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Samsung Enmeshed In Fraud Scandal As Heir Bagged Prison Sentence

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Samsung Enmeshed In Fraud Scandal As Heir Bagged Prison Sentence

Samsung Heir, Lee Jae Yong has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison after being convicted for fraud.

The vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker, was found guilty of bribery and embezzlement in connection with the scandal that brought down former South Korea President, Park Geun-hye.

“Yong actively provided bribes and implicitly asked the president to use her power to help his smooth succession at the head of the sprawling conglomerate.

“It is very unfortunate that Samsung, the country’s top company and proud global innovator, is repeatedly involved in crimes whenever there is a change in political power,” a Seoul Central District Court said in its verdict.

Consequently, the court jailed him upon concluding a retrial that was the latest step in a long-running legal process that has hung over Samsung for years.

What this means for Samsung

Samsung is by far the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates, or chaebols, that dominate business in the world’s largest economy.

Its overall turnover is equivalent to a fifth of the national gross domestic product and it is crucial to South Korea’s economic health.

Its rise has been driven by a willingness to invest billions in strategic bets on key technologies.

But Newsrand understands that the sentence will create a leadership vacuum that can hamper its decision-making on future large-scale investments.

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For Telecoms, A Place In The Sun For Alarmists, By Okoh Aihe

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For Telecoms, A Place In The Sun For Alarmists, By Okoh Aihe

There was suppressed excitement across the land last week. The country’s economy, dealt a massive blow into depression by COVID-19, suddenly witnessed a renaissance, a stirring out of that dazed stupor into some place under the sun, making some of us to learn how to smile again.

The news was so sudden that some people didn’t know how to believe it and are only now trying to respond in a way to encourage the economic minders to do even more. Because the possibility is that if we mistake these tiny ripples of life to be strong signs of real recovering, there is the more likelihood that we go into a more serious one as we often don’t know how to dance our way out of trouble but instead force ourselves down the slippery slope like somebody courting disaster.

Therefore, the announcement that Nigeria witnessed 0.11% in Q4’2020 sounded more like music to the ears although Nigerians are not about breaking into a dance. They have been so disappointed over the years, taking promises in their face value to the effect that they are unable to seek forgiveness for attracting this moment of hazardous folly upon themselves. But good news is good news and even in its infinitesimal manifestation in our land, we must manage a smile with suspicious restraints.

The smile came last week, giving a justification to the alarmists, those always shouting about the protection of the telecommunications sector, that they are not wrong and that there is, indeed, a justification to jealously secure the sector for our collective good. The cliché instructs that you do not kill the fowl that lays the golden eggs! The ICT sector of which Telecoms remains a very visible component is heading down that lane that attracts protection and preservation.

READ ALSO: Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd. (“Group”) Announces Significant

The figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed a mild positive economic growth of 0.11 per cent also credited the Information and Communications Technology Sector with an encouraging growth of 15.06 per cent in Quarter 4, 2020, thus remaining one of the few sectors to enjoy a double digit growth throughout the year in spite of the pandemic, with others being 13.47 per cent Quarter 3, 2020, 17. 83 per cent Quarter 2, 2020, and 14.07 Quarter 1, 2020.

Comparatively, the Oil sector contributed 5.87 per cent in the same quarter down from 8.73 per cent in Quarter 3, 2020. The report noted that oil production stood at 1.56m barrels per day which is way below the 2.00m per day recorded in the same quarter of 2019. In everything production there is unpredictability especially in our part of the world and the oil sector is not sequestered from such vagaries. And this should give us some concerns because we are still some years away from what Jeremy Rifkin called the ‘carbon bubble’ in his book, The Green New Deal, when the world will rely more on cleaner sources of energy, and what we have always bragged about as our massive investment in the oil sector, the magic mono product that sustains our economy, will become stranded assets. That day is not far away and yet our oil production is not stable enough to meet the exigencies of the immediate.

So, in a troubled world the ICT sector rallied to a surge. This is hardly surprising because technology has always been there to ameliorate the worries of the world in moments of crisis. This is what has happened in Nigeria. When the world started to shut down last year under the weight of COVID-19 and shifted the breathing pattern to a new normal, ICT provided the vessels of communication. There were no movements but people were talking. There were no cinemas yet people were entertained. Even when jobs were lost and people suffered hunger they still scrounged enough to buy air time so that they could stay connected. But for technology it would have been a nightmare far beyond what anybody could ever imagine. What showed on the GDP is not a fluke and, without being a prophet, technology is going to provide the support structure for our GDP into the foreseeable future.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Hits Highest In Over Two Years

You therefore need to understand the alarmists when they cry that the telecommunications sector needs to be delivered and protected. As I write, there are still some states that put strictures on the part of service rollout by telecom operators or even allow expansion where services are already available. In parts of the country where there are security challenges – and the challenges are pervasive – but obviously more serious in some areas, telecommunications services have been seriously disrupted and or totally decoupled from existence.

Plus the security challenges are the activities of some highly placed government officials, the politicians among them who throw their weight around some regulatory agencies while trying to approximate the laws setting up these agencies. This writer has always shouted on this column that the telecommunications and Broadcast sectors are too important to be subjected to the mood swings of an ephemeral politician. They need to be freed up for growth to enable the sectors build up the strength to leverage the country into the future. Those who doubt the importance of ICT should ask themselves just these questions: Where was Zoom two years ago and where is it now? Which technology supplies the oxygen to the new normal?

One other matter. The government seems to be thinking right when, last week, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved about N8.9bn for a new National Information and Communication Technology park in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). My little warning is that this project should not be a packaged deal for any politician or a political stunt. This nation obviously needs such intervention projects that can withstand or at least attenuate a headline inflation of 16.47 per cent and food inflation of 20.57 percent. We need to put an end to the hunger in the land using technology.

 

Okoh Aihe writes from Abuja.

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Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd. (“Group”) Announces Significant Changes in its Leadership

Ms. Irene Charnley and Mr. Mohammad Wajih Sharbatly retire from the Group’s Board of Directors; The Group’s Board announces several new appointments to reinforce the Group in the coming era of Telecoms transformation.

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Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd. ("Group") Announces Significant Changes in its Leadership

Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd., (www.Smilecoms.com) a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, announced after its board meeting held on January 15th, 2021, significant changes in the leadership of the Group’s board and management.

The Group announced the retirement of Ms. Irene Charnley and Mr. Mohammed Wajih Sharbatly from the Group’s Board and all boards of the operating companies, effective January 1st 2021.

Ms. Irene Charnley, the Founder of Smile, has retired as Deputy Chairman from the Smile Telecoms Limited Board.

Mr. Mohammad Wajih Sharbatly is a Co- Founder of Smile and has acted as Co-Chairman of the Group through December 2020.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Ibrahim H. Sharbatly, Chairman of the Group said “Today we say farewell to our Founder and Deputy Chairman, Ms. Irene Charnley. We wish her all success in her new endeavors.”

“We also want to say farewell to our Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Mr. Mohammad Wajih H. Sharbatly.”

“May God bless them both.”

Smile Telecom Holdings, in its Board meeting on January 15th, 2021, also announced the following Nominations:

  • Mr. Osman Sultan has been appointed as Vice Chairman of the Group.  Mr. Sultan, the founding CEO of EITC (du) in the UAE, was at its helm from 2006 until the end of 2019. Before that, he was the founding CEO of Mobinil in Egypt (now Orange Egypt) from 1998 until the end of 2005. Mr. Sultan sits on several ICT Companies and Academic Boards. He has been actively involved with Smile as the Chairman of the Restructuring and Transformation Committee of the Group since July 2020.
  • Mr. Albert Momdjian has been appointed as Board Member of the Group and Chairman of the Group’s Audit Committee. Mr. Momdjian is a former corporate and investment banker with 27 years of corporate Investment banking and restructuring experience primarily in Media and Telecoms across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, having been involved in over USD 100 bn worth of M&A, capital markets and restructuring transactions.
  • Mrs. Caroline Chang, recently appointed as a Board Member of the Group in November 2020, has been appointed as a member of the Group’s Audit Committee. Mrs. Chang is an experienced board member and former EMEA General Counsel of Farallon, the leading US hedge fund that has been active in Africa and Emerging Markets.
  • These nominations come in addition to the appointment of Mr. Raihan Shaikh-Khaleel as Board Member of the Group in September 2020. Mr Khaleel is a Partner at Swinton Capital and an experienced restructuring advisor across EMEA, sitting on various Boards of companies involved in restructurings. He has 20 years of EMEA and other cross border experience, spending the last 10 years restructuring companies for a leading US hedge fund.

“While we understand the desire of our Founders to retire after a challenging journey, we have been preparing over the past months for the future. We want to ensure that we bring the best competencies on board to enable the Group to face the various challenges and transformations that the Telecoms sector faces and take advantage of the opportunities ahead. Africa is the fastest-growing continent globally, and data is the new future in the world we live in,” concluded Mr. Ibrahim Sharbatly.

Commenting on the changes Ahmad Farroukh, Group CEO, added, “I am looking forward to working with the new Board Members and counting on their diverse experience to prepare for the company’s future in the challenging times the industry is going through.”

Finally, Smile announced that the Group Board approved the Head Office and Centre of Main Interest (COMI) of Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd to shift from Mauritius to England and Wales.

 

About Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd

Founded in 2007, with its head office in England, Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd (www.Smilecoms.com) is a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Africa. The company has one of the largest sub-1 GHz 4G LTE commercial networks in Africa, operating in the “future proof’ low band, 800 MHz band, and mid-band.

Smile was the first to launch VoLTE on its network and continued its innovation, introducing SmileVoice, a free mobile app. SmileVoice enables customers with any Android or Apple iPhone device (including those which are not VoLTE-enabled) to make SuperClear voice calls over Smile’s 4G LTE network. Smile was also the first to introduce an Unlimited offering, which enables SuperFast data and SuperClear voice, all on one bundle.

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State News

Bayelsa Govt. To Build Science And Technical Schools In 8 LGAs

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Bayelsa Govt. To Build Science And Technical Schools In 8 LGAs
Gov. Douye Diri, Bayelsa State

The Bayelsa  Government says it plans to build science and technical schools in the eight Local Government Areas of the state.

Gov. Douye Diri, disclosed this during an interactive session with Christian leaders at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, on Tuesday.

The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the establishment of the technical schools was aimed at building the capacity of youths in vocational skills to make them self-reliant.

Read Also: Youth Empowerment: Enugu Govt Establishes Technology Hub Centres

He emphasized the need to be abreast of global challenges, adding that the trend was that less emphasis was now being placed on only paper qualifications.

He said it has become imperative for youths to think outside of the box and channel their energies to profitable ventures rather than looking for white-collar jobs that are scarce.

Diri urged them to take a cue from his administration by venturing into agriculture, which was one of the main focuses of his administration.

“We want to build science and technical colleges across Bayelsa. We will have them in all the local government areas.

“We want to de-emphasize certificate education so that our young ones can use their hands, learn skills and be employers of labor.

Read Also: President Buhari To Address Rescued Kankara Students

“Our focus is also on agriculture. We want our youths and women to be useful to themselves. This government is ready to support you.

“We want our young ones to go into business and to own farms. This government is ready to encourage you until you own your own farms”.

The governor noted that every member of the executive council had been directed to own a farm this year.

“We want to shift the focus from seeking too much of white-collar job education to vocational, science, and technical education,” Diri said.

He added that the government would love the youths to be plumbers, tilers, and painters.

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