3,195 Enrolled As Kwara’s Digital Training Programme Begins

At least 3,195 young people have been enrolled in the first phase of Kwara’s virtual digital training class which began on Thursday — 1,195 more than the initial figure (2000) intended for the exercise when it was announced.

The 3,195, who responded to the pre-training survey, were shortlisted from a total of 6,766 who originally applied for the virtual training.

The training, a component of the Kwara State Social Investment Programme, is being conducted in partnership with Grow with Google and Wootlab Foundation and is free for the enrollees and the state government.

“Of the 3,195, 1,763 have been inducted into the first cohort and the class began on Thursday and would run for the next two weeks. The second cohort comprises 1,432 whose class begins on May 18,” according to a statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye.

“Each cohort runs for two weeks. The programme covers the following courses: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Accredited certification by Grow with Google), Applied Digital tools and G Suites (certified by Grow with Google), Social Media Marketing, Graphic Design, Business Branding and Presentation to Impress.”

The plan was to train 2,000, but the organisers had to increase capacity and resources due to overwhelming interest from the youth, the statement added.

Ogunniyi Tomilola Oyebola, a baker who is attending the class, said she applied for the programme to “acquire digital skills that will help me to be relevant in this 21st century and prepare for employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in my baking business.”

Kasali Olawale Taofiq, another successful applicant who is into security engineering, said he applied to “upscale my knowledge in digital literacy so as to apply it in my line of business.”

Fadiji Aminat Wuraola, a teacher, said she opted in to up her digital skills.

Chioma Okoro, Chief Operating Officer at Wootlab, said the response to the programme underlined young people’s thirst for digital knowledge.

“We were overwhelmed at the number of applications that came in, especially on the 1st and 2nd day. However, we expected a 50% response rate to the pre-programme survey that was sent to the applicants,” she said.

“We wanted participants that are willing to learn and improve themselves and the survey proved just that. We expect the participants to be better versions of themselves at the end of the programme.”

Muhammad Brimah, Anchor of KWASSIP, said the response of the applicants was impressive and encouraging.

He added: “It was quite impressive when we realised the massive response of applicants accross the State. There has always been a thirst for knowledge in Kwara and it has been proven yet again. All our youths need is the opportunity. There is no better time than now, considering what the world will be post-COVID-19. Remote workers would be in high demand and it is good we are getting our youths prepared for the coming opportunities.”

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
May 1, 2020.

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Group Congratulates Mohammed Brimah On Kwara Appointment

A social political group, The Progressive League (TPL) has congratulated the newly appointed Consultant for Kwara State Social Investment Programme KWASSIP, Mr Mohammed Brimah. This is contained in a statement signed by the Convener of the group, Mr Ileowo Kikiowo.

According to the group, Mohammed Brimah remains one of the brain box behind the success of National Social Investment Programme of President Muhammadu Buhari and his wealth of experience will surely help the KWASSIP.

The group also commends the Kwara state governor for his eyes to discover the best among the emerging leaders to pursue his agenda for a better Kwara State.

“We have no doubt Mohammed Brimah will make serious impact and leave long lasting legacy of service in Kwara. More so, Governor AbdulRahman eyes for emerging leaders to lead critical development agenda in the state is highly commendable,” Ileowo stated.

The group also pledge to support the newly appointed KWASSIP consultant and the government of Kwara state in making life better for Kwarans.

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COVID-19: Young Nigerians Unveil Portal To Combat Coronavirus Infodemic In Africa

Following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID 19) in Wuhan China, confirmed cases of the virus have continued to escalate in many parts of the world and Africa, so also has a secondary issue of global concern that the World Health Organization has termed an ‘infodemic’ “an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.” 

Two young Nigerian media expert, Solomon Adetokunbo a Public Relations entrepreneur and Samuel Ejiwunmi a lecturer of media & communication studies at the University of Lagos have risen to the task of combating the challenge of COVID-19 infodemic in Nigeria and Africa at large by developing an information & data driven fact checking portal named Coronavirus Fact Checkwww.coronavirusfactcheck.ng

Pandemics like Ebola, Coronavirus amongst others, has led to misinformation, rumours and fake news. During the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria in 2014, a WhatsApp broadcast made the rounds: “Please ensure that you and your family and all your neighbours bathe with hot water and salt before daybreak today because of Ebola virus which is spreading through the air. “Although the government officially debunked it, at least two people died and several others were hospitalized over excessive salt consumption. Similar situations are being repeated with people peddling fake coronavirus cures online and other conspiracy theories that have led to irreparable damage and loss of lives.

The Coronavirus Fact Check platform pools together different resources to solve infodemic.  This includes fact-checked news story garnered from trusted media outlets, real-time visual representation of the spread of COVID-19 in 54 African countries featuring an array of real-time data, statistical indicators, dashboards, and other types of data that enable visitors to explore the data and better understand the Coronavirus pandemic from a local, national and continental context. Information and data on the portal are generated from datasets shared and reported by local and international health organizations, news outlets, and other trusted sources, notable partners include Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Google’s Fact Check Explorer, Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network (IFCN).

The “Resources Page” a very interesting and fact filled one provides tips for staying safe at home and a self-explanatory screening tool to ascertain your health status. Aside this, a fact check guide is embedded in the page to tutor users on how to identify fake news and cross check with fact-based websites. The portal which is now live can be accessed from any part of the world.

Echoing the comments of the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; who described the coronavirus infodemic as a common enemy, Solomon Adetokunbo remarked that flattening the infodemic curve will only be possible through a joint effort by multi-stakeholders from across globe, “as such we considered it necessary to rise to the occasion and be the voice from Africa providing an information/data narrative that meets the yearning of our people, thus ending the COVID-19 data dearth for Nigeria and Africa.”

Even so, the battle against fake news is likely to last as long as the virus. It is everyone’s duty to be calm, measured and take a more thorough investigation into what may be or not be, to help flatten this curve of dangerous information.

 “We can all play a role in beating the virus by making sure that we are sharing validated information and using trusted sources to inform our decision-making” said Samuel Ejiwunmi who further urged government at various levels and relevant stakeholders to be proactive in fighting COVID-19 as well as ongoing issue of misinformation online revolving around the coronavirus disease.

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APYF Thanks Kwara Governor For Appointing Member As KWASSIP Anchor/Consultant

The national body of the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF) received with absolute joy the news of the appointment of one of our pioneer and frontline members, Mr. Mohammed Brimoh by the executive governor of Kwara state, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazak as the consultant for the newly inaugurated Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP).

On behalf of our teeming progressive members across the country, we wish to express our profound gratitude to HE, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazak for finding it worthy to appoint Brimah to this position and as a result help in furthering the vision of our founder for a more deliberate youth inclusion and participation in governance.

Having been a part of the team that pioneered the implementation of the social investments programmes at the federal level since 2015; first as Special Assistant to the President on internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and later Job creation; we have not doubt that Brimah will play a very significant role in shaping the social intervention initiatives of the Kwara state government and deliver on the governor’s mandate of catering to the welfare of the most vulnerable.

We would like to remind His Highness that by this singular gesture, he has again reinforced the hope and aspirations of our members, particularly in Kwara, who have always waited for opportunities such as this to showcase their leadership skill within the realm of public governance.

We would like to warmly congratulate Mr. Mohammed Brimah and the entire APYF family in Kwara State. Indeed, we see the appointment of Brimah as a just reward for your collective and undisguised dedication to the struggle that birthed the present government in Kwara state. We’re confident that more would still come.

Finally, we are confident that Mohammed Brimah, with his versatile mind, proven leadership ability and his well known empathy for the less privileged, will bring his trademark ingenuity and obvious experience to bear in serving the good people of Kwara state.

We therefore appeal to all our teeming members in the state to support and pray for the success of the new appointee as this will further boost the image and reputation of our great forum.

Signed:Ife Adebayo
National Chairman, APYF

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Reps To Monitor Chinese Medical Personnel, Says Gbajabiamila

The House of Representatives is to monitor the activities of the Chinese medical personnel that came into the country on Wednesday for the delivery of materials and equipment to the Nigerian government in the fight against coronavirus (covid-19), the Speaker, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila has said.

The Speaker said the need to monitor the movement of the Chinese medical personnel became important following fears expressed by Nigerians over their coming into the country.

This is even as the Speaker mooted a legislation for donation to government by the private sector and individuals, noting that there should be means of discouraging reneging on donations publicly made.

Gbajabiamila made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday during a meeting on the update on Covid-19 between the leadership of the National Assembly and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) where he emphasized the need for legislation for the disbursement of government and private funds for the pandemic.

He said without legislation, coupled with the fact that disbursement of government funds must be as prescribed by law, spending from the Covid-19 funds may become a subject of litigation.

He also expressed disappointment with the disclosure that medical and other personnel at the entry points and hospitals working on the coronavirus pandemic are yet to be paid hazard allowance.

The Speaker inquired from the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire about the whereabouts of the Chinese medical personnel and if they were subjected to the laid down protocol of the disease.

He said: “This engagement is to see how we can make things better. The Chinese medical personnel, are they coming to upgrade our laboratories, are you accepting them? Who are the technicians that have been running the Kaduna and Kano laboratories before now?

“Where are the Chinese personnel as we speak? How are you sure that the Chinese company responsible for this arrangement is complying with your directives?”

The Speaker also said since the disease is highly infectious, let the authorities test as many Nigerians as possible.

“My point is, let us begin to test everybody since the disease is highly infectious. We have a problem of contact tracing with people giving wrong addresses. Have you tried tracing them through the Immigration Service and telecommunication companies since there are other details that can be sourced from those windows?”

On the issue of legislative backing for funds devoted to the Covid-19 cause, the Speaker noted that disbursement from the fund without the approval of the National Assembly could become controversial.

“What we are trying to do is to see if constitutional provision is brought to bear on this issue as stated by Section 80 of the constitution, that disbursement from the coffers of government can only be in a manner prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

“What we can do is to convene as soon as possible and give you, even if it is a one line item for you to appropriate this monies, this is because to do otherwise may become a subject of litigation, and the court can say you have no power to disburse from the money that is coming to the coffers of government,” Gbajabiamila added.

On the legislation against reneging on donations publicly made, the Speaker said: “Right now, there is no consequence for reneging on promised made on donations because there is no legislation. There must be some form of legislation to that effect, an instrument to compel pledges must be in place.”

In his response, the Minister of Health, Ehanire said the Chinese medical personnel were duly tested and quarantined in a facility belonging to the Chinese company that was responsible for the arrangement.

The Minister also said foreign airlines and embassies were cooperative in solving the challenge of tracing contacts of the indexes of the virus.

On his part, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who is also the Chairman of PTF, Boss Mustapha, in aligning with the position of the Speaker on the need for the legislation also assured that a comprehensive welfare package is being processed.

Others at the meeting that included the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan were the Ministers of the Aviation, Environment, Information and Foreign Affairs as well members of the PTF on Covid-19.

Signed:

Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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COVID-19: Why Pollution From Generators May Affect Us More, By Okechukwu Chukwuebuka

As the world battles the recent Corona Virus outbreak, many countries have like Italy and Ecuador have been greatly affected with the vulnerables and poor suffering more. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. With over 1.4 million infected cases around the world and 87,706 deaths, Nigeria has its own fair share from the figures. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) last reported there are 276 confirmed cases, 44 recovered cases and six deaths. The agency, alongside government institutions have been commended for their role and heads-on approach in containing the spread of the virus in the country.

More Demand for Power

Covid-19 has spread around the planet, sending billions of people into lockdown, with an increase in demand for power especially in Nigeria. Many are forced to work from resorting to much dependence on constant electricity. From working and video calling during the day to online betting Nigeria and video games at night, all of these activities need electricity and power. Nigerians spend more than 14 billion dollars every year to power their generator due to the epileptic power supply. With this lockdown, the figure may double this year as many have no option than to rely on the poor power supply to complete their daily tasks.

The Pollution Factors

Limited time outside the home means many are dependent on generators. This will also mean more pollution during this time in Nigeria. It’s interesting to note that this isn’t happening in other countries around the world. For example, the air quality has actually improved in big cities in India, while places in Italy and China are also experienced less pollution. In particular, a reduction in nitrous oxide gases.

While there are less cars on the road and industrial emissions during coronavirus, it seems like generators will increase noise and air pollution across Nigeria. For example, fuel stations in Lagos have said that hardly anybody is buying fuel for their vehicles. Instead, they are coming to full up jerrycans so that they can fuel their generators.

There are some businesses that are helping their employees during this time. For those that are encouraged to work from home, some companies are offering stipends. In particular, this is to cover generator costs. This is going to cost more money for people in Nigeria and since they are vital for work and general living, people are left with no choice but to keep purchasing fuel.

It is hard to believe that the Senate still wants to proceed with a bill to ban the importation of generators. It is clear to see that they are vital for the wellbeing of Nigeria until a better national grid can be established. Interestingly, a request for a five-year ban on generator importation was rejected in 2019. Senator Francis Fadahunsi wanted to prevent generators increasing. However, this was rejected unlike the ban that happened in 2015, which banned common generators that were imported. Once coronavirus is over, it will be interesting to see what the future holds.

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COVID-19: Defense Headquarters Dismisses Torture Video

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has dismissed videos currently circulating in the social media of soldiers torturing civilians for violating the Presidential directive to stay at home over the Coronavirus pandemic as a calculated attempt to blackmail the Military.

It said that the videos are misleading and are not related to the present military engagement of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

According to a statement by the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche,  “the attention of the Defence Headquarters has been drawn to some video clips  trending in the media.

“Consequently, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to state that the videos  were old clips of past incidents that took place in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

“The clips are being used by some mischievous elements to tarnish the image of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Those videos are misleading, as they are not related to the present military engagement of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards the lockdown on COVID-19”.

It added that “the Nigerian Armed Forces sees those clips as calculated attempts to tarnish its professional integrity by some mischief makers.

“Members of the public are hereby advised to disregard those videos. It is the handwork of false news propagators. The Armed Forces of Nigeria remains undaunted and would not be distracted.

“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is committed to performing its constitutional roles towards ensuring the protection of our territorial integrity and the lives and property of the general public”.

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Buratai Commissions Blocks Of Flat At Ikeja Cantonment

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division Maj Gen Olu Irefin has commissioned two blocks of 39 flats each, totalling 78 flats, at Nigerian Army Cantonment IKEJA, Lagos today the 31st of March 2020.

The commissioning ceremony was the third since the GOC assumed duty in July 2019.

While emphasising how lucky 81 Division is in terms of benefitting from the COAS’ intervention, Maj Gen Irefin noted that the COAS had yet awarded another contract for the renovation of 4 additional blocks of flats for soldiers in the Cantonment.

This he said, signified the COAS’ commitment to the welfare of NA personnel and their families, and demanded nothing less than their unwavering commitment to duty and loyalty to constituted authority.

It is heartwarming to note that the COAS has indeed deployed enormous resources to facilitate the expeditious completion of the project.

This was with a view to ensuring that the erstwhile occupants who had to squat with colleagues to give room for the renovation, return immediately to their newly renovated flats thereby decongesting their temporary refuge in the spirit of the requirement for social distancing in the face of the ravaging COVID-19.

While congratulating the beneficiaries of the beautifully renovated and tastefully furnished apartments, the COAS urged them to ensure the facilities are adequately maintained.

SAGIR MUSA
Colonel
Acting Director Army Public Relations
31 March 2020

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Covid-19: Youth Task Force Begins Sensitisation, Distribution Of Relief Material Nationwide

A group of concerned Nigerian youths under the auspices of Nigerian Youth Task Force on COVID-19 (NYTFC) has said it will explore feasible ways and implement methods of assisting the Nigerian people in partnership with all the relevant stakeholders to contain the spread of COVID-19 and cushion the effect of the StayAtHome directive for the most vulnerable Nigerians. 

The group said it realised this target through a structure it has already set up across the nation.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the national coordinator, who is also a Senior Special Assistant to the President in Youth and Student Affairs, Hon. Nasir Adhama and the convener, Comrade Bello Shagari, said the group  will partner the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) to embark on massive sensitisation and distribution of relieve materials. 

“The Nigerian Youth Task Force on COVID-19 (NYTFC) is ready to deploy its volunteers amongst which are well trained medical personnel with vivid knowledge of the ongoing pandemic and strategies to curb its spread through proper sensitization, dissemination of useful information and combatting fake news. We have also prepared strategies to mobilize relief materials to distribute for the most vulnerable Nigerians who live from hand to mouth in order to enable them survive during the period of isolation.

“We also understand that societal partnership is crucial in combating the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria, hence it has become imperative for the Nigerian Youths who constitute over 65% of the country’s population to step in and get involved in assisting the Nigerian Government and strategic stakeholders in limiting and eliminating the spread of the virus which does not discriminate based on age, race, ethnicity, religion or status.
“We recognize that the youth have a role to play and the community must come together in vigilante participation against the virus.

“The task force will be engaged in daily planning and discussion with a view to sharing important updates and provide guidance and communication to the members of the public nation-wide on impact of Covid-19.

“We will be in frequent contact with Federal, State and Local Governments alongside  public health agencies, to provide our inputs on policy strategies in the pursuance of our commonly shared objective.”

The NYTFC revealed  that it has a nationwide spread consisting of volunteers from community to the national level. 

“There are ward, local governments focal persons, state coordinators and zonal supervisors. The secretariat is headed by the National Coordinator and led by the Convener with an operational base in Abuja.”
While Commending the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ministry of Humanitarian, National Disasters, IDP and Social Development, the entire members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, the Lagos State Government, the FCT Administration and all the health workers, the youth group also commended all its volunteers nationwide and encourage them to remain on their feet in this fight against COVID -19.

“We also thank His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari for taking decisive actions to put a halt to the spread of the virus. We pray to Almighty God to make COVID-19 patients recover quickly. Together, we can achieve a Nigeria that is immune of COVID-19.”

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Ismaeel Ahmed Felicitates With Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu At 68

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Investments, Barrister Ismael Ahmed has Felicitated with the National Leader of The All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his 68th birthday celebration.

In a congratulatory message signed by him, Ismael described the celebrant as a leader per excellence with a wealth of experience that continues to inspire his personal growth and experience.

He further described the celebrant as a man who always give young people the opportunity to excel and nuture them into becoming leaders in successive years.

While applauding his style of leadership, Barrister Ismaeel recalled the day Asiwaju met and took him in and personally saw to his rise in political circle while treating him with kindness, respect and adoration as if he were his son.

However, Barrister Ismaeel also stated that Asiwaju’s contribution to politics and democracy in Nigeria will continue to have a lasting impact in the years to come emphasizing that he hasn’t just contributed to our political leadership but has also made leaders out of his proteges over the years.

Ismaeel therefore wishes Asiwaju more fulfilling years of peaceful service in good health, happiness and all round wellness while reiterating that the entire nation will always be thankful for his role in our political history.

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GMO: Experts Seek More Safety Response From Government

The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Mr. Nnimmo Bassey has faulted the federal government on the establishment of National Biotechnology Development Agency, before setting up a biosafety agency.

The Federal government had in April 2001 approved the establishment of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA). The Agency was established under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to implement the policy that is aimed at promoting, coordinating, and setting research and development priority in biotechnology for Nigeria.

At a stakeholders’ Conference on “Agricultural Technofixes And The State of Biosafety In Nigeria,” in Abuja on Monday, Mr. Bassey argued that the establishment of NABDA before a biosafety agency is a disaster waiting to happen. According to him, NABDA may have been compromised in discharging its duties due to the incessant influx of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods in the market.

GMO is an organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some way through genetic engineering.

“Nigeria took the wrong step by setting up a biotechnology promoting agency before setting up a biosafety agency. By the reason of the promoter midwifing the biosafety agency and consolidating this scenario by law, separating the two has become a herculean task,” Bassey explained.

He added further that NABDA and the regulatory National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) lack capacity to handle technicalities in both the mainstream and new fields of extreme technofixes. The way forward to making things right in the biosafety field according to him “will be through legislation and through having a biosafety agency that is neutral, regards the opinion of citizens and accepts the basic biosafety plan if precautionary principle.”

Earlier, the Minister of State for Environment, SSharon Ikeazo, in her remarks, noted that the federal government in its effort to ensure international best practices in the application of modern biotechnology has put in place the necessary legal and policy instruments to guide its development and use.

He explained that the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) was established in 2015, to provide regulatory framework for safety measures in the application of modern biotechnology in Nigeria with a view to prevent any adverse on human health, animal and the environment.

“Few years after the establishment of NBMA, the agency has issued permits for trials, commercial release and importation for processing of various genetically modified crops, ranging from those modified to confer insect or pest resistance to those modified to withstand harsh environmental conditions such as drought and those bio-fortified with various minerals and vitamins,” the Minister said.

The Minister in his speech pressed on that “each of these permits was issued after carrying out a mandatory environmental impact assessment of the potential risk the GMO poses to human health, animal or the environment in Nigeria.”

However, experts at the conference argued that GMO food is not safe for human consumption and government should look inward and advocate for more organic processed food.

“The manipulation of genetic makeup of living organisms to engineer crops to make them act as pesticides is a call for pandemic like the country is currently experiencing. When toxic herbicides are produced to kill all other crops except the ones genetically engineered to withstand them, nature responds by offering super weeds,” Bassey noted.

Tutfeng, an expert in the Biosafety sector posited that he current adoption of GMO is causing more havoc in the agricultural sector and exposing farmers to severe health challenge

His words: “The onus rest on the regulators to do the right thing. They need to tell us what they are doing. When it comes to labelling, it is difficult. We need to take some time and read some of these things. For others like beans and other commodities we may have to be more careful when buying them.

We need to keep engaging the farmers on why they should discard GMO. Our laws do not protect us from genetically modified products and we don’t have capacity to contain the unforeseen contingencies that come with it. Some of the GMO promoters are the ones writing our laws.”

A participant at the conference advised that “the first caution is for everyone to make up his or her mind to apply information that are scientifically sound and socially correct. The promoters of GMO do it for financial gain and not in the interest of the society. We should not take everything that comes to us free.”

“Promoters of GMO claim that what they are coming with is scientific and clinically proven which is untrue. You must be very diligent in checking what you eat and in buying your food,” another participant added.

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Insurgents Now Waging War Through Cyber Attacks, Expert Warns

An Israeli cyber security expert based in Nigeria, Ran Feit, has revealed that the cyber space is now the new warfront for Boko Haram and other insurgents all over the world.
Feit, however, urged the Nigerian government to begin to set aside budget to protect it Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) against such attacks.
Speaking with newsmen at the weekend in Abuja, when the Federal University of Technology Minna sent 70 students led by Dr. Idris Ismaila, Head of Department Cyber Security Science, to CyberDome’s Security Operation Center to see in real time how CyberDome Professionals respond to and handle cyber-incidents, Feit who is the head of firm said his organisation has collaborated with Federal University of Technology, Minna to ensure a bridge in the academia-industry gap in the area of cybersecurity.

“The terrorist today are using cyber; the future wars won’t be with weapons but through the cyber. You can see all around the world, energy, water pumps and power plants shutdown suddenly; think about it! If you don’t have water you don’t have energy and you don’t need to fire a bullet to finish a country.
“When we wanted to do something about cyber security in Nigeria a few years ago but they said there was no budget for such or we should do something cheap but we are coming from Israel although most of our employees are brilliant young Nigerian guys and all the time I am amazed at how clever they are.

“In Israel cyber security is something that is deep in our budget and we have invested Billions of dollars to defend ourselves and we thought as Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa and one of the biggest or maybe the biggest in Africa we thought maybe this is something we need to be here.
“More than two years ago when no one talked about cyber in Nigeria, we went to different organizations, we explained to them what is the difference between security and cyber and everybody thinks antivirus and firewall is enough.

“Those tools for security are old and not relevant anymore and new tools have been introduced to the market used for fighting cyber. So we established this centre which we also have academy classes; we saw organisations and explained why we need to let them know the threat and I can tell you in the last year the awareness for cyber is much higher than two years ago here in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the need to raise budget against cyber attack, Feit said: “In Switzerland it is the main yearly economic summit which put cyber as the fifth threat in the world after climate and other things; cyber today is the fifth threats in the world, think about it! Everybody is talking with us but the problem is there is lack of budget which is not prioritized.

“We believe that a small percentage needs to be allocated to what the world and not us said this is one of the major threats.”

When asked to explain how terrorists could possibly attack a Nation through Cyber, Feit said: “This is not my field, we are providing defence but we believe we have seen other places in the world terrorists using social media like ISIS, using the social media in a clever way and they also have smart guys also working for them who know how to do cyberattacks and don’t think that they are not using it.
“It will be unwise to think they are not using it but 90 percent of the threats are economic and I believe everyone sometime suffer some kind of cyberattack through some leakage or through some fishing email to get his/her information from the bank into his/her account or through the cellular or leaks of some sort of private information.

“If you have more than 2,000 details of people in your database you need to carry out some actions to protect those details which you don’t want them to leak and there are so many leaks in Nigeria’s details outside including finance and so on. There is a lot of things to be done.”
Also speaking, a cyber security activist, Ayobami Akanji, urged the government to act act swiftly on cyber security in the country.

“As a matter policy and urgency the government is looking towards digital economy. We have a ministry of digital economy and communications, so it has to be a policy trust of the federal government to ensure that all critical agencies that are holding the pillars of national security infrastructures need to double up on the cyber security investment because the world economic forum noted that cyber security is the fifth most important global threat in the world and Nigeria is fighting insurgency and the insurgents are also very smart.

“The insurgents are using technology to advance their causes, so government as a matter of priority for national security should invest seriously into these sub-sectors.
“I think last year the federal government launched national security strategy and amongst the infrastructures we have someone from cyber security and as minister of digital communication who is very committed in the person of Dr. Ali Isa Pantami. We expect him to double his effort and ensure that the government and critical sub unit of government will invest into this sector.”

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