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Sanwo-Olu says technology is new economy @ Microsoft Africa Development Centre - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has expressed joy over the launch of the Microsoft Africa Development C...

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sanwo-Olu says technology is new economy @ Microsoft Africa Development Centre - ITREALMS

Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has expressed joy over the launch of the Microsoft Africa Development Centre in Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

The governor-elect, who attended the launch on Friday evening in Lagos, reiterated the significance of the technology in the 21st Century, stating that his excitement is borne out of his incoming government's determination to use technology as a major driver of government activities. 

"Congratulations to the Microsoft Nigeria team on the launch of the Microsoft Africa Development Centre in Lagos.

"I am passionate about how technology will help us build a 21st Century economy and ensuring an enabling environment for local and international partnerships will definitely be a priority," Sanwo-Olu said.

Sanwo-Olu recalled how his campaign team jumped on the opportunity to provide free Wi Fi to some identified locations in Lagos including shopping malls and higher institutions and how the free service has been well utilized by the beneficiary communities.

The Governor-elect thanked the Microsoft group for considering siting of the centre in Lagos, which is technology hub in sub Saharan Africa.

The global tech giant, Microsoft Corp, would invest $100 million to open its first Africa Development Centre (ADC) with sites in Nigeria and Kenya over the next five years.

The ADC would serve as a premier centre of engineering for Microsoft, where world-class African talent can create solutions for local and global impact.

“The ADC will be unlike any other existing investment on the continent. It will help us better listen to our customers, develop locally and scale for global impact. Beyond that, it’s an opportunity to engage further with partners, academia, governments and developers – driving impact in sectors important to the continent, such as FinTech, AgriTech and OffGrid energy.

“The ADC supports Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. The ADC is the first Global Development Centre in Africa with a combined expected investment of US $100 million over the first five years of operation.

“At Microsoft, we’re very fortunate to have played a part in realising this potential, building strong partnerships to accelerate digital transformation and create sustained societal impact. A big milestone for this investment came earlier this year, as we opened Africa’s first hyper-scale datacentres in South Africa, promoting business innovation in the cloud,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Sanwo-Olu promised the tech giant that his administration, when it comes on stream will partner organizations like theirs to bring about effective realization of his technology-driven THEME agenda. 

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Pix: L-R Ambassador W. Stuart Symington (United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria), Akin Banuso Country General Manager,  Microsoft Nigeria, Alex Kipman Technical Fellow,  Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality Microsoft, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu Governor Elect of Lagos State and Phil Spencer Executive Vice President Gaming Microsoft at the Launch of Africa Development Center by Microsoft at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos. May 17th 2019.

Glo urges school girls on tech-related subjects for brighter future - ITREALMS

Second national operator (SNO) and acclaimed digital leader, the Globacom, has urged school girls across the country to take active interest in science subjects that could help them play prominent roles in the technology space in the future, reports ITREALMS.

Globacom’s representative at this year’s commemoration of the International Girls in ICT Day hosted by the eBusinessLife magazine, Mrs. Justina Abdulateef, who is also the Account Manager, Public Sector, Lagos Zone, said the ICT space requires a broad range of skills, noting that operators in the sector are continually looking for talented individuals with those skills to play various roles.

Abdulateef said stereotypes and discrimination had deterred many girls from pursuing interests in Information and Communication Technology, adding that there was a need to break the stereotypes early in life in order to create meaningful access to ICT for girls and women.

She opined that increasingly, more women across the world were proving their mettle in the male dominated, technical professions, stating that examples were enormous of women who had distinguished themselves in engineering, medicine and other related professions.

“You must, therefore, never let anyone limit your possibilities. If you set your mind to it, there is nothing you cannot achieve as a girl”, Abdulateef charged the gathering of hundreds of school girls from 15 prominent schools in Lagos. She implored them to diligently prepare themselves for studies in mathematics, engineering, computing and other such fields.

She said studies had shown that there was a correlation between ICT and the economic growth of a country, meaning therefore that more and more emphasis would be placed on ICT by policy-makers in future with a view to ensuring that the sector flourishes.

“The growth potential is therefore enormous for ICT professionals, and there are many areas you can decide to focus on. You could choose to be a software developer, a webmaster, web designer, animator or data analyst, among many others”, Abdulateef advised.

Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Ufuoma Daro, the Chief Executive Officer of eBusiness Life, the organisers of the event, thanked Globacom for supporting the initiative this year again, recalling that the company was also one of the companies that made it possible for the event to hold last year.

She called on other corporate bodies to support initiatives that are aimed at empowering the womenfolk in the overall interest of the country.

The ceremony drew participation from leading lights in the ICT industry, including representatives of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), ICT companies and policy-makers.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Pix: L-R: Mrs. Justina Abdulateef, Account Manager, Public Sector, Lagos Zone, Globacom; Miss Sanya Eniola of Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls’ Secondary School, second runner-up of a quiz competition; Alaere Peterside of Chrisland College, Idimu, winner; Miss Omotoso Aanu Oluwa of Baptist Girls’ Academy, third runner-up; and Oluwakemi Akinyele of Training and Development Unit, Globacom, at the Girls in ICT Day event co-sponsored by Globacom in Lagos on Thursday.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Critique of abstract politics - ITREALMS



About the middle of 1985, the tendency to which I belonged in Nigeria’s Marxist Left met somewhere on the campus of the former University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

We met to review our programme and, in particular, to discuss what I may now articulate as “abstractionism” in the national platforms of the Nigerian Left. And what do I mean by “abstractionism”, a term in which, I fear, I may now have embedded unrelated “attributes”? Let me recall the dramatic procedure used by the comrade who introduced the subject.

The comrade produced a current draft programme in the Nigerian Left and asked the presiding comrade to substitute Kenya or Ghana or Cameroon for Nigeria everywhere the latter appeared in the document. The presiding comrade chose Kenya, and we spent some time doing the substitution. To cut this long introductory story short, the “new” programme obtained after the simple substitution of the word Kenya for the word Nigeria could pass for a good, even brilliant programme for the Kenyan Left. In other words, there was almost nothing specific to Nigeria in the original programme meant for Nigeria!

After this “warm-up” exercise, we next tried to convince ourselves, first: that this practice of writing abstract, non-“nation specific” or “supra-nation” programmes and manifestoes of struggle against capitalism, imperialism and dictatorship and for workers’ power, popular democracy and socialism was widespread in the Nigerian Left; and secondly: that our tendency was not guilty of the error—having, in practice, abandoned it a decade earlier in the locality where we were holding that meeting. What followed was, of course, the imperative: to decide and prepare to wage a struggle against the practice described above, the practice I now call “abstractionism.”

One particular element of this envisaged struggle against “abstractionism” was the writing of a book to be titled “The (Un) Making of Nigeria” (or, in full, “The making and unmaking of Nigeria”). It was to be a stage-by-stage account, a critical and self-critical account of what had been a continuous historical process: the simultaneous building and wrecking of Nigeria and the social forces responsible for the building and those responsible for the wrecking of the nation. This would be followed, of course, by how the “building struggle” would continue more concretely. For several reasons, this writing project did not come out the way we planned it. Instead of a single comprehensive group publication, what we had were single-author internal memos, articles, collections of essays and monographs.

It was not that organisations and tendencies of the Nigerian Left were not connected with the masses or the grassroots. No, they were well connected with and active in the ranks of workers, peasants, women, students, academics, professionals and other strata of the popular masses. But their “connections” and “activities” were either entirely local or—where they were not entirely local and attempted to be regional or national—were fragmented and uncoordinated. Beyond this—and this is the core of the matter-at the national political level, or on the question of state power, what they did, said and wrote did not indicate that revolution or the capture of state power in Nigeria—by whatever means, electoral or nonelectoral—was, for them, a realizable political project, in the foreseeable future—assuming that such a political project was even considered desirable. It was as if the Nigerian Left was, at best, a self-limiting protest movement.

The preceding statement is a strong one, deliberately made so because “abstractionism” is still alive in the Nigerian Left. Were the Nigerian Left not “abstract”, as defined above, were it to consider revolution or the capture of state power as a desirable and realizable political project, it would not summarily dismiss concrete and significant political questions raised by political forces outside or within the Left. And it would not shy away from raising concrete political questions of its own and putting them on the agenda of national political discourse, debate or struggle.

For the avoidance of doubt, by concrete and significant national political questions here I mean questions directly related to the issue of political power, the capture of state power—and not simply those permanent economic, class and popular-democratic struggles (like struggles over wages, employment, prices, human rights, state abuse, social welfare, security, etc.) that the Left must permanently wage to be able to recognize and define itself as Left and be so defined and recognized by its primary constituencies and the nation. Current national political questions would include what is now known as “restructuring”. Related to it, and perhaps historically issuing from the same campaign, was the call for a “national conference” and later “sovereign national conference” or SNC.

What is at present embarrassing to me, as a not-too-young member of the Nigerian Left, is that several Leftists now make it sound as if “restructuring” and “sovereign national conference” were autonomous formulations from the Nigerian Right. Of course, not. For the origins of these two campaigns, I invite interested persons to research the print media of the early 1990s. Such persons will discover the role played by the Nigerian Left in formulating the campaigns and giving them revolutionary and popular-democratic contents and forms.

Recently, I re-organised my current position on “restructuring” around five “clusters” of ideas. I shall conclude this piece with an outline of the “clusters”. The first “cluster” of ideas I called “the impossibility of (pure) ethnic separation in Nigeria”. By this I mean that Nigeria cannot break or separate, peacefully or violently, along pure ethnic lines or even along near-pure ethnic lines. And by “pure ethnic lines” I mean without creating new entities with significant majority/minority dichotomies.

The second “cluster” of ideas, “relates to class-to-class redeployment and redistribution of national resources or, simply, the restructuring of class appropriations. By this I mean the massive movement of resources from the ruling class and blocs to the popular masses through people-oriented radical reforms in employment, education, health, housing, transportation, …” and the lifting of several layers of existential burden from the shoulders of the “common people.”

The third “cluster” is essentially the strengthening of the present six geopolitical zones and the creation of a presidential council of six equal members, each member representing a geopolitical zone. The headship and vice-headship of the council will be rotational within a 4-year presidential tenure. Put differently: Instead of the present office of the president, there shall be the presidential council of six equal members. The tenure of the council is 4 years; and each member will head the council for 8 months. The vice-headship will also be for 8 months. In this way, in a presidential tenure of 4 years, a council member would have acted as head for 8 months and as vice-head for 8 months.

The fourth cluster of ideas is the creation of a level of governance below the present local government council. This I call the “community” or the “neighbourhood” In the fifth and final cluster of ideas: Nigeria will remain a federal republic; the current principles of citizenship, fundamental human rights and principles of state policy will be enhanced; the Federal Government will give up a substantial fraction of its current appropriation to the states and local governments. The states, in turn, will finance the zones and the local governments will finance the communities.

Each of these five “clusters” can be argued and defended by the Nigeria Left on historical, political and ideological grounds. Defended: not just in conclaves, but crucially before the popular masses and the nation. And taken together, the five “clusters” represent a concrete revolutionary platform on the single question of “restructuring.” That platform I have called “popular-democratic restructuring” or “restructuring under popular democracy.”

*Contributed by Edwin Madunagu, mathematician and journalist, writes from Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.

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AccessDiamond in pursuit of Intelligent Bank says Wigwe - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
Leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) hold a lot for the future than what the past has ever held, declared the Managing Director, AccessDiamond, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, reports ITREALMS.

AccessDiamond, he also said, is always in pursuit of being the best possible Intelligent Bank.

Speaking at the 2019 African FinTech Foundry (AFF) Disrupt 2018 with the theme: The Future of the Intelligent Bank, which held in Lagos, Thursday, Wigwe said that though banking hs come of age, the future holds lot more than what the past has ever held.

He also noted that by leveraging such technologies as Artificial Intelligence and utilising data analytics in imperative if banks and fintechs are to remain competitive.

“Today, becoming an intelligent bank is not an options, it is a necessity,” he

Wigwe equally said that technology is redefining the way banks operate, stressing that AI and big data, cloud computing, virtual reality, cryptocurrency; all bring enormous opportunities for banks

He cited an instance with the cloud technology saying it has also been a game-changer for banks.

“It reduces server and infrastructure costs which is most appreciated in a country like Nigeria, where power generation is expensive, and its availability is not usually guaranteed,” he said.

Cloud technology, Wigwe said, enables the delivery of work from any location, where programmers could be based in multiple countries yet be working on the same project.

He emphasized that “Intelligent Banks are able to consider the impact of having an active online presence and social media for their business,” stressing that banks can target social media for specific advertising by ensuring they provide the right product and content to the right customer instead of marketing all products to all customers.

“In this sense, banking has become much more tailored and personal,” he asserted.

Intelligent banks, he said, partner with critical stakeholders to expand the frontiers of their business, insisting that opportunities existing from partnering with Fintech’s are enormous.

“Imagine instant cross-country payments between businesses who do not necessarily have a presence in those countries. Imagine third parties connecting to Application Programming Interface (API’s) to open accounts and making instant international payments,” he said.

Wigwe maintained that partnering with Fintechs offers banks an opportunity to earn revenue from transaction sharing.

“At Access Bank, we are acutely aware that Artificial Intelligence is the new cool in banking offering ongoing opportunities to enhance convenience for customers. We are in constant pursuit of being the best possible Intelligent Bank.

He explained that the AccessDiamond applications of intelligent banking range from the review of legal documents, to conversing digitally with customers.

“Our TAMADA system presents a single chatbot experience for all our customers. The services are countless. Imagine getting weather forecasts and sports updates without human intervention. Or applying for a loan and receiving disbursement instantly? What about paying bills from the comfort of your sofa! Or making bank transfers instantly using your web device, knowing your account balance instantly, accessing statements and locating branches by chatting with a bot,” he declared.

While welcoming participants to the 2019 AFF Disrupt Digital Gold Rush, Wigwe noted that most famous disruption really started with the use of this term was when Netflix disrupted blockbuster video in the United States (US).

“Netflix saw the inherent weakness in blockbuster’s business model - late fees. Customers loathed being charged late fees. So, when an alternative service, utilising technology to offer an innovative solution with no late fees came along, customers switched overnight,” he said.

Similarly, Wigwe said, technology-driven financial institutions will disrupt traditionally-run banks by taking advantage of any inherent weaknesses in their business models.

“They will do this by offering better value propositions to their customers. Today, it is our task to brainstorm these weaknesses and uncover opportunities in our current business models that technology will help us solve.

“Today is a gathering of the best technology brains ready to re-define the future of intelligent Banks and Fintechs. I encourage you all to discuss, postulate, imagine, and begin conversations that will create new disruptions for our industry,” he submitted.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Girls in ICT: ‘Daro decries ‘Handful women enrolment in engineering, computer science courses’ - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
In Nigeria that admissions into universities have shown that only a handful of female students enroll for courses in engineering and computer sciences, decried the Convener of the Girls in ICT Nigeria, Mrs. Ufuoma Emuophedaro, reports ITREALMS.

In her address to the 2019 edition of Girls in ICT Day which her organisation, eBusiness Life Communication Limited organised in Lagos, Thursday, Mrs. Emuophedara told ITREALMS that this was one of the gaps the event is meant to bridge.

She explained that Girls in ICT Day is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) aimed at creating a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the sector.

“International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April and was observed on 25 April, 2019,” she said.

According to her, it is to counter the chronic global decline in the number of female ICT students, which is in turn contributing to a predicted global shortfall of at least two million ICT jobs which will not be able to be filled through lack of qualified staff.

As said by ‘Daro, on this day, technical enterprises, enterprises with technical departments and trainings, universities and research centers all over the world open their doors to primary and secondary school students, although countries are free to celebrate on days convenient for them.

She pointed out that one of the best reasons is that there are job opportunities in the ICT sector.

“ICT companies are looking to attract and promote women because achieving greater workforce diversity is good for business; supporting the education of women and girls in the ICT sector is also in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she submitted.

Remmy Nweke/Editor

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Sex for arrest: WANEP bemoans serial assault on Abuja women, demands NPF action - ITREALMS

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Nigeria) has bemoaned recent arbitrary arrests and detention of women and allegations of sexual assault as well as rape by security agents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, reports ITREALMS.

In April 2019, ITREALMS recalls that over 100 women were arrested and detained in different police stations after series of raids carried out at nightclubs in the metropolis. And it was alleged that security operatives who made the arrests claimed it was an order to arrest prostitutes. 

According to the National Coordinator, WANEP-Nigeria, Bridget Osakwe, unfortunately, many of those arrested were threatened to plead guilty and those who declined were charged to court. Many of the women either bribed their way or succumbed to sexual abuse in order to gain their freedom.

"WANEP-Nigeria has been monitoring the situation in Abuja which is by far the most horrendous, to say the least, and is fast turning into a targeted violence against women by security agents who are supposed to be protecting the women. The activity of the security agents by targeting a particular sex for arrest where both sexes are culpable and the legality of their actions give credence to gender discrimination and requires urgent action. 

"The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, 2015 criminalizes intimidation (S18) or threat in any form and totally condemns any assault on any person based on their sex alone," she said.

Already, she told ITREALMS that civil society organisations in Abuja are calling the Police authorities to caution the security agents so as to prevent the possibility of further targeted arrests, rape and molestation of women without evidence.

While WANEP-Nigeria condemns in strong terms the abuse of women’s rights, she said, they urged the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to respect the rule of law and human rights of the citizens they are supposed to protect when carrying out their duties.

Further, WANEP demanded a stop on targeted arrests of women and young girls when both men and women are found at the location of the alleged incident under investigations.
 
In addition, urged NPF to conduct investigations into the alleged rape, molestation and violence against the victims; allow the arrested women to have access to legal counsel promptly to assert their innocence before being proven guilty.

Therefore, WANEP-Nigeria recommended that the Police authority should carry out a thorough investigation into these allegations and ensure that the officers involved in sexual exploitation of detainees face the full wrath of the law. 

"This will prevent future occurrence of taking laws into their hands," WANEP said.

And asked the Federal Government to ensure prompt implementation of the VAPP Act (2015) and passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities bill to law. 

ITREALMS  recollects that WANEP is a regional non-profit organization with a head office in Accra, Ghana and a member of the Peace and Security Cluster of the Africa Union Economic and Social Council, representing West Africa and also have a Special Consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. WANEP has a Memorandum of Understanding with ECOWAS as its implementing partner for the operationalization of the ECOWAS conflict early warning mechanism (ECOWARN) and the African Reporter of the African Union.
Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Canon offers highest resolution lens for new generation with RF 85mm - ITREALMS


Canon Europe, world leader in lens manufacturing, today builds on its ongoing commitment to photographers, with the launch of the latest generation of Canon’s iconic 85mm f/1.2L lens, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM, reports ITREALMS.

Offering the highest resolution of a Canon lens launched to date, it features a super-fast aperture and outstanding AF speeds, making it ideal for capturing candid portraiture and wedding photography. Following Canon’s lens development announcement in February, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM is the first of six RF mount lenses being introduced by Canon in 2019. This lens, endorsed by award-winning Canon Europe Ambassador Félicia Sisco, will take users of the legendary EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM to the next level of performance. All six RF lenses will offer incredible quality and versatility for those looking to get the perfect shot.

Designed for the EOS R System, the RF mount redefines the possibilities of photography and videography, providing the tools for users to enhance their skills and shoot creatively without limitations. Developed in line with technological advancements and end user feedback, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM uses the RF mount’s advanced possibilities to enhance image quality and communication between the lens and the full-frame mirrorless camera body.

The 85mm short telephoto lens provides the ideal focal length for portraits and a flattering perspective for faces. The RF 85mm F1.2L USM is only the second lens in Canon’s line-up, after the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM, to use Canon’s unique BR optic technology, which effectively corrects axial chromatic aberration that is not completely correctable with a combination of traditional glass lenses – improving resolution and sharpness. Ensuring incredibly high image quality for every shot, the aspherical and UD lens elements reduce lens aberrations enabling stunning optical performance.

The RF 85MM F1.2L USM is one of Canon’s fastest aperture autofocus lenses for its full-frame mirrorless range of cameras. When coupled with the short telephoto length and Dual Pixel CMOS AF, the fast f/1.2 aperture creates stunning shallow depth of field, bokeh and background separation. The lens aperture makes the subject leap from the image, whilst the nine-aperture blade system enhances the subject against the smoothly blurred background, ideal for portraiture photography. The ultra-wide aperture transmits 50 per cent more light than a f/1.4 lens for shooting in challenging, lighting conditions – down to -6EV (EOS R) and -5EV (EOS RP) – capturing the atmosphere in every moment.

Using the same ring type USM motor as the RF 50mm F1.2L USM, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM ensures sharp focus is found swiftly and accurately, allowing objects to be tracked as they move around the frame. Coupled with a new microprocessor, which uses a new high-performance CPU and firmware, the lens utilises the EOS R system increasing data transfer, resulting in faster operation and AF, allowing the photographer to capture split-second moments.

Incorporated in Canon’s RF lenses is a control ring - where settings are programmable to TV, AV, ISO and exposure setting - adds a layer of customisation, making it ideal for wedding photographers who need ranging settings for both perfect candid moments and beautifully modelled shots. The lens is also equipped with a full-time manual focus ring, which allows manual focusing by turning the focusing ring, without the need to switch to MF mode. Ideal for shooting outdoors, or on location, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM features the iconic L-series weatherproofing, sealing the lens to protect against adverse weather conditions when shooting outdoors or on location.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Uwaje to preside DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance, IPv6 Roundtable 2019 - ITREALMS

Chairman, Connect Technologies, Chief Chris Uwaje would preside over the 2019 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Africa Forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) and Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable, slated for Thursday, June 20, at the Welcome Centre Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

Affirming this Tuesday in Lagos, the Executive Director, DigitalSENSE Africa Media, Mrs Nkem Nweke, said that Uwaje, who is acclaimed pioneer of the national information technology policy for Nigeria and founding Member of Africa Emergency Technology Response Forum, is not new to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) eco-system.

She said that this year, the forum which usually holds on June 6 to mark the World Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6) day in Nigeria, was moved to June 20th due to religious public holidays with the theme, ‘Connecting Nigerians for Enhanced Internet Governance.'

DigitalSENSE Africa (DSA) Media, she said, is a team of internationally reputed and award-winning Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry analysts and perception managers; professionally affiliated to African Regional At-Large Organisation (AFRALO) for shaping the future of the Internet, African Civil Society for the Information Society (ACSIS).

Pointing out that DigitalSENSE Africa Media, is a certified At-Large Structure (ALS) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Also, she said that Uwaje who was recently appointed Africa Chair for IEEE-World Forum on Internet of Things (IoTs), is the Chief Software Architect and Chairman of Mobile Software Solutions and was Lead Consultant/conceptualized one of the foremost Nigerian Science & Information Technology Park (SIT Park) and State IT Policy for Akwa-Ibom State, as well as the co-Founder and Past-President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON).

Chief Uwaje, a fellow of Nigeria Computer Society and ISPON is an Information Technology (IT) veteran and commands a senior leadership position in the IT professional and industry domain with over four decades of on-the-job IT Practice as Computer Scientist across four continents, namely Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.

Uwaje, a specialist in IT-Strategy and Policy Consulting, Software Engineering Solutions; Research, Design and Development (RD&D) - incorporating SIT Park project conceptualization, design, implementation, project management and Technical Support. He is a Past-President of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN).

Uwaje is a Fellow of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (FISPON) and the convener of IPv6 Council Nigeria.

A Lead Director, Software Incubation and Software Hackathon Events in Nigeria and HackEbola Working Group in New York City, Washington DC. USA, Uwaje studied at the Control Data Institute of Information Technology, Frankfurt, Germany and majored in Computer Science at the British Institute of Engineering Technology UK.

He has presented numerous conference papers in Nigeria, USA and served as Panel Discussant at MIT/Boston/USA on Smart City. As speaker he has presented ICT Keynote at many Corporate ICT Conferences and at Nigeria Universities.

Uwaje is the core promoter for the establishment of National Software Strategy for Nigeria and served as member of the National IT Policy Blueprint Formulation and drafting Committee. In 2003, he served as member of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on ICT Harmonization. Co-Chair: National Software Development Initiative (NSDI).

Uwaje has also served as Member of Council of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) respectively. He served as member of the Governing Board of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Chair of NITDA e-Solve ICT Competition 2014. He is also served as former member of National ICT Advisory Council to the Minister of Communication Technology – Dr. Mrs. Omobola Johnson. He is the Vice-Chair IPv6 Council Nigeria has won numerous ICT Awards internationally and at home, including Lifetime ICT Achievement Award 2016.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Mozambique signs MoU with African Risk Capacity over drought, floods - ITREALMS

The African Risk Capacity (ARC) Agency and the Government of Mozambique have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide mid to long-term solutions against the recurrent episodes of drought, floods, and tropical cyclones in the country, reports ITREALMS.

The MoU serves as “a framework to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the ARC Agency and the Government, and to define the terms and conditions under which the Government and the ARC Agency will work together to address the impact of Extreme Climate Events on Mozambique, including through support provided by the ARC Agency for Mozambique, training of Government officials and other efforts in support of Mozambique objectives.”

Mozambique, which is emerging from two tropical cyclones, is vulnerable to climate change because of its location and geography which expose large areas of the country to tropical cyclones, droughts (every three to four years) and river/coastal storm surge flooding. This vulnerability is heightened by the country’s 2,470 km of coastline and socioeconomic fragility which puts infrastructure, coastal agriculture, key ecosystems and fisheries at risk.

Speaking about the signing of the MoU, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Director-General of ARC, Mohamed Beavogui indicated that the aim is to work with the Government of Mozambique to understand its own risk profile vis-à-vis the various perils facing the country and develop customised response plans.

“ARC is a Development Insurance Mechanism which links risk profiling, contingency planning and a payout. “Although insurance will never cover all the risks associated with a peril in each country, the ARC approach allows for the risks to be managed in a way that multiplies the benefits from limited resources available to Government. Therefore, helping to save more lives and livelihoods at the early stage of a disaster…before the arrival of humanitarian assistance…,” ASG Beavogui stated.

“The Government of the Mozambique appreciates the onset of formal collaboration with the African Risk Capacity” said HE Adriano Afonso Maleiane, Mozambique’s Minister of Economy and Finance. “We expect that the MoU will initial a well-coordinated take-off of activities towards strengthening the capacities of our climate management authority officials as well as other personnel to better understand our risk profile and provide quicker responses in the event of natural disasters,” he concluded.

Under the MoU, the Government of Mozambique and the ARC Agency will work together through the Program to prepare for the potential participation of the Government as an ARC Ltd member. At the end of the Program, the Government will decide whether to participate in ARC Ltd and its level of participation.

Government involvement in the Program does not commit it to participate in ARC Ltd but rather support an informed decision-making process on climate risk insurance.

ARC is working with other development partners including the African Development Bank as well as the World Bank towards a premium financing support to Mozambique when it decides to take the sovereign disaster risk insurance coverage.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Pix; UN-ASG / Director-General African Risk Capacity, Mohamed Beavogui and HE Adriano Afonso Maleiane, Mozambique’s Minister of Economy and Finance during one of the discussions leading to the signing of the MoU

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Tinubu commends PMB on making June 12 Democracy Day - ITREALMS

The All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking what he descdribed as an important step towards fully recognising June 12 as Democracy Day, reports ITREALMS.

He recalled that the Information Minister Lai Mohammed had on Monday revealed the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to move the second term inauguration ceremonies to June 12 while a low-key ceremony be held on May 29 to comply with constitutional provision which at present sees May 29 as the take-off date for elected office holders.

In a statement on Tuesday released by Tinubu Media Office signed by Tunde Rahman, Asiwaju Tinubu said President Buhari and the Federal Government deserve thanks and commendation.

"President Muhammadu Buhari deserves our thanks and congratulations for taking another important step towards fully recognising June 12 as Democracy Day in our country. The government moved the second term inauguration ceremonies to June 12 while events on May 29 would now be low-key swearing ceremonies in order to comply with the constitutional requirements covering the length of term for elected office-holders.

"By this wise yet visionary decision, the president has scored double: first he has accorded respect to the Constitution, which recognises May 29 as the date to inaugurate new terms of office while at the same time ensuring the country moves on the rightful path to formalising June 12 as new Democracy Day. This decision soundly balances current legal requirements with the quest for political justice.

"For this feat in moving the country in the right direction, President Buhari and the Federal Government deserve commendation.

"June 12 represents an important milestone in the annals of Nigeria’s democratic journey. It was the day Nigerians shunned ethnicity and religion to vote for that leader of their choice in an election adjudged clearly free and fair.

"To complete this process, that the president has started via Executive Order, we hope that the National Assembly act with reasonable dispatch in cooperation with the presidency to assure that the requisite constitutional amendments are enacted to fully establish June 12 as Democracy Day.

"As Nigerians we have a role to play: rededicate ourselves to democracy, peaceful co-existence, togetherness and the hope for a greater future, all of which June 12 represented" he said.


The process to accord June 12 recognition began last year when President Buhari officially named June 12 as Democracy Day by Executive Order. The president also recognised the winner of the June 12 election, Bahorun MKO Abiola, as a past president and awarded the highest honour in the line, the GCFR while Abiola's former running mate, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, was recognised a former vice president and bestowed with the GCON award.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Airtel’s 4G to boost Akwa-Ibom productivity says Gov. Udom - ITREALMS

The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has said the launch of 4G in Akwa Ibom State by leading telecoms operator, Airtel Nigeria, will boost productivity and help drive economic activities across the State, reports ITREALMS.
 
Speaking  at the formal unveiling of Airtel’s 4G Network in Uyo, the Governor who was represented by his Secretary to the Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, said “4G is for productivity, business growth, enhanced performance, ease of doing business and speed.
 
“4G is productivity in ubiquity and I must thank Airtel for modernizing its network in Akwa Ibom and for rolling out 4G. I, therefore, urge indigenes and residents of Akwa Ibom to use this opportunity maximally because 4G is not for fun as it can drive and speed up economic activities and productivity,” he said.
 
The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Moses Frank Ekpo, in his submission, commended Airtel for its 4G network roll-out in Akwa Ibom, noting that the government is committed to ensuring a favourable, conducive and peaceful environment for businesses to thrive.
 
“We are pleased with Airtel’s network modernization programme and we are happy to partner with Airtel on ICT and security. As you know, we require technology to help us remain the most peaceful State in Nigeria and we will collaborate with Airtel to creating an enabling environment for all,” he said.
 
Also speaking at the event, the Paramount Ruler of Uyo, Edidem Sylvanus Okon (JP), revealed that he has been a loyal and happy customer of Airtel for about 13 years and he felicitates with the telecommunications services provider on its network modernization programme in Akwa Ibom.
 
“The Royal Palace uses the Airtel network for mobile Internet. And we are happy that you have upgraded your network in Akwa Ibom State. We will continue to collaborate with you and other organizations to sustain the peace in Uyo as Airtel’s Installations have never been vandalized in Uyo since it started operations.”
 
The colourful event to herald Airtel’s 4G services in Akwa Ibom held at the EEMJM Hotel & Suites in Uyo, and it was attended by top government officials and corporate elites.

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Cyber Security: Experts counsel on secure operation over raising threats - ITREALMS


Cybersecurity experts have advised organisations, especially in Nigeria that handle financial services and sensitive user data to proactively adopt measures to protect themselves from the rising wave of cyber security threats, reports ITREALMS.
The advice was given on Tuesday at an event, “Secure Enterprise 2019” organised by ITANDT Solutions Limited, a leading software development and IT Security company, in collaboration with International Business Machines (IBM) and Interdist Alliances, a Value-Added Distributor (VAD).



The event which was well attended by leading financial institutions and some other companies, was used to expose new risks and challenges being faced in the cyber world as well as the technologies they could adopt to address them.



Speaking at the event, the MD/CEO of ITANDT Solutions Limited, Mr Akpos Okoro, said today’s cyber supply chain has removed the traditional security perimeter as enterprises adopt cloud, mobile, Internet of Things and social technologies.


“There’s no such thing as perfect security. An agile and commercially pragmatic approach is essential for the growth and innovation required to thrive in the new world,” he said, adding, “If measures are not in place to timely detect and rapidly respond to incidents, irreparable brand damage and financial losses could occur.”



At the event, two experts from IBM described how IBM has helped organisations to work ahead of the cyber criminals and also avoid heavy regulatory sanctions.



Ronald Martey of IBM Security Solutions (Central and West Africa) described how IBM top leading Security Intelligence solution, QRadar SIEM consolidates siloed information to more effectively detect and manage complex threats. According to him, the secret behind QRadar being the solution of choice is mainly because of its Watson cognitive (embedded Artificial Intelligence) ability to fight cybercrime, coupled with its ability to integrate with IBM and other third party components for automated response to intrusion attempts or incidents.



Also, at the event, Khalid Shaban of IBM Security (Middle East and Africa) described how IBM addresses some other challenges, through the use of IBM MaaS360 with Watson, an Enterprise Mobility Management/ Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) Solution. The solution enables organizations that use mobile devices in the corporate network to achieve desired productivity without compromising control of what users do with such devices while accessing corporate resources.



Khalid also described how IBM Guardian Analyzer helps organizations to confidently demonstrate compliance with GDPR, PCI DSS and other data protection regulations. It also guides database administrators and managers to proactively detect vulnerabilities and prioritize fixing them before they become big issues.


Mr. Raphael Nwosu, General Manager at ITANDT Solutions Limited also briefed the press on how the company has been empowering the businesses of various organisations in partnership with world leading technology like IBM and Interdist 

RemmyNweke/DoP
 

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Pix From Left... Mr Akpos Okoro, MD/CEO of ITANDT Solutions Ltd; Mr. Roland Martey of IBM Security Solutions (Central & West Africa) and Mr. Khalid Shaban of IBM Security Solutions (Middle East & Africa) at the one-day ‘Secure Enterprise 2019’ organised by ITANDT, IBM and Interdist Alliances in Lagos.

Gossy Water returns, Fayemi commissions plant - ITREALMS


Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday commissioned Gossy Water Production plant, signalling the commencement of full scale production of the popular table water brand, a year after the parent company was liquidated, reports ITREALMS.

The entire Ikogosi was tuned into a carnival as both the young and the old trooped to the major streets as early as 6.00am singing and dancing in celebration of the return of the company.

Governor Fayemi who led other dignitaries to commission the plant, said it was regrettable that the Gossy Water Company which could have been generating revenues for the State went moribund due to lack of conducive environment for ease of doing business in Ekiti State after he left office in 2014.

The Governor recalled that the bottling company was established as a joint business venture under Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, the first civilian Governor of the State and the investment “made waves in the market thereby boosting the IGR of the State and creating job opportunities for the citizens”.

He described the revitalisation of the company as another milestone in the state government’s determined efforts to revive moribund projects in Ekiti State.

“I am particularly excited about this development because of its expected multiplier effects on the economic lives of the people and governance in the State. I therefore congratulate Ekiti kete, home and abroad, for the restoration of this company which is an offshoot of one of our most prominent tourist attractions, the Ikogosi Warm Springs”, he said.

While lamenting the neglect of the tourism corridors of Ekiti State by the last administration, the governor said Ikogosi resort has now become “a ghost of its former self and hardly enjoys patronage because of its state of dilapidation”.

Dr Fayemi, however, assured that his administration would soon revive the warm spring resort, through private sector investment, and restore  it to its pride of place as a first class tourist destination in Africa, with

While promising that his government would ensure an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, the governor said his administration has mapped out strategic plans towards the resuscitation of other abandoned and moribund investments in the State.

The governor commended one of the leaders of Ekiti socio-cultural group, Ugbimo Ure Ekiti, Sir Remi Omotoso for playing a key role in ensuring that the Gossy Water Company returns and called on other Ekiti indigenes to support government in moving the State forward.

In his speech, the Board Chairman of Gossy Warm Spring, Mr Wole Adeyegbe expressed the readiness of the company to run the Gossy brand profitably and extending the brand to related food and beverage segment.

Adeyegbe added that the company has employed Ekiti indigenes, adding that it is planning to have at least 300 of its direct and indirect staff from the State.
Earlier, the Group Managing Director of Fountain Holdings Ltd, Mr Seyi Ayeleso thanked Governor Fayemi for working with Benin Electricity Distribution Company to restore power to Ikogosi Ekiti and its two neighbouring communities; saying that this would help forestall a re-occurrence of power challenge which was part of the reasons for its liquidation by its owner company, UAC.

Ayo Midele/Editor
 
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Pix: L-R:  Ekiti State Deputy Governor; Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, former Managing Director Oodua Investment Company, Sir Remi Omotoso; Ekiti State Governor; Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Chairman of Gossy Warm Spring, Mr Wole Adeyegbe; the Company's Managing Director, Mrs Gbemisola Otun; and Oloye of Oye Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju; during the commissioning of Gossy water production plant in Ikogosi-Ekiti…on Tuesday

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Secure Enterprise 2019: ITANDT warns against data protection procrastination - ITREALMS

ITREALMS: ITANDT Solutions Limited has showcased what makes the International Business Machines (IBM) thick at the Secure Enterprise 2019, warning against waiting until cybercrime incidents happen before action is taken, reports ITREALMS.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ITANDT Solutions, Mr. Akpos Okoro gave this warning in Lagos Tuesday at the event held in Radisson Blu, Victoria Island.

He said that this has become imperative given the rising usage of smart devices and cloud services which offer clients access seamlessly from anywhere in the world and at anytime.

“We should not wait until criminals take over our platforms or digital infrastructure,” he declared.

Cautioning that ITANDT has solutions to assist customers and clients to navigate the rising storm of cybercrminals in the polity.

“The number of cyber criminals taking advantage of Internet users has been on the rise, and deserves urge measures to counter that,” he said.

For him, there is no need enterprises and corporates should procrastinate about safeguarding their data because its very delicate and could find its way in the hands of cybercriminals.

What ITANDT brought forward to showcase at the 2019 Secure Enterprise, Okoro said, is a line up of IBM solutions which are readily available in the Nigerian market through ITANDT Solutions and partners with relevant support services.

2019 Secure Enterprise is jointly hosted by ITANDT Solutions Limited in collaboration with InterDist and IBM.

There were presentations from IBM’s Ronald Matey and Khalid Shaban as well as Central Bank of Nigeria’s Chief Information Security Officer, Rakiya Mohammed, among others.

Remmy Nweke/DoP


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US says No more 'Dropbox' for renewals - ITREALMS

Effective at the close of business today, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, the U.S. Mission to Nigeria is indefinitely suspending interview waivers for renewals, otherwise known as the “Dropbox” process, reports ITREALMS.

With this development, visa applications will no longer be accepted by DHL in Nigeria, ITREALMS confirms.

According to official communication from the embassy made available to ITREALMS, those who have already submitted their passports via “Dropbox” to DHL for processing either at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, or the Consulate General in Lagos, will not be impacted by this change. 

All applicants in Nigeria seeking a non-immigrant visa to the United States must apply online, and will be required to appear in-person at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, to submit their application for review. Applicants must appear at the location they specified when applying for the visa renewal.

Processing of diplomatic and official (A, G, and NATO class) visa applications will continue unchanged.

Mission Nigeria’s processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to assess our ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications. The U.S. Mission is taking this step to provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel, and will continue to facilitate applications of established travelers to the best of its ability. 
Remmy Nweke/DoP
 

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Konga