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Shock As NIMC Says It Needs N25bn To Buy Storage Servers

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The National Identity Management Commission is proposing N25 billion to procure more servers for the storage of National Identity Number enrolment records. It is to submit its proposal to the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.

The Director General, NIMC, Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, disclosed this on Tuesday while appearing before Senate Public Accounts Committee, which is probing the agency over alleged non-compliance with Public Procurement Act on award of N229 million contract.

He said 57 million persons have, so far, been registered, adding that 90 servers were needed to register 100 million Nigerians. “For us to reach 100 million, we will need 90 servers. We have enrolled 57 million as of today. We will ask for N25 billion at FEC tomorrow to buy more server to take the whole of population,” he said.

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GRTech

FG Extends NIN-SIM Verification Deadline To October 31 2021

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The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to October 31, 2021.

The decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions, diaspora and address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment statistics.

The decision also followed a review of the progress of the exercise which indicated significant progress, hence the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country.

As at July 24, 2021, there are over 5,500 enrolment systems within and outside the country and this would significantly ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.

The administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the extension as part of efforts to make it easier for its citizens within and outside the country, and legal residents to obtain the NIN and it is important to take advantage of the extension.

The NIN-SIM linkage also makes it easier for the security agencies to carry out their statutory duties and the relevant parastatals under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy are supporting them as required.

There are now a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with average of 3 to 4 SIMs per NIN. With the great number of enrolment centres within and outside the country, and many more coming up, every citizen, legal resident, and Nigerian citizens living in diaspora should be able to obtain their NINs.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, PhD, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, on behalf of the Federal Government, commends the Kano State government and other States that have made NINs a key requirement for school enrolments and access to other important services.

The Federal Government is also excited at the news that the use of NIN in the process of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam significantly reduced the challenge of exam malpractice.

The Minister, on behalf of the Federal Government, appreciates Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.

Similarly, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Azeez, urge citizens and legal residents to make sure they use the opportunity to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the October 31 deadline.

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TechNews

Sophos awards partners in MEA for outstanding performance in FY21

By Sandra Ani

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Sophos Partner award 2021

Sophos, a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, today announced the winners of its 2021 Middle East and Africa Partner Awards during the virtual Sophos MEA Partner Awards 2021 on June 2, 2021. Sophos recognized the winning partners for their business commitment and success over the last fiscal year.

“Partners are an integral part of our business in the Middle East and Africa region. They have significantly contributed to Sophos’ mission to protect organizations of all sizes. The Partner Awards honour top performing regional partners who have shown commitment towards strengthening their customer’s security and enhancing cybersecurity awareness,” said the Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Sophos, Harish Chib.

“Our partners have gone above and beyond to assist their customers cope with the unprecedented challenges brought on by the ongoing pandemic. Along with delivering next-generation cybersecurity solutions, they proved to be customers’ trusted advisors and have helped them to thrive in the new normal and ensure business continuity. We are proud of them and appreciate their efforts,” Chib added.

Sophos 2021 West Africa Partner Award Winners:

Nigeria

  1. Distributor of the Year, West Africa– Mart Networks Limited
  2. Partner of the Year- Reliance Infosystems
  3. Synchronized Security Partner of the Year– Sunnet Systems
  4. Top Country Performer- Pacific Solutions Limited

Ghana and Congo

  1. Emerging Partner of the Year, Ghana- Infonans Solution PLC
  2. Synchronized Partner of the Year, Ghana– Guardian Tech
  3. Top Country Performer, Ghana – Atlantic Computers
  4. Mid-Market Partner of the Year, Congo– OFIS

About Sophos
Sophos is a worldwide leader in next-generation cybersecurity, protecting more than 500,000 organizations and millions of consumers in more than 150 countries from today’s most advanced cyberthreats.

Powered by threat intelligence, AI and machine learning from SophosLabs and SophosAI, Sophos delivers a broad portfolio of advanced products and services to secure users, networks and endpoints against ransomware, malware, exploits, phishing and the wide range of other cyberattacks.

Sophos provides a single integrated cloud-based management console, Sophos Central – the centerpiece of an adaptive cybersecurity ecosystem that features a centralized data lake that leverages a rich set of open APIs available to customers, partners, developers, and other cybersecurity vendors.

Sophos sells its products and services through reseller partners and managed service providers (MSPs) worldwide. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K.

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Five NGOs, four journalists sue FG at ECOWAS court over Twitter ban

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Twitter ban

Five non-governmental organizations and four journalists have filed a suit against the Federal Government at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja.

The NGO applicants are asking the Court to declare the indefinite suspension of Twitter in Nigeria a violation of their human rights under international law, order the Government to immediately rescind the suspension order, and compensate them for the violation of their rights.

The NGO applicants in the suit are Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Paradigm Initiative (PIN), Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), the International Press Centre (IPC), and Tap Initiative for Citizens Development (TICD) while the journalists are Mr. David Hundeyin, Mr. Samuel Ogundipe, Ms Blessing Oladunjoye, and Mr. Nwakamri Zakari Apollo.

The suit, lodged with number ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21 ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21, in a 73-page documentation, was filed on their behalf by Abuja-based human rights and free expression lawyer, Mrs. Mojirayo Ogunlana Nkanga, under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Revised ECOWAS Treaty, and the Nigerian Constitution, among others.

They are claiming that Nigeria’s ongoing suspension of Twitter, which came into effect on or around June 4, 2021, violated their right to freedom of expression and interfered with the ability of the journalists to do their work.

The NGOs and journalists are also alleging that the general situation in Nigeria with respect to human rights, has created an environment where freedom of expression is stifled, which has contributed to creating a chilling effect on press and media freedom and which the ongoing suspension of Twitter is a continuation of.

According to them, Nigeria has consented to be bound by the obligation to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression under the ICCPR and the ACHPR and therefore, any limitation imposed by the government on the right to freedom of expression can only be justifiable where the restriction is provided by law, serves a legitimate aim, and is necessary and proportionate in a democratic society.

Contending that these three conditions must all be met before any restriction on the right to freedom of expression can be considered legitimate, they noted that the suspension of Twitter is not provided by law, that there is no justification for it under Nigeria’s domestic laws, and that it was done by the government in an arbitrary manner in circumstances where there was no public or judicial oversight, transparency or accountability.

The NGOs and journalists are asking the Court to declare the indefinite suspension of Twitter a continuous violation of their human rights under international law, particularly the right to seek and receive information as well as the right to express and disseminate opinions under Article 9(1) and (2) of the African Charter; Article 19(2) of the ICCPR and the rights of journalists under Article 66(2)(c) of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty.

They are also seeking a declaration that the Government’s directive, through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), for the deactivation of Twitter accounts in Nigeria violates their human rights under international law and that the threat by the Attorney-General of the Federation to criminally prosecute anybody found to be using Twitter in Nigeria following the suspension of the platform also violates their human rights under international law.

The NGOs and the journalists are therefore urging the court to issue orders mandating the Government to immediately take all necessary measures to rescind the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria; to take all necessary measures to guarantee non-recurrence in order to prevent the same violation occurring again in future; compelling the Government to issue adequate reparations, including restitution, compensation and measures of satisfaction to them to be specified and submitted to the court; as well as to issue an order of injunction restraining the Government, its servants and agents from imposing criminal sanctions on individuals, including the applicants, who use Twitter or any other social media service provider.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

The suit is being litigated with the support of Media Defence, a London-based NGO, which provides legal assistance to journalists, citizen journalists and independent media.

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