" ITREALMS: June 2018


NPA saves $326.895m from agreement with INTELS - ITREALMS

Sponsored@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has explained how INTELS Nigeria Limit...

Friday, June 29, 2018

FG battle PDP over SE, SS infrastructural development - ITREALMS Online

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to present its scorecard of achievements, especially in the area of infrastructural development, in the South-East and the South-South in its 16 years in office, reports ITRealms.

The Minister, who threw the challenge while inspecting ongoing construction of the Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway on Thursday, said it’s disheartening that some politicians have made it their pastime to criticize the current administration for allegedly neglecting the two regions without any verifiable proof.

“I’m particularly glad that we came on this trip for two reasons. I think it has given the lie to those naysayers, who have painted the administration as having done nothing for the South-East and the South-South.

“When we were coming on this (third) stretch of the road, I was informed that until this administration came, an entire lane was completely impassable after it was turned to a refuse dump. Now the question is: In 16 years, what did the PDP do on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Road?

''Everything that we saw (along the Enugu-Port Harcourt road) today is what this administration has achieved, yet some politicians are so fraudulent. They sit in Abuja and accuse the administration of doing nothing for the South-East and the South-South,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said the intervention of the present administration in the provision of infrastructure in the South-East, in particular, has exposed the PDP for deceiving the people of the region for the 16 years it was in power without anything to show.

''From what you have seen yesterday and today, you will see that this administration has done so much for this zone. We can now see that some people are just misinforming the public. I am glad that from the feedback we are getting, the people in the South-East know what is going on because they know what was going on for 16 years and are also here in the last three years and they have seen the difference,” he said.

The Minister gave the assurance that the federal government will remain focused on completing inherited projects across the country.

“The most important thing is that this government has been faithful, sincere, passionate and committed towards infrastructural development. What we are doing has never been done in almost 16 to 20 years at least along this axis,” he said.

The Minister, who is currently on a nationwide media tour of federal government infrastructural projects, had earlier inspected ongoing work at the Second Niger Bridge, where he expressed satisfaction with the pace of work.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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INSERT: Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (right); Mr. Adetunji Adeoye, Director Federal Highways, Federal Ministry of Power, Work and Housing (middle) and Mr. Wael Farouk Salem, Operational Manager, Arab Contractors Nigeria Ltd., when the Minister inspected the full stretch of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway under construction on Thursday.

Pic: A completed section of the ongoing Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway project during the inspection by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Thursday.

PDP chasing shadows, says Ogala - ITREALMS Online

The new National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Babatunde Ogala, has taken a swipe at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to void the election of the new APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, alleging that it was not in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
He said the opposition PDP was merely chasing shadows, reports ITRealms.

Speaking in a chat with journalists yesterday (Thursday) in Lagos, Ogala said the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, who made the statement, betrayed his ignorance of the law.

"In responding to Mr. Ologbodiyan, I will take cognizance of his lack of knowledge of law and could therefore only have uttered those words attributed to him out of ignorance of the provisions of APC Constitution. I am also not unaware of the fact that Mr. Ologbodiyan, having not been present at the venue of the convention, could only have uttered his words based on hearsay and gossips,” he said.

Stressing that the import of the extant provision of Article 20 of the APC Constitution was obviously not known to Mr. Ologbodiyan and his party PDP at the time he made his assertions.

“As Mr. Ologbodiyan and his PDP were not present at our Convention, they are busy-bodies who could not have known that the election of the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and 21 other officers that that were elected unopposed all had the attendant overwhelming ‘YES’ Votes at the National Convention at Eagle Square and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was a compliant observer of the convention. Mr. Ologbondiyan was fishing in uncharted and murky dark waters and now needs help.

“Honourable Justice Nnaemeka Agu of the Court of Appeal in the case of:- Rufus Faloyinbo –Vs- IbidapoAwojolu & Anor (1979) LPELR – FCA/3/56/78 held as follows:- “It is the law that in a case where there is no opposition, the date on which the candidate is returned unopposed is the date of his election”.

Maintaining that APC is different from PDP, Ogala said: “We do not coerce our Chairmen and Officers out of office through brute force.  Neither do we impose leaders through inducement or shove them forcefully down the throats of our members. That is the difference between us, as the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said at our convention that ‘we are progressive. They are backward. They are despotic, we are democratic’.

“For the avoidance of doubts, those candidates who stepped down their ambitions to allow others elected unopposed, were clearly motivated by the larger interest of the party and sustenance and deepening of our democratic process. We salute those persons as the heroes of our party.

“It is the success of our convention, obviously, that makes the PDP uneasy and fidgety to start chasing shadows and winking in the dark. May they continue their shadow-chasing.”

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Ecuador joins GAC @ICANN62, insist ICANN has role in ensuring access - ITREALMS Online

Ecuador has joined the GovernmentAdvisory Committee (GAC) at the just concluded Policy Forum of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held in Panama City, reports ITRealms.

With this, Ecuador as a new member of GAC, brings the number of GAC members to 177.
ITRealms notes that GAC provides advice to the ICANN Board on policy matters where there may be an interaction between ICANN’s policies and various laws, international agreements and public policy objectives.

GAC Advice is communicated to the ICANN Board through either a Communique or a formal piece of Correspondence.

The GAC welcomed the efforts by all parts of the community to address the issue of access to nonpublic WHOIS data as well as the initiative taken by ICANN in proposing a framework to guide discussions on a new access model.

ICANN has an important role to play in ensuring that there is a clear and well-coordinated process in place. In the discussion, the GAC noted the negative impact that the lack of timely access to non-public WHOIS data is having on different user groups and expressed a desire to achieve more consistent and timely access.

The GAC expressed its commitment to working together with ICANN and the Community in this process and – in a first step – intends to provide detailed comments on the Unified Access Model as soon as possible after ICANN62. The GAC was of the opinion that solutions should be implemented as soon as they become available.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Orange selects Broadpeak for advanced video service delivery

Leader in content delivery network (CDN) and video streaming solutions, Broadpeak has been selected Orange, the largest operator of mobile and internet services in France, reports ITRealms.

The choice of Broadpeak's solutions, ITRealms gathered was to power the delivery of advanced video services.

Using the BkS350 origin packager and recorder from Broadpeak, the operator will be able to benefit from the most advanced features related to video processing for delivery to any type of screen with a superior quality of experience (QoE).

Providing an uncompromised QoE and infinite scalability, Broadpeak's solutions will help Orange keep pace with growing consumer demand for high-quality content anytime, anywhere, on any screen and increase the operator's revenue streams.

ITRealms also reports that at the heart of the solution is Broadpeak's BkS350 origin and packaging server, is capability of recording linear services in one format and dynamically packaging the content in the requested ABR format.

“This capability will allow Orange to offer a great variety of services, which are highly desired by today's television viewers. Orange will also use Broadpeak's BkS400 HTTP video cache servers and BkM100 video delivery manager. The BkS400 server features a unique ability to cache content at the headend level, reducing the load at the origin level and offering high streaming capacity so that Orange can respond to the increasing demands of end users,” Jacques Le Mancq, CEO at Broadpeak said.

In addition, the CEO said, Orange has a track record for delivering world-class video services, and this partnership reflects that commitment.

"Our video delivery solutions are highly scalable and future-proof, making them perfect to a competitive operator like Orange that is continuously growing, launching new services, and enhancing QoE for subscribers," Le Mancq said.

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ICANN extends comment period for Short-term options - ITREALMS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has extended both the Public Comments on Short-term Options to Adjust the Timeline for Specific Reviews and the Long-term Options to Adjust the Timeline of Reviews in response to community requests for additional time to prepare comments, reports ITRealms.

The Public Comment periods on both the Short-term Options and Long-term Options remain open and will encourage all stakeholders to contribute.

Also, ITRealms reports that the public comment period on Short-term Options to adjust the Timeline for Specific Reviews and the public comment period on Long-term Options to Adjust the Timeline of Reviews will close on 31 July 2018 at 23:59 UTC.

ITRealms recalls that ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Youth for Africa and SDGs - ITREALMS Online

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a Pan-African Entrepreneurship Portal-Platform, facilitated by Accenture, reports ITRealms.

The YAS! Portal-Platform is designed for young African entrepreneurs with the intent of cultivating an ecosystem that will promote mentorship, funding, information-sharing and networking.

According to UNDP Special Advisor for Private Sector, Tomas Sales, “YAS! is a much needed Pan African digital mechanism for youth entrepreneurs to access opportunities and contribute to the positive transformation of the continent through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are directed to ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that people everywhere enjoy peace and prosperity.” The Portal-Platform will be activated in East, West and Southern Africa.

The YAS! Portal-Platform was created to support the development and growth of youth entrepreneurship on the continent by providing four pillars

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

ICANN unveils 2020 public meeting locations - ITREALMS Online

Are you ready for more public meetings of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in the next two years? Well, ICANN just announced the locations for the 2020 ICANN Public Meetings to hold in Cancun, Mexico, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Hamburg, Germany, reports ITRealms.

ICANN, ITRealms reports, holds three Public Meetings each calendar year in different regions of the globe.

ICANN Public Meetings are a central principle of ICANN's multistakeholder model because they provide a venue for progressing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, and interacting with other members of the ICANN community, Board, and organization.

For instance, ITRealms reports that ICANN selected locations in the Latin America and Caribbean region to host ICANN's 67th Public Meeting, from 7–12 March 2020, which is otherwise known as the Community Forum to be held at the Cancun International Convention Center.

Also, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been selected as the location in the Asia Pacific region to host ICANN's 68th Public Meeting, from 22–25 June 2020. The Policy Forum will be hosted by Dr. Suhaidi Hassan of the Internet Society Malaysia Chapter at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

Additionally, the third meeting, which is the Annual General Meeting (AGM) has been slated for Hamburg, Germany, at the European region to host ICANN's 69th Public Meeting, from 17–22 October 2020. The Annual General Meeting will be hosted by eco associationDENIC and the City of Hamburg at the Congress Center Hamburg.

ICANN holds three Public Meetings each calendar year in different regions of the globe. ICANN Public Meetings are a central principle of ICANN's multistakeholder model because they provide a venue for progressing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, and interacting with other members of the ICANN community, Board, and organization. Usually comprising more than 400 different sessions, these meetings are the focal point for individuals and representatives of the different ICANN stakeholder groups to introduce and discuss issues related to ICANN policy development. Participants may attend in person or remotely. Meetings are open to everyone and registration is free.

ITRealms recalls that ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address into your computer or other device – a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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NCC mourns staff, Shallah, friend killed in Jos crisis - ITREALMS Online

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has lost one of its staff in the latest Jos crisis on Sunday evening, June 24, 2018, ITRealms confirmed.

The Commission, which was thrown into mourning as the news broke Monday, confirmed that Zayyanu Shallah, a Manager in the Department of Universal Service and Provision Fund of the Commission, met his untimely death when they ran into a mob alongside a friend, Zayyanu AA Gwandu, who is an aide to Senator Adamu Aliero.

Zayyanu Shalla was killed along with his friend and were reportedly set ablaze.

The two friends were said to be travelling from Bauchi State and, unexpectedly drove into a carnage of murderers in Jos enroute to Abuja.

Their remains have since been buried in Jos according to Islamic injunctions.

A press statement from NCC, also prayed God to give their families and loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss.

“May their souls rest in peace, Ameen,” part of the statement read.

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Pix: Late Shallah of USPF-NCC and Gwandu

YWCA condemns killings in Plateau, tasks FG on improved security - ITREALMS Online

The Young Women’s Christian Association of Nigeria (YWCA) has expressed concerns and agony over the recent senseless attacks and bloodbath that occurred in Plateau State at the weekend, describing it as sad and terrifying, reports ITRealms.

National President, YWCA, Lady Chikwue Ochiagha in her reaction, said that the worrisome situation now is that no day passes without news report of some killings by gunmen and destruction of communities in the country.

“It is also worrisome that there appear not to be known evidences of provocation for the unleashing of these attacks and killings. We are quick to also state herein that even if there be provocation of any sort, the offended should use legal means of obtaining justice within the ambit of the law of the land,” she said.

The group also noted that recent attacks in Plateau State resulted in the death of about 200 persons. This is one attack, too many.

As an NGO with peace building as one of our thematic issues she said, they unequivocally condemn these attacks, killings and all forms of violence in whatever name “whether religion and /or commerce.”

She insisted that it is absolutely unacceptable to Nigerians.

“As it were, a lot of women and young girls who we work for their empowerment and all round development are directly and indirectly affected. Some have become widows, suffering food crises, rendered homeless with education of the girls disrupted.

They called on the Federal Government to review the country’s security architecture in order to effectively secure the lives and property of Nigerians.

”This call is urgent more than ever before. There is need to strengthen and overhaul the security machinery of the nation to function proactively. The most vulnerable spots of these attacks and the states are known to make our security be on alert at such spots and prevent the attacks before they are unleashed. It is becoming hard to believe that the Federal Government agrees with the constitutional provision that security and welfare of citizens is the primary purpose of government. The press assurances by government of being on top of the situation must translate into visible practical actions,” YCWA said.

Uj. N. Dominic/ED, Ops

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Pix: National President, YWCA, Lady Chikwue Ochiagha

Why CBN injected latest $210m into Forex Market - ITREALMS Online

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained why it injected on Tuesday the sum of $210 million into the Foreign Exchange regime, saying its to assuage customers’ requests and needs in the inter-bank foreign exchange market, reports ITRealms.

CBN, ITRealms gathered took this step in the bid to meet demands in various fragments of the market had offered $100 million to authorized dealers in the wholesale, whereas the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) dealers received the sum of $55 million.

Figures made available by CBN on Teusday, June 26, 2018, showed customers requesting foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) to name a few, hence they were allocated the sum of $55 million.

ITRealms  recollects that CBN had last week Thursday, made similar intervention to the tune of $210 million for requests in the wholesale forex market.

However, ITRealms reports that Naira stability in the FOREX market is steady as it exchanges at an average of N360/$1 in the Bureau De Change (BDC) sections of the market on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Freshworks nets $100m in revenue - ITREALMS Online

Acclaimed global leader in customer engagement software, Freshworks, has said it reached a revenue milestone by crossing $100 million in annual recurring revenue, reports ITRealms.

This development, ITRealms gathered, was led by its flagship support product for Customer Support Software, Freshdesk and continued rapid growth with its Freshservice (IT Service Management Software) and Freshsales (CRM Software) products over the last several quarters.

ITRealms also gathered that this achievement was fueled by Freshworks’ ever-expanding user-base of more than 150,000 businesses and organizations world-wide, including both larger enterprises such as Honda, Bridgestone, Hugo Boss, University of Pennsylvania, Toshiba, Cisco, Veeva, OfficeMax, M&C Saatchi and thousands of global SMB customers. 

In addition, the company reports that over the past year, it has expanded portfolio of products to include Freshchat, Freshcaller, Freshmarketer and Freshteam, a set of products designed to work together to help marketers, human resources and support professionals engage with customers and work together more effectively. 

On the heels of this milestone, Freshworks also announced the immediate availability of Freshworks 360, a fully integrated cloud bundle that brings together sales, marketing, and support applications to provide users with a full, easy-to-use customer engagement experience. 

Products contained within Freshworks 360 include Freshdesk, Freshsales, Freshmarketer, Freshcaller (call center software) and Freshchat (customer messaging software), providing an easy way for users to access the entire history of customer conversations, data and marketing touchpoints such as chats and social media mentions. Current users of any Freshworks application can now access free trials of all the platform’s offerings from their existing Freshworks login using the Freshworks Switcher.

Chuks Egbune/ED, Ops

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Peace Hyde opens Aim Higher Africa skills acquisition centre - ITREALMS Online

Remember her, named as a powerful woman on the continent by CNN, Media Entrepreneur and Head of Digital Media and Partnership for Forbes Africa, Peace Hyde, has opened another branch of her innovative entrepreneurship development and skills acquisition non-profit, Aim Higher Africa in Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

Located in the Silicon Valley of Nigeria, Yaba in Lagos State, The AHA skills acquisition center is designed to train unemployed youth and grassroot entrepreneurs as well as startups through its innovative Mind-set Reorientation and Design Thinking Curriculum (MRDT) to build scalable and sustainable businesses that will create value for their communities and also provide opportunities for the thousands of unemployed youth in Lagos.

“Aim Higher Africa MRDT Curriculum responds to the problem of unemployment through youth entrepreneurship, which offers innovative solutions for economic growth among young people. To address these critical issues, we are working with international organizations, the private sector and development organizations to increase and improve young people’s access to financial services, financial literacy and entrepreneurship and employment skills training,” says Hyde.

This year, the organization was profiled on CNN for its impact and building over 600 businesses in West Africa leading to some 3000 jobs for youth. Hyde who also has a background as a senior management executive from a leading UK education institution where she also taught as a Science teacher for 7 years, created the MRDT curriculum along with innovation and entrepreneurship professor, Dr. Gordon Adomdza, from the University of Waterloo and a lecturer at Harvard University.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Tinubu, Akande condemn court case against Fayemi - ITREALMS Online

All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in the South-west have restated their support for the party's gubernatorial candidate in the July 14 Ekiti Governorship election, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and condemned a court case allegedly instituted by one of the defeated aspirants of the party in the state, Chief Segun Oni, reports ITRealms.

They said the decision to support Fayemi was reached through a combination of persuasion, reconciliation, consensus- building and understanding on the part of all the stakeholders, pointing out that they as leaders held several intervention meetings in Abuja, Lagos and Ekiti with all the APC Ekiti gubernatorial aspirants where they resolved to support whoever emerges from the party's primaries.

Condemning the court case which they described as spurious, the leaders asked those behind the court action to withdraw their case immediately "if they are within our party and not agents of PDP".
They also called on Segun Oni to come out publicly to dissociate himself from and condemn the case and play active role in the APC campaign.

The statement was signed by APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Interim Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, the newly-elected APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Otunba Niyi Adebayo and the party's former National Vice Chairman, South-West, Chief Pius Akinyelure. 

Entitled "We Stand Behind Kayode Fayemi," the statement reads: "The Ekiti Governorship Election slated for July 14, 2018 is barely three weeks away and we all are committed to working for the total victory of the APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. 

"The decision to support Kayode Fayemi was reached through a combination of persuasion, reconciliation, consensus- building and understanding on the part of all the stakeholders. We led several intervention meetings that held in Abuja, Lagos and Ekiti with all the APC Ekiti gubernatorial aspirants where we resolved to support whoever emerges from the May primaries.
"We have stood behind Kayode Fayemi’s candidacy since he won the governorship primaries and when we all gathered in Ekiti for the Mega Rally on June 19, it was an emphatic declaration of support for his candidacy. Again on the night of June 19, we as leaders met with all stakeholders including all former aspirants and commended them for not defecting from the party. They all emphasized their commitment and suggested that Kayode Fayemi run an effective and inclusive campaign that will ultimately lead to an all-inclusive government."

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Ekeh says African entrepreneurs require 40% commonsense - ITREALMS Online

Africa’s leading technology entrepreneur, Leo Stan Ekeh, has presented what he called a blueprint for budding and potential business investors in Africa, underscoring the fact that African entrepreneurs must apply at least 40 per cent common sense, 20 per cent spirituality and 40 per cent knowledge of the business to succeed on the continent, reports ITRealms.

In a keynote address delivered at the Africa Summit organized by Nottingham University which held in the United Kingdom (UK) on June 15th 2018, he said, at a mentorship session with a cross-section of African/International students of the institution, that Africa is a continent on the rise.

He also noted that technology is bound to resolve some of the contemporary problems faced by African economies, nevertheless, Ekeh lamented the high failure rate of start-ups on the continent, an anomaly he attributed to the desire by entrepreneurs to take pleasure before pains.

“Success for an entrepreneur in Africa does not come cheap. This is because the continent is still struggling with a lot of infrastructural deficiencies, many of which technology will help resolve soon. To succeed in the peculiar business terrain in many African economies, an entrepreneur requires 40% common sense – especially since common sense is not by any chance, common; 20% spirituality which is important in view of the highly religious nature of Africans and 40% knowledge of the particular business one is investing in.

“It is, however, worrisome to see the high failure rate among start-ups on the continent. A lot of young African entrepreneurs are not ready to take pleasure before pains. As a result, they get too excited at the first sign of business break through and allow sentiments take over.”

Noting that African entrepreneurs must connect spiritually with their true origins, Ekeh submitted that Africa’s booming population which is expected to gross over 25% of the entire world’s population by 2050 is one that is overwhelmingly dominated by youths, thereby making Africa more important than ever to the global economy and arguably the world’s most attractive continent.

“Africa has for long been held back by its quality of leaders, many of whom are partially analogue due to their age and originating circumstances. This is not entirely their fault though as it is caused by a number of factors beyond their direct control. 

However, things are changing. There is a conscious interest in most African countries in the calibre and status of leaders that take office. Also, the current generation of youths have the benefit of better education and global exposure as a result of the internet-mediated world we live in. With the right leadership in place and technology accorded its rightful place as the driver of its future development, Africa may just be the continent for smart investors to bet on.

“It must be noted though that Africa needs investors with the right conscience to help change its narrative for good; investors who are interested in growing the economy, in creating employment opportunities and empowering local talents in the various communities and urban centres and not venture capitalists or angel investors who are only keen on milking the continent for profit and short-term gains,” he stated.

Also speaking on his decision to acquire e-commerce giant Konga, Ekeh revealed that the company is one of the examples of a corporate organization with a conscience, noting that Konga is bound to hit a market valuation of over $4b by 2022, going by the structures the new management is putting in place, many of which will empower millions of Nigerians and Africans, by extension and which will be one of the biggest success stories out of Africa.

Ekeh who reminisced on his time as a boarder at Nottingham University in the mid-1980s and from where he proceeded to Cork City University to conclude his postgraduate degree in Risk Management, also paid respects to one of his former tutors, Prof Bob Carter who passed on in 2012.

In his reaction, Managing Director, Nottingham Africa Summit, Victor Udeozor expressed appreciation for the rich contributions and interventions delivered by Ekeh at the summit.

While voicing the desire for many other successful entrepreneurs in the mould of Ekeh to emerge from Africa, he enjoined attendees and students, many of whom are looking forward to investing in Africa, to draw deeply from the experience and useful insights provided by Ekeh in making a success of their ventures.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Petroleum Resources Ministry inducted into ‘FOI Hall of Shame’ - ITREALMS Online

Media Rights Agenda (MRA) today announced the induction of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources into its Freedom of Information (FOI) Hall of Shame, saying the institution has consistently failed to comply with its duties and obligations under the FOI Act, 2011, reports ITREALMS.

A statement in Lagos, MRA’s Legal Officer, Ms Chioma Nwaodike, said: “The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources has violated virtually all its obligations under the FOI Act since the Law was enacted seven years ago. We are at a loss as to how the Ministry hopes to perform its function of ensuring “compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in the Oil and Gas sector” when it is itself not complying with a major law of the land. It cannot possibly have the moral authority to insist on compliance by other entities with laws when it is not complying with other laws that apply to it.”

According to her, the Ministry clearly recognizes that its principal mandate is “to transform the oil and gas industry for the increased benefit of Nigeria and its people through effective implementation of policies on hydrocarbon exploration, exploitation, production, distribution and utilization in accordance with international standards.”

She said: “It is ironic that although the Ministry appreciates that its main function is to ensure that Nigeria’s major revenue earner is managed for the benefit of the country and its people, it does not appear to recognize the need for it to be transparent and accountable to the people of Nigeria and is clearly unwilling to make the effort. How it hopes to fulfill its mandate without being transparent or accountable to the citizens of Nigeria whose interests it is established to protect remains a mystery to us.”

Justifying the induction of the Ministry into the FOI Hall of Shame, Ms Nwaodike noted that it has failed to comply with section 2 of the FOI Act, which requires it to proactively publish certain types of information even without anyone making any request for such information and to update such information regularly.

She stressed that the Ministry has been bedeviled by secrecy, which has left the country and its people in the dark about the activities of the Ministry, adding: “This cult-like secrecy has prevented the Ministry from proactively disclosing information that can contribute to informed public debates about the management of the country’s natural resources and better policies on the issue which will in turn promote good governance.”

Ms Nwaodike accused the Ministry of non-compliance with Section 29 of the Act, which makes it mandatory for the Ministry, like all other public institutions, to submit annual reports to the Attorney-General of the Federation on its implementation of the Act and make such reports publicly available.

According to her, the Ministry had not submitted any report to the Attorney-General of the Federation since the Act was passed into Law in 2011 and has not published any such report to the public, when it should have submitted and publicly published seven such reports as at February 1, 2018.

She described such “serial disobedience of a valid Law” unacceptable and an egregious act of impunity, which should disentitle any public officer heading such a public institution in Nigeria from continuing to hold public office.

Ms Nwaodike said the Ministry has also not designated an appropriate officer to whom requests for information from members of the public should be sent nor has it proactively published the title and address of such an officer either on its website or anywhere else, as required by Section 2(3)(f) of the Act and the FOI Implementation Guidelines issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

She noted that in addition to the failure of the Ministry to designate an FOI Desk Officer to receive and process requests for information as provided under Section 2(3) (f) of the Act, the Ministry has also failed to provide the required training for its officials on the public’s right of access to information which will enable relevant officials to effectively implement the law at any time as provided by Section 13 of the FOI Act.

Ms Nwaodike contended that an administration, such as that of President Muhammadu Buhari, which has as one of its cardinal programmes the fight against corruption, ought not to stand by and allow the level of impunity in institutions such as the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to go unchallenged or unsanctioned.

She called on President Buhari, who is also incidentally the Minister of Petroleum Resources, to take urgent measures to address the rot in the oil and gas sector and to return the nation to the path of probity, integrity and good governance by tackling the persistent corruption, crude oil theft and shady deals within the sector as well as the lack of transparency and accountability which has enabled these vices to persist and flourish.

Ms Nwaodike stressed that the effective enforcement of the FOI Act in the public institutions which oversee or interface with the oil and gas industry would be a good starting point in instituting a culture of openness in the sector.

Launched in July 2017, the “FOI Hall of Shame” highlights public officials and institutions that are undermining the effectiveness of the FOI Act through their actions, inactions, utterances, and decisions.

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ICANN honours late Stephane Van Gelder with 2018 Multistakeholder Ethos prize – ITREALMS Online

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) would on Monday honor Stéphane Van Gelder, posthumously as the recipient of the 2018 Multistakeholder Ethos Award, reports ITRealms.

Late Stéphane Van Gelder, ITRealms gathered, died at the age of 51 years old, following a motorbike accident of which he and wife, Julie, were hit by a car on March 23, while on a stop at a traffic light. His wife, however, who was also injured, survived.

The community selection panel, ITRealms also gathered, decided to recognize, late Van Gelder, a long-time member of the ICANN community for his role and services over the years.

The prize presentation of the Multistakeholder Ethos Award, would take place this Monday morning, 25 June at ICANN62, which holds in Panama City by 8:30am local time, at the Convention Center Foyer, Megapolis Convention Center, Panama City, Panama.

ITRealms further gathered that the award would be presented to late Stéphane Van Gelder’s wife, Julie Talfournier Van Gelder on behalf of the community selection panel and the ICANN community.

Remmy Nweke in Panama City

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