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Sidmach Graduates First Set of its AppFactory Graduate Interns

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It was a joyous moment as the famous indigenous software company, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited, graduated the first set of graduate interns under its Sidmach AppFactory Program which runs like a software academy.

 

The Sidmach AppFactory shares same objective and value with the Microsoft AppFactory, which is to improve the state of software development in Africa.

 

The aim of this initiative is to improve software development through an internship program meant to take talented and passionate young people and give them the chance to harness and develop excellent software development skills.

 

A total of 12 fresh university graduates participated in the six months programmes; an offshoot of Microsoft App Factory initiative.

 

Speaking at the ceremony held at its head office in Lagos, the Managing Director of Sidmach, Mr. Peter Arogundade, said although they embraced the Microsoft initiative as part of a measure to assist young graduates to become better equipped to face the world of entrepreneurship.

 

Mr. Arogundade described App Factory as a wonderful platform to learn, unlearn and relearn; garner knowledge, skills and become competitive.

 

“Sidmach is always looking out for opportunities to add value in the lives of young Nigerians and startups.

 

“That is why we keyed-in to the Microsoft App Factory initiative. It is true that most Nigerian graduates lack the prerequisite practical knowledge, skills and agility to face their counterparts in other part of the world, however, it is high time, as a country, we stopped blaming them, rather provide platforms for them to get equipped to succeed.

 

“On the other hand, the gap between the industry and the academia is so wide, but with programmes like this it can be addressed.

 

“Today, the 12 interns are tested and certified in software development and other softskills that will help them succeed and they are not leaving the doors of Sidmach; they will stay back and work with us in developing solutions for different sectors like education, health, finance, agriculture, amongst others”.

 

Mr. Chijioke Eke, Co-founder and Chairman, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited, Expatiating on Sidmach’s interest in the App Factory programme, regretted that most universities (in Nigeria) are still trapped in the old theories and practical apparatuses thereby denying the students adequate knowledge for 21stCentury application development.

 

“Sidmach ventured into this internship that is practical oriented to assist the fresh graduates to overcome some constraints”, he said.

 

He urged the interns to make the best use of the knowledge they garnered during the six-months training. “As you match on to the future of development of solutions, professionalism and value additions lie on your shoulders.

 

“There must be something different between you who are now practical-oriented and those still trapped in the web of theories.

 

“The future of our country, the citizens and indeed the world depends on you as app developers.

 

“I want to re-echo the MD’s statement that you are not leaving the doors of Sidmach.

 

We are retaining you and will strengthen the Academy to assist more graduates,” Mr. Eke said.

 

The Chairman who showered encomiums on Microsoft for initiating the programme, also called for further investments in youth development as a panacea to unemployment and restiveness.

 

Ade Ajayi, Director Marketing and Operations, Microsoft Nigeria, Commenting about the Academy, said that Microsoft exists because it believes in the relevance of developers to impact the world economy. “We believe developers can change the world with the keyboard and their ten fingers.

 

“Microsoft recently acquired GitHub which is in the developer platform.

 

“The point is that developers will continue to change the world. So, every intern who passes through the App Factory internship programme should take it very serious,” he said.

 

“Sidmach bought into the idea and Microsoft is happy to have partners like Sidmach which is among the top one thousand partners we have in Nigeria”.

 

He hinted on Microsoft’s plans to double the commitments to App Factory.

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Experts Finger Insiders in Telcos for Rising SIM Swap Fraud

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Cyber security experts have berated telecommunications operators over the prevalence of SIM swap fraud in the country, arguing that such fraud could be possible with an insider in the network operator of the subscriber that is targeted.

 

SIM swapping is a sophisticated form of fraud and falls under social engineering. Fraudsters will distribute phishing emails, trying to ascertain as much personal information from victims as possible.

 

How it works

Your phone network will momentarily go blind without signal or Zero Bars and after a while a call will come through.

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The person on the other side will tell you that he is calling from Airtel, MTN, 9mobile or Glo depending on your network and that there is a problem in your mobile network.

 

He will instruct you to Please press 1 on your phone to get the network back.

 

If you press 1, the network will appear suddenly and almost immediately go blind again (Zero Bars) and by that action, your phone is #HACKED.

 

It will appear as though your line is without network; meanwhile your SIM has been SWAPPED.

 

It is increasing by the day.  Within a second they will empty your bank account and cause you enough damage. The danger here is that; you will not get any alert of any transaction.

 

Responding to this Oluseyi Akindeinde, chief technical officer, Digital Encode, said that SIM swap is not new.

 

“A lot of the perpetrators have insiders in the telecommunications operator that allow them to do this. Nothing really can be done to check it unless they checkmate the guys inside the telcos,” he said.

 

William Makatiani, managing director, Serianu, said that SIM swap has become a lucrative enterprise in Africa particularly because of the increased adoption of mobile money services and mobile based authentication.

 

“Attackers gather enough information on a target such as ID details; Phone numbers etc through social engineering and create a false identity. Using this information, the attackers can contact the service provider and request for SIM card replacement and thereafter start transacting using your phone.

Tony Ojobo, director, Public affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), acknowledged the existence of SIM Swap fraud and explained that it is a criminal act which is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies.

 

“SIM swap fraud is a criminal matter. What NCC investigate and sanction are issues around regulatory breaches and issues that contravenes terms of operators’ license. Just as if banks identify any of their staff that collude with fraudsters to perpetrate fund such persons are arrested and handed over to the police to prosecute and punish,” he said.

 

Apart from law enforcement agencies; Makatiani offered a number of ways to combat SIM fraud which includes; introducing additional checks for SIM reissuing such as security questions, avoid responding to unsolicited calls and text messages asking about your bank details.

 

Others are introducing user behavioral analysis (UBA) especially for financial institutions to monitor for key indicators of compromise and alert the customers as well as Adopting the IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) a unique number associated with a specific GSM phone to ensure one-time use codes are sent only to legitimate subscribers.

 

 

 

 

 

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First Set of Winners Emerge in Spectranet World Cup Promo

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L-R: Susie Onwuka, Head, Consumer Protection Council (Lagos Office); Ajay Awasthi, Chief Executive Officer, Spectranet 4GLTE; Joy Okuna Assistant Director, National Lottery Regulatory Commission (Lagos Office); Mike Ogor, Head of Marketing, Spectranet 4GLTE; and Adenike Oyebamiji, Legal Officer, Lagos State Lotteries Board, during Spectranet World Cup Promo Draw in Lago recently.

Spectranet 4GLTE, leading internet service provider, has rolled out the first set of winners in her World Cup Promo, in keeping to the promise of engaging and rewarding customers.

 

Out of thousands of subscribers that participated in the promotion, 216 subscribers emerged as winners from a transparent draw observed by representatives of lottery regulatory bodies- National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Consumer Protection Council and the Lagos State Lotteries Board.

 

Olanrewaju Olapade emerged as winner of the star prize, Trip to Dubai. 5 customers comprising Bakare Abiola and Nzete Promise got Unlimited Data for 1 year.

 

Nzei Uche, Akinsipe Olaoluwa and Victoria Obenoh were among 10 subscribers rewarded with 42” LED TVjust as 200 subscribers were handed the privilege to choose either 7GB Data or Bluetooth speakers for purchasing Spectranet devices and subscribing to data plans in June when the promotion commenced.

 

Dubbed ‘Connect &Win Big’, the promotion drummed support for Nigeria’s male national team as they jostled for honours at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Prior to the commencement of the draw, Ajay Awasthi, chief executive officer, Spectranet said, “The innovative nature of Spectranet led to the initiative of rewarding customers for supporting the Super Eagles team in the World Cup”.

 

Ajay further revealed that Spectranet is committed to excellent service offering with renewed and upgraded facilities that will continue to improve the subscribers’ experience of the brand even after the World Cup.

 

Commenting on the essence of the promotion, Mike Ogor, head of Marketing, said, “In the spirit of the World Cup, we took a decision to make subscribers enjoy the moments that the competition brings. Our fast and reliable internet services have made this possible.

 

“This is the first draw of the promotion. Both existing and new subscribers are eligible to participate. More winners will emerge in the second and final draw scheduled to hold after the promotion”.

 

The promo which commenced on June 1st ends on July 31st, 2018.

 

One of the many winners who responded to phone calls that he won a 42″ TV set could not hold his excitement as he kept asking when and where he should come for his prize while thanking Spectranet for keeping the promise to reward subscribers who purchased modems within the period of the promotion.

 

It will be recalled that Spectranet gave out 7GB data to every subscriber that renewed prior to the Nigeria vs Iceland fixture as result of the two goals scored as well as the victory over the Iceland team while 1GB was also given to subscribers for the goal scored against Argentina.

 

Customers can log on to www.spectranet.com.ng or visit Spectranet Shops, Express service Outlets and Dealer shops to participate in the promotion.

 

Spectranet Limited was the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) to launch 4G LTE internet service in Nigeria.

 

The brand is known for providing an affordable, faster and more reliable internet broadband to Nigerian homes and offices. Its internet service is currently available across Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and Port Harcourt. Its state of the art network ensures high speed internet connectivity for the customers.

 

Spectranet 4G LTE is a recipient of multiple awards for Best Internet Service and 4G LTE Provider in Nigeria in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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MTN Seeks Amicable Resolution of Industrial Dispute

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MTN Nigeria, telecommunication giant, the has reiterated its desire to pursuing amicable resolution of the industrial disputes with some members of staff.

 

Mr Funso Aina, Public Relations manager, Corporate Affairs/Corporate Relations, MTN, made the disclosure in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

 

According to him, the events of this week have been difficult and disruptive. However, this has in no way impacted our continued commitment to our people, our customers and this great nation.

 

“All of us at MTN want to express our sincere gratitude to you for standing by us during this challenging time.

 

“Over the years, we have engaged productively with representatives of labour unions who reached out, holding numerous extensive meetings.

 

“We will continue to do so, pursuing amicable resolutions in our negotiations with organised labour and the safety and welfare of our employees will remain our primary concern during these discussions,” Aina said.

 

The MTN spokesperson said the organisation understood its responsibilities to customers, workers and the society.

 

He said that the rights of all MTN employees were paramount adding that the organisation would consistently ensure that these rights were protected.

 

“This includes the fundamental human right to freedom of association as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

 

“Our ethos is not to coerce our employees to do anything against their will. We have no objections to our employees forming a collective, through a union, or choosing not to do so.

 

“In fact, MTN has an Employee Council made up of officers below Management cadre. Council members are democratically-elected representatives who ensure that labour-related issues are addressed.

 

“We do not engage in casualness. All our employees have full-time employment contracts.

 

“To enable our organisation to focus on delivering our core services and in alignment with global best practice, we engage licensed, specialised service providers to support our operations.

 

“We provide working conditions in line with international best practice. All employees earn well above minimum wage.

 

They have access to a minimum of 20 paid leave days annually, flexible working hours, four months paid maternity leave and fully funded pensions.

 

“They have mortgage subsidies and group medical cover with international emergency evacuation for employees and their immediate dependents.

 

“These are just some of the benefits that contribute to making MTN a great place to work,” he said.

 

Various stakeholders, including Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Association of Telecommunications Company of Nigeria and Nigeria Communications Commission are presently involved in talk.

 

Aina however, called for cessation of attacks on MTN’s employees or damage to the network and property.

 

He said the firm expects its employees’ rights to associate freely and without coercion would be respected.

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