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IBM Chief Urges Nigeria to Invest in Data Science against Infrastructure




Dr. Uyi Stewart, a US-based Nigerian leading data scientist and Chief Data Scientist, IBM, has urged Nigeria to invest more in data science rather than infrastructure in order to achieve development.

He stated this at a workshop for Data Science entrepreneurs in Lagos, according to him, ‘We have a lot of challenges as a nation whether is in public sector, healthcare, agriculture, financial inclusion or education across every walk of life.

Even in Lagos, look at mobility, our ability to travel from one place to the other, we need to star to make smart decisions.

Farmer need to make smart decisions in other to farm better, worker need to make smart decisions in other to be able to reach at work on time. Even parents need to make smart decisions about their finances so that they do not just stay at the same level.

“Across all these dimensions that I have talked about, the key is really the ability to have the right data, run the right kind of insight of the data, generate the right kind of decision support and then let the humans make the decision. Even in government, government also needs to be supported in order to make the right kind of decision for the population and that can only come from data. We can’t formulate policy on emotions; we have to formulate policies based on data. So across every work or life data is valuable but the key is our ability to mine and analyse the data,” he said.
On the challenge of access data, he said that he key is the time to value. “Let’s take a scenario, I have data, I am company X and you come to me and you say ‘Give me your data’. I am going to ask you, what’s in it for me? I believe people are willing to share their data. But, innovation has to be two sides; it has to be business model and technology. We always go to them and say “Give me you data, I want to build this App” without laying on the table what’s in it for them. If you can show what business model underlying what you are doing and you can show value for the person you are asking data from, you will get the data.”
Stewart further explained that the issue of data credibility borders on data quality. “Actually they are two sides – data quality and data provenance. Provenance means when I get the data, it can percolate all the way and be consistent without somebody changing it. These are issues that machine learning thankfully allows us to address. Even if you say, “I don’t want to go into machine learning”, there is something that is called crowdsourcing which is also an approach to do data quality. It’s inexpensive. What that does is that it brings people together to validate an imprint in a democratic way. All of us cannot agree to lie. So, we need to focus on instruments either through technology or simple innovative ideas like crowdsourcing to ensure we have the right kind of data quality. It is central otherwise garbage in, garbage out.”

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ESET, Airtel Unveil New Security app for Smartphone Users



ESET, a security solution company on Thursday launched a new mobile security app specially designed for Airtel Nigeria subscribers.


Olufemi Ake, country manager of ESET, said that the mobile security application would provide smartphone users with features for prevention and management of cyber risks associated to android mobile devices.


Ake made this known during the ESET Mobile Security Airtel Edition Launch held in Lagos.


He said that there was need for average smartphone users in Nigeria to install mobile security apps on their phones, “especially in this age where cyber criminals steal personal data online”.


The country manager added that the first telecom-focused security product was optimised for Android and also for bringing both unmatched performance coupled with proactive protection.


He said: “The new ESET mobile security for Airtel also welcomes the brand-new premium features such as Anti-Phishing, which protects against malicious websites attempting to acquire sensitive information – usernames, passwords, banking information or credit card details.


“It also features Anti-Theft, which locks a device upon detection of suspicious behaviour or when unauthorised SIM is inserted.


“The security app also has the Remote Lock feature, allowing a device owner to lock his or her phone remotely, thereby preventing unauthorised access to all stored information, including photos and emails.


“It also has the SMS and Call Filter feature, which enables smartphone owners to solely receive the calls and messages that they want and also empower them to define the sender and the time to receive SMS or calls with time-based call management.”


Ake noted that the ESET Mobile Security product already exists globally on Google Play Store with over ten million downloads.

He explained that the app also offered precise detection of known and unknown mobile threats with complement of advanced features such as Anti-Theft, Security Audit, App Lock, SMS and Call Filter and Password Protection, amongst others.


Dinesh Balsingh, chief commercial officer, Airtel Nigeria, said that the partnership with ESET affirms their strong commitment to protecting customers from cyber criminals.


He said that by introducing such apps to subscribers, they would be protected from cyber criminals hacking into their personal data.


Balsingh said that Airtel subscribers who wish to benefit from the new security app could subscribe via Google Play store at subsidized and flexible cost of N150 monthly.

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MainOne Takes Blame for Google Glitch



Main One Cable has took responsibility for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network upgrade.

The issue surfaced on Monday afternoon as Internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked.

Main One said in an e-mail that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the Internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, said the West African firm.

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem on Monday in a post on its Web site that said it was investigating the glitch and said it believed the problem originated outside the company. It did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers.

Google representatives could not be reached on Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement.

Even though MainOne said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the Internet.

The US China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington-based group that advises the US Congress on security issues, plans to look into the issue, said commissioner Michael Wessel.

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said.

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases where traffic from US Internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus.

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible Monday’s issue was not an accident.

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging the Chinese government had conducted a series of Internet hijacks.

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again.

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Paga, Orange Mall Ink Exclusive Partnership to Make Online Shopping Easier



Paga, the leading mobile money company in Nigeria announced that it has signed on as the exclusive payment partner to Orange Mall, an e-commerce solution making global shopping from over 250 international retailers available for easy purchase and shipment to Nigeria.


“Paga’s partnership with Mall for Africa, to provide our payment services on Orange Mall, underscores our overarching commitment to making life possible for Nigerians,” said Folakemi Falodun, general manager, Online & Mobile at Paga,


“With Orange Mall, we are making it possible for our customers to shop globally and pay locally, increasing the utility of their Paga Wallets. One of the most important parts of this is that through this partnership, we can guarantee better pricing and painless payments for all Orange Mall customers.”


The announcement comes on the heels of the company announcing that they had hit 10 million unique users, raised another $10 million in a series B2 funding round, and had clear intentions to expand their business portfolio by partnering with relevant institutions to create financial ease for the local and global markets.


The launch of their P2P money transfer app introduced the easiest way to send and receive money in Nigeria, and this partnership further solidifies Paga’s stance to provide their customers with easy access and use of their money.


Orange Mall will be supported by Mall for Africa to handle operations, customer care, and logistics, while Paga will process all payments made through its secure wallet which customers can link to their linked bank cards and accounts, or fund their wallets directly with cash.




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