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IIM Annual Lecture To Address Transparency, Accountability & Good Governance

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Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president /chairman Governing Council Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa

The Institute of Information Management (IIM) 2016 annual lecture has been slated to address the place of data harmonisation to entrench transparency, accountability and good governance in the Country.

The Institute has also announced plans to honour different stakeholders in Nigeria and other parts of the world including past and present public office holders, captains of industries including leaders across the various sectors of the economy during the annual lecture, Induction & Award ceremony with the theme: “Leveraging On Proper Information Management As Basis For Promoting Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance In Nigeria”.

Speaking on the annual programme, Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president /chairman Governing Council Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa, said that  in view of the several challenges the Federal Government of Nigeria is faced with today coupled with the massive amounts of data that they must process, harmonised and integrated in order to meet mission requirements and deliver relevant, consistent, and current information to other government entities and the constituents they serve, there can’t be a better time for this all important annual lecture than now.

Oyewole, said that accountable governance, the fight against corruption, and improved service delivery depend upon the availability of good quality information about decisions and actions.

According to him, poor quality data, information and records will lead to missed opportunities to maximize the full value of publicly funded projects and programs.

“The recent drive by the present administration to fight corruption, promote transparency and good governance can only succeed if government have unhindered access to quality information.

“It is obvious from recent happenings in government that Nigeria as a nation is yet to have fully control over the records and information being generated, used and transmitted by the government, as government struggle to manage their public records in accordance with international good practice standards. Most often, basic records and information management controls are not in place.

“Without these controls, records are likely to be incomplete, difficult to locate and authenticated. Where they exist, they can be easily manipulated, deleted, fragmented or lost,” he said.

The President / Chairman Governing Council, IIM-Afruca added that poorly kept records, resulting in inaccurate or incomplete data, can lead to misunderstanding and misuse of information; cover-up of fraud; skewed findings and statistics; misguided policy recommendations and misplaced funding, all with serious consequences for poverty reduction and economic development.

“Managing public sector records as a basis for accountability, transparency and good governance is a systemic issue rather than an issue relating to any particular records type.  A reliable and accessible evidence base is vital for all aspects of open government, particularly the right to information and open data, which are dependent upon the ability to access reliable records and information.  Records management will not in itself achieve transparency, but without it, transparency is not possible.

“Every public sector policy maker, auditor, court official and fraud investigator knows the importance of being able to find, use and trust official records as evidence of policies, actions, transactions, expenditure, precedents, rights and entitlements. 

“Most citizens know how important it is to have proof of their rights, for instance land rights or rights in court.  And yet, in many government entities,  records are difficult to locate and to trust”, he said.

Records, as defined in international standards, are any ‘information created, received, and maintained as evidence and as an asset by an organization or person, in pursuit of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.  They may be in any medium, form, or format’ (ISO, 2011).

“It is increasingly important to link together all of the official information required as records, whether it is entered directly in a database, maintained as a digital record or kept on a paper file.

“Well-managed records and information provide clear and durable evidence of what the government has promised, what it has done, what services it has provided and how it has spent public funds. Weak records controls result in an ad hoc, potentially misleading national evidence base that opens opportunities for manipulation, corruption and fraud; weakens citizens’ ability to claim fair rights and entitlements; undermines the ability to plan and monitor policies and services; and makes it difficult to open records and information effectively. 

‎”The quality of the records and information, especially new forms of digital records, depends on the strength of the control regime, including laws, policies, practices, structures, and skills as developed through professional collaboration between government and professional institutions like the Institute of Information Management which would eventually engender quality records management standards in government,” he explained.

Dr. Oyewole said that as digital information systems replace paper-based systems, it is essential that records in digital form are capable of providing the evidence upon which governments and citizens depend. 

He said that inaccurate or incomplete records can result in misleading data that can reduce trust in the government. 

“In developing records and information management commitments, government should clearly state how records and information management will serve to make government more transparent.  Introducing a records control regime or upgrading systems to streamline procedures without actually making information available to the public does not make governments more transparent. Government should be committed to increasing transparency and access to information, and should therefore ensure appropriate powers, resources and enforcement procedures are in place to facilitate data and information sharing amongst various government agencies.

Without good quality records, which, in turn are the result of well-functioning records and information management systems, governments can find it difficult to operate efficiently, to prevent fraud and corruption, or to protect their citizen.

“The availability of trustworthy records is, therefore, an essential foundation of the systems designed to deliver good governance and services to citizens leading to positive development outcomes. If records and information management systems do not function properly, neither can these other systems”.

Aside the Lectures, the event will also feature the conferment of the Institute of Information Management (IIM) Fellowship on individuals who have made substantial contribution to the development of the Information Management and Technology profession, its practices or the Institute  of Information Management itself and Honorary Fellows on other professionals with backgrounds outside of Information Management field but are identified as having made significant contributions that impact on the profession and the society or the Institute of Information Management.

Dignitaries expected to be honoured at the event include The Honorable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), The Ooni of Ife (Royal Father of the Day), Bernadette Bosse – Chairman and CEO of the Board, Certified Document Management Association, Canada, Engr. Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, Director General, National Identity Commission (NIMC), Abuja, Prof. Ibrahim Garba – Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Peter D Komarkowski –  President Data Protection Association, USA,  ACM Nsebong Charles Akpabio – Assistant Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps Zonal Commanding Officer, FRSC Zone 2 Command, Headquarters Lagos as well as many other MDs and CEOs of major Institutions, Information Management and Technology firms among others.

Other categories of inductees include Graduate, Associate, Professional, Senior Professional and Corporate.

Special awards will also be presented to individuals and organisations who have performed credible well in the industry.

The Institute of Information Management (IIM) is the premiere professional membership driven Institute in Nigeria and Africa, approved by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) with the consent of the Attorney General of the Federation serving the emerging field of Records, Information, Archives, Data, Security, and Document Management Professionals, with partnership and affiliation with different international organizations like the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS), UK, Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), Canada, Online Business School UK,  The International Association of Privacy Professionals, The International Records Management Trust UK, Information Requirements Clearinghouse USA, Information Governance Conference USA, Tribal Group, Information Matters etc.

The Institute of Information Management is strategically positioned to help government and professionals in both public and private organizations in Nigeria and Africa to develop the required frameworks, tools and culture needed to build capacity by improving professionalism in this essential field, as required in various disciplines including finance, administration, engineering, construction, project management, procurement, IT, communications etc.

Sound policy, clear standards, competence, certification, research and effective processes are all aspects of first-class information management programs that the Institute of Information Management unique faculties has got to deliver through our various learning and professional development programs, aimed at empowering information management professionals globally.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Samsung in N65m Copyright Infringement Suit in Nigeria

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Eagle Eye Production Limited, an Abuja-based production company has slammed N65 million lawsuit against Samsung Nigeria and Ringier Media Nigeria Limited for allegedly using a part of its ‘Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge at Night’ video in a Galaxy S8 advert without authorization.

 

Samsung had, after receiving the lawsuit, claimed it had no knowledge of the creative process of the ad, as it outsourced the job to one Cheil Communications Nigeria Limited.

 

Cheil Communications, in turn, claimed it outsourced the job to Ringier Media Nigeria Limited.

 

At the first hearing on the lawsuit on May 3, before Justice Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, Ringier Media’s Counsel applied to strike out the suit, claiming that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit because Eagle Eye in suing Ringier Media omitted the word ‘media’ in its name.

 

Ringier Media also argued that the suit did not disclose a reasonable cause of action against it.

 

Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu (SAN) however, prayed the court to dismiss Ringier Media’s application with substantial cost on the basis that the omission of the word media from Ringier Media’s name is “a misnomer” and that the suit disclosed a reasonable cause of action against Ringier Media.

 

The learned Silk also pointed out that the omission of the word “media” was infact caused by Ringier Media and its counsel who in various correspondences exchanged prior to the suit represented to Eagle Eye’s counsel that the full name of Ringier Media is Ringier Nigeria Limited instead of Ringer Media Nigeria Limited.

The learned Silk also pointed out that Ringer Media’s counsel also described its client’s name as Ringier Nigeria Limited in the conditional memorandum of appearance filed by the said counsel on Ringier Media’s behalf.

 

On the same day, Eagle Eye’s Counsel also moved an application to amend their Writ of Summons and other accompanying originating processes to reflect the proper name of Ringier Media.

 

Court proceedings were witnessed by a Newsroom correspondent when Justice Hassan gave his ruling on Monday, June 2, 2018.

 

On Ringer Media’s application to strike out the suit, the learned judge held on the first leg, that the omission can be treated as a misnomer and representatives for the plaintiffs are allowed to file an application for amendment.

 

“There is no kind of mistake or error which the court cannot correct, except it is intended to cause injustice to a party. The omission can be corrected without causing injustice to the other party,” he ruled.

 

The Learned judge also held on the second leg, that looking at certain paragraphs in Eagle Eye’s Statement of Claim, the court is satisfied that a reasonable cause of action has been disclosed against Ringier Media.

 

The learned judge thereafter dismissed Ringier Media’s application and awarded cost of N20,000 in favor of the Plaintiffs against Ringier Media.

 

On Eagle Eye Production’s application to amend, the learned judge ruled that representatives for Eagle Eye Production Limited were misled by Ringier Media.

 

He made references to the exhibits submitted by the legal counsel for the Eagle Eye, where it was established that Ringier Media Nigeria Limited described itself only as Ringier Nigeria in various correspondences. Thus, the learned judge reiterated as follows:

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ITB Nigeria Set to Complete its First Steel & Concrete Building

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ITB Nigeria Ltd, innovative construction company providing full and advanced integrated engineering and construction solutions in both private and public sectors, is set to complete its first steel & concrete building project, Azuri Peninsula, in Eko Atlantic City, Lagos state.

The Azuri Peninsula project, which began in early 2015, is a unique steel and concrete residential building project that consists of three sets of over 30 storey towers.

It offers a unique collection of four-bedroom luxury and super luxury apartments, two and four-bedroom stunning Marina Town houses as well as s six-bedroom simplex (penthouses).

Commenting on the project, Mr. Ramzi Chidiac, Managing Director of ITB Nigeria, said, “We are excited about this project because it’s our first composite structure created by a combination of steel and concrete to form a single element.

This helps to deliver performance that is more effective than when individual components are used together but not unified. This testifies to the excellent work that we do at ITB Nigeria.

We are focused on fully understanding the needs of our clients and delivering on our promises, regardless of the scale or complexity of the challenge at hand”.

Steel and concrete structures involve a mix of steel and concrete together to form a single element. The tensile capacity of the steel and the compressive capacity of the concrete results in a standard structure.

This gives rise to benefits like speed, performance and value. Additionally, concrete encasement protects the steel from buckling, corrosion and fire.

On his part, Engr. Emmanuel Adeyemi, QA/QC Coordinator, ITB Nigeria,  stated, ‘the uniqueness of composite structures is that it enhances speed of construction, performance and value.

Steel framing for a structure can be erected quickly and the pre-fabricated steel floor decks can be put in place immediately.

When cured, the concrete provides additional stiffness to the structure, making the structure one that can stand the test of time”.

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BoI Secures $750M Afreximbank Loan at Single Digits for MSMEs

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Bank of Industry (BoI) will be disbursing the $750 million (N250 billion) syndicated loan facility which she received from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises at single digit interest rate.

Mr Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director, Bank of Industry, made this disclosure on the last day of the Afreximbank 25th Anniversary and Annual General Meeting during an interview with journalists in Abuja.

Pitan revealed that “the loan will be given to entrepreneurs in Nigeria for a period of between five and seven years, would enable the BoI bridge the funding gap for MSMEs which estimated at about N700 billion.”

This fund he said would be “given to companies operating in the creative industry, manufacturing and gender based businesses to help reduce the unemployment rate in the country and create wealth for small and medium scale entrepreneurs.

“We are looking at small, medium and large enterprises. We are looking at enterprises or companies that have a focus in using local raw materials, companies that generates that generates employment and bring down their cost of borrowing” he said.

Pitan stated that “the loan will be deployed at less than ten per cent interest per annum. We are working with the Central Bank of Nigeria so that the loan we will give to Nigerian businesses will be a longer term loan of between seven to eight years for the industrial sector.”

The landmark deal was signed off in the presence President Muhammadu Buhari who insisted on witnessing the agreement signing ceremony in Abuja because the N250 billion syndicated facility financed by 16 banks (among which are: Africa Export-Import Bank, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development,  and British Arab Commercial Bank Plc and four Nigrrian banks based in the United Kingdom) is the single largest facility of its kind to be received by a Development Finance Institution (DFI) in Nigeria.

According to Pitan, “the idea is to support industries. What this loan allows us to do is, it gives additional N250 billion depending on the exchange rate that is used, between N230 billion to N250 billion to deploy to the industrial sector.

There is gap in the funding of the industrial sector, to the tune of N704 billion. This is our way to reduce that gap.”

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