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Malware variety grows by 13.7% in 2019 - ITREALMS

ITREALMS :  In 2019, the number of unique malicious objects detected by Kaspersky’s  web antivirus solution rose by an eighth, compared...

Friday, December 13, 2019

Malware variety grows by 13.7% in 2019 - ITREALMS

In 2019, the number of unique malicious objects detected by Kaspersky’s web antivirus solution rose by an eighth, compared to last year — reaching 24,610,126, reports ITREALMS.

This growth, ITREALMS gathered was mainly influenced by a 187 per cent rise in web skimmer files. 

Other threats, ITREALMS gathered such as backdoors and banking Trojans detected in-lab, also grew, while the presence of miners dropped by more than a half. These trends have demonstrated a shift in the type of threats used by attackers on the web who search for more effective ways to target users, according to the Kaspersky Security Bulletin: Statistics of the Year report.

In 2018, unique malicious objects (including scripts, exploits and executable files) detected by Kaspersky’s web antivirus solution totaled 21,643,946, rising to 24,610,126 this year. The growth accounts for an increase in the number and variety of HTML pages and scripts with hidden data loading – usually used by unscrupulous advertisers. Yet, most notably, the growth was also partially caused by online skimmers (sometimes referred to as sniffers) – where scripts are embedded by attackers in online stores and used to steal users’ credit card data from websites.

The growth of online skimmers’ unique files (scripts and HTML) detected by Kaspersky web antivirus equaled 187%, reaching 510,000. At the same time the number of threats detected by web antivirus have risen five-fold (by 523%), totaling 2,660,000 in 2019. Web skimmers also entered the top 20 malicious objects detected online, taking 10th place in the overall ranking. The share of new Backdoors and banking Trojan files, among all types of threats detected in-lab, also grew by 134% and 61% to reach 7,644,402 and 739,551 respectively.

Nevertheless, the number of unique malicious URLs detected by Kaspersky web antivirus halved in comparison to 2018 (50.5%) – from 554,159,621 to 273,782,113. This shift was largely caused by significant decrease of hidden web miners, even though several detections related to them (including Trojan.Script.Miner.gen, Trojan.BAT.Miner.gen, Trojan.JS.Miner.m), can still be seen in the top 20 web malware threats.

The presence of programs that secretly generate cryptocurrency on users’ computers (called ‘local’ miners) has also been steadily declining over the year: the number of users’ computers affected by attempts to install miners dropped by 59%, from 5,638,828 to 2,259,038.

85% of web threats were detected as malicious URL – this detection name is used to identify links from Kaspersky’s black list. It includes links to web pages containing redirects to exploits, sites with exploits and other malicious programs, botnet command and control centers, extortion websites, and others.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Pantami: An unstoppable game changer - ITREALMS

Long before he was called to public service, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) had prepared for the task ahead. His life- long foray into the highly complex, intellectual world of digital scholarship, long before we even embraced technology in these climes, is testimony that nature had behooved on him the role he is so excellently playing today. 

It is neither accidental nor a mistake or even some inexplicable phenomena that at this very auspicious time in our nation’s history, a man of Pantami’s standing and repute is exactly where he is today. 

No great leader happens by accident and nature makes no mistakes. In fact, it is God’s grand design that a leader is born, shaped, prepared , tested, purified and molded for the task ahead. Like the true worth and weight of gold is tested by fire, so is the life of a great leader tested and strengthened by trials and the stormy weathers of life.

However one looks at it, whether from a microscopic or a telescopic perspective, Pantami is one of the greatest, most influential leaders of this generation, a living attestation that the wisdom of Solomon has nothing to do with Methuselah’s age. 

Pantami was born ready, armed with uncanny wisdom, knowledge, focus, determination, resilience, an awe inspiring fearlessness in the pursuit of justice and truth, a doggedness that defies distraction and the ability to set the pace in the most unpaved paths.

The renaming of the Ministry which he oversees to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, which has become a thorn in the flesh of some myopic, misguided or out rightly unpatriotic elements, gives an insight into the depth of Pantami’s understanding of where we should be and how to get there. 

A man who is thoroughly meticulous in his actions and responsibilities, he initiated and pursued the name change to properly position the Ministry, expand its scope to include the requisite functions and give legal backing to it, in line with global best practice. 

He took his team back to the drawing board and laid a formidable foundation for the process of digitalising the economy. This is the same strategy deployed by technologically advanced societies globally, the same strategy that has put them ahead of us, the same strategy we have always yearned for but lacked the leadership to implement. 

Pantami has risen to the occasion and filled the vacuum, by demonstrating the will and courage to execute his mandate, as tasked by President Muhammadu Buhari and the very people who should lend their support are indeed the crusaders of stagnation and retrogression.

Judging from the numerous feeble and cowardly recent attempts, at distracting or even stopping the laudable strides of Dr Pantami in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector, through cheap blackmail, it is only logical to conclude that quite a number of hitherto, “lords of lawlessness” have become quite uncomfortable with his mass oriented, people friendly policies which uphold the rule of law.

It is both ironic and shameful, that while fifth columnists are working against the very principles and ideas we should all project, our neighbours on the continent both near and far flung, are inspired by Dr Pantami’s strategies and have refocused their countries’ digitalisation agenda drawing from his policies back home. 

At the Cyber security Conference for ECOWAS ICT Ministers, held in Ghana in October, his Ghanaian counterpart, Honourable Ursula Owusu-Ekufu after Nigeria’s presentation, stated that they were inspired by Dr Pantami’s policy of deactivating all improperly registered SIM Cards and right there and then, she followed in his footsteps and issued the same directive to the sector in her country. 

And that is not enough for an African female leader who has publicly declared Dr Pantami as a source of inspiration, she has also demonstrated her government’s willingness to collaborate with Nigeria for knowledge transfer as she has requested that a team from Ghana, visits Nigeria for the sole purpose of understudying NITDA, so they can benefit from Dr Pantami’s legacies and implement them in their country. There is no history of such a feat based purely on exemplary leadership and merit in the sector.

On the 2nd of December 2019, South Africa’s Communications Commission ordered its Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to reduce the cost of data, a clear twenty six days behind the same directive by our own proactive, forward thinking Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. 

If indeed there is any justification in the attack and totally baseless criticism of the policy, I expect that the same venom should have been directed at the South African Authority, for after all, the pursuit of what is right and just, should not be selective or discriminatory. Commissioner for communications Tembinkosi Bonakele, went even further to threaten legal action against MTN and Vodacom if they fail to comply within two months.

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), in its latest report released on the 22nd October 2019, declared that Africans face the most expensive internet charges in the world! The A4AI’s report is based on its definition of affordability as, 1GB of mobile broadband data, costing no more than 2 per cent of average monthly income. Studies conducted across the continent revealed an appalling 7.12 per cent, averaging almost a sixth of monthly income in some cases. The cost of data is a major determinant of access.

In Nigeria, a reported forty million citizens have no access to the internet and Dr Pantami finds this situation totally unacceptable. He has the mandate to change the narrative and has proceeded to act accordingly. I personally, and millions of other Nigerians find it totally incomprehensible as to why anybody would stand against it. This ilk of illegality, who feed fat on the deprivation and dry milking of the ordinary consumers, and have no sense of loyalty or duty to country, should know that Dr Pantami’s ultimate objective transcends local recognition not for himself, but for Nigeria. 

The A4AI, for the purposes of clarity, is a globally credible initiative of the Web Foundation founded by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, in partnership with Google and Facebook. This organisation has put in place a Good Practices Database which monitors improved access and affordability. 

Namibia and Kenya have already been cited on the platform for improved access and tax eliminations. Dr Pantami aims to effect such a phenomenal change in the sector as to put Nigeria on that pedestal. So unless the naysayers have more credibility than the A4AI, or nobler patriotic intentions than the Honourable Minister, I humbly advice they desist from their ignoble acts as no cabal will survive under the leadership of Dr Pantami in the ICT sector.

The precedence he has set in NITDA, has become the solid bedrock on which sanity, the rule of law and professionalism now thrive. That same inherent leadership quality is what is manifesting in his capacity as Minister today. You cannot change or stop a man like Pantami from following his convictions, the law and his heart, when it comes to the discharge of his duties especially in upholding justice for the benefit of majority.

Here is a man who has staked everything to give his very best to the service of country, here is a man who is inspiring governments of other nations and galvanizing them into action, here is a man who has proven his mettle through his antecedents, one of our own, willing ready and committed and all some nitwits can do is attempt to discredit his efforts by ascribing petty politics to his office for their own selfish gains.

Dr Pantami is not a man to make loose or unguarded statements, so when he speaks, his words resonate substance. At a meeting with stakeholders in his office recently, he declared his stand. In his words, “They say, it is unwise to put all your eggs in one basket, I have deliberately put all my eggs in one basket, so my attention remains undivided. I have no choice but to commit all I have to ensure my eggs are protected and productive”. There is no agency or parastatal under his purview, that is left out of his transformation drive. He attends to issues with equal zeal as they exist and arise in every facet.

In the event of doubt or ignorance, let me make it categorically clear that if I have not learnt anything in the three years and three months I have been privileged to serve, under the impeccable leadership of this great Nigerian and extraordinary human being, it certainly is not his strength of character. This is a man whose determination and focus is further fueled by criticism. 

The failure to support worthy leadership, and the oppression of it has been the bane of development in these climes. Both challenges however, do not apply to the intellectual par excellence, as he has the full backing of President Muhammadu Buhari, to deliver his mandate, legal might, a formidable and competent team loyal to his cause and the support of millions of Nigerians. Every strategy, policy, reform, directive and action, is inextricably linked to the President’s three (3) point Agenda of National Security, Anti Corruption and A Digital Economy. 

He is effectively blocking the leakages deployed as conduit pipes to siphon national resources and shortchange the people, he is deploying technology to enhance security and address distress situations across the country, and of course doggedly pursuing the Digital Economy Agenda, with the strategy document in green mode already.

We are at a point in our nation’s history where business as usual cannot hold. The world is developing at the speed of light aided by technology and Dr Pantami is too busy, trying to make sure we are on board that train as a nation to reckon with, in the areas of innovation, capacity and infrastructure. He is too busy delivering his mandate to the millions of Nigerians who benefit daily from his mass-oriented leadership style. Those who cannot add value to the system should not sabotage the laudable efforts and achievements of those who are.

Pantami will not be oppressed or suppressed, he will not be intimidated and he will not abandon his mandate.

*Contributed by Uwa Suleiman, the spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Pantami

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Donors commit $7.6bn to ADF - ITREALMS

The donors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on Thursday agreed to commit $7.6 billion to speed up growth in Africa’s poorest nations and help lift millions out of poverty, reports ITREALMS.

This fifteenth replenishment of the ADF (ADF-15), up 32 per cent from the previous cycle, sends a strong signal of trust in the Fund, which is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group.

The Fund comprises 32 contributing states and benefits 37 countries – including those experiencing higher growth rates, headed towards new emerging markets, and fragile states needing special support for basic service delivery. The Fund’s resources are replenished every three years.

ADF-15 will support Africa’s most vulnerable countries by tackling the root causes of fragility, strengthening resilience, and mainstreaming cross-cutting issues. These include gender, climate change, governance, private sector development, and decent job creation.

“What a great pledge we’ve achieved with your support... Together we’ve exceeded the target set for this replenishment. What a great and successful replenishment story that is, “said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

Over the past 45 years, the ADF has played an important role in the development journey of African low-income countries.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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JIFORM lauds IOM, recommends migration charter for media – ITREALMS

The Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM), has commended the initiative of International Organization for Migration (IOM) for rallying round journalists across the globe to produce a charter for the effective coverage of migration matters, reports ITREALMS.

The document, he also said, serves as guide for reportage of migrants and policy formulations by other people cum organisation working on principles on same interest.

A press statement issued in Tunis on Thursday by President of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi, at the end of a two-day summit in Tunisia where the Arabic version of the charter was launched, praised IOM for continued interest in empowering journalists to tell the unadulterated story of migrants.

“JIFORM members across the world have endorsed the charterer and we shall further do a review on it to improving the content,” he said.

Ajibola also urged media across the continents to use the charter for better and improved coverage of migration activities by standing for the truth and professional presentation of facts with the right usage of terminologies.

“We join IOM to say that never again must migrants be referred to as ‘illegal migrant’ but instead irregular migrant, journalists should be conscious not to blame migrants for their situations with unacceptable vocabularies emanating from the news rooms.

“We must be ready to see migrants as economic developers because of their potentials. A lot of statistics had proved their economic relevance. Henceforth our headlines must be friendly and not alarming such that we must reflect the root cause of displacement of people instead of the actions in response to that.

“All the law enforcing agents particularly the immigration officers must be engaged to safe guard the interest of migrants because migration is not a crime.

“The Nigeria example is there for all to copy where the government had instead of deporting all irregular migrants had given opportunity for them to regularise the their status through e-migrant registration,” he said.

“On this note, JIFORM, hereby recommend the content of charter as produced by Journalists and other relevant agencies including our organisation to all parties to improve migration reportage across the globe,” he concluded.

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Kano project: DSS invites Nmodu, publisher of Newsdiary Online over investigative story - ITREALMS

The leadership of the Department of State Services (DSS) has invited the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newsdiary online, Danlami Nmodu, to the headquarters of the agency in Abuja for questioning over an investigative story earlier published by the medium, reports ITREALMS.

A DSS operative who called Danlami by telephone on Wednesday morning, said the invitation was with respect to a story recently published on the Kano Ecological Fund projects, requesting his presence either Wednesday or Thursday morning.

ITREALMS gathered that after publishing the story, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made further facts available through a rejoinder, which clarified the issues.
Also, ITREALMS reports that the Federal Government (FG) equally illuminated on this issue via a rejoinder copiously published by Newsdiary online, just as the newspaper was also among those who went for an on-the-spot assessment of the Challawa, Sharada and Bompai N2.6 billion ecological projects in Kano in the aftermath of the aforesaid story.

ITREALMS equally gathered that highly placed sources was quoted as saying Wednesday that the DSS may be investigating how some documents quoted by Newsdiary online were leaked.

ITREALMS learnt that Nmodu, the editor-in-chief and a member of the Nigeria’s highest policy think-tank institution, the Nigeria Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), who was asked to report for questioning, will be at the DSS headquarters on Thursday morning from 10am.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Airtel supports LSSTF, donates SIMs, fund – ITREALMS

Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has donated funds and telecommunications equipment towards ensuring a safer and well-secured centre of excellence’s Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), reports ITREALMS.

This also has attracted commendation from the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while speaking during a courtesy visit of the Airtel Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Segun Ogunsanya, to his Alausa Office, said Airtel had taken a fine step in fulfilling a pledge it made recently to support the efforts and activities of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund.

“I thank Airtel for redeeming its pledge to the State Government. About two months ago, the company committed to donate cash, handsets, SIM Cards and airtime to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. And today, without being nudged, it has come to fulfill its promise.

“Indeed, Airtel has demonstrated that it is a very responsible and responsive corporate citizen and we urge other corporate organizations to emulate the telco as we work collaboratively to ensure a safe and well-secured state where businesses and other activities can continue to thrive,” he said.

In his earlier remarks, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, expressed the company’s commitment to collaborating with the Lagos State Government in areas that will further bring development to the state as well as create prosperity opportunities for its inhabitants.

“Our visit today is to fulfill our pledge to donate cash, phones (1,000 handsets), SIM cards and airtime to support our security agencies in Lagos State through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. We are also donating some money today. In the past, we have supported the government in security and other areas and we are committed to supporting Lagos into the future.

“We are a good company. We don’t publicize most of the good things we do because we believe if you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you are doing business and not kindness. We are here for good. We believe the rich have an obligation to support the poor and that poverty should not be a permanent feature of our society.

“Through our CSR pillars: Airtel Touching Lives initiative, Adopt-a-School Program and Employee Volunteer Scheme, we have implemented multi-million naira CSR interventions ranging from school adoption to refurbishing cancer centers as well as offering reliefs to hundreds of Lagosians and Nigerians in General,” he said.

The Airtel CEO had in his delegation the company’s Corporate communications and CSR Director, Emeka Oparah and the Customer Service Director, Veronica Onoja.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Taidob College cart away 4 prizes @FBN sponsored contest - ITREALMS

The Taidob College Abeokuta, winners of the 2019 National Company of the Year Competition (NCOY) organized by Junior Achievement Nigeria and sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria Limited on Friday 6 December 2019, represented Nigeria in Ghana at the 2019 African Company of the Year competition.

Taidob College left Ghana with four awards in the keenly contested competition, comprising representatives from 10 other Junior Achievement member countries in Africa, notably from the Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland), Ghana, Zambia, Gabon, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Botswana, Kenya and South Africa. Team Nigeria (represented by Taidob College) won the most awards of any other country present. The awards include; Client Focus Award, Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, Facilitator of the Year Award and was second runner up, Company of the Year Award.

The African stage of the Company of the Year competition is the sequel to the national event featuring 12 student companies who are zonal winners from across the country, including the eventual winner Taidob College Abeokuta. Terra Kulture, Lagos played host to the event on 3 October 2019.

Speaking on their performance, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said “the youngsters from Taidob College have indeed made Nigeria and Nigerians proud. Winning four various awards is a recognition of the viability of the innovative solutions designed to save lives. The impact of their innovation – the Gas Leakage Detector – would go a very long way at solving the problem of fire outbreaks due to gas leakages in homes, offices, and industries. We congratulate Junior Achievement Nigeria on the strides achieved in Ghana”.

Last year, Inventive Explorers, from Caro Favored College Ajegunle, emerged the grand winners at the Africa Company of the Year competition in Ghana. Their rechargeable handheld LED traffic lights has solved a real problem in various congested communities and reduced traffic accidents, especially in areas with school children crossing busy streets. Over the years, FirstBank has been at the forefront of partnering with Junior Achievement Nigeria in Company of the year program and competition.

The National Company of the Year Competition (NCOY) is an annual flagship event by Junior Achievement Nigeria’s (JAN), which convenes the winners of the JA Company Program Regional Competitions across Nigeria together to compete for the National Company of the Year Award. The national winner then proceeds to represent Nigeria against other JA Africa member-nation companies. 

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NITRA wins Telecoms Industry Support Award'19 - ITREALMS

In recognition of the industrial support by the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has applauded NITRA, reports ITREALMS.

The award was presented at a recent ceremony attended by several industry stakeholders in Lagos. According to the award organisers, NITRA won the award for its contribution to the telecoms industry since it was inaugurated in 2017, having been in operation since 2015.

NITRA received the award at the 20th Anniversary/Awards Nite of ALTON on Friday, November 29, 2019 at the Shell Hall, MUSON Center, Onikan, Lagos.

While receiving the award, NITRA Chairman, Emma Okonji, said the award is an indication of the immense work done by the Association to smoothen the operations of the telecoms industry across the country.

Okonji thanked the organisers of the award for the Association’s recognition for the prestigious award and promised that NITRA will always ensure that its members give their best to the industry for the operators, regulators, customers and other stakeholders to offer and get excellent services.

“We feel honoured for this award from ALTON. Beyond being a close partner with ALTON, we have been in the forefront of issues concerning the telecoms industry. This gesture is a spurring symbol for NITRA to contribute more to the industry and the country,” Okonji said.

The award ceremony was witnessed by Rear Admiral Alison Madueke (Rtd) who was the Chairman of the award; the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who was represented at the event, among other industry stakeholders.

In his remarks in honour of NITRA, ALTON Chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, commended the NITRA for her doggedness in setting agenda for the industry through the members’ objective reportage.

According to Adebayo, ALTON, which is an umbrella body of all licensed telecoms operators, would continue to protect telecoms investment in Nigeria and ensure telecoms expansion across the country.

NITRA, under the purview of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, is an umbrella body for journalists reporting Information and Communications Technology in Nigeria.

In commemoration of its 20 years Anniversary, ALTON celebrated the achievements and milestones recorded in Nigeria telecom industry so far.

Adebayo noted that 20 years after the liberalisation of the telecom sector in Nigeria, the section has attracted over $68 billion Foreign Direct Investment and contributed over N15 trillion to Nigeria economy.

He said the country has moved from one cellular mobile network with limited coverage and 26,500 connected lines to 4 GSM operators, 2 VoIP operators, 4 Fixed Wired operators with 172.9 million mobile subscriptions and teledensity at 123.5 percent.

“After 20 years, Nigeria boasts of over N15 trillion contribution to its economy, over 123 million internet subscriptions across various technology platforms (e.g. VoIP, GSM & Fixed Wired), with sector contribution to GDP at 11.4 percent and over USD68 billion Foreign Direct Investment. This is worth celebrating,” he said.

He added that Nigeria is today Africa’s largest telecoms market in terms of subscriptions, stressing that beyond growth in sheer numerical terms, telecoms have evolved from being a sparsely-available public utility to becoming a ‘social overhead capital.


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Pix: Emma Okonji, Chairman, Nigeria Information Technology Reporters' Association (middle); Engr Chris Uwaje, Chairman, Connect Technologies, (right), and Chike Onwuegbuchi, Vice Chairman, (NITRA), during ‘Telecoms Industry Support Award’ presentation to NITRA by the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria ALTON) at MUSON in Lagos, recently.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Erelu Fayemi demands state of emergency on sexual violence - ITREALMS


The First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi has reiterated her call on government to declare a state of emergency on sexual violence in the country, reports ITREALMS.

Mrs Fayemi said such declaration would bring about the political will to fight the scourge adding states that had passed the law on Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act would be able to implement the law to the fullest.

The Wife of the Governor who stated this in her keynote address at the 20th anniversary of Project Alert on Violence Against Women in Lagos, on Friday, the passage of the VAPP law will lend support to the array of women organizations that work in very remote hard- to -reach areas.

“It has taken a long time but we have some laws in place. We have the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, and out of the 36 States of Nigeria, only 11 States have domesticated this law. Even for those who have domesticated the law, there is an issue of resources. We are talking about financial resources, human resources, materials resources, as well as technical resources.

“We do need resources to push these issues through but we need the political will to drive the allocation of those resources. I will like to lend my voice to the voice of all the feminist organizations, human rights and civil society organizations in the country, calling for more attention to what has now become a national pandemic of gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence.

“In my own opinion, I believe we need the State of Emergency in Nigeria on sexual violence in particular. I think we need to call for more political will and that will hopefully drive things such as ensuring that those States who have passed the VAPP Act can implement it to the fullest, at least try their best.

“I will like to call for political will, I will like to call for resources and I will like to also call for a lot more partnerships and information sharing.

The Ekiti First Lady charged the participating organisations to focus their effort more on community engagement.

“I am based in Ekiti, which is a predominantly rural state, and so it’s not a State where everyone can have access to information via what’s happening on TV, Radio and so on.

“And so there are certain gatekeepers that we need to engage, who still hold deeply conservative views. A lot of religious leaders, traditional rulers, we have female chiefs, we have a whole array of people. We need to do a lot more work there. Because if communities don’t own response to gender-based violence, God forbid that sexual violence then become normalize.”

A major highlight of the event was the inter-generational dialogue on Gender –based violence. The Ekiti State First Lady was also honoured with the Excellence Award in Women's Rights Activism by Project Alert.

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Buhari to commission Abuja Chamber's Legacy Projects, as ACCI elects council members – ITREALMS

The President, Muhammadu Buhari has been confirmed to officially commission the legacy projects of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and industry (ACCI) to demonstrate the support of his administration for the private sector, reports ITREALMS.

Confirming this to ITREALMS at the end of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the chamber held in Abuja on Tuesday, ACCI president, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode and cited communication between the Presidency and the Chamber leadership, although the precise date of the commissioning was not disclosed.

The legacy projects include a six story ultra modern secretariat of the ACCI along Abuja airport road and a huge well-furnished newly completed Abuja Trade and Convention Centre.

Meanwhile, at its AGM, the chamber also elected new Vice Presidents and some council members. The AGM presided over by the President of ACCI, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode was preceded by Council and executive meetings, the last for the year.

The President in his main address listed the many advances recorded by the Chamber in the last one year including:

-The completion of legacy projects like the six story ACCI secretariat and the ultra modern trade and convention centre to be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari;

-The listing of ACCI as a Grade A federal chamber alongside Lagos Chamber with only two Chambers with such recognition across Nigeria;

-The signing of cooperation MOUs with many state Chambers of commerce as a recognition of ACCI as the only federal chamber in the country;

-The emergence of ACCI as within number five worldwide at a skill programme competition organised by the International Chamber of Commerce in Brazil;

-The organisation of many policy impacting programmes,roundtables and workshops by the Chamber that improves its visibility;

-The increasing recognition of the chamber by local and international organizations as a credible platform for trade facilitation and private sector engagement in Nigeria among others.

The President who was flanked by first and deputy presidents(Emeka Obegbolu and Alhaji Mutjhaba) specifically commended the leadership of the four ACCI centres (PAC,BEST,DRC and ATC),showering encomiums on Professor Soji Adesugba(the Provost of BEST Centre,Olawale Rasheed (the Coordinator of Policy Advocacy Centre ),Chief Emeka Obegbolu (Chair of DRC board) among others.

He lauded the roles of other directors such as Aisha Ado of Dispute Resolution Centre,Vikki k of Best Centre,assuring that efforts are on to ensure that the centres are sustainable.

President Kayode informed the AGM that the four centres of the ACCI listed above are soon to be adopted by the NACCIMA to serve as national centres for business Chambers all over the country.

Election was subsequently conducted to fill vacant positions alongside a rejigging of the offices.

Those elected or who swapped offices are as follows :

Dr. Somadine Anene Johnson for Vice President Mines ;Chief Jude Igwe for Vice President Industry;Mrs. Rose Nwosu for Vice President Women Development;Prof. Adesoji Adesugba for Vice President,Technology, Skills & Digital Economy;Dr. Sijuade Kayode Vice President Commerce ;Alhaji Usman Balarabe Vice President Finance;Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong,Vice President Strategy /External Relations;Olawale Rasheed Council Member and PAC Coordinator and Bode Thompson Council member.

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Peter Obi, Obaseki, Etiaba felicitate with Pastor Chris on his birthday - ITREALMS

The former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, and Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections; Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, as well as former Governor Virgy Etiaba of Anambra State, on Saturday felicitated with the Founder of the Loveworld Inc, also known as Christ Embassy, Rev. Dr. Chris Oyakhilome, on his birthday anniversary.

Obi in his facilitation message, on behalf of his family, dated December 7, 2019, expressed his sincere congratulation of the Man of God on his birthday, giving God all the glory for the auspicious moment in his life.

Obi in his message acknowledged: “As the founder of the Loveworld Inc, also known as Christ Embassy, you have remained consistent in preaching Christ to the world. Your charismatic leadership has remained an inspiration to younger pastors desirous of propagating Christ among all nations.

“Besides, your publication – Rhapsody of Realities – has remained an enduring Christian literature of all times.”

The former Anambra Governor further remarked: “May I note that you have also continued to contribute to the growth and development of humanity through your activities in education, care for children and support for the less privileged as well as those challenged by the vicissitudes of life.

“I note with joy, your recent donation of a tuition-free school and a health centre to the Demsa community in Adamawa State through your Foundation – Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International.

“Our prayer is that God will continue to guard and guide you as you work in his Vineyard. May He give you the strength and courage to continue to speak against the ills of our nation.

“Once again, I congratulate you and assure you of my best wishes now and always.”

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State in his congratulatory message, eulogized Pastor Oyakhilome for his commitment and devotion to planting seeds of the gospel across the globe, noting that posterity will always remember him.

Governor Obaseki declared: “On behalf of the Government and people of Edo State, I congratulate you, Rev. Dr. Chris Oyakhilome, President of Loveworld Inc. also known as Christ Embassy, on this auspicious occasion of your birthday celebration.

“Edo State is proud to have a revered Christian leader like you, who has planted seeds of the gospel across the globe, for which posterity will always remember you.”

The Governor maintained: “Your exemplary lifestyle, which epitomizes the virtues of honesty, peace, patience, contentment, humility and diligence, is a motivation to millions of citizens in our dear state, who have been immensely blessed by your ministry.

“I commend your astute social and humanitarian interventions that have continued to complement the efforts of governments in providing a better, rewarding life for the people and residents of Edo State.

“I enjoin you to continue in your highly impactful service to God and humanity, as I pray that the Almighty God grant you long life and more strength to carry on the good work.”

Nigeria’s first Governor, Dame Virgy Etiaba, in her congratulatory message, described Pastor Chris as an immense visioner, a most creative thinker, and a great man of God who has decided to accomplish extraordinary things.

“You have certainly achieved the most unimaginable feats in His Vineyard. Words are not enough to capture your exploits in the service of our Lord but you see,’ Dame Etiaba had declared in a goodwill message sent through the Dame Virgy Etiaba Foundation.

The former governor acknowledged Pastor Chris’ foundations and initiatives, including the Trauma Care International Foundation, which have continued to provide humanitarian service to the benefit of millions of people in Nigeria and around the world.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Monday, December 09, 2019

TD, reliable Nigerian brand says Peter Obi - ITREALMS

A business magnate and former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi has hailed Technology Distributions Limited (TD Africa) as an organization built on integrity and sound credentials, reports ITREALMS.

He gave this commendation at the Celebrating You 2019, an annual year-end dinner/awards party organized by Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products distributors, TD.

The event, arguably the most eagerly-awaited celebratory event in the Nigerian ICT ecosystem, was held on Sunday December 8th 2019 at the prestigious Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

On an annual basis, Celebrating You focuses on sharing deep insights with attendees on diverse areas of the economy. The 2019 edition was not different as Obi proved a fitting resource person who drew from his personal experiences in addressing guests.

‘‘I must mention that I have a special relationship with TD which is based on performance. It is a company that you can rely on. I remember many years ago while I was still in office at exactly 1am when I called Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh to say I wanted to buy 30,000 laptops. I still recall his response till today. He told me that he does not do business with state governments and that even if he wanted to, he does not think the Anambra State Government could afford to pay for the 30,000 laptops without credit.

‘‘I assured him that the laptops would all be paid for which we did upfront without collecting a bank guarantee. And they were supplied by TD and all of them deployed to specifications down to the very last one. I must confess, the execution beat our expectations. Today, the feat achieved by the Regina Pacis school girls who shocked the world at Silicon Valley, USA in 2018 can be attributed to this effort by TD and the Zinox Chairman. Though we paid for the equipment but TD added huge value and Anambra is better for it till date. Also, Anambra State has continued to emerge tops in school knowledge tests and examinations conducted over the past couple of years. The investment in technology and TD’s contribution played a key role in making this happen,’’ he said.

Obi, who was the Special Guest of Honour and who was wearing the cap of entrepreneur at the event, further described TD’s place in the Nigerian ICT distribution landscape as very essential to the current developments and gains recorded in the sector. Further, he urged budding entrepreneurs and small business owners to borrow a leaf from TD’s remarkable consistency, track record of delivery and integrity which has seen it all the way to the top.

Also speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), TD Africa, Mrs. Chioma Ekeh identified tenacity as the enduring attribute that has kept the organization at the top of its game over the past 20 years.

‘‘This quality, more than anything else, sets TD apart and makes us different. We keep our promises,’’ she said.

Further, she heaped praises on the entire Management and staff of TD, whom she described as the lifeblood of the company, even as she expressed deep gratitude to the special guests and other attendees for honouring the invitation.

The Zinox Group Chairman, Ekeh who extended best wishes of the season to all, also assured younger entrepreneurs that there seems to be light at the end of tunnel with the rebranding of the Ministry of Communications to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy by President Muhammadu Buhari and with a tested hand as the Minister.

‘‘The new addition resonates confidence and assures certified future for smart entrepreneurs,’’ he enthused.

Meanwhile, the event witnessed the presentation of awards to deserving Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other channel partners. Top winners on the night include Dell-EMC, Huawei, Konga, Edgebase Line Ltd. Allied Computers, HPI, among others. The event also witnessed top-notch performances from A-list artistes including Kizz Daniel, Flavour, comedian SLK and Okey Bakassi who doubled as the MC/compere.

Equally important, Celebrating You remains arguably the only one which brings together the major competing local and international Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other stakeholders in the industry under one roof, albeit in a fun and relaxing atmosphere.

In attendance was a host of knowledge-driven resource persons including former Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Ibidapo Obe; Chairman TD Board of Directors, Prof Anya O. Anya; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ernest Ebi; Group Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna; among many others.

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Danbatta is Nigeria’s Security, Emergency Management Ambassador - ITREALMS

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has been recognised as Nigeria’s Goodwill Ambassador for Security and Emergency Management in Nigeria (SAEMN), reports ITREALMS.

This, ITREALMS gathered was in recognition of his efforts towards fast-tracking implementation of Emergency Communication Centres (ECCs) especially at a time the country is faced with a number of security situations, as before his appointment in 2015 no single emergency communications center was operational in the country but Nigeria boasts on 18 centers now.

Danbatta received the recognition at the first-ever Security and Emergency Management Awards (SAEMA 2019) organised in Abuja by the Emergency Digest, a publication of Image Merchants Promotion Limited, in conjunction with the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC).

At the event, which was attended by many stakeholders, particularly agencies in the security governance sector, Danbatta beat other contenders and nominees in the category to emerge winner for his proactive decision to activate and oxygenate the implementation of ECC across states of the Federation and federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja.

The NCC, as a corporate entity, was also recognised with the Corporate Social responsibility Award in Security and Emergency Management in the country.

On assuming office as EVC of NCC in 2015, Danbatta quickly put machinery in place to accelerate the implementation of ECC across the country in line with the decision of the Nigerian government to enhance security of lives and properties in the country and in line with the provision of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.

Danbatta’s decision was based on his recognition of the NCC’s mandate in this regard, which is to promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number which shall be designed as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally; as well as encourage and facilitate the prompt deployment throughout Nigeria of seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communications needs.

Consequently, the Danbatta-led NCC has fully activated and operationalised ECC in 17 States across the country and the FCT. The list of the states include Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna , Kano, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, edo, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Adamawa.

Speaking during the presentation of the award to the EVC, the Chairman of Panel of Jury for SAEMA 2019, Mohammed Audu-Bida, said nominations for winners were based on verifiable outstanding performance and track record of excellence in the category for which the nomination was made.

According to him, a total of 254 entries were received for all the categories, out of which 136 nominees qualified for the competition. Thereafter, 54 finalists were selected by the jury from which 18 winners of the 18 categories emerged.

The Awards is instituted to recognise remarkable and invaluable contributions to the security, emergency management and peace development by individuals, groups and relevant stakeholders. The Award also recognises gallantry, rescue efforts, safety measures, teamwork and outstanding contributions to security and emergency management in Nigeria.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Pix: Chukwuma Azikiwe, Head, Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) Project, Special Duties, NCC (Left) receiving the awards on behalf of the EVC of NCC from Mohammed Audu-Bida, Chairman of Panel of Jury for SAEMA 2019 at the event.

Elumelu tasks ACP countries to help youth accelerate industrial revolution - ITREALMS

Governments across the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries have been tasked to help youth to be aware and accelerate drive to meet the challenges, capture and channel extraordinary opportunities through an industrial revolution across member countries, reports ITREALMS.

There are over 80 countries in the membership of ACP.

In a keynote address at the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Business Summit in Nairobi, Kenya on Sunday, the founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Mr Tony Elumelu gave this charge, urging everyone to take time to check out the TEF Connect and learn more about how individuals could contribute to socio-economic development through mentoring young and eager entrepreneurs.

He observed that talent was not hard to find in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries nor was dedication, ideas and discipline which are the components of entrepreneurial success.

“These brilliant ideas cannot exist in a vacuum and it is up to the governments across the developing world to help the growth of Small Medium- sized Enterprises (SMEs),” said Mr Elumelu.

He also said that the enabling environment was the backbone of success with industrialisation and wealth creation for ACP countries, noting that without enabling environment, the dream of industrialisation will be a fleeting illusion.

“We must streamline our bureaucracies, provide infrastructure and stable access to power,” he said, stressing that there was need to promote implementable policies that support industrialization than those hindering people.

“Power is critical, in Nigeria, where I come from, about $10 billion yearly is spent by people and businesses who provide power for themselves. Now, imagine if that money was spent on more productive activities,” he asked.

Insisting that “We cannot hope to industrialize if we do not fix the issue of power, if our entrepreneurs spend so much money to power their businesses, how then are they expected to make the investments necessary to upgrade and industrialize?”

He equally called for a self-honest introspection, emphasising that “if we do not tackle these issues, we will be unable to achieve industrialisation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.”

ACP youthful dividends, he advised, cannot be allowed to waste or can we exclude “our women from our development agenda.”

In addition, he commended the European Investment Bank, represented by Mr. Ambroise Fayolle, for its initiative SHE INVEST, focusing on mobilizing 1 billion Euros for women across Africa, through innovative digital solutions, financial products, climate responsiveness as well as capacity building.

“We at the Tony Elumelu Foundation strive to reach the same goals of uplifting women out of poverty and empowering them with knowledge and resources. This is an invitation to join forces as we have done with the UNDP to lift 100,000 young African boys and girls out of poverty and thereby stemming migration challenges.

“We must develop our industry, improve our knowledge base, the technical capacity of our people must be up scaled. Power and infrastructure are crucial to our success if we are to compete in an increasingly interconnected world with rapidly advancing technology,” he said.

Further, Mr. Elumelu said that there was need for the private sector, governments and policy makers, development partners to all work together through positive engagement to create the right environment and give hope to young ones so that their latent talent can be realised for the development of ACP countries and for peace in the world.

Asked if the Tony Elumelu Foundation will open up physical offices in the sub-region, the Chief Executive Officer of TEF, Ifenyinwa Ugochukwu alluded to efficacy of technology in helping to spread message beyond the nations.

Ugochukwu equally explained why the entrepreneurs do not receive the full $5000 USD grant, saying that the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with awardees stated that it would be $5,000 at the Central Bank of Nigeria foreign exchange rate of N306 Naira, lamenting that in Nigeria there are two parallel markets.

“You have the official rate and the black market rate subject to wild fluctuations and as a company that earns in Naira we could not expose ourselves to that which is why we had to peg the currency exchange with the Central Bank which is stable,” said Ugochukwu.

Pointing out that any disparity that the entrepreneurs see is in that exchange rate, just as she acknowledged that they have gotten information that in other countries by the time the entrepreneurs get the grant money which is changed back to their own national currencies there are some limitations.

*Brenda Zulu reporting from Nairobi, Kenya.

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Pix: Ifenyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO TEF.

Acupunture is validated by WHO, heals kidney diseases, says Dr Kyari Abba - ITREALMS

Dr. Kaka Kyari Abba is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dagira Alternative Medical Care Limited, an alternative medicine practitioner reputed in North-Eastern Nigeria for the potency of his treatment and prescriptions. He  speaks on healing kidney and other health situations with acupuncture, cupping and others alternative procedure.Excerpts.

Kindly give a peep into your background?

Dr Abba: I was born on 11th January 1975, graduated in BSc Botany from University of Maiduguri in 2002, did my final year project in ‘Medicinal Plants’ which paved the way for the development of interest in natural medicine. I made various research especially on locally available plants and started offering a part time herbal treatments in the year 2001 privately at home. In 2015 July I secured an office and started a full time herbal practice. 

In other to diversify the business, I developed interest in acupuncture and got admission at the prestigious Open International University of Alternative medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka, where I received training in Acupuncture between 2017 and 2018. I also received six months certification training in Unani Medicine with Hakeem Ajmal Khan Memorial Foundation in Delhi India.  During the past 3 years of my clinical practice of Acupuncture, Unani and herbal medicine, I attended various workshops on acupuncture and cupping therapies. 

I  achieved excellent curative results in the treatment of conditions like spondylosis, backaches, arthritis, asthma, skin diseases, gynae disorders, eye diseases including optic nerve atrophy, glaucoma and retinal degeneration, cigarette de-addiction, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, facial paralysis, stroke, diabetes,  etc. I attended to and treated over 4000 patients in the past years.

I am basically a socio-medical worker. On the basis of whatever knowledge and experiences I have gathered till date - as a social worker and acupuncture physician, trainer and researcher – I want to share them with the broad masses of people and sow among them the ideals of selfless service to the people and natural way of living. With this aim in mind I have been working for establishing the approach of integrative medicine putting emphasis on the use of traditional Chinese medicine, unani and Herbal medicines for the benefit of the common people of Nigeria, specially the deprived & under privileged.

I am the founder and Physician in-Chief, Dagira Alternative Medical Care Ltd, I also serve as National vice president research and development of Nigerian Council of Physicians of Natural Medicine NCPNM.

What exactly is Acupuncture?

Dr Abba: Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involved pricking certain points of the body with fine needles to enhance the body’s self healing capacity.

Basically advance practioners define acupuncture as ‘a resonance modulation treatment system that transforms life forces (qi) moving along body surfaces (channels), by touch, prick, warming, cupping, pinching & photo stimulation.

Acupuncture is a philosophy, practising acupuncture is an art, it is a unique means of treating diseases in Chinese medicine. Its core philosophy is "inside disease and external treatment." That is to say, through the conduction of meridians, acupoints, and the application of certain methods of operation to treat systemic diseases.

How does Acupuncture works?

Dr Abba: Acupuncture is truly a treatment modality where modern science meets ancient art! Acupuncture works by stimulation of specific points (acu-points) on the body, which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve a healing effect.

Ancient Chinese medical philosophy believes that disease is a result of an imbalance of energy (qi) in the body. Acupuncture is believed to balance this energy, and thereby assist the body in healing disease. In Western terms, acupuncture can assist the body’s efforts to heal itself by causing certain physiological changes.

Acupuncture works by stimulating nerve endings that are below an acupuncture point. This results in the release of messengers such as endogenous opioids, endorphins and serotonin that cause analgesia (pain relief) via the nervous system. In addition to the release of cortisol - the body’s natural steroid hormone that aids in reducing inflammation.

What kind of conditions can be treated with Acupuncture?

Dr Abba: Every disease can be either prevented or treated through acupuncture. It is an affordable and accessible medical practice. It also has no side effects. The use of this method is increasing rapidly in the world over.
 It has been demonstrated by the World Health Organization that acupuncture can treat more than 200 symptoms and diseases like: low back pain, headaches, nausea/vomiting, depression/anxiety, tendinitis, arthritis, headaches, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory disorders, skin problems, dysmmenorhea and digestive disorders.

Acupuncture has proven to be successful in reducing stress, muscle tension, chronic pain (including headaches) and helping normalize menstrual irregularities. If the symptom is a result of an energy blockage within the body, acupuncture can encourage the body's natural healing response. Acupuncturist can treat more complicated issues like digestive disorders, infertility, menstrual irregularities, skin problems as well as pain and stress relief.

Acupuncture is a complete medical system that has been developed and refined over three thousand years. It treats the body and mind as one, not just symptoms. It involves inserting very fine needles into acu-points in the body to bring about physiological changes. Acupuncture triggers different healing mechanisms in the body to treat a wide variety of pain conditions and internal diseases.
• It stimulates the release of powerful pain-killing and anti-inflammatory substances from the brain.
• It changes the way your brain responds to pain, and can modify internal organ function to treat many complex diseases.
• It has many local effects; including the relaxing of tight muscles and increase of blood and oxygen circulation.

What can you say about the level of awareness among local communities on effectiveness of Acupuncture? 

Dr Abba: Their response is quite impressive, Acupuncture is waxing across Borno and Yobe states in geometrical progression on daily basis.This is partly connected to my famous weekly radio awareness program in our local language on Wednesdays and Hausa language on Thursdays where I offer lectures on the therapeutic values of certain fruits and vegetables and sometimes emphasis on acupuncture (medication without drugs) and partly to the thousands of patients who benefited from dividend of acupuncture treatment within the last 3yrs.

How many needles do you use, how long do you leave the needles in and how much do you manipulate the needles?
Dr Abba: It often produces remarkable results with just a few needles and usually brings about immediate improvements. We usually use 4-20 needles. The retention of needles is 30-45 minutes. We manipulate every 10 minutes for 2-3 minutes. We apply moxa and also stimulate the needles with micro electric stimulators. This process is repeated for few sessions. 

How many treatments are usually necessary and what about the frequency? 

Dr Abba: Most patients (90 per cent) whom we treated showed improvements within initial 3 sessions, and many of them showed improvement at the first session. At the beginning of treatments, we treat patients 2-3 times per week, then reduce to once a week after they have major improvements.

Conditions like kidney disorder is on the rise. What is your experience with this condition and how well can you treat it? 

Dr Abba: We have treated many kidney patients and had good results. Acupuncture lowers creatinine level more and more kidney disease patients tend to choose Acupuncture (Traditional Chinese Medicine) to lower creatinine levels. Acupuncture and Hijama (wet cupping) can eliminate thrombus, promote blood circulation and increase the blood flow to kidneys, so it can help improve the hypoxic-ischemic state in kidneys greatly, thus relieving renal damage, providing essential nutrients and repairing damaged kidney inherent cells. 
Kidney disease patients usually experience fatigue and poor appetite because of the accumulation of wastes and toxins in the blood. However, acupuncture can help relieve these symptoms. Acupuncture can lower creatinine level to a certain degree. When we use acupuncture points to treat kidney disease, the acupuncture points used mainly include Dazhui (GV 14), lienal Yu,Zhangmen (Liv 13), shenshu, Qihai (CV6), Zusanli, Taixi (K 3), etc.

What is cupping and how does it work?

Dr Abba: Cupping therapy is taught both in acupuncture and Unani medicine, in Traditional Chinese practice cupping is of three types.
Cupping (hijama) is of three types: 
1- Dry cupping - This is the process of using a vacuum on different areas of the body in order to gather the blood in that area without incisions (small, light scratches using a sterile surgical blade or).  
2- Dry massage cupping – This is similar to dry cupping but olive oil is applied to the skin (before applying the cups) in order to allow easy movement of the cups.
3- Wet cupping (hijama) - This is the process of using a vacuum at different points on the body but with small incisions in order to remove 'harmful' blood which lies just beneath the surface of the skin. (It is recommended that wet cupping (hijama) is only administered by a cupping therapist).

Only the third type of cupping is practiced in Unani and is considerd as SUNNA. The Messenger r said, "Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping (hijama)…" [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5371)]

Today, cupping is a form of alternative therapy by which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. There is a saying in Chinese medicine: ‘Where there is a flow there is health, and where there is stagnation there is disease.’ The feeling of wellbeing, the looseness of the body and higher levels of energy makes it a favoured healing method to treat and prevent diseases.

In some cases is a very useful tool for internal conditions such as headaches, cough, asthma, stroke, facial paralysis, arthritis, stress, fibromyalgia and infertility.

What are the benefits of cupping?

Dr Abba: Many benefits as follows : 
• Draining excess fluid
• Releasing rigid soft tissues
• Delivering blood flow to
  blocked muscles and skin
• Draining toxins and pathogens
• Lifting connective tissue
• Loosening adhesions
• Relief from short and long
  term inflammation
• Promotion of lymphatic circulation
• Strengthening of the immune system
• Muscle and connective
  tissues are stretched
• Benefit Arthritis, joint pain,
  muscle pain and stiffness
• Releases stress
• Deep tissue relief
• Breaking up and expelling congestion
• Stimulation of qi and blood
  movement systemically and
• Cleans the blood and lymph
• Helping to balance pH levels
• Nervous system sedation
• Directs blood to the skin

Where is cupping done?

Dr Abba: Usually applied on the cervical area (Neck), shoulders, middle and lower back. Various sized cups can also be placed on the acupuncture points such as the chest, the abdomen (very good for digestive problems), bowel movement, and buttocks (Sciatic pain), inner and outer thighs (cellulite or varicose veins).

The places selected are treated with additional acupuncture according to the severity of the problem. A sliding cupping massage is applied all over the back and abdomen using herbal oils and massage manipulation.

But you are in Maiduguri. How will people outside the area reach you?

Dr Abba: We offer treatment all over Nigeria.We are regularly in Abuja. What we offer is validated the WHO and other international bodies.

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