" ITREALMS: June 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Etisalat, Etihad offer new packages for premium GEM customers

Fastest growing and most innovative telecommunications company in Nigeria, Etisalat has joined hands with the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Etihad Airways to package unbeatable offers for its premium GEM customers. This partnership aimed at strengthening the GEM reward system and offer Etisalat GEM customers unparalleled lifestyle and loyalty benefits including discounted flight tickets and new roaming package.

With the partnership, Etisalat GEM customers will pay less than $3000 for family holiday to the UAE which is inclusive of flight tickets, hotel stay for 4 nights and 30-day visa for a family of three. Similarly, Etisalat GEM customers are entitled to 20 per cent discount on flight tickets to the UAE when they choose to fly Etihad Airways whilst getting roaming discounts during their holiday.

Commenting on the partnership, Chief Marketing Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Francesco Angelone said the partnership was conceived to deliver the highest quality of service and satisfaction for the company’s GEM customers.

"The goal of our partnership with Etihad Airways is to add value to the lives of our GEM customers and make holiday trips and vacations more enjoyable for them with value-added incentives. We believe that this partnership with Etihad Airways will provide unparalleled satisfaction to our GEM customers," he said.

Speaking on the partnership, Maurice Phohleli, Etihad Airways' Vice President, Africa Sub Sahara and Indian Ocean, said: "We are confident our collaboration with Etisalat on this promotion will reward new and existing guests with travel options that provide great value. 

Etihad Airways prides itself on building strong relationships with its guests and, with the summer holidays here, we intend to show our appreciation by rewarding GEM customers for their loyalty."

Etisalat GEM is the reward program from Etisalat that offers amazing reward to loyal high value customers who attain a pre-defined threshold on the network over a 12-month period. To become an Etisalat GEM customer, subscribers only need to spend a minimum of N120, 000 on Etisalat products/services.
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BVN enrollment: CBN extends exercise to October 31, 2015


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) this afternoon extended the Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercise to October 31, 2015, ITRealms reports.

The four month’s extension came on the heels of the clamour by bank customers across the country for extension following the expiration of the deadline for the exercise on June 30.

Some of the customers, ITRealms gathered had complained that the process was too slow due to internet connectivity problems and appealed to the CBN to push the exercise further up in order to ensure no customer is disenfranchised in the verification.

However, contrary to the claims by Deposit Money Banks (DMB) that there would be total restriction on accounts without Bank Verification Number (BVN), after the deadline today, the CBN has clarified that account holders can still have access to cash transactions while the e-banking transactions would be restricted.

The BVN, ITRealms learnt is an initiative of the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee, launched on February 14, 2014.  It is a unique identifier for each bank customer across the financial industry, making it possible to build and track customer financial history and activity.

Cyriacus Nnaji /GEE

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Galaxy Backbone commits to deploying education cloud, partners Vice Chancellors

Galaxy Backbone has reiterated its commitment to ensure that Nigerian Universities join the fray of cloud users as it partners Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms reports would enable the leveraging its suite of cloud applications which can be accessed over the internet or Galaxy Backbone’s fibre and terrestrial wide area network. 

The partnership ITRealms gathered was one of the major outcomes at the Annual Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) Conference held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently. 

The Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Mr. Yusuf Kazaure who was represented by the Group Head, Business Development, Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Nneka Nwobi shared their excitement over the collaboration with AVCNU.

“We are excited that the shift from traditional software models to the Internet has steadily gained momentum over the last 10 years. As a leading ICT infrastructure and services company in Nigeria, we believe that the next decade of cloud computing promises new ways to collaborate everywhere and empower Nigerian Universities with the technology platform to compete in a global world” he said.

He explained that the key components of Galaxy Education Cloud include nationwide, dedicated institution management systems, a robust, personalized platform for student administration, access to nationwide fiber backbone with special discounts for higher education and dedicated online collaboration spaces for VCs and faculty with secure access control. 

Equally, Malam Yusuf said that as a key technology partner, Galaxy will ensure high-speed connectivity links to all institutional partners as well as provide capacity-building activities for university personnel. 

Galaxy Backbone boss further said that universities are critical stakeholders in preparing the future workforce and that there was need for meaningful and robust engagement between the Gown and Town so that outputs from the ivory towers would meet the needs of the industries.

He urged the university authorities on the need to embrace requisite technologies and digitization of records across universities which would open plethora of opportunities that would drive internally generated revenues (IGRs) that are essential for entrenching universities autonomy.

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Jega bows out of INEC, hands over to Wali


 The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, today bowed out as the chairman of the apex electoral body in Nigeria just as Ambassador (Dr.) Mohammed Ahmed Wali has been appointed to take his seat in acting capacity, reports ITRealms.

 Wali, a Muslim, Fulani, hails from Sanyima town in Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto State in the North-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

ITRealms was informed that he will serve till August  2015 when a substantive INEC head will be chosen. Information from the grapevine also has it that the Ondo State Governor, Mimiko’s younger brother, is favoured to clinch the INEC exalted position.

Before his appointment as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ambassador Wali was a Visiting Reader (Associate Professor) to the Department of Political Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, and Chief Executive Officer, Development Strategies International (DSI).

Ambassador Wali is a member of various committees of INEC and the Chairman of the Tenders Board, ITRealms reports.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ GEE

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Monday, June 29, 2015

BVN deadline:crowd take over banks

As the stipulated deadline for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercise draws to a close tomorrow, June 30, 2015, and with no sign of extension, Nigerian banks have witnessed an unprecedented crowd as account holders try to beat deadline, reports ITRealms.
Investigations which include visits to First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Access Bank and Zenith Bank branches across the country by ITRealms indicated that customers had waited till the twilight of the exercise to ensure compliance.

The exercise which was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was meant to solve identity management challenges in the banking sector. The CBN introduced the BVN in collaboration with all banks operating in Nigeria and managed by the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement Systems (NIBBS). 

Launched on February 14, 2014, ITRealms reports, the  exercise was described as an initiative that will boost financial inclusion as those who have typically stayed away from mainstream banking due to low literacy levels will be able to open and access their bank accounts using their biometric information rather than traditional identification methods.

The general public were encouraged to visit any branch of their banks to register for  BVN in order to secure their accounts from fraudsters.

The bank verification number gives every bank customer a unique identity across the banking industry, since it has a centralized biometric identification system which could be used for every identification and verification at point of banking operations.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ GEE

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Buhari promises sustainable initiatives, inaugurates NEC


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, inaugurated the National Economic Council (NEC) in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, just as he reiterated his administration resolve to enthrone sustainable initiatives, reports ITRealms.
According to the Third Schedule, Part I, Section 153: Sub section (18 & 19) of the Constitution, ITRealms reports that NEC, act as one of the Federal Executive bodies, mandated to advise the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation, and in particular on measures necessary for the co-ordination of the economic planning and programmes of the various Governments of the Federation.
Buhari also named his Vice President, Prof. Yomi Osibanjo as the chairman of NEC, adding that NEC meetings have remained the official economic platform for dialogue among the 36 State Governors, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and other co-opted members.
He also noted that NEC chaired by the Vice President deals on issues and challenges facing the development of the country, at national and sub-national levels, and discussed with a view to develop and harmonize common strategies for addressing them.
Buhari pointed out that during his inaugural speech, on May 29, 2015 he stated that the primary objective of this Administration is to tackle insecurity; youth unemployment, through the revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining, as well as small and medium size businesses.
“I also highlighted pervasive corruption; fuel and power shortages; public service reforms; and the need to allow every tier of Government to exercise its constitutional responsibilities, among others. We are fully committed to embarking on sustainable visionary initiatives and programmes that will restructure and transform our national economy.”
His administration, Buhari said is also committed to ensuring collaboration and facilitation of the international efforts to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), financial crimes, cybercrimes, climate change; the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.
Equally, he urged Nigerians to ensure that the nation surmounts these enormous challenges facing the country by working to support economic policies, which the government will soon unveil to grow the economy and finance external promises.
Consequently, he said, leadership must kick-start this process by cultivating a culture of prudent management of resources at all levels of government. This will entail looking inwards to secure sustainable ways of increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); and harnessing growth potentials of each State to supplement the Federation Account allocation to States. 
“The States are also encouraged to embark on projects that will meet immediate needs of the people taking account of available resources. I therefore urge Council members to consider, as a matter of urgency, exploring efficient means of gradually liquidating all unpaid salaries of staff, which have brought untold hardship to thousands of families,” he said.
All revenue generating agencies such as Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) amongst others shall comply with stipulated Financial Regulations and Administrative Instructions in their remittances into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Chuks Egbuna/GEE
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