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FGN accuses Nigerians in diaspora of funding secessionist groups - ITREALMS

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mobile Accord, Beyonic partnership brings platform to 25 more countries

Beyonic, a technology company that aims to eliminate rampant use of cash in emerging markets and Mobile Accord, another mobile platform company with expertise in building scalable mobile solutions have agreed to bring their services to additional 25 countries, ITRealms reports.

With this announcement the partnership will make Beyonic the largest mobile money aggregator in Africa. Beyonic currently operates in Uganda and Kenya, and will leverage Mobile Accord’s expertise in building mobile solutions and relationships with leading mobile carriers as its (Beyonic) online platform enables businesses to quickly deploy, track and manage 2-way mobile money payments over multiple mobile carriers with one, easy-to-use system.

ITRealms gathered that Mobile money allows those in emerging markets to pay or receive money through even the most basic mobile phones. For NGOs and businesses working in emerging markets, mobile payments enable fast, secure money transfers and reduce losses associated with cash payments.  However, until now, businesses making mobile payments needed to connect individually to every carrier they wanted to send money through, a time-consuming process for organizations that are operating in multiple countries.  Beyonic’s cross-carrier solution allows businesses to manage payments in multiple countries through one intuitive platform.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Beyonic, Luke Kyohere, said, “For those working in emerging markets, cash payments are riddled with security and logistical issues. Over the past few years, mobile money has become popular both for businesses looking to move away from cash, and for individuals who do not have the means to open traditional bank accounts.  Beyonic’s system allows NGOs and businesses to utilize mobile money for expenses with very little set-up, and we are excited to expand this important tool across Africa.”

Using Beyonic’s online interface, companies can manage payments to employees, aid beneficiaries, and vendors. The ability to make and track payments across any network, ITRealms learnt, opens up mobile money to businesses which previously did not have the resources to connect to every carrier in a country.  Beyonic is already integrated with prominent mobile money systems including MTN and Airtel in Uganda and Safaricom’s m-Pesa in Kenya, and has been used by organizations including Save the Children, Educate! and Innovations for Poverty Action to reduce the need for cash payments and increase operational efficiency.

Mobile Accord has direct relationships with 78 mobile carriers in 44 countries in Africa and Asia and will use its connectivity to expand Beyonic’s reach. Together, Mobile Accord and Beyonic will work to implement a roadmap for expansion, starting with 10 key markets: Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Airtel sets Warri, Kaduna on fire with Independence concerts

Airtel Nigeria, a leading telecommunications services provider company, has concluded plans to set two Nigerian cities on fire with star studded musical and comedy concerts to celebrate Nigeria’s 55th Independence, ITRealms reports.The shows scheduled to hold simultaneously in Warri and Kaduna will feature top Nigerian artistes, comedians as well as up-and-coming entertainers.

The Warri concert tagged ‘Warri Again Music & Comedy,’according to the organizers, artistes confirmed for the concert include Basket mouth, Bovi, AY, Buchi, Gordons alongside music stars like Korede Bello Olamide and Iyanya lined up. Other popular acts such as Dr Sid, K cee, Cynthia Morgan, Harrysong, Lil Kesh will also thrill guests at the event, ITRealms gathered.

 Meanwhile, Airtel is also collaborating with a showbiz platform, Talk Crew Network (TCN), to host its customers to the Kaduna Independence Carnival, which is a two-day show billed to hold on October 1st and 2nd at Green Apples Hotel (Carnivores), Sabo, Kaduna.

Some artistes that will perform at the Kaduna show are, ITRealms learnt, include Bishop Talk, Pheroshuz, SkinnyBoi, Emmyli, Dan Hausawa, Stayo Stevens, Penny and Nino Brown, while Disc Jockeys (DJs) like Kelly, Abdul, Menthol, White, Uzzy, Bizzy and others will spice up the occasion. The Kaduna show will feature a red carpet session, and guests are expected to wear a touch of Nigeria’s colour, green and white.

Speaking on the event, Airtel’s Chief Sales Officer, Godfrey Efeurhobo, noted that the telco organised the Independence concerts to commemorate the nation’s 55th Independence anniversary and to also connect with its teeming customers especially the youth.

“The nation’s independence anniversary remains a significant moments in the history of Nigeria. And Airtel Nigeria recognises this important day and also realises that the nation can further be built through empowering youths and creating opportunities for them to achieve their dreams. The independence concert also underscores Airtel’s commitment to supporting the Nigerian entertainment industry.”

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
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Gamaliel Offoritsenere Onosode dies @ 82


The Nigerian technocrat, administrator and a former presidential candidate of the defunct All Nigeria People's Party of Nigeria, Gamaliel Offoritsenere Onosode is dead, reports ITRealms.

ITRealms gathered, Mr. Onosode died Tuesday morning at Gold Cross Hospital, Ikoyi Lagos after a protracted illness.

Onosode was an Urhobo by birth, he was raised in Sapele , Delta State by a disciplined father. Dr. Gamaliel Onosode, ITRealms gathered, has chaired several private and public sector businesses and initiatives. He was the Chairman of Dunlop Nigeria Plc (1984–2007), a former chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc (1977–93), the Presidential Commission on Parastatals (1981), Nigeria LNG Working Committee and Nigeria LNG Limited (1985–90) and the Niger Delta Environmental Survey (since 1995). He is also the Chairman of Zain Nigeria, a GSM telecommunications company, the oldest GSM operator in Nigeria.

Onosode was Presidential Adviser on Budget Affairs and Director of Budget (1983), a Fellow of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, the Nigerian Institute of Management, of which he was President (1979–82), a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, having been elected to membership of its Board of Fellows in 1998.

Also, Mr. Onosode was immediate past and inaugural President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, immediate past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Uyo and immediate past and inaugural President and Chairman of Council of the Association of Pension Funds of Nigeria. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and holds Honorary D.Sc. degrees of Obafemi Awolowo University (1990), the University of Benin (1995), and the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (2003) as well as Honorary D.D. degree of The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso (2002).

In 1995, he became the Chairman of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey, a non-governmental organisation that conducted scientific studies on environmental and social impact assessment of oil exploration in the Niger delta. The survey was partly financed by Shell.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

OLX identifies what Nigerians look out for in used vehicle

Online classifieds site, OLX has revealed what Nigerians look out for when buying used cars, as engine, price and transmission of the car top results, reports ITRealms.

OLX Country Manager, Lola Masha, told ITRealms that the research was carried out to identify what is most important to the users when buying used cars. 

“This information will enable us educate them on what to really look out for when in the market to buy a used vehicle” she said, stressing that the poll revealed that 26 per cent of the respondents believed that the engine was the most important thing to consider when buying a used car. 

Also, she said that this was followed very closely by 22.3 per cent who considered the price as a vital thing to consider and 1.7 per cent chose the transmission. 

“While, the remaining 38.4 per cent, chose the model, colour and year of the car,” she said.

Seasoned expert in automobiles and General Manager, Mandilas Enterprises Limited, Stephen Gladwin stated that “there is a wide range of factors to consider when buying a used vehicle. More often than not, there is more to consider than what meets the naked eye. These factors range from the condition of engine, gearbox, transmission system, tyres, year of manufacture, the make of the vehicle, battery condition, and even the upholstery. These are instrumental factors that make up the overall perception of the vehicle.”

He also disclosed that, “There are however little things that could make or mar the feel of the car and they must be considered in the utmost regard. Some of these comprise of the AC system, Radio/CD, steering system, body condition, windscreen, rust, effectiveness of clutch system, brakes, windows, body colour, suspension system, Odometer reading, condition of airbag, ABS, wheel and exhaust.”

Gladwin further intimated that none of the aforementioned should be taken in levity. 

“It is important to seek proper assessment from a trained technician/mechanic who will carry out a physical test of the vehicle to ascertain these conditions, a road test to posit the girth and balance of the vehicle, as well as a diagnosis test to confirm the overall valuation of the vehicle,” he said.

Nigerians who are in the market to sell their used vehicles can post their cars on OLX for free and qualified ads will get an evaluation certificate from Mandilas that will state the current market value of the car as well as the condition of each part of the car.  This will benefit both the buyer who is worried about the worth and condition of the car they want to buy and the seller who is not sure of the monetary value of the car.

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Guild of Editors mourns late Hajiya Bilkisu

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), has expressed deep sense of loss and sadness over the death of a Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf, (FNGE), who died during a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday, September 24, 2015, reports ITRealms.

NGE General Secretary, Victoria Ibanga in a press statement made available to ITRealms, described Hajiya Bilkisu as trailblazer, quintessential, and indefatigable Nigerian Journalist who was invaluable and respected fellow of our prestigious association.

“We are greatly saddened by her untimely passing and sincerely convey deep sympathies in this difficult time to members of her family who painfully bear the brunt of her sudden exit,” she said.

According to NGE, Hajiya Bilkisu broke the glass ceiling to edit two national newspapers and a magazine namely, The Triumph in Kano, The New Nigerian, and Citizen (both in Kaduna). 

“Besides being the first female Editor from Northern Nigeria, she scored many other firsts in the course of her sojourn here on earth. She was the founding member of Women in Nigeria (WIN), the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association (FOMWAN), a columnist for Daily Trust and Leadership newspapers, and the Executive Director of Advocacy Nigeria, a movement for the reduction of maternal and child mortality,” NGE noted.

Further, the Guild said that in a journalism carrier, which spanned over three decades, Hajiya Bilkisu, carved a niche for herself, contributing immensely to the growth of the Guild and development of the media industry in Nigeria, Africa and the whole world.
“This feat had made her a great citizen of the world,” NGE said.

Bilkisu, the NGE said, through her work touched many lives, united families, states and the nation in general and was fondly called was also a brilliant voice for the voiceless Nigerian Girl Child.

“We also convey our heartfelt sympathies to the families of other victims of the tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families,” NGE prayed, stressing the need for the organizers of the pilgrimage to take precautionary measures to avoid future occurrences.

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Nigeria reaffirms commitment to climate change agreements


President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the international community thatas a party to the Climate Change Convention and its Protocol, Nigeria remains committed to the adoption of a legally binding universal agreement to mitigate climate change, NaijaAgroNet reports.

He commended the countries that have announced their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) ahead of the October 2015 deadline. These contributions, he stated, will go a long way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The INDCs will serve as a yardstick for measuring the commitment of parties to the Framework convention.

NaijaAgroNet learnt, Buhari was  speaking at the summit meeting on climate change  in New York,September 27, 2015, adding that “the  summit provides a unique opportunity for us to work together to address climate change and its impacts which is an undeniable issue of concern to the international community. The increase in global warming is an indication that we face a crisis of global proportions,” he said.

“In Nigeria, we have seen extreme weather variations, rising sea levels, encroaching desertification, excessive rainfall, erosion and floods, land degradation - all of which threaten the ecosystem. These developments have devastating human costs and are affecting food security, livelihoods and the very survival of our people.

“To address these negative effects, we have developed a National Policy to guide Nigeria’s response to Climate Change. Our response is broadly based on the twin strategy of Mitigation and Adaptation.
“In addition we must prioritize the means of implementing the INDCs, in terms of finance, technology and capacity building, especially in supporting developing countries, including those in Africa. This is fundamental to ensuring that collective action to combat climate change is indeed, collaborative and effective in the long run”.

“As we approach Paris, the Nigerian position which reflects the African consensus, is that a legally binding universal instrument will be beneficial to all State Parties. Nigeria will continue to champion the core principles and goals of the new Sustainable Development Agenda and hopes that the next Conference of Parties will eventually become a global milestone to combat and cushion the dire impacts of climate change,” Buhari said.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Tecno, Africa Magic splash N9.9m on‘Own the Stage Karaoke’ competition‘15

Strongly emerging mobile phone brand, Tecno and DSTvAfrica Magichave doled out a total of $50,000,about N9,952,500 million for the inauguralTecno Own the Stage Karaoke competition, ITRealms reports.

Speaking in Lagos at a news conference to herald the three months competition, a team of officials from both organization, said Tecno Own the Stage would see Karaoke singers from across the continent battling for the prizes which comes in three categories.

The General Manager, Mobile Apps, Tecno Mobile, Mr. OyeAkideinde saidthat over the next three months, 15 contestants drawn from Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania would contest via a number of themed challenges with one person ultimately emerging as Africa’s first karaoke champion.

The contest, he said, would battle in front of a panel of judges to secure a spot in the live finale.

Akideinde, accompanied by the Activation and Event Manager, Mr. AttaiOguche, revealed that the third place winner would be going home with $10,000, about N1,995,000 and Tecno Phantom 5 smartphone; while the second place winner  is expected to go home with $15,000, an estimated N2,985,750, plusTecno Phantom 5 smartphone and three month-internship opportunity with a renowned record  label;while the ultimate prize of $25,000, about N4,976,250 in addition to a Tecno Phantom  smartphone as well as the chance to record a song with one of the judges,ITRealms learnt.

“At Tecno, we continuously strive for greatness. Our products and growth across Africa are a testament to our drive for perfection. Tecno Own the Stage competition is simply in furtherance of this fact. Africa is brimming with love and undeniable talent for music; there are a lot of people who, given an opportunity, will showcase to the rest of the continent and indeed the world just what they are capable of.Tecno Own the Stage competition gives the opportunity and platform to do just that,” he said.

Head, public Relations, M-Net West Africa and Africa Magic, EfosaAiyebomwan, said, “Africa Magic is renowned as the leading provider of world class local content for Africanand global audiences, and also a leading investor in entertainment talent across Africa.

“Our channels, original productions and inclusive shows continue not only to highlight and showcase the best of African entertainment content, but also continue t o serve as platforms for the discovery of exciting African talents. We are delighted to partner with Tecno in bringing the Own the Stage competition to screens across Africa, and we invite our viewers to tune in and catch all the excitement as we discover the continent’s next big star,” he concluded.

Speaking also was one of the judges, Jude Abaga popularly known as M.I. who said Tecno Own the Stage competition is an exciting development for talented and prospective singers from across Africa.

“Karaoke, as a form of entertainment has been around for as long as the practice of recording music itself. There are a lot of talented individuals who have been waiting for an opportunity to show their talent to the wordand Tecno Own the Stage gives them more than an opportunity but also a platform and benefiting prizes to go with it.I am extremely proud to be part of the platform that encourages and promotes talent in Africa,” M.I. said.

The other judges for the competition, ITRealms gathered, are YemiAlade, and Bien, a member of the famous African music group, Sauti Sol.Whilethe show host will be the winner of Big Brother Africa, UtiNwachukwu, who said he will bring Uti factor into the show and make it as natural, relaxed and exciting as possible. 

Cyriacus Nnaj/GEE

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Buhari orders NAHCON, Nigerian embassy to account for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, ordered the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) and the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to urgently account for all Nigerian pilgrims in the aftermath of last Thursday's disaster at Mina.

A press statement from the Presidency made available to ITRealms, the Presidential directive follows conflicting reports on the number Nigerians who died or suffered injuries in the catastrophe which claimed well over 700 lives.

President Buhari is very concerned that days after the unfortunate incident, some Nigerian families are still grappling with painful uncertainty over the fate of their relatives who traveled to Saudi Arabia for this year's Hajj.

The President expects the National Hajj Commission to work with the various state pilgrim boards, Islamic organisations and private travel agencies involved in Hajj operations to speedily provide a confirmed and verifiable report on the status of every Nigerian pilgrim in Saudi Arabia.

President Buhari has also directed the Hajj Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to give all necessary assistance to Nigerians who are still receiving treatment for injuries suffered in Mina.

He continues to pray that Almighty Allah will receive the souls of the dead, comfort bereaved families, heal the injured and bring all surviving Nigerian pilgrims safely home.

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New server deals to spur growth in MEA - IDC



New server deals in Middle East and Africa  are expected to spur growth in key countries like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, ITRealms reports.

These deals will primarily be within the healthcare, government, financial services, and telecommunications sectors, according to IDC report.

The recent declines in the market's revenue has been attributed to the fact that vendors like Huawei and Lenovo are offering servers that are almost 40 per cent cheaper than the prices offered by the market's A-ranking vendors, namely HP and Dell.

Looking at the second half of 2015, IDC expects the MEA server market to experience a 4 per cent increase in volume and a 6 per cent decline in value year-on-year.

This is coming on the heels of declining server market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA)  which ITRealms gathered comprised x86 and non-x86 servers which contracted 10 per cent year on year in Q2 2015 to total 65,000 units, according to the latest figures from International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

This decline can primarily be attributed to the poor political and socioeconomic conditions that have hampered a number of countries in the region; particularly notable in the x86 server market where a number of significant projects within the government sector were delayed. In revenue terms, the market remained flat as there was a slight increase in the number of higher-end servers sold during the quarter, ITRealms learnt.

Research analyst for systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, Victoria Mendes, said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate (UAE) experienced very slow quarters, both in terms of x86 server units and revenue, primarily due to delayed budget rollouts, the traditional slowdown over Ramadan, and continuing uncertainty around falling oil prices.

“Combined, these two countries suffered declines of 28 per cent in volume and 21 per cent in value year on year in Q2 2015. But despite the slowdown, the UAE did see a few deals take place in the government and financial sectors, while Saudi Arabia saw a big deal in the oil and gas industry,” she said.

Revenue in Turkey, ITRealms learnt, was up by around 20 per cent year on year despite the market suffering a 10 per cent decline in shipments. This anomaly can be attributed to the fact that several large-scale deals took place during the quarter. The market is also seeing improved uptake of virtualization technologies, which consume lesser server units than is the case in traditional datacenters.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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