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3 Airtel Staff, 26 Others in Ezenwata Bus Kidnap Rescued

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Kaduna State Police Command has confirmed that it has found 29 passengers in God Bless Ezenwata Motors who were kidnapped by gunmen on January 14, along Kaduna – Zaria expressway.

3 Airtel Staff, 26 Others in Ezenwata Bus Kidnap Rescued

About 40 passengers were kidnapped in the incident which claimed the lives of six persons.

Yakubu Abubakar Sabo, police public relations officer, Kaduna Police Command, told Realnews on the phone today that 29 people including three Airtel Nigeria workers, who were kidnapped have been found.

“We made a statement confirming that six people were killed in sporadic shootings involving two commuter vehicles. There is no certainty as to how many people were kidnapped,” Sabo said in response to Realnews questions that about 40 persons were kidnapped from the God Bless Ezenwata Motors.

“Twenty of the victims are with me in the office going through debriefing before we reunite them with their families,” he said.

Realnews reports that there was an attempt to cover up the incident involving the bus ferrying passengers, mostly Igbos to the southeast from Sokoto, Northern Nigeria.

Following a report by Premium Times concerning the kidnap incident, the Kaduna State Police Command refuted the story.

The command issued a press release stating that “its attention has been drawn to a story that was published on The Premium Times Newspaper of today 19th January 2020, and is being circulated on Social Media captioned “Bandit Attack: Buhari sympathises with Emir but keeps mum on 30 People Killed, 100 Kidnapped” and referring to the kidnapping incident of 14/01/2020 along Kaduna- Zaria Road.”

The command stated categorically that, “it has high respect for the sanctity of human life and cannot underestimate such value. It therefore strongly debunks the story as false and a misrepresentation of facts aimed at causing more fear in the minds of the Public and enjoins the Public to jettison the report as misleading.”

According to the police, “It will be recalled that on the said 14th day of January 2020, when the sad incident occurred, the Command has made a statement confirming the death of six victims while five others who sustained varying degrees of injuries have been taken to hospital for treatment. As an update, one of the five persons receiving treatment has later died in the hospital which made the toll to seven while four persons are being treated. Out of the number of the deceased victims, the following have been identified as; (1) Shehu Wakama 62yrs (2) Sulaiman Ba’amalum 60yrs (3) Maina Kaina 60yrs (4) Adamu Lawal 32 (5) Danjuma Adamu 35yrs (6) Adamu Musa and one other whose name and address is not yet identified. While the injured persons in the incident are; (1) Sgt Mohammed Tanko (2) Philiha David (3) Ismail Yau and (4) Umar Maiwada respectively.

“On the number of persons abducted, the investigation is still ongoing to ascertain the exact figure. However, only six (6) families have so far contacted the Command to report the involvement of their relations. Thus, while regretting the unfortunate incident, the Command still maintains this casualty figure as accurate until more facts prove to the contrary. The story being circulated by The Premium Times is a gross exaggeration of facts and misleading.

“Consequently, the Command wishes to warn members of the Public who share messages related to security from unverifiable sources to desist, as the Command would not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group of persons who engage themselves in such malicious publication/circulation.

“The press should continue to uphold the high ethical standards of their profession. All accounts of crime incidents should be verified before publication to avoid being involved in sharing mischief. Internet subscribers should also be cautious in sharing stories of questionable sources especially via social media.

“In conclusion, the command wishes to reaffirm its unrelenting commitment towards fighting crime and criminality to the barest minimum and calls for General Public cooperation to achieve this noble mission,” the police command said.

 

 


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Microsoft Moves into 5G Race with Azure Cloud for Telecom Operators

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Microsoft Corp unveiled a new cloud platform on Monday aimed at enabling telecom operators to build 5G networks faster, reduce costs and sell customised services to business clients.

After banning China’s Huawei from its telecom network, the U.S. government has been pushing big American companies such as Microsoft to get more involved with 5G – a technology which promises to enable everything from self-driving cars to remote surgery and more automated manufacturing.

The new platform will be on Azure, Microsoft’s flagship cloud computing business, and the company says it will reduce infrastructure costs, give flexibility to add services on demand and use artificial intelligence to automate operations.

Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president for Azure Networking, told Reuters that it could cut costs by 30%-40% in some cases.

The developer of Windows and Office software entered the 5G arena after its acquisition of cloud networking companies Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch earlier this year.

“The telco DNA was obtained through those acquisitions and we went from a small number of engineers in this space to literally hundreds of engineers,” said Khalidi. “On the other hand, the foundational pieces, including edge compute, we have had in a pipeline for many years.”

The company has already partnered with companies ranging from telecom operators such as Verizon VZ.N and AT&T T.N to network equipment firms such as Samsung 005930.KS and Mavenir to either use or sell the new platform to clients.

Microsoft’s move will increase competition for existing 5G service vendors like Nokia NOKIA.HE and Ericsson ERICb.ST, said CCS Insight analyst Nicholas McQuire.


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Interior Ministry Boosts Digitization Process with New ICT Projects

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Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, over the weekend commissioned the e-Library, e-Law Library, CCTV Surveillance network services and other projects in his office in Abuja to digitize work processes and procedures in the Ministry.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Georgina Ekeoma Ehuriah, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said that the projects were part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at repositioning the Ministry for better performance in line with its mandate of providing internal security and citizenship integrity for Nigerians and foreigners alike.

According to him, the e-Library will avail officers the opportunity to access the right information, in the right form and time.

“The e-Library gives our legal and other officers 24/7 access to a wide range of online resources, which can be updated in real time and we believe this will enhance the quality of their work to the benefit of the Ministry”, he said.

The Minister further assured of government’s commitment to putting in place measures that will boost staff capacity and also ensure self-development, with a view to ensuring proper implementation of projects, policies and programmes that will improve the lives of Nigerians which would lead to economic transformation in line with the present Administration’s policy thrust.

Aregbesola emphasized that crime and criminality has become complex to handle, the world over, hence the need to deploy modern technology to fight it.

He therefore called on staff to see the projects as morale booster for self-development and urged them to continue to support the efforts of government towards improving the lives of its citizens.

Earlier, Lanre Adesuyi, the Chief Executive Officer, Havillah Merchants Limited, thanked the Minister for giving them the opportunity to provide workers with state of the art equipment for efficient service delivery.

On his own part, Mr. Mohammed Mustapha, the Managing Director, Aliph Technologies, called on government at all levels to see the deployment of modern technology as one of the best ways to tackle security challenges in the contemporary world.


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Heritage Bank, PWC, Deloitte Canvass Use of Tech to Tackle Fraud & Rescind Effects of Covid-19

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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service provider has called on internal auditors of banks to adopt the various digital technologies to prevent fraud and annul the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the financial ecosystem.

Ifie Sekibo, managing director/CEO of Heritage Bank, speaking at the just concluded 47th Quarterly Meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN), disclosed that for improved banking operations and safer financial system for stakeholders, internal auditors must be dynamic and quick to adopt various digital measures.

Raising the alarming impact of fraudulent activities in the banking sector, Sekibo quoted PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PWC’s) Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020, revealing that that the total cost of cybercrimes is worth an eye-watering $42 billion, which was cash taken straight off companies’ bottom line, whilst 13% of those who had experienced  fraud said they had lost $50 million-plus.

Sekibo, who spoke on the theme, “Elevating Internal Audit’s Role in the Face of Emerging Risks and Opportunities” organised virtually and hosted by the Heritage Bank, urged, “While it was sufficient for yesterday’s auditor to understand regular and routine banking practices such as credit, treasury, etc in his traditional assurance role, for him to be relevant in harnessing the opportunities in today’s business world, he must become versed in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data analytics, fraud management, regulatory pronouncements, forensics etc and having equipped himself, present balanced, objective audit reports to Executive Management while striking the right balance between the assurance and consulting responsibilities.”

In her keynote address, titled, “Elevating Internal Audit Role In The Face Of Emerging Risks and Opportunities,” Ibukun Beecroft, Partner Risk Advisory at Deloitte, noted that the banking industry in Nigeria today has adopted various digital measures to keep the business running and delivering services to the customers but there was need for Internal Audit (IA) positioned to provide the required assurance and consulting services in the face of the changes and attendant risk, particularly increased cyber-risks.

Quoting 2018 Financial Stability Report by the Central Bank of Nigeria, she stated that Banks recorded 25,029 confirmed cases of fraud and this resulted in a loss of N2.21 billion. More than 90% of fraud cases in 2018 were perpetrated via technologically driven channels.

“As Internal Auditors, the knowledge of technology would enable us identify gaps in our core banking applications and other applications and provide relevant recommendations to eliminating loopholes that may serve as an avenue for potential fraud.

She, however, advised auditors on the need to focus on advanced technologies and risk management operations as reflected around the Three Lines of Defense (3LOD) churned out by the Institute of Internal Auditors, which create opportunities for IA and its future role.

Beecroft warned that the ever-changing landscape and evolving risks in the banking industry could render the current internal audit plan obsolete.

According to her, internal auditors should reprioritise the audit plan as soon as possible to provide assurance over the most consequential risks while being cognisant of the impact on operations.

“To take advantage of these changes and disruptions, auditors need to rethink their role by adapting to and embracing change, enabling the IA function to become more agile, nimble, and forward-looking, thus driving change through the 3LOD,” Beecroft stated.

Yetunde Oladeji, director Internal Audit Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited (PWC), who spoke on the theme, “Elevating IA’s role to meet today’s emerging risks,” advised that the banking sector should be dynamic, prioritse digitization and flexibible workforce strategies as these would determine its ability to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances to survive and thrive.


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