Showing posts from April, 2016

Read: Who governs Nigeria?

Reuben-Abati During the Jonathan administration, an outspoken opposition spokesperson had argued that Nigeria was on auto-pilot, a phrase that was gleefully even if ignorantly echoed by an excitable opposition crowd. Deeper reflection should have made it clear even to the unthinking that there is no way any country can ever be on auto-pilot, for there are many levels of governance, all working together and cross-influencing each other to determine the structure of inputs and outcomes in society. To say that a country is on auto-pilot is to assume wrongly that the only centre of governance that exists is the official corridor, whereas governance is far more complex. The question should be asked, now as then: who is governing Nigeria? Who is running the country? Why do we blame government alone for our woes, whereas we share a collective responsibility, and some of the worst violators of the public space are not even in public office? The President of the country is easily the target o…

South Africa court says Zuma should face 2009 graft charges

(FILES) This file photo taken on November 10, 2015 shows South African President Jacob Zuma attending a press conference following talks with the German Chancellor at the chancellery in Berlin.
Beleaguered South African President Jacob Zuma faces on March 1, 2016 a no-confidence vote in parliament for a second time in less than a year and a legal bid to reinstate corruption charges against him. The mounting pressure on the president comes against a background of economic crisis sparked by his firing of two finance ministers within days in December 2015.
/ AFP / JOHN MACDOUGALL A South African judge on Friday delivered a damning verdict against prosecutors’ decision to drop more than 700 corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma, piling further pressure on the embattled leader.
“The decision… to discontinue the charges against Mr Zuma is irrational and should be reviewed,” Pretoria High Court judge Aubrey Ledwaba said. “Mr Zuma should face the charges as applied.” The charges, rela…

FCMB group plans business expansion through microfinance bank

Mr Ladi Balogun, CEO First City Monument Bank FCMB Group is perfecting arrangement to float a microfinance bank (MFB) as a full subsidiary to expand its business opportunities, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ladi Balogun, has said. Balogun disclosed this at the company’s third Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos on Friday. Balogun said the microfinance bank was part of financial inclusion activities of the bank as it would capture the unbanked in the rural areas. He said the bank would not establish more new branches, but would use the MFB to extend its services to the rural dwellers. He stated that improvement in its operating efficiency would be the major focus in 2016 by achieving about nine per cent in cost savings. We will continue to intensify our retail banking investment drive, particularly in alternative channels such as ATM, POS and agent banking. We will seek to achieve similar levels of revenue growth as we attained in 2015. However, with a focus on alternate channels…

Serena pulls out of Madrid Open with flu

World number one Serena Williams has pulled out of the Madrid Open, which begins this weekend, with flu, organisers announced on Friday. “Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from Madrid because I’ve been battling the flu and I’m not at 100 percent. I look forward to returning soon,” said Williams in a statement released by organisers. The 21-time Grand Slam champion, 34, is a two-time winner in Madrid having triumphed in the Spanish capital in 2012 and 2013. Last year she reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual winner Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic. In the absence of Williams, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, who had been seeded two, will become the top seed. Williams, who is the defending French Open champion, is now scheduled to open her clay-court season at the Italian Open in May.

FirstMobile app halts banking hall traffic

FirstMobile A banking app targeted to reduce customers’ traffic by as much as 75 per cent has been launched. The app named FirstMobile, was launched by First Bank of Nigeria, recently in Lagos, with a target of not only reducing human traffic from branches, but also reduce drastically pains associated with long queues, even at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) points nationwide. During a demo session with ICT editors in Lagos on how the app works, the bank explained that it is a convenient way of banking, adding that it is stress-free and secure banking platform. It said unlike its predecessor, FirstOnline which requires the use of tokens and generation of transaction codes each time a transaction is to be carried out, FirstMobile does not, adding that it is designed for transactions below N50, 000. It added that over 230,000 downloads have been experienced in less than three months of its development. According to the First Bank, the steps to start are simple, adding that it begins w…

Read: Mooditt, music app, out with new version

PHOTO: Mahindra Comviva, the global leader in providing mobility solutions and makers of popular Nigerian music app Mooditt, today announced the release of Mooditt 2.0 music app, the latest version with improved features. The remarkable success of the Mooditt music app in mainstream Nigeria is a testament to how quickly the Nigerian music industry has mature with value chain players joining the mix and creating new wealth.. Mooditt is a high-quality multimedia mobile application streaming service with a rich suite of local catalogue based digital music content. The application rejigs the streaming quality of the song depending on network bandwidth to ensure uninterrupted and seamless music experience to the consumers. The service allows users to create and share playlist and also download songs and ringtones for listening offline, wirelessly. The app offers direct search for tracks, artistes across albums and similarly browse tracks by genres.

‘Growing demand for mobile devices elicit connectivity issues’

The growing demand for mobile devices by consumers has been attributed as a major contributor to poor connectivity problems in Nigeria.

According to the Regional Director of Alcatel for Nigeria and Central Africa, Nick Imudia, in a chat with The Guardian, at the weekend, said mobile phone has become an important, basic communication and work tool for most Nigerians and as such has become an absolute necessity for people to communicate and do business. Imudia said consumers also need reliable devices that offer them all the features they expect from a smartphone but at an affordable price. As such, he said price plays a key factor for the majority of consumers who need to stay in touch and do business on the go. According to him, a key factor in Nigeria is the connectivity issues faced due to the growing demand for mobile devices. “This puts a strain on the infrastructure and has created the need for many consumers to carry a second supporting mobile device in order to stay con…

Read: ‘Nigeria needs VoLTE to improve voice service’

The introduction of Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) services in the country is expected to give Nigerians the best of speed in voice and data connectivity and also offer voice clarity and call reliability. This was the view of the Chief Executive Officer of Smile Communications Limited, Michiel Buitelaar, in Lagos, recently. As such, Buitelaar said Smile Communications is keen at making another impressive mark with voice as a new complement to the entire package, which it has for the rapidly growing Nigerian market. “We are a bit more advanced in our operations than a good number of our competitors in all the market segments. The market is moving much faster in the broadband direction and we want Nigerians to embrace the broadband as the place to be. There are a lot of quality issues in the Nigerian market and there are a lot of opportunities for those that provide real quality, like breaking one’s call and getting immediate value from the network. The quality of our voice will…

ASUS opens brand store in Nigeria

In a bid to provide a credible avenue for end-users to experience its brand offerings, ASUS has unveiled its first ever ASUS brand experience center at the Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria’s IT hub. ASUS is a worldwide top-three consumer notebook vendor and maker of the world’s best-selling, most award-winning motherboards. A leading enterprise in the new digital era, ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home and office, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktop and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia devices, wireless solutions, networking devices, tablets, smartphones and wearables. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 4,368 awards in 2015 and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with its Eee PC.

Read: Babcock varsity to produce digital students, says VC

Prof. Ademola Tayo, the new Vice-Chancellor of Babcock University Prof. Ademola Tayo is the new Vice-Chancellor of Babcock University. While unveiling his vision to transform the university into total digital classrooms and campus to meet the learning challenges of the 21st  Century, Tayo, in this interview with Bankole Orimisan, said that he was committed to producing digital students for tomorrow’s workforce.
Excerpt: Vision for Babcock University The vision of this present administration is to consolidate on the gains of the previous one, particularly on the area of Information Technology to drive e-learning in the 21st-century education. Although Babcock University has been leveraging on IT, this new administration will push it further. That is why we are collaborating with the WiniGroup/IVETEC to implement a Total Classroom and Campus Digital Revolution (TCCDR), the first of its kind Nigeria. It is designed to reposition our model of delivery to ensure better assimilation and creat…

Read: Telecoms operators need $144b investment for fibre infrastructure by 2019

A fibre-optic cable From 2014 to 2019, telecommunications operators, especially in the developing countries, would need an investment of about $144.2 billion on fibre cable infrastructure to deepen broadband penetration. Already, a new report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has stated that more than 40 operators have launched or are planning Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployments, with 88 per cent of these operators in developing markets. The latest edition of ITU’s yearly global ICT regulatory report, “Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2016′, noted that increasing number of existing operators, new entrants and financiers are already developing alternative funding approaches for broadband network investments. Investment in broadband infrastructure, according to ITU, is also coming from more unlikely institutions such as hedge funds or corporates that do not traditionally invest in telecommunications infrastructure. The mobile industry association GSMA predicted …

Facebook brings ‘chat bots’ to Messenger

Facebook extended its reach beyond online socializing by building artificial-intelligence powered “bots” into its Messenger application to allow businesses to have software engage in lifelike text exchanges. The move announced at the leading online social network’s annual developers conference in San Francisco came as the number of monthly users of Messenger topped 900 million and the Silicon Valley company works to stay in tune with mobile Internet lifestyles. “We think you should be able to text message a business like you would a friend, and get a quick response,” Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said as he announced that developers can build bots that could even be better than real people at natural language text conversations. Bots are software infused with the ability to “learn” from conversations, getting better at figuring out what people are telling them and how best to respond. The bots could help Facebook over time monetize its messaging applications and get a…

Read: Cinfores boosts e-learning with new software

The Nigerian education sector is set to receive a new boost with the launch of the 2016 version of Cinfores BrainFriend Platinum, Nigeria’s e-learning and exam preparatory software. According to the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Cinfores Limited, Ibifuro Asawo, said that while the firm has championed change in the education sector through its products and services in e-learning, schools/campus administration, scholarships management among others. Consequently, its various stakeholders’ engagements with students, teachers, school administrators at both the Federal and State levels as regards BrainFriend, has been reassuring and impressive. This is so because the software has the capacity to provide enhanced education and give access to education to both disadvantaged and underserved children of school age, across board. He added that “as a proven tool for enhanced academic success, Cinfores has already sold over 500,000 licenses of the software in both public and private schools;…

Read: Facebook raises Periscope challenge with video upgrades

(FILES) This file photo taken on November 07, 2013 shows a giant logo created with pictures of Facebook worldwide users is pictured in the company’s Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland.
Facebook could be using its dominant market position to violate data protection rules, Germany’s competition watchdog, the Federal Cartel Office, said on March 2, 2016, announcing it had opened a corresponding probe against the social network. / AFP / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND Facebook on Wednesday ramped up its challenge to Twitter-owned Periscope with upgrades to the social network’s live video broadcasting feature.
People using the Live streaming feature at Facebook will be able to “broadcast: to groups at the social network or in scheduled “events.” Scheduled events can even be used for online question-and-answer sessions. “We hope this new ability to both broadcast and watch live video within Groups and Events enables people to connect more deeply with t…

Read: Facebook tests tech to help blind people enjoy photos

Facebook on Monday began using artificial intelligence to help people with visual impairments enjoy photos posted at the leading social network. Facebook introduced machine learning technology trained to recognize objects in pictures and then describe photos aloud. “As Facebook becomes an increasingly visual experience, we hope our new automatic alternative text technology will help the blind community experience Facebook the same way others enjoy it,” said accessibility specialist Matt King. The feature was being tested on mobile devices powered by Apple iOS software and which have screen readers set to English. Facebook planned to expand the capability to devices with other kinds of operating systems and add more languages, according to King, who lost his vision as a US college student studying electrical engineering. The technology works across Facebook’s family of applications and is based on a “neural network” taught to recognize things in pictures using millions of examples. Mor…

Know: Arsenal signs another Nigerian youngstar

Marc Bola The number of Nigerians in Arsenal’s main team continues to increase, as the London club has given young defender, Marc Bola, who has England and Nigeria nationalities, a professional contract. The 18 year-old defender helped Arsenal’s under-18s to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals this term, as well as stepping up to become a regular for the club’s under-21s. In Europe, he was part of the under-19s side to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Youth League earlier in the season.
Arsenal recently signed Golden Eaglets’ duo of Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze. Already in Arsenal’s main team are Alex Iwobi and Chuba Akpom, who is however on loan. Super Falcons’ striker, Asisat Oshoala, recently joined Arsenal Ladies from Liverpool. In announcing the elevation of Bola to the main team, Arsenal said: “Everyone at Arsenal looks forward to Marc’s continued development at the club.” The youngster himself tweeted his delight. “Pleased on Signing My First Professional Contract At My D…

Know: What do Google, Jumia, Uber, Praekelt and MTech all have in common?

MWA photo Over the last few years a shift has been noted in the management dynamic of technology companies in Nigeria. Women are slowly but surely claiming the top jobs with the top firms. Should we celebrate? Should we congratulate the march towards equality? Probably not, as there is still a long way to go, but it is a significant milestone and definitely worthy of recognition in the overall evolution of the ecosystem.
What it does mean is that management and board meetings across Lagos are hearing new voices, with female perspectives and styles of authority coming to the table. Considering the successes that the likes of Google, Jumia, Uber, Praekelt and MTech are enjoying, this is a very interesting development. There are opinions that these appointments are not significant; that female candidates have been given the top jobs because of their reliability and reputation for a steady hand. This view doesn’t tie in with the substantial recruitment processes that have been undertaken…

Know: Kings varsity commences operation, as 120 students get scholarship

Kings University, Ode-Omu, Osun State, recently matriculated its pioneer students and officially inaugurated the school.Founder and chancellor, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, who awarded scholarships to 120 students of the school, said the university aims at raising leaders that would impact the world economically, intellectually and socially, apart from leading Nigeria to join the league of technologically advanced nations. According to the chancellor, the faith-based school will lay emphasis on information technology, leadership and entrepreneurship. He said: “In Nigeria, most institutions only inform the head and do not transform the mind, making their products skillful thieves that know how to rig elections and squander public fund. Our products shall make the difference; take the nation to greater height. We have begun talks with Oxford University, London, to partner with us to achieve our goals.” Expressing optimism that the school will do well, the Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf …

Know: Social media: The blessings, the woes, by clerics

The Social Media has become a vital part of modern living. Indeed, it is one of the important factors that have made the world a global village. Many people have become so addicted to it that they simply can’t imagine life without it. This is quite understandable, as the social media has made it convenient to connect with the rest of the world without having to leave your small corner. It has also made it easy to be abreast with happenings even in the remotest part of the globe. But like everything else, it also has its many disadvantages despite the positive ones. And because of these abuses, which seemingly outweigh the positive aspect, some people would rather leave it out altogether. Could it be said that such people are throwing away the baby with the bath water?
How can the faithful navigate through the unsteady waters of the Social Media and emerge unscathed? Should believers discountenance the social media? Is it doing more harm than good to the society? CHRIS IREKAMBA (Lagos),…