Jan 28, 2020
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January 28, 202030
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government has so far achieved 50% data awareness and targeting to achieve 75% by the year, 2021.
Dr. Pantami disclosed this in Abuja at the Public Awareness Workshop on Data Privacy, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to mark the 2020 World Privacy Day.
He said, Digital Economy relies on Data as such Data Protection was key to driving a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.
Pantami vowed that his administration would protect Nigerians from date abuse, therefore, urged the citizens to patronise Digital Platforms for a Digital Nigeria.
“Any Data under the control of Government or Private Individuals in Nigeria will not be abused under my watch as the Honourable Minister of Communications & DigitalEconomy. We want Nigerians to patronize Digital Platforms for a Digital Nigeria.
“Looking at our population, it is the right time for Nigeria to drive a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria. As the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, I assure citizens that their Data online will not be abused,” he said.
Earlier, in his Opening Remarks,  the Director General/CEO, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said, Data powers the digital economy; therefore, data privacy is a critical component of the Digital Economy.
The DG said, the agency was working to ensure that the nation’s journey to the digital world and implementation of Digital Economy Policy are achieved.
“At NITDA, we are committed to ensuring that the Nigerian journey to the digital nation and implementation of Digital Economy policy are successful. We believe that the digital economy is the present and the future for our children and us,” he said.
Inuwa said, the agency’s regulatory instrument, NDPR, was issued to achieve the following objectives; data privacy protection, secure exchange of data,  improve business environment, and create sustainable jobs.
He said, several steps had been taken flowing from the implementation strategy, among which are:
“Sustained Public Awareness through press statements, stakeholders’ engagements and opinions.
“Implementation through DPCOs who have proven expertise in data protection implementation, Administrative Redress Panel for hearing cases of a breach to provide an Alternative Dispute Resolution forum for aggrieved entities.
“Legal and Political Structure for Sustainability. Our strategy is to create a workable, credible implementation process that would assist the National Assembly in its desire to pass a Data Protection Bill,” he said.
On data breaches, he said, a number of investigations have been carried out and parties that have been involved in data breaches have been given a compliance notice while our investigation is going on to ascertain the veracity of the responses being received.
He said, in one year, NITDA has achieved the following in the implementation of the NDPR: Issuance of Twenty-Seven DPCO licenses that have created over 1000 jobs and generated a sector currently valued at about N2 billion.
Inauguration and capacity building of the Data Breach Investigation Team and Police Enforcement Team; treated over 1,200 inquiries and requests for clarifications, amongst others.

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January 28, 202040

Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh has charged the Management Staff of the Bureau who are undergoing a two-day Retreat in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to critically review the Bureau’s performance, innovate and identify critical areas that need refocusing.

He said this was necessary in BPE’s relentless drive towards crafting a strategy that will enhance a future of impact and relevance in reforming public enterprises and critical sectors of the economy.

Declaring open, the Retreat with the theme: Visioning Our Future on Monday, January 27, 2020, Okoh advised the management team that presentations and discussions at the Retreat must articulate creative and practical road maps that would help the Bureau consolidate on its achievements, deliver its mandate and approach its future in an innovative manner.

He also challenged them to begin to think out of the box by moving away from the Bureau’s traditional approach to its enterprise and sector reforms mandate in order to make it relevant in the years ahead.

In line with the theme of the Retreat, Okoh noted that visioning a future requires innovation by the Bureau not resting on its oars on transactions and non-transaction processes and “holding people accountable because in this journey to the future, we are as strong as our weakest link”.

He also implored them to initiate ways to transform the Bureau from a strong bureaucracy to an Innovation Driven Organisation (IDO), even as he said attention would be given to the New Enterprise Transformation Strategy (NETS) put in place by his administration to reinvent the high standards that in the past steered efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness in the Bureau’s operations and programme delivery.

According to the Director General, the repositioning aspect of the NETS which is core and the second pillar, includes the various initiatives aimed at reinvigorating and re-establishing the Bureau to taking its lofty position, relevance and ultimately fit for the future.

In a paper presentation titled:Navigating The MDAs/BPE Minefield in PE Reforms: Practical Pathways& Titbits, former Director General of the Bureau of Public Sector Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Joe Abah, listed ways for the Bureau to remain relevant and guide against conflicts with sister agencies and other government organisations.

He urged the Bureau to reposition itself with the realities of the times and re-asses itself in line with the Federal Government’s reforms agenda.

Abah urged the Bureau to come up with innovative ideas to remain relevant, communicate its activities effectively for the benefit of its stakeholders and avoid pitfalls that could dent its image.

The Director, Energy Markets & Rates Consultants Limited, Rahila Thomas also presented a paper on Strategy for Resolving The Liquidity Crisis in Nigeria Power Sector at the event.


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January 24, 202040
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has secured the conviction of Zacchaeus Atte, a former commissioner for agriculture in Kogi State to 19 year’s imprisonment

ICPC spokesperson Rasheedat Okoduwa said Atte was convicted on corruption charges by a Kogi State High Court sitting in Okene, Kogi State and presided over by Justice J.J Majebi

According to Okoduwa, Atte was found guilty on 7 out of the 11 counts charges brought against him by ICPC

The ICPC spokesperson revealed that Atte, who is to serve a total of 19 years jail term, was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment each on counts 1 and 3 without an option of fine

Okoduwa said Atte collected the sum of N11,937,000 and N8,873,766 respectively meant for “the raising and distribution of Oil Palm Sprouted Nuts Seedlings” to cocoa farmers in Kogi State which he did not raise nor distribute

The ICPC stated that it was an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 (ICPC Act)

He was also sentenced on count 2 to five years imprisonment without an option of fine, “for receiving the sum of N350,000 being amount earmarked to defray the transportation costs of the farmers during the cocoa seedlings distribution exercise” but failed to do so.

“This is also an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the ICPC Act,” Okoduwa said

“The former Commissioner was further sentenced to 1-year imprisonment each on counts 8 to 11 for “spending from the sum of N2,849,953 being amount earmarked for the purchase of office equipment on what he called Statewide Sensitization Tour; visit to Lagos from Lokoja on issues of Power Tiller; and Video Coverage” contrary to and punishable under section 22(5) of the ICPC Act.”

Okoduwa said the trial judge justified the conviction of the defendant, saying that the ICPC legal team had proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Daily y reports that this is the longest sentence handed down to any commissioner in Nigeria. It’d also ICPC’s longest sentence obtained since its inception.

(With agency report)


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January 24, 202070
Nigeria and Macao on Friday formally entered into special agreement on transfer of sentenced nationals.
President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
This is sequel to the Federal Executive Council Conclusion of August 1, 2018, which approved and directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to prepare the Instrument of Ratification of the above Agreement for the President’s signature.
President Buhari’s assent formally executes the Agreement.

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January 24, 2020140

The National Economic Council (NEC) has completed plans to revoke and reverse the power sector privatization describing it as a “total failure”.

It said the 2014 exercise was a fiasco pointing out that there is the need for a reversal of the decision.

This was part of the recommendations by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el- Rufai-led committee, inaugurated last year to ensure stable power supplies in the country.

This has already sent shock wave across the sector with insinuations that lobbying has commenced to thwart the revocation.

Some of the top sector players see the el-Rufai high level resolution as “targeted” and “vengeful”.

But briefing State House Correspondents after the monthly meeting of the Council, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, el-Rufai lamented that “electricity supply in the country has broken down completely”.

He said the country would not experience development and industrialization without solving the problems of electricity supply.

The power sector was privatized in 2014 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan despite that the Federal Government has continued to intervene with billions of naira annually without any improvement.

Daily Mail reports that recently the whole country was thrown into a total blackout due to a breakdown in the national grill. This has been a recurrent experience especially since the administration of Mohammadu Buhari.

“This is one of the recommendations we are putting forward, but we know that it has implications.

“The problems are many, the entire sector is broken, there is a fundamental structural problem.

“Government has supported the industry with N1.7trillion in the past three years. Government will take some very tough decisions. There is a lot of blame games.

“There are more than 900 million homes in Nigeria connected to electricity. Over 80million Nigerians are without electricity.

“It is either we continue to allow the federal government pump in N1.7trillion every three years, or we take the tough decision that will ensure a stable power supply”

He also announced that NEC will soon forward a proposal that would see the Federal Government release 20% of the over N10trillion accumulated pension funds for infrastructure development.

The proposal if approved, will see the money given as loans to the private sector for the development of three critical areas of roads, rail and power infrastructure

The money to be given on a long-term basis will attract between 5% and 6% interest over a period of 30 years and will be recovered through allocation of right of ways on the roads to be used the land to develop properties coupon rates of 5% to 6% is being targeted.

“We are looking for cheap and long term sources of funds for development of infrastructure,” he said.

Top industry sources told Daily Mail, should the Federal Government decided to proceed with the revocation, it would be met with deluge of court cases.

” The exercise was legally done and the process which spanned three governments was undertaken legally. We won’t sit by and watch the whole exercise go in smoke.

“We would slam any negative move with court cases. The government doesn’t need to play hard ball or we would play hard balls,” a top player said under condition of anonymity.

 

 


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January 23, 202060
The federal government and the south west governors have set aside their differences and agreed on common grounds on Amotekun.
This was the resolution though without specific details yet that were arrived at during the meeting of the governors with the Vice President on Thursday at the presidential villa.
All the six south west governors were present.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo stood in for President Mohammadu Buhari, who is out of the country.
A brief press statement released from the Office of the Vice President, and signed by his aide on Media Laolu Akande,  said, “The meeting was very fruitful and unanimous resolutions were made on the way forward.”
It pointed out that, “Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing the security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the Community Policing strategy of the Federal Government.
“It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure.”
Earlier, the Minister of Justice Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Mallami recanted saying he did not say Amotekun was illegal or unconstitutional.
Amotekun is a security outfit created by the south west governors to handle cases of security challenges in the region.

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January 23, 202050
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has concluded plans to host a public awareness program on Data Privacy law.
A National Data Privacy Week, has therefore been scheduled as a critical public enlightenment event, to last from January 23 to 28, a statement from the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Affairs, Mrs Hadiza  Umar said.
NITDA is the Federal Agency, which has the direct responsibility to implement data Regulation in Nigeria.
To underscore the importance of this law to Nigeria’s digital economy, the week-long public awareness program has been planned to focus on DATA PRIVACY IN A DIGITAL ECONOMY, the statement read.
It may be recalled that the Federal Government last year issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) to govern the processing of sensitive personal data in Nigeria.
According to NITDA, “many Nigerians are unaware of the far-reaching implications of this innovative regulation.
“Data Protection law is at the heart of a digital economy. It provides a legal framework for many transactions involving natural persons.
“One positive implication of the Regulation is that it has put Nigeria among the league of nations able to conduct safe electronic business transactions across borders,” it explained.
A statement from NITDA on January 25, 2019 during the issuance of the Regulation, indicated that the Regulation was issued to safeguard the rights of Nigerians to privacy, enhance security of data, improve ease of doing business in Nigeria and to create economic opportunities for Nigerians.
NITDA pointed out that, “Within the last one year the NDPR has proved to be a game-changing Regulation going by some verifiable facts, among which are, Enhanced business opportunities for Nigerian entities in dealing with their European counterparts who are regulated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is in force in European countries;
“Licensing of twenty-seven Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO) who help public and private sector organisations to comply with the NDPR and
“Creation of new job roles as Data Protection Officers, Data Protection Auditors, Data Protection Technologists, Data Privacy Lawyers among others.”
It noted that over 3,000 new trackable jobs have been created by the operation of the new Regulation.
In achieving these positive results, NITDA has enjoyed the active support and guidance of its parent Ministry, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the leadership of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
“There is, however, the need for strategic programmes aimed at increasing public awareness and support for the Regulation.
“This is very important considering the Regulation’s role in implementing the three-point vision of the present Administration, namely: security, job creation and accountability.
“The Data Privacy Awareness program therefore offers an opportunity for MDAs to fully understand the scope and operations of the Regulation so as to give it their full support by implementing it,” the statement indicated.
Daily y reports that on its part, NITDA has, in one year, responded to over 2,500 enquiries and comments from within and outside Nigeria, especially from the private sector.
The Agency has trained media executives, the police and Data Breach Investigators, Data Protection Officers, Data Protection Compliance Organisations, Start-ups, public servants etc. In the year under review, the Agency began engagement with the European Data Protection Office to enable interested Nigerian businesses to comply faster with the provisions of the European GDPR.
Observers say that although the ‘finish line’ is far ahead, but as a nation, Nigeria should be proud that its model of implementing data protection has become the cynosure of all eyes the statement pointed out.
It further added that Nigeria is currently helping some African countries set up their Data Protection Office due to what they have seen Nigeria achieve in a short time.
“The short-term goal is to enable Nigeria to achieve the Adequacy Requirement of leading countries by the year 2022.
“The privacy week is therefore an opportunity to create more awareness, celebrate the nation’s successes, evaluate missed opportunities and strategize for the coming years.
The events of the privacy week include, Media outreach, orientations across public and private organisations, public workshops, debate competition for secondary schools and National symposium on data protection.
NITDA hopes that the end of the week, “it would be a significantly improved public awareness on data privacy protection and help for businesses and government to improve their digital economy preparedness.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. NITDA was established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.
Specifically, Section 6(a, b, c, f & m) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; develop guidelines for electronic governance and monitor the use of  electronic data interchange and other forms of electronic communication transactions as an alternative to paper-based method; provide guidelines to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure for information technology and systems application and development in Nigeria for public and private sectors, urban-rural development, the economy and the government; render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors and accelerate internet and intranet penetration in Nigeria and promote sound internet Governance by giving effect to the Second Schedule of the Act.
The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 was issued pursuant to Section 6 (c) as the a holistic framework for regulation and protection of personal data of Nigerians throughout the Federation.

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January 22, 202040

The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, said it has trained over 2,000 Nigerians for both masters and PhD programmes across the world.

The Director of the agency, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa who revealed this in Abuja recently, said the agency was compelled to do so because it wants to bridge the digital gap through building capacity if Nigeria must fit into the global and competitive world.

 

He said that was the reason for the establishment of the post Graduate Scholarship in the country.

Inuwa, who spoke through the Director of Infrastructure Solutions, Dr. Gambo said after a careful review of trends in the country, the agency came to a conclusion that Nigerians cannot be left behind.

He said:  “We cannot afford as Nigerians to be left behind. For us to drive the digital economy, we need people with requisite capacity. And it is in realisation of this that the scholarship was initiated by NITDA.”

NITDA has been sponsoring Post Graduate students since 2010 but this time, it is partnering with FIRAT University, Turkey to have additional value in IT skill acquisition for the scholars.

The scheme was considered necessary now after it was suspended for two years from 2016-2017.

He said: “So far, we have trained over 2,000 Nigerians for both masters and PhD programmes across the world; majority of them study in UK. NITDA being the IT regulatory agency, there is need for us to build capacity because we live in a global and competitive world.

NITDA has been sponsoring Post Graduate students since 2010 but this time, it is partnering with FIRAT University, Turkey to have additional value in IT skill acquisition for the scholars.

On the choice of FIRAT University, he said: “We looked round the world and identify the area of interest and forged partnership with Turkey. This time around, we have to sign MoU with FIRAT University.

The university in Turkey was selected among others due to its global recognition for excellence in IT and engineering.

Inuwa said the entry is open to every Nigerian. He added explained that due to its benefits, every year, about 6,000 applicants apply to it.

For the NITDA Director, the most important thing for the agency  is for them to come back and add value.

He said: “We have those that have gone and come back to work with government and private sector as well as those who established their entrepreneurial businesses and today are employers of labour in the country. The impact is huge.

One of the beneficiaries, Aliyu Aliyu described the process as merit based and open.He appreciated NITDA and federal government promising that they will do their best and be responsible ambassadors in their studies in faraway Turkey.”

(With agency report)

 


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January 21, 202030

Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo state, has described the demonstration against his victory at the supreme court as an attempt to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari.

On Monday, hundreds of PDP members took to the streets to protest the judgement on the removal of Emeka Ihedioha, member of the opposition party, as governor of Imo.

The apex court had affirmed Uzodinma, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, as duly elected governor of Imo.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, PDP members took to the streets.

Speaking after he received APC members who held a solidarity march for him in Owerri, the governor said the protest should be investigated.

“If it is the Imo State governorship election, why are PDP members protesting in Abuja, Bayelsa and everywhere in the country? Why are they not protesting only in Imo state?” Uzodinma said.

“PDP wants to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. I therefore, use this medium to call on all the security agencies to begin an investigation into the organised synchronised national crisis, which the PDP is plotting.

“I want you to keep supporting the government of President Buhari. You all know that I was the frontrunner candidate during the 2019 governorship election in Imo State. I did not challenge the election on the grounds of violence.”

He said he challenged the election in court because the electoral commission refused to accept the results of 388 polling units it had accepted at the collation centres.

“The tribunal did not understand our petition. The appeal court gave us a minority judgement, but the supreme court, in its wisdom, understood our petition and gave judgement in our favour,” he said.

“I am already the governor and I am in charge of Imo state government house. Why would anybody challenge the integrity and wisdom of the supreme court justices? The supreme court justices gave us a majority judgement.”

(Cable)


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January 7, 2020100

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the official resignation of the suspended Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi .

Instead it has been consigned or official resignation as against suspension and sack.

A tweet by the Presidency on Tuesday afternoon announced the decision.

It said, “Her resignation effective 31 December 2019 has been accepted to enable her take up her new United Nations (UN) appointment.”
The Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, in a statement, had directed the immediate suspension of Ogunbiyi on December 23, 2019 over ‘infractions’.
A week after, the Minister announced the appointment of Ahmad SalIhijo Ahmad as the new MD of REA.

While Ahmad assumed office at REA two days after the announcement, Ogunbiyi, who had gotten a UN appointment since October 2019, announced her assumption at the duty post on 2 January, 2020.

Ogunbiyi is serving as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All, Co-Chair of UN Energy, and CEO of Sustainable Energy for All.
She had served in the administration of President Buhari for four and half years, coordinating the affairs of REA.

With the reversal of the suspension to an accepted resignation, the federal government, under President Buhari, has given Ogunbiyi a clean bill of health to continue her career at the UN.



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