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NomCom invites EoI for ICANN leadership positions - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) Nominating Committee ( NomCom ) has invited interested ...

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ICT4D Week 2018

Thursday, January 17, 2019

NomCom invites EoI for ICANN leadership positions - ITREALMS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) Nominating Committee (NomCom) has invited interested individuals to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) in key leadership positions within ICANN and Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), reports ITREALMS.

The selected individuals, ITREALMS gathered, will have a unique opportunity to work with accomplished colleagues from around the globe to help shape the Internet's technical coordination and policy development.

“The deadline to submit applications is 18 March 2019 at 23:59 Universal Coordinated Time (UTC),” according to NomCom, noting that its also accepting recommendations of suggested candidates.

“We are inviting applications and recommendations for the following positions, Three members of the ICANN Board of Directors; One member of the PTI Board of Directors; Three regional representatives to the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) – one from the Asia, Australia, and Pacific Islands region, one from the Latin America and Caribbean Islands region, one from the Africa region; Two members of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council; and One member of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) Council,” official communications available to ITREALMS from NomCom read.

ITREALMS reports that NomCom assured that this call is guided by the broad public interest, in that those selected will work to fulfill ICANN's mission to coordinate the global Internet's system of unique identifiers, and in particular, to ensure its stable and secure operation.

The selected leaders, ITREALMS also gathered, will make a valuable public service contribution toward the evolution of the Domain Name System as an essential global resource.

Key qualifications, ITREALMS equally gathered is fluency in English which is a requirement for all positions.

ITREALMS further reports that other qualifications, skills, and time commitments vary depending on the position, even as there is a new online candidate portal that replaced the previous platform.

Chuks Egbune/HO

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Nigeria: Facebook bans foreign electoral adverts for 2019 - ITREALMS

Beginning from today, Facebook has banned foreign electoral advertisements for the forthcoming Nigeria’s general elections 2019 on the platform, reports ITREALMS.

According to public statement made available to 
ITREALMS, Facebook said this was in continuation of its attempt to ensure build political transparency around elections and across the globe.

This ban on foreign electoral advertisements equally applies to Ukraine.

“We'll temporarily expand enforcement and not accept foreign electoral ads around their elections, starting with Nigeria on January 16,” official declared.

In the coming months, Facebook also said it intends to roll out additional protections ahead of upcoming elections.

Stressing that these efforts are to prevent foreign interference and avail people more information about the ads they see across Facebook platforms.

“We're continuing our focus on preventing foreign interference and giving people more information about the ads they see across our platforms.”
ITREALMS gathered that this had been implemented in the US, UK and Brazil.

As gathered, Facebook said, political advertisers in these countries must confirm their identity and location before they can run ads, and their ads are housed in a public, searchable Ad Library for up to seven years.

Further to this effect, Facebook said that in February, it would launch similar Ad Library and enforce authorizations ahead of the Indian’s general elections this spring.

While in the European Union (EU) “We plan to roll out ad transparency tools before May elections.”

Globally, 
ITREALMS reported that by the end of June, Facebook said it will provide a set of these tools for advertisers around the world.

Pointing out that by shining a light on political ads, news organizations, regulators, watchdog groups and people anywhere in the world can hold advertisers and Facebook more accountable.

Chuks Egbune/HO


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Konga, Visa in e-Commerce collabo - ITREALMS

The electronic-commerce (eCommerce) giant, Konga, is collaborating with Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments to revolutionize the e-commerce sector in Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

By leveraging the delivery of digital and secure payments solutions across key segments of the Konga Group’s business portfolio, the strategic partnership is positioned to drive greater efficiency in the sector.

While ensuring a digitally-driven and rewarding payment experience for consumers, the partnership will offer shoppers and merchants on Konga’s online platform as well as walk-in customers to its growing number of offline stores nationwide, a seamless digital payment experience when they pay exclusively with Visa.

Among the many exciting benefits of this partnership, shoppers who use the KongaPay app will be issued a digital Visa card which will enable them to make payments everywhere Visa is accepted. In addition, users of the KongaPay app will be able to pay digitally at the time of delivery of their items by simply scanning the Quick Response (QR) code provided by Kxpress delivery agents – a development that will lend further ease and convenience to the payment process and elevate standards in the e-commerce sector.

“Partnerships are key for us at Visa, as we constantly look for new opportunities to ensure that more people have access to unique payment experiences that are seamless, fast and secure. We are extremely delighted to unveil this strategic partnership with Konga which is positioned to further simplify the payment process and raise standards in the Nigerian e-commerce sector,” said Kemi Okusanya, General Manager, Visa West Africa.

“When it comes to making e-commerce transactions, people are continuously looking for the most convenient and secure ways to pay for products and also use several payment platforms when they travel to other parts of the world. What we have done with this partnership is to incentivize the process and provide more value to customers who pay with Visa,” she added.

On his part, Nick Imudia, co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Konga Group, disclosed that the partnership with Visa holds immense potential for e-commerce in Nigeria, owing to the numerous opportunities it offers to revolutionize the payment process and optimize offerings in the sector.

“With this partnership, we are bound to witness a digitally-driven and effortless payment experience for all classes of customers on the Konga platforms – online shoppers, visitors to our offline stores nationwide, merchants, third-party clients and other stakeholders. This development is not only momentous in view of its far-reaching implications for the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria, but one that will go a long way to boost customer experience and confidence in the sector.”

“Our excitement knows no bounds, especially in view of the many benefits this strategic partnership will unfold for our customers and millions of Nigerians in the days and weeks ahead,” he concluded.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

D-G Security Services arrested in Botswaana - ITREALMS

The former Director-General of the Directorate of intelligence and Security Services (DISS) in Botswana, Mr. Isaac Kgosi’s dealings have been placed under a microscope in an ongoing comprehensive lifestyle audit conducted by the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS), reports ITREALMS.

Eye witness accounts have detailed how the BURS team driving GP number plate vehicles swooned on a number of farms linked to commercial farmers who have been dealing with the former DISS boss.

The BURS investigation unearthed supporting information for the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) investigation into Kgosi’s alleged corrupt relationship with AfricIntel boss Richard Miles.

The BURS raid turned up information that Richard Miles gave Kgosi close to 150 prime breed herds of cattle under questionable circumstances. The information is expected to build on earlier investigations by the DCEC that sometime in 2010, the DIS is alleged to have fraudulently awarded AfricIntel a tender worth P100 million to train its intelligence and security personnel.

In turn, AfricIntel subcontracted another British company, Bowman Risk Management to do the training. AfricIntel only provided the premises (for training) and transportation. The total bill by Bowman (the subcontracted company) was just over P1.5 million. Surprisingly, AfricIntel slapped the government with an invoice of P100 million.

Investigations revealed that Bowman’s director, Peter Phelan had submitted all the company’s invoices to the main contractor, AfricIntel, which then inflated the costs by close to P98.5 million.

A dispute subsequently arose between Phelan and AfricIntel because the Bowman’s boss demanded that his share be increased in light of the inflated invoice presented to government. Sunday Standard has established that Phelan has agreed to testify against AfricIntel and Isaac Kgosi.

Nenye Dom with additional 
Sunday Standard/Editor

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Pix: Isaac Ksogi

Ekeh @RCCG summit: Says knowledge century is license to wealth without barriers - ITREALMS

Sponsored@ITREALMS:
Acclaimed serial digital entrepreneur and chairman, Zinox Group, Dr. Leo-Stan Ekeh has urged Nigerians to believe in the future of the country, asserting that the world is currently in a knowledge century without barriers to wealth acquisition or achieving greatness, reports ITREALMS

He made this call at an economic summit organized by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Christ Church Parish on Saturday January 12th 2019.

With the theme – Economic Outlook and Prospects in Election Year, the summit saw Ekeh sharing his thoughts on Nigeria’s economy and the future of the digital industry culminating in a standing ovation at the end of his speech.

“You must anticipate the future. It is not static, otherwise you don’t have a reason to grow. The 21st Century is a knowledge century; it is one in which you have a right to be rich, even as an employee because if they under-pay you, you have a chance to get a better job,” Ekeh declared.

“If you are an entrepreneur, then you have a right to make mega-wealth. A lot of you are intimidated when you look at the profile of people like the Aliko Dangotes and Mike Adenugas but you forget that when a man is successful, you only hear the good side of their emergence but if you look back critically, you will see that their rise to the top was not an easy one. When you are psychologically defeated, you have lost the war.

“In life, you must take a conscious decision on who you want to be and if you are a human being and a citizen, you must add value to your environment, community or country. In the 21st Century, you decide who you want to be. The biggest problem with Africa is that our parents want us to make money the same way they did. It means we are all blind. If your father was a taxi driver, you cannot be the most popular taxi driver because today, we have Uber and other ride-hailing apps. But if you created an Uber, then you become the largest owner of commercial vehicles in the world.”

Ekeh who recently oversaw the acquisition of e-commerce giants, Konga from previous owners Naspers and AB Kinnevik followed by a combination of its operations with that of Yudala, declared his chosen field of technology as a leveler and the only profession in the world that can bridge the gap between the rich and the poor individuals and countries of the world.

“Technology is the only way the son of a poor man can become rich in the 21st Century and that is the only way the son of a rich man can consolidate the wealth of the family. You are a stupid, poor man if you cannot challenge the status quo. It was through technology that I transformed the media and multimedia industry and computerized them for the first time.

"Same way we helped create a reliable database of voters for Nigeria through the impressive work Zinox has done with INEC and which we have replicated in other African countries such as Guinea-Bissau. Today, we are currently looking to transit the country to e-Voting which will further go a long way in reducing post-election litigations,” he enthused.

Urging the members of the audience to retain their hopes in a brighter future for Nigeria, Ekeh encouraged the attendees to rise to the challenge and make a positive difference in their circumstances.

“Nigeria is a country with huge potential. There is a future here and no one has a right to stop you: government, individuals or even your father. You must build yourself as a collateral in order to succeed in life. The only way to build that collateral is to be a man or woman of integrity.

“In business, you must acquire a big dose of spirituality and always make provisions for your place of birth, in this case, where you do business. Many entrepreneurs transplant foreign technology or strategies here without considering our existential circumstances or the needs of the country.

“The challenges of your family or country are things that activate innovation and solutions. If you don’t disrupt, you die. In business, you must trade to lead or you get out of that platform. It is not child’s play. What made you rich will not make your child wealthy, unless they add digital style to it, which is technology. When I say we are in a knowledge century, it means no one can stop you from achieving success.

“The failure rate of startups in this country is about 75% and this is a shame to the quality of brains we have in Nigeria. The problem with most of the young people in tech – and this is one of the reasons most tech start-ups fail – is that they do more talking than content and they want to live large. You must incubate and grow. There are so many opportunities to generate creative wealth in the world today.

“Knowledge is open so you need to constantly read and learn but you must embrace humility and be ready to incubate for a period and be spiritually strong. Above all though, you must be close to God. Any successful man or a quality entrepreneur that is not close to God is not really successful.”

Among the many opportunities Ekeh referenced were digital security, digital lifestyle and growing dynamism in the e-commerce sector. He also disclosed his determination to invest in incubation centres to develop youthful talents through mentoring who will transform the fortunes of the nation.



Other speakers at the summit were Dr. Biodun Adedipe, Chief Consultant, BAA Consult; Mr. Abiola Ogunrinde, CEO, Tronica Natural Ltd and Dr. Mrs. Jumoke Oduwole, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment.




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2019 Index Awards: MRA, IMS in 15 global finalists on Censorship Freedom of Expression - ITREALMS

Two Nigerian non-governmental organizations, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) were today named among 15 “Global champions of free expression” that have been shortlisted for the 2019 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards, reports ITREALMS.

In a statement issued in London, the United Kingdom-based campaign organization, Index on Censorship, announced the 15 shortlisted individuals and organizations from around the world, saying they were drawn from more than 400 crowdsourced nominations which include “artists, writers, journalists and campaigners fighting for freedom of expression against immense obstacles.”

“Free speech is the cornerstone of a free society – and it’s under increasing threat worldwide. That’s why it’s more important than ever to recognise the groups and individuals willing to stand up for it,” Ms Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, said in the statement.

The Awards fellowships are offered in four categories, namely: Arts, Campaigning, Digital Activism and Journalism. Final winners in each category will be announced at a gala ceremony to be held in London on April 4, 2019.

Judges for this year’s awards include the award-winning investigative journalist and Rappler.com Editor-in-Chief, Maria Ressa; actor and filmmaker Khalid Abdalla; computer scientist and author Dr. Kate Devlin; and writer and social activist Nimco Ali.

Index on Censorship noted in its statement that Media Rights Agenda “has spent the last two decades working to improve media freedom and freedom of expression in Nigeria by challenging the government in courts,” adding that “Through its active legal team, MRA has initiated strategic litigation targeting dozens of institutions, politicians and officials to improve the country’s legal framework around media freedom.”

It said MRA’s “persistent campaigning and lawsuits on freedom of information have helped improve access to government-held data.”

Index on Censorship noted that IMS “aims to improve the country’s media landscape by challenging government regulation and fostering the creation of community radio stations in rural areas at a time when local journalism globally is under threat” and praised the organization for combining “research and advocacy to challenge legal restrictions on the media as well as practical action to encourage Nigerians to use their voices,”

The Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards is now in its 19th year and this year, the Awards are being supported by sponsors including SAGE Publishing, Google, Private Internet Access, Edwardian Hotels, Vodafone, France Médias Mondes and Psiphon

Chuks Egbune/HO

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Ojobo opens TechX hub @Enugu - ITREALMS

Immediate past Director, Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Founder of the TechX Innovation Hub, Mr. Tony Ojobo has opened the center in the coal city, Enugu, South East Nigeria, declaring that ICT innovation has become the new oil, reports ITREALMS.

Speaking at the formal unveiling in Enugu, Ojobo noted that as oil producing countries around the world grapple with the volatility in the oil market, thus impacting negatively on those countries, economic diversification is taking the front seat in discussions in many international fora.

According to him, the dependence on natural resources such as oil, with the attendant climate change problems has made fossil fuel less attractive, stressed that these challenges led to nation states so affected by this to come up with policies that encourage the diversification of their economies.

“Our country has recently witnessed dwindling fortunes as a result of the volatility in the international oil market. This state of affairs has stalled economic development, thus making it difficult for government to provide the necessary social safety nets and benefits for the citizens. The level of unemployment has remained in the double digits for several years. The available job opportunities cannot absorb the teeming number of graduates coming out of the universities. This has led to high level of criminality and other social vices now prevalent in our communities,” he said.

Ojobo pointed out that in realization of these challenges, his organization decided to set up an ICT Innovation Hub in Enugu to contribute its quota towards addressing this problem in the South East Ecosystem.

“The level of unemployment in this region is frightening and something has to be done urgently to address this trend,” he declared.

He underscored the hub investment in 2016 collaboration between the Young innovators of Nigeria and NCC which saw to the sponsorship to carry out a study of the ICT ecosystem in the South East to determine the level of innovations and ICT penetration in the region, which showed that the level of ICT penetration was very low and that something needed to be done to address it.

“The region has very few industries and organizations that can absorb the rising number of unemployed graduates in the ecosystem. It therefore becomes imperative to embrace technology as a way to tap into the ingenuity of the youths,” Ojobo said.

The youths of this region, he said, are reputed to be ingenious, hence the need to channel this ingenuity to productive purposes for common good.

“Initiatives such as this will contribute to reducing cybercrime by winning over the practitioners and turning them into innovators,” the former director said.

Ojobo who also is the President African ICT Foundation said the TechX stands for Technology Extra which means that technology not applied is useless.

“Technology has to be applied to deliver value to lives and businesses. The X factor of technology is anchored on the things it can accomplish to contribute to human development. The strategic vision of Tech X is focused on four key areas, which I call the 4A’s of technological advancement; Awareness, Access, Adoption and Application.

“A key strategy that addresses the issue of low ICT penetration is awareness. People need to be aware of the power of ICT to transform lives, businesses and the economy at large. The most capitalized firms in the world today are playing in the ICT space. The capacity of this technology to lift peoples and nations out of poverty is phenomenal.

He further said that in recognition of these tested facts, we decided to start from the area where penetration is low and scale up to other regions in the country.

“TechX is a global organization that is concerned with the slow adoption of technology in the developing countries especially Africa. Nigeria however, has the market, the people and local innovations that can disrupt business models around the world. We are on track to making this happen.”

He assured that at TechX they will create a platform for people with ideas to incubate, startups, business developers, coders, programmers and techies to perfect and scale up their innovations through a structured mentoring process, training and knowledge development programs. Our focus will encompass the following; Coding, Gaming, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT’s) Robotics, Digital Innovations, Business Development, ICT Training, Software Development, Cyber Security, Digital Marketing etc.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Pix: Tony OjoboFounder TechX Innovation Hub/ President African ICT Foundation flanked my the Tech X Innovation Hub team at the media launch in Enugu, today, January 15, 2019.

SDNbucks picks Nokia's Nuage for fully-managed SciSports - ITREALMS

The Nokia’s Nuage Networks SD-WAN 2.0 solution has been chosen by managed service provider, SDNbucks, to provide fully managed connectivity for SciSports, reports ITREALMS.

SciSports, ITREALMS gathered is a professional sports data intelligence company focused on using advanced deep learning and computer vision technologies to improve professional sports and enrich the fan experience.

The SD-WAN 2.0 solution interconnects sports stadiums, research and data centers, and the cloud-based application engine hosted on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

The SciSports real-time sports data intelligence engine, BallJames, gathers, analyzes and presents accurate on-the-pitch data. Using video feeds from live games, BallJames leverages computer vision technologies and advanced deep learning algorithms to evaluate and report the performance of the players in real-time and enrich applications used by professional clubs, the media and sports fans.

As part of its service to professional soccer organizations, BallJames captures live high-definition video footage using multiple cameras situated around a stadium, tracking movement of all players, the ball and the referees. The video streams are carried by SDNbucks' SD-WAN 2.0 network to SciSports' offices, research and data centers, and to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), where an analytics engine processes the data in real-time. The analyzed data is available to the coaching staff during the game to assess tactics, while web and TV fans can view next-generation stats as they enjoy the game. In addition, SciSports offers the sophisticated Insight platform, a fully automated data intelligence solution. The platform provides direct access to machine learning algorithms, which quantify the quality and potential of over 90,000 professional soccer players in the world. By suggesting viable transfer targets and recognizing talent at a young age, it supports football experts in expanding their scouting scope.

SDNbucks uses the Nokia Nuage Networks SD-WAN 2.0 solution to meet SciSports' stringent service-level targets by providing seamless connectivity from cameras to the cloud over a high-speed internet connection, using combinations of virtual and physical CPEs. The Nuage Networks SD-WAN 2.0 solution leverages network intelligence to identify network performance issues that will trigger the dynamic steering of video streams to alternate links. All feeds are micro-segmented and encrypted; SciSports has full visibility and control of each video and data feed using the Nuage Networks SD-WAN portal.

The SDNbucks high-availability hosting center accommodates all the essential multi-tenant elements of the Nuage Networks SD-WAN platform that are used for orchestration, management and control, with other components deployed at SciSports' sites and at the Google Cloud, such as the Nuage Networks Network Services Gateway (NSG) uCPE and vCPE deployments.

Wouter Roosenburg, CTO of SciSports, said: "SciSports hired SDNbucks to set up their network because of the company's extensive experience in the networking space and deep knowledge of the newest technologies available in the market, which are required for a state-of-the art solution like BallJames. Furthermore, the pragmatic and hands-on approach was highly valued to make things work in tight time schedules."

Niek van der Ven, CEO of SDNbucks, said: "We are very excited to work with SciSports to make their Balljames service a reality. It has the potential to change the way soccer teams manage their rosters and plan their in-game strategies and tactics. The Nokia Nuage Networks SD-WAN 2.0 solution has also been a game-changer for us, enabling us to provide a simple, secure solution that meets all of SciSports' stringent requirements with ease."


Sunil Khandekar, founder and CEO of Nuage Networks, said: "The SciSports service is part of a first wave of applications using AI and machine learning to revolutionize all aspects of human life. Paired with cloud services, this exciting application showcases how our SD-WAN 2.0 solution can provide the dynamic, highly automated and secure platform that these kinds of applications require. Partnering with SDNbucks has been critical to this win and demonstrates the importance of managed service providers to the deployment of SD-WAN in the future."

Nenye Dom/HO
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

FG unveils new 60-page International passport - ITREALMS

The Federal Government (FG) has unveiled a new 60-page Nigeria international passport for diplomats with 10 years span, reports ITREALMS.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were issued their new 10-year Diplomatic passport by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the emergency Federal Executive Council (FEC) came to a close on Tuesday in Abuja.
ITREALMS gathered that the passports were presented to them by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau and assisted by the Comptroller General of NIS, Mohammed Babandede after their biometrics were captured and processed.

Also gathered was that aside from the 10-year validity, the red diplomatic passport, has 25 special features and difference from the existing passports.

According to Babandede, the new passport has an enhanced and self-tracking of application and “weather friendly.”

“The new passport has polycarbonate technology that eliminates damages,” he said, stressing that it will now save Nigerians in diaspora the time needed to frequently visit Nigerian embassies in search of new passports.

The new passport, he further said, will work concurrently with the existing passports.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor with additional report from TheNation.

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Minister launches project to provide satellite TV for 1,000 villages - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has launched the 1,000 Villages Satellite TV Project, which is part of the Chinese government-sponsored 'Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages Project'.


Launching the project at a ceremony in Kpaduma village, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Monday, the Minister recalled that Chinese President Xi Jiping announced the 'Access To Satellite TV For 10,000 African Villages' during the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He said under the project, each of the 1,000 carefully-chosen villages in Nigeria will receive 2 sets of solar powered projector television systems and 1 set of solar 32-inch digital TV integrated terminal system.

Alhaji Mohammed also said 20 recipient families with TV in each village will be provided with 20 sets of direct broadcast satellite terminal system free of charge, adding that viewers in each village provided with the projector TV system will enjoy 21 satellite channels free of charge, while each of the 20 recipient families will have access to 33 satellite TV channels free of charge for two months.

After the expiration of the two months, he said, viewers can continue to enjoy access to the 33 channels by paying N900 per month, or enjoy limited access without payment.

The Minister said the project complements the efforts of the Buhari Administration at democratizing access to information and entertainment through the Digital Switch Over (DSO) for television which has now been rolled out in the several states and the FCT.

He urged the satellite TV implementation agency, StarTimes, to expedite the installation of the TV satellite system to cover the entire country in order to give the people opportunity to be informed on the policies and programmes of the candidates for the various elective positions in the 2019 general elections.

“The 1,000 villages project could not have come at a better time. In just a little over one month, Nigerians will be voting in the 2019 general elections. They need access to information now, more than at any other time, to know about the over 70 political parties that will be participating in the elections as well as about their various candidates,” Mohammed said.

The Minister commended the Chinese government for the project which, he said, will undoubtedly strengthen the already very cordial China-Nigeria relations.

In his remarks, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, who pledged the commitment of China to implementing the outcome of the FOCAC, said Nigeria and China are working closely to ensure access to information through television and satellite technology.

“StarTimes is now working to ensure access and besides access, China and Nigeria are also working very closely on TV and on Satellite. We are building the Made-in-Nigeria TV sets,” he said.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of StarTimes, Mr. Justin Zhang, said the implementation of the project will create more jobs as Nigerians across the 1,000 villages have been trained on how to install, recharge and operate the Satellite TV system.

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Pix: The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (second from right); The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian (second from left); Chief Executive Officer of NTA-StarTimes, Mr. Justin Zhang (extreme left) and the Director General of NTA, Mallam Yakub Ibn Mohammed (extreme left), at the launch of the Access to Satellite TV for 1,000 villages in Nigeria in Kpaduma, FCT, on Monday.

Monday, January 14, 2019

IGP tussle: AIG Adamu Mohammed takes over from Idris - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Adamu Mohammed has been named the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) by President Muhammadu Buhari, reports ITREALMS.

This development confirmed by sources at the Police Headquarters in Abuja Monday evening.
ITREALMS gathered that Adamu would initially serve in acting capacity pending his confirmation by the National Assembly.

With this development brings to a close the controversies around end of tenure for IGP Ibrahim Idris, who clocked 35 years in service tomorrow, January 15, 2019, to get service extension.

Equally, 
ITREALMS reports that the appointment of AIG Adamu Mohammed forecloses the hopes of those advocating for an top police officer as IGP.

Further, the appointment It also brings to an abrupt end the career of all Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs), as their junior has emerged via several promotions.

Ayo Midele/Editor with additional report by NewsExpress.

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Pix: Adamu Mohammed

Missing $8.07bn: CSO invokes FOI Act on CBN, MTN over out-of-court settlement – ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Human and Environmental Development Agenda Resource Centre (HEDA) has invoked the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria Communications to make the out-of-court settlement of $8.13 billion sanction open for consumption of Nigerians, reports ITREALMS.

The invocation of FOI Act 2015, HEDA request signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, sought to know what becomes the difference of about $8,077,400,000 billion in the alleged resolution based on the out-of-court settlement.

According to HEDA, the wide margin between the reported final payment and the alleged charged sum has left the public puzzled as to the procedure and steps taken to arrive at the resolution.

In part the FOI request reads: “On the 4th day of September, 2018, the online platform of the Business Day Newspaper reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria sometimes in 2018 revealed that MTN Nigeria illegally repatriated foreign exchange of about $8.13 billion with irregularly issued Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) by some commercial banks namely; Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, Diamond bank and Stanbic IBTC bank and also converted its shareholders’ loan to Preference shares without fulfilling the requisite conditions.

“It was reported by Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper on the 6th September, 2018 that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami gave a 14-day ultimatum to the affected banks and the telecommunication company to pay the fine awarded against them by the Central Bank of Nigeria vide a letter that originated from the Attorney General of Federation’s office dated the 3rd of September, 2018.

“Sequel to this, the affected banks were sanctioned by the Federal Government and appropriate fines were paid by the banks.

“In furtherance of the above paragraph, the Nigeria Lawyer Online legal newspaper reported on the 24th day of December, 2018 that the alleged charge of improper repatriation leveled against MTN Nigeria has been resolved to the tune of $52.6 million as against $8.13 Billion earlier reported as the fine to be paid by the telecommunication company.

“There seems to be a wide margin between the reported final payment and the alleged charged sum which has left the public puzzled as to the procedure and steps taken to arrive at the resolution.

“It is on the above basis that we are making this request, as we believe that the records and details of the said resolution made available will aid the investigations of our organisation, thus this application is brought pursuant to the provisions of Section 2, 3, and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

“We look forward to your utmost cooperation and the prompt response to this requested information and in any event, within seven (7) days of the receipt of this application as provided for under the Freedom of Information Act,” HEDA insisted.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Edgal exchanges duties with Egbetokun in Police redeployment - ITREALMS

The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Edgal Imohimi, has exchanged duties with Mr. Kayode Egbetokun who was the elsewhile Commissioner for Explosives and Ordinance unit at the Police headquarters, reports ITREALMS.

This followed the redeployment exercise approved by the outgoing Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim at the weekend, just as the opposition party may protest the redeployment as self-serving.

His redeployments filtered into ITREALMS newsroom on Sunday with Police sources confirming that Mr. Kayode Egbetokun has been appointed in acting capacity as the Commissioner of Police in Lagos.

Further, Police sources revealed that Imohimi who was redeployed to Abuja would now be the Commissioner of Police to oversee the Explosive Ordinance Unit, thereby taking over from Mr. Egbetokun.

ITREALMS recalls that Mr. Egbetokun was a Deputy Superintendent of Police in 1999 prior to his appointment as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Although it was not confirmed if Mr. Egbetokun, would emerge as the substantive Commissioner of Police in Lagos, sources close to opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are gearing to reject him, alleging he may have been redeployed to Lagos to serve his master with hope of delivering Lagos for Tinubu in the forthcoming elections.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Pix: Egbetokun and Edgal

Nigeria at risk of energy transition says IRENA - ITREALMS

Nigeria is at risk of impact of the energy transition expected to reduce the fossil fuel imports, reports ITREALMS.

This was contained in the latest study released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) via the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation and made available to 
ITREALMS.

According to the study entitled ‘A New World’ suggested that the geopolitical and socio-economic consequences of a new energy age may be as profound as those which accompanied the shift from biomass to fossil fuels two centuries ago.

Precisely on the regional impact of the energy transition, IRENA noted that the majority of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will benefit from reducing fossil fuel imports and generating renewable energy domestically, because this will boost job creation and economic growth.

However, they predicted exceptions to this are Nigeria and Angola, which are the two biggest oil producers in the region.

As said by the study endorsed by IRENA chair, and the former President of Iceland, Mr. Olafur Grimsson, Nigeria and Angola, are at risk because they depend heavily on fossil fuel rents.

“Because of their size and large fossil fuel exports, they skew the data for SSA as a region,” the study revealed.
ITREALMS gathered that in the long-term, however, African countries have a unique opportunity to leapfrog the fossil fuel-centred development model despite recent discoveries of oil and gas.

Conversely, the study pointed out that “Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will benefit most of all if they adopt renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels.”

Stressing that the import of fossil fuels now amounts to some 8 per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Many SIDS are also extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. SIDS possesses ample renewable energy sources and renewable technologies can meet most of their domestic energy needs.

“The shift would cut import bills, promote sustainable development, and increase their resilience.

“International cooperation to support SIDS’ renewable energy ambitions are growing substantially and 13 SIDS have established 60-100 per cent renewable electricity targets.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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ANA secures N3m grant for 2019 ANA/Yusuf Ali Nationwide Literary Awareness Campaign - ITREALMS

The Association of Nigerian Authors has secured funding for the 8th year towards the   ANA/Yusuf Ali nationwide literary awareness campaign, reports ITREALMS.
The Association received the sum of N3,000,000(Three Million Million Naira) on the 7th  of January,2019 for the 2019 project from the donor,  Yusuf Ali(SAN), an Ilorin-based renowned legal practitioner, author and dedicated  philanthropist, whose son Dr Yusuf Olanrewaju Ali recently  wedded Barrister Hasiya Altine Nagode in a well-attended Nikkah wedding ceremony in Ilorin on the 29th of December,2018.
The Grant was first secured by the National EXCO of ANA in 2012 and all state chapters of the Association  received sub-grants of N150,000 at various times between 2012-2014 for local literary awareness campaigns involving secondary schools across the country. In 2015, the grant was applied by the then National Executive Council of ANA to host a workshop on fiction writing in Abuja in which about 25 students, drawn from tertiary institutions across the country via a competitive process, participated.  

In 2016, the Denja Abdullahi-led National Executive Council of ANA took the literary awareness campaign a notch further by focusing on innovative literary awareness campaign among tertiary institutions across the country through the States’ chapters. Chapters submitted proposals on envisaged activities based on which they were assessed and sub-grants finally awarded to 16 Chapters that met the provisioned requirements.

The competitive process was introduced to ensure greater compliance to the overall project vision and to improve on the process of monitoring, evaluation and reportage of the implemented activities. The grant was used in 2017 to publish three (3) children’s literature titles under the Nigerian Writers Series(NWS) which have been distributed to chapters of ANA Nationwide to power  ANA ‘s A-Book-A-Child nationwide project that was flagged off at the ANA ‘s 36th International Convention which held in Makurdi, Benue State in October,2017 and the phase two of it launched by the wife of the Governor of Ekiti State,Erelu Bisi Fayemi, at the 37th International Convention of the Association held in Ikeja, Lagos in October,2018.

For the year 2018, the Yusuf Ali grant was deployed to facilitate a comprehensive media supplement on the projects executed with the yearly grants over the years since 2012 to date and an intensive workshop for 15 selected chairmen of ANA chapters focusing on ‘innovations in contemporary literary awareness campaigns’ to deepen the execution of the project in the coming years.

This year 2019 grant will be devolved to selected State Chapters of the Association to carry out innovative and cutting edge literary awareness campaigns in their domains as learnt in the capacity building workshop held in Ilorin in 2018  .

Yusuf Ali, who in 2015 promised to sustain the annual grant to ANA for life, is a Nigerian lawyer who received the highest honour available to practicing lawyers in 1997 when he was called to the inner bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He attended the University of Ife [now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife] and is the Principal Partner at the Law Firm of Yusuf O. Ali & Co in Ilorin. His reputation in the Bar has been balanced by a deep interest in literature which has seen him supporting the Kwara State Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors as well as serve as an Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Bar Journal. He is also an associate lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ilorin.

Yusuf Ali in 2017 presented a book “ Anatomy of Corruption in Nigeria” to the public in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja . He has also been consistently hosting the National Executive Council members of ANA and chairmen and secretaries of chapters in his office during their annual meeting in Ilorin since 2012.

We thank Yusuf Ali (SAN) for his consistent and yet-to-be matched generosity in supporting literary awareness in the country and we call on other well meaning Nigerians to emulate his gesture of support for the literary arts.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Okowa 2nd term support: AMP lauds Clark, Gbagi, Oritsejafor - ITREALMS

THE Anioma Media Professionals (AMP) has commended Ijaw, Urhobo and Itsekiri leaders for their public support for equity in Delta State through their endorsement of a second term for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in this year’s general elections, ITREALMS.

AMP believes such stance would engender peace, unity and development in the state and giver all ethnic nationalities and sections a sense of belonging.

Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark; prominent Urhobo politician and former Minister of State for Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi and Itsekiri leader, Chief Roland Oritsejafor, had, at different fora, expressed support for the governor’s second term bid.

In a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Ken Ugbechie, AMP, whose memberships cuts across the Delta North senatorial district, otherwise known as Anioma, said with such statements from prominent sons of the state from different ethnic group, it was obvious that Okowa, as a political bridge builder, has the support of all the ethnic nationalities in the state.

While Clark said: “Delta Central Senatorial District has had the governorship through Chief James Ibori, for eight years. Delta South had it for eight years through Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. It is the turn of Delta North to have it for eight years through Okowa," Gbagi noted that: “The greatest mistake APC made and to the advantage of Okowa is to have nominated a non - Anioma for 2019 governorship... what I am saying in effect is that we cannot alter the issue of Delta State, the state is bigger than anybody. Together we will stand up for the peace and success of the state as opposed to an individual."

Chief Oritsejafor, a respected Itsekiri leader added his voice: "Delta State can only move forward and maintain peaceful co- existence with the re-election of a governor of Anioma origin in 2019. Okowa fits the position as an illustrious governor with vision."

Ugbechie stated that the positions of the three eminent Deltans was consistent with the stance of AMP that what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander; hence the need to re-elect Okowa for a second time to complete the circle across the three senatorial districts of the state.

He urged well-meaning Deltans to be wary of those struggling to disorganise the tripodal arrangement of power rotation among the three senatorial districts of the state, saying sticking to the working formula would save the state from political tension and agitation of the past.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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1st year anniversary: Adams appeals to FG, multinationals to sponsor sports - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has urged the Federal Government and multinational companies operating in the country to recommit themselves to the development of sports in the country, reports ITREALMS.

The appeal came Thursday at the final of the Aare Gani Adams U13 football tourney at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, where Adams lamented that the National Stadium was in such a bad shape, recalling his growing up days when he used to visit the edifice to play football and watch the country’s national teams practice and play.

Adams said it was saddening that even football, in which the country once excelled at the club level, had nosedived in performance.

He recollected the days when the likes of Leventis United FC of Ibadan, Julius Berger FC of Lagos, Spartans FC of Owerri, IICC of Ibadan and Enugu Rangers of Enugu held their own on the continent and made Nigeria proud.

“I am calling on the Federal Government to put this edifice into full use once again. It is not befitting that all we do with our stadium now are social events and crusades. Whoever wants to do crusade and socials should use other facilities. We should use this place to breed future stars. Brazil has turned sports, especially football, into an economy on its own," he said.

Adams insisted that Nigeria has the potentials, stressing optimism that if the Federal Government makes a commitment and the multinational companies commit between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of their profit to sports development in the country, the economy will be the better for it.

ITREALMS reports that the tournament was won by Lagos Island-based Junior Arsenal by pipping their Ultimate FC counterparts by a lone goal in the final match of the competition to commemorate the one year installation of Adams as the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. 

Junior Arsenal's Folami Habeeb scored the lone goal in the entertaining final on Thursday at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. 

Earlier in the day, Rivers FC of Ebute Metta thrashed Anibaba FC by three goals to nil to win the consolatory bronze medal.

Adams said of the performance of the teams: “I am glad to witness a soccer tournament of this magnitude. 

“The kids have made me proud with their unlimited skills. I pray they will shine like the Messi, Ronaldo of this world. With what we have seen, I am sure next year event will be better than this. 

“We shall produce a more conducive environment for the kids to showcase their talents. I will try my best and make sure this tournament is sustained. The kids are the future if this country and I also urge other philanthropists to show interest in the game of sport,” he commended.

Bayo Banjo/Editor

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Pix: Gani Adams kicking off football for 1st year anniversary @ITREALMS

Friday, January 11, 2019

Sylva to suffer historical verdict prophesied Dickson - ITREALMS

The Governor òf Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, has prophesied that the verdict of history will be hard on former Governor, Timipre Sylva, due to some nefarious activities linked to him, reports ITREALMS.

Dickson said that politicians who desecrated the opportunities to serve, to abuse state resources to lure Bayelsa youths to violence would face condemnation in the courts of posterity.

The Governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, stressed that politicians buying guns for Bayelsa youths and fanning the embers òf violence would have their place of rejection on history’s pages of villainy.

Dickson was reacting to a publication in which Sylva alleged of media plot by the governor to pitch him against the Chief òf Staff to the President, ABBA Kyari.

The Governor said that it was rather unfortunate that Sylva had descended to level of scavenging for imagined information from the gutters.

He said that while genuine and responsible political leaders respond to real issues, Sylva had continually showed that he is yet to extricate himself from the agony of excruciating rejection by Bayelsa people at the polls.

Soriwei said that Governor Dickson is too occupied with the effective execution of his responsibilities as Governor òf Bayelsa State to devote attention to trivialities especially imagined media reports.

He said that it was the determination of Dickson to finish his administration well and strong insisting the Sylva was one distraction which serious leaders should avoid.

Soriwei said that Sylva’s statement was a product of blackmail inspired by the feared and anticipated consequences of hidden guilt.

He said it was rather sad that Sylva in his desperation to prove his political relevance to his political overlords saw casting aspersions on Dickson as the only route to political relevance.

He said, “Again, we are constrained to react to spurious claims and distractions from Sylva and his cohorts who are bent on misinforming the Nigerian public.

“It is indeed unfortunate that Sylva has descended to the level of scavenging for imagined information in the gutters for the purpose of attacking the Governor.

“While it is the standard for genuine leaders and serious members need politicians to respond to real issues, Sylva is yet to recover from bitterness occasion by his excruciating rejection by his own people.

“Now that Sylva knows that a leaked audio is not emanating from Bayelsa, he may try catch some sleep. Dickson has great plans for bayelsa and Sylva is a costly  distraction no leader would  would want to afford.

“The recent invectives from Sylva are a product of Blackmail inspired by consequences of some tormenting sense of guilt. When Sylva talks about conscience, Bayelsans shiver! There couldn’t have been better way to advertise hypocrisy.

“While Sylva is worrying over the imagined consequences of a badly buried corpse, we are mindful to remind him once again that the only thing in hot pursuit of him is his shadow. When he looks back, he shall find no Dickson. The Governor is miles ahead of him.”

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ETSI Summit on AI gates April date - ITREALMS

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has advanced plans to host its summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI) reports ITREALMS.

ETSI, ITREALMS recalls is an independent, not-for-profit, standardization organization in the telecommunications industry in Europe, headquartered in Sophia-Antipolis, France, with worldwide projection. 

ETSI Summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI) will take place on 4 April 2019 at the ETSI premises in Sophia Antipolis, France.

ITREALMS equally reports that the ETSI Summit on AI will seek to separate the hype from the science and provide better understanding of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, as well as describing where AI is currently deployed using practical examples.

ITREALMS also gathered that this event will focus on AI’s role in the telecommunication sector particularly in network and service management for virtualized networks, the use of AI in the manufacturing industry as well as examining the principle challenges and opportunities that AI applications bring.

Although the event is free of charge to participate, potential attendees are enjoined to reserve your place now as space is limited.


Nenye Dom/Editor

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