" ITREALMS: September 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Airtel CEO says, we're building largest 4G network in Nigeria – ITREALMS

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has said the telco is currently building the largest and most reliable 4G network in Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.
Ogunsanya who was speaking  during a courtesy call to the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike Thursday, said Airtel is currently rolling out its 4G technology in major cities and towns across Nigeria, making it the largest 4G network in the country.
“We bring our 4G Network to you and the people of Rivers State! I make bold to say we have the best and largest 4G Network in Nigeria and it is a sign of our regard for and commitment to the government and people of Rivers State that we have chosen this state and indeed this city as one of the early and biggest beneficiaries of this innovative system of mobile telecommunications.
“And we are not resting on our laurels as we are still connecting more cities and towns in Nigeria to our 4G network,” said Ogunsanya.
Executive Governor of Rivers State, Bar. Nyesom Wike, commended Airtel for its 4G roll out in the state and in other key locations across the country, assuring that Rivers State will continue to provide a conducive environment for investors and corporate organizations.
“We want to partner with you (Airtel) and give you all the necessary support. Rivers State abhors multiple taxation and we will do everything to protect investors, corporate organizations and business men and women,” he said.
After the courtesy call on the governor, the Airtel team and the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, proceeded to Golden Tulip Hotel, the venue where Airtel formally launched its 4G services to an audience consisting of corporate bigwigs, government functionaries and key stakeholders across the state.
Speaking at the event, the Airtel CEO, Ogunsanya, noted that the deployment of 4G in Port Harcourt serves as a glowing testimony of the telco’s commitment to partner and empower the good people of Rivers State.
“4G comes with tons of benefits: it will accelerate economic and commercial activities; it will boost personal and professional productivity; it will help in creating more entrepreneurs; it will offer the youth a big leverage to express their creativity and talent; it will improve the overall quality of life and connect more people to their dreams. With 4G, Airtel will also power people, businesses and aid governance through Technology,” he said.
The colourful event was attended by King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Treaty King Amanyanabo & Natural Ruler of Opobo Kingdom; King Leslie Eke, Eze Gbakagbaka of Evo Kingdom and Mrs. Tonye Oniyide, Commissioner of Culture in Rivers State, amongst several others.

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L-R: King Dr. Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Treaty King Amanyanabo & Natural Ruler of Opobo Kingdom; Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, Deputy Governor of River State; Segun Ogunsanya, CEO & MD, Airtel Nigeria and King Leslie Eke, Eze Gbakagbaka of Evo Kingdom during Airtel 4G LTE Launch in River State on Thursday, September 27, 2018. 

Internet Society partners Facebook to expand IXPs in Africa - ITREALMS

An international non-profit organization dedicated to the open development, evolution and use of the Internet, the Internet Society has revealed its partnership with Facebook to develop more Internet Exchange Points (IXP) in Africa, reports ITREALMS.

An Internet Exchange Point is where multiple local and international networks, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and content providers interconnect their networks together to efficiently exchange Internet traffic through an arrangement commonly referred to as Peering.

ITREALMS gathered that currently, 42 per cent of countries in Africa lack IXPs, which means that most of their domestic Internet traffic is exchanged through points outside their respective country, usually through satellite or submarine fiber across multiple international hubs to reach their destination.

This, experts say result in poor end-user experiences and discourages hosting content locally, which are some of the key factors towards the development of the local Internet ecosystem.

Peering at IXPs helps keep domestic Internet traffic local by offloading traffic from relatively expensive international links onto more affordable local links. As a result, ISPs are able to offer improved Internet experiences for end-users and spur interest in hosting content locally.

The Internet Society and Facebook will collaborate in promoting IXP infrastructure development, training and community engagement with the objective of increasing the number of IXPs and supporting the expansion of existing IXPs to meet the growing demand in Africa. Studies have shown that Internet users throughout Africa benefit from peering as it enables faster, more affordable and reliable access to content.

“The Internet community adopted the goal of having at least 80 per cent of the Internet traffic consumed in Africa being locally accessible, and only 20 per cent sourced outside the continent by the year 2020,”explains Dawit Bekele, Africa Regional Bureau Director for the Internet Society, stressing Africa is getting closer to that target thanks to the many activities that promote interconnection and hosting in Africa and to partnerships such as this one with Facebook.

According to the Africa IXP Association (Af-IX), there are approximately 44 active IXPs located across 32 countries in Africa. This has resulted in a 275 per cent growth of locally exchanged Internet traffic over the last 10 years, just as there were 16 IXPs in 2008. During the same period, traffic exchanged at the African IXPs increased from 0.16Gbps to 412Gbps with over 800 networks now connected at these IXPs.

“We admire the Internet Society's important work to improve connectivity in Africa by supporting IXPs,” said Kojo Boakye, Head, Connectivity and Access, Africa at Facebook. “Our partnership with the Internet Society will help develop Africa's IXP ecosystem by deploying resources like training and equipment to the areas where they are most urgently needed.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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'Nigeria missing in Artificial Intelligence revolution' - ITREALMS

The match of science and technology is a relentless one. And its transformative power has been profound. Most of the wealth created in the past fifty years in the developed world has been traced to Science and Technology. While we quickly notice the richest companies in the world like Apple, Google , Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and several others as the warriors of this match, their profound effect on productivity has created more wealth for the world than it created for the companies. They have also in the process completely transformed the world

But what is to come is even more than what has happened. If you appreciated how email, instant messaging, internet, social media, the PC, the smartphone all came together to change the way we live and work, then imagine the future that is coming. Man has always craved extra intelligence. And to create intelligent machines. Its been written in books for generations. Predicted by futurist and scientists, made into movies for decades. But finally, we are (almost)there. All over the world, scientists, engineers, programmers, venture capitalist and governments are in a new race to augment natural intelligence. It is called Artificial Intelligence. The creation of intelligence that will match the intelligence that man was given during creation and evolution.

You cannot miss the excitement in technology community. And the worry and apprehension of those who regulate the world. We are getting into uncharted territory. What will become of the world we have known and gotten used to when we create intelligence ? What will be the manifestation of this intelligence. How will the world fight wars, define sovereignty and national security in an age of artificial intelligence? What will be the effect of AI on productivity, health, leisure, recreation and work? On the entire human experience and our relationship with God?Artificial intelligence promises to be an uncertain ride into the future we have to navigate as the perennial clash between science and civilization escalates.

But like all such strides since the first industrial revolution,there will be consequences for nations and societies that have not prepared themselves for the age in which science and technology form the primary fabric of the society.

Take Nigeria for example. Nigeria has not really benefited from the boom created by technology in the past 50 years. Look at any of the tech milestones of the past era. The PC era ushered in by Microsoft, IBM and Apple did not really benefit Nigeria. We were not ready for it. While Microsoft and co visioned a world in which every human being had a personal computer, in Nigeria, a personal computer was few and far between and could not lead to the massive productivity that it promised. It took the evolution of mobile technology and the advent of the smart phone to allow Nigeria and other third world countries to finally get access to the internet and the benefits that came with it. But the revolution it has brought to education, health, productivity and quality of life has been mostly absent for most of Nigeria. Our health system has not improved. Our educational system has decayed. Our infrastructure overall has degraded.

There are patches of benefits here and there but overall, we have lost in the race to use these technologies to advance our civilization and build wealth for our citizens. Countries like India, China and some in Africa have latched on to the technology culture to pull millions out of poverty.

Age of Intelligence:

The foundation that will allow artificial intelligence has building blocks that have layered on each other for decades: computer processing power, faster and pervasive internet connection, data storage, cloud technology and progressive policies around data sovereignty, security and safe and collaborative use of technology. The second industrial revolution was enabled by the successes and failures of the 1st. The 3rd on the 1st and 2nd. The 4th will take all the successes of the previous ones and build on it. That’s the way the world makes progress.

The Nigerian tech community is obviously excited like their peers globally. I am excited for the world. By the progress of science. But not excited for Nigeria . I feel mostly pity for us as a nation. And for my colleagues in the tech industry. I think their excitement is misplaced. And will be shattered by experience. Not that the technology will not berth here. AI will come to Nigeria. In fact it is already here. I use it when I open my smartphone. When I use applications that have bots on my laptop. In the near future I will possibly fly smart planes and drive smart and intelligent cars. But that will be it. I fear that the foundation that will make it pervasive has not been built.

Some say that like mobile technology which allowed us to leapfrog the loss of the earlier era of wired telephones, some of the new technology will allow us get into the 4th industrial revolution without the foundations laid by the earlier revolutions.

I disagree. The 4th industrial revolution that will be driven by artificial intelligence did not come out of the blues. It layers on the progress of earlier revolutions starting from the steam engine of the 1st revolution. And sadly, Nigeria and most of the poor countries in Africa are not about to be given free tickets into the 4th industrial revolution after missing out on the preceding ones.In Nigeria, we are still battling to install electricity for the vast majority of Nigerians. Electricity was part of the 1st industrial revolution. Our government does not have secure mail, a key part of the 3rd industrial revolution.We have missed the revolution that has happened in health, education , all key foundations of leapfrogging into the 21st century.We have been unable to count ourselves and build the national data that can really create a culture of data collection and usage, again part of the building block for the promise of intelligence.How can you really hope for extra intelligence when you fail at basic intelligence?

The prognosis is not good. While there will flashes of intelligence among us as this age comes upon us, we will mostly be observers. Admirers. At best , peripheral users. Our citizens will integrate into other societies and excel in science and technology and we will celebrate them gleefully, to tell ourselves that we can be like others. And sometimes, something great will happen locally that will show the possibilities of what we could have been. But these will be exceptions. The lone wolves. But whats the effect of one lone wolf in the sea of global intelligence.

Betting on 5th Industrial Revolution:

What if we make a bet to join the 5th or 6th industrialist revolution? Perhaps the age of machines? Or the age we migrate to Mars?What can we do now to give us a fighting chance to become part of the global culture that will be driven by periodic revolutions and continuous advancements?

First, we must take our education system more seriously. People talk of STEM education. But I say education. Science and Technology education is really important. But you cannot build a world on science alone. Our education must work. As a tool for national aspiration. As a foundation for rebuilding our battered institutions. As a gateway to building the leadership we need for the tomorrow.The failure of our educational system means that even the Nigerian human intelligence is totally underutilized . Will artificial intelligence enhance underutilized intelligence?

Revolution in education:

We must as a matter of urgency guarantee every Nigerian born henceforth a good and quality education. From kindergarten to the end of high school .And reform the rules that govern the creating of higher institutions to make it easy for individuals and organisations to set up universities and other institutions of higher learning.Education technology has liberalized university education with Nigerians studying online, mostly free or subsidized from global institutions, most better than the best possible education in our local universities. This is while our national education regulators are in self denial and using a 20th century mindset to regulate 21st century university education.The Government must make it as easy for Nigerians to consume higher education online as it is to consume the one offered by universities and institutions all over the globe.

And this must start now. Other nations are laying the foundation for the 5th industrial revolution that will happen in the decades to come as I write. The thinking that time is waiting for Nigeria is a fallacy. The longer it takes for us to start on the path we need to join the rest of the world , the harder it becomes. Because no one is waiting and the pace of change is accelerating. We must save Nigeria from entering a future in which its citizens are disconnected from a progressive world. The consequence is already grave. And will get worse as our population explodes without the support of the extra intelligence that the rest of the world will come to depend on.

4th Industrial Revolution:

How can we still make the best of the situation in the 4th Industrial Revolution? And get AI working for us as a country?I am not advocating that we fold our arms and wave a while flag of defeat. On the contrary. The Nigerian tech industry is really small. But growing fast. What it lacks in size though, it makes up for in energy and some pomp. You would think , based on the narrative about the industry, it was one of the biggest contributors to the economy. It is not. But there is something going for the industry that despite its size, it manages to get its message across. The industry has to however turn this star power into the right advocacy and lobbying.And raising its voice in national conversations. Tech is eating up every industry. Building capacity for lobbying and policy making in collaboration with other industries will position Tech as a key policy for the reform of the Nigerian economy. That would help create the momentum for adoption of technologies like AI in a widespread manner .Only then can we hope for a chance to join the AI conversation.

Under the right guidance, Nigeria can aspire to join the next industrial revolution. And even have a play in the current one. In the the process it will build a nation whose citizens can aspire to be the best in world. And join a future that will be led by educated humans, supported by intelligent machines.
*Contributed by Collins Onuegbu, founder, SIGNAL ALLIANCE, Nigeria.

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NGMN advocates end-to-end solutions for connected 5G future - ITREALMS

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance has published its three deliverables on 5G Extreme Requirements to further drive and guide development of all future mobile broadband technology with focus on Fifth Generation (5G), reports ITREALMS

These deliverables, ITREALMS gathered were entitled “Operators’ views on fundamental trade-offs”, “RAN Solutions”, and “End-to-End considerations”, respectively.

Compiled by the Alliance’s 5G Extreme Requirements task force, the papers aim to highlight what implications and trade-offs related to the delivery of new 5G services are relevant for mobile network operators.

Ilaria Thibault, task force lead and Principal Researcher at Vodafone commented: “We are very excited to reveal the findings of the outcome of the Extreme Requirements task force, which was to really strike at the heart of what needs to be assessed before the world embarks on advanced 5G services.

This work quantifies and analyses the coverage impact of delivering new extreme 5G services (Ultra-reliable and Low-latency – URLLC) for the radio access network with a theoretical analysis, system-level simulations, and field trials. End-to-end deployment guidelines for meeting extreme requirements at a service level are also provided. Among these guidelines, techniques such as path redundancy and new transport-layer protocols are discussed to improve end-to-end latency and reliability.

For latency-critical services, interworking between the Non-3GPP processing delays and 3GPP processing delays has been assessed.”

CEO of the NGMN Alliance Peter Meissner added: “Our task force has highlighted several key challenges that are crucial to the future of 5G connectivity and how the industry needs to adequately deal with these. Consequently, this year’s NGMN Conference & Exhibition will see us run a special session where operators are set to share results from their 5G tests, trials and first user experience. Our aim is to uncover the new use cases of 5G and how they will be leveraged in the next few years.”

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Artificial Intelligence: Bluechip partners DSN on InterCampus machine learning competition - ITREALMS

Bluechip Technologies Limited, leading indigenous business applications, and data management solutions firm, has partnered with Data Science Nigeria (DSN) to sponsor the first-ever Inter-Campus Machine Learning competition powered to mark its 10th anniversary, reports ITREALMS.
Founder of DSN and MTN’s chief transformation officer, Bayo Adekanmbi, said the competition, which has ninety two (92) universities and polytechnics from all the states in Nigeria, is an attempt to increase local data science and artificial intelligence capacity and enhance the opportunities and employability of Nigerian students through an incentivized exposure to advanced knowledge in data science, which is now world’s number one career.
According to Adekanmbi, the competition is now entering the final stage in which the 75 top-performing students on the Kaggle.com global data science platform will be invited to a five-day residential, all-expenses-paid training bootcamp in Lagos, 10-14 October 2018.
He said the five-day residential bootcamp will include face-to-face teaching, virtual online classes, and a hands-on hackathon using Kaggle.com Distinguished data scientists from leading institutions like Google AI Lab, Stanford AI Research, GitHub and Bankable Frontiers Associates will facilitate the sessions.  
“The final winner will be determined after a very competitive hackathon on Nigeria-centric data to explore, extrapolate and explain emerging possibilities in financial inclusion algorithms,” he said.
Commenting on the milestone, Kazeem Tewogbade, managing director Bluechip Technologies Limited, stated that “Bluechip Technologies believes that the future of Nigeria is to have the cutting-edge knowledge, and we must proactively raise a world-class generation of machine learning experts who can create breakthrough solutions that will transform our country. And this starts by giving them the right knowledge before they leave their higher institutions."
Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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IDC gathers influential ICT leaders @ Jeddah - ITREALMS

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has hosted its first day of the eighth annual Saudi Arabia CIO Summit at the InterContinental Jeddah, thus bringing together influential information and communication technology leaders to the city, reports ITREALMS.

With the theme 'Enabling a Blueprint for Thriving in the Digital Economy', the Summit attracted more than 100 of the Kingdom's most prominent ICT leaders and showcased innovative strategies for embracing the disruptive power of digital transformation.

Targeted exclusively at C-level executives and above, the event combined thought-provoking presentations, interactive workshops, panel discussions, and case studies, all while facilitating one-to-one meetings between the providers of cutting-edge technology solutions and the influential decision makers responsible for driving their implementation.

IDC's senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Mr. Steven Frantzen, set the tone for the day's discussions with his opening address about the need for organizations in Saudi Arabia to accelerate their digital transformation efforts. "As the digital revolution continues to heat up, digital champions and disruptors are emerging in all different kinds of industries," he said.

"These organizations are increasingly setting the Kingdom's investment agenda as they embrace a new generation of innovation-accelerating technologies to completely transform the way they execute processes, engage with customers, create business value, and deliver their products and services. Ultimately, entire traditional business models will be challenged by the new business models born on digital foundations."

Chuks Egbune/ED, Ops

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Mouser Electronics receives 1st AS6496 Accreditation on anti-counterfeit measures - ITREALMS

Leading New Product Introduction (NPI) distributor, the Mouser Electronics, Incorporated, has received accreditation to AS6496, making it the industry’s first authorized distributor with the aerospace industry’s high standard for anti-counterfeit measures in authorized electronic component distribution, reports ITREALMS.

Mouser, ITREALMS gathered received this accreditation from the Performance Review Institute (PRI), as part of the Counterfeit Avoidance Accreditation Program (CAAP).

The CAAP audit was based on audit criteria (AC7403) created jointly by PRI, the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) and aerospace OEM representatives.

The AS6496 aerospace standard sets requirements for the avoidance, detection, mitigation and disposition of counterfeit products in the authorized distribution supply chain. This international standard requires authorized distributors to have a counterfeit mitigation policy and a counterfeit electronics parts control plan. AS6496 is geared for all industries and individuals looking to reduce the risk of counterfeit electronic parts entering the supply chain.

“By becoming accredited to AS6496, Mouser demonstrates that we are committed to providing customers with only authorized, genuine components,” said Chuck Amsden, Mouser Electronics’ Vice President of Quality. “At Mouser, we can provide full traceability to the manufacturer on everything we sell. From sales to shipping, Mouser is committed to providing our customers with the right product, on time, every time. Our mission is to be the source most preferred by engineers and buyers to design, prototype, test and manufacture electronics.”

Mouser is also registered to AS9100D, ISO 9001:2015, and ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014, the industry’s gold standards for quality, control, and electrostatic discharge (ESD). Registration to these standards lets customers know that Mouser is an authorized distributor of the highest quality components by providing traceability, risk management, process control, customer support, product availability and document control.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

FinTech agenda: Herbert Wigwe to meet Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella - ITREALMS

The Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc. Herbert Wigwe, would on Thursday, September 27, meet with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, reports ITREALMS.

The two chief executive officers are set to discuss issues regarding how financial institutions can further strengthen banking security and provide valued added services on digital platforms, leveraging on technology.

Among other things, Herbert Wigwe also disclosed that the strategic meeting is expected to showcase the massive progress of Access Bank - which has succeeded in positioning itself as a top leader in the Nigerian financial industry, with its commitment to promoting the adoption of technology as a tool to disrupt the banking industry and improving financial inclusion in Nigeria.

“Access Bank is revolutionising the Nigerian financial industry to create an ecosystem where customers can perform most of their transactions on digital platforms and the immense technological solutions provided by Microsoft has contributed to this mission. Our discussion will allow us explore various methods through which we can work together to create and deploy custom made solutions to the specific challenges experienced by customers in the country. We also have special plans  to reach the unbanked population, creating simpler and more efficient banking protocol for the banked, while also ensuring that our customers continue to trust us in this digital age”, he said.

Leading the way on its mission to become Africa’s gateway to the world in five years, Access Bank Plc has consistently built innovative products to satisfy the evolving needs of customers and maintain its track record of being an innovative bank and living true to its brand promise of providing fast, secure and reliable customer service.

Chuks Egbune/ED, Ops

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FiFAfrica 2018: Remmy Nweke leads discourse on ‘Trends in Online Regulation in Africa’ - ITREALMS

The Lead Strategist at DigitalSENSE Africa Media group, Mr. Remmy Nweke would be leading discussion on 'Trends in Online Regulation in Africa' at the 2018 Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica2018), reports ITREALMS.

Other speakers at the Fifth edition session of FIFAfrica to be moderated by Nweke includes Sakah Bernard Nsaidzedze of Pan African University in Cameroun, Legal practitioner and media practitioner, Mr. Zakaria Tanko Musah of Ghana Institute of Journalism, an independent analyst, Nanjala Nyabola, Sylvia Musalagani of Hivos Eastern Africa and Sellina Nkowani from Malawi.

FIFAfrica, which holds in Accra, Ghana is hosted by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) in partnership with the Media Foundation West Africa (MFWA) between Wednesday, September 26 and Friday, September 28, 2018 at La Palm Beach Hotel.

Confirming this, the Research and Communications Officer at CIPESA, Juliet Nanfuka, said, since inception, FIFAfrica has also served as a platform to mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).

She also said in a letter to Nweke, that “we look forward to your panel and the insights that will come out of it.”

Further, the session would examine the series of laws in in Africa which have in recent time proposed or passed laws and regulations that undermine public confidence in the use of online platforms and could lead to increased self-censorship by media, civil society groups and individual citizens, as well as to their withdrawal from online discourse.

Recall that Remmy shepherds a team of professional communicators and public relations specialists as Lead Strategist/Group Executive Editor, to deliver on projects including coordinating the activities of all the titles under the group; DigitalSENSE Business News, ITREALMS and NaijaAgroNet.

His team birthed the DigitalSENSE Africa forum (NDSF) on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D); offering education to Nigerians on ICT4D since 2009. In 2011, his team introduced the Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable to offer education and enlightenment on Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6) evolutions for the benefits of Nigerian stakeholders.

A graduate of University of Malta with MA in Contemporary Diplomacy, Remmy is well-traveled tech-mediapreneur, with expertise traversing media relations, corporate branding and new media technologies.

He is the author of ‘A Decade of ICT Reportage in Nigeria’ and the Vice President of African Civil Society on Information Society (ACSIS). He currently represents the Non-Profit Organizations Constituency (NPOC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) among others.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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NIMES awards get new date, October 11 - ITREALMS

The organizers of Nigeria Mobile Economy Summit & Expo featuring Nigeria Mobile Economy Awards, have officially announced a new date for this year’s edition, reports ITREALMS.

The event will now hold on October 11, 2018, at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. NIMES was earlier scheduled for September 26 at Oriental Hotel, Lagos. 

The event is billed to start at 3 pm with a summit and Expo while the awards take centre stage later in the programme. 

The change according to organizers is to bring the event into the celebration of Nigeria’s 58thIndependence anniversary. 

While the summit will stimulate lively discussions among high-level decision-makers from the mobile and tech ecosystem, regulatory bodies, agencies and industry stakeholders around the digitisation efforts of all sectors of the economy with the showcase of innovations, the awards are set to honour outstanding individuals, organizations that have distinguished themselves in the areas of Fintech, telecoms, eCommerce, ePayment, Mobile Banking and the entire Business Ecosystem.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

NCM buys sabinews.com from Toni Kan in landmark deal – ITREALMS

In what has been described as a multi-million naira deal, Toni Kan and Peju Akande have sold sabinews.com to owners of New Concept Media (NCM) group, an offshoot of one of Africa’s biggest e-commerce conglomerate, reports ITREALMS.

Toni Kan, ITREALMS recalls, is a renowned writer, journalist, and teacher, alongside his partner Peju Akande confirmed selling their news website sabinews.com which debutin May 2014. The site quickly established itself as an ethical and professionally well run news website featuring a roster of skillful and very insightful columnists.

Two years after launch, Sabinews was described by reboot.org a US based social impact firm, in a survey of African websites as one of the best niche websites in West Africa which has “employed the power of differentiation to set itself apart and win the loyalty of audiences comparable to much bigger organisations.”

Harping on sabinews.com’s USP, the firm further described it as “a digital news and opinions platform known for its popular columnists. The site features a roster of social and political commentators whose analysis of current events run from bitingly critical to refreshingly entertaining.”

The duo of Toni Kan and Peju Akande announced that the site was bought by New Concept Media an offshoot of one of Africa’s biggest e-commerce conglomerate in a multi-million naira deal.

In a statement signed by Peju Akande on behalf of the duo, she said, ‘It’s not about the money, it’s about making history as a Nigerian online news organization, they came to us because we were ethical, professional and well run and we hope that news of our sale will spur other people like us to follow the ethical and professional path especially in this era of fake news.’

Toni Kan and Peju Akande have launched a new website, thisislagos.ng which is more metro oriented and video centric.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Pix: Peju Akande and Toni Kan

FG Kick-starts 58th Independence anniversary celebration with photo exhibition - ITREALMS

The Federal Government has kick-started activities lined up for the commemoration of the 2018 Independence Anniversary Celebration with a Photo Exhibition, tagged “The Footprints of Nigeria’s Political Leaders,” which was curated by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, reports ITREALMS.

Speaking at the opening of the Exhibition at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the 1st of October every year
provides an opportunity to reflect on the nation’s unity, patriotism and commitment to nation-building.

“Today’s event commemorates Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary celebration. There is no doubt that this day is special to every Nigerian as it is a day to reflect on our unity, patriotism and commitment to nation building. Therefore, one cannot help but be excited as this day approaches annually.

''Over the years, the country has gone through trials and tribulations, but the 1st of October is always a day for celebration and thanksgiving, because it occupies a very important place of pride in the political history of our country. It also serves as a poignant reminder and appreciation of the 'Labours of our heroes past','' he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said for those who were not old enough to have witnessed Nigeria’s Independence in 1960, they can at least look at the pictures of pre-independent Nigeria and the handing-over ceremony of the colonial masters to the Nigerian leaders to have an idea of how things were and the hopes for a bright future ahead.

He said the photo exhibition also showcases Nigeria’s political history, from pre-colonial era till date, as well as Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

“I wish to therefore use this opportunity to encourage all participants, especially the youth, to spend time to view and savour this significant and historical exhibition,” he said

While declaring the Exhibition open, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said the occasion helps Nigerians to recognize the incredible leadership provided by all the nation’s political leaders, from the colonial days to the present day, who have shown greater wisdom, wits and courage at all times.

Prof. Osinbajo said even though the event reminds Nigerians of the twists and turns in the nation’s historical journey, the present administration has resolved not allow history to determine the country’s future but only as the precursor to a greater Nigeria that is prosperous, united and treats everyone fairly and justly.

He said each phase of the nation’s political history has tested the resolve to remain united and maintain the integrity of the country.

Prof. Osinbajo commended the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for adopting a very creative and innovative way to celebrate the nation’s Independence Day.

“I must commend the Ministry of Information and Culture for this very innovative way of celebrating our independence and political history. I think the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and its leadership, especially the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, deserve our commendation,” he said.

Dignitaries who attended the Exhibition include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha; Minister of Defence, Brig.-General Mansur Dan-Ali (Rtd); Ambassadors of France, Angola, Kenya, Brazil and Benin Republic, and the Director General of the National Gallery of Art, Mr. Abdullahi Muku, among others.

The Photo Exhibition is open till Friday, 28th September, 2018.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Pix: Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (second left); Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha (extreme left); Minister of Defence, Brig.-General Mansur Dan-Ali (Rtd) (second right) and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (extreme right), at the opening of the 2018 Independence Day Anniversary Photo Exhibition in Abuja on Tuesday.

CIPESA goes to Accra with FiFAfrica’18 - ITREALMS

The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) has said that all is now set for the fifth edition of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) in Accra, capital of Ghana, reports ITREALMS.

This year, ITREALMS gathered that the Forum to be hosted in partnership with the Media Foundation West Africa (MFWA) would take place from Wednesday, September 26 through Friday, September 28, 2018.

Also, the forum prides itself as a landmark event that convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination and the free flow of information online on the continent.

According to Juliet Nanfuka, the Research and Communications Officer at CIPESA, since inception, FIFAfrica has also served as a platform to mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).

Engagements at the Forum, she said, aim to reflect current trends and concerns in access and usage of the internet and related technologies on the continent.

“As such, each year has seen the launch of themed research on the State of Internet Freedom in Africa. Last year, we also launched a key report on Calculating the Economic Cost of Internet Disruptions in Sub-Saharan Africa,” she said.

While the 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of FIFAfrica were hosted in Uganda, in 2017, the Forum was hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa in partnership with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), an international network and non-profit organisation that works towards a free and open internet.

Indeed, spreading the physical footprint of FIFAfrica across different regions of the continent ensures that the Forum lives up to its goal of unpacking internet freedom challenges and opportunities in sub-regions of Africa and developing responses that are collaborative, and informed by insights from the experience of other sub-regions of the continent.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Ikeja Electric says ‘We’re bridging metering gap’ - ITREALMS

Nigeria’s leading electricity distribution company, Ikeja Electric (IE) Plc, has intensified the roll-out of prepaid meters to further close the metering gap within its network, reports ITREALMS.
Disclosing this, Head, Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, Mr. Felix Ofulue, said this commitment is in line with the regulator’s guideline which states that all customers have a right to a properly installed and functional meter, and un-metered customer should be issued with electricity bills strictly based on NERC’s estimated billing methodology, the DisCo emphasized that it is also poised to reduce estimated billing with the deployment of prepaid meters.
He also told ITREALMS, the company recently commenced the roll-out of 85,000 meters to cover residential customers across its six Business Units, in its first batch of renewed metering drive.
Mr. Ofulue equally said, the company remains resolute in its commitment to meter all its customers and narrow the metering gap as quickly as possible.
“Ikeja Electric wants to reassure customers and state clearly its plans to progressively reduce estimated billing thereby building customers trust in our services. At the moment, prepaid meters are being installed in different communities across the network”.
“While in other localities, pre-installation activities are ongoing and between now and the end of the year we will have concluded the first batch of the deployment. We therefore urge our customers to be patient as our ultimate objective is to ensure that all our customers are eventually metered,” Ofulue noted.
Customers across the six business units – Ikeja, Abule-Egba, Akowonjo, Oshodi, Ikorodu and Shomolu have indicated their eagerness to be issued prepaid meters to prevent being billed through estimation.
With this move, the DisCO is adding its quota in narrowing the metering gap. The recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed an increase of 1.59 percent in the number of prepaid meter customers, which is an indication that the meter gap is gradually closing.

The Federal Government has consistently enjoined the DisCos to provide meters to customers in a bid to narrow the gap, reduce complaints of high consumption charges and estimated billing, in line with the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005 to ensure an efficiently managed electricity supply industry that meets the yearnings of Nigerians for stable, adequate and safe electricity supply.
Nenye Dom/GEE
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Danko, 2 others to join ICANN board after Barcelona - ITREALMS

The ICANN 2018 Nominating Committee has named Danko Jevtovic as the newest member of the ICANN Board of Directors at the conclusion of ICANN63 in Barcelona, Spain, reports ITREALMS.

Danko will serve a three-year term and would be replacing Lousewies van der Laan for Europe.

There are two other new board members namely Rafael Ibarra for Latin America / Caribbean Islands, and Tripti Sinha for North America.

ITREALMS gathered that this is an update to the ICANN 2018 Nominating Committee’s 2 August announcement introducing selections for leadership positions within ICANN, after the Committee was informed by Lousewies van der Laan that, due to unforeseen family obligations, she is unable to extend her service to the Board after this current term.

ITREALMS recalled that the Nominating Committee is charged with recruiting and selecting a portion of ICANN’s leadership.

The Nominating Committee is mandated to ensure that ICANN’s overall leadership is diverse in geography, culture, skills, experience, and perspective. Selectees should meet the following basic criteria: Integrity, objectivity, and sound judgment, Support decision-making within groups, Ability to work effectively in English, Understanding of ICANN’s mission and operation, Commitment to ICANN’s success, Experience in world affairs, ability to contribute to cultural, professional, and geographic expertise, Willingness to work long and hard, generally as volunteers, for the global public trust.

ICANN prides itself with the mission 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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