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Lagos NUJ applauds Dare, Ekpu, others over Dame Lifetime awards - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, heartily congratulates Prof. Olatunji Dare, Raymond Ekp...

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ICT4D Week 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

INEC's Yakubu to lecture @Realnews sixth anniversary - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, is to deliver the Sixth Anniversary Lecture of Realnews Magazine scheduled to hold on Thursday, November 15, 2018, at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, by 10am prompt, reports ITREALMS.

Yakubu, guerrilla warfare expert, and previously a professor of Political History and International Studies at the Nigerian Defence Academy, will speak on “Political Transitions and Africa’s Economic Development”.

Making the announcement today in Abuja, Maureen Chigbo, publisher of Realnews Magazine, an online publication, said: "Our choice of topic for the 2018 lecture has been informed by contemporary political, economic, security, socio-cultural challenges facing Nigeria regarded as the “Giant of Africa” as it prepares for the 2019 polls where Nigerians are expected to elect leaders they hope will move country to the next level." She added that given Yakubu's world class experience, academic antecedents and his current position as chairman of INEC, he is in a better position to do justice to the topic.

Born in Bauchi State, Northern Nigeria, Yakubu completed his basic and secondary school education at Kobi Primary School and Government Teachers College, Toro, respectively. He proceeded to the University of Sokoto (now Usmanu Danfodiyo University, where he became the first and, to date, only Nigerian from the North to obtain a first-class degree certificate in History. In 1991, Mahmood graduated from the University of Oxford with a doctorate in philosophy, specializing in Nigerian History. The Bauchi State Government offered him a scholarship to study at both the University of Cambridge and and the University of Oxford. He went on to become a three-time recipient of the Overseas Research Scholarship, and also won the Commonwealth Scholarship from the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Prior to his appointment as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Yakubu served as the executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, being appointed to office in 2007 by late President Umaru Musa Yar' Adua. During his tenure as secretary, a National Book Development Fund was established, supporting 102 journals of professional associations.

He also served as assistant secretary of Finance and Administration at the 2014 National Conference. In 2013, he was awarded an honorary fellowship to the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.

Yakubu is the fifth top level chief executive officer to give the Realnews Anniversary Lecture series which was established to celebrate the best minds in our society and tap into their repository of knowledge to enrich the discourse on national and international development.

Realnews past anniversary lecturers include Dr. (Mrs.) Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of Education and Vice President, World Bank (2017), Dr. Ibn Mohamed Chambers, United Nations Secretary General’s special representative to West African and Sahel (2016); Professor Chukwuma Soludo, former governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, (2015) and Professor Maurice Iwu, former chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, (2014).

The lecture will bring together many policy and decision makers from the private and public sectors, as well as non-governmental organizations, academia and the media.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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7m lives saved from malaria in 20 years - ITREALMS

Over 7 million lives have been saved from perilous hands of malaria globally, even as prevention has been offered to some 1 billion malaria cases by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership to End Malaria in the past 20 years, reports ITREALMS.

The chief executive officer (CEO), RBM Partnership to End Malaria, Dr Kesete Admasu, was quoted in a press statement available to ITREALMS as saying that the global partnership over the past two decades has significantly reduced malaria deaths and cases, saving 7 million lives.

“This progress has allowed us to set our sights on ending this preventable disease for good. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we look toward what we can accomplish in the next 20 years, including inspiring new audiences about the historic opportunity to end malaria. This media fellowship will offer much-needed support to journalists in the highest burden countries who want to shine a light on the impact malaria has on their communities and the urgent need for citizens and country leaders to drive further progress against the disease, especially at a time when cases are on the rise,” he said.

ITREALMS also reports that events marking the 20th anniversary will also reflect the achievements of the past two decades and look ahead towards upcoming opportunities for malaria elimination.

The celebrations, he further said, will conclude an event in Maputo, Mozambique that coincides with the annual launch of the WHO World Malaria Report and a new High Burden to High Impact: Targeted Malaria Response, on 19th November.

“To highlight the key successes against the disease over the past two decades, the RBM Partnership have created a new video of these achievements, which is available here,” he said.

ITREALMS recalls that October 30 marked two decades of global action against malaria as the RBM Partnership to End Malaria as they celebrate 20th anniversary and launched new media fellowship to build on achievements which to date have contributed to saving more than 7 million lives and preventing over 1 billion malaria cases.

Established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) in 1998 by the United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank, RBM is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Freddy, an AI engine debuts to enrich customer experience - ITREALMS

Integrated with Google AI technology, Freshworks brings conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) to its customer engagement platform through voice interactions, reports ITREALMS.

Freshworks, a global leader in customer engagement software, said the launch of “Freddy”, an “Omnibot” AI engine that enhances the sales, support and marketing capabilities for businesses of all sizes.

ITREALMS also gathered that Freddy leverages Google AI technology ‘Google Assistant’ to help businesses resolve customer issues more effectively and efficiently through a mix of human and machine-based voice interactions.

Branded with a canine look and feel, Freddy the Omnibot is trained to make the life of human agents and end-users much simpler. Freddy offers channel agnostic contextual self-service to customers.

The Freddy AI engine, ITREALMS gathered, also enables agent assist to help new agents onboard a team with relative ease by proactively and systematically troubleshooting customer queries.

However, sales executives using Freshworks’ Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product powered by Freddy will be able to stay on top of their sales pipeline by auto calibrating the available leads. All this is made naturally available to users and admins across multiple communication channels through voice interactions.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Quardri wins 2018 Cycling Lagos 2018 - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:

Ace cyclist, Ajibade Quadri on Saturday won the 2018 edition of Cycling Lagos as the Honourable Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi was in Lagos to participate in the Celebrity race, reports  ITREALMS.

Quadri at the highly contested event beat his close rivals Fasima Samuel and Afis Bakare to emerge winner of an event that has been described as one the biggest cycling events in Nigeria and across Africa in recent time.

The 65km race which took off from the Teslim Balogun Stadium, went through Ikorodu road, Third Mainland Bridge to Civic center and terminated at the Stadium.

The Honourable Minister Mr. Rotimi Amaechi who was officially represented by the Senior Mechanical Engineer, Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, Ministry of Transport, Mr. Timothy Adeleke congratulated the organizers for staging an event that will impact positively on the nation’s transport system and enhance healthy living among Nigerians.

Chairman, Cycling Lagos, Mr. Soji Adeleye in his remarks reaffirmed the commitment of the organizers in entrenching cycling culture in Nigeria.

Adeleye who described the Cycling Lagos as the beginning of good things for cycling in Nigeria and across Africa called on corporate organsations and other stakeholders to support cycling for its health benefits and contribution to a greener environment and future sustainable development.

“It is important to note that cycling, through the Cycling Lagos event is gradually getting the attention of the people in government, but we still have a long way to go in ensuring that corporate organizations and governments take up cycling as corporate social responsibility for its health benefits and contribution to a greener environment and future sustainable development in the country,” he said.

Quadri, a winner at several cycling competitions in Nigeria and across Africa thanked the organizers for putting together a great event. He encouraged them to do more in promoting cycling in Nigeria.

It will be recalled that the Grand Finale of Cycling Lagos earlier scheduled for August 25, 2018 was postponed due to the closure of the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge on that date. The cycling competition has earlier witnessed the Tour of Lagos and the Children Race as part for activities for the event.

Cycling Lagos is being partnered by Lagos State Government, DSTV, Leadway Assurance, World Stage Limited, Cool FM, Access Bank, JAC Motors, Simba Group, Eko Hotel & Suites and Addefort Limited

Banjo Bayo/GEE

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Pix 1: L-R; Major General Shina Ogunbiyi (Ret.); first runner up winner of Cycling Lagos 2018, Fasima Samuel; winner of Cycling Lagos 2018, Ajibade Quadri; second runner up winner, Afis Bakare and Chairman, Cycling Lagos, Mr. Soji Adeleye at the grand finale of the Cycling Lagos event on Saturday

‘Why indigenous e-Commerce entities are champions’ - ITREALMS


By midday on Tuesday September 4th 2018, a remarkable development, whose reverberations are still felt today, shook the e-commerce world and the whole of Wall Street.

Amazon, an American e-commerce giant, had followed Apple Inc. to become the second U.S. company to reach $1 trillion in market value after the company’s shares climbed 1.9%, briefly topping the $2,050.27 needed to push the company’s value above $1 trillion.

To put this in sheer perspective, it is fitting to bear in mind that Nigeria’s current external reserves is pegged at $42.3 billion (as at October 25th), a figure which amounts to less than five per cent of Amazon’s worth.

Available data shows that it took Amazon only about 165 trading days to grow its market value from $600 billion in January 2018 to its valuation of $1 trillion in September 2018 – an astronomical rise that saw it put daylight between it and the likes of Microsoft and Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Conversely, Apple needed about 183 trading days to hit the $1 trillion mark after it reached $900 billion in November 2017.

Amazon’s rise can be put down to its unalloyed status as a disruptive force of commerce, with analysts and other Wall Street watchers predicting the company’s imminent overtaking of Apple as the biggest and most valuable company in the United States.

Indeed, the identity of the first five companies on the list of the world’s most valuable companies – Apple, Amazon, Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. – further goes to demonstrate the pre-eminence of tech companies and the undeniable role of technology in the emerging world order of digital wealth where oil, previously the most valuable resource, has been relegated to the back-burner.

Despite its disruptive business model and series of high-profile acquisitions which have undoubtedly boosted its revenues, Amazon remains an e-commerce company – a sector that is fiercely indigenous.

With the backdrop of all the arguments against some of its unfair business practices, Amazon remains a hit with a large segment of the American populace who are traditionally at home with online shopping. According to research, an estimated 79 percent of Americans shop online, a figure that amounts to about eight in 10 Americans.

While Amazon can be reckoned with as a global e-commerce behemoth, there is no denying the fact that, it will struggle to replicate the brilliant success it has enjoyed in other climes.

As part of its expansionary plans, Amazon has spread its operations to over a dozen countries including the United Kingdom, India, China and Singapore. While sales outside the United States amounts to about a third of its total earnings, the company has also come to learn that selling abroad is not easy. In addition, it has also come to the realization that, e-commerce is best left to the indigenous players who understand the terrain and idiosyncrasies in each country.

Though it has enjoyed a fair measure of success in India where it has attempted to take on FlipKart – the country’s predominant indigenous player – with lower prices, Amazon has been almost an abysmal failure in China – the world’s fastest growing e-commerce market. Alibaba, Pinduodo, Taobao and others are deeply entrenched in the country owing mainly to their understanding of the complex vortex of persuasions influencing the shopping habits at play in that country. Today, Amazon struggles to retain a foothold in China, whereas Alibaba enjoys over 50% of the market share.

Considering the immense financial resources and spending power at its disposal, one will expect that Amazon will conquer every market it berths in. However, the incontrovertible fact remains that, to succeed in any market requires more than just financial power, but a large dose of street-smartness, an understanding of the people and a business model that is realistic and suited to their local circumstances.

Here in Nigeria, the reality is not much different.

Ingrained in the cultural complexities of a society or people are certain peculiarities or predilections, all of which contribute to shaping their every tradition, including their shopping habits.

Despite the growing popularity of online shopping, the average Nigerian, try as hard as you can, will never shake off the practice of preferring to see, touch and/or experience a product before parting with hard-earned money, thereby justifying the increasing relevance of brick-and-mortar stores in Nigerian e-commerce.

Trust also remains a major issue.

In spite of the large strides recorded in the e-commerce sector, many Nigerians are still understandably reluctant to drop their credit card details online due to the real and ever-present potential of cyber-fraud. Others, who have managed to embrace the e-commerce revolution, are still keen to put their trust in the confidence-inducing personal touch that the patronage of a physical retail store inspires. What about the millions of unreached or under-served Nigerians in the hinterlands, devoid of a reliable internet connection and the basic requirements to embrace e-commerce?

It must be stated here that the e-commerce industry also has the capability to unmask mere hype from substance.

Since Nigerians got bitten by the e-commerce bug, the country has seen several foreign players, many of them backed by angel investors and venture capitalists. These fancy new shoes emerge on the scene by painting a larger-than-life picture of overwhelming boom only to fade away after a while and exit the country quietly.

The scenario is a simple but vicious one: the investors are buoyed by projections of Nigeria as Africa’s biggest market, blessed with a youthful, aspirational population on the verge of cracking the e-commerce conundrum and exploding into a money-spinning investor’s dream.

But what happens?

These foreign investors, for all their good intentions, remain what they are famous for: profit-seeking, short-term oriented business impresarios. Once they get tired of seeing their investments fail to yield the promised returns, the patience wears thin. Once this happens, it is only a matter of time before Nigeria counts the many-faceted costs of another failed venture.

History and statistics have revealed worldwide that, only a truly indigenous e-commerce company backed by its own people has the staying power to stick and stand the test of time, irrespective of the regulatory, operational and industry-specific challenges that may arise. Indeed, only a locally-backed e-commerce company with a realistic business model that is not short-term in outlook, can invest significantly in infrastructure and care sufficiently not to embark on random job cuts, all in a bid to satisfy the cravings of impatient venture capitalists.

Nigeria boasts perhaps only one of such powerhouses in Konga – which recently combined its operations with Yudala, another bold player with a futuristic but realistic e-commerce model which has been widely aped by other global e-commerce companies, Amazon inclusive.

Where an e-commerce company proves itself adept at adapting to local circumstances; when it has the boldness to accommodate or fuse online shopping with cost-intensive offline stores nationwide which cater to the needs of the unreached, thereby bringing the convenience of e-commerce home to them; when a business invests considerably in massive regional warehouse facilities; refrains from retrenchments or down-sizing even in the most harsh business cycles and quietly goes about empowering more Nigerians with employment opportunities through its expansionary and ambitious projects, then you are closer to building an e-commerce giant that can rival the Amazons and Alibabas of this world.

Konga owes it to every Nigerian to remain in business forever…

*Contributed by Dr. Ajit Singh, an international trade lawyer spoke in Lagos on a short visit to Nigeria

ITREALMS ... everything news digitally!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Bitcoin fraud hits MapleChange, website goes down - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
Reports reaching our newsroom indicates that a small bitcoin exchange based in Alberta, Canada, has gone offline, over a purported hacking, reports ITREALMS.

Information available at press time showed that MapleChange’s Twitter page went offline, shortly after it reportedly shared a Tweet “[had] no more funds to pay anyone back.”

According to CCN.com in the way of an explanation, the exchange had, approximately one hour before deleting its Twitter page, said that a “bug” had enabled “some people” to withdraw all of the funds on the exchange.


Educated readers may recall a time when Mt. Gox claimed similar problems. The handling of the two cases by their administrators was dramatically different. In the case of Mt. Gox, attempts were made to repair the damage, although they resulted in worse damage. They went so far as to near-nakedly manipulate the Bitcoin price in an attempt to recoup lost customer funds before anyone found out.

Nenye Dom/GEE with additional report from CCN.com

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Radio Nigeria in MRA’s net, inducted into FOI Hall of Shame - ITREALMS

The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) also known as ‘Radio Nigeria’ has been caught in the net of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) which has inducted the station into the Freedom of Information (FOI) “Hall of Shame”, reports ITREALMS.

Confirming this, Ms Morisola Alaba, a Legal Officer at MRA, said the institution’s sundry violations of the provisions of the FOI Act also amounted to a breach of its primary mandate to make news and information available to the public.

“It is always disheartening when a public institution established and funded primarily to facilitate the free flow of information within the society, particularly between the government and citizens, is found to be inhibiting or constraining access to information by citizens, especially when it does so in clear violation of the express provisions of the Law. We are gravely disappointed that the FRCN, which ought to leverage every available legal and institutional framework to fulfil its mandate of making news and information more freely available to the public, is so blatantly flouting the provisions of a piece of legislation enacted for precisely the same purpose,” she said.

The FRCN was established by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Act Cap. F18 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria to provide radio broadcasting services for general reception within Nigeria and also to provide external services for reception in countries outside Nigeria.

The corporation is Nigeria's publicly funded national radio broadcasting organization with a subsidiary domestic radio network known as Radio Nigeria having FM stations across the 36 states of the country as well as zonal stations in the six geo-political zones. It has the responsibility of planning, regulating and coordinating the activities of all the stations and the entire federal radio broadcasting system in the country.

Noting that the FRCN had apparently decided to operate in secrecy, Ms Alaba said since the enactment of the FOI Act in 2011, the institution had submitted only one out of the seven annual reports that it ought to have submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation on its implementation of the Act as at February 1, 2018, as provided by Section 29(1) of the Act.

She contended that besides being a breach of the provisions of the Act in itself, the corporation’s failure to submit its annual report to the Attorney General of the Federation for the other six years had made it virtually impossible to determine the number of applications for access to information that it has received for each year and in total as well as the number of such applications that it processed and granted since these details ought to have been provided in the annual reports.

According to Ms Alaba, despite the significant tasks that the FRCN is saddled with, the corporation has failed to fulfil its proactive publications obligations as there is no record or information on its website or on any other publicly accessible platform about its activities, operations and businesses, which it is required by section 2(1) of the Act to disclose to the public.

She stated that out of the 16 categories of information that the FRCN is obliged to proactively publish as mandated by the Act, the corporation has only complied with respect to one of them, which is the designation of an FOI Desk Officer, as required by section 2(3) (f) of the FOI Act.

Ms Alaba noted that the corporation has not proactively disclosed the names, salaries, titles and dates of employment of all its employees, as required by section 2 (3) (d) (vi) of the Act; nor has it disclosed information on documents containing final planning policies and decisions; as well as information relating to the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds of the institution, thereby violating section 2 (3) (iii) and (v) of the Act, among others.

Although she commended the FRCN for designating an FOI Desk Officer, she said its failure to fulfil its other proactive publications obligations was putting the effective implementation of the FOI Act in jeopardy because the proactive disclosure of most of the information listed in the Act helps to facilitate the exercise of the right of access to information for the public because, among other benefits, it enables members of the public seeking information to know what information each public institution holds and, therefore, which institution they should approach for any specific information that they are interested in.

Ms Alaba said there was also no indication that the corporation has provided appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right of access to information held by it as well as on the effective implementation of the Act, as required by Section 13 of the Act.

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.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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RoboRave lands in Lagos, hosts 200 students - ITREALMS

The United States (U.S.)-based robotics education academy, RoboRave International, has unveiled a robotics workshop for 200 primary and secondary school students, reports ITREALMS.

The 200 students, ITREALMS gathered were from 21 schools across Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, and Edo States including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and were hosted in collaboration the Public Affairs Section of the United States Consulate General Lagos, at the weekend.

ITREALMS reports that the workshop gave boost to technology education in Nigeria by engaging the participating students in hands-on robotics activities to stimulate their interest in math and science as well as careers in the STEM fields.

United States Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Russell Brooks who declared the workshop open and give welcome remarks, commending the RoboRave organisers on what they are doing to underscore the importance of STEM education.

The workshop, which held at Zone Tech Park, Gbagada-Lagos, was facilitated by an international faculty, including RoboRAVE International Director of Global Programs Russ Fisher-Ives, and RoboRAVE North America Director Brian Montoya.

Some of the participating schools include Deeper Life High School, Lagos Campus, saw the Team Alpha showcased its Aqua-Jet which could be applied in security, educational research, oceanic engineering, underwater event coverage and entertainment.

The school also presented under its CePhMo Bots the Omni Lock, which is ultra-modern security systems.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Nokia wins big with BSNL intelligent infrastructure - ITREALMS

Nokia has been selected by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to support the transformation of India's cities through intelligent infrastructure, reports ITREALMS.

Nokia will supply, install, commission and maintain the Smart Telecom Poles across India in all of BSNL's telecom circles.

Under the contract, Nokia will also integrate the poles with smart LED lighting systems, CCTV cameras, digital billboards and environmental sensors that provide strong revenue generation potential for the operator.

The smart pole has been designed for emerging markets and built in India based on Nokia's global services expertise.

The Indian urban landscape is evolving, with government and city administrations gearing up to ensure the safety and security of citizens and provide them a better quality of life. BSNL, in line with the Indian government's Smart Cities Mission, is exploring and taking the lead to digitalize cities.

ITREALMS also reports that with its Smart Telecom Pole and services expertise, Nokia promises to help BSNL provide access to mobile connectivity and smart solutions for citizens while ensuring the poles meet the aesthetic and spatial needs in modern cities. Nokia will optimize the telecom infrastructure to provide a shared, secure and scalable platform that ensures the best use of urban resources and prepares BSNL for the needs of new technologies such as IoT and 5G.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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SYNLAB, Classic FM, others offer free medicals - ITREALMS

Synlab, formerly PathCare Laboratories, in partnership with Classic FM and more than 20 other medical and non-medical care providers in Nigeria, came together for the 2018 Doctors-On-Air Medical Mission program which took place at the Bariga LCDA in Lagos State, reports ITREALMS.

The exercise which took place on on Saturday, 13 October, saw residents being checked, tested, treated and where necessary, referred for further medical attention, all for free.

Doctors on Air is a weekly health program focused on preventive healthcare, it airs every Wednesday at 8am on Classic FM and 8.40am on Naija FM. One of the important tenets of DOA is to encourage the populace to Know their Numbers, by having routine check ups to keep healthy. Whilst most people can go to SYNLAB to have these wellness checks qualitatively done, there are some people who cannot afford it. The Chief Host, Dr Pamela Ajayi, emphasised the importance of knowing your numbers through the weekly program by creating awareness around diseases, prevention and treatment. The annual Medical Mission is designed to make medical services accessible to communities who cannot ordinarily afford private healthcare services. 


The mission was set up initially to provide these services but has expanded to provide qualitative services offered by the specialist consultants who come on the program, for example the ophthalmologists provided free glasses and used latest technology for glaucoma checks, cardiologists used specialised equipment for the heart screening such as ECGs and echocardiogram, other screening done were breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Deworming for adults and children was done, along with special dental care and health talks on various topics. Doctors on Air is sponsored by SYNLAB.

It is estimated that over 10,000 Nigerians have benefited from the annual Doctors on Air Medical Mission over the past 7 years. Among the beneficiaries of the 2018 event were children, teenagers, adults and the elderly including Mama Misirat Bello and Mama Lambo Rafatu, both in their 80s. They were full of praise for the program which offered them high quality healthcare with referral for further care afterwards, all free of charge. Mrs. Abosede Amos whose son, Daniel Amos, was examined and treated for eye defects was one happy mother who commended and praised SYNLAB and its partners for the laudable program.

The Chairman of the Bariga Local Community Development Area (LCDA), Barr. Kolade Alabi, addressed members of the community at the venue encouraging them to make the most of the opportunity that the program presented. "We had promised that if elected, we would focus on programs that are mass inclined and help the individuals in the community live better lives”. 

Executive chairman of Bariga LCDA said that we have a saying in the LCDA that goes: 'my Bariga, my Pride'. But that saying is only meaningful when we are healthy. The administration is currently working on putting in place quality housing and infrastructure and quality healthcare and well-equipped primary healthcare centres. 

What SYNLAB is doing today is completely in line with our plans and we are looking forward to more collaborations like this, as people need good health for them to enjoy the infrastructure and economic growth being planned and executed by the government.

SYNLAB and the community of Bariga LCDA took turns to acknowledge and appreciate the support and contributions of the key sponsors of the 2018 Doctors-On-Air medical mission – Classic FM, Naija FM, Bridge Clinic, Leadway Assurance, Chike Okoli Foundation, The Eye Doctors Clinic, SKKY Dental Clinic, Paelon Memorial Hospital, Lakeshore Cancer Center, Optimal Cancer Center, Nigerian Association of Dermatologist, Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Lagos State Blood Transfusion, Smile 360 Dental Services, Health Plus, Reals Pharmaceuticals, Dara Foundation, Renaissance Medical Center, Medplus Healthcare, Ultimate Eye Clinic, Metro Eyes Nigeria, Sight City, Men’s Clinic, Euracare Medical Center, Choice Dental Clinic, May and Baker, Mopheth Pharmaceuticals, Zolon Healthcare, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, JNC International, Maryland Rotary Club, Bariga LCDA, MTV Shuga in partnership with the Society for Family Health and Oceanic Health.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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PDP says no controversy over deputy Irona - ITREALMS

The Peoples Democratic Party has denied reports of an alleged controversy over choice of former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Gerald Irona as Deputy Governorship candidate of the Party in Imo State, reports ITREALMS.

Imo State Vice Chairman of the party in charge of Orlu senatorial zone, Chief Aloysius Igwe gave the clarification while responding to a newspaper report alleging that some stakeholders were not consulted before Hon. Irona was selected.

Communications Adviser to Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona, Dr. Walter Duru in a press statement made available to ITREALMS, quoted Irona ias saying that as a true son of Orlu zone, a good party man, a transparent leader and one with capacity to deliver the zone to the Peoples Democratic Party in 2019.
 
“Irona is a true son of Orlu zone. He is qualified to be Deputy Governor of Imo state by all standards. He is a true party man. His appointment as Deputy Governorship candidate of the PDP is not out of place. As Orlu zonal Chairman of the PDP, I am comfortable with him. What is important at this point is how we can work together to forge ahead.” 

Continuing, Igwe said: “whoever feels there is a communication gap should look at the broader picture. Let us all sheath our sword and see how we forge ahead. The most important thing is that person that can help us win the election. Now that Irona has emerged, we must all rally round him and deliver the party in Imo State. Our focus at the moment is to win the election and that should be the interest of every true stakeholder of the party.” 

Adding his voice, Chairman of the PDP in Oguta Local Government Area of the State, Chief Fred Opiah frowned at the publication, describing it as sponsored to distract the party. 

“As far as I am concerned, the choice of Irona is the best thing that has happened to the PDP in Imo ahead of 2019 elections. The persons that sponsored the publication must repent and face the truth. I don’t really know what they want. Hon. Irona has paid his dues. He is reliable and has capacity to deliver. With him, PDP is sure of victory in Orlu zone. 

Again, angels and men will bear witness that it is the turn of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/ Oru West federal constituency to produce the Deputy Governorship candidate of the Party in the interest of fair play and justice.” 

It would be recalled that an Owerri-based local tabloid in its Friday edition entitled “Imo PDP Deputy: Orlu stakeholders raise alarm over choice…” alleged that some stakeholders of the party in Orlu zone were not consulted before Irona was chosen as running mate to Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Tinubu condoles Nigeria on Anenih: A resolute leader for unity - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The former governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Congress national stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described the former Minister of Works, Chief Tony Anenih, who died on Sunday as a leader who was resolutely committed to the unity and cohesion of the country, reports ITREALMS.

He said in a statement last night by his Media Office and endorsed by Tunde Rahman, saying "Chief Anenih was a foremost politician and elder-stateman. He was resolutely committed to the unity and cohesion of this country. He worked for the upliftment of his Uromi hometown and Edo State, as he worked for the growth and development of Nigeria.

"A politician of immense repute. He gave so much to party politics and democracy in the country.

As one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he played a key role in the country's resurgent democracy. It was no surprise that he later emerged the Chairman, Board of Trustees of PDP.

"Our path crossed in the Social Democratic Party where he was our national chairman. I recall that he was an energetic politician who played politics with all that he was imbued with.

"I commiserate with his family. I pray that they find the strength and courage to live without their patriarch. I also commiserate with Governor Godwin Obaseki and the government and people of Edo State".

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Pix: Late Chief Tony Anineh

Lumos, a handy mobile electricity solution - ITREALMS

MondayFeatures@ITREALMS:

 Looking at how Nigerians can still enjoy power sustainably in spite of state huge spending on electricity and unending privatization, REMMY NWEKE reports there is a solution in your hands via a mobile phone.

Preamble:
Penultimate month, there was no public electricity power supply throughout the weekend at an apartment around Aboyomi Street, Mafoluku-Oshodi, Lagos. On return from mass on Sunday, Mr. Thomas popularly known in the neighbourhood as Mr. Tee, told himself it's time for a decision to be taken to look for alternative power supply after using and burning the generating set over the weekend nonstop.

This alternative must be something sustainably green compliant and what came to mind was solar power. Yes, talking about sustainable and clean energy has to do with goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the United Nations (UN), "Ensuring universal access to affordable electricity by 2030 means investing in clean energy sources such as solar, wind and thermal. While adopting cost-effective standards for a wider range of technologies could also reduce the cost associated to available and affordable energy for all.”

Progress Report on goal 7:

The UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres in his May 2017 report on the 'Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals' on item 7E/ E/2017/66 to the Economic and Social Council, noted that progress in every area of sustainable energy falls short of what is needed to achieve energy access for all and to meet targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Meaningful improvements will require higher levels of financing and bolder policy commitments, together with the willingness of countries to embrace new technologies on a much wider scale.

· Globally, 85.3 per cent of the population had access to electricity in 2014, an increase of only 0.3 percentage points since 2012. That means that 1.06 billion people, predominantly rural dwellers, still function without electricity. Half of those people live in sub-Saharan Africa.

· Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking climbed to 57.4 per cent in 2014, up slightly from 56.5 per cent in 2012. More than 3 billion people, the majority of them in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, are still cooking without clean fuels and more efficient technologies.

· The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption grew modestly from 2012 to 2014, from 17.9 per cent to 18.3 per cent. Most of the increase was from renewable electricity from water, solar and wind power. Solar and wind power still make up a relatively minor share of energy consumption, despite their rapid growth in recent years. The challenge is to increase the share of renewable energy in the heat and transport sectors, which together account for 80 per cent of global energy consumption.

·From 2012 to 2014, three quarters of the world’s 20 largest energy-consuming countries had reduced their energy intensity — the ratio of energy used per unit of GDP. The reduction was driven mainly by greater efficiencies in the industry and transport sectors. However, that progress is still not sufficient to meet the target of doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

Lumos Mobile Electricity as handy solution:

Inquiries were made by Mr Tee, throughout Monday and by evening it was evident that Lumos Mobile Electricity powered by MTN Nigeria Communications, otherwise called MTN Yellow Box; comes handy especially in terms of fiscal availability, acquisition affordability and maintenance.

Commercially, Lumos Mobile Electricity made its debut in Nigeria in February 2017 and looking deeper, 
ITREALMS gathered from Mr Tee that the MTN Yellow box afforded him access to electricity whenever he needs it, which, he said has made life a little more comfortable, because it's accessible, safe, and reliable as long as there is a bit of sunshine.

"Lumos lights up rooms, charge my mobile phones and power appliances such as rechargeable fans, LED TVs, laptops, and tablets all day long for the duration of choice per month," he declared.

As said by him, “I can afford now to power both Direct Current (DC) from the solar, which is compatible with appliances and Alternative Current (AC) compatible appliances with this Lumos Mobile Electricity system, namely with DC having up to 100 Wax (accumulative) and 12 Voltage.

On the other hand, the AC compatible appliances that you already have at home, up to 60W (accumulative) and 220 Volts. Conversely, MTN says the system cannot support, air conditioners, deep freezers, refrigerators, electric cookers, washing machines, AC ceiling fans to name a few.

How to join the service:

Grace, a sales lady at MTN Okota, explained to ITREALMS that to join the service entails interested party visiting the nearest MTN store or by going online to linkup with the stores.

At the local nearby stores, she explained that customers need to sign up and when joining the service, customers must visit with an active MTN SIM card registered in the individual subscriber’s name, a valid identity card and the names or details of two (2) willing guarantors.

Cash payment was made by Mr. Tee which has one month bonus attached, and a one-time set-up fee, just as he gathered that the one month subscription fee has to be activated via customer’s mobile phone. Of course, there are different subscription plans to choose from to credit own system.

This, ITREALMS also gathered would entail a professional and authorized installer coming to the house to complete the process, via customer’s mobile phone.

According to Engr. Owolabi, the Lumos Installer professional assigned to Mr. Tee, the pack of secured solar power station is a clean, quiet and sustainable way of converting sunlight to electrical energy, hence energy is stored in a Lithium battery to provide continuous supply of electricity to power two (2) Light-Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs, a variety of 12 voltage on Direct Current (DC) appliances and for charging cell phone, among others.

The ‘Yellow Box’ power station, he explained, comprised of two units made up of solar panel unit (SPU) and Solar Control Indoor Unit (SCU). Whereas SPU collects the sunlight energy and converts same to electrical power, the SCU supplies the electrical power to the connected appliances, in addition to some mounting kit for securing the solar panel unit onto a roof or any other flat surface.

Saving Lots of Money:

The mobile electricity service, ITREALMS reports, saves customer lots of money on their monthly electricity bills. Ms Grace equally advised customers to choose a suitable subscription plan from their plan options and make convenient payments from their MTN mobile phone.

“SMS should be sent using the MTN phone number registered to your Yello box. SMS must be received before your friend joins our service. Refer only one phone number per SMS,” she declared.

Lessons for new users:

For Mr. Tee, one of the key lessons learnt in over a month of using Lumos Mobile Electricity is that when the ‘yellow’ display button is ‘on’ it means the power is switched off and when the ‘off’ is displayed, the light will be on for use.

Although there was a little teething problems of charging below expectations, but with an electronic mail (email) sent to the customer care, he received a call from 180, which monitored the progress of the device by offering instructions and directions on what should be done, until it was satisfactorily endorsed as optimal by Mr. Tee.

Conclusion:

Advantages of solar power like Lumos, ITREALMS reports is that its pollution free and causes no greenhouse gases to be emitted after installation; reduced dependence on fuel for generating set and fossil fuels. Renewable clean power that is available every day of the year, even cloudy day produces some power to sustain a small business like that of Mr. Tee, which requires internet access with a laptop.

For him, the noise of generating set has reduced drastically, while he had saved spending an average of N1000 per day on fuel, due to lack of power supply from Ikeja Electric and when added up in a month means N20,000.00, at the least.

Experts at GreenMatch.com explained that among all the benefits of solar panels, the most important thing remains that solar energy is a truly renewable energy source with low maintenance costs despite that its weather dependent and helps in sustaining employment.
And for ITREALMS, this is the kind of solution that Nigerian banks should invest in to stimulate economic productivity, growth and reduce unemployment eventually for a given section of the small businesses, having in mind that small rivers make an ocean.

Mr. Tee, agrees the advantages are enormous for small business owners or operators in a developing economy like Nigeria. In fact he was already thinking of extending same Yellow box electricity magic to his parents in Anambra State, sometime soon.
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Pix: Power Minister, Tunde Fashola, Lumos and UN Sec-Gen António Guterres @ITREALMS

Digital government vision for her kingdom - ITREALMS

MondayCommentary@ITREALMS: 
As digital transformation continues to play a fundamental role in shaping the way governments across the world adapt to new opportunities and challenges, International Data Corporation (IDC) has published an in-depth analysis to spur debate, share data, highlight best practices, and assess the impact of ICT on digital government initiatives globally and in Saudi Arabia. Titled 'A Digital Government Vision for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia', the report leverages insights from the Kingdom’s most senior ICT decision makers to help guide the implementation of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP).

Due to several macroeconomic and societal actors, countries are increasingly competing with each other for talent, foreign investment and development. Ensuring that their digital infrastructure is in place has become a major differentiator. This, in turn, has pushed countries both regionally and globally to emplace national strategies to enhance smart government performance. Vision 2030 sets out a long-term economic blueprint for reducing Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, strengthening the nation's economy, attracting investment, and improving the lives of its citizens.

In line with this, the NTP provides relevant government entities with a detailed roadmap – including regional and global benchmarks, performance indicators, and expected outcomes – for achieving the goals set out by Vision 2030. The successful outcomes of these programs will be driven by the rapid adoption and well-planned execution of digital initiatives. They will be supported by technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT), and governed by digital program offices that will monitor their cross-functional impact.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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‘Why army killed members of Islamic sect’ ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Nigerian Army has adduced some reasons why its troop on Saturday, killed three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

According to Commander Army Headquarters Garrison, Major General James Myam in a press statement made available to ITREALMS said that the group was trying to overrun an army ammunitions escort at Zuba bridge in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday afternoon.

“Troops of Army Headquarters Garrison on official duty escorting ammunitions and missiles from Abuja to Army Central Ammunition Depot in Kaduna State were attacked by some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) sect at Zuba bridge at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at about 3.00pm on Saturday 27th October 2018,” he explained.

He equally said, the sect were supposedly in a procession, but established an illegal road block denying motorists free passage.

“When the troops’ convoy attempted to clear the road block, they met stiff opposition from the sect. Members of the sect used various objects to barricade the road and also pelted the troops with stones and other dangerous items. They smashed both military and civilian vehicles’ windscreens and windows,” he said.

As narrated by the army, the Islamic group, also attempted to overrun the escorts to cart away the ammunition and missiles the troops were escorting. This led to the troops opening fire to extricate themselves. Consequently, troops of 102 Guards Battalion in whose Area of Responsibility the incident occurred rushed to the convoy’s rescue.

The army described as “Unfortunately, during the encounter 3 members of the sect were killed while 2 soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated at a military medical facility.”

The commander further said that normalcy has been restored in the general area and members of the public especially those plying the Abuja - Zuba Road are requested to go about with their normal activities with the assurance from the Nigerian Army that no individual or persons would be allowed to disturb public peace and unprovoked attacks against military convoys.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

In memory of Jamal Khashoggi - ITREALMS

A Tribute and Call for Action in Memory of Jamal Khashoggi, killed October 2 by Saudi authorities inside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey.
A minute silence for the faithful departed.

With deep grief and greatest sorrow in memory of journalists killed in Nigeria and around the world, the Coalition of Nigerian Media and Civil Society Groups are gathered here to make 3 statements:

First, we are gathered here to commiserate with the family and friends of journalist, Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, and the good people of Saudi Arabia.

We are gathered here to tell the people of Saudi Arabia that you deserve better. You deserve better than a blood thirsty government that kills its citizens at will, and with total impunity.

No human being should ever have to face such a bestial death. Jamal did not deserve to die, let alone in the one place where he should have felt safest in a foreign land – the Saudi Arabia Consulate.

Let us think about it critically. Do we know how many people have died in similar circumstances at Saudi Embassies and Consulates around the world?

Jamal Khashoggi’s blood is crying for Justice!

And that is why we are gathered here, to tell the Saudi government that injury to one is injury to all. The world abhors the evil perpetrated against Jamal. We are here to say Jamal’s life and death will never be in vain. His blood will keep speaking for generations to come and his legacy will forever remain.

We are here to demand only one thing from the King and the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

The person(s) who gave the order for the bestial murder of journalist, Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, and the person(s) who carried the order, All of them MUST be brought to account.

The Second reason we are gathered here is in memory of our own Nigerian journalists, too many killed in the line of duty, and in total impunity.

Just as we call on the Saudi government, so also, we call on the Nigerian government to put an end to impunity for crimes against journalists.

This month, 32 years ago, we still remember the murder of journalist, Dele Giwa, killed via a parcel bomb delivered to him on October 19, 1986. That case smacks of government conspiracy.

We are here to tell the Nigerian government to take into account that in 32 years since Dele Giwa’s assassination, countless murders of journalists have occurred, and not one has been conclusive to bring the perpetrators to justice.

We therefore call on Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, to do what any conscionable government would do:

Order the reopening of impartial, independent, and transparent investigations into the murders of all journalists killed in the country and ensure their killers don’t go unpunished.

The Third reason we are gathered here is to remind ourselves that:

when Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes A Duty! The call was sounded, even on short notice, yet we all turned up and decided to take action to defend our civil rights.

We want to say ‘Thank You’ for your presence and your time. Together, we will keep holding our governments accountable to the people.

*Contributed by Peter Nkanga and Chido Onumah for Coalition of Nigerian Media and Civil Society Groups

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How estate surveyors, valuers can boost rural development in Nigeria - ITREALMS

An Estate Surveyor and Valuer is referred to in Nigeria as a professional member of NIESV (The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers) who is also registered and empowered by law through the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) to carry out property valuation tasks in the interest of the owner/prospective owner and the society.

With a combination of efforts from the Government, Investors and most importantly, an Estate Surveyor and Valuer, landed properties in every area of the society (rural and urban) can be put to optimal use once they are properly managed.

His services extends beyond the regular acquisition and disposal of landed properties, but with a vast knowledge covering the major areas of property development in its entirety and its immediate impact in the society, they are better placed to make policies that will foster development in any rural or urban society.

Having good infrastructure, of course is one of the prerequisites for development in any society, having the right long-term maintenance strategy will go a long way in sustaining those infrastructure. With the wealth of experience at the disposal of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, formulating and implementing a strong maintenance policy should be a cakewalk.

By joining hands with the Government, Estate Surveyors and Valuers are also able to advise the Government on the best way to develop a particular locality by mapping out some areas which will be perfect for residence, industrial or commercial buildings. Due to their involvement in the development of that master plan, the community will most likely experience speedy and healthy growth.

Estate Surveyors in conjunction with other like-minded bodies (independent investors or a government-backed subsidized fund) also come together in some occasions to implement projects that will not only benefit the initiator, but also the host community. 

For instance, it is a well-known fact that the houses in the Abuja metropolis cannot cater for the teeming population. Worse still, the majority cannot afford a decent home due to the relatively high cost of living. 

Lansar Aghaji & Co and other professionals in the real estate industry saw this as an opportunity to invest in the suburban region of the city. The aftermath of this investment birthed affordable housing in relatively new areas like Kubwa, Zuba, Gwarimpa, Suleja among many other areas.

These new houses were not only beneficial to the owners;
It benefitted the Government by decongesting the municipal.
Increased the Government’s source of revenue.
Significantly improved commercial activities in the host communities.

From the above, we can deduce that an Estate Surveyor and Valuer is capable of significantly boosting the development of any community due to the cross-disciplinary knowledge they possess about landed properties in its entirety and its impact on the community.

In addition to the above, Estate Surveyors and Valuers like Lansar Aghaji & Co also handle other activities like feasibility and viability appraisals, facilities management, project management and general real estate consultancy services.

*Contributed by Lansar Aghaji and Co (08037082245 or info@lansaraghajiandco.com)

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Abuja set for 3rd CYSEC NG hackathon, conference - ITREALMS

The Cyber Security Challenge Nigeria (CYSEC NG), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in its bid to consolidate on efforts to forestall the high rate of incidences of cyber-attacks affecting the globe and Nigeria inclusive, is organizing its Annual National Hacking and Cyber security conference in Abuja, reports ITREALMS.

Director-General CYSEC NG, Mr Victor Idonor, told ITREALMS, the conference has been slated for Tuesday, October 30 through Wednesday 31, would centre on the theme `Forensics and Defense Against Next-Gen Frauds’ and will also serve as a platform for a `National Hacking Challenge’ to identify Nigeria’s next generation of cyber professionals.

He noted that with last year's outbreak of NotPetya, Ransomware—malicious programmes that encrypt your files and demand a ransom payment in bitcoin to restore them, it became one of the most talked about forms of malware of 2017. Yet at the same time, the actual rates of malware infection began to crash down around the middle of the year, until by December 2017 it represented only about 10 percent of infections.

“One of the most common methods of email malware infection is through phishing attacks, which are becoming increasingly targeted,” he said.

According to him, out of the 1,300 IT security decision makers surveyed for CyberArk Global Advanced Threat Landscape Report 2018, 56 per cent said that targeted phishing attacks were the top security threat they faced while 77 per cent of organisations in the world were victimised by one (or more) successful cyber-attack in 2017. 17 per cent of breaches were social attacks, 76 per cent of the breaches were financially motivated while 12 per cent involved privilege misuse.

CYSEC NG has over the years been playing a vital role in assisting Nigerians scale –up skills in cyber security as well as provides direction towards building a viable Information Technology, cybersecurity professional base for Nigeria and Africa.

CYSEC NG ’18 will gather IT professionals in the industry, government agencies, public and private sector who will be thinking, working and paying greater attention to national and global cyber security trends and challenges. It will also disclose the state of security from a unique perspective, `The Hacker’s Viewpoint’, which say `In order to beat a hacker, you have to think like one and if you don’t understand the enemy, how can you protect against him”.

The hacking competition will consist of challenges that include password cracking and code breaking, web security, reverse engineering, cryptography, penetration testing, binary exploitation, forensics and many more; practical hacking demonstration, Information Security Research work presentations, stakeholders panel session and software exhibitions. . There would be a hacking challenge where participants will compete, a winner will emerge and awarded.

CYSEC NG ’18, he said, is gender sensitive, and holds a special session for women to get involved in Cyber Security issues. It will also capture secondary schools in its `Catch Them Young’ insightful time into `InfoSec towards Cyber security inclusion in Nigeria’.

The occasion affords participants the opportunity to connect, network and have high-level talks on cyber security in Nigeria and is slated to hold at the Cyprian Ekwensi Arts and Culture, Abuja.

The event is being organized by Upgraded Era Solutions in collaboration and partnership with government and non-government agencies. The event will attract a variety of top level participants from across various sectors; including Students, financial services institutions, energy, telecommunications, manufacturing, IT professionals, developers, decisions and policy makers, governmental officials, experts, consultants, industry leaders, law enforcement officials, academics, networks security and other stakeholders with an interest in the cyber security space.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Friday, October 26, 2018

AITEO Cup Victory: Enugu Rangers and Asaba 'Miracle' - ITREALMS

The 2018 Aiteo Cup (otherwise known as the Federation Cup) may have come and gone but the drama and miraculous manner with which the Rangers International Football Club clinched the Cup would remain a story that would be told and referenced while discussing issues relating to the power of possibilities in every circumstance of life and human endeavour.

Stephen Keshi International Stadium Asaba was the venue for the 2018 Aiteo Cup finals between Kano Pillars and Rangers International Football Club. The stadium was filled to the brim with fans and supporters of both teams in high spirit chanting songs of encouragements to the clubs in the football pitch.

Both Kano and Enugu State Governments had taken over the media space calling for prayers and supports from the general public, fans and supporters of their different clubs for God to see them victorious at the Aiteo tournament which would not only promote the image of their states but also place the victorious club at the apex of football rating in the country and also have them secure the berth to represent Nigeria at the CAF Confederation Cup next season.

In the thrilling final match, Pillars within the first ten minutes scored their first goal and not long after, scored the second goal still within the first half. They added the third goal in the early minutes of the second half leaving both the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the teaming supporters and fans of Enugu Rangers who were on ground to motivate the players dumb founded.

However, in spite of this challenging moment, a source who was observing the mood and countenance of Governor Ugwuanyi, said that he was full of hope and in high spirit that the awesome God of David whom he has always reverenced in all his activities, will perform a miracle that will see his team defeat Kano Pillars in spite of the fact that Rangers was three goals down as at the 70th minutes of the match.

Just like the story of David who defeated the Philistine giant Goliath with only a sling because of his intimate relationship with Jehovah God as his backup, the Flying Antelopes mustered a late comeback sparked off by the 77th-minute thunderbolt from Kevin Itoya who opened the door of victory for Enugu Rangers with the first goal.

Under ten minutes of the first the goal scored by Rangers at 77th minutes, Chidera Ezeh threw in the second goal making it 3-2 and Ajani Ibrahim completed the late comeback with a diving header in the 90th minute bringing the goals of Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers to a 3-3 draw and leading both teams into a penalty kick.

In the ensuing penalty kick, Captain Rabiu Ali who had scored the first goal of the match for Pillars goofed by losing his kick and his teammate Jimoh Ibrahim also lost his penalty kick. Though Rangers also missed a kick, the four kicks scored was enough to give them a sweet 4-2 win over a shattered Pillars team.

It was indeed a good one for Rangers who had gotten to five finals of the Federation Cup in the past administrations of the state without clinching the cup but within the period of Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration, the case is different as the club in 2016 broke a 32-year-old jinx by winning the NPFL in 2016 and also miraculously winning the 2018 Aiteo Cup.

One is tempted to say that the victories of Rangers since Ugwuanyi came on the saddle of leadership in the state could be linked with his handing over the affairs of the state to God on assumption of office. To Ugwuanyi, he does not have the capacity to carry out the leadership of the state without God and this belief has manifested in numerous successes recorded so far in spite of the poor revenue accruing to the state from the federal allocation.

Under Governor Ugwuanyi’s leadership, the state’s internal revenue has been on a tremendous increase to the extent that the state can even pay salaries without relying on federal allocation. This development has equally led to a lot of infrastructural developments linking the rural areas and the urban areas thereby making it easy for farmers to transport their farm produce to the urban centres.

The twin victory of Enugu Rangers under the Ugwuanyi administration by breaking the 32-year-old jinx of not winning any trophy is no doubt made possible by the power of the awesome God of David whom the Governor believes is capable of helping him achieve success in the leadership of the state. Before making any statement, Gov. Ugwuanyi always reaffirms his loyalty to the God of Abraham, God of Isaac and the Awesome God of David. There is therefore no gain saying that God has not failed him in his belief and trust.

Rangers International Football Club of Enugu was founded in 1970 after the Nigerian Civil War and has maintained its position as the oldest football team in Nigeria that has never gone on relegation since its inception. Founded, financed and supervised by the Enugu state government, the club has remained firm in making the Igbos proud. Founded with the spirit of “Ndi Igbo”, the football club is bound by a common philosophy; a culture and an attitude well characterized with “never say die”.

Rangers International Football Club of Enugu also known as the “Flying Antelope” has lifted the oldest trophy in Nigeria – challenge(fa) cup 5 (five) good times, played in the finals as the second runner up about 5 times after winning in 1983.

Governor Ugwuanyi had in a statement through his SSA Media, Louis Amoke, “appealed to residents of Enugu state and the entire South East Geo-Political Zone, including traders in Onitsha, Enugu, Aba, Asaba, and others, to come out en masse at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, to cheer the Flying Antelopes to victory adding that their prayers did the magic in 2016 NPFL Cup.

Reacting to the victory, the Convener and National Coordinator of the South East Renewal Group, (SERG), Chief Willy Ezugwu, described the emergence of Enugu Rangers International Football Club as the winner of the 2018 Aiteo Cup as “one of the many proofs that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State is God-sent to the people of the state.”

“This is pointer that no matter how the opponents fight, there is second term victory next year for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as an achiever who has again added another feather to his cap as the man of the people through his result-oriented administration.

*Emmanuel Jonathan, JP is Special Assistant to the Governor of Enugu State on New Media Matters and a public affairs analyst.

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Breaking: KDSG reinstates 24-hour curfew - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Kaduna State Government has reinstated a 24-hour curfew on Kaduna metropolis and environs, Kasuwan Magani, Kajuru, Kateri and Kachia reports ITREALMS.

The curfew, ITREALMS gathered is effective from 11am today, Friday, 26th October 2018 and will remain in force until further notice.

Confirming this to ITREALMS,  the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Media & Publicity) Kaduna State, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said this is a necessary step to help maintain peace as they mourn the death of HRH Agom Adara, "who we lost in the early hours of today to the criminals who abducted him last week."

The Kaduna State Government, therefore called for calm in all communities, stressing that the criminal elements who perpetrated this crime should not be allowed to divide state.

"This is a struggle between good, decent, law-abiding people trying to uphold the peace and criminals who want to divide and destroy. It is not a struggle between religious or ethnic groups. Let no criminal find succour in faith or tribe," he said.

Urging residents of Kaduna State to unite against every criminal activity.

"Let us stand together as human beings who have a right to live in peace," Aruwan said.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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NAGRA secures Sky Italia’s new retail DVB-T pay-TV service - ITREALMS

Leading independent provider of content protection and multiscreen television solutions, NAGRA has secured the Sky Italia's digital satellite television platform owned by Sky plc. reports ITREALMS.

This follows the launch of a new Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial (DVB-T) pay-TV service secured by NAGRA’s broadcast and direct-to TV content protection technologies.

ITREALMS gathered that the new terrestrial service is available on Sky Italia DVB-T set-top boxes and Conditional Access Modules (CAM) for digital TVs, available for sale on the Italian retail market with an exclusive offer that contains four channels of entertainment, eight cinema and series channels, and sports channels featuring premium sports content including Serie A football, UEFA Champions League and Europa League, Formula One auto racing and MotoGP Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Sky Italia and have them benefit from our retail expertise in pay-TV,” said Carlo Stramaglia, Vice President Sales, Italy, at NAGRA. 

“NAGRA technologies are best-of-breed when it comes to broadcast and direct-to-TV security for premium content addressing virtually any business requirement while providing robust content protection. We look forward to supporting them in this new venture.”

NAGRA’s broadcast content protection technology leverages the NAGRA Broadcast Headend security platform to enable advanced broadcast business models and a full portfolio of security features which are the cornerstones of premium broadcast TV. It is both flexible and scalable, and delivers best-of-breed hardware-based security for virtually any business requirement and withstand the most advanced attacks. Integrated with NAGRA content protection and relying on the DVB CI and CI Plus standards, CAM modules enable pay-TV operators to deliver premium 4K Ultra HD content directly to integrated TV sets (iDTV) through broadcast or broadband IP network without a set-top box.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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