" ITREALMS: July 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cherie Blair Foundation hosts champion mentoring

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women recently hosted special event to champion mentoring as a powerful tool for empowering women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms gathered drew on findings from an evaluation of its Mentoring Women in Business Programme.

According to the Chief executive officer (CEO), Cherie Blair Foundation for Women,  Sevi Simavi, the research showed that women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies face a number of barriers to establishing and growing successful businesses.

These barriers, she outlined to include educational inequalities, inability to access networks, a lack of access to capital and a lack of role models.

“Mentoring can play a vital role in breaking down these barriers and empowering women to gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed,” she said.

ITRealms recalls that Simavi was quoted as saying that to mark this year's International Women's Day, people across the world are being asked to make a 'Pledge for Parity'.

“In my view, there is no better time to make such a commitment,” she declared, adding that the World Economic Forum estimates that it will take until 2133 for men and women to gain economy parity.
She pointed out that in order to close this gap sooner, hence the need to start now.

Stressing that whether as an individual or an organisation, everyone has the power to take concrete action to advance gender equality - from ensuring that women are given equal opportunities to progress in the workplace to challenging own internal biases. 

Uj. Dominic/SmartMonkey/ED, Ops
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Pix: (CEO), Cherie Blair Foundation for Women,  Sevi Simavi

Biafrans and Onumah’s ‘prophecies’

Title: We Are All Biafrans
Author: Chido Onumah
Publisher: Origami
Year: 2016
Pages: 214

Along the line of my quest for knowledge, I have always come across this cliché that Nigeria is a land of milk and honey: Arable land, mineral resources, and a large and enterprising population; variables that make a nation great. Regrettably and in spite of all of these, we have been in a pitiable situation. Whenever I ruminate over these conundrums, a whole lot of rhetorical questions keep agitating my mind.

Setting my eyes on this book, its title, We Are All Biafrans, only heightened a sense of curiosity in me towards finding out why we are described by one of the age-long canker worms we have been battling to do away with as a country. However, from the outset, as someone who has always shared patriotic feeling with each and every individual that believes in the Nigeria project, I did not see this book as only a work of art, which must be appreciated by its enthusiasts.

Rather, I saw it as a national question that must be answered, and by way of a review. I set out with a clearly spelt out mission of finding out why we (Nigerians that abhor the word Biafra), would be described as such.

My curiosity was, however, appeased by the first sentence in the prologue of the book which reads: “The young Nigerians now threatening to actualize Biafra should forget or shelve the plan. They should, through research and study, reconstruct the Biafra story…and answer the unanswered questions and supply the missing links in the story.”

By this, the author has offered these disgruntled youth agitating for a sovereign state of their own an olive branch.

Going further through the book, it appears however that the agitation Onumah describes has more to it than meet the eyes, because he metaphorically describes all of us as Biafrans, as long as we are seeking to confront the crisis which is a product of the feeling of alienation and marginalisation due to our deeply flawed federalism. He believes that such feeling is arguably widespread from the south to the northern part of the country.

Hence, the basis for the author’s prophesies that Nigeria is sitting on a time bomb that could go up anytime. He argues that Nigeria as a country has paid dearly for allowing politics to trump patriotism and wasted much time and resources doing nothing and going nowhere.

Now, before undertaking an analysis of the book, it is important to know that this great book is a compendium of the author’s published articles in both traditional and online news outlets within the last three years (2013 to 2016), grouped into chapters one to five.

Chapter one, ‘The politics of 2015’, deals with the high-wire politics of the 2015 elections and its crucial stake in the survival of Nigeria as a country. The author, through the star article of this chapter titled, ‘2015: Why Buhari Matters’, issued a warning that, “the impoverished millions of our country men and women, the wanton abuse of rights, the unmitigated corruption, alienation, internal colonization and exacerbation of the fault lines of the country were not issues that the current political order could tackle.”

The second chapter, ‘Dancing on the Brink’, focuses on the issue of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC). In this, the author thunders that Nigeria is a big scam, a collapsed edifice that is in need of an urgent overhaul through a recognized form of representation that would carry everybody along. He says: “More than fifty years after independence, we have managed to alienate one another so much so that people still see themselves as northerners, southerners, and everything in between.”

However, the author jubilates over a glimmer of hope that resurfaced through the convention of a National Conference. In the next chapter, ‘Unmaking Nigeria’, his jubilation is cut short as he argues that “many, if not all, of the problems that assail us as a nation are rooted in the structure of the country which has been left unattended to”. 

He argues:
“My take is that majority of Nigerians do not really give a damn about the disintegration debate because to them the country started disintegrating the very moment it became a sovereign nation, when rulers had the opportunity to build a united and prosperous nation but they were so mired in their clannish and thieving ways to worry about that.” Pp.65

Reinforcing the above statement, the fourth chapter, ‘Of scoundrels and statesmen’, focuses on some individuals and groups in and out of government whose actions have either enriched our polity or reinforced it as the giant of Africa only in name. In the chapter, the author clearly spells out how most of our leaders have always failed to walk their talk and how this inability has torpedoed our growth and unity.

In the next chapter, Chapter five, ‘Last Missionary’, the author reminds us that we are living in a deeply fractured nation and we could only ignore that reality at our own peril. He adds that unless we sit at a table to negotiate the terms of our co-existence as a people, our country would continue to ‘go round and round’.

“There are millions of our compatriots across Nigeria for whom this country provides no succor, there are millions who feel they have no stake in Nigeria, millions who feel they been left out of the gains that independence ought to bring.” pp.164.

However, according to the author, all hope is not lost because we could still retrace our steps. He notes: “What the current situation calls for is a bold attempt to confront Nigeria’s seemingly intractable problem: The structure of our federalism.”

As much I appreciate Onumah's intellectual contributions towards actualising the Nigeria Project, I think this project is bigger than him and all that have written about it. That notwithstanding, this work of art would go a long way in evoking a positive thinking in the readers and Nigerians as a whole. Essentially, the book is intended to sustain the reader's interest, remain true to the empirical evidence and deliver a message, all at the same time. It is a wonderful keepsake for all those who want to understand why Nigeria is not work and what needs to be done.

In addition, this book is written in a simple, straightforward language to the understanding of anyone with a smattering of the English language. The font size and type face too is reader-friendly.

One thing readers of the book may find as its shortcoming however is the fact that some of the articles are not presented in a chronological order which makes it difficult for the reader to come to terms with the chain and sequentiality of the unfolding of events. Such shortcomings slightly impede one’s understanding of the sequence of events presented in this epistolary tome.

It is hoped that future editions of the book will correct these and a few typographical errors noticed. All in all, readers will find it very informative and those saddled with the responsibility of leadership in the country may find in it a useful guide in tackling some of the problems troubling the nation.

Ibrahim Ramalan is an Abuja-based writer and journalist. He can be reach at ibroramalan@gmail.com

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Gov. Wike echoes commitment to democracy, development

... Insists Rivers is safe for investment
The Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom  Wike, has reasserted his administration’s commitment to democratic governance and development, insisting that the State is safe for investment, reports ITRealms.

He made this declaration while hosting the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Guild of Editors led by its acting President, Mrs.  Funke Egbemode to a breakfast on Saturday in the state’s capital Port Harcourt.

Wike noted that by surmounting political and economic challenges to deliver  quality pro-people projects and improve  the living standard of the  people of the state, are all evidence of his irreversible commitment to development and democracy.

Pointing out that state would attain greater mileage in terms of development if it is not made to  face endless rerun  elections  and politically-induced security challenges.

Also, the governor later led the NEC of the guild on a project inspection around Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.

A press statement by the Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Ken Ugbechie and made available to ITRealmslisted some of the projects visited to include the NBA Law Centre, Woji -Akpajo road with bridge,  Government Girls Secondary School,  Rumuokwuta, Remodeling of Port Harcourt Civic Centre and the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park.

Further, he attributed the achievement so far to his focused administration of the state and love, stressing that governor stated  that  he combined  infrastructural  development  and workers welfare within his first year in office, because  that was the way to revive the state's economy  which was battered by the immediate past administration.

According to him, despite the propaganda being sponsored by the opposition, Rivers State is safe for investments and development.

"It is important for everyone to know that Rivers State is safe and is witnessing massive development.  In the next two months, we are hosting many national events. We have already hosted several national events in the last two months.

"For me as a governor, this is a privilege to serve my people and I will give it my best shot. I am ready to lay down my life for the state. My commitment to the development of Rivers State is total. I will forever defend it."

The governor  said  those planning to rig elections  in the state will not succeed because the people  are ever vigilant  to stop them.

He said : "Stealing the mandate of the people  is a serious  crime and it is worse than armed robbery. In this case,  those involved  plot to use arms to steal the mandate of Rivers people. That will never succeed. They came to rig the March 19 rerun  elections  and the people resisted."

The governor  charged  the  media to work  towards  informing  the world on the true situation  in Rivers State,  pointing  out  that  majority  of  the  information in the public  domain are concocted  by the opposition.

"For our democracy to continue to succeed,  the media  has a major  role to play. It was publicity that led to the failure of the Turkish coup", he said.

In an interview with journalists, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Funke Egbemode, said the leaders of the guild have been in the state for days and they can confirm that the state is safe.

She also commended the  governor  for his judicious application of scarce resources for development.

The Nigerian Guild of Editors will be holding its Annual National Conference in Port Harcourt from August 3-7th. Theme of conference is Economic Diversification: Agriculture as Option for a Prosperous Nigeria.

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Pix: L-R: Publicity Secretary of Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr Ken Ugbechie, President of Nigerian Guild of Editors, Funke Egbemode, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and Architect Akor Adokpoyi  inspecting the NBA Law Centre in Port Harcourt.

GPD selects Nweke for cyber policy rights defenders programme

The United Kingdom-based Global Partners Digital (GPD) has selected the Lead Strategist cum Group Executive Editor of DigitalSENSE Africa Media group, Mr. Remmy Nweke, to be part of the global strategic movement of cyber policy for human rights defenders, reports ITRealms.

Revealing this nomination in a letter to Mr. Nweke and made available to ITRealms, the Project Coordinator, Global Partners Digital, Ms Daniela Schnidrig, stated “We are delighted to inform you that you have been selected to participate in the programme.”

She also said that the cyber capacity building programme is aimed at building the capacity of civil society actors to increase their knowledge on cyber policy issues and improve their advocacy skills to bring a human rights perspective to policymaking debates.

“It will run from August - September 2016 and will consist of two elements; an online training component and in-person training meeting,” the project coordinator said.

For the online training component, Ms Schnidrig said consists of five training modules, each including training videos and an interactive question and answer session, which allow some 50 participants to ask questions to experts in the field.

On the other hand, she said, the in-person training will take place September in Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom with full scholarship supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Schnidrig also said that this programme focuses on making cyber policymaking processes around the world more inclusive, and will be led by experts, providing practical advocacy and communication skills, tailored to regional needs.

Currently, Remmy Nweke as the Lead Strategist cum Group Executive Editor, coordinates the information analytics at DigitalSENSE Africa Media, the organisers of the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum Series on Internet Governance for Development (NDSF-IG4D) and Nigeria Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6) Roundtable since 2011 and publishers of international multiple award-winning ITRealms, NaijaAgroNet and DigitalSENSE Business News.

The pioneer secretary, Lagos branch of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), Nweke, lately, served as Executive Board member of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) where he presided over the Communications and Publicity Committee as well as member of the Local Multi-stakeholders Advisory Group (LMAG) of the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF); Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) - the social arm of the Catholic Church; and associate member, Nigeria Red Cross.

Nweke, a former Publicity Secretary, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and outreach sub-committee member of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), holds MA degree in Contemporary Diplomacy from the University of Malta and is a graduate of Advanced Journalism with over 19-year experience in media practice and online information management certifications from across the world.

A widely travelled professional, Remmy Nweke is the author of ‘A Decade of ICT Reportage in Nigeria … The Award-winning Series” and public speaker on new media, web 2.0+ and cyber information advisory to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) interest groups and companies, is also a member of Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) of ICANN and as a member, Civil Society Selection Committee for the High-level meeting on World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10) he affiliates with the African Civil Society on the Information Society (ACSIS) serving in various committees, to name a few.

Nenye Dom/ED, Ops

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Friday, July 29, 2016

InnJoo Max 3 smartphone ready for unveiling

Latest in shelf mobile device brand in the Nigerian market, InnJoo is set to unveil its Max 3 smartphone, reports ITRealms.

InnJoo Max 3, ITRealms gathered is a high-specifications smartphone with an epic six-inch High Definition (HD) screen with fingerprint technology, offering more value to millions of consumers.

ITRealms also reports that InnJoo Max 3 was built around an all-metal body design and the first time applied 2.5D diamond-cut glass, is a sleek and premium-looking device that would go a long way in meeting the needs and aspirations of millions of Nigerians in search of a high-powered mobile device at a cost that makes sense in line with current economic realities.

Aside offering unparalleled bigger screen to work with, InnJoo Max 3 comes fully equipped with a 4000mAh long-life battery designed in line with consideration of the power situation in the country, availing users over 2 day-long normal usage and 19 hours phone call time with a single charge.

This is in addition with its rapid response quad core processor, the Max 3 offers the user 0.35 seconds lightning fast unlock speed, along with the guarantee of quicker upload and download of multimedia contents.

For selfie lovers, InnJoo Max 3 is very useful tool with its high-powered dual cameras: 13MP at the back and 8MP in front which offers auto-focus, multiple modes and anti-shake properties, delivering best in class picture quality.

With the official launch of the product set for Monday August 1st 2016, the Max 3 is already generating huge excitement among tech-savvy Nigerians, many of whom are in tune with InnJoo’s wide range of high specifications and affordable devices.

Interested buyers who are eager to be among the first to get their hands on the Max 3 have also been offered an opportunity to enjoy amazing freebies by pre-ordering the product. By visiting the pre-order page @ www.innjoo.com, potential buyers can leave their email address and be the first to order the limited quantities available in Nigeria.

With its headquarters in Dubai and supplying in Shenzhen, InnJoo devices which include a wide range of high specifications and affordable smart phones, tablets and smart lifestyle devices, among others, have occupied an increasingly prominent share of the Nigerian mobile market, with consumers and end-users won over by their sleek design, smart features and state-of-the-art functionalities.

Riding on its success story in parts of the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Egypt, among others, the consumer electronics brand is desirous of tapping into the huge, under-penetrated and growing Emerging Markets of Middle East and Africa, with Nigeria in focus, at the right price points. This, it hopes to achieve, by becoming a key enabler for the migration of millions of Nigerian users from feature phones to smartphones by leveraging on its sustainable lean cost structure and focus on affordable smart devices.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Orange driving digital transformation in MEA

Orange Telecom has said it’s driving digital transformation in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) with new innovations in smart metering, solar power, Near Field Communication (NFC) and customer experience, reports ITRealms.

The Deputy CEO and Chief Finance and Strategy Officer, Ramon Fernandez, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa (MEA) Bruno Mettling, and Jean-Marc Vignolles, Chief Operating Officer for Orange MEA, outlined their vision and priorities, identifying a number of new sectors and activities in which Orange could play a key role in delivering digital transformation in this region.

ITRealms gathered that the Middle East and Africa remains a key growth contributor for Orange, just as Bruno Mettling, CEO, Orange MEA, said the Middle East and Africa remains a key growth contributor for Orange. 

"Today, we are present in 21 countries in the zone, with more than one in 10 Africans being Orange customers. We are investing for the long term and plan to continue playing a major role in the digital transformation of the region, from providing infrastructure and access to communications services through to developing new models that will help the region grow,” he said.

Also, ITRealms reports that Orange Money, is part of the Group’s ambition to strategically diversify around mobile financial services. With more than 19 million clients (+36 per cent year on year) , Orange Money is a proven success and, for the first time, Orange Money has exceeded one billion euros of transactions in June 2016. It has recorded around 50 per cent growth in revenue in the first half 2016 compared to first half 2015.

In February 2016, ITRealms further gathered that Orange partnered with Google to launch the Orange Rise 31, an affordable new Android-based smartphone bundled with data, available in 10 countries in the MEA.

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Diamond Bank maintains stable growth in 2016 half-year performance

Diamond Bank Plc has maintained stable growth in the half year (H1) 2016 performance scorecard, despite harsh macroeconomic outlook, reports ITRealms.

The Chief Executive Officer, Uzoma Dozie, said Thursday while formally releasing the bank’s H1 2016 performance scorecard at the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said it demonstrated considerable growth in key financial parameters.

Just as industry analysts had forecasted sluggish growth due to the harsh macroeconomic outlook, but the interim report and accounts of the bank for the first six months of the year surpassed industry expectations as total comprehensive income rose by 13.3 per cent year on year to N16.3 billion as against N14.4 billion recorded in comparable period of 2015. Non-interest income surged by 33.4% to N26.5 billion, reflecting the successful efforts targeted at improving this income line and also the focused strategy of management, which were sharpened at improving digital functionality and widening financial inclusion.

Also Dozie said that the bank’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) remained modest and stable at N10.5 billion while Profit After Tax (PAT) stood at N9.1 billion, thus meeting shareholders’ expectation for the period under review and showcasing the strategic strength of the management creatively configured to surmount the turbulent macroeconomic environment and the tough regulatory framework facing the financial services sub-sector.

Diamond Bank, ITRealms gathered, improved on its credit creation by 28.6 per cent as loans and advances to customers grew from N763.6 billion in the same period last business year to N982.3 billion. Also, loans to other banks jumped by 30.7 per cent to N78.5 billion in H1 2016 from N60.1 billion in the corresponding period last year, while its retail customers grew to over 13 million with 7 million of these opening accounts in the last 2 years. Also, the Banks digital leadership in the financial services sub-sector gained ascendency as its Diamond Mobile Apps usage increased from 1.6 million to 5.1 million while volume increased from 1.3 billion to 5.5 billion year on year.

The Bank further said, it sustained a strong top line growth with the asset base surging to N1.970 trillion from N1.753 trillion in the same period last year, representing 12.4 per cent increase.

Dozie, pointed out that despite the economic headwind, the Bank would remain resilient and sustain the positive growth throughout H2.

According to him, the Bank’s strong liquidity and capital adequacy ratios plus its digital transformation have rightly positioned it to meet customer obligations and offer service deliveries that are beyond banking.

“With the domestic economy contracting, the Nigerian banking industry has faced a number of challenges over the last six months. Nevertheless, in the first half of 2016, we have remained resilient in weathering these headwinds and there are real bright spots in our income streams, as well as noteworthy cost reduction, which gives us confidence going into the second half of the year. Due to actions taken and an ongoing prudent approach, our regulatory capital remains strong. This position of strength helped offset the one-off impact of the recent devaluation of the naira, as acknowledged by Fitch Ratings when they affirmed our B rating with a stable outlook. Liquidity of the bank also remains high and is well above the guidance ratio stipulated by CBN,” he said.

Dozie equally noted that although year-on-year impairment charge grew by 45.6 per cent to N19.0 billion, reflecting the Bank’s continuation of prudent provisioning, which is aimed at strengthening performance in the years ahead; its operating costs and interest expense are shrunk by 10.7 per cent and 27.5 per cent, respectively compared to H1 2015, reflecting success of the cost control initiative and low cost deposit strategy.

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops
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Confirmed: Uduaghan is special guest @Editors confab 2016

The immediate past Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has been confirmed as the Special Guest of Honour at the 12thedition of the All Nigeria Editors Conference (ANEC) slated for August 3 through 7, 2016 in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State, reports ITRealms.

The 2016 conference with the theme: Economic Diversification: Agriculture as Option for a Prosperous Nigeria, would be graced by some 300 Nigerian editors, practising farmers, agribusiness financiers, policy-makers and captains of industry, just as the hosted Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, said it would afford the state the opportunity to showcase its investment potentials.

The Acting President of the Guild, Funke Egbemode, who confirmed this in a press statement, said that Uduaghan was chosen to play the role of Special Guest of Honour because of his place in the nation’s history as the Governor who made agriculture and non-oil resources as alternative to dependency on crude oil receipts a state policy through the ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ initiative.

Uduaghan, she said, deployed the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) scheme to empower farmers in the state from the field through the value chain leading to the export of home-gown and processed spices among other products.

Already the host Governor, Wike, has assured editors of a successful outing. In a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the Governor noted that the conference would be a fitting platform to partner with editors and the media to consolidate development in both the state and the nation at large.

Wike noted that the state is hosting several national and international events as a demonstration of the fact that Rivers State is an investors’ destination, stressing that the state is peaceful and the people hospitable.

“Hosting this year’s conference will also make the editors witness first-hand the development projects and programmes of my administration which has improved the living standard of the people”, the Governor said.

The All Nigeria Editors’ Conference is the largest gathering of Nigerian editors. It is a watering hole of ideas that have shaped government policies and programmes over the years. The maiden edition was held in 2004 at Ada, in Osun State hosted by then Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Subsequent editions have been held in different parts of the country. 

The conference also attracts both local and foreign speakers as well as editors from organizations such as the West African Editors Forum (WAEF), the African Editors Forum (TAEF), the World Editors Forum (WEF) and the World Association of Newspapers (WAN).

This year’s edition has been tailored primarily to focus on agriculture as a counterfoil to the dwindling receipts from crude oil.  Speakers include a rich mix of practising farmers, agriculture financiers and policy-makers.

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Pix: Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan,

UN WTO outlines measures to leverage tourism in Nigeria

The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has outlined a number of measures, including technical assistance, capacity building and revision of the Nigeria's Tourism Master Plan, as part of efforts to ensure the development of tourism in the country, reports ITRealms.

Announcing these measures at the end of a two-day meeting between the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and UNWTO in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday, he expressed Nigeria’s interest in hosting the 60th meeting of the global Agency's Commission for Africa in 2018, in order to attract global attention to tourism in the country.

He also disclosed that the global agency is widening access to e-library for Nigerian tourism officials and offering support for relevant tourism institutions and agencies, stressing that under the UNWTO's technical assistance programme, Nigeria will be assisted in the area of data collection for the elaboration of tourism statistics, rural tourism development, hotel classification and in designing programmes to create awareness for tourism.

Focus in the area of capacity building, the minister said will be on the empowerment of women in tourism through the centres being planned for the six geo-political zones and the training of festival managers, among others.

ITRealms gathered that UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, led the agency's delegation to the meeting, and assured that the implementation of the programmes would start immediately and continue for the next two years.

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FG to revalidate ICT directive on local patronage by MDAs

The Minister of Communications, Hon. Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu has disclosed that the Federal Government would soon re-validate its directive on the patronage of locally produced Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products and services by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) reports ITRealms.

Declaring open a plenary at the Afritex ICT Export Industrial Forum and Expo 2016, held on Wednesday at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Shittu said there will be no excuse for MDAs not to patronize indigenous ICT products and services because local content is vital in achieving the overriding mandate of economic diversification and empowerment of the ICT ecosystem in the country.

A press release signed by his Special Assistant (Media), Victor Oluwadamilare, the Minister also noted, this will pave way for the promotion of local content in the sector.

Local content, he said, is defined as the amount of incremental value added or created in Nigeria through the utilisation of Nigerian human and material resources for the provision of goods and services in the ICT industry within acceptable quality and standards in order to stimulate the development of indigenous capabilities.

The minister asserted that the patronage is aimed to achieve the development of local skills, technology transfer, use of local manpower and manufacturing and that it will have a triple effect to increase demand, thereby creating jobs and contribute to the job and wealth creation component of the government’s Change mantra.

Shittu disclosed that Nigeria is ceding  about 70 per cent of the country’s technology market to the foreign brands due to apathy for locally made products thereby losing about $2.8billion yearly to the continued importation of ICT hardware and services  as capital flights from the country.

This, he stated, spurred the government to put in place policies and implementation that will bring recognition to indigenous creativity and protect Intellectual Property emphasizing that the Local Content Policy and guideline would be enforced to the letter.

“The  Local Content Development Policy would be implemented to protect indigenous players in the industry and  the ministry would galvanise right policies that would see to the need of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), let me emphasize here very strongly that  government’s role is to provide an enabling environment within a free market economy.

“The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to boost local content in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector in order to make it compete favourably in the global market”, adding that “the Ministry had in March 2016 held a workshop in collaboration with NITDA on stakeholders’ compliance on the procurement of ICT products and services under the local content guidelines by MDAs.

In addition to this,the minister said, Federal Government moved to replicate the successful implementation of the Nigerian Content policy in the oil and gas industry and other key sectors of the economy with the setting up of the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT.

Berating the high consumption rate of imported ICT goods and services into the country, Barr. Shittu said “under my watch, Nigeria will not be a dumping ground for all forms of technologies”.

He commended the resolution of leading computer manufacturing companies in Nigeria to come under an umbrella body called Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON) with the aim of working  with all relevant stakeholders to grow the capacity of Nigeria computer manufacturers. This, he said, ”will generate increased employment, strengthening the Naira and grow our local economy.”

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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Yudala’s zero gravity debuts with enormous incentives

... plans concert in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu
The Africa’s pioneer composite e-commerce outfit, Yudala, is resolute to make the inaugural edition of a mega-concert tagged Zero Gravity an unforgettable experience with enormous incentives for customers, beginning with the concert in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu, reports ITRealms.

Disclosing this at a world press conference on Wednesday July 27, 2016, the management of Yudala recalls that its barely a year ago, break-even all existing records in the process and setting new standards with several innovative strategies including the first drone delivery in the e-commerce world, with the launch of same day delivery on a nationwide scale, in addition to pioneering offline and online Black Friday sales as well as a slew of other exciting marketing campaigns such as Neighbour to Neighbour Mega Deals, Mid-Day Madness, Yu-Jara and Mobile Monday, among others, through which it has offered the consumer more value-added options.

Giving more insight into the future of Yudala Zero Gravity, the Founder cum Vice President, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh underscored the fact that celebrating customers whose patronage have gone a long way in making its first anniversary a huge success paved the way for an annual multi-city digital entertainment concert like never before.

The Yudala Zero Gravity, he pointed out, would feature headline acts and the best artistes from the genres of contemporary music and rock gospel from Nigeria and beyond, with the first edition scheduled to hold in three cities namely Lagos, Abuja and Enugu, stressing that each city will host two concerts across the aforementioned genres.

Yudala will offer free pass to existing customers on the basis of purchases made from August 1st 2016 on its online platform or chain of Experience Stores located nationwide.

“For every purchase made from any of our platforms from August 1st, shoppers will earn points and once they reach the purchase threshold for attendance, a notification will be sent informing them of this development. The customer will then get a chance to select his or her preferred city or cities of attendance. Also, customers will be upgraded to VIP or VVIP status based on further purchases which may take them to the threshold for these categories,” he revealed.

For non-customers of Yudala who wish to attend the Zero Gravity concerts, tickets will be on sale at Yudala online and in every Yudala Experience Store in the preferred city of attendance.

Going by the information released by the company, Yudala Zero Gravity will witness pure acoustics performances delivered with world-class digital musical equipment from New Concept Media Group’s wide array which will be on full display at the events.

“Unlike other entertainment events that have been hosted in the past, guest artistes at Yudala Zero Gravity will not perform their hit tracks from recorded tapes and CDs. Instead, we will be setting a new standard with Yudala Zero Gravity as all invited artistes and performing acts will perform their songs to perfectly synchronized beats from a live band manned by a crew of experienced and talented musical performers, beat makers and multi-instrumentalists,” said Prince Ekeh.

Uj. Dominic-Nweke/GEE

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Pix: ZERO GRAVITY UNVEILED: L-R: Head, Corporate Communications, Gideon Ayogu; Marketing Communications Manager, Afam Anyika; Vice President, Business Development, Stanley Uzoechina; Chief Executive Officer, Dave Ibelegbu; Head, Offline Retail, Ronke Atoyebi; Founder/Vice President, Online, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh all of Yudala and Tolulope Toluwase of New Concept Media Group (NCMG) at the World Press Conference held at Yudala Headquarters to unveil details of a multi-city digital entertainment concert tagged Yudala Zero Gravity…on Wednesday July 27th 2016.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

ntel unveils TY Danjuma as new Chairman

The NatCom Development & Investment Limited (NatCom) trading as ntel, has unveiled a retired Army General cum elder statesman and accomplished businessman, Theophilus Y. Danjuma as its new Chairman, reports ITRealms.

This follows the emergence of General Danjuma at the company’s inaugural board meeting held Wednesday, July 27th 2016.

A press statement made available to ITRealms by the Director, External Affairs, Mr. Osondu C. Nwokoro and Head Corporate Communications at ntel, Mr. Toni Kan Onwudi, revealed that with General Danjuma as board chairman, former chairman, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, now becomes Vice Chairman. While other members of the board include Captain Idahosa Okunbo, Abiola Ayeni, Kasheem Shettima, Philip Chukwu, Kola Adesina, John Darlington, Dan Kunle, Babatunde Omotoba and Kamar Abass.

General Danjuma, fondly known as ‘the green general’ on account of his environmental activism, has interests in oil and gas, banking and shipping. A respected environmentalist and philanthropist, he was Chairman of Abuja Green Society and through his own Danjuma Foundation, established in 2009, passionately supports poverty alleviation, education and medical aid initiatives across Nigeria.

General Danjuma brings to the ntel board robust commercial experience covering some three decades in the public and private sectors, following a successful career in the army from where he retired as a three-star General and Chief of Army Staff in 1980. He also served as Minister of Defence in the first term of the civilian administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Mr. Kamar Abass, ntel’s Chief executive officer was also quoted as saying they are delighted to have a man of General TY Danjuma’s standing join ntel, sequel to his recent significant investment  in the telco.

“As our new chairman, and as a shareholder, we welcome his support as we add momentum to our growth and development in Nigeria’s telecoms industry. We expect to benefit enormously from General Danjuma’s sterling leadership credentials and, in this way, to build on the excellent work of our immediate past chairman, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, who positioned ntel to deliver the leading Broadband experiences already evidenced in Lagos and Abuja,” he explained.

ntel commenced commercial operations of its 4G/LTE-Advanced network on 08-04-16 in Lagos and Abuja. Network services in Port Harcourt are scheduled to commence early in Q4. NatCom projects making investments totalling more than $1 billion by 2020.

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'Why Nigerian PC manufacturers formed CCMON'

The National Coordinator of Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON), Mr. Bode Pedro, has explained why the group has to debut at this time, reports ITRealms.

CCMON, ITRealms gathered was formed by the top-five Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Nigeria comprising BETA Computers, BRIAN Integrated Systems, OMATEK computers, VEDA Technologies and ZINOX Technologies.

Pedro who also is the chief executive officer, Veda Technologies disclosed that CCMON was berthed to strengthen local content advocacy in the country, stressing that their joining of forces have been in the works for a period, but they were waiting for the appropriate time to debut.

He equally said that CCMON would work with the government to grow the local content in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country.

“The main objectives of CCMON included working with all relevant stakeholders to grow the capacity of Nigeria computer manufacturers that will generate increased employment, strengthening the Naira and ensure the growth of local economy,” he said.

Pedro further said that in line with the aforementioned objectives CCMON is determined to collaborate with the National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA), Office for Nigerian Content in Information Technology (ONC), Ministry of Communications and office of the Vice President (VP) that leads the nation’s economic team.

This position, he said, will ensure that the commendable objectives of the federal government on local content adoption are realized to the benefit of the nation.

ITRealms recollects that in 2002, then president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), issued a circular dated March 7th, 2002 to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that only locally manufactured computers, certified to be of acceptable quality standard should be patronized by all federal establishments.

This directive, ITRealms gathered, was followed up during the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan with the establishment of the ONC in ICT to drive this process deeper to ensure increased implementation monitoring, compliance and value addition to all stakeholders.

Chuks Egbune/GEE 
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British Airways signs MoU with Airtel for customers pleasure

The British Airways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airtel Nigeria to make certain their customers derive pleasure thereof, reports ITRealms.

This follows the strategic agreement enabling substantial discounts off tickets purchased in the next few months for customers.

British Airways' Regional Commercial Manager for West Africa, Kola Olayinka said at the ceremony in Lagos that both companies operated in similar markets and placed a premium on customer service.

"This partnership is a way in which we are able to offer benefits to our joint customers. If you already have an Airtel number, more details on our partnership will be shared with you, if you do not have an Airtel number, this would be a good time to get one, so you can enjoy the discounts we are offering," he said.

For the Airtel’s Chief Commercial officer, Mr. Ahmad Mokhles, who signed on behalf of his organization, expressed delight at the opportunity to team up with British Airways in the Nigeria market.

He explained that discounts to Airtel customers will be available to worldwide destinations, in the UK, United States, Canada, Europe and  parts of  Asia. Customers can choose and pick their preferred destinations for summer or even plan, prepare and book early for Christmas.

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Pix: L-R : Director, Legal and Regulatory, Airtel Nigeria, Shola Adeyemi; Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Ahmad Mokhles; Regional Commercial Manager, West Africa, British Airways, Kola Olayinka and Corporate Sales Manager, British Airways Nigeria, Adetutu Otuyalo at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding  between British Airways and Airtel  at Airtel’s Head Office, Banana Island, Lagos.

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