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IBM, MTN Deploy IoT Technology to Save Africa’s Rhinos

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Ahead of World Rhino Day 2017 this week, IBM; MTN, a leading African telecommunications provider; Wageningen University (WU) in the Netherlands and Prodapt, on Tuesday announced they are harnessing IBM Internet of Things (IoT) technology as part of the MTN Connected Wildlife Solution.

The solution will help predict threats and combat the poaching of endangered rhinos at Welgevonden Game Reserve in South Africa, with the intent to expand the solution to other reserves in future.

Today South Africa is home to more than 70 percent of the world’s remaining rhino population. Conservationists are battling to protect the dwindling number of these iconic animals that are being killed for their highly-prized horns*.

Over the past decade, more than 7,000 rhinos were killed across the African continent and in 2016, 1,054 were reported killed in South Africa alone.

“One of our primary objectives is to protect wildlife, especially endangered species. We were looking for a solution that would help us better understand possible threats and weed out those coming from poachers so we can react ahead of time and prevent harm to animals,” said Bradley Schroder, chief executive officer of Welgevonden Game Reserve. “This project will be a profound breakthrough in the creation of connected wildlife solutions, a wildlife management concept that aims to harness IoT technology to better manage and protect wildlife and other assets.”

This new predictive capability stems from research performed by Wageningen University. Ranked the best university in the Netherlands for 12 straight years, the university features an animal sciences group focused on research and education related to the health and welfare of animals and people.

According to research conducted on Welgevonden Game Reserve, prey-animals in the wild react in different ways, depending on the type of threat they encounter and the perceived danger from predators such as lion and leopard or the presence of people in the vicinity.

This research has been combined with MTN’s Connected Wildlife Solution which leverages IBM’s IoT technology and the university’s predictive analytics, to create an innovative solution that gives game reserves a powerful new tool in the fight to save endangered species.

Protecting the rhinos begins with fitting collars containing custom sensors onto prey-animals including zebra, wildebeest, eland and impala, which will transmit data about their behavior to the IoT platform.

The data collected from the LoRa sensors is communicated via the LoRa WAN Network Server (LRSC – Long Range Signal & Control) and backhauled over the MTN 3G/4G network.

Through the platform, the solution collects animal location information, movement, direction and average speed of travel, along with other data.

The data is used by Wageningen University to create approximately 20 rule-based patterns based on the animals’ response to threats. As a result, animals such as zebra will act as sentinels with their response patterns becoming an early warning system to protect the rhinos.

The predictive nature of this solution takes away the reliance on game reserve teams to be in the right place at the right time, or to respond to events, such as the distant sound of gunfire; and the teams can take proactive action that keeps rhinos safe.

“Over the years, we have seen that animal tracking technology has been used reactively in game reserves. Welgevonden needed a more proactive solution to take the fight to protect the rhinos further. With the solution designed for Welgevonden, MTN, along with our partners, can better predict and anticipate potential poaching activity. This allows the ranger to take pre-emptive action before any threat happens,” said Mariana Kruger, general manager at MTN Business.

Welgevonden Game Reserve was chosen for its specialist wildlife management expertise, its well-known research and development capabilities as well as its excellent reputation in rhino protection. “Welgevonden is one of the best managed game reserves in the world and we need such skills to ensure the success of a project of this nature,” said Prof Herbert Prins of Wageningen University.

“The Internet of Things is changing the way we live and work, and we are finding new applications for IBM’s IoT technologies in businesses across the spectrum. Now we’re helping curb rhino poaching and preserve endangered species on the African continent.” says Hamilton Ratshefola, country general manager for IBM South Africa. “IBM’s IoT solutions enable businesses to solve industry specific problems and transform their companies and industries.”

MTN is an emerging innovator in the Internet of Things, with hundreds of clients across 22 countries. MTN is building an ecosystem of vertical partners and an ecosystem of over 3 million active M2M connections. Together these connected devices, sensors and systems provide insight whilst solving real business challenges around the continent.

IBM’s IoT technology features powerful cognitive computing capabilities that don’t merely gather and predict but truly understand the patterns and relationships in the massive amounts of data being collected by the sensors in field.

Today, IBM is an established leader in the Internet of Things (IoT) with more than 6,000 client engagements in 170 countries, a growing ecosystem of over 1,400 partners and more 750 IoT patents which together help to draw actionable insight from billions of connected devices, sensors and systems around the world.

 
 


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FG, World Bank Plans 3.5m Electricity Meters Roll out

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The Federal Government Monday, said it has had discussions with the World Bank on plans to roll out 3.5 million electricity meters to support the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI.

A statement by the Director, Information and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mohammed Manga said the government at a meeting with a delegation from the World Bank reaffirmed its commitment to driving economic growth and development through a strategic partnership with the World Bank to boost power sector investment.

At the meeting with World Bank delegates, led by Dr. Ndiamé Diop, Country Director for Nigeria, and Ms. Olu Verheijen, Special Adviser to the President on Energy, in Abuja, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, reaffirmed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration’s commitment to repositioning the economy for the future of Nigeria.

“In its renewed determination to drive economic growth and development in the country, the Federal Government has continued to engage with relevant stakeholders with a view to boosting power sector investment as a major priority area for achieving the desired objective”, the statement added.

He stated that the meeting was held to discuss innovative ways to drive Nigeria’s power sector forward

Edun informed that the meeting focused on World Bank-supported initiatives, including the Power Sector Recovery Operation, PSRO, and the Distribution Sector Recovery Programme, DISREP, aimed at improving power distribution and management systems in order to ensure economic growth and development in the nation.

The Ministry listed key highlights from the meeting to include: Plans to roll out 3.5 million meters to enhance power distribution; $50 million funding for state solar plant pilots and infrastructure upgrades; Measures to support tariff frameworks, market reforms, and co-financing the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s Performance Improvement Plan.

The government said the collaboration “aims at strengthening Nigeria’s power sector, enhancing energy access, promoting economic growth and development, improving job creation as well as poverty alleviation in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration”.


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Police Suspends eMotor Registry Enforcement Following Outcries

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Kayode Egbetokun, inspector general of police, has announced the suspension of the the enforcement of electronic central motor registry registration otherwise e-CMR for vehicle owners in the country.

Police Suspends eMotor Registry Enforcement Following Outcries

Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, had on Saturday said the IG ordered that the enforcement of the e-CMR should commence on July 29.

The enforcement order sparked an outcry from Nigerians, who accused the police of creating an opportunity to extort vehicle owners.

John Aikpokpo-Martins, chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law, said the directive by Egbetokun to begin enforcing the digitised Central Motor Registry was a blatant disregard for the rule of law.

But in a statement on Sunday, Adejobi announced that the IG has suspended the enforcement of the e-CMR.

He added that there was the need to sensitise the citizens on the initiative, which he said was designed to secure vehicles.

He said, “Following the reconfiguration and commencement of the electronic central motor registry registration process the Police have deemed it necessary to highlight the benefits and effectiveness of the e-CMR initiative which is designed to ensure the safety and security of all types of vehicles including motorcycles by collating data imputed into the system by vehicle owners and acting on such to flag the vehicles if reported stolen.

“The e-CMR will provide a firsthand database to the Force for curbing vehicular crimes as dedicated officers can access real-time comprehensive data of every vehicle on their tablets.

“Similarly, the e-CMR will prevent multiple registrations of vehicles and serve as a database to collate biometric and other data of vehicle owners and individuals, adding value to the national database and incident report portal generated from other Ministries, Departments and Agencies towards general security.”

Adejobi denied that the e-CMR was a revenue-generating platform.

He said, “Furthermore, contrary to news making the rounds and insinuations about the e-CMR, the NPF wishes to state categorically that the e-CMR is not a revenue-generating platform but an initiative to digitalize policing for effectiveness and general safety of lives and property of Nigeria residents. “

Adejobi said the IG ordered the immediate suspension he had earlier given.

He stated, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun has ordered an immediate suspension of the proposed enforcement of the e-CMR initially scheduled to commence on the 29th of July, 2024. This is to give ample opportunity for mass enlightenment and education of all citizens and residents on the process, benefits and effectiveness in solving the challenge of vehicle-related crimes, and protection of individual and corporate vehicle ownership.”

Adejobi sought the understanding of the citizens and key into the initiative.


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Osagie Okunbor, Shell Nigeria MD Honoured for Exemplary Leadership

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Osagie Okunbor, managing director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, and country chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, has been recognised for his “Invaluable contributions to the  Nigerian energy sector and his service to humanity.”

Osagie Okunbor, Shell Nigeria MD Honoured for Exemplary Leadership

Former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Director, Heritage for Life Foundation, Tunde Lemo (left), presenting the Foundation’s  Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service to Humanity to the Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, at a ceremony in Lagos on Thursday.

Osagie received the Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service to Humanity from a Lagos-based NGO, Heritage for Life Foundation, at a ceremony held in Lagos.

Tunde Lemo, director of the Foundation, and former deputy governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), handed out the award which he said was instituted to promote “moral qualities and attitudes pivotal to the growth of a stable and functional society” by recognising individuals who exbibit the virtues.

An elated Okunbor said: “I’m pleased at this recognition which calls for greater commitment to the highest standards of leadership and service to humanity. With the support of my colleagues and other stakeholders, I hope to continue to  contribute to the development of our country.”

The award from the foundation was the second bestowed on the longest serving Country Chair of Shell companies in Nigeria in the past month.

At the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Okunbor was conferred with the Diamond Ambassador of Brand Nigeria as part of NIPR’s Diamond Jubilee National Awards.

Presenting the award, Dr. Ike Neliaku, president and chairman of Council, NIPR noted that Okunbor earned the award having demonstrated exceptional leadership as Chairman of the largest energy company in Nigeria that had made significant contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria in more than seven decades.

Okunbor’s contributions to the energy sector are the highlights of a career in Shell which has seen him serve in Nigeria, the UK, Brunei and the Netherlands before his appointment as Managing Director, SPDC and Country Chair in 2015.

In May, the executive council of the Nigerian Gas Association recognised Okunbor for “outstanding contributions towards the advancement of Nigeria’s gas sector.”

 

 

 

 

 


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