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Ambode, 100RC Kick-off Workshop with Key Officials to Launch ‘Resilient Lagos’

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100 Resilient Cities (100RC)- pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, and dedicated to building urban resilience in 100 cities around the world, has commenced workshop that brings together key stakeholders from government, the private sector, NGOS, civil society groups, and 100rc staff to develop Lagos’ “resilience strategy”

The City of Lagos, joined by 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), pledged commitment to undertake efforts to become more resilient to the shocks – catastrophic events like hurricanes, fires, and floods – and stresses, slow-moving disasters like water shortages, homelessness, and unemployment, which are increasingly part of 21st century life.

Lagos was named part of the 100RC network in 2016, along with cities like London, New York, Bangkok, and Buenos Aires – and was selected from more than 1,000 applicants from around the world.

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges.

Speaking during the workshop which commenced on Wednesday in Lagos, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, executive governor of Lagos State said, “We are thrilled to formally begin our partnership with 100RC. Today’s workshop is the starting point for the creation of Lagos’ Resilience Strategy – a plan for our city to thrive in the face of growing challenges. Through this partnership, we will address our city’s challenges proactively, inclusively, and holistically.”

He added that the State Government is always open to new ideas, new technology and new methods. “Being a member of the 100 Resilient Cities will be beneficial to our State and would offer us more opportunities to access investment and partnerships that will foster massive infrastructural development over the next couple of years”, he added.

The Governor said that as a member of the 100 resilient Cities of the World, the State has a platform to compare notes with cities who have similar experiences, and create innovative and mitigating strategies.

“Lagos is helping fuel global momentum around building urban resilience, and leading by example,” said Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities. “The agenda workshop will clarify the city’s needs, surface innovative thinking, and give us a blueprint for engaging partners from across sectors to bring Lagos the tools and resources needed to become more resilient.”

The “Resilience Agenda-Setting Workshop” is Lagos’ first engagement in their partnership with 100RC. The workshop brings a diverse set of stakeholders from across city government and the private sector, non-profits, NGO’s, academia, and civic groups into the planning process. It seeks to uncover all the threats the city is facing, including those previously unknown, while unveiling resilience building tools and plans to address those threats.

In the months following the workshop, Lagos will name a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) – an innovative new position in city government.

The CRO, Liz Agbor-Tabi, associate director, City and Practice Management, 100RC, said, will lead the city’s resilience efforts and continue to engage those stakeholders, resilience experts, and 100RC staff in drafting a comprehensive Resilience Strategy.

Lagos was selected to the 100-city global network in May 2016 and will receive technical support and resources to develop and implement a Resilience Strategy.

Each city in the 100RC network receives four concrete types of support:

Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts; technical support for development of a robust Resilience Strategy; access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and membership in a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other.

Lagos’ Resilience Strategy will be a holistic, action-oriented plan to build partnerships and alliances, financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to meeting the needs of poor and vulnerable populations.

The workshop began the process of identifying priorities, actions, and metrics, and the plan will be drafted over the next year.

 


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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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