.

Omatek-GICT brands 1000 teachers:
This came as the Ogun State government-owned Gateway ICT Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Omatek Ventures Distribution Limited, a subsidiary of Omatek Ventures Plc as part of the state government’s strategies to boost the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in its domain.

Head, ICT and Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Gbenga Daniel, Mr. Soji Akin-Bankole, said at the ceremony that the MOU marks a turning point in ICT development in Ogun State, pointing out that Omatek, has already entrenched itself in Ogun State and is recognized already by virtue of its wide distribution system to engender easy and convenient computer acquisition by all and sundry in the state.

Omatek, he said, would bring into the deal its competence in quality production cum after sales services, while GICT would act as the exclusive distributor of the co-branded Omatek-GICT laptops, desktops as well as other Omatek products in Ogun State, to over 1,000 teachers in the state.

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Internet access: Galaxy lifts 110 schools in Anambra

Public sector-based Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure provider, Galaxy Backbone Plc, has entered a deal with the Anambra State Government for the provision of internet connectivity with video conferencing capabilities to 110 secondary schools in the state.

This is coming as the video conference facilities were launched in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Monday.

The deal which was concluded in Abuja last week saw the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi endorsing the contract papers alongside the Managing
Director, Galaxy Backbone Plc, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Obi noted that the initiative is in line with his drive to develop human capital and turn the state into a 21st century knowledge society through the provision of network connectivity that would be accessible to students and teachers at a fast speed in the Anambra State secondary education system.

Obi also said, his administration has demonstrated the commitment to lift the standard of education in the state.

“You may be familiar with our chequerred recent past in this state, but we are making sure that we will bring the state back to its lost glory, restore hope and move education forward to achieve the desired change in this state,” he said.

Gov. Obi disclosed that his government has commenced the building of 4,000 classrooms across the state, which he described as the largest anywhere in the country.

He pointed out that not long ago, his administration provided 108 schools with generating sets, and now the internet connectivity to 110 secondary schools in the first phase.

“We are moving also to the Microsoft Academy which we intend to establish in the state”, Obi revealed.

Earlier in his address, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Plc, Mr. Ilukwe exhibited confidence that the deal is a demonstration of the governor’s promise and commitment to raise the standard of education in the state.

He reaffirmed Anambra people that Galaxy Backbone would be partners to the current administration to ensure progress in the education sector in the state.

Equally in his remark, the Corporate Executive in-charge of States, Education & Development department of the Galaxy, Mr. Yusuf Kazaure commended Gov. Obi for his efforts at upgrading the standard of education in his domain, stressing that it is a revolution in the annals of the nation’s education sector.

The ICT initiative, he said, would foster collaborative relationships between teachers and students in the development, mostly in sharing of content applications and other resources as well as stimulating capacity building among educational institutions in the state.

“We are committed to the Gov. Obi’s vision for the  state and when we are able to succeed at this level, the state will be better for it because the governor’s mission is to turn the state into a 21st century knowledge society,” Kazaure asserted.

He explained that the network connectivity initiative would enhance the development of human capital in the state, maintaining that human capital development is the hope of the world, and that the initiative of the governor would ensure growth in the state in the future.

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Aladesawe, Ndukaife top in computer engineering @ UNILAG

The duo of Messrs Aladesawe, Adeyemi Omololu and Ndukaife, Justus Chukwunonso were on top of their game last weekend when they were pronounced the best graduating students in Computer Engineering from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Faculty of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

The duo clinched first class honours.

This is out of the 87 students that graduated and passed out in First Class division out of the 6,134 that graduated between 2007 and year 2009.

Speaking during the convocation, one of the leading lights at the faculty, Master Ndukaife, said he was grateful to God almighty for making it possible.

He also gave kudos to the school authorities in UNILAG in addition to his parents for supporting him all through the time of burning the midnight candles which result was the first class he made.

The duo of Aladesawe and Ndukaife led 40 others in their session to emerge, including nine in second class upper, 17 in second class lower, 13 in third class and one emerging pass in the 2009 set.

ITRealms Online recalled that in the 2007 and 2008 class in the faculty, there was no first class, while four recorded second class upper credit, two in the second class lower, whereas six were successful in the third class.

These awards were in tandem with the University of Lagos Act of 1967, which empowered the university to grant degrees, diplomas, certificates and other distinctions as well as to award medals, prizes and other titles. It also provided that the chancellor shall preside at all meetings of the congregation held for conferring degrees.

According to the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Tolu Odugbemi at the occasion tagged “A Dream Come True – Not A Nightmare” there were 3,525 graduating students for the 2009 convocation.

He explained that in the faculty of Arts for instance, there were 316, Education 470, Environmental Sciences 226, Science 329, Social Science 444 and Distance Learning Institute (DLI) recording 1,740.

The occasion, he said, was unique because the university conferred honourary doctorate degrees on eminent Africans, scholars, researchers and seasoned diplomats within and outside the country.

He named some of the beneficiaries to include Dr. Kofi Annan with Doctor of Laws, Prof. C.O. Taiwo, and Prof. Umaru Shehu got Doctor of Science respectively and Chief Emeka Anayoku was decorated with Doctor of Literature.

Disclosing that arrangements have been advanced by the DLI of the university to offer additional eight new courses, including B.Sc in Economics, Computer Science; environmental science; nursing, marine biology, fisheries, microbiology and public administration.

DLI, he said, has full accreditation of the National Universities Commission (NUC).

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Adeleke to preside @ Nigeria Internet Governance Forum ‘10

PRESIDENT of the Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Chief Samuel Adeleke has been named the chairman of the 2010 edition of annual Nigeria Digital Sense forum, which focuses on the evolutions on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Disclosing this in Lagos, last weekend, the organizers through the Executive Director, Operations, Digital Sense Africa, Mrs. Nkemdilim Nweke, said the best person to take over the chairmanship of the event from Chief Chima Onyekwere, is Adeleke.

She calls to mind that Chief Onyekwere who presided over the forum last year at the Golden Gate Ikoyi-Lagos, is the chairman of Linkserve Group, the pioneer ISP firm in the country, while Adeleke is the chairman and chief executive officer, Steineng Limited since January 1999.

She expressed belief that the exploit will be repeated when the 2010 edition of the forum scheduled for Friday, April 16 at the same venue opens, as plans have been advanced to gather stakeholders to x-ray the ‘Five years of IGF: The way forward for Nigeria’.

In his acceptance speech to preside over the annual Nigeria Digital Sense forum, Chief Adeleke regretted not being available during the last year’s forum physically which he said, was followed religiously through the internet.

He also said that there is no doubt the feat of last edition of the forum would be repeated this year given the quality of speakers and attendance as well as the arrangements on ground to make it a success.

Adeleke further commended the organizers of the forum, DSA, for their foresight in finding value in putting such a forum together for the education and enlightenment of Nigerians, especially the internet community in the country, more so on the growing relevance of Internet Governance Forum.

For him, the need to consistently keep Nigeria and its internet community on their toes at this era where information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have continuously been identified as veritable tool for development.

He promised to mobilize the membership of ISPAN to participate at the 2010 edition of the Nigeria Digital Sense forum and beyond.

“We need to mobilize and participate in this forum for our own good and good of our customers using a global best bench mark,” he said.

The Digital Sense Africa boss, further noted that Chief Adeleke was the executive chairman, Digitek Teevee Engineering Company Limited, which is a telecommunications entity of over 13 years standing.

According to her, Chief Sam Adeleke was educated at the University of Plymouth and graduated with B.Sc in communication engineering in 1978.

Additionally, she said, he been saddled with the leadership of ISPAN in the past six years, hence contributing immensely to the development of Internet in the country.

Meanwhile, Digital Sense Africa has said the 2010 edition billed for the first month in second quarter is timely, following the necessity to vend Nigeria’s position to other West African nations prior to the global IGF.

DSA boss said, this could be well expressed during the regional Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Other West African countries, she said, must be carried along in the nation’s bid to ensure that her own interest is well represented in the global session of the Internet Governance Forum.

The global IGF for this year, she noted, is coming much earlier than that of 2009, thus the decision to hold the Nigeria Digital Sense forum in April.

She pointed out that the global Internet Governance Forum will hold in Vilnius, Lithuania between September 14 and 17, 2010.

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SMC launches POS e-Tax solution

Signals Mega Concept (SMC) Limited, an information and communication (ICT) marketing company, has introduced Point-of-Sales electronic tax (POS e-TAX) into the market, reports CHARLES OKOH.

Speaking to ITRealms Online, the Managing Director, SMC, Mr. Benjamin Onigbinde, said POS e-Tax is an electronic tax payment solution that runs on Point of Sales Terminals with designated tax card.

“The proportion of the population that pays tax is very small; most of these are through PAYEE system where tax is deducted directly from income. The logistics of this tax collection has not made it easy for would-be tax payers to pay their taxes,” he said.

He highlighted some of the challenges to include; handling at payment points, security, accountability, and long queues at payment point.

According to him for the government’s revenue drive to achieve a maximum impact, a system that will make the tax payment easy and convenient needs to be put in place.

Onigbinde also said the scope of the solution covers deployment of statewide online Point of Sales (POS) Terminals, production of a special designed tax card. This, he explained, is a solution that runs online sophisticated network system linking tax offices, and other revenue collection agencies to the participating banks.

“POS e-TAX will not only solve the problem of tax collection but will create a database of information that will be valuable to the government,” he said

Onigbinde listed the benefit to include; improve revenue collection, remove cash leakage because there will be no cash payment, improve service delivery and standard, better reach to tax payers and easy to dispense, administrative convenience (easier reconciliation) and more information to assist decision making.

The solution, he stressed, would assist the government in developing and implementing tax administration system that would increase its revenue drive and reduce cost of administration.

“First, this involves capturing of data on population of eligible taxpayers, and the issuing of ‘Tax Card’ to all tax payers that will make database identification of the cardholders foolproof. It is expected that this solution if properly implemented will lead to increase in government revenue in billions of naira and also reduce the cost of tax administration,” he said.

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NCC board: NATCOMS advocates consumer representation

One of the consumer rights groups in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has advocated for a consumer representative in the board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The national president of NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, made this call while evaluating ‘A Decade of NCC’s Telecommunications Consumerism,’ just as he solicited voice call tariff reduction to N20.00.

He said that this call has become vital because it was provided for in the Nigeria Communications Act.

According to him, if the operators pay their dues to NCC as stipulated by the Act based on subscribers’ patronage of these operators, it is therefore imperative to have a consumer representation in the board of NCC.

NATCOMS cited an instance, with the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), where the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is represented in the board.

“There are many other government agencies, councils, commissions, parastatals that are having relevant industry non-governmental organizations as board members,” he said.

Some of these, he said included the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) having a representative of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) in the board.

NATCOMS, Ogunbanjo said, would like to know who is representing “the Consumer in the board of NCC as provided for in the Nigerian Communications Commission Act?”

While commending the NCC for the slash in the Short Messaging Service (SMS) tariffs, NATCOMS urged the regulator to make it free as is in the case of Ghana, Gambia, Australia and Switzerland.

Although he noted it took NCC about 18 months to graduate SMS inter-connect rate to its present rate of N1.94, NATCOMS boss canvassed for it to be free.

“Why is SMS not FREE also in Nigeria, considering the volume of Subscribers in Nigeria?” NATCOMS boss wondered.

Stressing that though NCC has disclosed plans to reduce SMS interconnect rate to N1.02 by January 2013, it would be good to make it absolutely free service due to the surge in growth of telecommunications users in the country.

He charged the NCC, to go beyond fixing the inter-connect rate, which NATCOMS said is the base rate by extending the reduction to the price cum tariff cap.

“If the tariff reduction is to make any meaning to subscribers and consumers, the current leadership of NCC must also reduce the price cum tariff cap from the very, very high N50.00 mark to reasonable N20.00 for voice calls in view of the volume of subscribers in Nigeria, as well as reducing the price and tariff cap of N15.00 to N2.00 for SMS / Text messaging,” he said.

Ogunbanjo also cited Sierra Leone, arguing that the Telecommunications Regulator holds consumers’ consultations before tariffs are fixed.

NATCOMS, therefore called on NCC to emulate this aspect from its counterpart in Sierra Leone, as any step taken would affect all Nigerians.

“Telecommunications in Nigeria has gone beyond being the exclusive preserve of the rich and wealthy, fashion, power and status symbol; it is now a necessity and a must-have piece of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gadget for the poor, artisans, villagers as well as the down-trodden,” he declared.

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Speakers line up for Broadband forum

The Founding chief executive officer, eShekels, Mr. Fola Odufuwa, chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo and president, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Chief Chris Uwaje, have confirmed their participations at the inaugural edition billed for March this year.

The organizers disclosed to ITRealms Online, saying that the ace industry analyst, management consultant and founding CEO of eShekels, Mr. Fola Odufuwa while confirming his participation said he will be temporarily coming out of his sabbatical to speak at the eWorld Forum.

Mr. Odufuwa is expected to speak on ‘Keying Nigeria into Global Broadband Trends.’
Also, eWorld management, the organizers of the forum, said that Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Mr. Gbenga Adebayo has accepted to speak at the event.

Aaron Ukodie, the Managing Editor of eWorld hinted in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online that additionally, the President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) and Nigeria’s ICT Oracle, Mr. Chris Uwaje has also accepted to be a discussant at the Forum.

He will particularly x-ray Broadband Implication for the local environment.

This development comes on the heels of the endorsement for the event from the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

President of ATCON, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem who in January 14, 2010 letter signed by his Executive Secretary, Ajibola Olude had conveyed the endorsement of the event by ATCON NEC will speak on Broadband Ways To the 2015 Digital Harvest for the Digital Banquet. The ATCON NEC members said they see eWorld Forum “as a good step in the right direction because it will give the industry the privilege to plot both the present and the future of broadband in Nigeria”.

The March 2010 date was appropriate. It will enable careful planning and involvement of all, according to the President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem had earlier told eWorld.

ATCON is set to mobilize all the over 200 member companies to support the forum.

This was part of the outcome of the meeting between eWorld and the ATCON president.
The Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) President, Mr. Lanre Ajayi who also endorsed the Forum will speak on Bridging the Digital Divide through Broadband.

The two-day event will also feature exhibitions of emerging broadband companies, products and services.

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Zain Africa Challenge underscores corporate philosophy – Oparah

THE Head of Public Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility, Zain Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Oparah has said that the firm’s annual Africa Challenge television quiz show involving 32 Universities across the continent is a tangible expression of the telco’s brand philosophy of “a wonderful world” reports CHARLES OKOH.

Speaking at the National Qualifying Tournament (NQT) held recently in Abuja, involving 16 universities across the nation, he expressed confidence on the ability of the nation’s representatives in not only doing well but retaining the trophy won by the University of Ibadan last year.

A press statement to ITRealms Online listed the five institutions that qualified for Season IV of the Zain Africa Challenge to include: University of Ibadan (UI); University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka; University of Abuja; University of Maiduguri and University of Jos (UNIJOS) and that these universities will compete against 28 other universities in Africa for this season’s trophy.

“It was a special experience that the nation in her first participation in the tournament last year, brought back the winners’ trophy. The country’s representatives at this year’s tournament again have all it takes to win the trophy back-to-back,.” Oparah said.

He extolled the tremendous talent of Nigerian students, urging the representatives not only to bring back the trophy, but to use the platform as provided by the company to make friends across the continent because, as future leaders, they need to expand their circle of influence and globalize their perspectives to meet the increasingly high standards of leadership.

For students of the University of Ibadan, the qualifying tournament brought back special memories as its representatives, once again, showcased amazing intellectual ability, easily earning one of the five slots for the nation.

The statement also said with the qualification, UI will not only represent Nigeria at the International Festival in Uganda’s capital, Kampala later in the year, but will also defend the highly prized trophy it won last year, UI conquered 31 Universities in Africa to emerge winner of the Zain Africa Challenge Season III.

The 16 Universities, which participated in the National Qualifying Tournament (NQT) were selected by the National Universities Commission (NUC). They included Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Bowen University; Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Katsina State University (now Musa Yar’ Adua University, Katsina).

Others were Niger Delta University; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; University of Abuja; Ambrose Ali University; University of Calabar; University of Jos; University of Maiduguri; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Federal University of Technology, Akure; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; University of Lagos, Akoka and University of Ibadan.

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WSIS forum 2010 opens consultation

The forum on the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) has opened consultation for its 2010 roundtable by calling for participation.

ITRealms Online recalled that the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are organizing the open consultation for the forum.

They therefore invited all individuals, networks and organizations interested in this issue to participate in the three-fold process, consisting of an online discussion, a questionnaire and a review meeting.

According to UNESCO portal, 2010 is a turning point towards the achievement of the WSIS goals by 2015, hence, this year’s Forum, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland from May, 10 to 14, 2010, is an important opportunity to review the progress made in the WSIS implementation during the last five years and to reconsider strategies for the remaining five years.

And following the outcomes of the 2009 WSIS Action Line Facilitators Meeting on May, 22 2009, as well as several exchanges among WSIS stakeholders, an open consultation, focusing on the themes of the 2010 Forum, has been set up.

Details of the process to be followed prior to the forum which comes in three phases indicated that an online multi-stakeholder consultation is taking place on the online WSIS Community platform until February 5. While stakeholders are to express and exchange their ideas in order to generate possible themes and potential speakers for the 2010 Forum.

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Symantec security solution scale tests

Symantec Corporation has, announced that its industry-leading security products received top reviews from two respected independent testing bodies, AV-Comparatives and AV-Test.org.

Symantec was awarded Best Anti-Virus Product of 2009 by AV-Comparatives, an accolade that honors top results across numerous tests in key protection and performance areas of security.

Also the firm received a first place award in a new real-world test of Internet security suites by AV-Test.org, which evaluated leading security products in their ability to protect users during common activities such as surfing the Internet and downloading files.

These independent reports, officials of the firm said, have continued to reinforce Symantec’s leadership position in providing protection against today’s evolving real-world threats.

Senior vice president, Security Technology and Response, Symantec, Mr. Stephen Trilling, noted that these new tests evaluate each product’s entire set of protection technologies against real malicious programs, just as they would be encountered by actual users.

“Symantec’s double-win in these independent reviews demonstrates how all of our security technologies work together to provide unrivaled effectiveness against today’s Internet threats,” he said.

He pointed out that over the past few years, the threat landscape distribution model has undergone a fundamental shift away from relatively small numbers of threats that affect many millions of users, toward a distribution model where many millions of new threats are released every month that each targets just a handful of users across the globe.

To provide some perspective on the size and scope of this issue, he said that in 2009, Symantec security software blocked more than 2.5 billion attempted attacks across the world.

“Given this environment, traditional antivirus-only solutions have become less effective,” he said, stressing that to address this, Symantec has shifted toward a defense-in-depth approach that uses many different security layers to protect users.

The AV-Comparatives and AV-Test.org tests, he said, reflected a shift in testing methodologies to evaluate the overall holistic protection offered by the latest security products.

He explained that AV-Comparatives have awarded Symantec its top Gold award of Best Anti-Virus Product of 2009.

The award is based on the results of a series of tests performed throughout 2009 that examined Norton AntiVirus and other vendors’ products across eight different test categories, including: On-Demand Malware Detection, Proactive On-Demand Malware Detection, False Positives, On-Demand Scanning Speed, Overall Performance (Low-System Impact), On-Demand Potentially Unwanted Applications Detection, Malware Removal Capabilities and Whole-Product Dynamic Protection.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Globacom solicits support for Haiti quake victims

Leading national telecoms operator, Globacom Limited, is soliciting aids for the earthquake victims in Haiti.

Management of Globacom, weekend disclosed that the need to assist victims through the raising of funds for rehabilitation of victims occasioned by the recent earthquake in Haiti gave rise to the quest.

Affirming the commencement of the fundraising programme in Lagos, Glo’s Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO), Mr. Mohamed Jameel noted that the Haiti quake was described as one of the most devastating natural disasters in recent human history and more massive in repercussion than the Asian Tsunami.

He pointed out that the Haitian earthquake disaster has seen near total destruction of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince and the loss of an estimated 200,000 lives.

Jameel said the appeal was being made in order to ensure that Nigerians have an opportunity to contribute their own quota to the salvage and rehabilitation effort being launched globally for the people of Haiti.

“This is a human disaster of almost unimaginable proportions and most Nigerians who are willing to help do not know how to contribute towards the relief effort,” he said.

Hence, Glo decided to launch this appeal by creation of a short code through which Nigerians could make donations to help the Haitian people.

The company, he said, urged Nigerians, especially subscribers on Glo network to make contributions of a minimum of N50 by sending the word HAITI to the short code 33090 which has been specially created for the purpose.

“Subscribers, however, are free to donate as many times as they wish to the relief effort by sending multiple SMS at the cost of N50 per SMS,” Jameel said.

He pointed out that all donations made by Nigerians through the short code will be presented on a monthly basis on behalf of the Nigerian people to the Nigerian Red Cross which is already on ground in Haiti via the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Assuring that none of the proceeds will be withheld as the project is being undertaken on compassionate grounds and in line with Glo’s corporate responsibility obligations, he said, that Globacom has given support to an online campaign which will run through the social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter; while Classic 93.7 FM has committed to help raise awareness by giving free hypes and airtime.

“We urge all Nigerians to help build awareness for this campaign through their social networks while other radio and television networks in the country are also welcome to donate free airtime to create awareness for this effort”, he said.

Head, Administration at the Nigerian Red Cross, Mrs Joy Umealor, in a letter, expressed appreciation on the concerns of the operator for coming up with the unique initiative.

“We want to express our appreciation to your company for coming up with this initiative as the proceeds will be presented to the Red Cross at a media event towards assisting the unfortunate victims of the disaster. Thank you for partnering with us to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of this natural disaster,” she asserted.

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Volunteer corps take anti-graft campaign to Computer Village

MEMBERS of the National Anti-Corruption Volunteer Corps (NAVC) last week took the fight against corruption and other anti-social conducts to the heart of Lagos, as they held a rally round the popular Computer Village in Ikeja and its environs.

The rally which began on Awolowo Way, where hand bills were distributed also took the members to Simbiat Abiola Way, Ola Ayeni Street, St Michaels Road and Otigba Street where the computer village is located as enlightenment campaigns against piracy of intellectual property were made.

Speaking on the activities of the group, which is a coalition of NYSC and ICPC, the president, Mr. Kelechi Anyalechi said the idea is to get young people to participate in the fight against corruption. He said if corruption among the young ones can be stopped there is hope for the nation.

“The young ones are the future of this nation and so we want to get them to form the right attitude towards the social malaise. We have had a symposium and we have decided to take it to the next level by coming to Ikeja to sensitize the people since this is the hub of Lagos. There are markets here, we want them to know that they can be patriotic and fight corruption at their level since there are lots of pirating of intellectual property here. We are sensitizing them because we found out that a lot of people are uninformed and so they need to be taught that they have a role to play in nation-building.”

He said corruption goes beyond taking bribe as it involves examination malpractices, sexual harassment, rape, selling sub-standard goods and inflating prices of goods and many more.

“We have been to schools on this campaign and we made them know that corruption is not all about embezzlement but also when they tell lies to their parents to collect money from them. We made them realize that if they can do that now when they get into political office they would be stealing in millions and billions. We campaign against indecent dressing, thuggery, cultism in schools as well, it has made an impact because we did not just go and talk to them, we interacted,” he said.

According to him, the group is planning a parent-teacher-student symposium which will involve the police, civil defence and those who relate with these young people where corruption take place in the homes, schools and public places and interact on the danger of these general social misbehaviours on the society.

On his part, the Secretary of the Group, Mr. Victor Aguwah said they are poised to see that they bring corruption to the barest minimum in the country and this will mean taking it to highest level. He condemned the recent attempted bombing of an airline by a Nigerian youth, describing it as an unfortunate incident which is not good for the nation.

“We believe Nigeria will change and will be great. We now want to have an International anti-corruption Volunteer club where people can freely join in schools,” he said.

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Gallant Systems offers free IT training

AS part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), a computer training centre, the Gallant Systems (GS), has embarked on free comprehensive computer training in public schools in Lagos.

Explaining the rationale behind the programme which began in December and will last till the end of January 2010, the Managing Director, GS, Mr. Samuel Adebanjo said the programme would expose the students to modern computer practical sessions.

“As many of them who have not had the opportunity of using computer are taught with laptops to further demystify the gadget called computer,” he said.

Also, he said participants were led into how to handle internet operations and use the electronic mail (e-mail) which has become a major tool of communication around the globe.

Equally speaking, the registrar, Mr. Tunde Alli said, the school is dangling four awards for the first batch of which one would be given free training in any area of choice in the packages offered in the college which includes programming web designing, management computer engineering, networking, graphics and many more.

The students, he said, were selected as best students from their various schools.

He listed the first batch of participating schools under District 4 to include; Lagos City Senior College, Birrel Avenue Senior High Schools, Wesley Senior Girls Secondary School, Wesley Junior Girls Secondary Schools, Nawar-Udeen, Senior High School and Aje Comprehensive Junior Grammar School.

Others, he said were Herbert Macaulay Junior Grammar Schools, Jibowu Junior High School. These schools, he stated, are expected to send 10 student-participants for each batch.

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Why MTN unveiled Group Connect by Appiah

The Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, MTN Group Connect, Mr. Derek Appiah, has given reasons why outfit was created by the MTN in the country.

According to him, its MTN resolve to empower Nigerian businesses, that led to the new service called MTN Group Connect.

Appiah, also said it will the populace to make telephone usage, mostly for a seamless conference calls at no extra cost beyond the cost of normal telephone calls.

The service, he emphasized, is another first from the stable of MTN Business, a division of MTN focused on providing a comprehensive range of business communication solutions to corporate Nigeria.

“With MTN Group Connect, companies, business people, professionals and other categories of telephone users will be able to hold secured, multi-party conversations over the phone, without the need to travel,” he explained.

Further, Appiah said, the service, which will be launched the month, was developed to meet the specific needs of businesses whose officials often have to hold meetings involving more than two people communicating from various locations.

Equally speaking, the Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck said this is another service aimed at enhancing the efficiency of businesses in the country.

“With this service, you will save time and money you could have otherwise spent on travelling to attend meetings at distant locations,” he declared.

As innovation leaders in Nigeria’s telecom industry, MTN, Goodluck said, the operator will continue to roll out innovative, value-driven products and services that enrich the lives of businesses, enabling them to perform optimally.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cybercrime:Naija IT professionals seek FBI’s intervention

Members of the Nigerian Information Technology (IT) Professionals in diaspora have challenged the United States government via the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to help Nigeria in curbing the increasing online crime.

The group said America can commence the crack down on online crime from the closure of a US-based fraudulent site called t35.com.

Making this appeal at the weekend, some members of Naija IT Professional at Yahoogroup, claimed that the site, t35.com has been replicating information purportedly from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and electronic payment institutions like Interswitch.

According to them, the Whois report on t35.com indicated that the registrant actually is based in the US, as one of the contributors urged those Nigerians residing in the States to take the issue up with the authorities, especially the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to act quickly.

“Can people in the US please take this up with either t35.com or FBI to disable the site or is t35 an accomplishment in this crime against people and government of Nigeria?” asked a contributor.

Citing a public announcement from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) fraud allegedly perpetrated by one Alex Melen of United States, they noted that few years ago, one of their members had registered on a purported CBN website, http://www.cenbank.org/IntOps/chipnpin,while giving a feedback.

Part of the announcement read: “Please note that Your Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Card would be suspended due to the emergence of the new Interswitch (Verve) Chip and Pin card. In order for your ATM Card to remain active, you would have to upgrade your ATM Card to the new Chip and Pin ATM, please use the button below.

“Activate the New Chip and pin programme to get unlimited access on your ATM Card. Click http://www.cenbank.org/IntOps/chipnpin.”

The announcement also warned “Failure to adhere to this warning would cause your ATM access to be suspended within 48 hours.”

Although there were questions on why should a Central Bank conduct its business through this way and should it not have been better if CBN had taken this type of transaction via the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Secure Sockets Layer is usually cryptographic protocols which provide secure communications on the Internet. It has also been described by experts at ssl.com as a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser, even as it was created by Netscape to ensure secure transactions between web servers and browsers by using a third party, a Certificate Authority (CA), to identify one end or both end of the transactions.

But investigations showed that if the above link is copied and pasted into a browser, the page is unavailable but when clicked upon the hyperlink; http://www.cenbank.org/IntOps/chipnpin, the address will go http://www.interswitchslines.t35.com/.

Further investigations revealed that the Whois information on t35.com, showed it was a US-based fraud site and does not even have a relationship with a Nigerian or originating from this part of the world.

Wisegeek.com defined Whois as the Internet function that allows one to query remote WHOIS databases for domain registration information.

This was corroborated by Open Source free online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, which stated that it is a query or response protocol that is a type of Internet query-based protocol that assists in locating the legal owner of a given web address.

According to WHOIS information for t35.com:“Visit AboutUs.org for more information about t35.comRegistration Service Provided By:NameCheap.com Contact: support@NameCheap.comVisit:http://www.namecheap.comDomain name: t35.comRegistrant Contact:T35 Hosting, Alex Melen, 42-09 Naugle Drive, Fair Lawn, State 07410, US.”

Also revealed was that the administrative contact was “T35 Hosting, Melen (abuse@t35.net), +1.2018197618 of the same above address.

While the technical contact showed that it was being hosted by Mr. Alex Melen at T35.

The IT pros therefore, called on US authorities through FBI to expedient actions regarding Mr. Alex Melen and his cohorts, mostly, by FBI to take urgent measures as far as this matter is concerned.

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Egwu appoints Omatek, 3 others e-learning partners

The Federal Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Egwu, has appointed four Information Technology (IT) firms to implement the electronic learning (e-learning) projects of the government as part of the public, private partnership.

The companies appointed by the ministry are Omatek Computers, Zinox Technologies, Galaxy Backbone and Calfa.

The project partners are to implement both the hardware and software components depending on specialty with regard to the Federal Government’s e-learning scheme which leads to the deployment of a healthy content cum curriculum in addition to monitoring and evaluation to ensure continuity and seamless execution.

Inaugurating the Policy Coordination and Implementation Committees on e-Learning Initiative, recently, the Hon. Minister of Education Dr. Egwu said the purpose is to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) while increasing the number of students who are proficient IT users in furtherance to the realization of the roadmap for the Nigerian education sector.

He also noted that the Education Roadmap clearly demonstrates a deep understanding of the key issues as hiccups to the Education sector and the e-learning initiative is one of the strategies to be implemented over the next few years as part of efforts to reposition the sector.

Speaking on the development, the Group Managing Director, Omatek Ventures Plc, Mrs. Florence Seriki, said the e-learning initiative offers Nigerians the platform to ensure that Information and Communication Technology tools are deployed to schools and even classrooms under a carefully structured e-learning environment equipped with internet connectivity to create a virtual connection between students and teachers; lecturers and students.

She also said Omatek would bring to bear on the project its experience and expertise from previous and on-going undertakings, having launched its own e-learning initiative and pioneered Nigeria’s first 24-hour solar-powered Light-Emitting Diode (LED) hybrid solution for a secondary school in Igede-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Omatek, she reassured would leverage on its existing e-learning platform to localize the contents, design, build, deploy and maintain a flexible, scalable and comprehensive e-learning solution at all levels including Primary, Post-Primary and Tertiary to further deepen teaching and learning engagement as well as bridge the digital divide that exists between our youths and youths in other parts of the world.

Seriki expressed appreciation to the Minister of Education, Dr. Egwu for believing in Omatek, among others.

“The project will contribute to the Ministry’s broad objectives of improving education through building communities of educators and learners while also developing resources and knowledge through formal education,” she said.

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DSA explains choice of April for Nigeria IGF-10

Organizers of the Nigeria Digital Sense forum, the Digital Sense Africa (DSA), have said the 2010 edition of the forum will hold in second quarter of this year.

Executive Director, Operations at Digital Sense Africa, Mrs. Nkemdilim Nweke, said the timing of the forum follows the need to sell Nigeria’s position to the West African countries.

This, she said, cannot be well articulated after the regional Internet Governance Forum (IGF) must have been held.

Other West African countries, she said, must be carried along in the nation’s bid to ensure that her own interest is well represented in the global session of the Internet Governance Forum.

According to her, the global IGF for this year, is coming much earlier than that of last year, hence the choice to hold the Nigeria Digital Sense forum in April.

She recalled that the decision to announce the date for the 2010 edition of its annual gathering of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders in the country with focus on Internet Governance, would take place on Friday, April 16, this year.

In addition, Mrs. Nweke said that this year’s theme of the forum planned for Golden Gate Ikoyi-Lagos, would centre on ‘Five Years of IGF, the Way Forward for Nigeria.’

Stressing that following the success of 2009 edition, it befitting to make certain the 2010 edition takes place in good time in order to ensure that those stakeholders planning to be at this year’s Internet Governance Forum, would have most of the subject that needed trashing at heart.

Further, she said that strategies are at the final stages to make sure that this edition improves on the intentions of stakeholders ahead of last year’s records.

Nigeria Digital Sense forum, she said, avails stakeholders the needed platform to articulate a stand on Internet Governance and accurately align the nation’s position into the global Internet Governance Forum holding in Vilnius, Lithuania between September 14 and 17, 2010.

The forum, she said, was initiated as part of efforts at always stimulating outlook and enlightenment on Nigeria’s position on the global annual Internet Governance Forum, which is in its fifth year.

She called to mind the fact that 2009 edition was presided over by chairman of the pioneer Internet Service Provider, Linkserve Group, Chief Chima Apugo Onyekwere with the participation of the Federal Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Mrs. Dora Akunyili and Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, who were both adequately represented at the forum.

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ATMC names new chairman, MD

The board of Nigeria’s premier Independent Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Deployer (IAD), ATM Consortium Limited (ATM-C) has named its new board chairman and managing director cum chief executive officer.

A press statement made available to ITRealms Online showed that the operator of QuickCash ATM Network has elevated its immediate past Vice-Chairman, Mr. Oladele Akinyemi to the post of chairman, even as the board approved the appointment of Mr. Olumide Bajomo as the new managing director.

These appointments, ITRealms Online gathered, took effect from January 5, 2010.
This, the company said, was made possible following the expiration of the term of the immediate past chairman, Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman.

ITRealms Online recalls that Mr. Akinyemi represents Diamond Bank, one of the company’s major shareholders where he serves as Executive Director, Customer Service & Technology. Prior to this appointment, he was a member of ATM-C’s board of directors since inception in 2004, and was appointed Vice-Chairman in 2008.

For the outgoing chairman, Mr. Sulaiman, it is delighting to welcome Mr. Akinyemi to chair the board at this critical time in the history of the company.

“His distinguished professional track record and unwavering commitment to actualization of the ATM-C vision combines well with a deep financial and technology services background. This appointment is timely, allowing him to participate fully and work closely with the new management in the ongoing restructuring, transformation and execution of a new strategic plan for ATM-C,” Sulaiman said.

In his response, Mr. Akinyemi said that having been closely engaged in all issues facing the ATM industry from banking as well as IAD perspectives, he is glad to take on the central role of leading ATM deployment organisation in West Africa.

“I look forward to working closely with the board and the new Chief Executive, Olumide Bajomo, and believe we will form a strong and effective team,” he asserted.

The current times are challenging with the recent licensing of two additional IAD’s by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but ATM-C has many strengths and valuable assets on which it is building an enduring customer focused business.

Mr. Akinyemi was optimistic that the new team could restructure the company to enable these strengths, once again to become what it is known and valued for.

Mr. Akinyemi started his professional career in 1987 with International Computers Limited (ICL) as Systems Adviser.

He commenced his banking career in 1989 as Head Systems Unit at the former Lead Merchant Bank moving on to Diamond Bank in 1991 to Head different units such as Systems Unit, Commercial & Consumer Banking Unit as well as Retail Banking unit.

He later moved to United Bank for Africa (UBA) as Head Retail Banking under the Consumer Banking Division and thereafter to Head Card Business, Cash Management and e-Solutions Group at Citibank Nigeria.

He returned to Diamond Bank in 2002 overseeing Operations and Technology Divisions prior to being appointed to the board of the bank in 2006.

He earned a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Lagos and an Executive MBA from International Graduate School of Management, IESE, University of Navarra, Madrid, Spain.

He is an Alumnus of Lagos Business School and Harvard Business School, a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK (MCIM) and an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nigeria (HCIB).

He is also a member of the National Payment Systems Strategy Committee (NPSSC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

On the other hand, Mr. Bajomo, the newly appointed Managing Director/CEO of ATM-C, would leverage his wealth of experience in the electronic payments industry based on the pioneering role he played at the inception of ATM-C.

With over 19-year experience spanning technology and financial service industry working with leading institutions including two of the largest banks in Africa, Mr. Bajomo is expected to provide leadership and execute strategies for the development of e-business, e-banking and e-payment.

As Deputy General Manager with Ecobank Group, he was responsible for Transaction Banking Service Delivery across 28 African countries, and also serving as Head, Transaction Banking in Ecobank Nigeria.

Prior to this, he was an Assistant General Manager and Divisional Head, Electronic Banking with UBA Group, while he served as director on the board of payment services and e-business organizations such as ValuCard Nigeria, InterSwitch, National eGovernment Strategies Limited (NeGSt) and ATM-C earlier as a non-executive Director representing UBA Group.

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Ofulue, Ekuwem for eWorld broadband forum

Former Director of Training and Research at the Nigerian Telecommunications Plc, (NITEL), Prof. Joe Ofulue and President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, as well as the President of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) Mr. Lanre Ajayi have been lined up to present papers at the 2010 eWorld broadband forum.

The two-day event scheduled to hold in Lagos, between March 3 and 4, 2010, the organizers said, is an important forum to the overall plans to achieve the broadband objectives of the country.

They also said that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry is bracing for the broadband forum being organized by eWorld Magazine, according to the Managing Editor, Mr. Aaron Ukodie.

For this reason, he said, industry stakeholders see the forum as crucial for the successful broadband implementation.

Mr. Ukodie, in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, noted that careful planning was required to ensure that everyone is carried along in achieving the objectives of the forum, stressing that the March 2010 date was appropriate.

He quoted the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, as saying that it would enable careful planning and involvement of all stakeholders.

According to Ekuwem, ATCON’s secretariat is set to mobilize all the over 200 member companies to support the forum.

The ATCON President was particularly thrilled by the range of issues and topics that eWorld has lined up for discussion, describing them as appropriate and focused.

President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) Mr. Lanre Ajayi while giving his group’s support to the eWorld Forum and has agreed to present a paper at the two-day event.

Equally lined up to present a paper at the eWorld Forum is Professor Joe Ofulue, former NITEL Director of Training and Research.

The eWorld two-day forum will also present opportunity for companies to exhibit products and services that are related to broadband.

Discussions are on with others among them notable international speakers to present a global perspective to the forum and help provide content to the Nigerian bid to develop its broadband services.

Stakeholders are naturally upbeat that 2010 will usher in the broadband revolution, but as it is commonly known wishes alone do not do the job. The Forum is being packaged by eWorld magazine, with support from industry stakeholders.

There are grey areas that must be looked at; a pathway that leads to fruitful deployment, especially on the national and users end must be well articulated.

He noted though the expected berthing of a number of undersea cables in the New Year signals a good prospect for broadband hope, the last mile end must be put in perspective.

“Already, Glo-1 is has anchored on Nigeria’s shore awaiting activation. WACS and MainOne are making speedy sail towards Nigeria. SAT-3, the old horse awaits its competitors,” part of the press statement read.

As said by Ukodie, plotting the pathway early enough in the year ensures that stakeholders do not grope in the various tasks in achieving the expectations of Nigerians.

“A headache-free e-buisness and all the expected e-transactions are premised on the coming developments, Ukodie noted.

Nigeria ’s broadband hope is in line with the focus of several developed countries, such as the United States , which is exploring the broadband route for economic revival.

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ITU to introduce life mimicking 3D system

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is set to stun Television viewers with high sophisticated broadcasting system with stereoscopic 3D, that mimics real life visual experience.

In a press statement by the Study Group 6 of Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) in a new report outlined a roadmap for future third dimension television (3D TV) implementation, which envisages that the systems will be so smart they could accurately mimic the way human eyes and brains perceive the visual world.

The new roadmap would see 3D TV technology rolled out in three successive generations, which is technically known as profiles.

The first generation — ‘plano-stereoscopic television’ — calls for two views to be delivered to viewers’ TV sets. Wearing special glasses similar to those used to watch 3D cinema, viewers will be able to see depth in the picture, although the view will remain the same when they move their heads in real life, and view changes when they move their heads.

The second generation will provide for multiple views, with head movement changing the view, for a viewing experience that more closely mimics real life.

The third generation will feature systems that record the amplitude, frequency, and phase of light waves, to reproduce almost completely human beings’ natural viewing environment. These kinds of highly advanced systems are technically some 15-20 years away.

Commenting, the Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, Mr. Valery Timofeev said the new ITU report establishes a clear framework for the development of new types of systems that will totally change the way we experience broadcast and multimedia content.

“It maps out an exciting vision that won’t just change the look of entertainment, but open up a whole range of exciting new possibilities in sectors from education and healthcare to traffic management,” he said.

New 3D TV technologies being developed under the auspices of ITU will also have major implications for the film and television production sector, as content will need to be filmed using special new equipment in order for viewers to enjoy the full 3D experience.

Christoph Dosch, Chairman of ITU-R Study Group 6 said: “This is an important step forward on the road to globally-agreed ITU Recommendations on 3D TV. I’m optimistic that we’ll make further advances at our next meeting in April 2010.”

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Free blackberry subscription reflects commitment - Etisalat

The Marketing Officer, Etisalat, Mr. Wael Ammar has said that the company’s ongoing Blackberry service free promo is a reflection of Etisalat’s continuous drive to provide necessary tools and services for its customers to gain the competitive advantage in their business and family relationship, reports CHARLES OKOH.

“It will also help our customers in expanding the value derivable from mobile telephony far beyond internet and data transmission but also enhanced connectivity,” he said

Ammar disclosed this just as subscribers who have benefited in the ongoing special promotion package that offers two months free subscription at the purchase of any of the blackberry devices; Bold 9000, Storm 9500 and Curve 8900 on the unique BlackBerry
Internet Service plan, are full of praises to the telco for the promo.

The promo which is open to new and existing customers on both prepaid and postpaid will run till January 20, 2010.

A press statement to ITRealms Online quoted Idris Muhammed who bought his package from Etisalat’s Experience Centre at SilverBird Galleria, as saying it was an opportunity that could not be allowed to slip by.

“I have always wanted to buy a Blackberry but was not really sure from which of the networks to go for, but the promo is a kind of encouragement coupled with a friend’s experience on the package. It has been an experience worth the money and I will simply encourage anyone to go get it because it works for me,” Muhammed said.

For Chiahmen Philomena, a student of University of Abuja, the promo provided the opportunity she has been waiting for to join the leagues of big girls in her school; and she would encourage her friends to also subscribe to the package because it is really worth the money spent.

“Look, the promo just came at the right time when my father wanted to give me a Christmas gift. The experience has been wonderful and I cannot wait to get my friends to join the big girls’ league. Etisalat Blackberry service is quite functional and cool,” she said.

According to John Uwana a businessman who subscribed to the Blackberry internet service plan at Etisalat’s Temp shop in Enugu, continuous subscription to the package after the promo is non-negotiable as it will be ridiculous for anyone to get the package only for promo and discard afterwards.

“Fine the promo gives one some kind of easy entrance, but I will sure continue to subscribe and enjoy the service because it is very fast. The promo actually hastened my subscription because I have been dilly-dallying before now,” Uwana said.

Another consumer, Folayemi Cardoso said she found the free subscription attractive.

“The internet service is quite efficient; it is different from the one I was using before. I will continue to subscribe after the promo because I need the service to keep ahead in my business.” Said Cardoso, an aviation executive who bought her package at Etisalat shop at Mega Plaza .

Etisalat Nigeria in October 2009 partnered with Research In Motion (RIM) to launch the BlackBerry solution which offered the latest in Blackberry smartphones, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and BlackBerry Bold.

Both are exceptional smart phones with built-in Wi-Fi support and advanced multimedia capabilities.

The BlackBerry solution brings together industry-leading smart phones, software and services to provide powerful and easy-to-use email, phone, calendar, web and multimedia applications, as well as access to thousands of other mobile business and lifestyle applications.

The company recently introduced the pre-paid variants of its Elite World package in response to the yearnings of its numerous customers who desire the benefits of the elite package without the commitment of a post paid contract.

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MTN Y’ello Bounty promo ends in style

FOR subscribers of telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria, it was a bountiful yuletide, as the company gave out several prizes and gift items to customers in its Y’ello Bounty Promo prize presentation held simultaneously in various major cities across the nation, reports CHARLES OKOH.

The promo which ended January 8, 2010 saw both old and new subscribers of the telecom network troop out in their numbers to be part of the presentation which held in the six geo-political zones in the country.

Various winners were rewarded with prizes which included Suzuki Motorcycles, 2.50 KVA Generators, HP Laptops and Samsung phones, while other raffle draw participants at the venue were presented with instant gifts such as bags of rice, gallons of groundnut oils, and other attractive items such as Xmas goats and chicken.

A press statement to ITRealms Online quoted the Regional Marketing Manager, South-South region, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Kester Osahenye as saying that the company is committed to enriching the lives of its subscribers in various ways and Y’ello Bounty promo is one of those ways which the brand has chosen to share the joy of the season with its customers.

The highpoint of the event included the presentation of Suzuki Motorcycle to the winners, Mrs. Agboola Alade, Idowu Patrick and Chineye Anyanwu. Four other winners, Adigwe James, Lawrence Udeagha, Kingsley Uwaoma and Rogers Obudianga, were also presented with a 2.50KVA generator each, the statement said.

Unable to hold back his joy after receiving a Suzuki Motorcycle, one of the winners in Port Harcourt, River State, Mr. Idowu Patrick, expressed delight and gratitude to MTN for the initiative, which according to him, shows how much they care for their customers?

“I am very thankful to MTN for this special gift. I feel very excited because this motorcycle will help improve my life and that of my family. I can see many other people here too, winning different prizes and everybody is happy. Obviously this is one of the best Christmas celebrations we have ever experienced.”

Other prize winners from the instant raffle draw also made away with attractive prizes as the specially packaged event also engaged the crowd in various other exciting competitions which involved singing, dancing, comedy and blind search game, as well as various amusing activities for children.

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Samsung Corby phones hit market

Samsung Nigeria, one of the leading mobile phone manufacturers has announced the launch of the Corby family of mobile handsets including, B3210 Corby Txt, B5310 Corby Pro and S3653 Corby, reports CHARLES OKOH.

In a press statement to ITRealms Online, Samsung said the Corby series were designed to support highly connected lifestyles of today’s younger mobile users.

Corby Txt, on the other hand, is a phone with a sensuous design that is a perfect medium for messaging.

According to Head, Mobile, Samsung, Mr. Peter Lee B5310 Corby Pro combines business productivity and efficiency with style and pizzazz while S3653 Corby is a curvy, stylish, full touch screen communicator for the discerning user.

He also said the Corbys easily fit in the palm of the hand and they are a standout in the crowd with their fun changeable fashion jackets.

“Corby incorporates Samsung easy to use Touchwiz user interface and haptic feedback system which gives users the ability to customize their Corby with widgets and applications,” he said.

Mr. Lee said Corby has one-finger zoom which allows users to zoom in and out with one finger. Samsung, said touch technology is so intelligent that with C-type touch, one doesn’t need a stylus to use the phone. Just slide a finger across the screen. It has smart unlock which allows the user to unlock the phone by drawing a letter on the screen.

It comes in a selection of coloured fashion jackets which are interchangeable and allows users to change the style of the handset to suit their lifestyle or fashion.

Corby Pro is a hybrid slider with a slide out QWERTY keypad and a variety of entertainment and multimedia capabilities like push email, exchange activesync and conversational SMS.

“It has a 3MP camera, Wi-Fi, 3G/HSDPA and quad band connectivity. It comes equipped with a 3.5MM ear jack and dedicated music keys. It offers the ultimate in multimedia and music entertainment,” Lee said.

Corby Txt is a message-centric mobile delivering easy-to-use SMS and IM, as well as simple social media uploading functionality. Quick launch buttons offer fast access keys to key features and messaging application.
Widget that allows one click access to social networking sites like facebook, Myspace, Picassa, flickr. Users can update their status, access updates and live feeds.
Fast internet connection for speedy file transfers and access to other devices AM FM stereo, video recorder and MP3 player.

All three Corbys, Mr. Lee said, have cameras with smile shot, thus ensuring that the people in the photos are always center stage whereas video recording is also available.

Furthermore, he said it has an MP3 player stereo FM radio for round-the-clock music, news and information. Users have one click access to Social Networking Sites like facebook, Myspace and Picassa.

Lee pointed out that more people today access the internet through their phones than via personal computers (PCs).

Corby, Corby Txt and Corby Pro give the user access to internet and multimedia services at the push of the button. It allows access to Instant Messages like Yahoo! messenger or MSN messenger. It is a dynamic business tool and one’s best buddy at the same time,” he said.

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Stakeholders commend Beacon of ICT awards 2010

Stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) sector have commended the debut of the Beacon of ICT awards.

They also said that the merit-centric awards are coming at the right time to reward best practices and recognize outstanding contributions in the sector.

The showers of unprecedented praises are coming as votes for the nominees continued to flood to the selection committee.

While casting his vote, Adeyinka Adewusi, wrote “I want to appreciate the efforts of the organizers for throwing the awards open for Nigerians to vote. I think this is the first time the general public especially the stakeholders in ICT sector (end users) will be given the opportunity to pick the outstanding telecom companies in the year 2009”

Elsewhere, Premo’ Ojokojo, head, Corporate Services, Phase3 Telecom Limited also commended the efforts of the organizers to showcase the ICT industry with the awards.

Ikem Joe, also wrote to say “big thanks to the Communication Week Media Limited ICT, you are doing a good work keep it up and may the almighty God give you the grace in this work of Communication”

Reacting to this development, Ken Nwogbo, editor of Nigeria CommunicationsWeek said that the newspaper is happy with the responses so far.

Beacon of ICT awards, he said, were instituted by Communication Week Media Limited, publishers of Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, to reward organizations and individuals who contribute the most to put Nigeria and Nigerians in the global ICT map in 2009.

The awards, he said, are free and have been designed primarily to recognize government and business organizations as well as individuals for their creativity and excellence in the application of ICTs and solutions to provide efficient and high-quality services to Nigerians.

According to him, the awardees will be chosen by Nigerians who recognize and appreciate the guiding lights of the organizations and individuals as well as the symbols of hope they raise.

Voting lines for the various categories, he noted, opened since November 2, 2009 and will close 6 pm, Monday, March 15, 2010.

Nwogbo further said these awards will encourage organizations and individuals to continue to strive for excellence in all of their business and customer transactions, by implementation of innovative and improved ICT based services.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Zain concludes Naira Rain promo with N10m draw

Zain Nigeria has concluded its Naira Rain promo with the draw held for the grand prize of N10 million in Lagos.

Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Commercial Officer, Shamel Hanafi represented by the Director, Marketing Strategy and Decision Support, Zain Nigeria, Mr. Godfrey Efeurhobo, said that the final draw marked yet another important day for all Zain family in the country.

He noted that the promo which was launched on November 23, 2009 provided a rare opportunity for several of its Nigerian subscribers to become millionaires.

“So far, the offer has produced over 300 winners in the one million naira category while six winners emerged in the five million naira category,” he said.

Pointing out that the grand finale draw ushered in one lucky customer into the exclusive club of big time millionaires.

He also said that the promo was designed for a singular purpose of delighting and rewarding Nigerians for their loyalty as well as empowering customers to fulfill their dreams.

“Indeed, this beautiful idea is in line with our company’s brand philosophy of a ‘wonderful world,’” he declared, reiterating that Zain is sincerely committed to extend its brand promise for a wonderful world to all its customers.

Further, he commended their partners in ensuring transparency of the project including Alexander Forbes and TCQ & A, whom he said, acted as the external auditors for painstakingly auditing the system and process of the promotion and draws.

Equally speaking, the Marketing Director, Zain Nigeria, Mr. Mostafa Younes, pointed out that in the past weeks, Zain offered subscribers on the network various categories of prizes in the Naira Rain promo, including N1m daily and N5m per week, during the period of the promo.

He described the final grand prize as special, because it saw the emergence of the mega prize winner of N10m, stressing that Zain has gone the extra mile of ensuring that these millionaires receive their cash prizes.

“My colleagues in the regions have worked hard to ensure that every winner that emerges from this promo gets his or her cash prizes. And we do not have to look far for evidence of this as we get to see the prize presentations in the media almost on a daily basis,” he asserted.

Younes explained that the promo was for existing and new customers of Zain had same opportunity to participate and win big in the campaign.

“Customers only needed to use as low as N50 airtime to participate in the draw for the particular day, through the duration of the promotion,” he said.

He emphasized that winners were selected randomly via a raffle draw and the process of the offer is made very simple to make it easy for Nigerians regardless of their education, financial and social profile to participate in the promo and become winners.

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Visafone opens ultra-modern shop @ Festac

Acclaimed leader in the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) market, Visafone Communications Limited, has opened an ultra modern shop at Festac Town in Lagos.

Disclosing this, the Media Relations Officer, Visafone, Mr. Justice Ilevbare, said that the residents of Festac Town and its environs are now experiencing unique customer care and service delivery as Visafone opened the ultra modern shop in the neighborhood, thereby bringing its quality products closer to the community.

He also informed in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online that the shop is equipped with facilities that will take care of the needs of both new and existing subscribers in the area and is designed to provide such services like data connection, voice connection, sale of handsets, modems among other telecoms devices under Visafone brand.

He quoted the Director, Sales (South) at Visafone, Mr. Sam Edoho as saying that with the highly trained and efficient customer care personnel to man the shop, Visafone has brought first class communication experience to the residents of Festac Town.

“We are also offering top of the range customer service, in a friendly and cozy environment,” he declared.

In addition, Mr. Edoho said the opening of the Festac shop was in line with Visafone’s commitment to widen the reach of its services that are nearer to the populace.

“The opening of the new shop further expresses the company’s determination to bring fast and easy communication to every Nigerian no matter where they live,” he said, stressing that this is another move to ease the joy of communication with family, friends and loved ones.

Edoho equally said this was part of the telco’s drive to empower Nigerians with various communication tools, as they don’t have to commute or walk long distances to be able to enjoy products and services on their network.

“With this development, Nigerians in the historic town can now subscribe more easily to the various exciting products and services which the telecoms provider offers as it is now within reach,” he said.

ITRealms Online recalls that Visafone recently recorded a historic feat of becoming the first network in Africa to be Open Market Handsets (OMH) compliant.

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ATCON, NIG back Broadband summit 2010

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) have given support to the forthcoming Broadband Stakeholders Summit, due to hold next month in Lagos.

In a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, weekend in Lagos, the chief executive, e-Business Life Communication Limited, Mrs. Ufuoma ‘Daro, the organizers, said the theme would focus on “Broadband Revolution: Harnessing Broadband for National Development,” and has been scheduled to hold on Tuesday, February 09, 2010.

She quoted the National President of ATCON, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, as stating in a letter to the organizers of the summit, that ATCON was delighted to endorse the summit as the topic is apt and will “give us an avenue to deliberate and prepare to systematically and gainfully channel and effectively utilize the expected broadband capacity by the middle of the year 2010 as well as Nigeria’s digital harvest in Year 2015.”

The letter entitled “Endorsement of One-day Stakeholders’ Summit on Broadband Fibre Optics,” Ekuwem noted that the telecoms outlook for the Year 2010 clearly indicates the availability of capacity in large quantum during the second half of the year.

“The question then is: what do we do with the expected bandwidth? How do we utilize these broadband to automate processes of national economic, social and political lives of our compatriot?”

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the association, he said, has decided to collaborate with e-BusinessLife Communication Limited as the summit will enable us answer some of these questions.

In the same vein, the Nigeria Internet Group in its own letter signed by its National President, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, said the future outlook of broadband infrastructure deployment in Nigeria looks good with the level of investment by operators, just as he stressed that if the right environment is created the nation will benefit a great deal from these developments.

“It is our opinion that the stakeholders’ summit proposed by e-Business Life Magazine will help us collectively look at ways of tapping into the great opportunities that the expected massive rollout of broadband in 2010 will achieve and also look at ways to overcome possible challenges,” he said.

In her comment, “Broadband Revolution: Harnessing Broadband for National Development,” Mrs. ‘Daro noted that while it is no longer news that Nigerian telecommunications sector is adjudged to be the fastest growing in Africa; this is only in the area of voice as it is not yet Uhuru in the area of data.

She recalled the report of AfricaNext Investment Research, which had earlier disclosed that Africa’s broadband market will grow more than fourfold in five years from 2.7 million in 2007 to 12.7 million.

This prediction, she pointed out is already reflected in recent developments in the country, which are expected to bring about a revolution in broadband during the course of the year 2010.

“Some of these developments according to her, includes the advent of Glo 1, which is expected to cater for long term bandwidth requirements for voice and data transmission in the West Africa sub region; Main One Cable, which is expected to berth in June 2010.”

Other efforts, she said, included the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Wire Nigeria Project (WIN) as well as the already existing though not stable SAT-3, which is expected to become more efficient and effective once it gets a better manager. It is expected that these developments will boost the Nigerian broadband space remarkably in the year 2010.

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ICANN seeks volunteer reviewers on 4 key areas

Internet coordinating agency, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has called for volunteer reviewer of its four key objectives.

Announcing this, weekend, ICANN said the reviewers would focus on the four key areas, namely, ensuring accountability, transparency and the interests of global Internet users; reserving security, stability and resiliency of the Domain Name System (DNS); promoting competition, consumer trust and consumer choice; and Whois policy.

ICANN also said that the reviews will be performed by review teams composed of volunteer community members representing the relevant supporting organizations and advisory committees.

A paper introducing draft proposals, ICANN noted, has been dedicated to the organization of the review processes, while it’s available for public comment until the end of January.

In parallel with this process, ICANN informed that it now invited interested individuals to express interest in serving as a volunteer review team member.

This is a permanent call for applications; however, candidatures for the first review ‘Accountability and Transparency’ will be accepted until February 17, 2010.

However, the executive summary of the draft proposal on affirmation reviews: requirements and implementation processes, stipulated that contains specific provisions for periodic review of four key ICANN objectives be made as aforementioned.

It presented a draft framework to address Affirmation review requirements, stressing that the purpose of the paper includes both to provide a vehicle for community comment on all aspects of the review process, and to serve as guidance for the review teams.

“This proposed methodology is based on a lightweight but rigorous and meaningful approach, integrating standard review cum participatory evaluation practices in order to achieve sound, implementable outcomes,” ICANN stated.

The concept behind the Affirmation reviews, ICANN noted, provide a mechanism to assess and report on ICANN’s progress toward fundamental organizational objectives.

“The reviews themselves should follow this principle of simplicity. The Affirmation document outlines many of the parameters of the reviews, establishing in advance the basis for each review’s terms of reference,” part of the executive summary read.

Further, the Affirmation document defines who selects the review teams, and defines the type of review team participants, just as it finally, outlined time frames for each review that dictate a streamlined approach to performing the reviews.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

President’s absence: Nigerians @ FB demand video clips

Worried by the over 50 days absence of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Nigerian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders and internet enthusiasts have taken their concern to the largest social networking site in the world, the FaceBook (FB), demanding for a video clips if only to confirm his health status.

ITRealms Online recalls that President Yar’Adua purportedly travelled out of the country to Saudi Arabia on what his officials later told Nigerians was on a trip for usual medical check-up.

These concerned Nigerians who started this campaign with a mere Short Messaging Service (SMS) to who cares are soliciting to know from the government and its officials the where about of Mr. President.

While those carrying out the campaign on the where about of President Yar’Adua, soars, they were in unision in demanding video clips of the President alive, with the number of fans for the clamour increasing by the hour.

For the SMS’ making a round they earnestly asked where exactly is President Yar’Adua, just as they enjoined other well meaning Nigerians to inquire on the whereabouts.

Part of the SMS making a round read: “Where exactly is President Yar’Adua? Join in asking. Demand to know! Send to at least 10 pple.”

Whereas this SMS has continued to make more Nigerians really began to ask questions about the president and more affirmed they have received this kind of SMS twice.

Already, there are majorly four groups carrying out this campaign in the popular FaceBook, namely Where is Yar’Adua? Where is President Musa Yar’Adua?; 150m people who want to know where Yar’Adua is?; ‘Where is Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’ and Where is the President of Nigeria, Umaru Yar’Adua?

At present, the membership of groups have soared to 260, 26, 53 with common interest across their membership and 10 fans in the Where is Umaru Musa Yar’Adua with interest as non-profit, while the group ‘Where is the President of Nigeria, Umaru Yar’Adua?’ has recorded 151 followers with common interest largely drawn from the government officials.

The most worrisome point raised among the FaceBook fans was the fact that President Yar’Adua left for the check-up without formally handing over powers to his Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

This, they agreed is unhealthy because, what happens in the case of any external aggression against Nigeria, who should give orders for the military, for instance, to come in defense of the nation, given that the ‘Commander in Chief’ has taken a French leave.

As much as all Nigerians across the various fan groups wished Mr. President well, they also want him to return to the country alive to carry on with his job, though they were emphatic that it was a gross error for him to have travelled out without formal handover note to enable VP Jonathan to act, rather than stagnating the nation.

According to the group ‘Where is the President of Nigeria, Umaru Yar’Adua?’ its motive is to draw the attention of the world to the plight of Nigerians, since the President of over 140 million people had reportedly gone missing.

“We were told that he went to Saudi Arabia for a checkup more than a month ago ...! And tasked Nigerians to join in asking for the whereabouts of Mr. President, they therefore declared Umaru Musa Yar’Adua missing,” the group asked.

They also argued that the nation cannot be sick or in comatose simply because Mr. President is sick, therefore, they canvassed for the best of information to really show Nigerians that their president is alive apart from the politicization of the office of the Vice President from taking over or even in acting capacity, while the ruling party looks the other way.

Mr. Ojuks Amadi expressed the belief the office of the vice president was created for a situation like this, and lamented the trend the politicking of the issue has taken.

“I strongly believe the office of the vice president was created for unpredictable times like what we have now. It worries me that we Nigerians politicize everything even when it´s detrimental to our national interest and security,” he stated in his FB’s wall.

For Ms Ulo Ume, at this point even a doctored video evidence could be desirable, stressing that it would, at least, show effort on the part of his whereabouts or on even his ‘abductors’.

“Effort to accord us with an explanation, effort that may begin to signify that the retards do realize that silence is unacceptable. Also give us a new basis and impetus for further developments and discussions,” she argued.

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