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Slash Internet Licensing Fees for Affordability, Access- Oyedokun

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Dr. Oyedokun Ayodeji Oyewole, president of RIMA Foundation

Dr Oyewole Oyedokun, president / chairman, Governing Council at Institute of Information Management – Africa, started hi professional career in the late 90s .
He is also the president, RIMA Foundation (Nigeria & South Africa) and WM and managing director/CEO, Wolexdok Micro-processor.
Oyedokun has received different international awards for his contribution towards the development of the Information Management industry in Nigeria and Africa.
He spoke to peter ugwu on matters of urgent importance in the cyber space, national database, among others, in Nigeria.

Relevance of Information Managers in Big Data Era
The advent of Big Data has buttress the need for proper records and information management. What is the essence of us having data or information that cannot be utilized for better decision-making? How do we make the retrieval easy?
These are some of the issues that Big Data has brought to the table. Every company that want to make adequate usage of Big Data must have Good Information Governance (GIG); that is, you know what you have, where they are located, the person that is in-charge, the retention period, the corporate format to keep the information, these must be in place for individuals or organizations to have control over information they have.

Government and Proper Information Management
First, I will commend the Federal Government and the lawmakers for passing the Freedom and Information (FOI) Bill into law.
I can say authoritatively that the process has changed the game. In the past, most Government Institutions do not see the need for records management due to lack of openness in governance. This led to secrecy with certain information management.
The passage has sent a positive signal to workers in the public service as the law requires them not to stop the public access to certain documents.
But, on the implementation government is not doing enough. Beyond just ordinary training, information management training is an essential ingredient to ensure the FOI regime becomes a reality.
Without GIG, retrieval becomes an issue while individuals require certain documents.
The government has the largest part of information generated in the country. So, training of workers ought to be a continuous process.

Synergy between Information Management and Information Security
Well, information management an umbrella also caters for information security. When we refer to cyber space, it is just a medium.
Physical environment is another medium. So, if you have GIG in place, then you can have principles guiding the cyber space and the information physical environment.
At this juncture, it is pertinent to note that for you to have control over the cyber space; you ought to have developed a functional physical space.
It is what you have physically that will be transformed into digital content. Today, quite a number of organizations in Nigeria do not event have information management policy; they do not understand the specifications, standards, procedures, manuals.
If you have employee handbook, then you should a kind of manual that guide information management, so that you can get it right from the time data is generated through disposal which is regarded as information life-cycle.
For instance, there are information that are permanent in nature; in as much as such organization exists it must be there.
Hence you do use them regularly, they should be archived in an off-sight location, which could be physical or in the cloud.

Information Management Policy Negligence
By not having the policy in place, you will be exposing the organization to risks. The risks include information theft, penalties by regulatory authorities, legal tussles, and efficiency becomes a nightmare.
Such organization will discover that the staff spend time and resources searching for information they may end up not able to lay hands on.
It could cost the company a whole lot of revenue. When I was still in the oil & gas sector, there was a particular document that the company needed; they ended up spending millions of dollars to get a copy from the original designer of a particular project. It was just an A4 document.
The issue of storage becomes problematic too, because at a point you wouldn’t know which document to keep or dispose.
This is prevalent in public sector where rooms are designate for stack of old documents and files. Those spaces would have been put to use for other arrangements. They are even stored that retrieval is difficult; hence there is no classification or proper arrangement.

Message of InfoSecurity Conference 2014 And Nigeria’s Cyber Security Bill
It was a wonderful experience. Part of the sessions I attended the minister of Internal Affairs (UK), said something that drew my attention.
According to him, 10% of UK’s gross domestic earnings come from the cyber space. This is something we should be looking at.
We want to build or develop our economy, then, of what benefit has the cyber space been to us? How well are we taking the advantage?
A country like UK achieving 10% of their GDP through the internet, it means we can do better. Here, we have a lot of resources: human, natural resources and even the finance, and commodities we can invest online. The government could generate revenue from that.
To me, some of the take-homes from the conference actually came from that message, because, we are taking things with levity.
For the fact we have oil, we seem to be blindfolded in exploiting other sectors for employment generation, investment opportunities and increase in GDP.
Aside that, there are technologies trending presently that organizations in Africa should be tapping into. For instance, data analytics, I was stunned by some of the solutions I saw there, because there are so many things you could do.
We are emphasizing on cyber security, there are technologies that help in shedding off hijackers along the line. Even if they succeed in hijacking it, the hackers wouldn’t have access to the content, because they are encrypted.
There are some that even if I mistakenly send you an email, and discover it, I could swiftly block it from my end. You will receive it but with no access to the content.
There are software that could aide to track if your email was delivered or opened by the other party. In fact, there are several technologies that cloud has provided us with today, reducing stress on organisations’ infrastructure and resources.

Benefit from Cyber-Entrepreneurship
Foremost, government has a lot of works to do. They need to encourage local software developers. Secondly, the entrepreneurs need an environment that protects their interest before they can excel.
We have a number of them that with little support from government they will build amazing software. I have seen locally developed applications that you would never believe are developed in Nigeria.
 If we were able to do that, other countries will subscribe to them, are we not earning foreign exchange by then? It will help our economy to blossom.
To individuals, the cyber space has created a lot of opportunities. If you have products or services, you could launch them online. Without restrictions, clients could be coming from different part of the world. It has really bridged the digital divide.
This innovation has even heightened with the cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It is one of the major requirements for people to thrive in e-commerce.
Recently, Paypal came into Nigeria. To me, that was a major breakthrough for this economy. It has increased the confidence or trust level of outsiders with regards to Nigeria. Before now, transacting an online business has been a nightmare.
Then, you must visit the banks for transfers. Banks would also delay in approving certain conditions for the transactions to go through. But Paypal has come up with a very simple system where you just link your bank account even in local currency. It makes life easier and seamless.

Internet Availability and Affordability
To me, we still have a lot to do in that area. There is need for more companies’ participation in the sector.
To do this, the licencing fees should be slashed, because for any industry to thrive, we need competition.
By the time we have increased number of service providers, the cost will drop automatically. The monopoly few players are enjoying is responsible for the high subscription costs.
Should we have more investors, the country will be surprised with the kind of services they will roll out.

National Identity Management Project
It is a wonderful development, because we have been craving for this for a long time. And for the very first time, Nigeria will seem to be on track. But my major concern the partnership with the international organization.
Enactment on a policy for Information Protection & Privacy (IPP) is something that the government needs to take cognizance of. 
As a country, we cannot entrust our data into the hands of corporate entity like the company they are partnering with. If they have to toe that part, it means our information are not protected. Before going into this, the government ought to have put a policy in place. Nigeria, as a country, do we have information privacy policy? It’s not in place. What do we think will govern our relationship with these international organizations?
What will govern the way and manner our government will entrust data in their hands? How well are we protected? Before they go into full implementation, I would want the Nigerian government to look into this privacy act. These are very key.

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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Sanitise Economy, Curb Debtors Via Technology, Ekeh, Zinox Boss

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Leo Stan Ekeh, serial digital entrepreneur and chairman, Zinox Group

Leo Stan Ekeh, Africa’s leading technology entrepreneur, has charged the Federal Government to leverage technology in reducing to the barest minimum the growing incidences of corporate debts and usher in an era of unprecedented boom and sanity in the Nigerian economy.

 

He made this assertion while delivering the Guest Lecture at the maiden edition of the 2018 Nigerian Online Merit Awards (NiOMA) held in Lagos recently.

 

Ekeh, chairman of the Zinox Group, who disclosed that technology will resolve much of the contemporary problems facing the Nigerian state if holistically applied, noted that the country will benefit immensely if the government turns to technology in its search for lasting solutions to the challenges confronting the economy.

 

According to Ekeh, the recent revelation by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) that, about 350 Nigerians account for 80 per cent of its N5.4 trillion debt portfolio and the refusal of majority of these debtors to liquidate their indebtedness is an issue that can be easily resolved through the application of technology if there exists accurate data of how these debts arose.

 

In his opinion, it could also be that the government at different levels are partially responsible for some these debts, especially if they were unable to meet their obligations to some of these corporates.

 

Ekeh acknowledged that the present debt profile should be a case study for upcoming entrepreneurs or part of the issues to be dissected by data analysts on why some of these businesses failed, noting that this may also reveal a lot of insider compromises on the part of the lenders so that sincere lessons could be learnt and better structure and systems put in place to avert a recurrence.

 

“Working in concert with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for enforcement purposes, AMCON can leverage a simple technology application that makes it easy to access the bank balances of debtors across all the various banks in Nigeria. This will be a mandatory requirement for the extension of loans and credit facilities and will foster more responsible borrowing as the lenders can easily debit the accounts of borrowers upon due date to recover sums extended.

 

“This will not only reduce the growing profile and negative trend of corporate debts, with its attendant detrimental effect on the economy but will also expose many Nigerians who are publicly hailed as billionaires but who are only living large off depositors’ money, while frustrating further lending to start ups,” he stated.

 

Disclosing the many ways he has relied on technology to ramp up efficiency in his various businesses and simplify complex processes, Ekeh revealed that by next week, he would be trying out a new Enterprise application that will simplify transaction with bankers, irrespective of the numbers.

 

“This application will give us control over all of our bank accounts instead of relying on bank staff to implement our instruction at their convenience.”

 

He also disclosed that the new warehouses widely reported as recently acquired by e-commerce giant Konga were equipped with digital cameras with data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities which can easily detect fraud and random inconsistencies such as a change in the appearance of an individual or item captured on entry into the facilities. Most importantly, these cameras are cloud based.

 

Urging the government to commit more resources to technology in resolving the unemployment challenges and drive the nation towards rapid development, Ekeh cited the influence of technology in the political space which has reduced post-election litigations from 87% to about 33%, noting that this will further reduce to 11% or thereabouts with the adoption of electronic voting, if funded by the government.

 

“Technology does not lie; it is either you are right or wrong. With technology, you can do unimaginable things. You don’t even need to go through the four walls of a University to acquire quality education,” Ekeh enthused.

 

The Zinox Chairman who spoke on the theme – Leveraging the Internet Revolution to leapfrog Nigeria’s development – affirmed that Information Technology will disrupt the Nigerian economy positively by the year 2023, creating immense opportunities and new wealth for many Nigerians.

 

Noting that this will happen irrespective of the status of leadership at the helm of affairs in the country, Ekeh urged attendees at the event to prepare for the coming disruption.

 

While appreciating the organizers and Publisher of News Express, Mr. Isaac Umunna, Ekeh who received the ICT Icon of the Year award at the event also seized the opportunity to recognize the media for the long years of support in spreading the ICT gospel, even as he declared his intention to stand down from participation at many of such future events in order to allow the younger generation and his son, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, founder of Yudala to take the stage as he believes they have better global education and exposure to lead the nation to the digital promised land.

 

Among dignitaries in attendance at the event was former Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe who chaired the event; Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan; Publisher of the Guardian Newspapers, Mrs. Maiden Ibru; former Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University and Chairman, Editorial Board of the Guardian, Prof. Wale Omole and Editor, Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Eze Anaba, among others.

 

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Mobile Operators Commit to Common Approach to IOT Security

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The GSMA has announced that global mobile operators have committed to adopt and implement the GSMA IoT Security Guidelines.

The guidelines outline best practice and recommendations for the Internet of Things (IoT) security for the entire IoT ecosystem and set out a comprehensive security assessment scheme to help ensure IoT services are protected against IoT security risks. There will reach 3.1 billion IoT connections by 2025, according to GSM A Intelligence.

“For the IoT to flourish, the industry needs an aligned and consistent approach to IoT security. Our guidelines encourage the industry to adopt a robust set of best practices that will help create a more secure IoT market with trusted, reliable services that can scale as the market grows.

“The mobile industry has a long history of providing secure services in licensed spectrum and by implementing these guidelines, we can help ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of the market,” commented Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA.

The GSMA IoT Security Guidelines are targeted at IoT service providers, device manufacturers, developers and mobile operators and provide best practice for the secure end-to-end design, development, and deployment of IoT solutions across industries and services.

They address typical cybersecurity and data privacy issues associated with IoT services and outline a step-by-step process to securely launch solutions to market.

They are supported by an IoT Security Assessment scheme that provides a checklist to support the secure launch of IoT solutions into the market and keep them secure throughout their lifecycles thereby creating a sustainable IoT ecosystem that is designed for end-to-end security.

Both the GSMA IoT Security Guidelines and IoT Security Assessment also cover the fast-growing Low Power Wide Area or Mobile IoT technologies, LTE-M and NB-IoT.

 

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BoICT Explains Why Glo Won Most Innovative Award

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Organisers of the Beacon of ICT Awards, Communications Week Media, have said that Globacom won the Most Innovative Player Award at the 2018 edition of the awards because it pioneering most of the innovations in the nation’s telecoms industry.

Giving the explanation while presenting the awards to Globacom,  Ken Nwogbo, Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer of Communications Week Media, reiterated  Globacom’s consistent role as the pioneer in Nigeria’s telecom space in the area of innovation and service quality.

According to him, “Glo has remained consistent in pioneering most of the innovations we have in the telecoms industry today, both in voice and in data services.

Glo Café, Borrow me Data, Campus Booster, E-top Up and Easy Share are among the recent products which have offered unparalleled experience for telecom subscribers on the Glo network. Many of the respondents who took part in the poll said this was why they voted for Glo as the Most Innovative Mobile Player”.

Nwogbo further explained that winners in the various categories were decided by readers of Communications Week in an online survey conducted by the magazine from November last year to March 15, 2018.

The Beacon of ICT Awards was instituted to reward the vision and efforts of individuals and companies that have contributed to the growth of the ICT industry in a particular year.

The main objectives of the awards are to evaluate and recognize standards of excellence in the country’s quest for growth and development in the use of ICT and to ensure that ICT professionals are provided a basis for recognizing and validating outstanding contributions.

 

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