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Halifax Appoints Nigerian As First African Board Member

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Halifax Appoints Nigerian As First African Board Member
Japheth Omojuwa

Media expert and social commentator Japheth Omojuwa, popularly known as JJ Omojuwa, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX), Washington DC.

A statement from HFX on Monday in Abuja said Omojuwa became the first Nigerian and African to make a list of respected global leaders who make up the board.

“We are truly delighted to have Omojuwa on board and everyone here is looking forward to working closely with him to further advance our mission to strengthen cooperation among the world’s democracies,” HFX wrote on their Twitter page.

READ ALSO: Media Chiefs Dare NBC Over Directive To Stop Revealing Details Of Terrorist Attacks

Halifax is a global non-profit think-tank that brings together senior officials from mostly democratic nations around the world to freely discuss problems, share knowledge, and debate possible responses to global security challenges.

Current board members of Halifax include; White House nominee to serve as Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture, Cindy McCain; Mexican Council on Foreign Relations chair, retired Maj.-Gen. Tammy Harris.

Others are former Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Dr. Luis Rubio; and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Ahmet Taçyildiz, the founding chairman of Ant Holding and the chairman of GAP Insaat; Janice Gross Stein who serves as chair of the board.

Omojuwa took to social media to announce the appointment saying he was delighted to accept the invitation by HFX.

“This gives me an opportunity to work with such exemplary leaders & change-makers who are devoted to strengthening strategic cooperation among democratic nations,” he said.

Beyond his vast knowledge of international affairs and digital media, Omojuwa brings to Halifax a distinguished career and reputation in the private sector with his wealth of knowledge on social issues.

Omojuwa is the Founder and Chief Strategist at Alpha Reach, one of Nigeria’s foremost Digital Media companies.

In 2019, he became a British Council Chevening Scholar and recently bagged a Master’s degree from the University College London where he studied Behaviour Change at the Faculty of Brain Sciences.

He is the author of the best-selling book “Digital: The New Code of Wealth.”

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Glo Rewards Subscribers With 22X Value on Every Recharge

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Glo Rewards Subscribers With 22X Value on Every Recharge

Telecommunications Company, Globacom, has rolled out a customer reward offer which gives 22 times the value of every recharge from N100 to prepaid customers on the network.

The bonus received on each recharge is valid for 7 days from the recharge date, can be used to call all networks, and is available on both paper and electronic recharge platforms.

The company disclosed that the 22X offer is designed to reward customers with huge data and voice benefits each time they recharge their Glo lines, and will avail customers the opportunity to enjoy their browsing and talking experiences from the same recharge.

READ ALSO: Globacom customers to get 22 times value on every recharge

Said Globacom, “Customers who recharge with N100 will be credited with N2, 200 value. They will first get the N100 recharge amount in their main account, which they can use on any Glo product as they desire. Added to this, they will receive a bonus value of N2, 100 for data and for voice calls to all networks in Nigeria. In the same vein, those who recharge with N1, 000 will receive N22, 000 worth of value comprising N1, 000 credit in their main account, which they can use on any Glo product as they wish, and a bonus value of N21, 000 for voice calls to all networks in the country and for data“.

According to the company, customers will also be privileged to enjoy as much as 5GB of bonus data and hundreds of bonus minutes depending on their volume of recharge, saying that the benefits are the most generous by any mobile network operator in the history of telephony in Nigeria.

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INEC Votes Technology in a Season of Untruth, By Okoh Aihe

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INEC Votes Technology in a Season of Untruth, By Okoh Aihe

While our law makers were voting for a journey to the past penultimate week, by turning their back on modern technology in the conduct of elections, two significant things happened one after the other. Richard Branson went to the edge ofspace aboard Virgin Galatico’sSpaceShip Two on July 11, 2021.  Nine days later, on July 20, the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos was on his way up there, on a journey the world has tagged the race of the billionaires.

In between, the National Assembly took a vote on the Electoral Amendment Bill and voted against the transmission of election results by electronic means. It was a major disappointment for some non –government organisatriiosns (NGOs) and some Nigerians who had prayed for the National Assembly to disappoint them by doing something that is good, by voting yes, just this once, to redeem some of their very deplorable image. It has been fire literally and the nation is aghast with anger. In July 2021, the law makers said some parts of the country are so underdeveloped in terms of telecom infrastructure rollout that it was not possible to execute any electronic transmission of election results. And a particular one boasted irritably that he uses Thuraya phone in his village. And that Thuraya cannot transmit data?

READ ALSO: INEC Seeks Replacement of Manual With Electronic Voting

But let’s return to the billionaires. Those ambitious guys with lots of bucks to throw around –Jeff Bezos ($209.2bn) and Richard Branson ($4.7bn) who are spinning the next frontier of business into reality by organizing space tourism where a rider could pay as much as $250, 000 for a seat, if you decide to go with Virgin Galatico.

So, why am I linking the serious matter of space to the burlesque at the National Assembly? Just to say that the world is moving on. People are planning every day and whether we decide to remain on the same spot in this part of the world and continue to quarrel with providence for doing us wrong, life must go on and people must still go the edge of space to behold the beauty and fragility of the earth from up there. But that is life. You will have those who fly high and those who fly very low, struggling for the base concerns of life. Our politicians make the world hold us in ridicule.

Anyway, in trying to unshroud the entire process, the National Assembly invited the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), regulator of the telecommunications industry, and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) who is in charge of election matters in the country. As it turned only the NCC went to the Assembly as INEC said it never really got any official invitation.

NCC has made its submission which outraged a number of people but INEC has responded indirectly through several media appearances of its officials to the effect that it had the capacity to go the way of technology in conducting elections,having received assurances from service providers. While NCC vacillated and tilted towards impossibility the data on ground and previous statements from the Commission put a lie to such submission. The Commission’s position has been fact-checked and incredulity is preponderant.

“We were bewildered by the NCC position because these were the same compatriots that had worked with us,” said Nick Dazang, INEC’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, on AIT KAKAAKI programme.

Dazang observed there were inconsistencies in the amended Bill. How do you do electronic voting and remove electronic transmission of results? It is counterproductive.

He admitted that there were security challenges across the country but INEC has had to face some of these challenges in the past to organize elections that were acceptable. According to his story which is so well known to most people above the age of 10 in Nigeria, there has been insurgency in the North East since 2011. In all these years elections have been conducted in the States of the Region without fail.

“If we could develop a template to conduct elections there, why can’t we transmit results using technology?” he asked.

There continues to be disbelief within INEC just as it is in the larger Nigerian society. People are angry why our politicians in the National Assembly, a majority are smiling over a potentially dangerous move, trying to justify a position that is dismally selfish and only aimed at political preservation into the future.

In the sordid tragic-comic story, some stakeholders, especially the operators, have remained silent. So silent that even when they have been told that the network they have built in over two decades didn’t have the appetite for modern transmission, none of them has said anything.

When this writer reached out to some operators over the weekend, one official said: “I do not understand why NCC will give 2018 numbers. Why would they do that when the operators supply the regulator all the latest data? I don’t want to accept that NCC sounds political.”

READ ALSO: Senate Turns Down PDP Request Of E-Transmission Of Election Results

But do you have the capacity to do it, to carry the election results through your network backbone? The source was cautious explaining that there is no city in the country that has hundred percent coverage, just as there can hardly be any environment where there is no coverage at all. “Anywhere without a coverage may not have significant population otherwise an operator would put a base station there so as to provide services and make money.” Although everybody is expected to vote and the votes counted, the source maintained that such population may not be significant enough to affect the outcome of the elections.

Simple answer. Yes, we have the capacity and capability, but know that even in the cities there are blind spots where such electronic transmission may not be possible. The source also explained that operators were ready at any time to be informed of such environments so that they can escalate their service deployment.

The source expressed the fear that what is playing out at the National Assembly may have little to do with technology but more of the concealed agenda of the politicians who would never have moments to reflect on how low their image has plummeted.

The Nigerian politician is only concerned about tomorrow which may be too far for his aspirations. So in a fit to shore up the impossible he piles untruth on technology, so that he can continue to live in the shadow of sin. The politician wants to eat up the future so as to set the teeth of his children on edge. How very ironic. Unfortunately the younger generation are too smart for their old tricks, and will fight to redeem their future, using that same technology.

 

Okoh Aihe writes from Abuja.

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National News

GenU: Airtel Partners UNICEF To Empower Nigerian Youths

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GenU: Airtel Partners UNICEF To Empower Nigerian Youths

Telecommunication company, Airtel Nigeria, says it has partnered with UNICEF to empower Nigerian youths through the newly launched Generation Unlimited (GenU) initiative.

Airtel in a statement on Tuesday said that the multi-sector partnership was aimed at empowering 20 million young Nigerians by 2030 with education, skills acquisition, employment, and entrepreneurship while leveraging access to digital platforms.

GenU is aimed at urgently supporting expanded education, training, and employment opportunities for young people aged 10 years to 24 years on an unprecedented scale.

READ ALSO: GenU: FG, UNICEF To Inaugurate Scheme For Young Nigerians

The collaboration is a global multi-sector partnership that was initially launched in September 2018, in collaboration with over 200 partners.

Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, said the initiative aligns with the telco’s philosophy of connecting, empowering, and helping young Nigerians to become more productive to solve some of the pressing problems affecting the country.

“At Airtel, we believe that leveraging on technology, digital platforms, mobile broadband, and innovation can make a huge difference in creating both access and opportunities for youth even among those in the remotest and hard-to-reach locations in the country,” he said.

Ogunsanya pledged that Airtel would support the GenU initiative by providing connectivity and access to the Internet for every school and learner by zero-rating data cost.

He said the telco would also offer internship opportunities to participants as well as provide awards to some of the beneficiaries at the end of the training.

“In the long term, Airtel will fully support GenU through a partnership to develop an investment case for school connectivity leveraging our technical competence.

“It is our belief that through this partnership, we will go a long way to improve the skillsets of millions of young Nigerians across the country, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the government,” Ogunsanya said.

Also, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President, commended Airtel, UNICEF, and other stakeholders for backing the GenU initiative with a clear deliverable of providing education, training, and entrepreneurship opportunities for 20 million Nigerians in 10 years.

The Chief Executive Officer, of GenU, Mr. Kevin Frey, also commended Airtel for its pledge of providing connectivity, access, internship opportunities, and awards for the beneficiaries, noting that the success of GenU in Nigeria was a success for Africa and the world.

Frey said that during the pilot phase of the program, Airtel would focus on providing zero-rated data to support 200 schools in Lagos and Kano States.

GenU has reached more than 100 million young people globally through innovations and programmes in more than 40 countries across six continents.

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