" ITREALMS: August 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

EnviroNews, others for honour @8th Environment Outreach Public Lecture

Leading online environment and development magazine, EnviroNews Nigeria, along with several others organisations and individuals, will be honoured during the 8th Environment Outreach Magazine Public Lecture and Environmental Awards Ceremony scheduled to hold on Thursday, September 7, 2017 in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The “2017 Environmental Awards” honour individuals and corporate bodies that have distinguished themselves in various fields of environmental management. The Environmental Awards include Environmental Stewardship Award, Environmental Legislative Excellence Award, Environmental Awareness Creation Award, Environmental Media Excellence Award, Environmental Protection and Support Award, Environmental Governance Award, and Community Development and Nature Conservation Award.

EnviroNews Nigeria is to bag the “2017 Environmental Media Excellence Award”.
According to the host of the event and Publisher of the Environment Outreach Magazine, Chief Noble Akenge, the theme of this year’s lecture is “Nigeria’s Depleting Forests and Its Implication for Forest Resources and Climate Change”.

The Lecture, he added, would be delivered by the eminent sustainable development expert, Professor Hilary Inyang, former Vice Chancellor, Botswana University of Science and Technology, Papalye, as well as President/CEO of Global Education and Infrastructure Services (GEISE) LLC. He is also a 2013 Winner of the Nigeria National Order of Merit (NNOM).

The Conservator-General of the Federation, Mallam Ibrahim Musa Goni, is to chair the occasion while Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State is expected as Special Guest of Honour.

Other distinguished guests expected at the occasion include Mr. John Odey, former Minister of Environment; Professor Steve Azaiki, President of the World Environmental Foundation for Africa and the International Society for Comparative Education, Science and Technology (ISCEST), Nigeria; Engr. Goni Ahmed, Director-General of the Great Green Wall Agency;  Barrister Sam Nwakohu, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Living Earth Nigeria Foundation;   Samuel Onuigbo, Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Climate Change; Professor Florence Obi, DVC Academics, University of Calabar; Obinna Chidoka, Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Environment and Ecology; Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, CEO of LUFASI Park, Lekki, Lagos; and Barrister Iniruo Wills, former Commissioner for Environment, Bayelsa State.

Others expected at the event include Dr. Mrs. Alice Ekwu; Commissioner for Climate Change and Forestry, Cross River State; Dr. Iniobong Essien, Commissioner for Environment, Akwa Ibom State; other State Commissioners for Environment; top Government Functionaries, the Academia; Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); representatives of various environmental groups, traditional rulers and members of the public.

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Kunle Azeez wins Outstanding ICT Editor award @ADA 2017

The ICT Editor of the New Telegraph, Mr. Kunle Azeez has been adjudged by an independent panel of jury, as the Most Outstanding ICT Editor of the Year 2017 at this year's edition of the African Digital Awards (ADA), reports ITRealms.

The award, ITRealms gathered was after a thorough assessment of quality and depth of ICT reportage by ICT Editors across newspapers, to emerge at the event held at the Oriental Hotel, Lekii, Lagos.

ADA is a Pan-African awards that recognises outstanding contributions to the development of ICT industry.

Attended by the creme de la creme of the Nigeria's ICT Industry cutting across private and public sectors among whom were Hon. Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, President of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr Olusola Teniola, representatives of NCC, Lagos and Kogi states, to name a few.

ITRealms also reports that other awardees include the NCC, MTN Nigeria, NigComSat, former ATCON President, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem; Abimbola Alale, CEO of NigComSat and her company and Funke Opeke of MainOne, among others.

Commenting on the award, Azeez dedicated it to his family and to the entire management of New Telegraph Newspaper for providing him the platform to contribute his quota to the development of the ICT ecosystem in Nigeria.

“I am humbled by this recognition and consider it a call to do more and most especially, I thank the organisers of the annual African Digital Awards for considering me worthy of this honour,” he said.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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Pix: Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, presenting the award to Kunle Azeez at the event.

UK biggest donor supporting UNICEF @northeast response

The United Kingdom (UK) has been identified as one of the biggest donors supporting UNICEF’s humanitarian response in northeast Nigeria, as well as its work in other parts of the country, reports ITRealms.

A press release by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), quoted the International Development Secretary Priti Patel as revealing a new package of humanitarian support during the visit.

“Parts of northeast Nigeria including ‎the outskirts of Maiduguri - a city that the Secretaries of State visited - have been decimated by attacks from Boko Haram. The militant group have killed over 20,000 people, displaced 1.7 million and left 8.5 million in desperate need of urgent support. Ongoing attacks continue to destroy communities, with recent reports of children being forced to carry suicide bombs,” part of the statement read.

ITRealms gathered, UK increased support would extend DFID’s humanitarian programme in Nigeria over five years (2017-2022) to deliver: lifesaving food for more than 1.5 million people; treatment for up to 120,000 children at risk of dying from malnutrition-related causes; ongoing support to help keep 100,000 girls and boys in education, providing a brighter future for the next generation; and humanitarian access to transport aid workers delivering assistance to the hardest to reach areas, for example using helicopters where roads are blocked or dangerous to use.
“It is catastrophic that at least 20,000 people have been murdered by Boko Haram’s terrorist regime, and over five million people have been left hungry and many homeless. Babies’ bodies are shutting down and mothers who have lost everything are fighting to keep their children alive. 

“Global Britain is a country that stands tall in the world and the UK will not turn its back on people living in danger and desperation,” Priti Patel.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Social Media monitoring: PAMED wants FG to restrain military

The Partnership for Media and Democracy (PAMED) has called on the Federal Government (FG) to restrain the Nigerian Army from monitoring the social media activities of Nigerians, describing the action as a violation of the rights of citizens to freedom of expression and the privacy of their communications guaranteed by the Constitution and international human rights instruments to which Nigeria is a party, reports ITRealms.

PAMED, comprising International Press Centre (IPC), Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the Institute for Media and Society (IMS), said in a statement in Lagos that it had painstakingly studied the declaration by the Nigerian Army that it would henceforth monitor the social media for alleged ‘anti-government, anti-military and anti-security’ information and expressed concern that such a move provides enormous opportunities for abuse of power and the violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerians by the military.

The group recalled that the Director of Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche, said on August 23, 2017, during a live programme on Channels Television that “the move became necessary in the light of troubling activities and misinformation capable of jeopardizing the unity of the country”.

He specifically declared: “What are we doing? In the military, we are now taking on it more seriously than ever. We have our strategic media centres that monitor the social media to be able to sieve out and react to all the ones that will be anti-government, be anti-military, (and) be anti-security”.

PAMED listed some of the implication to include, the violation of the right of freedom of expression as constitutionally guaranteed for Nigerians and as protected by important international instruments and charters especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to mention a few.

"The undermining of the right of the public to know about the activities of the government including the security agencies which in a democracy are subordinate to civil authorities; The non-guarantee of the safety of media professionals, especially online journalists and those covering the activities of the military;

"The incapacitation of the media to carry out the obligation to monitor governance and hold the government accountable to the people as stipulated in section 22 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended; The infringement  of the right of opposition political parties to take the ruling parties at the Federal, State and Local levels to task on their policies, programs and performance,"

In addition, the group said, "the breach of  the right of the electorate to hold elected politicians accountable for their campaign or electoral promises; and the encroachment of the right of the civil society, unions, pro-democracy activists, etc to express dissent over government policies they may consider injurious to their collective and/or individual interests."

Further, PAMED demanded that in view of the serious implications of the Army’s declaration, the group hereby called  on the army authorities to immediately withdraw the threat to monitor the social media for alleged anti-government, anti-security and anti-military information as it is antithetical to democratic principles and values.

The Partnership also called on the army authorities to promptly dismantle any media centres it might have established for this unwelcome purpose.
Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Gov. Sani Bello to deliver News Express 5th annual lecture

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State will deliver the News Express 5th Anniversary Lecture on Thursday, September 28, 2017, the newspaper’s Management said on Thursday in Lagos.
News Express Publisher Isaac Umunna said that Governor Bello would speak on “National Unity and the Demand for Restructuring — A Governor’s Perspective.”

“We are delighted to have His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, deliver the News Express 5th Anniversary Lecture. Perhaps no issue is engaging the attention of Nigerians at the moment more than national unity and restructuring.

“We have chosen the right man to speak on this crucial issue at this moment of heightening agitations across the country. 

His Excellency, Governor Sani Bello, is a distinguished newbreed Nigerian leader whose state, Niger, has over the decades played a very significant role in promoting national unity. We are sure that he will bring fresh and interesting perspectives to the issue on the lecture day,” Umunna said in a statement.

He added that the lecture would hold in Lagos at a venue soon to be made public, and would be graced by a galaxy of personalities whose identities would be unveiled in due course.

News Express, which debuted on August 29, 2012, is one of Nigeria’s most popular and influential online dailies. It is read by hundreds of thousands of people around the world and records annual traffic of upwards of 100 million.

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Eid-El-Kabir patrol: FRSC deploys 33,000 personnel, array of vehiculars

To improve vehicular movements and to mitigate against crashes during the 2017 Eid-El-Kabir celebration, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi has approved the deployment of 33,000 personnel, both regular and special marshals, reports ITRealms.

 The essence, ITRealms gathered, would be to address wrong road usage by motorists which results in high number of Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs) during festivities and ensure a downward trend in the number of RTCs.

Disclosing this, the Corps Public Education Officer, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, said that the operation would focus on traffic control, excessive speeding, dangerous driving/overtaking, clearance of road obstructions, seatbelt use violation, zero tolerance for use of phone while driving, lane indiscipline and route violation among others as these have been identified as reoccurring factors of RTCs. 

A press statement endorsed by Kazeem, and made available to ITRealms, he stated that the 2017 Eid-El-Kabir Sallah special patrol operation is scheduled to commence from 31 August to 6 September, 2017 and personnel have been briefed appropriately to perform their duties which include public enlightenment, traffic calming, traffic control, enforcement and rescue services. For ease of operation and prompt rescue services, 859 patrol vans, 106 ambulances, 267 motorbikes  and 22 towtrucks have been deployed to cover critical routes and crash prone areas

According to Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi wishes to remind Nigerians that the holiday is for celebration with family members and loved ones especially for the Muslim faithfuls. In this regard, motorists are advised to bear in mind the need to adhere to stipulated traffic rules and regulations to and fro their travel destinations as over 200 mobile courts will be set up to prosecute erring offenders.

Kazeem further urged the motoring public to practice safe road use culture and give their maximum cooperation to FRSC personnel for the desired success. He also called on the general public to notify FRSC in the event of an emergency through its emergency line 0700-CALL-FRSC (0700-22553772) or toll free number 122 for prompt response as road safety is a shared responsibility.

The Corps Marshal wishes Nigerians happy Eid-El-Kabir celebration and assured them that personnel will be on ground 24hours, while Road Side Clinics and Ambulance points across the country will be open to emergencies. He also thanked all military and paramilitary agencies for their sustained support as they have equally been placed on standby for effective collaboration.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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Eke Ukwu demolition: Why Ekeh, Zinox boss donated N50m, sets up disbursing team

Some cogent reasons have emerged on the motive behind the donation of N50m made by serial technology entrepreneur, and chairman of Zinox Group, Dr. Leo-Stan Ekeh, reports ITRealms.

This is coming as the Leo-Stan Ekeh foundation sets up a team to disburse N50m donation made up of notable indigenes of Imo State.

Investigations by ITRealms showed that Ekeh who is an Owerri native and peace-loving, wanted peace to reign due to losses from demolition of goods and property of citizens.

Ekeh also called on citizens of Imo State to allow peace to reign in the aftermath of the crisis and reported loss of lives which trailed the demolition of the Eke Ukwu market, unarguably the biggest market in the state.

The donation of N50 million, Ekeh explained would be disbursed to those directly affected in the market and families of the victims who unfortunately lost their lives on Saturday. This, he hopes, will help cushion the effects of the demolition on their livelihood and calm the tense situation in Owerri, while also pleading with those affected not to allow themselves to be used to cause trouble in the state.

Confirming this, Head of Leo Stan Ekeh (LSE) Foundation, Mr. Niyi Onabanjo, Ekeh made it clear to the smart implementation committee already set up and headed by a man of integrity, Chief Ambrose Ejiogu, that all those directly affected, by definition, means those trading in the market, whether indigenes of Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe or from neighboring states.
In addition to Chief Ejiogu (Chairman) and Dr. Vin Udokwu (Secretary), other members of the committee are Chief C.Y Amako, Prof. Obioma Iheduru, Chief Emeka Ekwebelem, Mrs. Chuks Ekemaru, Dr. Canice Nwosu, Prof. Henry Njoku, Sam Nwoke and Chief Analyn Nwaneri, among others.

The committee’s mandate is to work with the leadership of the market association in identifying those affected for disbursement of the funds to them. This, he hopes, will be sorted out within two weeks and funds disbursed 21 days from today.

Onabanjo hinted that Ekeh had two months ago awarded a multi-million Naira contract for a comprehensive refurbishment of a Practical Entrepreneurship Centre sited inside a market in Owerri which is slated for commissioning first week of November as a model.

He believes if the model works, the Imo state government may replicate same in other regions for the benefit of her citizens.

“Though a private initiative, I am sure he would have mentioned it to the State Governor. He intends to invite quality multinationals like Microsoft, Google, HP, IBM, Cisco, Facebook etc. to come and inspire Imo State youths so that they can see the bigger picture of the global wealth roadmap. As a promoter of knowledge democracy, he has been quietly assisting his state in the little ways he can.”

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Pix: Dr Leo-Stan Ekeh

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

CWG's founder, Okere, to chair NITRA 3rd Quarter Forum

Plans for the Third Quarter Forum of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) is gaining momentum, as the founder, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Mr Austin Okere has confirmed participation as the chairman of this edition, reports ITRealms.

This is coming as stakeholders in the Banking, ICT and FinTech sectors of the Nigerian economy have continued to throw their weight behind the event. 

NITRA Secretary General, Mr Justus Adejumo in a press statement available to ITRealms disclosed that Okere, Founder and Vice Chairman of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Plc, has accepted to chair the one-day event. 

According to him, Okere in a personally signed terse email dated August 14, 2017, and addressed to NITRA, said: “Thank you for the invitation to chair this event. I am honoured and pleased to accept. I trust I shall be receiving more information in due course.”

As said by him Digital,  disruption is changing how traditional banking services, payments, and remittances are now offered in the digital economy. Almost all sectors of financial services including payments, money transfers, banking and more are being re-imagined by non-traditional providers and FinTechs, while the traditional incumbent providers are reinventing themselves very quickly to understand better, the puzzle presented by FinTech and how they can leverage on the digital movement. 

ITRealms equally recalls that NITRA, is an umbrella body for journalists reporting information and communications technology in Nigeria is organising the third edition of its quarterly forum entitled “Digital Payment: Prospects and Challenges of a Financially Inclusive Nigeria.”

The event which holds on September 29, 2017 at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos, will not only highlight the challenges and opportunities in the FinTech space in Nigeria, but will also provide knowledge and networking platform that will bring the Nigeria Fintech industry at par with its counterparts across the globe. 

The event also offers the Banking, ICT and FinTech industries an excellent opportunity to showcase some of their achievements before the largest gathering of the sectors players under one roof. It affords them the opportunity to share their contributions to Digital Payments as well as efforts towards actualizing financial inclusion in the country.

Austin Okere is Founder of CWG Plc and served as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. He has been Vice Chairman of Computer Warehouse Group Plc since June 2015 and also its Director. 
He serves as a member of the World Economic Forum Business Council on Innovation and Intrapreneurship. He serves on the Board of the National Competetiveness Council of Nigeria and Initiative for Global Development, a Washington based nonprofit organization that drives poverty reduction by catalyzing business growth and investment in the developing world.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors of Nigeria and serves as a member of the National Telecoms Advisory Council of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), as well as a Fellow of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS).

Okere is Entrepreneur in Residence, Columbia Business School, New York.
Nonye Dom/GEE
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Why GOCOP leaders visited Presidential Villa

The recently elected executives of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) at the weekend, paid a courtesy visit to the Nigeria’s seat of power, Aso Rock, seeking accreditation of more members, reports ITRealms.

The GOCOP team, ITRealms gathered was led by its new President, Dotun Oladipo, were received by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, as well as Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President.

Speaking during the visit, Oladipo expressed the Guild’s gratitude to Adesina for  honouring its invitation to participate in the recently held First Annual Conference as the  Chairman of the event in Lagos.

Oladipo also thanked the presidential spokesman for his longstanding support right from the formative stage of GOCOP.

He also appealed that the Presidency should ensure the accreditation of  more GOCOP members in order to enhance the coverage of Villa activities.

Responding to the Oladipo’s  speech, Mallam Shehu commended the efforts of GOCOP, stressing he chose to participate in receiving the leaders as a measure of his regard for the body.

Addressing the request for accreditation of more GOCOP members, Shehu pledged to make a case before the relevant authorities as such move will be of immense benefits.

On his part, Adesina expressed thanks to GOCOP team for the visit, adding he was impressed by the obvious progress being made by the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers.

Other members of the GOCOP team during the visit to the Presidential Villa were Danlami Nmodu, the Secretary General; Simon Ibe, the Chairman of the Planning Committee of the First Annual Conference of GOCOP; Akeem Oyetunji, the Publisher of Prompt News Online; and Gabriel Akinadewo, the Publisher, Freedom Online.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Samsung latest smartphone-Galaxy Note 8, debuts

Samsung Electronics, at the weekend unpacked the latest addition to its Galaxy Note family, the Galaxy Note 8, reports ITRealms.

The device, ITRealms gathered was formally unveiled at the company’s unveiling event held on the 23rd of August, 2017 in New York, United Statesof America (USA).

The Managing Director of Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Changwook Lee, who confirmed the debut, said Galaxy Note 8 blends with an advanced S Pen with superior viewing experience, stressing the Galaxy Note 8 provides users with a unique and powerful mobile experience.

The new Galaxy Note 8, he said, introduces the most refined Note experience to-date by combining the latest technology that users expect from Samsung’s Galaxy series.

“In 2011, we introduced the original Galaxy Note and launched a whole new smart device category. Its larger screen size and iconic S Pen technology initiated a new standard in smartphone culture. The undeniable success of the category strengthened our conviction that consumers want higher quality features on their devices and they want those new features to positively impact their quality of life. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a powerful, original smartphone that enables its users to tell the stories of their lives through dynamic and seamless expressions of their passions across work, play and life experiences,” he said.

Lee reiterated Samsung’s commitment to fulfilling its brand promise of inspiring the world and creating the future by bringing new and meaningful innovations to the doorstep of consumers.

Embracing the legacy of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series, the Galaxy Note 8 boasts a 6.3-inch Quad High Definition (QHD) resolution display that reproduces clearer and more vivid images with better viewing angles, to deliver the ultimate viewing experience to users. Its large screen and refined multi-window feature optimize users’ experience by making multi-tasking easier; users can choose how they access their applications using the device’s full, split or pop-up screen options. They can also easily change the size and positioning of on-screen applications with just one swipe.
​The Galaxy Note 8 parades an advanced camera system that generates brighter and clearer images. The device is equipped with two 12MP rear cameras and features a Smart Optical Image Stabilizer that counter-balances camera shake and automatically extends exposure time in poor lighting conditions. In addition, its industry leading 8-megapixel Smart Auto Focus front-facing camera offers users the best experience be it when taking selfies or doing video chats. 
Built with 6GB RAM, a 10nm processor, and expandable memory (up to 256GB), Note 8 offers users more flexibility when it comes to browsing, streaming, playing games, and multitasking.

Director of Hand Held Products for Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas described the Galaxy Note 8 as a testament to Samsung’s leadership and innovation in the smartphone market and its commitment to developing best-in-class products to meet the ever-changing needs of its consumers.

“We appreciate the relentless passion of the Note community. They’ve been a constant inspiration to us and we designed the new Note for them.  Our consumers do not need to worry about the safety of their devices as Samsung continues to uphold its commitment to lead the industry in battery safety. The Galaxy Note 8’s battery has undergone Samsung’s 8-Point Battery Safety Check—the most rigorous in the industry,” said Revmatas.

The Galaxy Note 8 comes equipped with water and dust resistance (IP684). The device stays with its users through rain or shine. With the advanced S-Pen, users can write on their device, even when the display is wet.

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s Adaptive Fast Charging technology, users can get their battery charge up from zero to 50% capacity in just 30 minutes. Its ultra power saving mode also lets users make the most of their battery power, helping them stay connected for longer periods. The device’s new App Pair feature also lets users create a custom pair of apps on the Edge panel and simultaneously launch two apps with ease.

The device’s advanced S Pen features new innovations that reinvent and modernize users’ note-taking experience. The S Pen allows users do what other smartphones can’t, like discreetly taking notes in Screen off memo or quickly annotating documents and photos. Users can enjoy a much more authentic pen experience with a natural brush effect that perfectly emulates writing on paper with a fountain or calligraphy pen.

In addition to its innovative technological advancements, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 offers a choice of biometric authentication options—including iris and fingerprint scanning. Samsung Knox6 provides defense-grade security at the hardware and software layers and with Secure Folder, users can keep their personal and professional data separate.
Pre-registration for the device will begin soon. The Galaxy Note8 will be be offered in Midnight Black, Orchid Grey, Maple Gold and Deepsea Blue8.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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RenMoney, Smile partner on flexible financing initiative

RenMoney, the simple money solutions company has announced the launch of a flexible financing initiative in partnership with Smile Communications Nigeria Limited, the leading mobile broadband telecommunications service provider. This initiative offers everyone the opportunity to own a Smile 4GLTE device that includes a data plan, especially for individuals and families, reports ITRealms.
This unique collaboration provides ease and flexibility of payment for everyone to have access to Smile’s SuperFast, SuperReliable quality and affordable internet and voice services. The offer is available to all customer segments.
Speaking on the initiative, Managing Director of Smile, Mr. Godfrey Efeurhobo, said “Smile is committed to creating opportunities that will enable our customers to enjoy the best broadband internet experience by providing differentiating solutions that will enrich their lives. Explaining further, he said that the initiative was developed with the aim to reducing the burden of acquisition cost on customers, extend connectivity and access to internet to more Nigerians, make quality internet access affordable and empower them to do more and succeed in their respective endeavours”.
Also speaking on the initiative CEO, RenMoney Microfinance Bank Limited, Mr. Alan Abrahams, said “Partnering with Smile on this project was an obvious choice as it aligns with RenMoney’s objective of providing inclusive, convenient and simple payment solutions. We have, therefore, developed a convenient customer experience that is open to all.  It is something we have a passion for, and we are excited about this partnership to provide access to SuperFast, SuperReliable and affordable 4GLTE service to all Nigerians”.
Acclaimed as the pioneer of 4G LTE technology in West Africa, Smile Nigeria is famous for continuously enhancing services to expand on the existing market offers in a bid to provide real value adding products and services. This aligns with Smile’s global vision and mission to be the mobile broadband provider of choice in its markets, whilst enabling its customers to do and achieve more.

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Summit makes case for innovation to transform Nigeria

The WorldStage Economic Summit 2017 held at the Event Centre of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Lagos on August 23, 2017 with the theme ‘Transforming Business and Economy Through Innovation’ has made a very strong case for innovation in the public and private sectors, noting that the first problem that the nation must solve before the economy can be transformed through innovation is leadership.

In the communiqué of the summit which was graced by top officials from the public and private sectors, it resolved that “Innovation is critical to business and economic advancement, it is not rocket science, it remains the key agent in transforming business and the economy of Nigeria.”

Other resolutions in the communiqué include that, “Innovation is about thinking out of the box and having the courage to implement new ideas; it requires commitment and zeal to do it.

“Failure is one of the driving forces of innovation, people should get used to progressive or positive failure for innovation to be accomplished.

“Development and application of innovation had helped to break the monopoly of some multi-national manufacturers who once dominated the Nigerian market.

“Nigeria needs knowledgeable leadership to solve its problems and can learn from the example of the United Arabs Emirate (UAE) which used to be mere transit point for travellers but has now become a hub of economic activities through innovation spurred by knowledge- driven leadership.

“Nigeria must emulate countries like Bahrain that provided infrastructure and facilities needed for economy to grow.

“Until leaders began to be responsible and do the right things, the country would continue to grope in the dark for redemption.

“It’s the duty of government to provide the space for business to thrive as innovation and creativity are vital skills required by entrepreneurs to transform their businesses.

“Entrepreneurs should consciously search for innovation as they analyse all the opportunities that present themselves before launching into them.

“Effective innovation must be ‘KISS’ compliant, which means (Keep It Short and Simple) and they must address 7Ps which are Product, Place, Promotion, Price, People, Process and Physical Evidence, but the 7Ps can only fly when innovation is applied to each of one of them. 

“To build the Nigerian Brand requires conscious effort by the public sector and strong partnership with the Private sector.

“Innovation must be a tool to enhance processes and delivery and to fast track the process of Doing Business in the country.

“Except the status quo is broken in the Nigerian power sector, the economy will remain in comatose for a longer time to come.

“Nigerian power sector privatization was faulty and an uninterrupted power supply must not expect very soon, but the sector will only work when all Nigerians collaborate by killing corruption in the system. 

“The woes bedevilling electricity production and supply in Nigeria include politicization, lack of policy continuity by successive administrations, biased reporting by the media and corrupt practices by the general public.

“Application of innovation had led to the discovery of a huge deception by the old order that declared a ridiculous figure of 6.75 million as number of electricity consumers in the Nigeria, as some two million more consumers had been added.

“Government must be consistent in its policies towards reviving the power sector as continuity in the implementation of government agenda is the only way out for Nigeria.
“With efforts by government to put Nigeria in its rightful position economically yet to yield the desired results after many years, all hands must be on deck for the nation to move forward.

“Government must formulate policies that will help the teeming number of young people in Nigeria unleash the potentials in them.
 “The general public must be honest in all its dealing if the country is to move forward and the benefits of innovation not elude it.” 

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Buhari’s directive against IPOB a hate order - SERG

The South East Revival Group (SERG) has described as hate order, the marching directiver by President Muhammadu Buhari to service chiefs to crush the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), reports ITRealms.

In its reaction to the directive, the group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Chief Willy Ezugwu strongly condemned the order, saying it was part of plans for ethnic cleansing in Igbo land.

The reaction came at the Weekend after an emergency meeting by the central executive of the socio-political organisation in Enugu.

The statement added that "it is worrisome that a non-violent body like the IPOB should be included in an order to crush violent groups and criminal gangs.

"For us in the SERG, this directive is clearly a hate order, targeted against the people of South East and part of a plot to begin ethnic cleansing in Igbo land.

"Rather than support the on-going effort of South East Governor's Forum to address the development challenges in the zone, the President Buhari administration has again openly displayed its hatred to the people of the zone.

"Unarmed Igbo people of the South East have been killed, many more injured under the president government for holding an opinion. That is war against humanity.

"We call on the federal government to urgently address the development deficit in the South East region, which is the reason for the renewed agitation in the region.

"The South East is the only zone in Nigeria with the five states and the only part of the country with little or no federal presence.

"We also urge the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to order the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to begin massive rehabilitation of federal roads across the South East zone.

"We believe that it’s time to end the shedding of innocent blood and sowing of seeds that fan the embers of disunity to preserve the country as one indivisible entity", the group stated. 

Ozo Nweke Ozo/GEE
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N13bn EFCC probe: Sekibo not a target, denies involvement

The Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo has denied any involvement in the alleged diversion of N13 billion probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), reports ITRealms.

The diverted sum, ITRealms gathered belonged to the Oyo State Government, just as the bank insisted its management is not the target of the probe by EFCC.

Also, an official of the EFCC familiar with the investigation dismissed the newspaper report as a figment of the correspondent’s imagination, insisting that the investigation has nothing to do with the MD of Heritage Bank as an individual, rather routine investigation into possible red flags on an account with the bank.

“Investigation into accounts are routine matter which the EFCC and other anti-graft bodies undertake now and then.

“Once a letter or inquiry is received from any of the anti graft bodies usually to the top management, it is directed to the appropriate quarters in this instance the relationship and compliance managers who deal with it. To concoct stories that the MD is wanted over a matter that even the Oyo State government has denied knowledge of is unfortunate,” said the official who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak. 

This newspaper also learnt that Mr. Sekibo has been out of the country for medical check-up for quite a while, “a fact which the EFCC is aware of, and with answers provided as to the letter of the agency, one wonders how anybody could say the MD is wanted. Tomorrow it is the same journalists that would accuse the EFCC of media trial when they report inaccuracies.”  
A newspaper had reported on Sunday that the Heritage MD was wanted by the EFCC for failing to honour their invitation over allegations into diversion of N13 billion by some unnamed officials of the Oyo state government into their private accounts.

However, spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, has confirmed that investigations into accounts are routine.

“It is true that some of our people went to the bank but it was a routine investigation. They went to get documents in relation to the investigation. I cannot say more than that for now,” Uwujairen was quoted as saying.

Speaking on record, the Group Head, Corporate Communication, Heritage Bank, Mr. Fela Ibidapo, said, “There is no management fraud. There is a customer’s account that the EFCC is interested in and the normal thing is to talk to the account officer. They are just investigating an account entry. They have invited the relationship manager. It is still being investigated and for confidential issues I can’t divulge more than that.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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