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Buhari leads FG delegation to eNigeria’19 - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : President Muhammadu Buhari has been confirmed to lead the Federal Government (FG) delegations to the 2019 e-Nigeria annual co...

Friday, November 15, 2019

Buhari leads FG delegation to eNigeria’19 - ITREALMS

President Muhammadu Buhari has been confirmed to lead the Federal Government (FG) delegations to the 2019 e-Nigeria annual conference as the special guest of honour, reports ITREALMS.

Confirming this to ITREALMS, spokesperson to the Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman said, Buhari accepted and approved the invitation of the Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) to serve as Special Guest of Honour, through a letter.

The confab scheduled to hold from Thursday, 28th to Saturday, 30th of November 2019 with the theme centred around: Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria, she said, would be declared open by the President, with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Chief Host and Chief Convener, Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashif Inuwa Abdullahi.

They are expected to be joined by all the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of agencies under the Ministry’s purview will serve as co-hosts. 

These, she said, include the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; Managing Director Galaxy Backbone PLC, Mr. Yusuf Kazaure; Managing Director Nigeria Communications Satelite (NIGCOMSAT), Dr Abimbola Alale; Acting Executive Secretary Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) Mr Ayuba Shuaibu; and the Post-Master General, Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) Barrister Adebisi Adegbuyi.

Also, she said the highlight of this year’s event, would be the formal public presentation for review, in line with the President’s directives, the draft document on the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, in accordance the Ministry’s mandate.

The Minister has also constituted Central Working Committee (CWC), for e-Nigeria chaired by him, with NITDA as its secretariat and coordinator, while the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Parastatals under the Ministry’s supervision serve as members.

Recall that the e-Nigeria Conference is the nation’s flagship IT Conference organized by the Federal Government and coordinated by NITDA, the Federal Government’s Information Technology (IT) develop arm, supervised by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor
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Ijeoma urges Ndi-Imo to keep faith with Ihedioha - ITREALMS.

The Senior Special Assistant on Project Monitoring in the Office of the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Architect Zach Ijeoma has called on Ndi-Imo to continue to keep faith with the administration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha, describing it as the best thing to have happened to the state, reports ITREALMS.

Ijeoma, who made the call while addressing hundreds of stakeholders in his home town, Egbuoma, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State argued that the few months of reign of Governor Ihedioha has given hope to people of the state.

“I invited people from different political parties to formally inform them of my new appointment as SSA, Project Monitoring to the Deputy Governor of Imo State. I invited people across party lines to come and join the Rebuild Imo Government in order to add their quota to the development of the state. You can see that the few months that the present administration in the state has stayed, has given our people home. They are doing things that people can see.”

“I urge people of Egbuoma, Oguta LGA and Imo State at large to continue to keep faith and support the Rebuild Imo administration in order to secure the future of generations yet unborn.”

Continuing, he expressed gratitude to the Deputy Governor, Engr. Gerald Irona for what he described as his exemplary leadership style, urging him to continue with his good works.

He expressed optimism that people of the area will benefit from the present administration, regretting that previous administrations in the state, in spite of having some top members of the government from the area did not impact the lives of the people.

The Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Governor, Hon. Sydney Uneanya commended members of Egbuoma community for what he described as their commitment to supporting the administration of Governor Ihedioha, assuring them that they will not be disappointed.

He further lauded members of opposition political parties in the area for putting aside their political affiliations to support the administration of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.

*Correspondent/Editor


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Kogi and Bayelsa 2019 Governorship Election: Foretelling the Outcome - ITREALMS

Commentary@ITREALMS:

Democracy is earning the power to govern through free, fair and credible elections. Nigeria is a democratic state, but the leadership recruitment process is largely undemocratic. 

Material and financial inducements determines victory, the security agencies are political, and the umpire lacks the capacity and will to conduct credible polls. Public sovereignty is departing the ballot for court as the 2019 general elections produced about a thousand petitions. 

Subjecting almost every electoral victory to judicial confirmation is making voting lose its essence. Like every human, judges are prone to errors as much as they have preference. Hence, their verdicts can’t always be a true reflection of the peoples will. Several mandates have been mistakenly or deliberately upturned. Parties and candidates must strive to end their contests at the polls, instead of the court.

Nigerians hope for this as the people of Kogi and Bayelsa state elect governor on 16 November, 2019. Over 40 parties fielded candidates, but the contest is a two horse race between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). APC’s David Lyon is slugging it out with PDP’s Duoye Diri in Bayelsa state. In Kogi, PDP’s Musa Wada and SDP’s Natasha Akpoti is challenging incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello of the APC. On the sideline, PDP’s Dino Melaye is facing APC’s Smart Adeyemi in the Kogi-West senatorial rerun. This piece foretells the outcome of the elections.

Bayelsa State:Bayelsa is a riverine, less populated state of about 2.5 million persons, eight local governments, and 923,182 registered voters. Unfavorable judicial pronouncements have practically make winning an unattainable height for APC in Bayelsa state. The party’s deputy governorship candidate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, was disqualified on November 12 for providing false information in his nomination form. On November 14, the court invalidated David Lyon’s candidacy on account that the governorship primary that produced him was improperly conducted. APC miraculously got a stay of execution at the Court of Appeal few hours after Justice Jane Inyang of Bayelsa High Court gave the ruling.

Is Nigeria’s legal system so flexible that appellants can get a stay of execution the same day judgment is delivered? Did the trial judge err by granting reliefs not sought by Heineken Lokpobiri, the plaintiff who originally prayed to be declared candidate?

In any case, APC is back on the ballot and the poll won’t be a walkover for PDP. The former made an impressive performance in the last general elections and may increase the beat. From scoring a meagre 5,000 votes in the 2015 presidential poll, APC garnered over 118,000 votes in 2019. While one may argue that the party got more votes because a Bayelsa indigene wasn’t on the ballot, as in 2015, the progression is a testament that APC is making waves in Bayelsa.

Ethno-regional balance of power would earn PDP votes. The party’s primary generated resentment, but drastic measures were taken to address the impasse. Diri and the immediate past speaker of the state assembly, Tony Isenah hails from Kolokuma Opokuma. Agitations were rife that the region cannot produce governor and speaker, while Southern Ijaw, the second largest voting population, held no key position. To calm frayed nerves, Governor Seriake Dickson and other PDP leaders forced Isenah out for Monday Obolo. The move has brightened PDP’s chance in Southern Ijaw, the APC candidate’s homeland.

A major setback for the PDP is intra-party crisis. Governor Dickson backed Duoye Diri, against the wish of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan and other bigwigs. Diri’s candidature was actualized through the Restoration Group, the dominant PDP faction in the state controlled by Dickson. Diri pulled 561 votes, while Jonathan’s preferred candidate, Timi Alaibe, scored 365 votes in the primary. Efforts to make Dickson concede the deputy governorship ticket to Alaibe’s faction failed. This made several PDP stalwarts decamp to APC and other parties. Gabriel Jonah, the incumbent deputy governor’s younger brother led the Otita Force group out of the PDP to APC. Some of the defectors have returned and PDP also won some APC decampees.

Recurring conflict of interest broke the cordial relationship between Dickson and his godfather, Jonathan. The latter wants to keep calling the shot, but the former feels he has come of age. Dickson is having his way as the party structure is firmly under his control. Many allege the Jonathans are working against PDP’s victory. Ex-first lady Patience reportedly attend an APC rally and the husband visited President Buhari within the same period. Politics is an interest driven game, hence it is not impossible, but most unlikely that Jonathan would support APC. This is premised on the manner the party has disparaged him since he lost power in 2015.

Every governor wants to install a successor and Dickson is no exemption. He is striving to enthrone Diri to protect himself from probe and prosecution. Bayelsa’s development is incommensurable with the federal allocation and internal revenue Dickson has accrued. His government spent mammoth funds on less impactful schemes. For instance, the Bayelsa International Cargo Airport was constructed at a prodigious rate, while the population is lacking basic amenities.

Ex-governor Timipre Sylva’s appointment as Minister of State for Petroleum has energized APC in Bayelsa. Sylva hopes to raise his political clout by capturing the state. Poised to bring honey out of the rock, Sylva will use federal might and fund for APC, but the party will not sail through. The 2019 Ameachi-Rivers scenario would most-likely occur. Sylva would predictably incapacitate PDP bigwigs, flood the state with armed officers, and do all legally and illegally possible to enthrone APC. Yet the party would lose. PDP is more formidable despite the intra-party crisis and shortcomings of the Dickson administration. Duoye Diri (PDP) would win the election.

Kogi State

‘Your Excellency’ is a title Nigerian elites admire, and do all possible to acquire. Struggle for the coveted position of governor has made Kogi the violence capital of Nigeria lately. The 2019 governorship poll will go down in history as the fiercest in the state. Yahaya Bello (APC) and Musa Wada (PDP) are not aiming for second and Natasha Akpoti (SDP) is waxing strong. They are campaigning aggressively, spewing unfulfillable promises, and going all out to win the heart of the 1,646,350 registered voters.

Kogi APC had a good outing in the 2019 general election. The party won two of the state’s three senatorial seats, and seven out of the nine House of Representative seats. While this is a pointer that APC is on course for victory, it may lose the governorship election for fielding an unpopular candidate. Bello’s track record shows he’s not deserving of governorship or any other position. He is bereft of ideas, non-tolerant, arrogant, and violent. His address during campaigns are basically hate speeches and threats, rather than a presentation of his scorecard and manifesto.

Another minus for Bello is his style of governance. He ruled Kogi like a conquered territory. His mindset is too shallow to accommodate opposite views and criticisms. You either agree with him or be hounded. He has, at different times, been embroiled in conflict with the labor union, university staffs, and the state’s Chief Judge. Bello also has issues with his former deputy, Elder Simon Achuba. He withheld Achuba’s allowances and honoraria, and influenced his unconstitutional removal from office.

A major impediment to Bello’s reelection is the non-payment of salaries in the civil service, salary-dependent state. Bello has no tenable excuse for owing as he accrued over N300 billion internally generated revenue and federal allocation within 38 months of his administration. Yet workers were unpaid and no landmark project has been commissioned. The state is enmeshed in poverty, unemployment, insecurity and underdevelopment.

Sadly, the funds that should have been used to better Kogites lot would be apparently used for vote-buying. Federal government has aided the practice by releasing N10 billion project-executed repayment fund to Bello three days to the election. It’s upsetting Buhari’s anti-corruption centered government released the fund at a time it would most certainly be used for election purposes.

Vote-buying shouldn’t be aiding poor performing politicians to victory, but most Nigerians are descendants of Esau, the biblical character who sold his birthright for a plate of porridge. Pecuniary gain makes many praise-sing and reelect failed governments. Kogi people won’t act different. Many would vote the poor performing governor after receiving peanuts. Vote-buying is not a one party affair. PDP also induce voters and will do so again in Kogi.

Ethnic politics reigns supreme in Kogi. The population often deliver bulk votes to their tribesmen, irrespective of party. Igala tribe has numerical advantage and principally determines who carry the day. In 1999, Abubakar Audu won the governorship election under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, defeating PDP which had better structures at the time. Igala people are domiciled in Kogi East and constitutes over half of the state’s voting population. PDP’s Wada and the APC deputy governorship candidate, Edwin Onoja are Igala natives.

If ethnic voting occurs, Wada would win as Bello hails from the less populated Ebira tribe. Onoja’s influence won’t earn APC majority vote; Igala people would rather be first than play second fiddle. Moreover, Wada’s allies are conversant with the tactics of winning elections in Kogi state, especially Igala land. The PDP candidate is the brother of ex-governor Idris Wada and in-law of ex-governor Ibrahim Idris.

Bello is hoping to harvest Ebira votes in Kogi Central, but Akpoti is a pain. The budding politician’s fan base is increasing outstandingly. Her supporters are largely women, a crucial and influential arm of the voting population. Akpoti knows she can’t win, but wants to split Bello’s vote in Kogi Central, not minding who her action benefits. Having her way would propel PDP to victory and Bello’s army of thugs won’t watch that happen. They allegedly set her campaign office ablaze and have been harassing her routinely. This misstep is earning Akpoti the popularity she might have joined the race for. It would also earn her sympathy votes, which may be inadequate to make her win, but sufficient to make Bello lose. In case Bello gets injured in Kogi Central (which is most unlikely), he will hope on recovering at Kogi West.

Kogi West Senatorial Rerun

One man’s misfortune is another’s stroke of luck. Dino Melaye’s trouble turned into blessing for Wada when he needs it most. The former’s senatorial mandate was nullified and rerun is holding alongside the governorship election. Melaye who had initially distanced himself from Wada’s campaign, having lost out in the primary, backtracked upon realizing him and Wada must either rise or fall together.

Melaye is facing arch-rival Smart Adeyemi of the APC in an epic rerun. In the nullified February 2019 election, Melaye defeated Adeyemi in six out of the seven local governments constituting Kogi West. He won despite being hounded by the state and federal government, and under a party in opposition at both levels of government.

Melaye is in tune with the masses than Adeyemi and other APC bigwigs in Kogi West. James Faleke’s reconciliation with Bello will not help APC much in the district. Faleke is late Abubakar Audu’s running mate in the 2015 governorship poll. He’s been inactive in the state since he lost the party’s mandate to Bello after Audu’s demise. Bello came second in the party primary.

Faleke is currently a federal lawmaker representing Lagos. He and Adeyemi’s political strength does not match Melaye’s in Kogi West. Melaye has over 100 projects to his credit; a contribution neither Adeyemi, Faleke nor Bello has made to the district. Call it uncivilized, Melaye’s politicking is admired by his people. His comical utterances and songs has won him the hearts of the population who sees other politicians as arrogant and inaccessible.

Melaye is a grassroots politician and popular in Kogi West. He stands a chance as none of the major opposition candidates in the governorship election hails from Kogi West. Based on the prominence of ethnic voting in the state, Melaye would lose if a strong opposition governorship candidate like Bello hails from Kogi West. Favored by these odds, Melaye (PDP) would defeat Adeyemi (APC) in the senatorial rerun election. In the same vein, for governorship, Musa Wada of the PDP would garner more votes than Yahaya Bello of the APC in Kogi West.

Governorship Election Outcome

Bello’s underperformance, misgovernance, dwindling admiration, and the odd-against ethnic voting permutation would deter his win. PDP’s Wada would get bulk ethnic votes in Kogi East. Melaye’s senatorial rerun coincidence would earn Wada majority vote in Kogi West. Natasha Akpoti would split Bello’s bulk vote in Kogi Central. The lowest of Wada’s vote would come from the district, while highest would come from Kogi East.

In a free, fair and credible contest, PDP’s Musa Wada would defeat APC’s Yahaya Bello. But the election is not going to be free; not going to be fair; and not going to be credible. Thugs would disperse voters and smash ballot boxes in Wada’s stronghold. The security agencies won’t arrest disruptors, and would be grossly partisan. Above all, the Independent National Electoral Commission would be ‘remote controlled’ by the ‘powers that be’. Several votes would be cancelled and the election would be declared inconclusive.

Virtually all the election winning indicators point to Wada’s emergence, but the pundit foresees Kogi 2019 governorship election ending with a rerun, and if it does, APC’s Yahaya Bello would ultimately be declared winner.

Note: Foretelling the outcome of an election doesn’t mean the writer has access to one sacred information or the election winning strategy of any candidate. Assessing candidates’ fortes and flaws to foretell election results is a common practice in developed nations. This doesn’t mean the pundits are demeaning the electoral process or influencing election results. Bayelsans and Kogites have already decided who they would vote for, and nothing – not this prediction – can easily change their mind.


*Omoshola Deji is a political and public affairs analyst. He wrote in via moshdeji@yahoo.com

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Amansea-Ebenebe-Awba-Ofemili road: Obi expresses dismay on lack of completion - ITREALMS

The former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has expressed dismay over lack of commitment to complete the Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba-Ofemili road, which he started during his tenure, reports ITREALMS.

The Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba-Ofemili road is about 37 kilometres from the capital.

He made this known at the 7th annual lecture by News Express Magazine at Ikeja Sheraton Hotel, Lagos on Thursday, as the special guest of honour and guest speaker, held under the theme: Getting Nigeria Out of the Woods – The Challenges of African Integration.

Obi, who expressed shock that the road has not been completed, over five years after he left office, however blamed the populace and especially community leaders for not holding those in political offices accountable.

As the first governor of Anambra State to visit Awba-Ofemili through Amansea-Ebenebe-Awba-Ofemili road, Obi expressed dismay that on his visit, the adults were busy dancing and hailing him despite lack of community healthcare, and functional school, instead of asking how to improve the livelihood of the community.

He disclosed that his interaction with students revealed that their school premises were not conducive for learning; hence he got focused on fixing the schools among other things whilst in office, urging citizens to always ask questions than eulogizing their leaders, which does not often help the leadership.

He obviously blamed adults for not showing our children the right values that make society great beyond wealth display and for personal aggrandizements.

Obi also expressed dissatisfaction that despite the fact the road has been down half-way at the time he left office, that Awba-Ofemili axis which is the end of the road has not been successfully completed.

He, therefore, advocated for revolution of ideas for our leadership, without which, current woes orchestrated by acceptance of corruption as a way of life will continue.

In addition, Obi called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police and security agencies directly or remotely involved in the conduct of election to see the elections holding in Kogi and Bayelsa states as opportunities to redeem the bartered image of Nigeria as a country unable to conduct free and fair elections.

Lamenting that the gains Nigeria recorded from the conduct of free and fair elections during the immediate past Goodluck Jonathan administration is fast fading away, Obi maintained that INEC must use this Kogi and Bayelsa elections slated for Saturday, November 16, 2019 to restore hope for Nigerians on elections as a means of freely expressing their franchise as against what he called the “return to kangaroo elections marred by violence and all that was vile” seen during the last election.

He declared, “Besides, it would also encourage well-meaning Nigerians to join in the future elections. … As the giant of Africa, Nigeria ought to be showing example to other African countries by encouraging free and fair election and allowing candidates with the highest vote cast to emerge winners.”

Remmy Nweke/DoP


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Voicemail: ALTON accuses Pantami of meddlesomeness - ITREALMS

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has accused the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami of meddlesomeness on his alleged interference over Voice mail deactivation order, reports ITREALMS.

Responding to the deactivation order by the Minister, ALTON described as unnecessary interference on a value added service, which the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), could simply handle without much ado.

in response to the claimed order for deactivation of Voice Mail Protocol by Service Providers' Network as a ‘policy issue’ ALTON maintained that within the Section 23 and 24 of the Nigerian Communications Act, “this is not a major ‘policy issue’ which must align with consultations to be organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

“It is a mere operational/consumer protection issue which the Ministry can simply call NCC's attention to,” ALTON insisted amounted to unnecessary interference.

The group which is the umbrella of all licensed mobile network operators, noted that in as much that they want to believe that the Minister was misquoted.

However, ALTON posited that “Voicemail (VM) is a value-added service. Only those who opt-in should have it” stressing that the current practice on some networks is that once subscribers call and the recipient does not pick, “you get a voice prompt saying that the subscriber is not available and asking you to record a voice message *after the tone*”

They further said that for the avoidance of doubt subscribers are not billed anything, but if they delay in either exiting in the event of not wanting the voicemail, “they may be charged for a few seconds, or for the time it takes you to record the message.”

ALTON pointed out that the recipient of the voice mail does not get charged for listening, because “It is free.”

The group explained in a press statement available to 
ITREALMS signed by ALTON chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and Head of Operations, MR. Gbolahan Awonuga, said that VM is a value added service and should only be provisioned for those who expressly request for it, recalling that MNOs reintroduced the VM facility to discourage people who "flash" continuously.

“Flashing wastes network resources and also degrades QoS reporting. This should not however justify the practise the way it is being done by some networks” they said.

ALTON, however maintained that, this is not a major "policy issue" within the meaning of S. 23&24 of the NCA which empowers the Minister to formulate "general policy for the communications sector..." after due consultations organised by the NCC, describing it as a mere operational cum consumer protection issue which the Ministry could simply refer to NCC's attention.

“It is a purely consumer related issues that minister refers to as a major policy issue and also amounts to unnecessary interference by the Minister contrary to Section 25 subsections 1 & 2 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003,” ALTON insisted.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Pix: Gbenga Adebayo of ALTON and Minister Pantami

Much ado about cybersecurity - ITREALMS

These terms: cyberspace, cybercrime, cyberattacks and cybersecurity are increasingly gaining grounds in today’s society. They are readily on the lips of individuals, ranging from small businesses and corporations to governments. The entry of these terms into the common lexicon shows the pervasiveness of internet today.

While cyberspace, according to Wikipedia, refers to the virtual computer world, it is today a conventional means to describe anything and indeed everything associated with the Internet and the diverse internet culture. It has become evident that the growing access to mobile internet services and the widespread, interconnected digital technology brings cyberspace within the reach of millions of Nigerians and businesses. Today, the cyberspace is the go-to-space for work, play and relaxation.

However, sadly, because people with evil intentions would always seek to take advantage of this space as it contains data of any kind, systems security has become the most important element for all the players in the cyberspace. These so-called evil people launch attacks and commit crimes on the internet, this is done in cyberspace is called cyberattacks or cybercrime. This means more and more individuals and businesses are susceptible to cyberattack.

To curb this act, the emergence of the digital economy has led to a growing urgency to protect players in cyberspace. The urgent need therefore is to protect players in cyberspace and ensure integrity of information which is the basis of the digital economy.

Today, while it is clear that almost everyone has an idea about cyber security, it is still doubtful if anyone is really doing enough to guarantee it. The truth still remains that the threat of cyberattacks is real and this growing threat is with the potential to stall progress or cause the collapse of the digital economy.

This is certainly a multi-faceted challenge. Individuals, businesses and the government have to be prepared against its onslaught. The question however is: What sort of damage can result from cyberattacks and cybercrime in general? Hard to tell until its experienced.

Consider the result of a recent survey conducted by International Monetary Fund (IMF). It indicates that “cyberattacks are bringing in $100 billion in losses to financial institutions (FIs).” This is due to the fact that FI’s play a vital role in procuring and handling funds.

According to the IMF Staff Modeling Exercise report, “hackers choose FI’s as easy targets due to the fact that they can spread the attack quickly through the interconnected financial system”.

The reference here is to Denial-of-service (DOS) attacks, Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, password attacks and so on.

In Nigeria, where nearly everything is hush-hush no one can really tell how many companies have faced denial of service threat? How many have paid various ransom to access their own files? These figures may not be in the open but they are real nonetheless.

Also take a look at the huge sums associated with cyber fraudsters nabbed by the EFCC recently. Mind boggling figures, that were almost unimaginable a few short years ago.

To bring it closer, another prevalent form of attack; one that nearly everyone must have heard of, is someone locking a member out of a WhatsApp group and then using his number to scam other members. For this, the fastest way to combat this threat is to quickly set up two step authentication code NOW.

One cheery news here is that the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the official government body saddled with the responsibility to develop and regulate information technology in Nigeria, is demonstrating that it is aware of the issues.

The Director-General of the agency, Kasheem Inuwa, noted at a recent forum that “the increasing use of digital technologies is continually exposing sensitive information and critical systems to risks and threats in cyberspace.”

In combating the problem, he revealed that the agency is implementing new regulations, inspecting and examining regulated entities, providing support to its constituents and collaborating with relevant stakeholders and sensitizing citizens.

It must now consider establishing a department dedicated to coordinating cyber security regulations and policies in the country in line with global best practice. NITDA cannot afford to be reactive at this time but proactive to help Nigeria stay ahead of the risk.

The menace is real. The danger is close to all. The loss affects many.

Governments and its agencies have the responsibility for policies and regulations to limit incidences of cyberattacks and cybercrime. They should educate the populace about the cyber security. Cue NITDA. In addition to the government’s efforts, to curtail the menace and eliminate the danger, everyone must be involved. All hands must be on deck because the responsibility belongs to each one of us. The national assembly should look closely at reforming relevant laws and where necessary explore new laws to effectively manage cyberspace. As a guide, it may want to check out what other countries are doing.

To add to this, organizations that offer and provide services over the internet must install robust cybersecurity solutions. They must spare no expense to ensure the security of transactions on their platforms. Financial and cloud services providers must be particularly involved here. Cybersecurity is not the place to penny pinch or cut expense to improve profit. Firms must realize that installing multilayer security is systems is no more a luxury but a must have. Corporations offering cloud services have a particular role to play. They must invest massively in security infrastructure.

For the individual, he/she must also watch out for his personal security. Follow basic rules for online security. Principally, people must learn to keep personal information professional and limited, ensure privacy settings stay on and that internet connection is secure. In addition, individuals must learn to choose strong passwords, be careful what and where they download and be wary of sharing private information over free and public Wi-Fi.

Countless conversations have been held concerning cybersecurity, it is time for actions to take place and there is absolutely no better time than now to start. Like never before, information integrity, confidentiality and security must today be sacrosanct.

It is only through eternal vigilance and proactive measures that we can curb incidences of cyberattacks and cybercrime.

*Elvis Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst lives in Lagos.

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Eko to host gospel music awards LIMAA - ITREALMS

Acclaimed greatest Christian gospel music and arts show anywhere in the world, Loveworld Incorporated aka, Christ Embassy, has announced the hosting of the fourth edition of the Loveworld International Music and Arts Awards (LIMAA), reports ITREALMS.

A member of the Central Executive Council , Pastor T. T. Edun told 
ITREALMS that the event with the theme "Hotter than Fire," is a celebration of the creativity and excellence of Loveworld Music and Arts, would hold on Sunday November 17, 2019 in Lagos at the Loveworld Convocation Arena.

"Christ Embassy with all modesty has some or most of the big names in the gospel music industry in Nigeria, South Africa and some other countries and these artists have done well reaching believers and even non-believers in Nigeria and the world over with the gospel of Jesus Christ in music," he said.

Also speaking, the Media Director, Loveworld Inc, Tony Ikeokwu, "We believe that if you give people opportunities to express themselves, they will excel and because we feel we have limited opportunities available to our artists to be celebrated oustside as gospel music ministers, so we instituted the LIMA awards to recognise and honour our own.

"LIMA is a platform created by the President of The Loveworld Inc aka Christ Embassy, Rev. Dr Chris Oyakhilome PhD, in 2016 to recognise and reward music ministers produced by the church who are standing out in their ministry," he said.

In her comment, Evangelist Kathy Woghiren, Director Loveworld Music and Arts Ministry, (LMAM) said LIMA Awards "is actually a full concert to recognise and appreciate various arts and music ministers and reward those that have done exceptionally well."

She said, "The beautiful thing about this year's edition is that it is not only going to be watched by the over 20,000 who are going to be at the venue but it's going to be streamed live on the internet and all Loveworld satellite stations."

Deacon Buchi one of the Loveworld All-Stars in his comment explained that "Over the years, shows like LIMAA has improved our own in-house artists, musicians, songwriters, dancers, comedians, spoken word artists amongst others.

"LIMAA has stretched the possibilities of our achievements and greatly motivated us on the path of continuous improvement and excellence. Younger artists are coming up and with every edition, you find new voices emerging and the younger ones are motivated to strive for excellence in their music and arts ministry.

"We know that the Loveworld All Stars are people to emulate as they are recognised and involved in events all over the world."

In attendance at the briefing were some members of the Loveworld All Stars including Joe Praize, Buchi, Obi Shine, Rozey, Chuka amongst others.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Deactivation order: ALTON disagrees with Pantami, insists Voicemail is opt-in only - ITREALMS

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has disagreed with the deactivation order on voice mail by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, insisting that Voice mail is opt-in value added service (VAS) only, reports ITREALMS.

ALTON in response to the claimed order for deactivation of Voice Mail Protocol by Service Providers' Network as a ‘policy issue’ maintained that within the Section 23 and 24 of the Nigerian Communications Act, “this is not a major ‘policy issue’ which must align with consultations to be organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

“It is a mere operational/consumer protection issue which the Ministry can simply call NCC's attention to,” ALTON insisted amounted to unnecessary interference.

The group which is the umbrella of all licensed mobile network operators, noted that in as much that they want to believe that the Minister was misquoted.

However, ALTON posited that “Voicemail (VM) is a value-added service. Only those who opt-in should have it” stressing that the current practice on some networks is that once subscribers call and the recipient does not pick, “you get a voice prompt saying that the subscriber is not available and asking you to record a voice message *after the tone*”

They further said that for the avoidance of doubt subscribers are not billed anything, but if they delay in either exiting in the event of not wanting the voicemail, “they may be charged for a few seconds, or for the time it takes you to record the message.”

ALTON pointed out that the recipient of the voice mail does not get charged for listening, because “It is free.”

The group explained in a press statement available to 
ITREALMS signed by ALTON chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and Head of Operations, MR. Gbolahan Awonuga, said that VM is a value added service and should only be provisioned for those who expressly request for it, recalling that MNOs reintroduced the VM facility to discourage people who "flash" continuously.

“Flashing wastes network resources and also degrades QoS reporting. This should not however justify the practise the way it is being done by some networks” they said.

ALTON, however maintained that, VM is not a major "policy issue" within the meaning of S. 23&24 of the NCA which empowers the Minister to formulate "general policy for the communications sector..." after due consultations organised by the NCC, describing it as a mere operational cum consumer protection issue which the Ministry could simply refer to NCC's attention.

“It is a purely consumer related issues that minister refers to as a major policy issue and also amounts to unnecessary interference by the Minister contrary to Section 25 subsections 1 & 2 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003,” ALTON insisted.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Group warns Adelabu, APC: You can’t take gov seat through back door - ITREALMS

Oyo State-based socio-political group, the Oyo Kajola Group (OKG) has chided the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9 election, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu and his party for seeking to snatch the governorship seat through the backdoor, reports ITREALMS.

The group, in a press statement made avaialble to ITREALMS on Thursday by its Media Coordinator, Adebayo Ayandele, said that the statements credited to the APC and its candidate were targeted at provoking the good people of Oyo State.

“We cannot understand what Mr. Adelabu meant when he said he had a date with history in a statement he made after the ruling of the Court of Appeal on his election petition. We can also not understand the enthusiasm of the APC on the same matter.

“Rather than creating false hopes and hiding under the banners of lies and confusion to deceive their followers, we wish to urge the APC to face the reality of it all and accept that the 2019 governorship election in Oyo State has been won by Engineer Oluseyi Makinde.

“Let us warn very clearly that the election of the Governor of Oyo State was done within the purview of the law and not extra-legal factors.

“We, therefore, reject in its entirety, any form of ambivalence or ambiguity written into the judgement of the Court of Appeal on the Oyo State election matter and stick to the truth of it all: that Engineer Seyi Makinde remains the man voted for by the people of Oyo state and that his mandate will be in force till May 28, 2023.”

The group described the statement credited to Adelabu that some agents of darkness perfected the plan to steal his mandate,” which led to his “recourse to the judiciary to proof (sic) their wrongdoing,” as hogwash, and an insult to the good people of Oyo State who massively rejected him on March 9, 2019.

The statement also warned the APC not to keep the hopes of manipulative tendencies too high as according to it, no one can supplant Makinde through the back door.

The group urged Makinde to continue the good works he has started in Oyo State, which it said have made him a cynosure of all eyes and a worthy example for other governors.

It noted that “the APC’s plot to take a mandate given to Governor Makinde by Oyo State people through evil machinations will not succeed.”

“We read with amusement a statement credited to Adelabu that the pronouncement of the Election Appeal Tribunal has rekindled his and his party’s hope in their march to keep a date with history. They, indeed, will have their date with history at the Supreme Court and it will end in disappointment and shame, as we are sure that the court, as the last bastion of hope for the common man, will not allow itself to be used for the APC’s evil intention.

“In the said statement, like a similar one released by the APC a day after the judgment, Adelabu had robed himself in borrowed gowns, stating how some imaginary people knew he was the best candidate among the lots that sought the mandate of Oyo State people. He had equally prided his campaign as most organized and issue-driven.

“We in the Oyo Kajola Group would not have bothered with whatever borrowed gowns Adelabu chose to robe himself in, of course, no one can stop a butterfly determined to pride itself as a bird.

“Indeed, we would have considered his statement and that of his party as a bit of blarney, an amusing nonsense that should be laughed at and ignored but knowing the evil machinations of the APC and its tendencies to pervert the cause of justice and snatch popular mandates through the judiciary, we will like to place it on record that the APC did not and could not have won the 2019 governorship election in the state. The result of the election in which Makinde won in 28 out of 33 local governments, polling 515,621 votes to defeat the Adelabu, who polled 357,982 votes.

“The people of Oyo State reacted rightly by voting against the APC, a party that nearly ruined Oyo State in eight years; turned nearly every institution and processes upside down and tore into the core of the state’s nobility and prestige as a pace-setter state. The people voted against a reign of terror synonymous with the APC campaigns.

“It is, therefore, amusing that the same party is laying claim to victory and putting its hopes in the Supreme Court. We will like to call on well-meaning Nigerians and members of the international community to be watchful at a time like this so that some desperate individuals do not sabotage democracy using ill-gotten wealth to pervert the cause of justice.”

Ayo  Midele/Editor
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Pix: Ayo Makinde, Gov. Oyo State

FirstBank Lagos Amateur open golf championship listed in WAGR - ITREALMS

As the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Golf Championship tees-off, tomorrow, Friday, 15 November 2019, it has been listed amongst the golf tournaments in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), reports ITREALMS.

The WAGR is offered by the R&A and the United States Golf Association as a global service to golf. Through incorporation and assessment worldwide of both amateur and professional events, WAGR™ encourages the international development of the competitive game.

Since 1894, FirstBank has continued to promote the growth and development of sports in Nigeria. Apart from the Lagos Amateur Golf Championship which the Bank has supported for 57 years, the Bank has sponsored the Georgian Cup of the Kaduna Polo Tournament for 100 years. Other sports supported by the Bank include; the Dala Hardcourt Tennis, Kano for 32 years and for over a combined 30 years, the Bank has sponsored and owned the popular Elephant Girls Basketball club – which has remained a dominant force in the Nigerian Women Basketball league for many years – and the Elephant boys football club. The highpoint of these is the 2019 100th unbroken years of sponsoring the Kaduna Polo Tournament, widely attributed as the longest running sports sponsorship in the world and a Guinness Book of Records potential.

The 56-hole golf tournament, to be played over three days would be rounded off with a grand finale and awards ceremony on Sunday, 17 November 2019. Other activities to be held in the course of the tournament are the “Professional Coaching Clinic” to nurture the skills of young and upcoming talents and “Beat the Pro Skills competition”. The 2018 edition which had over 260 golfers in attendance was won by Sam Njoroge from Kenyan.

Speaking on the Bank’s sponsorship of the tournament, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said; “We are excited at the giant strides achieved with the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship. The championship is now one of the international golf events where all amateur golfers worldwide can now participate and amass points to aid their WAGR rankings.”

“FirstBank has been in the business of supporting sports in Nigeria throughout its 125 years of existence. We have partnered with individuals and institutions to provide support, not only in the sports arena, but also in Education, the Arts and Small and Medium Enterprises,” he submitted.


Nenye Dom/Editor

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Pix: Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited with Samuel Njoroge, Winner of the 57th FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship held in 2018.

Breaking: Pantami orders deactivation of automatic voice mails across networks - ITREALMS

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Isa Pantami, has ordered the deactivation of Automatic Vioice Mails (AVM) across all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, reports ITREALMS.

He alleged that AVM has been the latest trend of financial exploitation by mobile operators and based on recent reports reaching the office, the practice has gained momentum.

The Voicemail service should be accessed at the discretion of the subscriber and not by default. The Honourable Minister finds it worrisome and totally unacceptable, that telecoms subscribers incur financial charges, for a service they are compelled to use by default. Voicemail is not a popular service among mobile phone users in Nigeria, coupled with the language challenge among rural dwellers, who mostly do not understand the language deployed by these networks.

It is apparent, that the recent clampdown on the exploitative activities of some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, has beamed the searchlight on the sector properly, and some unpatriotic elements in the system are devising subtle, ingenious methods of defrauding Nigerians. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the current leadership of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), will neither overlook any acts, regardless of how subtle, that undermine the Anti Corruption Crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, nor condone any attempts to defraud Nigerians and indeed, all subscribers.

In the light of this, Dr Pantami has issued a broad policy directive to the sector regulator Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to immediately ensure that issues regarding automatic voicemails are addressed on all existing phone lines and the subscribers, given the option of accessing the service via an activation code.

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected, while providing a conducive business environment for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), in line with global best practice.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Entrepreneurship is Ndigbo DNA, but … says Ik Muo - ITREALMS

A lecturer in the Department of Business Administration, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Ichie Ezechikwado Ik Muo, has reminded Ndigbo that entrepreneurship ‘di anyi n’obala,’ that is in their DNA, which currently needs retweaking to meet current environmental challenges, reports ITREALMS.

“Entrepreneurship di anyi nóbala, (entrepreneurship is in our blood),” he affirmed at the weekend while speaking as a guest lecturer at the 2019 awards and lecture organized by the Association of Anambra State Development Union (AASDU) in Lagos.

He prompted participants at the Hotel Collonades, Ikoyi-Lagos, mostly Ndigbo that its not debatable if “entrepreneurship di anyi n’obala, but the environment has fundamentally changed.”

Muo, a serial author whose lecture focused on “Entrepreneurship in a Changing Environment: Reconciling the contradictions between Ebe Onye bi ka o na-awachi na aku luo uno…” urged Ndigbo to change their approach to entrepreneurship without forgetting their origin; “maka na egwu kughalia, a gbaghali.”

As far as Ndigbo is concerned, he said, entrepreneurship “si na chi, o di nobala” stressing that changing entrepreneurial environment and imperatives for success have forced the dance beats to also change.

“However, ndi be anyi kwulu si… Igwe bu ike; njikoka; ofu okpa anahu acha mbala; mmadu ka eji aka; anyukoo mamiri onu, o gboo ufufu …,” he said, maintaining that every onyeIgbo, is an entrepreneur because “it is in our DNA; O sin a chi.”

Ichie Muo emphasised that furthermore, “our worldview unequivocally evidences Ndigbo entrepreneurial orientation over the ages.

Yesterday, he noted, was era of pure commerce by illiterate and semi-literate compatriots, communal specialization, while today, Ndigbo have educated and enlightened who are almost everywhere doing businesses in manufacturing, oil & gas, engineering & construction, media, banking/finance, aviation, medical entrepreneurship, hospitality, telecoms, real estate and logistics, to name a few.

Nowadays, Ichie Muo posited, that entrepreneurship environment has changed and demands a change in approach by Ndigbo, asserting that its “all about being entrepreneurially alert; to identify opportunities before they become obvious; risky commitment of resources, and enjoying the rewards, which include freedom.”

As said by him, “An orphan learns when other children are being advised by their parents!” emphasizing that there are funds but there are no takers; decrying that Ndigbo entrepreneurs do not know how to access available funds.

He advised Nigerian entrepreneurs including Ndigbo particularly to seek professional advice, so as to help them understand the environment and avoid tax manipulation but seek capacity before capital.

The new entrepreneurial realities, he said, is that globalization begets an omnipresent factor, advising Ndigbo to leverage Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools for their businesses including social media.

Knowledge acquisition and management, Ichie Muo pointed out, propels innovative entrepreneurship, buttressing with Hosea, 4:6 which states “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”

Therefore, he counselled that Ndigbo should always read, associate with successful people, and avoid copycatism.

Chuks Egbuna/DoP
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Data Governance: Africa needs Internet core values for critical development - ITREALMS

Founding president of the Africa ICT Alliance (AfICTA), Dr Jimson Olufuye, has said that Africa needs Internet core values for critical development and improve data governance, reports ITREALMS.

Olufuye listed these values to include openness, transparency, inclusivity, collaboration, effectiveness, sustainability, responsiveness, peace, trust to name a few, just as he beckoned on African policy makers to pay attention to these values to stimulate critical development for the continent.

Speaking recently in Accra-Ghana during the 2019 Africa Geospatial Data and Internet Conference on “Internet Governance for all round Development (IG4D),” Olufuye said that shaping the Africa’s digital future entails special and serious attentions from the policy makers.

“They should pay serious attention to those core values such that geospatial and other critical developmental data are open and transparently accessible for innovation and creativity to thrive for the continuous growth and development of our economies,” he declared.

Olufuye, who is one of the five global business representatives to the United Nations Commission for Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC 1.0 & 2.0) pointed out that it will propel the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals on the continent of Africa and bridge the digital divide.

“And for more jobs to be created for our large youth population,” he said.

On the nexus of geospatial data, the Internet Governance and the SDGs, he said that geospatial data has everything to do with cadastral information of a country, hence, “It is a major national resource data which has the potential if well managed to be the fulcrum of prosperity of any nation.”

Olufuye, who equally is the chief executive officer, Kontemporary Konsulting, said that with available Internet tools, this resource could be better managed in an open, transparent and accountable manner for the benefit of the people.

“So, the nexus of geospatial data and Internet Governance is the values that drive them to enable benefits for all,” he said, stressing that these values include openness, transparency, inclusivity, collaboration, effectiveness, sustainability, responsiveness, peace, trust to name a few.

With the holistic use of geospatial data engendered by Internet Governance principles, he said, it would be possible that citizens could derive better values for their land thereby boosting their purchasing power with the attendant eradication of poverty, hunger, ill-health, illiteracy, gender inequality, and clean water and sanitation would be available.

Submitting that “Goal 15: Life on Land and goal 17: Stronger Stakeholder Partnership are benefits that would also result in proactive geospatial data governance.”


Chuks Egbuna/Editor
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Lagos hosts heavyweights, others to 7th News Express - ITREALMS

A broad spectrum of political, business and social heavyweights are expected to storm the Main Hall of Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, for the 7th News Express Anniversary Lecture holding this morning, Thursday, November 14, 2019, reports ITREALMS.

The event starts by 11:00 a.m. and is expected to last not more than three hours, News Express Publisher Isaac Umunna said Monday this morning in a statement.

“As was the case with previous years’ editions, the 7th News Express Anniversary Lecture will attract top government functionaries, industry and religious leaders, professional groups and diverse sectorial leaders, among others. It is a spectacular programme that commands public attention with organisers creating hype pre-event, during and post events both in the traditional and new media. It will also be streamed live to a global audience and broadcast on News Express Digital TV,” Umunna said in the statement.

He announced that former Governor of Anambra State and Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 polls, Mr. Peter Obi, will headline the 7th News Express Anniversary Lecture as the Special Guest of Honour and Guest Speaker while the keynote speakers include Eminent Lawyer and celebrated Activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN; and Legal cum Development Expert, Barrister Bashir Maidugu, the Honourary Special Adviser (Infrastructure) to the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum.

Famed Change Agent, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, will chair the event while veteran broadcaster and immediate past General Manager of NTA Channel 10 Lagos, Helen Onma Odeleye, would be the Host.

“The News Express Anniversary Lecture is an open event and people do not need any special invitation to attend. We look forward to warmly receiving as many people as would like to be part of this unforgettable event,” Umunna said in the statement.

He identified past speakers at the News Express Anniversary Lecture to include Special Adviser To The President On Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina; Governor Sani Bello of Niger State, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director Hadiza Bala Usman; and ‘Africa’s Bill Gates’, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies Ltd and Konga.

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

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Oyo appeal: Judges fail to make copy of judgment available - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
Forty-Eight hours after the Appeal Court Panel sitting on Oyo State Governorship Election Petition gave its judgment, the copy of the judgment has not been made available to lawyers of the Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, ITREALMS reliably gathered.

Informed sources close to the judiciary in Ibadan told our Correspondent that the Lead Counsel to Governor Seyi Makinde on the election petition matter, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, has been left frustrated on the matter.

It was gathered that though Jegede instituted the process to secure the copy of the judgment immediately after the ruling, the Appeal Court has not made it available to the Counsel.

It was gathered that the staff of the Court of Appeal have told the lawyers that the Judges were trying to correct some errors in the judgment to prevent the errors from being made public.

“As of now, the copy of the judgment has not been made available and this could be dangerous. I can authoritatively inform you that Makinde’s lawyer initiated the process to get the judgment but he was frustrated. This is another reason for interested parties not to go to sleep, as something may be amiss,” the source said.

The source further said that the delay in releasing the court ruling may be dangerous because the Supreme Court has 60 days to determine the matter from the date of the ruling of the Court of Appeal.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sokoto ready to host All Nigeria Editors Confab 2019 - ITREALMS

The city of caliphate, Sokoto is ready to host the 2019 All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC), slated to hold at the International Conference Centre, Sokoto, from Wednesday, November 27 to Sunday, December 1, reports ITREALMS.

The All Nigeria Editors’ Conference, is the flagship event of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE.

Acting President of the Guild, Mr. Mustapha Isah, said Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has confirmed the readiness of Sokoto State to host this year’s ANEC as a mark of his strong belief in the media as a strategic partner in nation-building and strengthening of the nation’s democratic structures.

The theme of this year’s conference is: A Distressed Media: Impact on Government, Governance and Society. The keynote speaker is Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, a multi-award winning editor, Fellow of the Guild and current Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard newspapers.

This year’s ANEC, the 15th in the series, would be chaired by former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba. Osoba is a widely travelled journalist of repute and the first Nigerian journalist to win the Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard.

Other speakers include Mr. John Momoh, Founder/CEO of Channels TV, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, Publisher Thisday Newspapers and Chairman of Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher Premium Times, representatives of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), etc.

Press statement made available to 
ITREALMS and signed by the Publicity Secretary of the Guild, Mr. Ken Ugbechie, said the theme was chosen to reflect the prevailing realities and challenges in the Nigerian media.

He noted that the theme was informed by an urgent and compelling need for editors and other stakeholders in the society to examine the state of the media which has in recent years come under inclement economic and regulatory circumstances.

In explaining the reason for the focus on the media, the Acting President said: “The choice of this year’s conference is deliberate. The Nigerian media is distressed and its capacity to play the watchdog role in society is being eroded and challenged on several fronts and by multiple factors. We have reached the point where all media stakeholders must come together to seek answers to the many questions and puzzles that threaten media practice in Nigeria.

“We have carefully assembled the crème of outliers in the profession drawn from print, broadcast and new media to share their thoughts and perspectives with Nigerian editors so that collectively we can proffer solutions to our challenges,” Mr. Isah said.

ANEC was first held in 2004 at Ada, in Osun State. Since then, it has been held in different parts of the country. It brings together no fewer than 400 editors and other media professionals from all over the country and beyond to focus on a designated national issues that affect the future and wellbeing of our country.

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

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Pix: Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State

Sophos report showcases 2020 cyberthreat impacts - ITREALMS

Leader in cloud-enabled next-generation cybersecurity, Sophos has launched its 2020 Threat Report providing insights into the rapidly evolving cyberthreats landscape, reports ITREALMS.

The latest report, 
ITREALMS gathered, was produced by SophosLabs researchers, and explored changes in the threat landscape over the past 12 months, uncovering trends likely to impact cybersecurity in 2020.

“The threat landscape continues to evolve – and the speed and extent of that evolution is both accelerating and unpredictable. The only certainty we have is what is happening right now, so in our 2020 Threat Report we look at how current trends might impact the world over the coming year. We highlight how adversaries are becoming ever stealthier, better at exploiting mistakes, hiding their activities and evading detection technologies, and more, in the cloud, through mobile apps and inside networks. The 2020 Threat Report is not so much a map as a series of signposts to help defenders better understand what they could face in the months ahead, and how to prepare,” said John Shier, senior security advisor, Sophos.

The SophosLabs 2020 Threat Report, which is also summarized in a SophosLabs Uncut article, focuses on six areas where researchers noted particular developments during this past year. Among those expected to have significant impact on the cyberthreat landscape into 2020 and beyond are the following:

Ransomware attackers continue to raise the stakes with automated active attacks that turn organizations’ trusted management tools against them, evade security controls and disable back ups in order to cause maximum impact in the shortest possible time.

Unwanted apps are edging closer to malware. In a year that brought the subscription-abusing Android Fleeceware apps, and ever more stealthy and aggressive adware, the Threat Report highlights how these and other potentially unwanted apps (PUA), like browser plug-ins, are becoming brokers for delivering and executing malware and fileless attacks.

The greatest vulnerability for cloud computing is misconfiguration by operators. As cloud systems become more complex and more flexible, operator error is a growing risk. Combined with a general lack of visibility, this makes cloud computing environments a ready made target for cyberattackers.

Machine learning designed to defeat malware finds itself under attack. 2019 was the year when the potential of attacks against machine learning security systems were highlighted. Research showed how machine learning detection models could possibly be tricked, and how machine learning could be applied to offensive activity to generate highly convincing fake content for social engineering. At the same time, defenders are applying machine learning to language as a way to detect malicious emails and URLs. This advanced game of cat and mouse is expected to become more prevalent in the future.

Other areas covered in the 2020 Threat Report include the danger of failing to spot cybercriminal reconnaissance hidden in the wider noise of internet scanning, the continuing attack surface of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and the further advancement of automated active attacks (AAA).

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Geospatial data: African Policy makers must pay attention to core values says Olufuye – ITREALMS

The chief executive officer of Kontemporary Konsulting and founder, Africa ICT Alliance (AfICTA), Dr Jimson Olufuye, has called on African policy makers to pay attention to core values to engender critical development for the continent, reports ITREALMS.

Speaking at the just concluded Africa Geospartial Data and Internet Conference in Accra, Ghana on Internet Governance for all round Development (IG4D), Olufuye said that shaping the Africa’s digital future requires that policy makers should pay serious attention to some core values such that geospatial among other developmental data to pave ways for open and transparency society.

This, he also said would obviously make access for innovation and creativity to thrive for the continuous growth and development of African economies.

“And for more jobs to be created for our large youth population,” he said.

By paying attention to policy making, Olufuye, who is one of the five global business representatives to the United Nations Commission for Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC 1.0 & 2.0) pointed out that it will propel the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals on the continent of Africa and bridge the digital divide.

On what is the nexus of geospatial data, the Internet Governance and the SDGs, Olufuye emphasized that geospatial data has everything to do with cadastral information of a country.

“It is a major national resource data which has the potential if well managed to be the fulcrum of prosperity of any nation,” he said.

Olufuye, who equally is the 
immediate past chair AfICTA, said that with available Internet tools, this resource could be better managed in an open, transparent and accountable manner for the benefit of the people.

“So, the nexus of geospatial data and Internet Governance is the values that drive them to enable benefits for all,” he said, stressing that these values include openness, transparency, inclusivity, collaboration, effectiveness, sustainability, responsiveness, peace, trust to name a few.

With the holistic use of geospatial data engendered by Internet Governance principles, he said, it would be possible that citizens could derive better values for their land thereby boosting their purchasing power with the attendant eradication of poverty, hunger, ill-health, illiteracy, gender inequality, and clean water and sanitation would be available.

“Goal 15: Life on Land and goal 17: Stronger stakeholder Partnership are benefits that would also result in proactive geospatial data governance,” he submitted.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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