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High-quality Packaging of Counterfeit Software Pose threat to Businesses

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The Nigerian Copyright Commission has said high quality packaging of counterfeit software signals a new threat to Nigerian Business.
The Commission raided the premises of Plum Telecom, a computer reseller based in Computer Village at Adejoke Plaza Ikeja, following a petition on behalf of Microsoft Nigeria.
 During the raid, which took place on 15 October 2009, the Commission recovered multiple copies of counterfeit Microsoft software. 
This raid was particularly significant as the packaging of the counterfeit software seized was of a very high quality and, as such, difficult to differentiate from genuine software even to the most experienced computer user. To make matters worse, this counterfeit software was being sold at the same price as genuine Microsoft software.
“In a large number of cases the counterfeit software we find is of a very low quality, cheap to make and easy to identify as fake,” said Akeem Aponmade, speaking on behalf of Adebambo Adewopo, the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission. 
 
“In this case, however, we are dealing with a much more sophisticated kind of criminal who deliberately purchased high quality counterfeit software, which could dupe even the savviest of customers into spending money into purchasing a product they believed to be genuine.”

Microsoft became suspicious of the activities of Plum Telecom and carried out a test purchase of software from the reseller. This provided irrefutable proof that the company was offering and selling counterfeit software to customers disguised as the original. With this proof in-hand Microsoft approached the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

During the raid, multiple counterfeit versions of some of Microsoft’s most popular products were found including Microsoft Office Professional, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition and Microsoft Server Standard Edition.

“People usually make a conscious choice to purchase low grade counterfeit software knowing it is not genuine in order to pay less,” added Uzo Okpaka, Channel Compliance Manager for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa. 

“This case represents a new threat to businesses and consumers across Nigeria as even those who would never consider purchasing fake software are being tricked into doing so by unscrupulous resellers.”

Mr. Ogboru from the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) welcomed the raid of Plum Telecom’s business adding “Piracy is not a victimless crime. The activities of Plum Telecom put the businesses of legitimate resellers in jeopardy and impact the credibility of the Nigerian IT reselling community as a whole”.

Although the law is very clear about prescribing penalties for buying and possessing stolen goods, users cannot be held liable if there was no intention to buy counterfeit software.

“If it can be proven that the computer or software reseller ‘‘tricked’ you into buying counterfeit software, then the reseller is the one who will face prosecution, not you,” said Uzo Okpaka from Microsoft.

Before a customer purchases Microsoft software they should ask themselves questions such as, Is the computer reseller a certified Microsoft partner? Did they receive the correct versions of the software they paid for? Were they given the original software media (i.e. the CD, DVD or recovery disc) associated with the software? Did they receive all the original supporting documentation for the software including user manuals and warranties? Does the computer have original certificate of authenticity stickers placed on the side of the tower case or under the laptop for each piece of software pre-loaded on the hard drive and if  the reseller is prepared to offer after-sales service and support for your software.
“A ‘no’ answer on any of these questions should immediately raise your suspicions about the authenticity of the software being given to you. If you’re in doubt, make sure that you contact your local Microsoft office for help and advice,” concluded Okpaka.

Olatunji Solicits Support for Facilities’ Upgrade
Dr. Oluwole Olatunji, the director-general of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos has called on the National Assembly to assist the institute to provide funds for the replacement and upgrading of obsolete facilities.

Olatunji made this appeal when Hon. Abiodun Isiaq Akinlade, the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology paid a working visit to the institute.  
He said most of the equipment used for research purposes were old and non functional, adding that the results obtained with such equipment would not be respected.
“It is hoped that the visit of this honourable house committee will help in the quest to rightly position Science, Technology and Innovation Systems (STI) to drive the national economic and technological development of our dear country.”
Olatunji said his organisation embarked on major repairs, especially the laboratories and it gulped a lot of money. “We need to rehabilitate all the laboratories, it is very important. We have 46 and we still have a long way to go, we are changing our equipment gradually, we need more equipment and we need funds to buy the equipment. Facility without style is not complete,” he said.
According to him, the institute was training its staff to enable them get acquainted with the technology and translate their research products into commercial purposes, saying, “we have a department that conducts training and they also go to the grassroots, but what we are saying is that we have to increase the tempo at which we go there and by next year, we want to make sure we cover as many areas as possible.”
Hon. Akinlade stressed the need for the institute to create awareness about its products and partner with the local government so that its products would not only get to the end users, but would contribute towards the development of the economy. “In terms of research and development, the institute still has to do more in the areas of awareness because it is not enough to do a research and keep it in the cupboard,” he said.
He said the House would appropriate funds for the institute in the 2010 appropriation bill to enable it carry out its operations, adding that there was need for the institute to write a proposal, which would show all research findings so that members of the committee would assist in making them popular at their various constituencies.

 

 


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Verve Rewards 600 Customers in Good Life Promo

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Africa’s leading payment technology and card brand, Verve International, has rewarded 600 customers so far after the third weekly draws in the ongoing Verve ‘Good Life’ Promo.

Verve rewarded the lucky cardholders at prize presentation ceremonies held in various locations across the country recently.

Amongst the 300 lucky cardholders that emerged winners of the N10,000 cash prize in the weekly raffle draws that have held three times were: Adeleke Moshood, a student from Oyo State; Adeogun Shakiru, an automobile specialist and Rashidat Abolaji, a businesswoman, both from Lagos State.

Another set of 300 Verve cardholders emerged winners of airtime worth N5,000, bringing the total amount won so far to N4.5 million Naira.

Speaking during the draws, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Interswitch Group, expressed her delight about the number of cardholders that have been rewarded lately.

Eromosele reiterated Verve’s resolve to continue to provide secure, convenient and reliable payment solutions for its cardholders.

She said: “Because our cardholders are of priority to us at Verve, beyond providing them brilliant payment solutions, we are rewarding them for their loyalty with the expectation that the reward helps them achieve the good life, whatever the good life means to them”.

Verve recently launched a nationwide promo tagged The Verve ‘Good Life’ Promo which kicked off on September 1, 2020 and will run till November 29, 2020.

The promo seeks to enable Verve’s loyal cardholders to live the good life, whatever the ‘good life’ means to them.

The promo is targeted at rewarding over 2,500 Verve cardholders nationwide, with over N27million Naira in cash and airtime, during the course of 12 weeks duration of the promo.

With three weeks concluded out of the twelve weeks of the promo, Verve cardholders have eight more weeks to keep transacting with their cards and standing the chance to win.

Other Nigerians presently without Verve cards but have the desire to enjoy the good life, can take advantage of this eight-week window to ask their respective banks for a Verve card in order to start transacting, to qualify to win from an array of exciting prizes.

The prizes have been categorized into four segments, with their respective qualification requirements as follows:

Weekly Prize category 1 – N10,000 cash for 100 winners weekly, requires at least 3 transactions weekly. Weekly Prize category 2 – N5,000 for 100 airtime every week, requires at least 3 transactions weekly.

Monthly Prize category – N50,000 cash for 50 winners every month, requires at least 12 times monthly Grand Prize category – N1,000,000 cash for 2 winners, requires at least 36 transactions from now till the end of the promo.

Prospective winners of the Verve ‘Good Life’ promo should consistently use their Verve cards within the next eight weeks, across payment channels such as Point of Sale (POS) terminals, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Web and agent banking centers.


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World Cleanup Day: Coca-Cola Partners NGOs, Recovers Over 900kg of Plastic Waste

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World Cleanup Day, celebrated globally on September 19, 2020, saw diverse people come together to combat the solid waste problem through numerous community cleanup activities.

 

To mark this day, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited partnered with two local NGOs – African Cleanup Initiative and Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), on cleanup activities across Lagos and Ibadan.

African Cleanup Initiative held cleanup activities across numerous locations in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states. This outreach saw more than 200 volunteers gather to collect over 1,500kg of solid waste materials and about 300kg of recyclable waste materials.

 

At the Lagos event, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Mrs Belinda Aderonke Odeneye, applauded the programme.

 

She expressed the Lagos State Government’s delight at being part of the cleanup activity. Odeneye, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Sanitation Services Department of the Ministry, Mrs Toyin Oguntola, went further to encourage citizens to be environmentally responsible.

She stated, “The government can only perform excellently with law-abiding citizens. We all have a role to play in waste management and ignoring those responsibilities will make all the efforts of the government futile”. 

 

Similarly, the International Coastal Cleanup held at Bonny Camp Coastline by Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC) also produced outstanding results with about 600kg of marine plastic waste materials recovered and over 250kg of marine debris sent to the landfill. The outreach saw participation from over 100 volunteers.

 

These activities are in line with Coca-Cola’s vision for a World Without Waste and the company’s commitment to doing business sustainably.

 

Speaking on its World Without Waste initiatives, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “We all have a responsibility to keep our environment clean and Coca-Cola is not left out as we remain committed to promoting a sustainable environment through our plastic recycling and recovery activities, as well as other environmental initiatives”. 

With the award of grants of over $800,000 by The Coca-Cola Foundation to multiple local NGOs, several recycling and women empowerment programs are being implemented to help address the issue of environmental protection while simultaneously empowering women who remain significant pillars of the environment.

 


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TETFund Seeks Increased Annual Research Funding of $1bn

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Thursday, urged the federal to increase its yearly funding for Research and Development (R&D) to $1 billion. This was as it hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent increase of the research grant from N5 billion to N7.5 billion.

Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, executive secretary of TETFund, speaking at the inauguration of TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee in Abuja, said massive investment in research would bring about the much-needed development in the country.

Bogoro also said it was time for the promulgation of a law that will bring into full place what he referred to as the “National R&D Foundation (NRDF)” to deepen research in the country.

Hear him:”To galvanize our vision towards making R&D the ace and game changer in our national development agenda, the need for an appropriate law to support the establishment of a National R&D Foundation (NRDF) cannot be overstated.

“We need a robust institutional framework and arrangement for the NRDF. I am recommending a minimum annual budgetary threshold of 1billion dollars as the funding portfolio for this Foundation.

“When we consider the inevitable benefits of R&D and the inevitable benefits of R&D and the socio-economic challenges in Nigeria, this amount begins to look like a drop of water in the ocean-population of 200 million people in 2020 and projected to become double in 10 years for now.”

Prof. Bogoro, who said the TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee is expected to come up with its own recommendation on the required amount that is suitable for efficient research activities in the country, called for a robust collaboration between researchers and the private sector to bring about all-round development in the country.

“It is envisaged that the private sector of the economy should pick the gauntlet to steamroll the lofty initiative by taking ownership of it,” he said.

Prof. Bogoro lauded the recent performance of Nigerian universities in the world’s ranking, saying TETFund intervention projects have continued to encourage such feats.

On his side, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, while inaugurating the committee, called on members to put their best to the work he described as ‘national assignment.’

Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, Adamu said that continued investment in research would herald a rebirth of Nigeria.

“Nigeria voted us into power predicated on our being able to transform our national aspirations and make them a national achievement.

“It is in recognition of this direction that the Executive Secretary, TETFund, presented his vision of a research-driven nation and how to finance that ambition through the Board of Trustees (BOT).

“To a large extent, Nigeria’s future depends on you. You have been summoned to a national service that is not available to the rest of the 200 million population. It is a national calling that requires almost all of you,” he said.

On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman said the work of the committee would open the windows of opportunities to tackle various developmental challenges confronting the country.

Suleiman, represented by Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya, lamented the way Nigeria has shown less concern to research, saying that many developed countries invested in research and development and thus helped to improve on their economy.

He said, “Research is the gateway of innovation. It is said that while countries like the USA, Korea, and the like have been investing in research and development, we seem to show less concern.”

He encouraged beneficiaries to take good advantage of the initiative to solve problems for the betterment of the country.

Responding, the Chairman of the over 160-member TETFund’s R & D Committee, Prof. Njidda M. Gadzama, said the epoch-making event will transform the socio-economic sector by ensuring the robust promotion of cutting-edge innovations.

“We promise to carry out our assignment with commitment and diligence and this will result in the R & D Culture and R&D Foundation to drive industrialization of the country,” he said.

The standing committee whose membership is drawn from the academic, industry, and private sector, has the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mansur Ahmed, as one of the three Vice Presidents.


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