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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rudman, Obaniyi emerge President, VP @NIRA - ITREALMS

Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Muhammed Rudman has emerged the new president of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), reports ITREALMS.

Disclosing this to ITREALMS immediately after the election result was announced at the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, the chairperson of the NIRA Election Committee 2019, and former President of the association, Mrs. Mary Nma Uduma, said that Mr. Rudman was returned unopposed.

She also said that Mr. Toba Obaniyi of WhoGoHost emerged the Vice President, while two other members were elected into the Executive Board of NIRA, namely Mr Lawrence Olawale-Roberts and Mr. Sola Akinsanya.

Congratulating them, she urged them to work closely with the incumbent EBoD members so as to take NIRA to a higher height.

Other members of EBoD comprised Mrs Nkem Nweke, Mr. Murtala Abdullahi, Dr. Eugene Ohu, Mr. Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, Jnr, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani who is the Treasurer, and Mr. Biyi Oladipo, the Financial Secretary.

Equally speaking the chairman, Board of Trustees, Chief Chima Onyekwere, congratulated the new board and applauded the outgoing leadership of Rev. Sunday Folayan for their contributions.

Responding, the immediate past president, Rev. Sunday Folayan, expressed gratitude to God for the successes, over the progress that NIRA made during his tenure.

“It is my pleasure, to congratulate the new team that we elected to lead NIRA for the next 2 years.

“God will give you all the unction you need to function in the roles you have all been elected to. Amen.”

He assured the new leadership of “undivided loyalty and support for you and your team, as you pilot the affairs of our dear Association. May God give you grace, wisdom, courage and all other essentials to be successful.”

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Pic: NiRA BoT and members of EBoD

Dell Technologies cloud accelerates customers’ multi-cloud journey - ITREALMS

Dell Technologies has unveiled Dell Technologies Cloud, a new set of cloud infrastructure solutions to make hybrid cloud environments simpler to deploy and manage. Combining the power of VMware and Dell EMC infrastructure, Dell Technologies Cloud removes cloud complexity by offering consistent infrastructure and operations for IT resources, across public and private clouds and the edge, regardless of location, reports ITREALMS.

According to IDC, more than 70% of companies are using multiple cloud environments, and the largest data center challenge most companies face is developing a successful multi-cloud strategy.2 Operating in multiple clouds has caused organizations to onboard many management consoles and disparate processes, which stifles innovation and adds complexity. The hybrid cloud approach is an ideal solution by offering a familiar management interface that extends across clouds for a simplified overall experience. With VMware research finding that 83 percent of cloud adopters are seeking consistent infrastructure and operations from the data center to the cloud3, the Dell Technologies Cloud is designed specifically to address this challenge.

“For many organizations, the increasingly diverse cloud landscape is resulting in an enormous amount of IT complexity, and no one is more qualified or capable to help customers solve this challenge than Dell Technologies,” said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman of products and operations, Dell Technologies. “Cloud is not a destination; it’s an operating model. With Dell Technologies Cloud and joint engineering between Dell EMC and VMware, we are offering a unified hybrid cloud experience. This provides consistent infrastructure and operations at every location the cloud resides—from on-premises data centers to public clouds and the emerging edge—allowing our customers to have greater control of their multi-cloud journey.”

The Dell Technologies Cloud portfolio consists of the new Dell Technologies Cloud Platformsand the new Data Center-as-a-Service offering, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC. These enable a flexible range of IT and management options with tight integration and a single vendor experience for purchasing, deployment, services and financing. Dell Technologies Cloud gives customers more control as the operational hub of their hybrid clouds, on premises, with consistent cloud infrastructure across all cloud types and a broad set of more than 4,200 VMware Cloud Provider Program providers and hyperscalers.

This hybrid cloud approach is delivered through a powerful integration of hardware, software, services and consumption options from Dell, Inc., the No. 1 global revenue leader in cloud IT infrastructure,4 and VMware, ranked No. 1 in revenue of cloud systems management software based on IDC’s latest research.5

The Dell Technologies Cloud complements this core technology with a broad set of value-added services, such as security, data protection and lifecycle management. It helps ensure success through consulting, infrastructure deployment, management, support and education services while offering public cloud-like consumption of IT infrastructure.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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CBN to regulate Fintech - ITREALMS

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed its putting in place a Collateral Management Regime (CMR) to regulate the activities of Fintech firms and startups in the country, reports ITREALMS.

The Director, Payments System Management Department (PSMD), Sam Okojere, who represented the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed in his keynote address at the inaugural Lagos Fintech Week in Lagos, that the “CMR is being developed in line with on-going efforts to evolve a robust collateral management regime which will be proportionate to transactional level of participants within the payment system”.

Lagos Fintech Week (LFW) is an invigorating week of distinct Fintech events that delivers exciting discussions, stimulating demos and insightful debates.

According to him, the consequences of the new regime are that both incumbents and new entrants will operate without unnecessary collateral burden.

A fintech lawyer and partner, Private Equity Capital at the chambers of Aluko & Oyebode, Oludare Sembore who also spoke at the event said: “The Nigerian approach to fintech regulation is somewhat similar to the United States and South Africa. Fintech in these countries are not governed by any specific legal framework, as the regulators are currently taking steps to understand the concept”.

He also said that the current Fintech landscape in Nigeria is largely regulated by circulars and guidelines published by the CBN and a host of existing regulations that apply to “traditional financial service institutions”, he said.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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CGN warns Buhari over appointing unpopular CommTech Minister - ITREALMS

The Computer Guild of Nigeria (CGN) has warned President Muhammadu Buhari to be very mindful in selecting who becomes the next Communication Technology Minister for the country, reports ITREALMS.

Rising from his meeting on Sunday in Lagos, CGN said this has become expedient due to the experience the industry had in the last four years under the Barr. Adebayo Shittu leadership, which is not comparably near the good work the pioneer Minister, Dr. Mrs. Mobolaji Johnson did.

This was contained in a press release issued and signed by the President of the Computer Guild of Nigeria (CGN), Wole Adedoyin in Lagos, they also said “The first term tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari had nothing good to write home about in the area of Information Communication and Technology when compared to the impact made during the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan when Dr. Mrs. Mobolaji Johnson headed the Information Communication and Technology Ministry”.

“President Buhari should stop playing politics with the Ministry of Communication Technology," CGN declared, wondering how a Barrister of law will be appointed to head such fragile ministry, "has the ministry turned to Law Chamber? We want competent, skilled, proficient, capable and an achiever who has contributed enormously to the development of the country’s Information Communication and Technology (ICT) rather than making another irrelevant professional to head the Ministry.”

Buhari, CGN insisted, should know that Barrister Adebayo Shittu is a failed experiment. "Such experiment shouldn’t happen again. The country’s ICT performance is not improving when compared to the foreign and other African communication ministries. Barrister Shittu is a wrong peg in a right hole and we hope this type of mistake committed by President Muhammadu Buhari won't happened again.”

Computer Guild of Nigeria finally commended other ICT stakeholders in the country for their competency, professional conducts and patient to withstand the current problems facing the country’s communication ministry.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Ecobank reaffirms technology lead to corporate sustainability - ITREALMS

Ecobank is leading the way as technology changes the traditional bank model with the reaffirmation to corporate sustainability.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (“Ecobank”), parent of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African bank with operations in 36 countries across the continent, concluded its 31st Annual General Meeting in Lomé, Togo, today.

Ecobank Group Chairman Emmanuel Ikazoboh said: “Over the last few years we have taken strong measures to ‘Secure the Foundations’ of Ecobank and the Board is confident that our strategy, and the actions that we have taken so far, have positioned the company for sustainable future growth with a return on equity above the cost of equity.”

Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive of Ecobank Group, said: “It is the long-term financial success of the company that remains paramount. As such, we will continue to build on and enhance the technology platforms that enable us to engage with more customers and partners and deploy a robust digital communications strategy. The traditional bank model that we all know is rapidly changing with technology and we must continue to position ourselves effectively to succeed in this technological journey of transformation.”

The 31st AGM also provided a platform for the bank to demonstrate its commitment to promoting positive environmental and social change, with the launch of the Ecobank Group Chairman Sustainability Award, which encourages all Ecobank affiliates and employees to develop sustainable projects and transactions that will have beneficial impacts on issues such as health, education, financial inclusion.

Shareholders welcomed Ecobank’s profit for the year to 31 December 2018 as they approved all the resolutions at the AGM, which included the ratification of the co-option of Mrs. Aichatou Agne Pouye, Ms. Arunma Oteh and Dr. Aasim Ahmad Qureshi as Directors. Mrs. Pouye and Ms. Oteh are Independent Directors and Dr. Qureshi is a nominee of Qatar National Bank. Shareholders also voted to renew the mandates for three years of Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, Dr. Catherine Ngahu and Mr. Mfundo Nkuhlu (a nominee of Nedbank Group Limited) who had completed their three-year terms of office as Directors.

The firms Deloitte & Touche, Nigeria, and Grant Thornton, Côte d’Ivoire, were re-appointed as Joint Auditors for a one-year term.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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MainOne to build data centre in Cote D’ivoire by October - ITREALMS

MainOne has confirmed resolve to build data centre in Cote D'Ivoire by October this years, reports ITREALMS.

This follows the issuance of a submarine cable landing license to MainOne by the government of Cote D’Ivoire, the company has announced that it is on schedule to land the cable and launch services in Abidjan by October 2019. 

ITREALMS gathered that MainOne has made significant progress in the project implementation process. All critical surveys have been completed, and work is ongoing at the Cable Landing Station and Data Centre in Abidjan.

MainOne’s Regional Executive, Kazeem Oladepo, made this known during the company’s Annual General Meeting in Abidjan, where members of the Board of Directors of the Group visited the VITIB location to observe the on-going construction of the data centre and the cable landing station.

The data centre and landing station will provide the necessary infrastructure to support the growth of the broadband ecosystem in Cote D’Ivoire and the Francophone region, improve Internet access in the region, reduce bandwidth prices and make digital services more accessible. “By investing in this infrastructure, we hope to bring meaningful and much-needed technology solutions to businesses and enable them in their quest for improved productivity and efficiency through dedicated and reliable connectivity services. We are prepared to collaborate with operators to expand capacity in Cote D’Ivoire and neighbouring countries to enhance regional integration and global access,” he continued.

The strategic location of the datacenter in the Grand-Bassam technology free trade zone, VITIB, will further strengthen the digital ecosystem in the zone, and attract more businesses and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the region.

MainOne is committed to deepening broadband access across West Africa via fibre infrastructure and data centres. With service delivery in 10 countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cameroun, Benin, Niger, Senegal and Chad, MainOne operates up to 10 Terabytes per second (Tbps)  international submarine cable system which guarantees highly reliable connectivity to support the growing demand for Internet access and bandwidth-intensive applications such as eCommerce, Content providers, OTT players and electronic banking and payment services.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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DRIF19: Participants want renewed action to protect Africa’s digital space - ITREALMS

Participants at the 2019 Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum have expressed concern at the spate of violation of human rights online on the African continent, reports ITREALMS.

The delegates who spoke at the closing session of the 3-day Forum held in Lagos, from April 23-25 welcomed participants and speakers from across Africa and beyond. The Forum provides a platform for conversations on efforts to ensure human rights online are not violated and that more people in Africa are connected to the internet.

Anriette Esterhuysen, the former executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications, in her submission, argued that the internet has to be protected and remain open as “it is the usually the only means of expression for some minority groups to access information on issues that are not openly discussed.”

Grace Githaiga, the co-convener of KICKTANET said, despite the challenges facing the digital rights space on the continent including internet shutdown, harassment of internet users and online journalists, and lack of data protection laws in many countries, “advocates should celebrate the positive- good laws, initiatives, and partners that allow us to meet and remaining optimistic of a better future.”

This came on the backdrop of conversation on internet censorship that has rocked the continent over the last few years. Africa now leads with the highest number of countries shutting down the internet or restricting service. In Chad, for example, social media has been shut down by the government for over a year now. In 2019 alone, Chad, Sudan, Zimbabwe and DR Congo have either shut down the internet or restricted access to services.

Speaking on the challenges facing efforts to improve internet penetration, Funke Opeke, the chief executive of MainOne Cable, emphasised the need for government to partner the private sector instead of constituting itself as a stumbling block to expand internet access. She said governments in other climes “create the right incentives and structures to facilitate access to the internet especially in the rural areas. Dr Ernest Ndukwe, a former chief executive of the Nigerian Communication Commission, also urged civil society and active citizens “to focus more attention on what government can do to ensure people have access.”

The Forum also explored the state data protection and privacy laws on the continent. Ephraim Kenyanito of Article 19 and Morisola Alaba of Media Rights Agenda, while speaking on the new 5G technology, said there was an urgent need to have data privacy legislation as the technology made its way to the continent, saying the technical capabilities of 5G could allow for greater surveillance capacities for repressive governments.

The Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, ‘Gbenga Sesan urged delegates to go back to their countries with a renewed energy to contribute to efforts to keep the internet safe and open to all users, saying “Digital rights advocates are in the business of not minding our businesses. We have no choice but to be involved in efforts that help protect the internet, and to resist action that endangers human rights online."

#DRIF19 is the seventh edition of the Forum which is convened annually to provide an “important platform where conversations on digital policy in Africa are shaped, and policy directions forged.” The Forum, organised by Paradigm Initiative and supported by Google, Ford Foundation, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung, welcomed delegates from various countries and background.

Nenye  Dom/Editor

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UNHCR evacuates hundreds of detained refugees in Libya to safety - ITREALMS

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has evacuated some 325 refugees from the Qaser Ben Gasheer detention centre in southern Tripoli amid deteriorating security and escalating violence. The relocation was carried out together with IOM, reports ITREALMS.

“The dangers for refugees and migrants in Tripoli have never been greater than they are at present,” said Matthew Brook, UNHCR Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya. “It is vital that refugees in danger can be released and evacuated to safety.”

The refugees have been transferred to the Azzawya detention centre, where they are at reduced risk of being caught up in the hostilities. Upon arrival, they were provided with key aid items and medical care by UNHCR and its partner the International Medical Corps. The most vulnerable, including women and children, are being identified and will be taken to UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility.

The relocation is the fourth UNHCR-organized transfer since the recent escalation of the conflict in Libya as our teams endeavour to get detainees out of harm’s way. UNHCR has relocated more than 825 refugees from the Ain Zara, Abu Salim, Qaser Ben Gasheer, Tajoura and Zintan detention centres in the past two weeks alone.

UNHCR remains concerned for some 3,000 refugees and migrants who remain in detention centres in Tripoli. The deteriorating security situation means it is imperative that refugees and migrants are immediately released and provided a pathway to safety. While the violence continues, UNHCR and humanitarian agencies’ teams have restricted access to detention centres to provide vital lifesaving aid and assistance.

Current conditions in Libya continue to underline the fact that it is a dangerous and unsuitable place for refugees and migrants. UNHCR reiterates that no effort should be spared to prevent those rescued at sea from being returned to Libya.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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STEMCafe partners ENYO Retail and Supply on Kids Creativity Play Space - ITREALMS


The STEMCafe, in partnership with ENYO Retail and Supply, has officially launched its first Kids Creativity Play Space in Lagos, reports 

Kids Creativity Play Space, 
ITREALMS gathered, is a non-linear learning centre for kids and young adults between the ages of 5 -18 years old can experience the amazing world of STEM in a fun and interactive way.

The STEMCafe, a brainchild of Bosun Tijani, CEO and Founder, CcHUB, the leading technology innovation centre in Nigeria, which is one of many to come, is designed to showcase the various engaging activities that will help the kids develop lifelong learning and interest in STEM. At the Cafe, the kids will spend time creating various projects and a wide array of fun interactive activities as well as design and print 3D models to experiment with amazing creations and ideas, all under the guidance of trained STEM educators.

In the modern global economy, STEM is closely linked with a nation’s economic prosperity. Nations who have become global leaders, in large part, have done so through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. Nigeria’s position will continue to decline unless more kids pursue expertise in STEM fields. Nigeria must expand the capacity and diversity of the STEM workforce pipeline to prepare the younger generation for the best jobs of the future that will see Nigeria become innovative, secure and competitive.

Bosun Tijani, CcHUB Co-founder and CEO says, “There is an urgent need for an extensive application of scientific and technological breakthroughs to leapfrog development across Africa. Exposing our young people to STEM at an early age is one sure way of building a generation of innovators and thinkers who will sustain and strengthen the evolving position of Africa in the world. I am extremely excited to once again contribute to building a fun platform that will build a new generation of leaders for science and technology across Africa through the STEMCafe.”

Based on their promise to deliver best-in-class retail experiences leveraging complimentary brands, Enyo Retail and Supply, is partnering with STEMCafe in delivering this first location.

Speaking on the partnership, Mr. Abayomi Awobokun, CEO Enyo Retail & Supply, says, “We believe the two organizations are partnering because we believe in learning and creating a conducive learning environment for young people, specifically learning around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We see the linkages; we like the partnership with STEMCafe, and together we will support the capacity of our younger generation in STEM towards the growth of the continent.”

Fernando Madeira, CFO, Enyo Retail and Supply, stated that “Enyo Retail and Supply continues to set the technology trend in the oil and gas industry with the launch of the STEMCafe - incorporating innovative technology and cutting edge initiatives as a truly modern company well interested in the well-being and future of their community.”

The future will see STEMCafe collaborating with more organizations in creating spaces that will give kids the interactive experience needed for them to remain confident in their imaginations, thus promoting creativity in the younger generation.

At an annual membership of Five Thousand Naira Only (5000.00 Naira only) and a variety of membership packages for access to the activities, the STEMCafe is open to all kids aged 5-18 from Monday to Friday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturdays and 2:00PM to 6:00PM on Sundays.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Like Digital Rights, Like FOI: Where President Buhari Got It Wrong

Who is the Nigerian government actually working for? Anyone who has followed the campaign for the passage into law of the Digital Rights and Freedoms (DRF) Bill, 2016, and also followed the campaign that led to the enactment of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011, will be prompted to question the disposition of the Nigerian government towards public interests.

When the DRF Bill was introduced to the National Assembly in April 2016, as civil society, we knew we were in for a long journey considering the fact that the Bill is one of public interest and the ruling elite is not known to show much enthusiasm about such. As anticipated, the Bill spent almost two years in the House of Representatives, Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, before it was passed in December 2017.

However, the upper chamber, the Nigerian Senate, albeit surprisingly, also passed the Bill three months later in March 2018. According to a media report, supporters of the Bill had at that point assumed that the Bill's legislative journey had ended and perhaps Nigeria was about to have a law that protects human rights online.

Unfortunately, the bill spent another eight months in the National Assembly. The legal unit of the National Assembly had spotted a problem in one of the clauses and the bill had to go through another round of legislative process to correct it before it was again (hopefully finally) passed by both Houses in November and December 2018. And two months later, it was transmitted to the President for assent, on February 4, 2019.

Having passed through this rigorous journey with heightened and sustained public and civil society interest, supposing government is working in the interest of the common people, it is only expected that such bill should receive prompt attention from the President who is elected by the people knowing that the people are not only interested but that the bill ensures the protection of their human rights online.

ALSO READ: Wakabi's detention: African Digital Rights defenders condemns Tanzania, calls for immediate release - ITREALMS

Sadly, the President of Nigeria said the Bill “covers too many technical subjects and fails to address any of them extensively”, listing such areas to include surveillance and digital protection, lawful interception of communication, digital protection and retention, etcetera, which he said “are currently the subject of various bills pending at National Assembly”, and as a result, he did not sign the Bill. Mr President even speculated that the Bill poses a “challenge of duplication and legislative conflict in the future." I will return to respond to this in the later part of this piece.

Anyone who is familiar with the history of public interest bills in Nigeria especially those that protect human rights will know that President Buhari’s excuse for refusing to sign the Bill is nothing but what it is, an excuse, similitude of what former President Olusegun Obasanjo said to the FOI Bill when it was transmitted to him in March 2007.

According to Media Rights Agenda, when former President Obasanjo met with civil society leaders on April 27, 2007, he said he would not sign the FOI Bill for a number of reasons, the first being the fact that it was titled: “Freedom of Information Bill” rather than “Right to Information Bill,” claiming that the idea of “freedom of information” was imported “from somewhere”.

He claimed, among other excuses, that he was completely opposed to Section 13(2) of the Bill, which provided that: “However, in the interest of the public the court may override the refusal by the head of the government or public institution to disclose the information applied for.” The former President argued that this means that he can be compelled by a court to disclose any information which another head of state might have told him in confidence, (apparently, public interests matters less to someone who is elected by the public).

So, President Obasanjo threw away the baby with the bath water. And the FOI Bill having spent about eight years in the National Assembly already spent another four years going through the legislative process again before it was signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011. So, President Buhari’s reaction to the DRF Bill is nothing new.

Like FOI Bill, Like DRF Bill. If public interest bills will continue to suffer setbacks in the hands of presidents, then one should ask who exactly the government is working for. Late Professor Abubakar Momoh of blessed memory seems so right when he said “laws and policies are designed to suit the whims and caprices of the ruling class.” Is it because the DRF Bill is designed in the interest of the common man that is suffering in the hands of the ruling class?

As Sodiq Alabi noted, “The last few years have seen tens of millions of people connected to the internet in the country. These people conduct business, have a social life, learn and teach via this important tool. They even campaign for political candidates via the internet. However, despite the deployment of the internet across the country, Nigeria, unfortunately, lacks a comprehensive legal framework that protects human rights online, a situation that makes Nigerians online vulnerable to rights abuse.”

Rather, what Nigerians currently have is the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015 which has mostly been used to arbitrarily arrest people and gag freedom of expression online rather than prevent or prohibit cybercrimes.

But the DRF Bill assembles conventional rights aimed at making online spaces rights-inclusive and therefore balances the friction between security and human rights in the digital age. The Bill carefully addresses and prohibits hate speech while also protecting freedom of expression online.

The DRF Bill guarantees that human rights which apply offline should also be obtainable online. Importantly, it ensures data privacy and safeguards sensitive citizens’ data held by various institutions and equips the judiciary with the necessary framework to protect human rights online. It is a people’s Bill but the people’s president has failed to sign it.

To respond to the reasons provided by the President’s for his refusal to sign the Bill, the position of Media Rights Agenda on the matter is especially instructive.

In a statement, Media Rights Agenda said: “The purpose of the Bill was never to address technical subjects in the area of digital rights and Internet freedom in any detailed or extensive manner, but to propose and affirm a human rights-based approach in dealing with these issues and to ensure that future laws and policies as well as administrative actions are consistent with this approach.

“Given that no laws have been passed to guide the actions and activities of Government and other actors in these areas and in the light of the fact that there is no certainty about when such laws are likely to be passed, it makes no sense to refuse to assent to the Bill on the ground that it may duplicate or conflict with laws that are not yet in existence.

“A more logical approach for a government that is genuinely desirous of upholding and protecting the digital rights and freedoms of its citizens would be to ensure that the spirit behind the proposed legislation and the principles recognized in it are consistent with the government’s policy stance and then ensuring that the provisions of future laws touching on the issues addressed in the Bill are properly aligned with its policy approach, even where such laws seek to address technical issues in a more detailed and extensive manner.

CSOs, Nigerians urge President Buhari to sign digital rights bill - ITREALMS
“The Federal Government had ample opportunities during the legislative process to express its views on the provisions of the Bill and to ensure that the Administration’s concerns were adequately addressed by the lawmakers in the course of making the Law. Several agencies of the Federal Government with specialized and technical competence and mandates in the areas covered by the Bill were involved in the legislative process and did not raise any objection to the passage of the Bill. Indeed, they signed off on the provisions of the Bill, which was why the National Assembly was comfortable enough to pass the Bill speedily.”

For the President to have waited till this moment to eventually veto the Bill is not only a waste of the time and resources invested by the National Assembly and other stakeholders during the three years of the Bill’s legislative journey but also an indication of the President’s insensitivity to public interests and human rights of Nigerians.

Considering that the 8th National Assembly has almost concluded its term, if the current Digital Rights and Freedoms Bill, 2016, eventually suffers the same fate as the Freedom of Information Bill which had to repeat the entire legislative process following the President’s failure to assent to it, then it presents a clear indication that government in Nigeria, regardless of who or which party is in power, works only for the selfish interest of the ruling elite.

*Contributed by Ridwan Adigun SULAIMON, a Freedom of information, freedom of expression and digital rights and freedoms campaigner, educator, youth and leadership tutor, writer and social researcher, writes from Lagos. Email:; Twitter: @SulaimonRidwan; Tel: +2347031042977

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Wakabi's detention: African Digital Rights defenders condemn Tanzania, calls for immediate release - ITREALMS

African Digital Rights defenders have condemned the detention of the Executive Director of the Uganda-based Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Dr. Wairagala Wakabi, at the Tanzanian Airport, and called for his immediate release, reports ITREALMS.

Reacting to the news of the detention at the wrap-up session of the 2019 Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum in Lagos, the Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, Mr. Gbenga Sesan and Co-Convener of Kenya ICT Action Network (Kictanet), Mrs Grace Gathiaga jointly condemned the action of the Tanzanian government.

They noted that lately the Tanzanian government has been apprehensive over digital rights in the country especially after introduction of access fee for bloggers among other online rights advocates.

Decrying the detention, Sesan, lamented that the scale of abuse and harassment of digital activists have taken another dimension with this Wakabi incident and called for his release.

And for KICTANET co-convener, Gathiaga, the African digital rights defenders cannot be cowed with the activities of Tanzanian government in detention of Wakabi in order to frighten advocates. Insisting that advocates should not be seen as enemies but those who want good governance for our people.

She insisted that Wakabi be released without much ado.

Equally, the Lead Strategist at DigitalSENSE Africa Media, Mr. Remmy Nweke, bemoaned the detention of Wakabi, who described as a close pal and peace-loving.

He lamented that instead of appreciating the works of digital rights advocates on the continent, African government are seeing them as opposition, which should not be.

DigitalSENSE Africa Media, he told ITREALMS stands firm and jointly with other digital rights entities on the continent to condemn the detention and demanded the release of Dr. Wakabi without further delay.

In a related development, CIPESA in joint statement with JamiiForums, Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition Change Tanzania MISA Tanzania and  available to ITREALMS, condemned the detention of Dr. Wakabi and called for the authorities to unconditionally release him.

ITREALMS recalled Wakabi was detained, upon arrival, at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salam, Tanzania earlier Friday morning, while immigration authorities declined to state the reasons for his arrest.

Dr. Wakabi had been invited to Tanzania to participate in the annual commemoration of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders' Day hosted by the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) on April 28, 2019. Under the theme "Claiming and Protecting Online Civic Space for Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Tanzania”, the event is to be preceded by a two-day workshop aimed at engaging civil society organizations, online journalists and human rights activists on how to safely use online platforms for promotion and protection of human rights

According to lawyers from the THRDC, authorities have blocked their access to Dr. Wakabi, stating that he is under interrogation - the outcome of which will determine whether he is granted entry into Tanzania or deported back to Uganda.

“We are currently at the airport following the matter. They have denied us access to him. We strongly condemned this untimely and unnecessary detention of our guest from our neighbouring country Uganda. We call upon all members of the East African Community (EAC) to condemn this tendency of disturbing citizens of EAC when travelling within the subregion,” stated Onesmo Olengurumwa, the THRDC National Coordinator.

CIPESA is among the organisations nominated by THRDC to receive an award for is regional work in promoting human rights online, to be handed out during the commemoration.

CIPESA in joint statement with JamiiForums Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition Change Tanzania MISA Tanzania, condemned the detention of Dr. Wakabi and called for the authorities to unconditionally release him.

Nenye Dom/DoP

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Fayemi appoints 17 new PermSecs for Ekiti - ITREALMS

In furtherance to the government desire for better service delivery, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has approved the appointment of 17 new Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service, reports ITREALMS.

The new permanent secretaries include:

1.)  Mr Mayowa Emmanuel Oyedeji
2.)  Mr Idowu Olalere Oguntuase
3.)  Mr Samson Olufemi Osasona
4.)  Engr. Adetiloye Fatoba
5.)  Mr Ayodele Michael Ajimati
6.)  Pham. Mercy Olabisi Arogundade
7.)  Mr Joseph Aderemi Obaparusi
8.)  Mr Bamidele Simeon Arowosola
9.)  Mr Abayomi Michael Opeyemi
10.)                     Mr Ibrahim Titilope Ganiyu
11.)                     Mr Samuel Akinjide Akinleye
12.)                     Mr Oluwadare Benjamin Ajayi
13.)                     Mr Adebayo Ajobiewe
14.)                     Mrs kemisola Olabisi Ayegbusi
15.)                     Mr Matthew Olusesan Fabamise
16.)                     Dr Williams Mobolaji Afolabi
17.)                     Mr Adeniyi Olatunji Familoni

The appointments take immediate effect.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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CECAD rally Data, Cloud Stakeholders for breakfast session - ITREALMS

Data Centre and Cloud Technology are the backbone of the digital economy. All businesses and sectors that leverage the internet to collect data, must store their data at a data center, or in the cloud. Globally both systems have been acknowledged as instrumental to economic growth and expansión.

But this vital organ powering the growth of the Nigerian digital economy has not been properly engaged and facilitated in terms of policy making in Nigeria. The issues and challenges they face are moreso unresolved, and sometimes unknown.
What is the way forward?

Nigeria's leading digital advocacy organization, The centre for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD) leveraging on her official Publication, Cyber Africa Magazine will bring together DSOs, CIOs, CTOs, and data scientists to the Fourth Cyber Africa Breakfast Series, in order to discuss Data Center and Cloud Technology. The meeting is tagged: The Nigerian Data Economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos the Editor in Chief, Cyber Africa Magazine, Hilary Damissah, explained that "the role of data centers and Cloud Technology must be acknowledged if Nigeria must make progress in the ongoing fourth Industrial revolution. How our data is collected, used, and stored must be enhanced, secured, reliable, and sustainable. Moreso, in order to avoid a digital colonisation of Nigeria, our data must be integrated and anchored on Nigerian soil, so we must do all we can to support this. The questions we'll be looking at include: the challenges facing players in the space, what are the possible solutions ? What are the future business opportunities in cloud and data centers? And more.

Speaking further on the Breakfast Series, Program Co-ordinator, Mojisola Alabi stated that the Idea of Cyber Africa Breakfast Series is to "bring the core players in major aspects of the digital economy to discuss how to move their specific industry forward. The breakfast series has been focusing on different subject matter in recent years including: Digital Literacy, Internet and Broadband Penetration, Agrictech, Health tech, and now Cloud and Data Centers" she explained, stressing "Our aim is to foster meaningful development of the emerging Sub-Saharan in the tech ecosystem.

Ms Alabi further added that major players in the Data and Cloud sector like Rack Center, Medallion Communications, Galaxy Backbone, MdXi, Interconnect Clearing House, Nigeria Communication Commission, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and more will be present to network and brainstorm, under a relaxed atmosphere and a sumptuous breakfast.

The Center for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD), is committed to a cyber responsible Nigeria, where the internet and cyberspace is deployed for good causes like job creation, sociocultural advancement, entrepreneurship, good governance, education, national development etc.

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Osinbajo, Ambode, others for Editors’ convention - ITREALMS

Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has concluded plans to hold its Biennial Convention in Ikeja, the Lagos State Capital. The convention, scheduled to hold from May 3-5, 2019, will take place at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja.

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) is the Special Guest of Honour. Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the Host Governor will declare the convention open. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed is the Host Minister of the convention expected to be attended by over 300 editors in Nigeria.

The theme of the convention is ‘Media Convergence as Strategy for Survival’ and the keynote will be delivered by Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Head, Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos and member, Editorial Board of Guardian newspapers.

According to a statement by Mr. Ken Ugbechie, Social/Publicity Secretary of the Guild, the convention will be chaired by veteran journalist Mr. Dan Agbese, author, columnist and Executive Director of MayFive Media Limited.

A major highpoint of the convention is the election of new Exco members to run the affairs of the Guild in the next two years after the expiration of the tenure of Mrs. Funke Egbemode-led Exco.

Meanwhile, the Election Committee for the Guild has announced that it had cleared 23 candidates to vie for elective positions into the Guild’s Executive Council and Standing Committee.

The election will hold on Saturday, May 4 after the opening ceremony and it is the first election to be held using the amended 2016 NGE Constitution and Election Guidelines. A statement signed by the Secretary of NGE Electoral Committee, Barr. Gbemiga Ogunleye, in Lagos, said 23 candidates were cleared for 12 offices.

Those cleared include: Funke Egbemode as Presidential candidate, while Messrs Umar Saidu Tudunwada and Chooks Ogbonnaya Oko were cleared to contest for the office of Deputy President.

For the office of Vice President (North), Hajia Sani and Mr Sanusi Jibrin were cleared as contestants.

Also, for the office of Vice President (East), Mr Samuel Egbala and Mr Dom Isute, emerged as cleared contestants, while for the office of Vice President (West), Mr Mustapha Isa was cleared.

Mary Atolagbe emerged as a successful candidate to contest for the post of General Secretary, while Austeen Elewodalu and Juliet Njiowhor were cleared as contestants for the post of Assistant General Secretary.

Victoria Ibanga was cleared to contest for the post of Treasurer, while Ken Ugbechie was cleared to contest for the post of Social/Publicity Secretary.

For the office of Standing Committee Members (North), the following were cleared as contestants: Catherine Agbo, Julius Idowu, Husseina Bangshika and Umoru Ibrahim.
For the office of Standing Committee Members (East), the following candidates were also cleared: Ngwoke A. Ngwoke, Ikpong Essien-Udom and Freston Akpor.

Those cleared for the office of Standing Committee Members (West) include: Adeleye Ajayi, Steve Nwosu, Eze Anaba and Gabriel Akinadewo.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

CIPESA Executive Director detained @Tanzania Airport - ITREALMS

The Executive Director of the Uganda-based Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Dr. Wairagala Wakabi, has been detained, upon arrival, at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salam, Tanzania earlier today, reports ITREALMS.

This is coming as the Immigration authorities in Tanzania have declined to state the basis of his arrest.

ITREALMS also gathered that Dr. Wakabi had been invited to Tanzania to participate in the annual commemoration of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders' Day hosted by the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) on April 28, 2019. Under the theme "Claiming and Protecting Online Civic Space for Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Tanzania”, the event is to be preceded by a two-day workshop aimed at engaging civil society organizations, online journalists and human rights activists on how to safely use online platforms for promotion and protection of human rights

According to lawyers from the THRDC, authorities have blocked their access to Dr. Wakabi, stating that he is under interrogation - the outcome of which will determine whether he is granted entry into Tanzania or deported back to Uganda.

“We are currently at the airport following the matter. They have denied us access to him. We strongly condemned this untimely and unnecessary detention of our guest from our neighbouring country Uganda. We call upon all members of the East African Community (EAC) to condemn this tendency of disturbing citizens of EAC when travelling within the subregion,” stated Onesmo Olengurumwa, the THRDC National Coordinator.

CIPESA is among the organisations nominated by THRDC to receive an award for is regional work in promoting human rights online, to be handed out during the commemoration.

CIPESA condemns the detention of Dr. Wakabi and calls upon the authorities to unconditionally release him.

JamiiForums Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition Change Tanzania MISA Tanzania

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Over 170 countries, UN to promote Girls in ICT Day worldwide - ITREALMS

Today, 25 April, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the global technology community and an expected 170+ countries will celebrate 'Girls in ICT Day', an international day observed by the United Nations to help bridge the gender digital divide, reports ITREALMS.

The importance the United Nations is placing on technology as a driver of development is reflected in the launch of UN Secretary-General António Guterres' United Nations High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation last year. Hundreds of events are planned worldwide aimed at inspiring a new generation of girls to explore the exciting opportunities offered by a career in information and communication technology (ICT).

Bridging the gender digital divide
ITU estimates that within the next 10 years, there will be more than two million technology jobs that cannot be filled because of a lack of digital specialists. Girls and young women who learn coding, app development and computer science will not only be well-placed for a successful career in the ICT sector; advanced digital skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in almost any other field they might choose to pursue. Digital skills give qualified girls an edge in a competitive job market, provide a higher salary and enhance career mobility.

This year, ITU will celebrate Girls in ICT Day at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The special focus on Africa recognizes the enormous potential for leveraging ICTs to drive economic growth and development and accelerate progress towards all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. As well as having the lowest rate of Internet penetration, the African region has the widest digital gender gap in the world with only 18.6 per cent of women using the Internet, compared with 24.9 per cent of men.

“Girls in ICT Day is a call to action to inspire the next generation of girls and young women to learn more about the exciting world of tech," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “As the head of the lead UN agency for ICTs and an International Gender Champion, I am committed to pressing for progress for gender equality inside and outside ITU. Not only is gender equality key to ensuring that no one is left behind, it is an essential element to the success of every single one of the Sustainable Development Goals.


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