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Hewlett Packard Empowers Unijos, Others with $3.6m

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Leading technology provider, Hewlett Packard, has empowered 36 universities in Europe, Middle East and Africa with cash and technological equipment worth $3-6million, in line with its corporate social responsibility.

The 36 universities were selected among 250 higher institutions in the region that competed under the 2008 HP Technology for Teaching Higher Education Grant.

The beneficiaries in Africa are University of Jos the only one in Nigeria, the University of Makerere , Uganda and University of South Africa .

Mr. Ime Umo, managing director, HP West Africa, while presenting a letter for the grant to Prof Sonni Tyoden, vice chancellor, University of Jos, at the university campus, noted that the grant proposal submitted by the institution to HP for a 2008 HP Technology for Teaching Higher Education Grant has been selected for funding.

The letter read that "out of 36 Universities from Europe, Middle East and Africa that were competing, 15 have been awarded and 3 of them are in Africa . This is a concrete demonstration of HP’s commitment to support Higher Education in Africa and develop access to high-end information technology tools in Universities. The HP Technology for Teaching Higher Education Grant Initiative is a catalyst for education innovation in Africa".

The 2008 HP Technology for Teaching Grant award for higher education includes several elements valued at approximately $100,000 per institution. The equipment include 21 HP Compaq Notebook/Tablet PCs with Microsoft Vista operating system, 21 HP Ultra-slim Expansion Base with DVD drive, 21 HP USB optical travel mouse, One HP executive carrying case, 3 HP iPAQs, one HP Designjet, one HP Designjet Printer Stand, one HP Procurve Wireless Access Point, one HP HP ProCurve Switch 408, one digital projector, and one Mobile Net Education Center.

A $20,000 cash from the grant is also earmarked for the principal investigator to use to support the work of the project and also facilitate attendance at the annual HP Technology for Teaching Worldwide Higher Education Conference in San Diego , USA from 22-24 February 2009.

Umo, represented by Mr. Chukwuma Nwako, enterprise accounts manager, public sector, noted that the grant initiative is designed to improve student success and engage the faculty through the innovative implementation of mobile technology in the classroom.

"Our goal is that the HP Technology for Teaching Initiative supports the development of mobile technology environments that, at their fullest implementation will transform teaching and learning in the higher education environment, create new models of success on campus for integrating technology into the learning environment, engage faculty in adopting and implementing these models in their classrooms, and foster publication, demonstration and presentation opportunities for academic leaders on the application of mobile technology in university learning environments", he said.

According to him, HP Africa is very excited to have the opportunity to partner with Unijos as the institution implements its project and participate in the worldwide HP Technology for Teaching community.

Appreciating the gesture, Prof Tyoden assured HP that the institution would continue to strive for excellence especially in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). He also promised that the grant would be put into best use by the institution.

The 2008 HP Technology for Teaching Grant initiative, marks five years of the company’s commitment to innovative educators who are transforming student achievement through the use of technology in the classroom, while encouraging student interest in careers in technology, engineering, math and science, including environmental science.

Since 2004, HP has contributed a total of nearly $60 million in HP Technology for Teaching grants to more than 1,000 schools in 41 countries worldwide. During the past 20 years, HP has contributed more than $1 billion in cash and equipment to schools, universities, community organizations and other nonprofit organizations around the world.


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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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