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Global Coalition rejects Buhari reelection, says its militarised - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : Nigerians in diaspora under the auspices of the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria (GCSDN), have rejecte...


ICT4D Week 2018

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Global Coalition rejects Buhari reelection, says its militarised - ITREALMS

Nigerians in diaspora under the auspices of the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria (GCSDN), have rejected the purported election of Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the election was a sham and should be rejected

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, the global coordinator Frederick Odorige , who spoke from Budapest , Hungary , described the election as ill-fated and the worse that he had seen since he was born.

"The election was marred by killing, apparent rigging, ballot box snatching and destruction of ballot papers by hired thugs. It was highly militarized by soldiers loyal to Muhammadu Buhari," declared Odorige.

According to him "An election that culminates in the killing of 47 unarmed Nigerians is not an election."
On the contrary, the coalition noted that it was significant that no cases of violence was masterminded by any of the presidential candidates from the new political parties.
The coalition decried the sad fact that Nigerian youths surrendered themselves to their oppressors by allowing self-seeking politicians to use them as paid thugs instead of aligning with young presidential candidates to actualize the dream of a new Nigeria.
The coalition further noted that votes were insidiously awarded to young presidential candidates in such a way that the popular candidates among them were awarded very low number of votes in order to demoralize their enthusiastic followers.

Odorige said through a general questionaire answered by members of the coalition from 32 countries, 100 percent responded that the election was clearly not free and fair ,while 95.5 per cent further agreed that some persons who played disastrous roles in the election should be declared persona non grata.

He listed some prominent Nigerian politicians, among them President Buhari for allegedly giving permission to Nigerian soldiers to participate in our elections and killing innocent Nigerians thereof.
These politicians engaged in sponsoring thuggery, masterminding massive rigging, electoral malpractices and luring corrupt Nigerians to their political party known as the All Peoples Congress, APC for their sins against the Nigerian state to be forgiven.

The coalition also alleged that these politicians were " leading soldiers to terrorize, disenfranchise and kill our compatriots in Rivers state."
While others engaged in hijacking ballot boxes, violently harrassing electoral officers and criminally allotting votes to himself at gun point.

Rochas Okorocha was alleged to have a forced Returning Officer of INEC to write a fake result to his favour.

The coalition stated that the consequences of this declaration is do not recognize the positions that some of the mentioned persons have imposed on Nigerians.

It also noted that Nigerians in the diaspora shall continue to mount pressure on the international community to disregard the positions the persons forcefully occupy and that whenever the listed persons travel abroad, Nigerians shall legally congregate and embarrass them as permitted by law.

Odorige called for the forensic examination of all card readers and the finger prints on the ballot papers because he strongly believes that the same persons thumb printed thousands of ballot papers in favour of APC and PDP as shown in various video recording.
In the statementment released on the youtube channel of the group, Odorige categorically stated that "we refuse the thief of our stolen mandate nicknamed Mr integrity. Retired Muhammadu Buhari is not our democratically elected President.
"This is not a military regime. This coup has failed. We vehemently reject the so-called election of Muhammadu Buhari.
"As long as we continue with this ballot box and ballot paper nonsense, Nigerian elections will continue to be theatres of war.
" We must quickly develop an electronic voting system for the 2023 elections where data in our PVC are transferred to our telephone sim cards that will enable Nigerians to vote from the convenience of their homes.
Nigerian elections will continue to be theatres of war unless we reduce the salaries of politicians strictly according to the law as stipulated by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
A Senator must not be earning more than a Permanent Secretary and no former governor must receive pension. Politicians kill Nigerians not because they want to serve us, but because they want to serve themselves and their families through looting and receiving mind blowing salaries.
Yet our country is highly indebted. Machinery should also be set in motion that will allow Nigerians in diaspora to vote in upcoming elections.
Section 14 subsection 2b of the Nigerian Constitution (As amended) states that the welfare and security of the citizens shall be the primary purpose of the government.
Instead of securing Nigerians, people in positions of authority are killing them. Chapter 1 article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights states: Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person.

Article 3 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations affirms: everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

GCSDN referred to Buhari as a killer President who had ignored the many deaths of Nigerians before now; therefore more deaths mean nothing to him.
They did not see any reason why the validity of our election results must depend on the pronouncements of foreign observers who had earlier been threatened be El-Rufai at the expense of their lives.
The coalition declared that any foreign leader that stretches his or her hands to congratulate Muhammadu Buhari equally has blood in his or her hands.

We refuse to address Muhammadu Buhari as His Excellency since he rode to power with the blood of Nigerians. The members further called on the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Nigerian Bar Association and other bodies to mobilize Nigerians to reject this election results.
GCSDN is currently the fastest growing and largest platform of Nigerians in diaspora with presence in thirty two countries and the number is rising. It is currently open to all Nigerians in all the thirty six states of Nigeria including the FCT. According to Odorige, the movement is a non-violent association designed to bring Nigerians together as a way of forming a common platform and speaking with one voice with the goal of entrenching good governance for the good of all Nigerians.
The movement operates with a political ideology formulated by Odorige known as revolution without ammunition.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Future gaming is in Augmented Reality says Ericson - ITREALMS

Latest Ericsson ConsumerLab report, Ready, steady, game! has identified 67 percent of gamers as saying they will increase their Augmented Reality (AR) usage in the next five years, reports ITREALMS.

The increase in video games, ITREALMS gathered is driven by the growth of mobile gaming, and now makes up 26 per cent of all media consumption hours.

The report captures the opinions of 7,000 gamers aged 15–69 in Brazil, China, France, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US, resulting in a study representative of 676 million people globally. In addition to highlighting video gaming and how augmented reality (AR) could enable the next level of immersive gaming, it explores what implications an increased AR usage lead to in gaming, and how it would impact everyday life:

Overall, video gaming is becoming more and more mainstream. What was once thought to be the sole province of teenage boys has today become a hobby shared across age groups and genders. While the highest penetration of gaming can still be found among 16 to 24 year old boys, with 90 percent playing video games at least weekly, 45–59-year-old women also make up a significant player base, with half of them playing video games at least once a week.

Anders Erlandsson, Master researcher at Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab, and main author of the report, says: “While gaming is already now a mainstream activity, with no less than 77 percent of the studied population being active gamers, augmented reality stand to grow the gamer community even further. More than 1 in 3 non gamers are interested in AR gaming.”

The most invested video gamers can be found in the Extreme Multi-gamer segment. They play video games across all platforms and, while they make up only 10 percent of the population, still account for almost half of all the time spent on video gaming. With the advent of AR, this could change, since 36 percent of non-gamers express interest in AR gaming. This is significant, given that no less than 23 percent are non-gamers.

Erlandsson says: "In our earlier gaming study, that was released in 2014, we concluded that gamers and non-gamers alike felt there was a stigma associated with identifying yourself as a gamer. Today that stigma is more or less non-existent – particularly amongst gamers."

Currently, AR gamers are both intrigued by the promises of AR and disappointed by the delivery. Almost 4 out of 10 AR gamers agree that AR gaming will be more interesting with better and more immersive games, access to lower-cost AR glasses and better batteries. Almost six out of ten AR gamers list immersive experience as a key driver for playing AR gamers.

AR looks set to become a key component of mainstream entertainment, with 48 percent of all consumers saying they will use AR across different media types, including gaming, in the next 5 years. Interestingly, 7 out of 10 AR gamers think that AR opens up a totally new video gaming experience, and almost as many agree that it will change how video games are played in the future.

When gamers start accepting digital objects in the real world, these habits will lead to an acceptance in other areas too. For example, 45 percent of gamers are interested in using AR glasses to watch TV and video, and almost as many say they would use AR to plan their homes. Looking forward, as many as 67 percent of gamers say they will increase their AR usage in the next 5 years. It's clear AR is poised to make its mark on society and media consumption is going to be a key component on the augmented road ahead.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Senate endorses N30,000 minimum wage, demands immediate implementation - ITREALMS

The Senate on Tuesday endorsed N30,000 proposed as the new national minimum wage by Green Chambers, urging the Federal Government to commence the implementation without further delay so as to avoid another round of strike by workers before putting it into practice, reports ITREALMS.

The Senate session monitored in Lagos, the acting Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc committee on National Minimum Wage Bill, Senator Francis Alimikhena, delivered the report saying that a fine of N75,000 has been imposed on firms that refused to comply with the wage payment.

The panel also recommended the urgent review of the revenue-sharing formula, to enhance states’ ability to pay the new minimum wage.

They also urged the Minister of Finance and her counterparts in the Budget and National Planning to as a matter of urgency, compute and forward to the National Assembly, for inclusion in the 2019 budget, the actual amount required for the new minimum wage.

Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, wondered why the fine for non-compliance jumped from N5, 000 as recommended by the executive to N75,000, while commending the Federal Government for fulfilling its promise to the Nigerian workers and enjoined the organised labour to reciprocate the gesture by being more productive.

Senator James Manager described as unfortunate, the fact that some state governments had yet to apply the N18, 000 minimum wage.

In her contribution, the Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, noted that the review of the revenue-sharing formula would enable more state governments to pay the new wage.

Senator Barnabas Gemade pointed that the bill was passed promptly to show that the National Assembly was committed to the welfare of the workers.

Senator Andrew Uchendu, said the tripartite committee should hold regular meetings with a view to constantly review the minimum wage.

Under the current sharing arrangement, the Federal Government takes 56 per cent, states receive 24 per cent while the local governments share the remaining 20 per cent.

The Senate wholesomely approved recommendations contained in the report.

In his submission, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, insisted the Federal Government should pay the new minimum wage without delay rather than waiting for the workers to go on strike to demand the implementation.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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PoDlancer debuts - ITREALMS

Professional on-Demand (POD), a platform for freelancers has made its debut, reports ITREALMS.

Project coordinator at PoD, Mr. Chinedu Obikwelu confirmed this to 
ITREALMS, saying they are freelancer community of providers of services and project owners.

He also explained that Podlancer is a freelance website, designed to provide project owners with the opportunity to post projects cum jobs to a community of over 1000 Professionals On-Demand with the aim of getting bids from these professionals so that one of them can be hired to get the job done.

“As long as you want to get a project done, Podlancer is the platform. You are free to register as a project owner or freelancer on www.podlancer.com,” he said. 

Obikwelu went on to stated that what makes it different comprised of the fact that it was built and styled differently; No need for multiple listing, one profile is all you need; Register one profile, update and maintain on the go; and profiles do not expire.

“You can boost your listing to featured (premium feature) where your listing is shown on top of others for the number of days purchased,” he said.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Chinedu Obikwelu

Sex offenders to undergo compulsory psychiatry test in Ekiti - ITREALMS

The Ekiti State Government has announced new measures aimed at curbing sexual violence, especially child defilement and rape in the state, reports ITREALMS.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wale Fapounda at a press conference to announce the new measures disclosed that persons currently standing trial for offence of child defilement and those whom the Director of Public Prosecution had issued a ‘case to answer’ legal advice for the same offense will henceforth undergo compulsory psychiatry test.

Other measures according to the Commissioner include pasting of photographs of convicted sex offenders in prominent public spaces in their local government headquarters, uploading the sex offenders photograph on the website of the Ministry of Justice.

Such sex offenders would also have their photographs shown on the state owned Television station and their names announced on state radio, in an apparent move to name and shame them.

Fapounda said the state came up with these new measures, when previous measures, which include aggressive prosecution of sex offenders, opening of sex offenders register and disqualification from prerogative of mercy appeared not sufficient enough to curb the scourge.

He said the Dr Kayode Fayemi-led administration has a zero tolerance for sexual violence and would do everything possible to protect women and children against the scrouge, which is fast becoming rampant in the state.

Fapohunda who admitted that prosecution alone would not end the social malaise which is now almost becoming a trend in Ekiti State, said the Ministry would also issue an advisory to the traditional ruler of the sex offender’s community on the status of the offender.

“Today, I am announcing new measures aimed at curbing sexual violence in the State. The State Government is concerned about the frequency of reported cases of sexual offenses. It has therefore become necessary to put in place proactive measures to halt this trend. So that there is no confusion, the measures that have been announced today refer specifically to the offenses of rape and child defilement”, he said.

The Attorney General stated further that the measures are aimed at protecting women and the girl child; adding that government is working to ensure that maximum penalties are placed on sexual offenders.

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Enugu State gaming agency commences enforcement on signage - ITREALMS

The Enugu State Gaming and Lotto Commission (ESGC) has commenced the enforcement on signages in and around the coal city, reports ITREALMS.

ESGC disclosed this penultimate week in a message from the office of the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Francis Nwankwo, reiterating the commitment of the Commission in ensuring that all laid down rules of the agency is carried out to the letter. 

"On the orders of the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in pursuant to the Gaming and Lotto laws of Enugu State, it is now mandatory that all Gaming (Lotto, Sports Betting, Raffle and Pool staking) outlets in the state must adhere to all the rules and regulations of the laws guiding the commission" he said.

According to him, some of these conditions include the following:
(1) All Gaming merchant locations MUST be identified with an ESGC approval outdoor signage bearing their allocated Serial Identification Number and must be displayed within the proximity of the said shop. This signage MUST be obtained from the offices of ESGC, and it is at the cost of N12,500.00 (twelve thousand five naira only)

(2) All Gaming outlets MUST NOT be located within visible distance from ANY primary or secondary school in the State.

(3) All mandatory Good-Cause fees as stipulated in the Enugu State Gaming Laws MUST be settled within the said period.

(4) All gaming outlets MUST NOT entertain anyone below the age of 18yrs.

Mr. Nwankwo explained that this enforcement exercise, which will take off simultaneously in all 17 local government areas of the state, was earlier scheduled to commence on the 28th of Febuary, but postponed as a result of the elections. He explained that, “we had earlier informed all gaming outfits operating in Enugu State, to regularize their operations since November 2018, and followed it up with massive publicity on radio and other media. “We are embarking on this enforcement drive to show that we have the capacity to enforce the gaming regulations in the state” he said.

The Enugu State gaming commission, which currently uses state-of-the-art technology platform from CWG Plc to power its operations, alsoreiterated the fact that failure to adhere to any or all of the above-mentioned regulations will be met with outright sealing of the said offending outlet or total ban of the brand in Enugu State. The exercise commences on the 18th of March 2019.

Nweke Ozo Nweke/Editor

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Zenith Bank improves PBT to N232bn, excites shareholders with N2.80 dividend - ITREALMS

The Zenith Bank plc has improved its profit before tax (PBT) with a rise to N232 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2018, reports ITREALMS.

Equally, in demonstration of commitment, ITREALMS reports that the bank proposed final dividend pay-out of N2.50 per share, thus bringing the total dividend to N2.80 per share, representing a yield of 11.2 per cent.

According to the bank’s audited financial results for the 2018 financial year released in Lagos on Tuesday, this represents an increase of 16.6 percent over the N199 billion recorded for the same period in 2017. It is the highest so far published by any bank in the Nigerian Banking Industry in the current reporting period. Also, the results showed that profit after tax (PAT) witnessed an impressive growth of 11 per cent year-on-year to N193 billion from N174 billion.

This record profit before tax (PBT) was achieved through the Group’s optimisation of its cost of funds, cost-to-income ratio and cost of risk, ensuring that earnings per share strengthened by 11% to ₦6.15.

Despite the challenging macro-environment, the Group mitigated the knock-on effects through growth of its net interest income and operating income by 15% and 8% respectively as it was able to ensure improved cost efficiencies across the business. This focus on cost efficiencies is yielding tangible benefits as the Group recorded its lowest ever cost-to-income ratio at 49.3% from 52.8% in 2017.

The bank’s balance sheet remains shockproof as loan to deposit ratio, liquidity ratio and capital adequacy ratio were 44.2%, 72.0% and 25.0% respectively and all above the regulatory threshold.

Our risk-centric approach also ensured that cost of risk reduced significantly by 79% from 4.3% in the prior year to 0.9% in 2018. This was reflected through the drop-off in impairment charges by 81% (₦80 billion) compared to 2017, re-affirming the Group’s enhanced asset quality. In the same breadth, coverage ratio increased by 34.2% from 143.4% to 192.4% over the same period, reflecting a prudent disposition to credit risk management. Cost of funds also moved in the positive direction, declining by 41% from 5.2% in 2017 to 3.1% for the year, supported by a 33% decrease in interest expense (₦72 billion) over the same period, demonstrating a robust treasury and liquidity management.

Customer deposits grew by 7% led by an increase of ₦109 billion in savings and an increase of N122bn in current accounts providing it with a platform to rebalance its deposits mix. In 2018, expensively purchased deposits were foregone in favour of cheaper and more stable deposits resulting in a reduction of expensive and shorter dated deposits by ₦110 billion. On the asset front, this increased by 6% to close the year at ₦6 trillion.

The Group’s efforts to deepen its roots in the retail segment have started yielding benefits. This has resulted in a remarkable increase in the volume of transactions across various electronic platforms as well as significant customer acquisitions. This growth in transactions on its digital channels continues to support its retail push as fees from e-products increased by 44% over 2017 with retail deposit balances also growing by 25%.
Management’s outlook is positive for 2019, supported by a fairly stable inflation rate, converging foreign exchange market and near target oil production. The Group will continue its investment in the retail segment of the market to consolidate its leadership position in both the retail and corporate segments while it maintains its shock proof balance sheet.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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Pix: Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc., Mr. Jim Ovia, CON (Centre), flanked from left by the Deputy Managing Director, Ms. Adaora Umeoji; the Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Peter Amangbo; the Company Secretary, Mr. Mike Otu; and the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu at the bank’s 28th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Lagos building collapse: Aare Adams condoles victims’ families, urges government’s action - ITREALMS

The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has sent words of sympathy to the families of the victims of the collapsed building in Ita Faji, Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

A press statement he personally signed on Friday, expressed sadness over the death of the pupils in the ill-fated building. 

He said: “I feel sad that the lives of many of those promising adults and young pupils could be cut short in such manner. 

“It is sad. My heart bleeds at the number of casualties, and the sorrow I feel now is overwhelming, seeing the ways they were being evacuated from the rubbles of the building. 

“We cannot continue to experience all these happenings in Lagos State.

He insisted that the “Cases of building collapse should be addressed holistically to forestall future occurrences. At the same time, there is the need for the state government to address the issue of building collapse urgently in the state. It is becoming too frequent."

According to him, there should be standard in what we do as a people, stressing that is how it is done in other climes. 

“Many of the buildings in Lagos, particularly on the Island, are old and dilapidated. Meanwhile, those contractors building the new ones, most times, use substandard materials and nobody blinks an eye,” he decried.

Adams also expressed concern on the standard of education in the state, saying private schools located in residential apartments cannot be of any quality standard.

"Of what standard are schools located in residential apartments?” he wondered, pointing out that the state government should step up its activities in building low cost and affordable houses for Lagosians so that residents can live comfortably rather than living in buildings that can collapse anytime.

“The government must also ensure that private schools in the state are duly registered and that they are located in a befitting and conducive environments,” he maintained.

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Irona: No more sharing of ISOPADEC funds - ITREALMS

Imo State Deputy Governor-elect, Rt. Hon. Gerald Alphonsus Irona says funds meant for Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC shall no longer be diverted, but will be used for the development of the oil producing areas of the State.

Irona stated this while addressing thousands of stakeholders of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru West Federal Constituency, who gathered in Oguta to receive him after the announcement of the Peoples Democratic Party-PDP as winner of the just concluded governorship election in the state.

He also preached forgiveness and reconciliation of all, urging his supporters to forgive all those that may have offended them in anyway, even as he assured them of his readiness to reconcile with all stakeholders in the area, irrespective of political and party affiliation.

“We must use ISOPADEC funds to develop our place. We shall end the practice of sharing of ISOPADEC funds. We shall take care of our women, youth and elderly. We will touch the lives of our people. Our brothers shall no longer be used as thugs. We shall not steal your money. If it is about money, we would not have won this election. We earned the confidence and trust of Imo people. We will ensure that the trust is sustained.”

“You must begin the process of reconciliation. No matter the political party anybody belongs to, I want to tell you that I will bring everybody under one roof. This is a task I have given to myself. I will start from my community, Local Government, Federal Constituency and of course Orlu zone. I will reconcile every reconcilable person or group. My people, out of benevolence, brought me from Councillorship, to Local Government as Chairman, then House of Assembly and House of Representatives. Today, I am Deputy Governor-elect. What has God not done for me? You will see a different Irona. We shall not let you down.”

Speaking on his experience in opposition for over a decade in the state, Irona stressed:

“We remained in the PDP; transformed PDP and conducted the best primaries ever in the history of Imo. We chased away all the criminals and sanitized the party. I told you earlier that nobody will rig my election. So it has happened. Of all that they did, could they rig us out?”

He poured encomiums on his political leader, Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe, pledging his continued loyalty to the Arthur Nzeribe political dynasty.

“I am grateful to our leader, Chief Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe. I am proud to come from this dynasty. Nobody! Nobody! Nobody will destroy this dynasty. He is the man that taught me not only how to do politics, but to manage my resources; a man with a forgiving heart; a political colossus, strategist and father of all.”

Irona used the occasion to call on all those that left the political family of Chief Nzeribe to return, assuring them of warm reception.

“I want to say it here that our brothers who, for certain circumstances decided to leave this family should return. I promise that I shall not oppress, harass or intimidate anyone with this position. I shall not take away anyone’s property from him/her. I promised you that all your efforts will be rewarded. It is also your duty to protect your own. The task is huge, but, with your support and prayers, we shall succeed. Don’t come to me to run anybody down. If you do it, you have lost my friendship.”

Highlights of the event were visits to the oldest man in Oguta, Sir Benneth Maduagwu Okororie, traditional dances, among others.

Nenye Dom/Editor

Friday, March 15, 2019

Isaac Umunna, News Express Publisher loses mother - ITREALMS

The death has been announced of Madam Margaret Umunna Edeyi, a devout Christian and community leader from Umuokogbuo Eluama in Isuikwuato, Abia State, reports ITREALMS.

Maggie, as she was fondly called, died on Wednesday morning, March 13, 2019, in Warri, Delta State, aged around 90 years.

She is survived by five children, among them Mr. Isaac Umunna, an award-winning international journalist and Publisher of News Express titles. Maggie is also survived by several grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as a host of relatives.

Paying tribute to the departed matriarch, Isaac Umunna said: “Mama was a virtuous woman known for her devotion to God, her family and humanity.

“Though she became widowed at a rather young age, she remained chaste for the rest of her life. She didn’t go to school but did everything within her power to ensure that her children did.

“Mama was a quintessential wife and mother. She will be greatly missed but we are comforted by her rich legacy of honesty, hard work, love for God and love for humanity.”
Umunna added that burial arrangements would be disclosed in due course.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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•Photo shows late Madam Margaret Umunna Edeyi

Sanwo-Olu visits collapsed building site, meets victims at hospitals - ITREALMS

The Governor-elect of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday visited the survivors of the collapsed building at the hospital in company of his Deputy Governor-Elect, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, reports ITREALMS.

Sanwo-Olu who also visited the site of the collapsed buildings at Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island to assessed the rescue operations and sympathised with the residents who lost loved ones in the tragedy commended the efforts by the emergency and rescue workers.

The governor-elect who hails from Lagos Island, arrived at Ita-Faaji at 1:05pm, lamented the loss of lives in the incident, which, he said, could have been prevented if the owner of the collapsed buildings had not flouted the state’s building codes.

The incoming governor personally engaged some residents to get first-hand information on how the three-story structure came down. Some of the residents bared their minds on the incident with allegations that building developers in the area were fond of using sub-standard building materials on the property they manage, urging the incoming governor to carry out an audit on all buildings in area when he assumes office.

The residents also told Sanwo-Olu that complaints were lodged at the Local Government office and Ministry of Physical Planning about defective structures in the area prior to the last Wednesday collapse, alleging that building developers usually bribed government officials to look away.

Responding, Sanwo-Olu said: “I am personally terrified that we lost lives in this incident, because it is something that shouldn’t happen. I urge all government agencies that are involved in ensuring standards on buildings to speed up their tasks to prevent a repeat of this tragic incident.

“These agencies should go out and check if there are still buildings across Lagos that have compromised. This is the rightful thing to do now. We should not wait till we see fatalities, such as we witnessed in this incident. Sanctity of building approvals is important and critical to ensuring we prevent this kind of event in the future.”

The governor-elect urged the media to play its role by joining hands with members of the public to expose defective buildings wherever they may be across the state.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Obangame Express 2019 opens, as U.S. Equips Maritime Training School - ITREALMS

Senior leaders from the United States Africa Command and the Nigerian Navy, representatives of maritime forces from the Gulf of Guinea, Europe, North and South America, as well as regional and international organizations, gathered in Lagos for the opening ceremony of the 2019 Obangame Express, reports ITREALMS.

Now in its ninth year, Obangame Express is an annual multinational maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among the participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.

Delivering welcoming remarks at the ceremony hosted by Nigeria’s Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, United States Consul General John Bray noted that Obangame Exercise has grown in leaps and bounds, both in complexity and in accomplishment.

“We note the efforts by regional navies to work together in the spirit of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct which is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea and West African nations to counter sea-based illicit activity,” Consul General Bray remarked.

As part of the events to open the 2019 Obangame Express, Consul General Bray and Vice Admiral Ibas commissioned the Nigerian Navy’s Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Training School in Apapa. The training school was built by the Nigerian Navy and equipped by the United States Navy.

“The Maritime Domain Awareness Training School in Apapa is one of the most evident examples of our enduring partnership. This school will be a regional center of excellence in the area of maritime domain awareness where neighboring countries will be trained,” Consul General Bray added.

In her remarks, Director, Directorate of Intelligence, U.S. Africa Command, Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, lauded the commitment of the 33 nations scheduled to participate in this year’s exercise.

According to her, illicit maritime activities such as illegal fishing, trafficking of weapons, narcotics and people, as well as the ongoing threat of piracy, undermine the rule of law, food security, and economic development in the region.

“This exercise is a clear demonstration of the United States’ dedication to combat these illicit activities and help our partners in the Gulf of Guinea to provide security for their resources, their economy, and their people. Obangame Express 2019 will make the region a safe place for maritime commerce and ultimately help increase prosperity of the region,” Rear Admiral Berg said.

Obangame Express is part of a comprehensive strategy by U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa to provide collaborative opportunities among African forces and international partners that address maritime security concerns. The Nigerian Navy is hosting the 2019 exercise from March 14 to 22.

The word "Obangame" comes from the Fang language of southern Cameroon and other parts of Central Africa. It means "togetherness."

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Fayemi to resolve power supply issue, inaugurates electricity regulation act - ITREALMS

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Thursday inaugurated the State Electricity Regulatory Act 2015, with an assurance that the incessant conflict between the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and electricity consumers in the State will soon be resolved, reports ITREALMS.

Inaugurating the Act which was originally signed into law by former Governor Ayo Fayose in September 2015, Governor Fayemi his government intervened in the BEDC / consumer crisis immediately the administration was inaugurated in October last year by setting up a committee to look into the power problem.

Fayemi who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Biodun Oyebanji, recalled that no fewer than 47 communities were disconnected from the national grid before October 2018 but the present administration is taking steps to ensure that they are reconnected.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the General Manager, Ekiti State Electricity Board, Engr Philip Atere said the Regulatory Act was passed into law in 2015 but was not effective; saying that the law is aimed at controlling the activities of BEDC while also checkmating vandals.

Atere added that the law would also address outrageous billing system and indiscriminate electricity connection.

Meanwhile, the President of Ado Ekiti Residents Consumer Association (AERCA), Dr Ibukun Ogundipe has reiterated the decision of electricity consumers in Ado Ekiti, the state capital not to accept estimated billings from BEDC until the distribution company provides prepaid meters for them.

Ogundipe stated that consumers cannot pay exorbitant bills for an erratic power supply. He also called on the committee set up by the regulatory act to look into the issue of billing

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Pic: Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi with Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Dr Zhou Pingjan, during a courtesy visit to the Governor in Ado--Ekiti...on Thursday

Airtel Nigeria unveils 0901 - ITREALMS

Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has announced a new number range, 0901, in line with its vision to empower more people as well as create opportunities for more Nigerians to succeed, reports ITREALMS.

Airtel says the new 0901 number range, which brings its burgeoning numbering series scheme to eight, will offer more Nigerians an opportunity to experience seamless telephony/mobile Internet service on an innovative and affordable network with expansive 4G coverage.

Commenting on the development, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Dinesh Balsingh, said Airtel is positioned as the network of first choice for voice calls and mobile Internet and the introduction of a new number series is an affirmation that it enjoys the confidence and support of many telecoms consumers across the country.

“Airtel is pleased to expand its number range to accommodate more telecoms consumers who desire exceptional telephony and mobile Internet experience as well as affordability and new innovation.

“With the new 0901 number range, we are inviting more telecoms consumers to come experience the best and widest 4G and digital experience,” he said.

Aside the 0901 number range, Airtel currently has the following numbering series: 0802, 0808, 0708, 0812, 0701, 0902, and 0907.

Airtel Networks Limited is a leading telecommunications services provider in Nigeria headquartered in Lagos, the commercial nerve-centre of Nigeria. The telco ranks amongst the top four mobile service providers in terms of subscribers.

Airtel’s parent company, Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 14 countries across Asia and Africa.

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Sanwo-Olu condoles with victims of collapse buildings - ITREALMS

The Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commiserated with the families of the victims of the collapsed three-storey building on 14 Massey Street, Lagos Island, which housed a primary school, on Wednesday, reports ITREALMS.

Sanwo-Olu expressed his sympathy to the victims’ families in a statement by his media office, describing the incident as “one tragedy too many”.

He also hailed the Lagos State Government for responding swiftly to the distress by deploying the emergency agency of the state for immediate rescue operation.

The statement reads: “My deep condolences go to the families of the children who lost their lives in the unfortunate building collapse that happened at Ita Faji in Lagos Island today. This is one tragedy too many, given that most of the victims are school children. I urge people to cooperate with officials working on rescue efforts. My prayers are with the affected families and the school management.

“While emergency workers are making frantic efforts to clear the rubbles and rescue more victims, I urge residents to join hands with the government in any way possible to reduce fatalities and lessen attendant trauma of the incident. I am in support of the action being taken by the government and I urge every resident to show spirit of compassion inherent in our community.”

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

FG bans Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Nigeria - ITREALMS

The Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria has banned the controversial Boeing 737 MAX 8 from the nation’s airspace, reports ITREALMS.

Arising from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, FG said Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes are not welcomed in its airspace.

This followed the frequency crashes of this model of airplanes with the latest belonging to the Ethiopian Airlines which left 157 killed on board last Sunday in Addis Ababa, some six minutes after take off.

Revealing this, the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Sirika told correspondents that “Regarding Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 that have been in the news recently, there is no cause for alarm as there is no operator in Nigeria that is using that type of airplane.”

He also said that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), whose mandate is to issue advisory, and has already issued advisory that nobody should fly into Nigeria or out of Nigeria using Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9, pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer, which is Messers Boeing.

“Regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane 737, it has caused concern in the world of aviation and you know aviation is universal, whatever affects one affects the other because aircraft will be flying in and out. So, we have issued directive that no operator with Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 should operate into and outside our airports and this is being carried out.”

This ban is coming behind a similar ban by the United Kingdom (UK) Civil Aviation Authority from its airspace.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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CBN: Nigeria achieves $2.80m surplus, improves balance of payment - ITREALMS

Apex bank in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the nation’s Balance of Payment improved by a surplus of $2.80 million in the fourth quarter 2018, from $4.54 million recorded in the third quarter of same year, reports ITREALMS.

The CBN in a report entitled “Brief on Balance of Payments Statistics Q4’18” posted on its website and made available to ITREALMS.

According to CBN, “The provisional Balance of Payments (BOP) estimates for Q4 2018 showed a significant improvement in the BOP outcome.

“The overall balance of payments recorded a surplus of $2.80 million compared to a huge deficit of $4,542.08 million and a surplus of $6,180.40 million recorded in the preceding quarter and corresponding period of 2017, respectively.

“The current account balance (CAB) improved from a deficit of $1,544.41 million in Q3 2018 to a surplus of $1,104.57 million in Q4 2018.

“The financial account balance indicated a net acquisition of financial assets of $2,327.91 million in the review period as against a net incurrence of financial liabilities of $4,615.17 million recorded in the preceding period.”

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100 pupils feared dead in Lagos collapsed school building - ITREALMS

Estimated over 100 pupils are feared dead in a school building which collapsed Wednesday morning in the Itafaji area of Lagos Island in Lagos State, reports ITREALMS.

The three storey building,
ITREALMS gathered, housed a school collapsed and trapped many pupils majority of who are suspected to be dead at the time of filing this report.

The building located at No. 36 Massey Street,
ITREALMS also gathered, collapsed around 10:00am.

ITREALMS reports that the third floor of the building housed a private school in the location.

Some of the students rescued from the debris have been rushed to the General Hospital, Marina-Lagos.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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For Pius Adesanmi, for Nigeria! - ITREALMS

Pius Adesanmi, Carleton University’s Professor of literature and African studies who died in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash near the town of Bishoftu, Ethiopia, on Sunday, March10, was a consummate intellectual and civic activist. Pius was visible in academic and intellectual circles around the world as he was on social media and other social circles.

A tribute by a mutual friend, Prof E.C. Osondu of Providence College, Rhodes Island, USA, captures the very essence of Pius’s rather short but extremely remarkable life. “Pius was a rare being, ebullient, a razor-sharp mind. He was what the Yoruba call an Omoluabi (a person of honour and good character), yet when it came to polemics, he could easily morph into a jaguda (a ruffian). Nigeria has lost one of those who loved her most,” Prof Osondu wrote in a Facebook tribute on Sunday.

Pius was an embodiment of intellectualism, dedication, hard work, and the community spirit; ever willing to give back his intellect, time and resources for the greater good of his country and humanity. Like many of his followers and admirers, I received the surreal news of his demise late Sunday evening. The world woke up Sunday morning to the shocking news of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX travelling from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, that killed all 149 passengers and eight crew on board. The immediate concern about the crash was the eerie similarity to another Boeing 737 MAX—Lion Air Flight 610—crash into the Java Sea, Indonesia, shortly after takeoff on October 29, 2018, with 189 fatalities. Then news starting filtering in that there was a Nigerian on ET Flight 302.

I had a crowded programme on Sunday, March 10: editing additional materials for a new book; a 2:00pm meeting that I had the responsibility of putting together and a 6:00pm condolence visit that was long overdue. Before the 2:00pm meeting, I placed a couple of calls to Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of Premium Times, to confirm an earlier scheduled appointment. There was no response. He would call back much later.

The first thing he said when I answered the call was, “Have you heard anything about Pius and the plane crash this morning?” My heart skipped. All I could mutter—half assuring myself and wishing that the story wasn’t true—was that there was a Nigerian on the flight and that it wasn’t Pius. Then Dapo reminded me that Pius was travelling with a Canadian passport. My anxiety increased. I told him I was aware—according to the manifest—that there were 18 Canadians in the ill-fated flight. He said he was making efforts to reach Dr. Nduka Otiono, another Nigerian and Pius’s colleague at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. I heard a beep and Dapo said he had to take another call.

By this time, I had developed a nervous feeling in your stomach. Once I got off the phone with Dapo, I went on Twitter. There was a torrent of tweets about Pius with most of them ending with RIP Pius. After going through a few tweets, I tried to compose a response, to caution that people should wait until there was an official confirmation—just in the hope that the news would turn out to be false—but my fingers were numb. Then the calls started coming in from all over the world. I spent the rest of the day making or receiving calls.

Each time I attempted to do anything, my mind would go to the plane crash, to Pius and all he represented. Very few Nigerians bestrode the public space the way Pius Adesanmi did. With a first class degree and Ph.D in French, he was at ease with the Francophone world as he was with Anglophone; he interfaced with the Global South as much as he did with the North. He was a renaissance man, a global citizen of the finest hue. But he remained a Nigerian at heart, in theory and in practice. It was evident in his scholarship, his public and social engagements and interventions.

Late Sunday night, as I was still trying to process the news of Pius’s demise, I received a call from an older colleague in the UK. Just as our conversation went on, the story of the plane crash earlier in the day was briefly reported on one of the country’s TV networks. It was a short report, devoid of context and depth. I was miffed. I expressed my disgust at the report and wondered why a national TV channel would not use such a global tragedy that had national and continental implications to bring to its viewers the contribution of someone like Pius to the quest for national rebirth. My colleague interrupted and reminded me that what I had just witnessed was the effect of the collapse of public broadcasting in the country. We agreed that it was not only public broadcasting that was reeling from the effect of misgovernance. Everything this country holds dear, from public education to public health has gone to the dogs.

I was still feeling a bit disoriented when I arrived the office yesterday amid the searing heat and power outage. I walked into an adjoining office to say a quick hello to a colleague and discuss the plane crash that took the life of our friend, Pius Adesanmi. As we talked, I glanced at the newspapers on the table in front of me with headlines about results of the gubernatorial and state assembly elections that took place two days earlier. A particular story drew my attention. It was a story at the bottom strip of Daily Trust with the title, “IBB returns after 3-month medical vacation in Switzerland.”

I was speechless. I flipped through the newspaper to page four to read the details of the story. “Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, on Saturday returned to Nigeria after over three months of medical vacation in Switzerland,” the first paragraph read. “Babangida said he was much stronger and better, thanking Nigerians for their prayers and goodwill messages during his vacation,” the story continued. Ironically, the story was directly below the story with the caption, “Nigerian professor, Pius Adesanmi, dies in Ethiopian air crash,” with a picture of the rescue team at the site of the crash and inset pictures of Prof. Pius Adesanmi and Amb Abiodun Oluremi Bashua, another Nigerian, a former United Nations and African Union Deputy Special Representative in Dafur who also died in the crash.

The first thing that came to mind after reading the story on Babangida, Nigeria’s former military dictator and self-styled “evil genius,” was the contempt and impudence dripping from his statement. I wondered the Nigerians who were praying for him: the millions impoverished for decades by his Structural Adjustment Policy (SAP), the millions who would die every year because of lack of access to proper medical care which a succession of pathetic local rulers like him failed to ensure, the millions suffering the effect of the debasement of our democratic ethos which he supervised? You couldn’t miss the irony. Here was a General who ruled Nigeria with guile and high-handedness for eight eminently forgettable years. He couldn’t build a single hospital in the country that would meet his needs. I told myself that these were the kind of things Pius feasted on.

In July 2018, Pius was involved in a car accident along Oyo-Ogbomosho road when the vehicle he was travelling in—a Nissan—had a head-on collision with a car from Ibadan—a Toyota Privia. He was heading to Lagos to catch a flight to Dakar, Senegal. “Two hours after the accident, no help came. The evacuation culture was zero,” Premium Times quoted Pius in a report. “He explained that people just gathered at the scene of the accident, wondering and shouting. Others were screaming and cursing. No one attempted to help,” Pius noted in the report.

If his flight had not crashed six minutes after it took off on Sunday morning, Puis Adesanmi would be alive today. And if he had read Babangida’s utterly bewildering medical tourism story, he would have delivered a fittingly scathing response. Pius didn’t suffer fools gladly and pulled no punches when it came to explaining the dire conditions in Nigeria and confronting the inanities of those responsible for our current national trauma, whether he was writing about the “Parable of the shower head,” (a September 2013 essay) or “NAFDAC-certified virgins,” a February 2009 essay.

“The contributions of Pius Adesanmi to Carleton are immeasurable,” said Pauline Rankin, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, in a tribute. “He worked tirelessly to build the Institute of African Studies, to share his boundless passion for African literature and to connect with and support students. He was a scholar and teacher of the highest calibre who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton.”

Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president and vice-chancellor of Global Affairs Canada, described Pius Adesanmi as “a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy.”

Adieu, Pius Adesanmi, scholar, public intellectual, activist, humorist, and patriot. You will be sorely missed. Your death reminds us of the death of a kindred spirit, Prof Claude Ake, regarded as one of Africa's foremost political philosophers. Claude Ake who would have been 80 last month was like you a seminal academic and public intellectual par excellence. He was professor of political economy, former dean of the University of Port Harcourt’s Faculty of Social Sciences, and director of the Center for Advanced Social Science, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

A virulent critic of the military junta of Gen. Sani Abacha, the Anglo-Dutch oil company, Shell, and Nigeria’s fiendish oil industry, Ake railed against dictatorship and misrule across Africa. In November 1995, he resigned from the Steering Committee of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey in protest over the hanging of environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight of his Ogoni compatriots. A year later, on November 7, 1996, he would die in mysterious circumstances—air traffic control error, according to investigators—when an ADC Airlines Flight 86 from Port Harcourt to Lagos crashed at Ejirin, Lagos, killing all 144 passengers and crew.

Pius, our heartfelt condolences go to your family. As friends, colleagues and associates gather tomorrow for a “candle light” memorial at Unity Fountain in Abuja and in cities across Nigeria and around the world in the days and weeks ahead, we are consoled by the words of the poet, Chiedu Ezeanah: “Pius Adesanmi must have lived two or more lifetimes in one.”

*Chido Onumah is author of We Are All Biafrans: A Participant-observers’ Interventions in a Country Sleep-walking to Disaster.

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Seven ideas receive funding on Artificial intelligence and news - ITREALMS

From combating the spread of misinformation to expanding awareness of the impact of artificial intelligence on society, seven projects shaping the effects that artificial intelligence has on the field of news and information received $750,000 in funding, reports ITREALMS.

The Ethics and Governance in AI Initiative, a joint project of the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, awarded the funding through the AI and the News Open Challenge.

Emerging from more than 500 submissions, the winning projects will include an effort to combat the spread of misinformation through the messaging platform WhatsApp, where one group will accelerate the work of fact checkers in India, where the spread of dubious videos there have led to lynchings.

Other projects will help to augment and support the work of journalists by experimenting with the opportunity offered by AI in sifting through reams of information, training reporters to cover this emerging field and supporting an in-depth series on the effects of AI on American workers.

“These winners showcase both the opportunities and challenges posed by artificial intelligence. On one hand, the technology offers a tremendous opportunity to improve the way we work — including helping journalists find key information buried in mountains of public records. Yet we are also seeing a range of negative consequences as AI becomes intertwined with the spread of misinformation and disinformation online,” said Tim Hwang, who leads the initiative. “We’re thrilled to support these winners as they pilot new efforts to ensure these technological breakthroughs have positive social impact.”

Projects include Chequeado: Building regional knowledge about AI by producing an investigative series on the ethics of algorithms and the implications in Latin America

Legal Robot: Helping journalists and the public find the connections between public agencies and the companies they hire by using artificial intelligence to extract information from large-scale public records requests

MuckRock Foundation: Making it easier for newsrooms, researchers, and communities to analyze documents through crowdsourcing and machine learning tools.

Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY Foundation: Training community media journalists to uncover and analyze artificial intelligence systems, and to produce news pieces that center on the impact of this technology on immigrants and low-income communities

Rochester Institute of Technology: Helping journalists more easily spot suspicious media by developing detection techniques that quickly identify and detect evidence that video or audio was faked, using recent developments in machine learning.

Seattle Times: Launching a one-year reporting project that will inform and engage readers in the social, ethical and practical implications of artificial intelligence and its influence on the way people work.

Tattle Civic Technologies: Combating misinformation on WhatsApp and other chat apps in India by increasing the efficiency of fact checking and the accessibility of fact checked information for mobile-first WhatsApp users.

Launched in 2017, the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Omidyar Network, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Initiative is a fiscal sponsorship fund of The Miami Foundation.

“AI’s impact to quality news and information are a global concern,” said Paul Cheung, Knight Foundation’s director of Journalism and Technology Innovation. “We are thrilled that our winners represent a global community of journalists and technologists who are offering a diverse array of solutions to ensure AI is used for public good.”
ITREALMS recalls that the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative was launched in 2017, as a hybrid research effort and philanthropic fund that seeks to ensure that technologies of automation and machine learning are researched, developed, and deployed in a way which vindicate social values of fairness, human autonomy, and justice. The Initiative is a joint project of the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society. It incubates a range of research, prototyping, and advocacy activities within these two anchor institutions and across the broader ecosystem of civil society.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

NUJ/NAWOJ Fraud: Counsel to Ifeyinwa, Deji seeks shift in hearing date - ITREALMS

The case between some Lagos journalists and other claimants versus Prince Tunji Ogunwusi's Primewaterview Holdings, NAWOJ's National President, Ifeyinwa Omowole, Deji Elumoye, Tosin Odusola and NUJ earlier slated for hearing tomorrow Wednesday, 13th of March,  2019 at the Lagos Multidoor ADR, Igbosere-Lagos with the mediator, Mrs. Dupe Ogunsanwo, has been shifted to April 11, 2019, on the request of their lawyer, reports ITREALMS.

During the last sitting, Mrs. Ogunsanwo urged all interested parties to appear at the sitting in their own interest in order to find amicable resolution to the case.

At the last sitting, out of the six defendants, only NUJ was present while the duo of Omowole and Elumoye were represented by Yinka Kalejaye with no one from Primewaterviews Holdings of Tunji Ogunwusi, under whose chairmanship, the project began.

Mrs Ogunsanwo advised that the presence of the key individuals involved is very important, Kalejaye claimed that Ifeyinwa and Deji cannot appear in person because they are now working in Abuja.

Mrs Ogunsanwo strongly advised that it will be in their own interest to appear in person on March 13th, 2019, regarding the case filed by the Oluyinka Olujimi Chambers.

Lawyer to the petitioners, Oladimeji Olowu of Oluyinka Olujimi chambers also reiterated the need for respondents to appear in person if the case must be settled as soon as possible and also for the affected journalists to find time to be in court for good reportage of the proceedings.

It should be noted that the lawyer to Primewaterview Holdings who chose the date for the last hearing did not show up too.

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, at its inaugural meeting held in Abuja, directed that every legal steps should be taken to recover the money not accounted for out of the several millions paid to the Primewaterview Holdings Limited in five instalments between July 2016, and April 2017, and returned to Subscribers.

Also, NEC directed that Lagos State Council must take steps to verify the N4million returned from the conversion of the said “expired dollars” claimed by Mrs. Ifeyinwa Omowole, which they are yet to do.

NEC however deferred any sanction on erring members pending the outcome of the case before EFCC.

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Geneva to host WSIS @10 - ITREALMS

The city of Geneva, Switzerland, is gearing up to host the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) as it marks 10 years, reports ITREALMS.

History, ITREALMS gathered, has it that for the first time in history, over half of the world's population is now using the Internet. Bringing the other half online is one of the greatest opportunities of the 21st century and essential to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).​

​​The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum , has been slated between 8-12 April 2019, 8-12 April 2019 at the ITU Headquarters & Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG) in Geneva, Switzerland and will focus on information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

ITREALMS also gathered that the summit will feature sessions on cybersecurity, e-agriculture, e-health, e-education, gender equality, the environment, infrastructure, enabling environments for tech and innovation.​​

WSIS 2019, ITREALMS reports, will showcase innovative examples of how countries, civil society, academia and businesses are using ICTs to reach national and global development goals.

In addition, its anticipated that over 250 specialized workshops and live events on ICTs for development will take place, while WSIS Prizes 2019 – a contest which recognizes outstanding initiatives of individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies that use tech to advance development will hold.

Further, ITREALMS reports that there will be 'Hacking Solutions for Lifelong Learning and Livelihoods' at the WSIS Forum 2019, which is co-organized by ITU and UNESCO.

Just as the 'Extended Reality for Development' will see WSIS and World VR Forum joining forces to present virtual and augmented reality experiences used in advancing education. Whereas WSIS ICT Accessibility Day has been scheduled to focus on innovating technologies to benefit people with disabilities or special needs and TEDxGeneva at WSIS Forum 2019.

Over 3000 participants, including 500 high-level policy-makers from 150+ countries, such as government ministers and experts, civil society leaders, academics, business leaders and international organizations are expected.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Kwara: Lai Mohammed says hegemony politics has fallen - ITREALMS

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the 'Berlin Wall' of hegemony politics has finally fallen in Kwara State, following the massive victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections in the state, reports ITREALMS.

The Minister, who is the leader of the APC in Kwara, said the party's brooms have swept the state clean of all traces of hegemony politics, after the party won all 24 House of Assembly seats, all three  senatorial seats, all six House of Representatives seats, the governorship and the presidential elections in the state.

''The result is 35-0! Our brooms have swept the state clean,'' he said, tracing the long battle for the emancipation of Kwara to Nov. 17th 2018, when the party won the by-election for the Ekiti/Oke-ero/Irepodun/Isin federal constituency.

Thanking the 'long-suffering' people of Kwara for their hard work, sacrifices and determination that culminated in the victory, after they rallied under the 'O To Ge (enough is enough) movement, Alhaji Mohammed said never again will anyone enslave Kwarans under the guise of dynasty or hegemony politics.

He said God made the massive victory possible, and thanked the security agencies, the leaders of the party at state and national levels as well as President Muhammadu Buhari whose leadership and unflinching support, he said, propelled the APC to victory.

The Minister said the victory transcends Kwara State, adding: ''It is a victory for all advocates of good governance everywhere. It is the triumph of good over evil, no matter how long it takes...and a hard blow to those who willfully turn the public treasury into their personal piggy banks.''

He said, however, that with the victory, the real work has just begun, in view of the high expectations of the people.

''We cannot afford to disappoint our people. We must ride on the wave of their enthusiasm and determination to deliver to them the dividends of democracy, for which they have been yearning. All our leaders, both elected and otherwise, must come together to channel the energy and vibrancy of our people to positive goals,'' Alhaji Mohammed said.

He called on APC members and supporters in the state to be magnanimous in victory, saying there is no room for vindictiveness or hatred in the new Kwara.

''The massive victory in Kwara State came on a peaceful note. We must maintain that and banish all the vestiges of violence from our state,'' the Minister said.

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