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ALTON denies face-off with NCAA, laments regulators turning revenue collectors - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has lamented that most regulatory agencies in Nigeria have t...


ICT4D Week 2018

Thursday, February 21, 2019

ALTON denies face-off with NCAA, laments regulators turning revenue collectors - ITREALMS

The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has lamented that most regulatory agencies in Nigeria have turned themselves into tax collectors, just as it denied any rancor with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), reports ITREALMS.

According to the Executive Secretary, ALTON, Mr. Gbolahan Awonuga, denied there is any face-off between ALTON and NCAA as reported in some sections of media.

"We have read with interest some reports in the media on ALTON meeting with NCAA and wish to state that there was no face-off between the two bodies," he said.

A press statement available to ITREALMS, Thursday afternoon in Lagos, ALTON decried that most regulatory bodies in the country have now turned into revenue generating bodies which gave rise to multiple taxation.

"We have witnessed in Nigeria today that most of the regulatory bodies have left the regulatory functions and now turn to revenue generating bodies and this brings about Multiple taxation and regulation," he said.

ALTON also disclosed that they merely held a meeting with NCAA to seek clearance on some statutory charges.

According to ALTON, "The issues of Aviation mast height clearance was discussed at the meeting because our members are being charged across the nation being it close to the airports or not and the agency tried to increase some of the charges as reported to us by our members and we took it up with NCAA. ALTON and its members were informed that the essence of the Aviation Height clearance is purely for safety, because they have to identify the routes to guide the Pilots in navigation. We were informed that there are categories of aircraft, big, medium and small, also the choppers and the drones are part of their responsibilities and these are not limited to telecoms infrastructure but to banks, radio stations and high rise building. The Director General said there are lots of Airstrips and helipads the reason for charging across board.

"On the annual renewal, the D.G. informed ALTON that the reason for the renewal is because the earth shift base occasionally and the co-ordinates also changes, as the one taken a year ago may be different from the one taking this year. The earth moves.

"There was no face-off between NCAA and ALTON and its members, though we need clarification on the charges and this led to the agreement at the meeting to form an Advisory Committee which comprises of NCAA and ALTON representatives. Our members are responsible corporate citizens of the country and natural partners in progress that follows due processes.

"We have witnessed in Nigeria today that most of the regulatory bodies have left the regulatory functions and now turn to revenue generating bodies and this brings about Multiple taxation and regulation. Please don't forget that telecommunication operations is not isolated to the ecosystem, the cost of running business in Nigeria, especially telecoms is triple the cost of running same in Ghana and neighboring countries. Almost all agencies of government are after telecommunications, why? We cannot afford to have crisis in the industry because we operate one network in all networks.

"We call on the Federal Government to look into the issue of Tax and Levy Amended Order 2015 signed by the former Minister of Finance in the last administration, Mrs. Ngozi Okonji-Iwaela. This order has created lot of confusion in the taxes and levies regime and making the environment hash for business, not minding the Government Ease of Doing Business programme.

"The telecommunication industry has been the best customer centric sector, where issue pertaining to subscribers are taking very seriously by both the operators and the regulator and despite all challenges there has not for once be an outage compare to other sectors, where you are put on estimated bills and inconsistence in flight schedules that has made several people missed appointments and valued meetings just to mention few.

"We are talking about Smart State initiatives and last mile penetration but some States demands on Right of Way (RoW) are outrageous. The States supposed to provide infrastructure for operators to lease but telecoms spent about 70% of their Capex on Right of Way leaving the remaining 30% to build, this is not fair.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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FG declares Friday, February 22 public holiday excluding banks - ITREALMS

The Federal Government has declared Friday, February 22nd as public holiday, reports ITREALMS.

Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, ITREALMS gathered had on Wednesday, it is a form of encouragement to electorates who will be travelling from one part of the country to another to exercise their franchise, just as the holiday however excludes bank officials.

”Federal Government declares Friday 22, February 2019 as work-free day. Those providing essential duties and bankers are excluded,” part of the a statement read.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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WANEP urges politicians to promote agriculture - ITREALMS

Ahead of the 2019 General elections in Nigeria, the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP) has urged relevant stakeholders in the  socio-economic and political sphere of the country to mainstream agricultural sector as a means of addressing the emerging security challenges and agitations for sustainable development.

This was contained in a report made available on Wednesday by the Programme Manager, Conflict Prevention/Early Warning, WANEP, Ms. Osariemen Amas-Edobor, as the outcome of the sensitisation workshop on Farmers Manifesto conducted between 29-31, January 2019, in Bauchi State with the support of OXFAM.

A total of 312 participants: 117 female and 173 male (including 17 Political Party Aspirants) were represented at both the sensitization workshop on the Farmers Manifesto to Small Scale Farmers (SSFs) and Engagement with Political Parties in Bauchi State.

Edobor noted that it has been recognized that enhanced agricultural performance in the country is key to growth and poverty reduction through its direct impact on increasing job opportunities, especially for women and youth; food security and improved nutrition.

According to her, SSFs in Nigeria make up the greater number of the country’s workforce population and produce over 80 percent of the food consumed in the country. 

She stated: "The Nigerian agricultural sector is second largest contributor (about 24%) to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Nonetheless, these farmers appear to be the poorest constituency in Nigeria. As shown by statistics, smallholder farmers constitute over 75% of the electorates, thus making the constituency the largest voting population in Nigeria, so therefore it becomes imperative for the specific needs of smallholder farmers to be of priority to Policy makers. 

"It is in recognition of the challenges faced by SSFs in Nigeria that Small Holder Farmers Groups (SHFGs) now rises to organize and link up with relevant national platforms with a view to enhancing their voice and increasing their capacity to influence policies in and out of the agricultural sector resulting to the development of a MANIFESTO."

Edobor explained that Farmers’ MANIFESTO is a documentation of the specific needs of Nigerian farmers as a basis for a bargain between farmers and political office seekers, prior and after elections.

 In view of this, she said, WANEP-Nigeria with support from OXFAM conducted several activities in Bauchi State including; Advocacy/Courtesy visits to Traditional Rulers, Federal/State Ministry of Agriculture and the Private Sector; Sensitization workshop with SSF and Political Party aspirants in the State. 

With the aim to finding lasting solution to the challenges affecting the smooth operation of the local farmers, she said the Non-Governmental Organisation has expressed its readiness to boost production capacity of Small Scale Farmers in Bauchi State for food security in the country.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

NUJ/NAWOJ Housing Fraud: Court summons Tunji Ogunwusi, Ifeyinwa, Deji, Tosin Odusola - ITREALMS

... Adjourns to March 13th, 2019
The case between some Lagos journalists and other claimants versus NAWOJ's National President, Ifeyinwa Omowole, Deji Elumoye, Tosin Odusola, Primewaterview Holdings and NUJ came up for hearing today at the Lagos Multidoor ADR, Igbosere-Lagos with the mediator, Mrs. Dupe Ogunsanwo urging all interested parties to appear at next sitting in their own interest in order to find amicable resolution to the case, reports ITREALMS.

Out of the six defendants, only NUJ was present while the duo of Omowole and Elumoye were represented by Barrister Yinka Kalejaye with no one from Primewaterviews Holdings of Tunji Ogunwusi an elder brother to Ooni of Ife, under whose chairmanship, the project began.

When 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, on 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.

Just as he maintained that since the transactions were done in Lagos, victims reside in Lagos, the issue of jurisdiction has no value aside that the case can be file anywhere most convenient for the applicant.

Meanwhile, at the last sitting in January, Deji, speaking to the case manager on phone, promised to make himself available at today's hearing while Ifeyinwa's phone went dead immediately the caller introduced herself.

Also, the lawyer to Primewaters Holdings who chose the date for today's hearing did not show up again.

Parties present at today's hearing agreed on March 13th, 2019 at noon for the next hearing.

Following the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ's directive at its inaugural meeting held in Abuja recently, the Lagos State Council of NUJ today started the reallocation of plots of land to its members.

Speaking on behalf of other allottees, Alhaji Sulaiman Ajayi of Lagos Ministry of Information commended the Akinreti-led executive for taking the giant stride of letting people have access to their lands. "It is a big relief and a major step forward."

The NEC also directed that every legal step 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. The money should be returned to Subscribers.

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.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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TenticP Communications unveils Nigeria Corporate Services Conference 2019 - ITREALMS

The TenticP Communications, a 21st-century innovative and multi-sectoral media company, has unveiled plans to hold the maiden edition of the Nigeria Corporate Services Conference (NCSC) on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

The event with the theme: “Building a Sustainable Economic Growth through Quality Corporate Services Delivery” is designed to be an annual event targeted at driving best practices and innovations in the delivery of quality corporate services by businesses, organisations, entrepreneurs and government agencies in Nigeria for economic growth.

The highpoint of the Conference will be the Nigeria Corporate Services Awards (NCSA), where notable Nigeria achievers in the corporate services world such as Mr. Akintola Williams, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who is chairing the conference, would be honoured with distinguished recognition awards for their positive contributions to the corporate service ecosystem.

Other organisations that would be honoured with different Corporate Services award categories at the NCSA include MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Main One, Red Star Plc., Royal Exchange Assurance Plc., Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), among others will be honoured with different categories of Corporate Services Awards.

“There is need to create platforms aimed at reinforcing due diligence and injection of best practices in corporate services delivery,” said Mrs. Nahimah Ajikanle-Nurudeen, who is the Lead Strategist of TenticP Communications and Convener of the NCSC. 

“In this direction, Nigeria Corporate Services Conference, complemented by Nigeria Corporate Services Awards, will set new tone for application of due diligence at workplaces and best practices in our business environments in Nigeria."

She said, “TentiP Communications hopes to use the unique platform to raise and highlight imperatives of quality public conversation on standard business practices, global best practices and doing things right within our corporate and public-service space. This, no doubt, will go a long way in building enduring openness, profitability and big-time trust around our business space.”
According to her, key stakeholders in the business ecosystem made up of the government/public, businesses, research and development institutions, among others would be brought together under the same roof to dissect the theme of the conference.

National Project Coordinator, NCSC 2019, Adeyinka Adewusi, listed key features of the conference to include: keynote presentations and panel discussions from industry/business thought leaders, government, investors, international organisations, entrepreneurs, CEOs across different sectors of the economy.

"Our goal is that we come together across industries and sectors, learn from outside perspectives and engage, connect to develop strategies that work for our country through building a culture of quality corporate services driven by technology, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Adewusi said, stressing that “with over 1,000 targeted delegates, the NCSC 2019 offers great opportunity through sponsorship, partnership, products and services showcase as well as discuss ideas."

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Centenary Celebration: Lagos Anglican Diocese alters programme for 2019 election - ITREALMS

The Diocese (Anglican Communion), has announced a slight alteration in its year-round centenary celebration, to accommodate the schedule as announced by the the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 general elections, reports ITREALMS.

This development, according to a press release by the public relations unit of the Church, was occasioned by the sudden default in the earlier schedule of national elections.

As part of the Centenary celebrations of the Diocese, a long list of events has been planned to last through the year, 2019.

It started with a 14-day fasting and prayer programme from 2nd - 15th of January, which was held daily at the parishes; culminating into a Mega Prayer convocation at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina Lagos on the 15th, with the Church filled to overflowing.

Following that was the unveiling of the Centenary Logo at a memorable dinner held at the City Hall, Catholic Mission street Lagos on the 26th of January, 2019.

According by the release, the next event on the schedule, is the Mega Rally meant to bring together all members of the Church, both young and old from the length and breadth of the Diocese of Lagos.

The Rally was earlier slatted for February 23, 2019.

However, the shift in the election dates has necessitated a reschedule of the rally to the 2nd of March, 2019 even as the venue remains the Main Bowl of Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Every archdeaconry within the diocese is expected to come in various floats, radiant dresses and decorations to make the event quite colorful. 

"It is our prayer that the programme will go hitch-free as we also remember our nation in prayer, especially this election season."; the release enthused.
Banji Boye

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Increased complexity to push IT security spending in Africa - ITREALMS

The latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC), spending on IT security in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) is set to cross the $2.7 billion mark this year, up 10.2% on 2018, reports ITREALMS.

The global technology research and consulting firm attributes this growth to the fact that security incidents are becoming far more complex and persistent, with a new breed of stealthy attackers using vulnerabilities in systems and even the Internet of Things (IoT) to bring down services.

"Digital transformation is becoming increasingly mainstream across the region, with emerging technologies such as cognitive systems, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and IoT gaining traction," says Megha Kumar, IDC's research director for software in the META region. "Running alongside 3rd Platform solutions like cloud, mobile, social, and big data analytics, these innovation-accelerating technologies are creating a complex ecosystem that is beset by new IT security challenges. In this new era, security must become more pervasive. Organizations can no longer settle for standard solutions; they must move forward by embracing a proactive approach to the issues of defense, protection, mitigation, compliance, trust, and risk."

The region-wide IDC Security Roadshow 2019 will address these issues and more when it gets underway in Istanbul on February 28. Spanning nine countries across the META region, the roadshow will present expert insights into the security metrics, threat vectors, and solutions that organizations should be scoping as they look to develop a sustainable security. Running under the theme of 'Business Security: Risk & Resilience', the IDC Security Roadshow 2019 has been designed as an information-sharing forum and networking platform for select groups of 80–100 senior security decision makers from the most prominent enterprises in each country.

Combining informative keynote speeches, interactive panel debates, and extensive peer-to-peer networking opportunities, the events will explore the latest security threats and challenges, with a host of respected industry analysts and thought leaders on hand to provide answers to the following questions:

Nenye Dom/Editor

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INEC achieves 98% card reader reconfigurations - ITREALMS

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared its readiness to hold the rescheduled presidential election among the general elections with a recorded 98 per cent reconfiguration of card readers, reports ITREALMS.

Revealing this, the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission has attained some 98 per cent reconfiguration of its smart card readers nationwide, stressing that INEC is ready to conduct the rescheduled general elections in the country.

According to him, “Last Saturday, the Commission, after extensive review of our preparedness for the 2019 general elections, decided that it was necessary to reschedule the elections by one week.

“As I explained to stakeholders, we were constrained to shift the polls due to severe challenges and lapses we experienced with arrival and distribution of sensitive materials, as well as the fires that gutted some of our offices in quick succession, destroying several election materials.

“In order to achieve its set objectives, INEC had identified six areas covering three broad areas like deployment of materials, movement of personnel and reconfiguration of Smart Card Readers. Let me therefore present to you the level of implementation so far achieved as follows:

“By 4pm yesterday, all issues relating to the delivery of the materials were identified and virtually addressed. Ballot papers, result sheets and a host of non-sensitive materials are now in location across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory FCT.

“Our State offices commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and to witness the batching of materials according to Local Government Areas LGAs. This is ongoing at the moment and is expected to be completed today Tuesday 19, February 2019.

“The movement of materials to LGAs for batching according to Wards and Polling Units shall take place on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st February, 2019. All Registration Area Centres RACs are to be activated by 9.00m on Friday 22nd February 2019.

“Personnel and materials should be at the RACs by mid-day on Friday 22nd February 2019. “Refresher training for ad hoc personnel should take place at the RACs on Friday 22nd February 2019. Personnel and materials must arrive at the Polling Units latest 7am on Saturday 23″ February 2019. Opening of polls nationwide will take place at 8am on Saturday 23rd February 2019.”

According to him, “You would recall that in my address to stakeholders, I mentioned that we intended to reschedule the elections for just 24 hours to enable us to deliver the final batch of sensitive materials for the elections.

“However, our ICT team notified us that it would require more time to reconfigure the Smart Card Readers in time for the elections. Let me explain why. The Smart Card Readers (SCRs) are configured to only open for use at 8am on election day, and to automatically shut down by 10 pm. This is designed to forestall any illegal use of the SCRs before the appointed time of elections. There are roughly 180,000 SCRs to be deployed for the elections and the ICT team said that they would require 5-6 days to complete the configuration.

“I am glad to say that as at today, about 98% of the SCRs have been reconfigured and we are confident that by tomorrow all would be ready, which is a day earlier than scheduled. ”

He said that following requests by some stakeholders last Saturday and further consultation with political party leaders, the commission has approved that campaigns by political parties and candidates can resume immediately for the first set of elections. Consequently, campaigns for the Presidential and National Assembly elections shall now end at midnight on Thursday 21st February 2019 while campaigns for the Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections shall end at midnight Thursday 7th March 2019. Accordingly, media organizations are at liberty to accept, publish, broadcast and circulate campaign materials until the specified end of campaigns.

“Preparations for Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections are well underway. Already, the sensitive materials for the elections have started arriving at various locations for onward movement to various Central Bank branches across the country. Indeed, some of these materials arriving through our airports have been erroneously construed by some people as materials for the elections holding this weekend. I want to reassure you all that all materials for the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections next Saturday are already in the States ready for deployment to LGAs, Ward and Polling Units.

“We have learnt a lesson from the preparations for the elections holding this weekend. For this reason, we shall start the movement of materials for the next elections early to ensure that nothing disrupts our process. “While we fully understand the disappointment and even anger that followed that rescheduling of the elections on 16th February, I wish to appeal to stakeholders to be more dispassionate and circumspect in their comments in order not to overheat the polity.

“The commission is focusing on the elections to be held on 23rd February and 9th March 2019 to ensure that they are free, fair and credible. We urge all Nigerians to participate fully in the elections, notwithstanding the disappointment caused by the rescheduling of dates.”

The commission will continue to speak to Nigerians daily to let them know the extent of readiness of the commission, he said.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

NUJ Housing fraud: Action Subscribers vs Deji Elumoye, Ifeyinwa Omowole case for hearing @Igbosere

The Concerned ACTION Subscribers of Abaren Land-PenJewel case against the former chairman of Lagos Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and incumbent President, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs. Ifenyinwa Omowole & Co will come up for hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at the Igbosere High Court, Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

Mr. Elumoye, Mrs Omowole and gang were dragged before the court over a multi-million Naira fraud orchestrated by them on members in the name of housing estate alongside Primewaters, even as Wednesday session will be the second hearing on the case.
ITREALMS recalls that the duo and their partners defrauded members of the Lagos NUJ council several millions of Naira and dollars in the name of providing housing scheme for them and relatives who subscribed in the project.

The counsel handling the case, Barr. Olayinka Olujimi confirmed this, assuring his team is prepared for Wednesday court session.

He charged all members of ‘Action Subscribers’ and entire affected members of NUJ to turn up enmass for the hearing.

Meanwhile, the aggrieved stakeholders of the Mowe-Abaren Land at the weekend in Alausa-Ikeja, urged members whose money were misappropriated by Mr. Elumoye and Mrs. Omowole under the guise of housing scheme to mobilise and attend the Alternative Dispute Resolutions at the Lagos High Court, Igbosere-Obalende with placards and later visit the ThisDay Newspapers and News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) managements where the two lead fraudsters currently work.

In addition, the ‘Hall of shame’ issue to be revisited on those responsible for the mismanagement of the funds at the February Congress.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Pix: Ifeyinwa Omowole+Deji Elumoye, accused of defraud Lagos Journalists with fake housing scheme

PDP now self-appointed protector of ballot box snatchers - ITREALMS

The Presidency has reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari's comment that anyone who dares to snatch ballot boxes during next weekend's elections will be doing this for the last time, saying it should be seen as a strong message against the long history of savagery associated with elections in the country, reports ITREALMS.

Speaking to State House Correspondents, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, recalled some past elections in parts of Nigeria, during which innocent voters lost their lives while ballot boxes were being snatched by armed thugs. 

"Snatching ballot boxes often entails putting the lives of innocent Nigerians at risk. About 10 years ago, evidence was brought before an election tribunal from one of the states in North Central of the gruesome killing of 26 prospective voters by ballot box snatchers. Their modus operandi is well known. They storm election venues in commando style, overwhelm the law-enforcement agents and seize ballot boxes leaving a trail of death and injury,” Shehu said. 

According to him, "Anyone who dares to put the lives of innocent citizens at risk in their desperation to rig elections, must be prepared for the possibility of losing their own lives because our security agents will certainly not stand by, clap for them and watch them kill and maim."

He added that President Buhari had the safety and security of Nigerians uppermost in mind when he made the comment, and should be praised rather than criticised for issuing this stern warning to potential ballot box snatchers. 

Shehu further expressed concern about those attacking the president's comment, and their worry over the fate of anyone caught snatching ballot boxes. 

"This sounds like members of the opposition, specifically the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who have perfected plans to rig the elections and to snatch ballot boxes. They can tell that President Buhari is not prepared to tolerate their antics this time around, and they are afraid. They have shown their intent,” he said.

The presidential spokesperson noted that no one had anything to fear from the President's comments if their conscience and intentions are clear. 

"Let's just have free and fair elections and no one need worry about anything," he said. 

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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AFRINIC has launches survey Internet measurement in Africa - ITREALMS

The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) has launched a survey with the aim of assessing the current status of Internet measurement in Africa, reports ITREALMS.

The Centre is the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for the African region and responsible for the allocation and management of Internet numbers (IPv4, IPv6 & ASNs)  to name a few.

 AFRINIC, ITREALMS reports, said that the available measurement infrastructure on the continent as well as the gap in the infrastructure and the relevant skills needed to be filled. 

Also AFRINIC revealed it would use the responses as guide in building Internet measurement programmes to train network operators, regulators, end users, and other stakeholders in the forthcoming summits, conferences, and *nog meetings across the continent.

The survey, ITREALMS gathered is  available in both English and French, even as the deadline for filling the survey is 28 February 2018.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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7 UN entities partner WEF, WBC to address e-waste challenges - ITREALMS

Seven UN entities have come together, supported by the World Economic Forum, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to call for an overhaul of the current electronics system, with the aim of supporting international efforts to address e-waste challenges, reports ITREALMS.

The report calls for a systematic collaboration with major brands, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), academia, trade unions, civil society and associations in a deliberative process to reorient the system and reduce the waste of resources each year with a value greater than the GDP of most countries.

Each year, approximately 50 million tonnes of electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) are discarded -- the weight of more than all commercial airliners ever made. In terms of material value, this is worth 62.5 billion dollars-- more than the GDP of most countries.

Less than 20% of this is recycled formally. Informally, millions of people worldwide (over 600,000 in China alone) work to dispose of e-waste, much of it done in working conditions harmful to both health and the environment.

The report, “A New Circular Vision for Electronics – Time for a Global Reboot,” launched in Davos 24 January, says technologies such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), support gradual “dematerialization” of the electronics industry.

Meanwhile, to capture the global value of materials in the e-waste and create global circular value chains, the report also points to the use of new technology to create service business models, better product tracking and manufacturer or retailer take-back programs.

The report notes that material efficiency, recycling infrastructure and scaling up the volume and quality of recycled materials to meet the needs of electronics supply chains will all be essential for future production.

And if the electronics sector is supported with the right policy mix and managed in the right way, it could lead to the creation of millions of decent jobs worldwide.

The joint report calls for collaboration with multinationals, SMEs, entrepreneurs, academia, trade unions, civil society and associations to create a circular economy for electronics where waste is designed out, the environmental impact is reduced and decent work is created for millions.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Lagos Fintech Week gets 7-man awards jury - ITREALMS

The organisers of the Lagos Fintech Week has announced names of the award jury who will oversee the screening and nomination of Nigerian Fintech Awards entry in sixteen categories, even as the awards will celebrate the achievements of dynamic people and businesses in the fintech sector, reports ITREALMS.

A statement signed by Dr. Yele Okeremi, chairman of the Lagos Fintech Week organizing committee, explained that the Nigerian Fintech Awards will recognise success in the Fintech sector in many forms.

While the Nigerian Fintech Awards will celebrate the best innovation, “it will also celebrate the best innovators and entrepreneurs that live and work in Nigeria”, he said.

According to him, Damilola Salawu, a fintech lawyer and managing associate with the oil and gas practice group of Olaniwun Ajayi is the chairman of the seven-man jury.

Other members of the jury include Sunday Folayan, Chidinma Lawanson, Shina Badaru, Adewale Yusuf, and Bayo Adewolu and Rarzack Olaegbe.

Salawu is the head of law firm that focuses on technology, innovation and fintech. He won the Managing Partner’s prize for the Best Performing Counsel in the firm for consecutive years.

He advises on a wide range of debt and project finance transactions across sectors such as the financing and development of oil and gas projects including pipelines, refineries, processing plants, petroleum assets and jetties.

As head of the technology, innovation and fintech group, he advises Nigerian based fintech companies and tech-enabled businesses on all aspects of their operations.

He is familiar with assisting these businesses to procure regulatory approvals and permits in a challenging regulatory landscape. In this role, he also advises incubators and accelerators on varying matters related to their business.

Okeremi said entry for the Nigerian Fintech Award is “free,” adding that participants can enter as many award categories as possible.

“Participants can enter multiple times in the same category. For instance a firm may enter two or three people for the Fintech Leader of the Year. However, you have note that for every category the jury will select three finalists. The finalists will then be invited to the Fintech Awards night where the ultimate winner will be announced. Finalists will not need to purchase tickets to attend the award ceremony”.

The statement further explained that the project, product research paper campaign or activity that intends to contest for the Nigerian Fintech Awards must have been “created, developed or released in the past 18 months” to be a valid entry.

“Anything relating to the period before January 2017 is not deemed relevant for the Nigerian Fintech Awards and the jury’s decision will be final”, he said.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Facebook Highlights Efforts to Protect Election Integrity in Nigeria, Africa - ITREALMS

With a number of upcoming elections across Africa, Facebook has restated its commitment to reduce the spread of misinformation, protect election integrity and support civic engagement across the continent, including Nigeria.

The social media giant has in recent times dedicated unprecedented resources to these efforts globally, especially in Africa where its efforts have been focused in eight key areas, namely fighting false news, boosting digital literacy to help people spot false news, promoting civic engagement, making political ads more transparent, proactive removal of impersonation accounts, and connecting with political parties about security. It has also undertaking the training of journalists on practices for sharing content on its platforms, while partnerships with NGOs and civil society groups on the continent.

Akua Gyekye, Facebook’s Public Policy Manager, Africa Elections said: “We want to stop the spread of false news on our platforms. That’s why we’ve teamed up with local third-party fact-checkers across South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Senegal — including Africa Check, AFP (Agence France-Presse), Pesa Check (a local Kenyan fact-checking organization) and Dubawa (a local Nigerian fact-checking organization). These independent groups help us assess the accuracy of news shared on Facebook, and when they determine content is false, we reduce its distribution in News Feed so fewer people see it. We also show related articles from fact-checkers for more context and notify users if a story they have shared is rated as false.”

Additionally, in Nigeria, WhatsApp has worked with Africa Check and CrossCheck Nigeria to let users send questions about potential rumours they have received through the platform. These fact-checking expansions are part of a broader strategy to fight fake news that includes extensive work to remove fake accounts, cut off incentives to the financially-motivated actors that spread misinformation, promote news literacy, and give more context so people can decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.

Facebook has also intensified efforts help people spot false news on their own and to flag it, rolling out educational tips on national and regional radio and in print media across Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. In Nigeria, WhatsApp has launched its “Share Facts, Not Rumours” campaign to help increase awareness about hoaxes. Additionally, at the end of last year Facebook began a new Online Safety Programme for students in Nigerian secondary schools. The 12-week workshop is designed to help teenagers understand the fundamentals of online safety and digital literacy, covering topics such as managing an online presence; social media and sharing; public Wi-Fi safety; building healthy relationships online; understanding password security and privacy settings; and identifying misinformation online.

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Nokia's 5G-ready AirScale Cloud solution - ITREALMS

The Nokia's fifth-generation (5G)-ready AirScale Cloud RAN solution and controllers have been successfully deployed by Telenor Pakistan, reports ITREALMS.

This, ITREALMS gathered is in further advancing its goal of digital transformation to optimize the end customer experience, improve total cost of ownership and quickly respond to emerging opportunities.
This marks the first deployment of the AirScale Base Station Controller (BSC) and AirScale Radio Network Controller (RNC) on AirFrame cloud infrastructure in Pakistan, and the first cloud-based BSC deployment in the Middle East and Africa region.

The Nokia solution reduces network complexity and operational cost, allowing service providers to provide innovative services more cost effectively. The added agility that this software delivers will enhance efficiency, and prepare them for 5G.

The Chief Technology Officer, Telenor Pakistan, Khurrum Ashfaque, said the company has always been a frontrunner in the growth of technology and innovation. With a global purpose of connecting people to what matters most, we continue to empower the Pakistani society with our innovative digital initiatives.

"Together with Nokia's cloud solutions, we are well on our way to accelerating digital transformation. We will have added flexibility to scale the radio network resources based on demand as well as greater agility, which is critical as a significant percentage of our subscribers continue to use 2G and 3G services. With this deployment, we will be able to introduce new services and solutions faster, and quickly take advantage of emerging business opportunities," CTO said.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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INEC lifts ban on electoral campaigns till Thursday - ITREALMS

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has changed its mind by lifting the ban on electoral campaigns for the 2019 general elections, reports ITREALMS.

INEC on Monday after a prolonged meeting, said it reviewed earlier position and lifted the ban, following the postponement of the presidential elections last Saturday morning.

A press statement endorsed by National Commissioner Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, and made available to ITREALMS, INEC said campaigns should resume immediately and end by midnight on Thursday.

The statement read in part:

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met on Monday 18th February 2019 and reviewed its preparations for the 2019 General Elections rc-scheduled for Saturday. 23rd February 2019 for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and Saturday. 9th March 2019 for Governorship, State Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections.

“It would be recalled that at the briefing held on Saturday. 16th February 2019 at the Abuja International Conference Centre (AICC). the Commission gave reasons for re-scheduling the polls and released a new Schedule of Activities leading up to the elections.

“The Commission has also worked out in detail. concrete steps to be taken to ensure that election materials arrive at the polling units in good time for prompt commencement of the polls on Saturday. 23rd February 2019. An update will be provided by the Commission at a press conference on Tuesday. 19th February at the Abuja International Conference Centre by 3pm.

“1n the meantime. after consultations with political parties. the Commission has approved that campaigns by parties and candidates can resume forthwith to end by midnight of Thursday, 21st February 2019.

“Media organisations are at liberty to accept, publish. broadcast and circulate campaign materials up till midnight of Thursday. 21st February 2019. Political Parties and their candidates are enjoined to abide by the extant laws governing campaigns.

“The Commission wishes to thank all Nigerians for their understanding regarding the rescheduling of the elections. We appeal to stakeholders to be dispassionate and circumspect in their comments. The Commission is focusing on the elections to be held on 23rd February and 9th March to ensure that they are free. fair and credible. We urge all Nigerians to participate fully in the elections. notwithstanding the disappointment." 

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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TRACE live resumes 2019 with 2Baba - The Reign - ITREALMS

TRACE Live resumes 2019 in style with a living legend and arguably the pioneer of modern day Nigerian music, 2baba. Come Thursday 21st February at the Terra Kulture Arena, 2baba will take a select audience through his musical journey themed: “2BABA - THE REIGN”.

2baba The Reign, is the fifth instalment in the TRACE LIVE series and promises to be a spectacle. Beyond the awesome sounds, thrilling lights, and enthusiastic fans the Reign will be a standout occasion as it presents a hit catalogue that spans two decades and has seen the artiste evolve from “Plantashun boiz” to 2baba.

Innocent Ujah Idibia, known by his stage name 2Baba, is one of the most decorated afro pop artists in Africa. 2Baba is a singer/songwriter, producer and entrepreneur. He is also credited as one of the key figures in the rise to global prominence of what has been described as the sound of 21st century Africa.

2baba, who is also the founder of Hypertek Entertainment has been able to sway us with dynamic sounds across the spectrums of R&B, HIP HOP, REGGAE, GOSPEL AND AFRO POP. He is arguably one of Nigeria’s most sensational artiste and without a doubt the king of the last 2 decades.

TRACE LIVE, is a new landmark in live music that highlights only the best blend of vocals and musical instruments. The show which spotlights one artist and a band is the biggest live performance show from TRACE, Bolanle Austin Peters and Cabal Entertainment.

TRACE Live with 2baba is a celebration of 2baba’s passion, tenacity and consistency, join us at Terra Kulture on Thursday 21st February as we stand up for King 2baba!

Members of the public can purchase tickets here or attempt to win on our social media page here at or attempt to win on our social media here

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Monday, February 18, 2019

JYEI urges Nigerians to vote responsibly - ITREALMS

A Lagos-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Jeunesse Youth Empowerment Initiative (JYEI), has called on Nigerians, especially the youth, to “vote responsibly and bear in mind that the individual Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) is a Trust vested in its holder by fellow citizens” reports ITREALMS.

In a statement released in Lagos by its Communications Lead, Ms Victorine Nyamsi, JYEI said: “The PVC remains a trust that should be used responsibly by every voting adult as the consequences of its use affect all Nigerians, not just the individual voter alone. Therefore, every holder is an important stakeholder whose conduct should not be underestimated.”

According to the statement, it is surprising that despite an overwhelming number of people, especially young people who actively engage political issues on social media, the level of voter-apathy and low voter-turnout remained a worrisome trend since the previous elections.

“It is even more worrisome that despite the increasing level of awareness especially on social media, rather than reduce, vote-buying has taken new forms, thus becoming a parasite that has continuously threatened the credibility of elections in Nigeria,” the Organisation added.

JYEI therefore called on the youth not to restrict their political participation to social media rhetoric alone but to also engage in and involve themselves in the actual voting processes and do so in a responsible and rational manner, saying: “If you refuse to participate, then you have left your fate for the next four years to be decided by others however they wish and you therefore lose the moral right to challenge the outcome.”

“Many young people regard the Election Day as yet another holiday, and this is wrong. Rather, the Day should be seen as an opportunity to directly contribute one’s quota in deciding the fate of the Country and the citizens for the next four years,” JYEI added.

JYEI also urged all Nigerians to focus on the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly just as they focus on the Executive arms. It said that the members of the legislative houses wield so much power, authority and influence on governments, yet, in terms of scrutiny, they receive less than deserved attention from the voters.

Finally, JYEI called on every Nigeria to remain tolerant and peaceful in their conducts and relations during this period, cautioning that every citizen should be mindful of their words irrespective of their political leanings.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Financial industry: Can your infrastructure support your innovation journey? - ITREALMS

Branch networks in premier business districts, traditionally believed to measure the stature of financial providers are being replaced with internet banking, payment apps and short-code banking. Technology has enabled non-traditional financial players upend branch networks typically dominated by large financial providers; with newer, nimbler entrants such as Interswitch and Paystack processing more online transactions than Nigeria’s biggest banks. A report by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBBS) indicates that Nigeria’s ePayment services recorded N38.5 trillion transactions in the first half of 2018, a 38.4 percent increase from N27.8 trillion in the corresponding period of 2017. NIBSS Instant Pay, PoS and Mobile transactions led the pack with the highest growth in value and transaction volume.

With the banking regulator now giving mobile network operators a leg up by granting them payment banking licenses, this will enable them to gain unprecedented advantages with the promise of branchless banking, delivered on smartphones and feature phones. Financial institutions, especially Nigerian banks will then have no choice but to respond better to disruption by reassessing strategies, operating models and risk frameworks.

Non-traditional banking operators enter the industry by leveraging technology to innovate in the banking services sector. Disruptive start-ups are taking a slice from the financial services action and mopping up unbanked, low income earners by providing them financial services. With their lean structures, low cost of operations and lack of branch overhead, fintech players are trumping the traditional operators. In an era of fast online and mobile payments, traditional banks still adopt a three-day wait policy for third-party cheques. eCommerce sites now have wallets for customer’s, which further whittles the hold of banks of customer pockets as technology companies and retailers look to build a presence in the banking sector by tapping into a prodigious appetite for new and innovative banking services.

The industry dynamic has changed with banking now depending more on good infrastructure than how many branches you have. As such, banking operators must stay competitive by re-inventing processes on a lean, asset-light business model. To emerge leaner and more agile, outsourcing specific technology or business process functions has proven effective in reducing both capital and operating costs. This enables banks to transfer significant capital expenditure in technology infrastructure, to lower cost services so they can adapt quickly to fast-paced changes in the marketplace while increasing profits, adding scale, flexibility, and advanced technology capabilities to their businesses.

For too long, financial providers have been held back on their digital transformation journey by legacy technology and processes. In the bid for direct management of their mission-critical IT assets, banks have continued to invest and own data centres to host critical applications. But running a data centre adds minimal value to today’s core banking activities where customers would rather do business online rather than go into bank branches. So, when banking institutions experience failures or system outages that result in downtime, the impact is truly widespread with heavy financial loss and sometimes reputational damage with customers in far flung locations.

How can Nigerian banks improve IT performance and reliability while balancing risk management and cost considerations?

They need to focus on providing robust customer experiences by removing the distractions of physical infrastructure operations. This will enable a refocusing of their technology efforts on optimizing software and applications to deliver better customer experiences, rather than worrying over diesel generators and cooling in server rooms. These banks have the opportunity to embrace outsourcing their primary and secondary data centre environments to established service providers focused on maintaining infrastructure uptime and committing to rigorous SLA requirements. These colocation environments also provide the banks with a multiplicity of connectivity options to enable reach to a wider range of customers which would have been inherently unavailable in their own environments.

There is need for Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers and other C-suite executives to aim to achieve the right balance between the technologies they want to keep in house and the ones that can be outsourced. Outsourced data centres as an example provide banks with the ability to focus on the application layer running in outsourced data centres which enable them routinely implement critical applications without the downtime capable of affecting their customers.

A few Nigerian banks have already outsourced their colocation requirements in line with regulatory and requirements from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which are benchmarked to global standards. Out of the top 25 banks currently operating, 16% have fully outsourced their primary and disaster recovery operations, 44% have outsourced only disaster recovery, 36% currently run primary operations from outsourced facilities. Driven by its commitment to becoming Nigeria’s foremost end-to-end financial services institution, Stanbic IBTC, one of Nigeria’s leading and most innovative banks embraced colocation with MainOne for the deployment of private colocation and workspace for the bank within its data centre, MDXI. After a comprehensive technical and commercial build-versus-buy assessment, the bank outsourced its data centre environment, to MainOne and was able to quickly achieve regulatory compliance, increased efficiencies without the weight of OPEX and CAPEX challenges.

Stanbic IBTC CIO, Gboyega Dada asserts that outsourcing their data centre has drastically reduced the company’s operational and capital expenses as well as enhanced its flexibility and agility. “We have been able to streamline our IT Operations, outsourcing most of what is not core to our business so we can focus on true banking. It has become a lot more cost effective for us because we have saved significantly on capital outlay”, he said.

Business analysts say on-premise hosting is more expensive compared to outsourcing which offers between 20 – 50 percent ownership cost reductions over a three-year period. Thus adopting outsourced data centre services by Nigerian banks could save them between 20 and 50% of their total IT budget while remaining competitive, flexible and deliver better performance.

In 2019 and beyond, data centre uptime will remain key to staying competitive in this industry and even a minute of downtime will not be tolerated by customers when alternate solutions are only a download away. It is expedient for Nigerian banks to resolve downtime issues, which affects reputation and eventually leads to churn and impacts the business bottom-line. Financial providers need to take advantage of world-class colocation service providers so they can focus on providing more efficient and lower financial services to their customers, delivered from always-on infrastructure.

*Contributed by Ejiro Obodo, who leads the Research and Media Strategy Unit of Caritas Communications

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Battle over illegal adverting firms: OAAN floors JC Decaux as court dismisses stay of proceedings - ITREALMS

The Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria [OAAN] has recorded a major victory over JC Decaux as the Federal High Court in Lagos dismissed with cost, the stay of proceedings plea of the French firm, who has been facing charges of illegal advertising practice in the country, reports ITREALMS.

In a suit filed by its Incorporated Trustees, OAAN had challenged JC Decaux of illegally engaging in outdoor advertising in the country without regard to the laws governing such and was not validly incorporated under the laws of the country.

OAAN, exercising its powers as a sector of the Advertising industry in Nigeria, and one with responsibility for regulating outdoor advertising practice in the country, had in suit No: FHC/L/CS/249/18, prayed the Federal High Court Lagos to declare that JC Decaux Nigeria Outdoor Advertising Limited was not validly incorporated in Nigeria, and so was illegally operating in the country, contrary to the provisions of extant laws of the land, notably Provisions of the Companies & Allied Matter Act. OAAN had further requested the court to declare that JC Decaux cannot practice outdoor advertising in the country.

The primary prayer of OAAN in the suit to the court, which was filed by Mr. Adekunle Tuyo of Bakersfield Associates on behalf of the Association’s Board of Trustees, and which has as co-defendants the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 1st defendant, and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), 2nd Defendant, was an order [to the 1st and 2nd Defendants] to set aside the incorporation of the 3rd defendant (JC Decaux Nigeria) as a business entity that could operate in Nigeria.

Other prayers of are that the court should grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining APCON, the 2nd defendant, from issuing a license or other authorization to JC Decaux Nigeria Outdoor Advertising Limited [the 3rd defendant], so as to prevent it from illegally practicing the profession or business of outdoor advertising in Nigeria, on account of its invalid incorporation in the country.

To frustrate the OAAN suit, the 3rd defendant, JC Decaux Nigeria Outdoor Advertising Limited, had through its lawyer, Mr. Babatunde Fagbohunlu, SAN, filed a Motion on Notice, requesting for a stay of proceedings by the Court on the premise that the suit is an abuse of court process. Mr. Fagbohunlu had, in a Motion filed pursuant to Order 56 Rule (1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, Sections 9 (2) and 11 of the Federal High Court Act, on behalf of the 3rd defendant prayed the court to stay proceedings in the suit, so as to allow JC Decaux conclude its registration processes with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The JC Decaux Motion avers further that the OAAN suit was in bad faith, as the Association does not suffer any direct damage by JC Decaux’s practice.

But, the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, having carefully and painstakingly considered arguments from the legal teams of both OAAN and JC Decaux Nigeria Outdoor Advertising Limited, dismissed the application by the 3rd defendant[JC Decaux] and awarded costs assessed at N30, 000 against it.

With this development, the stage appears set for OAAN to assert itself in the defence of indigenous practitioners against the illegal incursion into the industry, especially by corporate organisations, both local and foreign, that are currently doing business in the country illegally and with utmost impunity.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

CONFIRMED: INEC postpones 2019 General Elections - ITREALMS

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the 2019 General Elections scheduled for Saturday, 16th February 2019 and Saturday, 2nd March 2019 respectively, reports ITREALMS.

Confirming this to ITREALMS, Chairman, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in a press statement dated Saturday 16th February 2019 and personally signed by him, noted that INEC met on Friday 15th February 2019 and reviewed its preparations for the 2019 scheduled for Saturday 16th February 2019 and Saturday 2nd March 2019

According to him, “Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections, the Commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.

“Consequently, the Commission has decided to reschedule the presidential and national assembly elections to Saturday 23rd February 2019.

“Furthermore, the Governor, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is rescheduled to Saturday 9th March 2019.

“This will afford the Commission the opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of our elections.

“This was a difficult decision for the Commission to tke, but necessary for the successful delivery of the elections and the consolidation of our democracy.

“The Commission will meet key stakeholders to update them on this development at 2pm on Saturday 16th February 2019 at the Abuja International Conference Centre,” Yakubu submitted.
Chuks Egbune/DoP

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Why out-of-work men so unhappy? - ITREALMS

We are in an era of progress paradoxes. Unprecedented gains in technological innovation, poverty reduction, and life expectancy around the world coexist with persistent poverty traps in the poorest countries and increasing inequality and anomie in some of the wealthiest ones. In the U.S., one of the wealthiest countries, we see booming stock markets and record low levels of unemployment alongside stories of profoundly unequal hopes, lives, and lifespans.

An important driver of these inequalities is the decline in the status and wages of low-skilled labor at the same time that high-skilled workers have experienced increases. Relatedly, we have seen an increase in prime-age males (ages 25-54)—and, to a lesser extent, women—simply dropping out of the labor force: Fifteen percent have already dropped out and this number will likely increase to over 20 percent in the next few years. Yet despite their increasing numbers, these individuals fall out of the calculation of unemployment rate when they stop looking for work.

Meanwhile, U.S. life expectancy is falling due to suicides and drug and alcohol overdose (“deaths of despair”), primarily among less-than-college-educated whites in their middle-aged years. Out of the labor force (OLF) males are more likely than the average to be opioid users and on the disability rolls, as well as victim to deaths of despair. Our markers of well-being—and in particular the absence of hope—match the patterns in these deaths. Poor and working-class whites report much less hope for the future and more stress than do poor African Americans and Hispanics, even though the latter face higher objective disadvantages. And the same places that have higher levels of these kinds of deaths have lower average levels of well-being along the same dimensions.

In addition to tragically lost lives and human potential, these trends have political ramifications. Prime-aged males OLF are more likely to live in counties that voted for Trump in 2016. And while the trends may be most notable in the U.S., there is frustration among this same cohort in Europe, reflected in the rise of support for right-wing populists there.

In a new paper, we look to shed light on the unhappiness and frustration of this understudied group across several regions as a first step to seeking solutions. We examine prime-age males OLF across four regions: EU, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and the U.S., based on data from the Gallup World Poll from 2010-17. Our analysis provides a more nuanced picture of the well-being and ill-being of prime-age males OLF around the world than the common narrative suggests. OLF males are not the poorest group in any of these regions, and are closer to the low, vulnerable end of the middle-class in their locales. 

While their household incomes are below the average for their countries, they are often slightly higher than those of the unemployed. In the developing regions of LAC and MENA, individuals who report to be out of the labor force may also work in the informal sector and earn comparable incomes to the formal sector, though with more unpredictability. In the U.S., OLF males are often on disability or other social insurance programs, while in Europe there are widely available and generous social welfare programs.

And despite much discussion suggesting that poor life satisfaction among underemployed or unemployed men in the Middle East was a possible catalyst for insurgency and uprisings, our analysis does not find them to be particularly dissatisfied compared to the full-time employed, relative to what we find within other regions. This may have something to do with longer trajectory and social acceptance of male underemployment and unemployment in MENA, compared to the U.S. and the EU, where it is a relatively novel phenomenon. It is also noteworthy that while prime-aged males OLF across all regions typically fare worse than the other out-of-the-labor-force groups, the unemployed often tend to have even lower well-being.

The exception is the U.S., where prime-aged males OLF are a particularly troubled group, not only in health but also in terms of reported well-being and of markers of ill-being. Within the country, they are as unhappy as the unemployed and much less optimistic than either the unemployed or full-time employed. Unlike in the other regions, they are just as likely to report anger and sadness than the unemployed, and no more likely to smile or experience enjoyment. Relative to other regions, they typically have the largest well-being gaps relative to those who work full-time.

*Contributed by Carol Graham and Sergio Pinto, both of The Brookings Institution.

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