8m Nigerians Activate Do-Not-Disturb Code – NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has revealed that about eight million Nigerians have activated the Do-Not-Disturb (2442) code.

The Executive Vice Chairman of  NCC, Prof. Umar Danbata, stated this at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Technology Innovation and Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

Danbatta noted that the level of activation of the code increased from nearly a million, after the declaration of 2017 as the year of consumer in March, to the present figure.

He however attributed the achievements to NCC’s massive campaign and consistency with its eight-point agenda which include projection and empowerment of telecommunication consumers.

President Buhari Reiterates FG’s Commitment To Leverage On ICT To Drive Economic Reforms

President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), if effectively harnessed, will provide job opportunities for teaming Nigerian youths, and  enhance the quality of locally produced infrastructure.

President Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2017 e-Nigeria Conference, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, ICT has come to stay, and has being a major driver in developmental governance and economic reform plans of the CHANGE agenda of the federal government.

In his address, the President revealed that almost all sectors of Nigeria’s economy now leverage on ICT to increase efficiency, productivity and performance. These sectors, according to him, has recorded huge investments and contributes over 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and we are making conscious efforts to see that this contribution continues to grow in the next few years.

The President narrated how his administration has leverage on ICT to transform our government especially in the areas of strategy, policies and digital infrastructure investments.

His words: “You may recall that on assumption of office, we enforced the policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA). Today, we are all witnesses to the impact it has made on our financial management.

“We have so far consolidated over 20,000 accounts, resulting into about N4.7 billion monthly savings. In addition the policy facilitated transparency, accountability and ease of transactions and payments between Government and businesses as well as Government and citizens.

“Another initiative leveraging on ICT and making huge impact on the economy is the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN). Its implementation has helped to eliminate the menace of ghost workers thereby reducing waste in the system by saving government over N20 billion monthly.

“This administration recently issued an Executive Order mandating all ministries, departments and agencies to give preference to locally manufactured goods and services in their procurement of information technology services.

“Such measures are part of the deliberate efforts at encouraging local manufacture of ICT infrastructure, creating job opportunities, providing investment opportunities as well as strengthening our currency. We commend NITDA’s efforts on fostering the patronage of indigenous IT products and services through continuous engagement with indigenous OEMs, relevant stakeholders and other laudable initiatives.

“ICT plays a pivotal role with agencies of government such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which have leaned on ICT in improving public service delivery in an efficient and transparent manner. So far, 31 reforms have been completed by the Council and these reforms are already making noticeable impact on our economic diversification efforts.

“The Agency’s efforts at enforcing Federal Government’s directive on ensuring that all ICT projects in the country are cleared by it before implementation are highly commendable. These efforts will ensure that government’s ICT procurements are transparent, they are aligned with government’s IT shared vision and policy, save costs through promotion of shared services, avoid duplication, ensure compatibility of IT systems thereby improving efficiency across government and enforce the patronage of indigenous companies.”

The President, who declared the conference open, urged participants to come up with practical, viable solutions and recommendations to further develop local content in ICT as well as how the administration can best regulate the deployment and use of ICT systems to foster a digital economy in Nigeria.

UBA Introduces Video Live Chat With Co-browsing Technology

In recent times, customer behaviour and expectations are ever-evolving and with this challenge, comes the need to meet their needs as well as ensure, new offerings are at the forefront of technological evolution. On the back of this development, UBA a leading innovative player in Financial Services is finding new ways to communicate and engage with their customers.

With the growing mobile consciousness, customer demand for online services is on the rise and it is imperative to meet this demand with digital self-service platforms. However, to meet this demand, the role of human interaction in the process cannot be underestimated. It fits into our creed to continue to foster our unlimited dedication and access to the customers.

In this regard, the United Bank of Africa, in its unrelenting effort to raise the bar, likewise the levels of ease and convenience in customer experience through innovation, has introduced Video live chat with Co-browsing technology.

Firstly it enables Customer Experience Experts to help customers in real-time, enabling a support experience centred on visual engagement. Why is this important? 65% of the world are visual learners. Not only can enquiries and issues be resolved more efficiently and swiftly, but co-browsing can complement other channels, improving the overall customer experience

UBA is differentiating with Customer Experience and use of Video Live Chat and Co-browsing to improve customer acquisition, service and to improve x-sell & retention by enabling more meaningful contact with customers.

Video Co-browsing enables customers to virtually have a one-on-one interface with the bank through co-browsing application via video live chat, text chat, and through real time document exchange. This makes it easier for bank staff to assist customers through a number of difficulties; from filling intricate bank forms and even helping them resolve much more complex transactions. Sometimes, the platform simply facilitates directing the customers to the exact information they need.

It provides a secure file-sharing, compliant, real-time communication solutions that enables the bank hold co-browsing sessions to expedite troubleshooting as well as ordinary enquiries.

This without a doubt moves light years ahead of the old customer service where interaction is purely through phone calls; this method which has proven to be frustrating especially when it involves fixing a problem urgently. It also comes resourcefully as a quick and easy fix for those who do not have enough time for a physical visit to the bank to take care of their transactions.

Other benefits include:

o       All session actions are accountable

o       Secure collaboration

o       Navigate the web together

o       Control access

o       Collaborate online, effectively

With this latest innovation, UBA can engage visually and digitally with customers while maintaining human interaction at any given time, in a bid to continue to virtualize customer experience. It offers faster solutions in response to customer enquiries on a more personalised basis anywhere, anytime and from any device. UBA as always, is committed to ensuring greater efficiency and better customer satisfaction. To experience the Video Love chat and Co-browsing technology, visit ubagroup.com .

Facebook Hosts Leading Women In Nigeria’s Technology Industry

The premier edition of Facebook’s Women in Technology event held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at the Co-Creation Hub, Yaba, Lagos. The event was designed by Facebook to engage with influential Nigerian women working in Lagos’ technology ecosystem and to share Facebook’s mission on diversity.

Guests at the invite-only event shared personal experiences of how they ventured into technology, the importance of women taking more active roles in technology and the countless number of opportunities for women in the tech space.

According to Jennifer Fong, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Middle East and Africa, Facebook: “We designed this event to engage female tech influencers in Lagos on ways we can come up with solutions that will encourage the participation of more women in technology.”

Speakers at the event include: Bolanile Afuye, Head of Digital Services 9Mobile; Mayokun Fadeyibi, Head of Business Development and Strategy, OLX; Gbonjubola Amuda, Software Engineer at Flutterwave; Bolanile Olatunji, Country Manager, Mara Group, and Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, founder, Futuresoft.

Also present at the event were Cynthia Obioma, Product Growth Manager at Facebook; Barbara Mbanefo, Software Engineer, Facebook; Cynthia Obioma, Product Growth Manager at Facebook; Nana Akyaa Amoah, Head of Platform Product Operations at Facebook and Cynthia Obioma, Product Growth Manager at Facebook.

Data Theft: Abiru, Skye Bank CEO Urges Close Collaboration between Tech, IT Security Experts

Skye Bank CEO, Tokunbo Abiru has advocated practical strategies, concerted efforts and close collaboration from technology, Telcos and IT security experts to prevent current proliferation of clone apps with its attendant impact on safety of smart phone users in the country.

Abiru made this suggestion in a keynote note address on the topic: ‘Strategizing against Malicious App Clones’ delivered at 3rd quarter General Meeting of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) held in Lagos to review the activities of the body and work out a more proactive means of mitigating electronic fraud.

The Skye Bank Boss, who was represented by the Bank’s Executive Director Technology & Services, Innocent Ike noted that “one of the strategies to deal with this menace was the enactment of the Cybercrimes Prohibition, Prevention Act, 2015 which is meant to regulate the cyber security space in the country and provide for the application of stiff penalties for internet infractions”.

Unfortunately, the top Banker was of the opinion that more still needs to be done by all stakeholders, even as he went ahead to outline other steps part of which “is to ensure that innocent app users never download apps from untrusted third parties adding that “users should always download apps from official app marketplaces like appstore for Apple phones, Google play for Android phones, and windows phone store for Windows phones to dramatically reduce the risk of downloading mobile application malwares”.

“Users of mobile devices not enabling the option to accept apps from any source or app market on their devices and avoid giving administrative access/privileges to apps where possible, and listed the need for installation of anti-malware tools to detect malicious apps installed on their devices.

“The best way to protect oneself from these malicious apps, is to avoid accepting or installing mobile apps originating from unfamiliar sources.

While asking for vigilance on the part of smartphone and computer users, Abiru pointed out that “the intent of the developers of malicious app clones is to deceive smartphone users and get them to download the malicious app onto their phones and these apps are designed primarily to steal information, track users’ activities, send un-solicited content, re-configure the target device or carry out sundry malicious activities such as Smishing (short form for SMS Phishing).

“The explosion in the development and distribution of “apps” has increased the risks associated with the use of smartphones and one of such risks is the Malicious App Clones which is a discourse at this meeting”.

In the process, the experienced banker opined that “information such as individual and corporate emails and data, banking transaction data and personal data on social media sites, WhatsApp, SMS amongst others do get compromised with devastating consequence

Earlier in his address, Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking & Payments System Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Chairman, NeFF spoke of the readiness of the regulator through NeFF to confront emerging threat in electronic payment with introduction of USSD mode of payment by Banks working in concert with NCC and by co-opting relevant stakeholders on preventing fraud incidence through sim swaps.

He then disclosed that “through a shared services initiative with key stakeholders across the e-payment channels, that will be domiciled with NeFF by first quarter 2018 through which incidence of electronic fraud would be curbed.

He expressed joy that this was the “first time we are having representatives of Airtel, MTN, Glo and 9mobile join us at this quarterly forum to enable us work in unison and jointly explore and look at issues that would make the USSD mode of payment, threat free”.

Accelerate Labs Programs kicks Off With Opening Sessions Across Six States

The opening sessions for Accelerate Labs, an initiative by The Future Project in partnership with Microsoft Nigeria to galvanize and boost youth entrepreneurship in Nigeria, was held across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria from 18 – 28, September, 2017.

Starting the eleven-week accelerator program for stream 1, 2017 at different zones in Abuja (North Central), Bauchi (North-East), Kaduna (North-West), Edo (South-South, Anambra (South-East) and Lagos (South-West), the events had in attendance industry leaders including Professor Adesoji Adesugba, Vice-President, ICT Abuja Chamber of Commerce; Bishop Feb Idahosa, President, Ben Idahosa University; Mr Femi Oye, Co-founder, SME Funds, among others.

 “About 3,987 applications were received for the first stream of the sessions, with 150 participants selected per zone through our SME jury. We are excited to be part of their success stories and look forward to working with them to build competitive and viable businesses,” said Bukonla Adebakin, Deputy Chief Operating Officer. “This can fundamentally change the lives of many youths and reduce unemployment in the country as we gear towards entrepreneurship and drive inclusive economic growth and development.”

 The opening session in the six geo-political regions concluded with the commencement of the 3 weeks taught session, mentorship, research classes and demo week for all participants of the Accelerate Labs project across regions.

 “Microsoft Nigeria is proud to support this important initiative that brings together a diverse group of youth entrepreneurs entering the accelerator program,” said Olusola Amusan, Philanthropies Lead, Microsoft Nigeria. “Entrepreneurship has always played a critical role in development of countries and reduction of unemployment, we believe at the end of this program a significant positive impact will be made in our economy,” he added.

Why You Should Stop Charging Your Phone Overnight

Charging your phone while you’re sleeping results in the phone being on the charger for 3-4 months a year, Hatem Zeine, founder of Ossia, has said.

According to the developer, the process inevitably lowers the capacity of phone’s battery.

Experts also warned that leaving phones to charge overnight can actually make the daily battery life struggle even worse.

A recent report has explained that batteries depreciate from the moment they’re first used, according to The Sun, including the ones in our smartphones.

Plugging them in overnight increases the time your phone’s connected to a power supply, which effects the battery’s long-term ability to hold charge much faster than if you just charged it for the amount of time needed.

The Independent

FG Partners Ireland On ICT Innovation

The Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu  has said that Nigeria is a country with great potentials in ICT/Telecom Industry, stating  the country’s readiness to partner with the Government of Ireland.
He disclosed this in his office during a meeting with International Development Ireland (IDI) led by the Ireland Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sean Hoy.
The Permananent Secretary, Abdullaziz .M. Abdullahi who represented the Minister enumerated some of the areas the Ministry would need Ireland intervention to include the establishment of ICT University, the Smart  City Project, ICT Hubs Centres and ICT Parks, which he said were some of the components of the National ICT Road maps, adding that the actualization of the second and third Nigeria Satellites in orbit would need the support of foreign partners.
Ambassador Sean Hoy, who led the delegation, said they were in Abuja to seek for areas of collaboration with the Ministry, especially in Smart City Innovation and ICT Parks which his country had earlier established in some African Countries like Ghana, Gambia, Gabon, Sudan etc.
Making their presentation, Greg Hogan of International Development Ireland (IDI), said his team are practitioners who were involved in extremely successful economic transformation in some countries , adding that the team also specialises in prompt projects, capacity building and implementation.
He said the key drive is to partner with the country’s investment promotion agency that would have vital role to play in the establishment and implementation of National ICT Road Map.

Facebook Launches Ad Control For Advertisers

Facebook is making changes to its platform in order to provide more clarity and control for advertisers over where advertising appears and the kind of content that can be monetized. This announcement was made at Dmexco which had a host of its senior executives including COO Sheryl Sandberg in attendance.

Caroline Everson, Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions, while making this announcement, unveiled some of the changes that will apply to the content types that can be monetized around Facebook’s in-stream ads and Instant Articles feature. The new brand safety tools, partnerships and monetization eligibility standards and guidelines being introduced by Facebook is to allay marketers’ fears over brand safety, measurement, and viewability on its platform.

Facebook will also begin to roll out pre-campaign publisher lists, and this tool will give advertisers a preview of partners using Instant Articles and in-stream videos on Facebook as well as publishers monetizing their sites and apps via Audience Network. Brands will also be able to see the exact places where their ads ran after campaigns. This pre and post campaign reporting system being provided by Facebook will help brands exercise greater control over where their content appears.

“We’re introducing new monetization eligibility standards that will provide clearer guidance around the types of publishers and creators eligible to earn money on Facebook and the kind of content that can be monetized. These standards will apply to ad placements where context could matter, including in-stream ads and Instant Articles,” Everson stated.

“Because brands also want to know where their ads are delivered, we’re also announcing that in the coming months we will begin providing advertisers with post-campaign reporting that clearly identifies the publishers that their ads ran on across Instant Articles, in-stream ads and Audience Network. Together, these standards and tools will give advertisers the clarity and control they need to run their campaigns,” she added.

To also improve measurement of ad performance, Facebook is seeking accreditation from Media Ratings Council, the US-based non-profit industry organization that will review and accredit its measurement services in three key areas: first-party served ad impression reporting, third-party viewability partner integrations, and upon launch, its new two-second video buying option.

Facebook already works with 24 partners including Oracle Data Cloud, Nielsen, Kantar Millward Brown, on ad measurement and is also in the process of adding two ad tech companies: Double Verify and Meetrics to help improve brand safety controls.

To combat fraud on its community, it is in the process of joining the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) ‘Certified Against Fraud’ program as it moves to embrace industry efforts to improve advertisement measurement.  It has also added 3,000 more content reviewers to its team to report content violating community standards.

Facebook is showing its commitment to building a more brand-safe digital ecosystem through these changes.

What You Should Know About The New iPhone 8

The new iPhone will come in at least one brand new colour.

Apple has taken to revealing new hues alongside its new handsets in recent years.

This time around, that will be a coppery colour that is being referred to as “blush gold”, according to numerous leaks. And that colour has already been seen, in leaked SIM trays that will eventually slot into the side of the mystery handset.

Though the tray looks metallic and shiny, it’s likely that the phone itself will be much more glossy. But the tray will match the colour of the body of the phone, leaks report.

Apple has introduced major new metallic colours in each of its new phones: a yellow gold with the iPhone 6, which was followed by a pinky, rose gold in the 6s. For the 7, it launched two new colours – jet black and black – and even released a red version of the handset halfway through the year.

Those colours are thought to be important ways of marking out the new handsets as well as generating excitement about the look of the phone.

Aside from the new look, Apple is expected to add a screen that sweeps across the entire front of the phone, and sensors that allow people to unlock the phone with their face. For all that, Apple is expected to ask more than $1,000 for the new handset, making it by far the most expensive ever.

It will be announced at an event on September 12. It’s expected to go on sale about a week and a half later.

The same launch event is expected to see the release of a new Apple TV, a Watch and upgraded versions of the iPhone 7.

The Independent

Facebook Announces New Ways To Enjoy Memories With Friends

Facebook, on Friday, announced new ways users can enjoy Memories – a tool that makes it easier for people to see and share old memories with friends on the platform.

The company’s goal is to create a supportive environment that allows people to authentically express their feelings, connect with what matters to them, and come together online as well as in person. This is why it is building thoughtful products that are meaningful to the range of experiences people have every day.

According to Oren Hod, Product Manager at Facebook, “People come to Facebook to experience, share and talk about some of the most important moments happening in their lives, communities and around the world. Many of these moments are reminiscing past memories and moments between friends.”

“Since launching On This Day over two years ago, we’ve learned that there are many different types of memories and moments that people enjoy revisiting and celebrating, which is why we are excited to share that we’ve added two new ways for people to relive meaningful memories and celebrate special moments on Facebook.”

Recapping Your Memories

Facebook has launched a new experience that packages your recent memories in a delightful way for you to enjoy and share. For related recent memories, Facebook will bundle them into a monthly or seasonal memory recap story. Like On This Day, these memory recap stories will show up in News Feed and are shareable.

Celebrate Your Friendships

Facebook is launching a new way to celebrate the actions that connect you and your community. There are two types of moments where you may see these celebratory messages – when you make a notable number of friends on Facebook, and when your friends have liked your posts. Facebook plans to launch more messages like this in the next few months. Additionally, these messages are currently only shown to you, but will become sharable in the near future.

Occasionally there are some memories that may spark negative feelings that people would rather avoid, Facebook has invested a lot in developing ways to filter content that will select photos believed to be the most relevant and enjoyable to you.

Facebook knows how much people cherish their friendships and memories, which is why the company is approaching these experiences with sensitivity and care.

Facebook Adds Publisher Logos To Articles In Trending And Search Section

Facebook has announced that it will start introducing publisher logos to articles in the trending and search sections on its platform.

This is part of the tech giant’s effort to ensure that sources of news distributed on its platform are identified. This announcement which will give room for publishers to extend their brand identity on the platform is a welcome development as users will now be better able to decide what content they want to read or share.

The update which Facebook says was developed in collaboration with some of its partners as part of the ‘Facebook Journalism Project’’, will allow for publishers to upload their logos through a newly created Brand Asset Library in order to have it featured next to their content.

While this update is now being rolled out to all publishers on its platform, it will still be limited to the Trending and Search sections – desktop and mobile – of the over 2 billion strong community. Facebook is, however, planning, to ultimately extend this feature to cover the entirety of its platform. This upgrade will give the company a boost in its fight against fake news.

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that just about 56% of people on social sites actually remember the source of links viewed. This Facebook update will help them become more aware of the sources of content consumed on the platform.

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