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Customs Warns Fraudsters to Stay Off eAuction Platform

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Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) is warning fraudulent bidders involved in making unrealistic bids to stay off its e-auction platform or risk prosecution.

Mr Joseph Attah, Customs Public Relations Officer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja that the service would not spare those undesirable elements making fraudulent and unrealistic bids with the sole aim of polluting the exercise.

According to him, the management of Customs has began moves to reprogramme the platform to make it inaccessible to fraudulent bidders who are discouraging genuine bidders from participating.

Attah said the second batch of 48 hours bidding process that started on Monday at noon and ended on Wednesday at noon was loaded with 115 vehicles and all were bidded for and supposedly won.

” I used the word supposedly because our experience revealed that some bad elements who are criminally minded have launched into platform and started bidding bogus and unrealistic figures just to spoil it.

” You will see where a bidding is ongoing for an item with a reserved bid of N300,000 and people are offering N350,000 to N500,000 and all of a sudden you will see someone from nowhere quoting N5 million to N8 million.

“It is obvious they are jokers who think we are fooling around; remember the rule is that in the event the highest bidder cannot pay within five days, the item reverts to the second highest bidder.

“So what these people have done is to pair themselves up, where one person bids reasonably say N400,000 for an item with a reserved bid of N200,000, the other drops an outrageous figure like N8 million just to ward off potential bidders.

“We know the vehicle is not worth half of that amount in the market. This is unfair,” Attah said.

Attah said that the service would be reprogramming the system in such a way that one cannot bid beyond a certain percentage of the reserved bid or what the average bidders are offering.

He said the system would not allow any bidder to make such exaggerated bids, adding that the system would detect the bidders with their Tax Identification Number (TIN).

“Those bidder will no longer participate in future bid aside from risking of prosecution for such act.

“Again, the system is being reprogrammed in such a way that when the winner fails to pay in five days, the item will revert back into the pool for fresh bidding, instead of going to the second highest bidder.

“The management knew why the TIN was made a mandatory pre-bidding requirement. It gives us your picture, address, phone number, email and other vital information. With this TIN, we will go after these fraudsters,” Attah said.

While giving an assessment of the second batch of bidding process, Attah said the system recorded 2,001 registered bidders.

He added that out of the figure, 1,919 were enabled and participated in the bidding.

“We want to assure the general public that the NCS is determined that e-auction platform succeeds.

“We are motivated by the benefits of the e-auction platform that includes security, opportunity for better revenue generation and the fact that it presents equal opportunity to all Nigerians.

“As a service, we want to continue to engage the general public through a process that is transparent, accountable and capable of safeguarding our integrity,” he added.

Attah said that at the first batch of 48 hours bidding process, 43 bidders emerged winners.

“Out of this figure, 42 have paid for their bids and began collection at the Ogun State Command where the vehicles are located.

Retired Col. Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General of Customs, on July 3 in Abuja, inaugurated the platform aimed at giving all Nigerians equal opportunities to partake in bidding for seized vehicles and to increase customs’ revenue.

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ATCON, Instinct Wave Launch 5th TERF, Industry Awards

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The Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and InstinctWave have launched this year’s edition of Telecoms Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF) and the maiden edition of Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA).

The forum, scheduled to hold on the 10th of November at the Lagos Oriental Hotel is the biggest and the most important forums for regulators and policy makers in Nigeria ICT sector. The Awards, NTITA holds at the same venue on the 11th of November.

In its fifth year, TERF has not failed to attract high-level participants from regulatory authorities and technology stakeholders; TERF is an excellent platform for discussion on common policy and regulatory issues in the telecom and technology sector.

The forum will provide stakeholders with the understanding and knowledge of current policies, regulatory best practices, information on emerging issues and chart the way forward in proving an enabling and sustainable environment for the growth of the most important sector in Africa.

In the same vein, Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards promises to be a memorable one and the gala night will excite the industry in a fashionable manner.

The reputable awards under the umbrella of ATCON and powered by InstinctWave, Africa leading B2B event organizer promises to showcase vibrancy in the sector.

Winners will be announced to an audience of Nigeria’s most influential ICT and business decision-makers at a sumptuous evening of fine dining and entertainment.

Mr Olusola Teniola, president of ATCON said the forum will discuss and share best practise on moving the industry forward while the awards, has been designed to re-define how excellence in the ever growing ICT services in Nigeria is recognised.

“If we keep honouring innovation and excellence we will be surprised that there will be an unprecedented growth not only in this sector, but generally.

According to Mr Akin Naphtal, CEO, InstinctWave, the Forum and Awards will bring together industry experts that have contributed excellently to the growth of ICT sector.

“If you are an award winner, there is no better place to gain an endorsement of your success and highlight your company’s achievements, he added.

The night will also provide an exceptional opportunity for stakeholders to network, entertain clients, and reinforce relationships with partners and reward staff with exceptional performances.

NTITA has an independent panel of industry experts as judges, will recognize organizational performances, products and services, innovations, executives and management teams, women in ICT, and successful deployed CSR Initiatives.

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ACT Foundation Partners Cancer Aware to Screen Over 300 Women

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By Peter Oluka
In line with our vision to mitigate against the spread of cancer in Nigeria, Nigerian’s grant-making non-profit organization, Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation has partnered with one of its grantees, Cancer Aware to sensitize residents of Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos on breast cancer.

The sensitization exercise which held recently enabled over 300 residents of the community to be educated on the symptoms of breast cancer as well as the opportunity to be screened by medical officers.

Commenting on the exercise, Ndifreke Okwuegbunam, head, Programs, ACT Foundation, highlighted on the importance of breast cancer screening for women. She said “Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect women all over the world. We are aware of the invaluable role women play not only in our homes but in our society at large. And so today we have come to support our grantee, Cancer Aware to bring information about this deadly disease to the women of Mushin Community”.

Mrs. Okwuegbunam also noted that asides the health sector, ACT Foundation is also passionate about entrepreneurship, environment and leadership, as these key sectors will help provide a holistic approach in creating a better world for all.

Speaking at the event, Hon. Emmanuel Bamigboye, the executive chairman, Mushin Local Government Area (LGA), expressed his appreciation to ACT Foundation and Cancer Aware for supporting the government in safeguarding the health of people in Mushin LGA. He called on all women to avail themselves of the opportunity to get screened and protect themselves.

Also speaking about the initiative, Tolu Falowo, executive director, Cancer Aware, expressed her gratitude to ACT Foundation for supporting this laudable project of sensitizing as well as screening residents of Mushin community on breast cancer. She also thanked the Mushin Local Government for the support they provided in making the day a reality.

She said “Cancer Aware is committed to fighting against the spread of breast cancer in Nigeria, this we do through sensitization and screenings because we understand the importance of early detection. We cannot do this alone and so we are calling on the government as well as corporations and well-meaning Nigerians to join us to eradicate the prevalence of breast cancer in Nigerian women.

The sensitization exercise which gathered over 300 women entailed checking of vital signs education on breast cancer, symptoms, care and screening by trained personnel. Attendants also used the opportunity to asked trained medical personnel questions about this menace that is eating deeply into our society.

Cancer Aware is one of the 22 Non-Profit Organisations that benefitted from the 2017 ACT Foundation grant.

Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation is a grant making non-profit established to support local, national and regional non-profits working to address challenges and associated vulnerabilities in the African continent.

(L-r): Olumide Emeralds, monitoring and evaluation officer; Alexandra Bazuaye, communication officer, both from ACT Foundation, and Project Team Lead, Cancer Aware at the breast cancer sensitization exercise in Mushin recently.

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John Momoh To Deliver Keynote at 2nd Fate Alumni Conference

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By Peter Oluka
Fate Foundation; the premier not-for-profit organization promoting business and entrepreneurial development in Nigeria, said it has perfected all arrangement for the second Annual Alumni Conference holding in Lagos next week.

The Annual Alumni Conference (AAC) is a platform for Fate Alumni and other Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise entrepreneurs to learn from entrepreneurial leaders and influencers sharing knowledge about key topical areas to grow and thrive as entrepreneurs while also giving them an opportunity to network and connect with one another.

John Momoh, the founder and executive chairman, Channels Television Networks, is confirmed to deliver the Keynote address on the theme: Unlocking the Growth potential of MSMEs through Partnerships and Innovation, to build on the success of the inaugural edition and foster a sense of community and tradition.

The Syndicate Sessions will feature distinguished speakers such as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, House of Tara, Tara Durotoye, Partner, Risk Consulting Practice, KPMG, Tomi Adepoju, Founder, Chicken Republic, DejiAkinyanju, Chief Executive Officer, Mall for Africa, Tope Folayan, Co-Founder & Director, AACE Foods, NdidiNwuneli, and Principal Consultant, ADSRAT Branding Management Consortium, Charles O’Tudor. Others eminent speakers include Founder and Chief Responsible Officer, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, Adenike Ogunlesi,Chief Executive Officer, Food Chain Limited, FoluAfricanfarmerMogaji, and Chief Executive Officer, Brandzone Consulting LLC, ChizorMalize and Lead Consultant, Thistle Praxis, Ini Abimbola.

Speaking on the Alumni Conference, Executive Director, Fate Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi, said, “Following the success of the maiden edition of the conference last year, we secured a larger space this edition so even more entrepreneurs can benefit from our line-up of experienced entrepreneurial leaders and industry experts who will be speaking at the conference.

“This year’s syndicate sessions will focus on Access to Markets; Brand Management; Agribusiness and Sustainability. New to the conference this year is the Consulting Bar; an extension of the monthly Fate Consulting Clinic, where our alumni business men and women can have one-on-one access to expert advisory support for a period of 30 minutes each”.

She added that, “Given the success of our free monthly Consulting Clinic sessions, we have invited specific institutions that provide and/or are relevant to MSMEs advisory in the following need areas: Legal; Tax; Finance; Human Resources (HR); Digital Marketing Strategy; Communications; Sustainability; Financial Software and Credit Rating”.

Fate Foundation was instituted in 2000 by Founder & Pioneer Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fola Adeola,with a mission to foster wealth creation by promoting business and entrepreneurial development among Nigerians.

Since its inception, Fate Foundation has graduated over 5,200 entrepreneurs from its Aspiring, Emerging and Special Entrepreneurs’ Programmes and trained over 40,000 Nigerians in its short entrepreneurship Certificate courses.

Fate Foundation has also enabled over 72,000 Nigerian youths on the path to entrepreneurship. About 65% of its Alumni are actively running their businesses and most are beneficiaries of Fate’s Business and Alumni Support Services.

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