Friday, 22 June 2018

Is The World Cup Legacy Worth It?

In order to host a World Cup, countries have to go through an arduous bidding process, competing against other nations for the prize of hosting the biggest sporting spectacle on Earth. However, more is promised than just a month long festival of football. When any major sporting event takes place, a lot is said about the legacy that it will leave behind once all the spectators have went home. This is especially true for the World Cup. The hosting nation often builds new stadiums, infrastructure and accommodation. In return for this, an economic stimulus is promised.

 A World Cup is meant to leave permanent benefits for the host nation, in terms of job creation, increased participation in football and public facilities. But does this happen? We’ve analysed some of the key outcomes of the previous four World Cups to find out.

During the 2002 World Cup, co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, South Korea’s national side miraculously made it the the Semi Final’s, narrowly losing 1-0 to a 75th minute Michael Ballack strike. The event was hailed as a success for its seamlessly smooth operations and excellent football, but what effect did this have on both of the host countries? Tourism to Japan increased after the tournament. The Japanese public opinion of South Korea reached an all time high, helping to heal long standing issues between both countries, stemming from WW2. Although football is popular in Japan today, baseball remains the nations favourite pastime. The tournament reportedly cost a combined total of $7.5b to host, with an estimated economic impact of $11.86bn, making the tournament a financial success. This was the first time the World Cup was hosted across two countries.

The 2006 World Cup in Germany was widely praised as a tremendous success for the nation. According to the German government, tourism revenue increased by around $400m during the tournament, helping to boost the Germany economy. Also, a staggering 500,000 new jobs were created in the lead up to the tournament. The city of Cologne reported that their visitor numbers after the World Cup increased by between 7& and 10%. Another tangible benefit was that in preparation for the tournament, the German government invested the sum of €37b in infrastructure such as roads, transportation and facilities, so that the country could facilitate the surge in visitors. This is something that the German people still benefit from today. The German League also benefited by being awarded $70m, which was in turn put into grassroots development, so that young Germans could dream about playing in a World Cup one day themselves.

South Africa spend around $4bn on the 2010 World Cup, investing the money in six new state of the art stadiums and upgrading infrastructure such as roads and airports. FIFA generated a staggering $3.36bn from the event and awarded South Africa with $100m to fund grassroots projects around the country. Unfortunately, the South Africa World Cup has done nothing to improve the fortunes of the nations national team. Nicknamed Bafana Bafana, the team failed to qualify for Russia 2018, finishing bottom of their qualifying group with 4 points from 6 games. The national league still suffers from poor attendances, excluding the countries two major teams, Orlando Pirates and the Kaiser Chiefs. The estimated average cost of a tourist attending South Africa for the World Cup is estimated to be $13,000. The Cape Town stadium hosted five first round matches, and went on to host a second round, quarter final and semi final throughout the tournament. The stadium cost a reported $600m with the nations total spending for stadium construction and reburbishment topping $1.4bn. This left many South African’s wondering if they money could be better spent elsewhere in the country.

Widely criticised for leaving Brazil with several expensive but dormant stadiums, the 2014 World Cup is one that divides opinion. Brazil exited the tournament in a humiliating 7-1 defeat to Germany in the Semi Final, leaving the Selecao’s dream of winning the World Cup on home soil in tatters. Despite initial concerns, the 12 World Cup stadiums were ready on time for the opening ceremony to begin. However, now lies several near-abandoned stadiums which struggle to host any football at all. The most expensive stadium, adding up to a total cost of $550m, is located in Brasilia and is being used as a parking space for buses.

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Can A Ketogenic Diet Reduce Inflammation?

The ketogenic diet has been well established in the medical community as a treatment approach for those with epilepsy. However, research is revealing benefits which may apply to a broader population as well. As chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, type-2-diabetes, and heart disease are linked to inflammation, the anti-inflammatory effects of a keto diet are becoming especially compelling.

So, can a ketogenic diet reduce inflammation and lower your risk for chronic disease? In short, the research is looking very promising. But first, let’s take a closer look at inflammation, so we can better understand why it’s bad.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is not always bad. It is actually a mechanism that allows our body to respond to injury, and heal itself. We fall down, bloody our knee, and our immune system leaps into action, like a general on a battlefield. To protect the site of injury your body mounts a defensive response. White blood cells are rushed to the area to fight off foreign bacteria, break down damaged tissue, and then begin the repair process. During this time, the area is often warm, swollen, and red because your body increases blood flow to accelerate healing.

Given above is an example of acute inflammation. It’s a vital part of the human immune system guided by the best of intentions. But, what happens when your body is constantly triggering this response? In the most extreme cases, there are autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis which cause your body to attack and break down healthy tissue. However, there’s another form of chronic inflammation which is often more subtle, and undetected. This is referred to as chronic low-grade inflammation.

Acute vs Chronic Inflammation cycle in the body

Chronic inflammation is problematic because it causes an immune reaction, even when there is no injury.  It is chronic because if it is not diagnosed and reduced, the inflammation will persist in your body.  Over time this can begin to damage arteries, organs, and contribute to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.

Symptoms & Causes of Chronic Inflammation

Symptoms & Causes of Chronic Inflammation

Causes of Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can be caused by several unrelated factors including:
• infections that don’t heal properly or timely
• abnormal immune reactions
• obesity

In addition, autoimmune diseases can trigger chronic inflammation. Some of these diseases are lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be caused by conditions that continually wear on your body, like inflammatory bowel disease.

Obesity and Inflammation

If you have excess fat, and particularly abdominal fat around your waist, there’s a good chance you also have some chronic low-level inflammation.

Fat cells in the abdomen release the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 6, therefore inducing chronic inflammation. The more belly fat you have, the more cytokine interleukin 6 you produce, and the worse you feel.

Many people with obesity find themselves in a downward spiral of weight gain, inflammation, and then fatigue. As the inflammation and fatigue come on from gaining weight, a person is even less apt to lose weight and exercise to help themselves. However,

A lot of people have success losing body fat on a keto diet, thus also lowering their ability to produce the proinflammatory cytokine. Plus, as we will discuss below, a ketogenic diet is naturally anti-inflammatory, so you get a double whammy of help with obesity related inflammation on a keto diet.

Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation

There are several symptoms of chronic inflammation that you can notice in your body. If you notice these symptoms, you should set up an appointment with your doctor to determine if you have chronic inflammation.

In addition to obesity, Some other warning signs of chronic inflammation can include
• fatigue,
• indigestion,
• persistent aches and pains,
• acne, and
• allergies.

Like we mentioned above, chronic inflammation causes an immune reaction in your body, which is actually what all the above symptoms stem from. Each of these symptoms can be attributed to an immune response in the cells responsible for that part or action of the body.

For example, allergies are an immune response to external stimuli such as pollen or dust; if the allergies worsen or do not get better, they could very well be attributed to an over-reactive immune response. This is just one symptom of chronic inflammation.

Fatigue is also a symptom of chronic inflammation.

Testing for Chronic Inflammation

Clearly, if you have some of the symptoms of chronic inflammation, it’s something you want to address immediately, possibly with a keto diet. But, how do you know if its occurring in your body? You may want to know if there’s a real way to detect chronic inflammation, outside of just some symptoms that could be caused by something else.

Since ichronic inflammationt often occurs at low levels, it’s not as obvious to detect as the swelling which occurs when you twist an ankle.

But, there are a variety of blood tests your physician can run to help detect chronic inflammation, the most common of which is a test for C-Reactive protein (CRP).

Some CRP can always be detected in the blood, but levels spike when there’s any inflammation, chronic or acute. If you’re testing for chronic inflammation, you’ll want to take this test when you don’t have any known injuries which could be triggering an acute inflammatory response. Ideally, your CRP level should be below 1, with 0 indicating no inflammation. If your CRP is elevated, absent of any injuries, it could indicate you have some chronic low-level inflammation occurring.
However, as helpful as a CRP test can be, there are some other clues which can suggest chronic inflammation absent of getting a blood test.

Other Disease Associated with Inflammation

Inflammation in itself can lead to and/or worsen diseases and health problems.  A review titled “The inflammation theory of disease”[i]  describes how chronic inflammation can lead to cancerous tumors and degenerative diseases like ALS.  Reasons for this are that as tissue is consistently inflamed it leads to “tissue destruction and scarring”, which creates an environment for tumor growth.

In addition, it is now even being associated with leading to depression.[ii]

How the Ketogenic Diet Helps Reduce Inflammation

How Keto Diet Reduces Inflammation

The keto diet has been long believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, and thanks to a recent study from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF)[iii], we have a better understanding of one of the reasons.

In this study, performed on rats, researchers wanted to know why the ketogenic diet was related to reduced inflammation in the brain. The researchers induced a ketogenic state in the rats which in turn restricted the rate of glucose metabolism.  During glucose metabolism, NAD+ is converted to NADH, and increases the ratio of NADH/NAD+.  In a ketogenic state this ratio is lowered which activates a regulatory protein called CtBP that blocks the expression of inflammatory genes, thus reducing inflammation.

The UCSF study is especially significant because it demonstrates a biochemical mechanism through which the ketogenic diet can directly reduce inflammation. Evidence from other studies suggest an anti-inflammatory effect to the ketogenic diet which reaches beyond the brain.
Another reason the ketogenic diet reduces inflammation is because ketone metabolism produces fewer free radicals and reactive oxygen species[iv], often responsible for triggering inflammation. Ketone metabolism also causes an increase in the production of adenosine, a nucleoside long known to be anti-inflammatory[v].

Finally, the ketogenic diet’s anti-inflammatory effect can also be linked to a specific ketone that’s produced in the liver from acetoacetate during ketosis. The ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate can block an immune system receptor linked to inflammation, the NLRP inflammasome[vi]. If we’re constantly exposed to inflammatory triggers, such as inflammatory foods, or obesity, the NLRP inflammasome can be overly activated, quintessentially being stuck in the on position. With a ketogenic diet, there is an increase in the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate, which could then help reduce inflammation by blocking the NLRP inflammasome.

The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Keto Foods

As you can see, there are several metabolic mechanisms that can help explain the anti-inflammatory effects of a ketogenic diet. However, the keto diet may also be anti-inflammatory due to the foods it eliminates, and includes (if you’re doing it right).

The first thing that gets eliminated on a keto diet are carbohydrates with a high glycemic index.

You simply cannot reach a state of ketosis with these types of foods, so they are the first to go.

Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index have been associated with a higher level of CRP[vii], which may explain some of the anti-inflammatory effects of the ketogenic diet. In addition, the high fiber carbohydrates (aka vegetables) that are moderately included in a ketogenic diet are also believed to be anti-inflammatory.[viii]  These include leafy greens like spinach, and the super popular and versatile cauliflower.  See a list of recommended low-carb vegetables for the keto diet.
Another defining characteristic of the ketogenic diet is its emphasis on consuming healthy fats.

Since 65-90% of your calorie intake is going to come from fat, you need to prioritize healthy fats and oils. If you’re doing that you’ll be focusing on reducing the amount of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, and increasing the amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3’s. Coconut oil, another hallmark of the ketogenic diet, has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in humans[ix].

Ketogenic Diet Foods to Eat And Avoid

Here’s a list of anti-inflammatory foods and spices that you can incorporate into a ketogenic diet:

  • Organic meats (good omega-3/6 profile)
  • Organic dairy (good omega-3/6 profile)
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and bok choy
  • Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli
  • Spices like turmeric and garlic
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocados and avocado oil
  • Olives
  • Vary sparingly eat some low-carb berries like blackberries

Here’s a list of inflammatory foods to avoid on keto:

  • Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are known to be inflammatory in some people
  • Inorganic dairy
  • Inorganic meats
  • Burning or overcooking meats can cause them to be inflammatory

Other Ways to Reduce Chronic Inflammation

The ketogenic diet can have some significant benefits to help reduce inflammation. However, it’s not the only approach you can take to help reduce chronic inflammation. If you’re serious about lowering your inflammation (and you should be), here are some other known methods to reduce chronic inflammation.
  • Get more exercise
  • Consume more omega-3 fatty acids, while reducing omega-6
  • Eat foods high in antioxidants & polyphenols
  • Reduce nightshade vegetables (tomatoes and peppers)
  • Reduce your stress level
  • Improve your sleep
please click the below source link to learn more about other health issues.


Friday, 26 January 2018

20ways to be indispensable at work

20 ways to be indispensable at work.

SCB urges investors to weigh equities, bond options in 2018

Standard chartered bank Nigeria

As the global economy is gradually rebounding, with the direction pointing towards reflation for some major economies, Standard Chartered Bank has advised investors to manage downside risks, with preference for equities and corporate bonds.

Emerging Market bonds, preferably the Asian dollar-denominated bonds, are expected to outperform those of the U.S. and Europe on the back of a modestly weaker dollar and relatively attractive yields.

The bank in its Wealth Management Advisory Outlook 2018, predicted a continued gradual expansion of output, combining a modest stronger economic growth with rising inflation.

According to the Chief Investment Strategist at Standard Chartered Bank, Steve Brice, “growth accelerated in 2017, but inflation did not. We believe a gradual ‘heating up’ of the global economy is likely in 2018, with robust economic growth and inflation finally increasing.

“Our Outlook 2018 report is designed to help our clients navigate these market conditions. Economic growth continues to simmer. The ‘Goldilocks’ environment- not too hot, not too cold, of strong growth and limited inflation is likely to extend into the early part of 2018.

“Continued earnings’ growth means equities and corporate bonds have room to extend gains going into 2018. Inflation is the main risk to this ‘Goldilocks’ scenario, especially further into 2018.

“A larger-than-expected rise in inflation would mean the environment could turn too hot, forcing central banks to tighten policy more aggressively than markets currently expect,” he said.

Clearing houses battle NCC over call masking allegations

Wants commission to investigate MNOs A potential battle is currently looming between the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Interconnect Exchange Operators over some alleged sharp practices going on in the telecommunications sector.

The NCC yesterday, in a letter sighted by The Guardian had accused about six operators including Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria Limited; Medallion Communications Limited; Nicconx Communications Limited; Breeze Micro Limited; Solid Interconnectivity and Exchange Telecommunications limited, of fuelling call masking and refilling in the industry.

NCC claimed that these operators were found to be involved in call masking and refilling, hence the move to withdraw their operating licenses.A masked call happens when an international calling number (Caller Line Identity) is framed as local number traffic. It is a deliberate attempt by the fraudster to avoid paying the correct International Termination Rate (ITR) for international calls, but to benefit by paying Local Termination Rate (LTR).

For example, when the number is masked as a local call, the operator pays N3.90 LTR and not N24.40 ITR, the industry standard fee.The process allows operators to terminate inbound international telecoms traffic as local calls so they don’t have to pay ITR, which is the interconnection charges set by telecoms traffic carriers as carrier to carrier charges.

Call refilling on the other hand is a form of interconnect fraud in which one carrier tampers with CID (caller-ID) data to falsify the number from which a call originated before handing the call off to a competitor.But responding to the NCC allegations, the Association of Interconnect Exchange Operators of Nigeria, in a letter addressed to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, signed by both the Chairman and his Vice, Oladele Ayanbadejo, and Ikechukwu Nnamani, respectively, a copy of which was made available to The Guardian, expressed shock over the claims.

According to them, the timing and content of the letter was particularly shocking, as the Commission by way of a letter dated December 20, 2017, invited the Association to a meeting scheduled for January 10, 2018, to clarify issues relating to the Commission’s investigation on Call masking/Refilling in the industry.“All our member companies looked forward to the meeting, and purchased flight tickets, in readiness to give our full cooperation to the Commission’s investigation.

“We received a notification of cancellation, barely 48 hours before the meeting was due to hold. Strangely and quite frankly very unsettling, we received another letter, notifying us of the Commission’s intention to suspend our Interconnect Exchange License, on the basis that the Commission has established what at best is a prima facie case, of alleged involvement in call masking and refilling.”

The clearing house operators decried that NCC’s action to call off the planned meeting with them was against what the Commission stands for, which is to provide forums and platforms for interface.According to them, the letter is thus a startling departure, from the Commission’s good practice of engagement and fair hearing.

“The Association is thus compelled to write on behalf of its members, to express our collective displeasure with the Commission’s intention to suspend our license, without furnishing us with the precise details of our alleged offence, and giving us an opportunity to explain and defend ourselves,” they stated.

AIEON claimed it was unfair for NCC to isolate the Interconnect Exchange Operators (Clearinghouse), as the culprits behind what is obviously systemic contagion in the industry. They alleged that almost 95 per cent of voice traffic is routed peer-to-peer amongst the operators, as less than five per cent of voice calls are transited via the Clearinghouse.

“We do not have subscribers, neither do we originate calls. All calls terminated via our platform, originated from a network that we can identify, if given the opportunity to do so.”

In addition, the Association claimed it has written admission from certain operators, that some of the voice calls they transited via their platform, were indeed masked calls. They stressed that there have been countless instances when the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), restricted calls routed via the Clearinghouse, from terminating on their network; call masking remained very rampant whilst the restrictions were in place.

“The looming suspension of the Interconnect Exchange License, is yet another pointer that some industry players, seemingly want the telecommunications industry in Nigeria to shrink, by reducing the number of active service providers. Smaller operators have been systematically wiped out by the big players, and the Interconnect Exchange Operators appear to be next in line,” they stated.

They alleged that the problems which gave rise to the birth of Clearinghouse ab initio, such as interconnect disputes and the resultant high indebtedness, anti-competition, and poor quality of service to subscribers, at a higher cost, will skyrocket “if we are driven to extinction.”

The Clearing House operators noted that these problems have remained because the MNOs are reluctant to embrace the Clearinghouse model, “and we urge the Commission to create an enabling environment for the Interconnect Exchange Operators, to carry out our functions in line with industry best practice.

U.S. Embassy to collaborate with NCC on copyright administration

Director- General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission(NCC), Mr Afam Ezekude
Mr. Afam Ezekude, director general of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has called for greater collaboration in areas of capacity building for the enforcement and prosecution of Intellectual Property (IP) crimes in the country.

The DG, NCC, stated this during an interactive meeting with the Economic Counselor of the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Susan Garro and other officials of the Embassy at the Commission’s headquarter in Abuja.

The meeting which was held at the instance of the Economic Counseling Unit of the US Embassy seeks to understudy the workings of IP in Nigeria with respect to Copyright, strengthen existing partnerships to maintain best practices and identify areas of collaboration in the administration, enforcement and prosecution of Copyright infringements in Nigeria.

Mr. Ezekude in his welcome address, highlighted on the achievements of the commission in the past 7 years to include pro-active enforcement and prosecution of Copyright offences; the on-going reform of the Nigerian Copyright Administration; the e-Registration programme, the ratification and depositing of four Instruments of Treaty at WIPO, and the recent approval of the proposed Copyright Bill for deliberation at the National Assembly.

Dozens dead in South Korea hospital blaze

A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade.

Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics.

While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters.

It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital.

Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder.

The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting.

Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said.

"Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo.

The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police.

All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said.

Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks.

Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished.

Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits.

"But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo.

"Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters.

"There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying.

Short-circuits suspected
Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building.

None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June.

"There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits."

Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire.

"When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze.

The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon -- a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles.

Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers.

The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.

Trump sends ‘warmest regards’ to African leaders after reported slur

US President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with Rwandan President President Paul Kagame during a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 26, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm

US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his “warmest regards” to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans.

The outspoken US leader congratulated Rwandan President Paul Kagame on taking over as chair of the African bloc, which Trump said was a “great honour”.

“I know you’re going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards,” Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The US president ignored questions shouted by journalists about his reported dismissal this month of African nations as “shithole countries”, during a meeting on immigration with congressional leaders.

The reported remark drew outrage around the world and prompted several African governments to demand explanations from their US ambassadors.

The 55-nation African Union chaired by Kagame demanded an apology, although Trump has denied making the remark as relayed by US lawmakers who were present at the meeting.

Trump said he had “tremendous discussions” in Davos with Kagame, who for his part said they had “good discussions” about the economy and trade.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

‘How blockchain will affect oil, gas sector in Nigeria’

Oil. PHOTO: FinancialTribune

As emerging frontiers, especially digital ledger system also called blockchain become a more globally recognised solution, experts have called for frameworks that will enable Nigeria’s oil and gas sector to benefit from the innovation.

With a new $2.5million funding secured by US-based, Rocky Mountain Institute, from about 10 utility companies to support Energy Web Foundation (EWF), to ex­tend the use of blockchain across the sector, stakeholders have said the transition of the financial technology in the petroleum industry remained unstoppable.

Blockchain, described as an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently, and in a verifiable and permanent way, provides a singular network, with a constantly increasing list of records that are referred to as “blocks”.

The technology, which reduces transaction costs by keeping a single logical copy of transaction records, would help the sector avoid the need for reconciliation and settlement, thereby a potential game-changer for the energy sector.

A report conducted by Deloitte, titled, “Is Blockchain’s Future in Oil and Gas Transformative or Transient?, discovered that the data-intensive opportunities available through the growth and expansion of the  Internet of Things, could make blockchain an important vessel to carry the industry’s data transformation forward.

This is regardless of the fact that technology has had little impact on the oil and gas industry, providing a small frame of reference for oil executives to adequately assess its current and future value.

In the Nigerian scenario where transparency, accountability and efficiency are reportedly lacking, Deloitte expect Blockchain to offer “transactional verification instantly across a network, without relying on a central authority – potentially reducing operating costs, more securely storing and managing   data, and improving the speed of transaction processing.”

“Blockchain could also lead to increasing database and trading efficiency, improving transparency and compliance, addressing cyber threats and even improving the supply chain, through more seamless contract management,” the report stated.

Experts quoted in the report, said the challenges development is posing to orthodox models across the world, required proactive measures to mitigate the impact of the trend, especially in Nigerian kind.

President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Prof. Segun Ajibola, said the capability of the trend to address issues bothering on the recurring cases of openness of data and accuracy as well as accountability in the Nigeria petroleum sector would be a welcome development.

“This goes beyond government. If international trades begin to recognise and adopt blockchain technology as a major means of international trade techniques, government will be helpless. It is not just about what government wants or does not want. It will be much of what the global economy is saying.

“A lot of issues that bother on transparency and accuracy of record, issues on honesty and sincerity in terms keeping records and open disclosure of what is happening in the oil and gas in Nigeria.

Operators and regulators may not feel comfortable of the openness the technology will introduce. But it will override the interest of individual,” he said.

But for the system to work, Ajibola said: “We need a seamless, legal, institutional and operational framework. We need to recognise it in our payment system. We need to also invest in technology using our peculiarity. We need to appreciate the globally acceptable system coming from blockchain technology.

“Since the global payment system is embracing the technology, we need to start thinking about it in Nigeria.

Tecno Mobile launches first full-screen display smartphone


Tecno mobile phone brand under the Transsion Holdings, has released its first frameless full-screen display smartphone, known as TECNO CAMON CM.

The device is the latest in the CAMON Series family and reemphasises the brand’s knack for designing high-end smartphones with sophisticated cameras.

Speaking at its launch in Lagos, the Brand Manager, Tecno Mobile, Nigeria, Eric Liu, highlighted the company’s efforts to make revolutionary smartphones that would usher smartphone enthusiasts into an era of endless possibilities on the mobile devices and exceptional photography experiences.

He said: “The smartphone has been reinvented and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) globally are always on the lookout for the next big thing to talk about. At Tecno, we take pride in our ability to understand and meet our consumers’ needs, and eventually surpass their expectations.”

With the CAMON CM, Tecno has delivered a very stylish full-screen display smartphone. The full-view display device produces an immersive experience when consuming videos, reading books, capturing images or even surfing the Internet. The frameless device simplifies multi-tasking and offers users an opportunity to split their screen (18:9 screen support single window 1:1 split-screen operating with only one step ), so that they can handle more than one task while still being able to see more on either of the split windows, Liu said.

Speaking about the exclusive sales and partnership with Tecno Mobile, the Managing Director of 3C Hub, Xia Song, said: “We are excited about our partnership with TECNO and the opportunity to launch the CAMON CM with them. As always, we always strive to deliver superior smartphone retail services to end-users thus, signing an exclusive partnership for the launch of the CAMON CM is a big deal for us.”

‘Nigeria needs cheaper 4G handsets to deepen broadband penetration’

Spectranet Office

Nigeria’s quest to meet and surpass the 30 per cent broadband penetration target set for 2018, would among others, require the adoption of cheaper but stronger 4G/LTE and VOLTE handsets.

Spectranet, which gave this advice, noted that in India, one of the operators, Reliance Jio, actually pioneered this revolution, which enabled it to garner 85 per cent of 4G subscribers, and subsequently increased broadband penetration.

The Chief Executive Officer of Spectranet, Ajay Awasthi, said when Reliance Jio pioneered the revolution, other operators in India did same, “this move subsequently led to increase in mobile broadband. India is the largest in the world, having over 200 million broadband users. Somebody in Nigeria should replicate this.”

Besides, Awashti, who commended the Federal Government’s effort at deepening broadband penetration through the five-year National Broadband Policy (2013-2018), said it was also important for the country to have high speed broadband connectivity, driven by 4G LTE, to improve the economy.

According to him, one of the elements that helped China and India to become super economic powers was because of their faster connectivity. He cited China’s online and eCommerce economy, whose worth he put at $752billion and India’s at over $20billion, adding that these economies are driven by high speed broadband connectivity that is available to all its citizens at affordable rate.

Awasthi noted that Nigeria’s huge population could offer the country such opportunity, if only the Federal Government could make high speed broadband connectivity available to all Nigerians at affordable rate.

He however said Spectranet, which has its footprint in Nigeria, would be willing to help the country achieve high speed broadband connectivity, and also bridge the digital divide by connecting as many Nigerians as possible, to the Spectranet best-in-class high speed broadband Internet access.

“Nigeria has a laudable National Broadband Policy, but not many Nigerians have access to broadband services due to several factors. Nigeria needs reliable, affordable high speed broadband connectivity that is secured that will enhance quality of service, good customer experience that will bring about innovations and creativity in boosting the nation’s economy,” Awasthi said.

He listed the four-pronged strategy of Spectranet for 2018 to include: Superior customer service; Arms-length distribution; Best-in-class customer experience; and better engagement of employees. Awasthi said Spectranet already had over 200,000 customer base in Nigeria, with plans to double the number in the next one year, in order to give more Nigerians the opportunity to explore the eCommerce and online shopping business that are currently driving global economies.

On the issue of high cost in delivering broadband services in Nigeria, Awasthi said: “The cost of providing broadband services in Nigeria is high and the cost kept increasing and it is likely to further increase by another 10 per cent in the coming months. So the Federal Government and the NCC must rise to their responsibilities to address the issue of high cost of providing broadband services in the country.”

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

NCC hosts forum on cost – based pricing for retail broadband, data services

Consistent with its consultative approach and stakeholders’ engagement for effective regulatory oversight of the telecommunications sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will tomorrow, January 16, host stakeholders in the telecommunications industry and the general public to a consultative forum on determination of cost based pricing for Retail Broadband and Data Services in Nigeria.

The event, which is slated for Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) Cappa, Oshodi, Lagos is part of the Commission’s engagement with industry players and stakeholders with a view to getting their inputs before arriving at any major regulation and guidelines for the sector.

The Commission has already appointed a consultant to carry out a study on cost based pricing and will unveil its preliminary findings to stakeholders at the forum.

Besides the consultant, there will be a keynote address after which the event becomes interactive, whereby stakeholders, industry players are expected to strategise with officials of the Commission on the best approach to cost based study to determine pricing for retail broadband and data services in Nigeria.

The forum is in line with the Commission’s 8-point agenda to promote Accessibility, Availability and Affordability for pervasive broadband penetration.

Strategic marketing management – a letter from a Customer 2

Remember the story of MLL Ori-barber? Visit @LBSInsight to get an excerpt

Key Issues:
A, Determining how MLL should play the game going forward.
B. Positioning Ori-Barber Aftershave in the appropriate market segment.
  1. Were they targeting the right consumers? Should they rebrand; re-segment to appeal to a higher income bracket?
  2. If MLL rebrands, what would advertising, repackaging, and distribution cost be?
  3. If MLL sticks with the original target market, how would they effectively expand that market and grow the business?
  1. Which key segment(s) is MLL presently targeting? Should they consider re- segmentation of their target market?
  2. After targeting, how would you effectively position the product for the selected market? How would you design a marketing plan for MLL using the appropriate Marketing Mix?
  3. How would you help Gbenga and Ndali take a long-term view toward achieving market growth? What strategy should MLL pursue using the Ansoff Matrix: market penetration, product development, market development, and diversification? Give reasons for your choice.
  4. How would you attempt to ensure success for the marketing advice you offer in (c) above? What are the key considerations needed for your strategic planning?
Section B: Key Marketing Concepts
  1.  Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning (STP)(source:
Segmentation involves categorizing markets along homogenous or related lines, using some similarity criteria to divide the market into groups. It is utilised when businesses are deciding their target customers.  Types of market segmentation include demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioural segments. 

Demographic segmentation: division of customers using criteria like age, gender, education, occupation, income and religion. An example is a manufacturer categorizing consumers into low, middle, and upper-class income segments. Geographic segmentation involves division of customers into regions, e.g., North, South, West, East, and Urban-Rural. Psychographic segmentation uses indices such as personality, lifestyle, and social class, amongst others to categorize customers. Behavioural segmentation involves division of consumers into their likely preference for products such as perceived benefits and frequency of usage. 

Targeting is selecting one/more segments that shows potential for profitability given the nature and type of product. The makers of a product will use the segmentation data to find an appropriate combination of demographic, geographic, and psychographic characteristics when they cannot focus on all indices in each of the major typologies. For instance, for a “cool” new technology gadget being introduced in Nigeria, the appropriate target would likely be high school or college students who live in Lagos, with easy access to the Internet and from an upper-income family. Targeting involves strategic selection of the segment typology that may be profitable to a business. Targeting can be undifferentiated when all the segments are selected (mass market); differentiated when one or more segments are selected; and concentrated when only one segment typology is focused on.

Positioning comes after targeting, which has identified the appropriate segment(s). The role of positioning is to assure that targeted customers receive a message that a product or service will meet their desires, and preferences. It is about creating a positive image about the offering so it achieves Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) and consumers will associate the product with meeting need providing solutions. Positioning is ensuring that the customers perceive a product or service is better than others serving the same purpose. 

The Marketing Mix
A company must have a clear understanding of its customers’ needs and develop an appropriate marketing mix. Initially, the marketing mix consisted of four elements: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place (4Ps). That concept has been expanded to include – People, Process, and Physical evidence, all relevant in the service industry.

We shall concentrate on the initial 4Ps, which must be well blended to give a company, unique competitive advantage.

ProductPricePromotion Place
Companies should constantly work on improving the elements of their marketing mix to gain competitive advantage within identified target segment(s). 

Ansoff Matrix
Ansoff Matrix is a strategic marketing technique that can be considered by the company after the STP process. The Ansoff Matrix identifies four strategies that a business can use to grow: market penetration, product development, market development, and diversification

  • Market penetration: expanding sales of an existing product within existing markets.
  • Product development: introducing a new product in an existing market.
  • Market development:  introducing an existing product in a new market.
  • Diversification: trying a new product in an entirely new market.
Market penetration means devising a strategy to intensify efforts within an already successful target market. Strategies might include increasing productivity, production, awareness and visibility, improving quality and distribution. For instance, a new advert of noodles aimed at the same target market in the same locality.

Product development is an introduction of a new product in an existing market or consumer segment to achieve growth. For instance, Coca-Cola introducing a diet Coke brand to traditional Coke consumers.

Market development, a more aggressive strategy, means introducing an existing product into a new market. For instance, a company decides to offer a product that is already known in Lagos (West) to consumers in Enugu (Southeast) Nigeria.

Diversification is entering a new business to achieve growth. The company develops a new product(s) for a completely new market(s). Diversification is considered the riskiest: an unknown product in an unknown market. Diversification gives a business an opportunity to have a contingency strategy or backup plan in the event of the collapse of another part of their business. 

Of Ansoff’s four marketing strategy options, market penetration appears to be the easiest as the business is not considering a new product or a new market, but is expanding distribution of an existing product within an existing market. It is about reaching out to a new consumer cohort within an existing market. 

In conclusion, marketing strategy is about taking into consideration the needs, wants, and demands of customers and devising strategies to create value for the right target market and thereby make a profit. Right TOMA will lead to greater Share of Wallet.

Monday, 15 January 2018

UBA board meeting to assess financials, dividend payment

United Bank for Africa

PAN-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced its upcoming board meeting, slated for Monday, January 29, where the board will consider the financial statements for the financial year ended 31 December 2017, and also proposals for final dividend for the year.

The bank had earlier paid an interim dividend of N0.20 per share, following the audit of its 2017 half year performance. In 2016, the board declared a final dividend of N0.55/share, in addition to the N0.20/share interim dividend. With the bank’s earnings growth performance in 2017, shareholders may have a bumper harvest for the final dividend for the year.

In the first nine months of 2017, UBA Group reported 33 per cent year-on-year growth in profit before tax to N78.3 billion, against N58.8billion profit declared in the corresponding period of 2016.

Notwithstanding higher effective tax rate, the profit after tax grew 23 per cent year-on-year to N60.9billion, compared to N49.5billion a year earlier.

Relying on the continuous improvement in customer service, and growing market share across its African operations, the Management, in a statement made available to The Guardian, reassured of the Group’s capacity to sustain the sterling earnings recorded in the first three quarters of 2017, and thus investors are betting for a strong finish to 2017.

“With the bank’s results, which we believe, are currently being audited, market has been bullish on the shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, gaining 129 per cent in 2017, to rank as one of the best performing stocks of the year. Year-to-date, the stock has also gained 18 per cent to close at N12.07 on Friday, January 12, 2018,” the statement said.

As a mark of its sound corporate governance, and in line with NSE Rule Book and the Amendments to the Listing Rules, the Bank also announced the commencement of its closed period on Friday, January 12.

This means that directors, persons discharging managerial responsibility, employees with sensitive information, advisers, and consultants of the Bank, and their connected persons may not directly or indirectly deal in the securities (equity and debt) of the Bank until 24 hours after the publication of its audited 2017 Full Year Reports and Accounts.

UBA is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than fourteen million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 19 African countries, with presence in New York, London, and Paris.

Buhari to commission AfDB’s new building in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari will commission the new office complex of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abuja on January 18, 2018, consolidating the country’s position as the bank’s largest shareholder.

According to a statement, the state-of-the-art Nigeria Country Department (RDNG) office complex, situated in the central business district of Abuja is the first permanent structure to be designed and constructed in any regional member country of the bank.

Nigeria is the AfDB’s largest shareholder with a portfolio of approximately $6 billion and country operations accounting for 13 percent of the bank’s total portfolio.

Following the board of directors’ approval of the “Rent or Acquire Premises for Field Offices” policy and the recommendation to construct a new office in Nigeria, construction work started in January 2016 and lasted 16 months. The 220-staff capacity four-storey building will now become a model for replication in other countries.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Living smartly with smartphones

Phones have become a way of life for many people. This device enables modern man with hectic schedules to multi-task and undertake activities, which ordinarily would require lots of time and energy.

So, it’s understandable, when some people appear unable to do without their handsets.However, despite its numerous positive attributes, there have been health worries globally about the possible side effects of using smartphones.

In 2015, a group of 200 biological and health scientists from around the world expressed their concerns about the negative aspects of smartphones. They called on the United Nations (UN) to help them in their quest for spreading the awareness.

Interestingly, some other people have come up to fault this claim. They believe there is really no harm in using smartphones, and that with little precaution the device poses no serious harm to human health. They said those claiming otherwise are only raising a false alarm.

As the claims and counterclaims continue, some creative inventors are taking advantage of the situation to manufacture items they say are capable of neutralising or totally preventing radiations from smartphones from making negative impact on the health of the users.

But does smartphone technology truly have anything to do with radiation?
According to online tech blogger and owner of Prexblog website, Precious Agbontan, cellphones give off forms of non-ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) called Radio Frequency (RF) radiation and Extreme Low Frequency (ELF) radiation.

He explained that the radio frequency consists of signals such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE connections commonly known as 4G, while the extreme low frequency radiation is generated from the phones’ hardware.

All of the connections going to and from mobile devices all operate at different frequencies. Wi-Fi connections operate between five main frequency ranges: 2.4GHz, 3.6GHz, 4.9GHz, 5GHz and 5.9GHz. Bluetooth operates on the 2.4GHz band. Cellular connectivity in smartphones operates on a multitude of frequencies, anywhere from 700MHz to 2.7GHz.

Agbontan said: “This radiation is usually absorbed through the body tissues, particularly near where the phone is held. The degree of exposure depends on several factors, such as, the type of phone being used, how much time is spent on the phone and how far the user is from the cell tower.”

Speaking on the danger inherent in smartphones usage in a video posted on YouTube, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, said many manufacturers actually warned people on how to handle cellphones during communication.

He explained that some manufacturers such as Blackberry advised users to keep their devices about 1.9 inches away from their head when making calls.

“If you read the manual very well, you will see that is what they are asking you to do and it is part of the reason they give you earpieces to wear instead of holding the phone to your ears,” he said. “Those really tough times, when you are travelling with your phone and you are in a bad cell area where you could not get good reception, your phone is actually working harder. It is sending signal back and forth to the nearest cell tower. But if the phone is not working well, it means it is sending more of those signals or energy and more radiation. That is the time to put the phone away.”

He, however, warned that children are more at risk because due to their thin skull, they are more vulnerable.

He said: “If we are talking about radiation, it is easier to get through because of those thin skull.

People should keep in mind that most adults now didn’t use phone until they were older, but children are going to live their entire lives with it.”

To mitigate the danger, some experts have suggested using the left ears to answer calls. According to Yomi Prof, a blogger, experts believe the human brain is closer to the right ear.

He said: “According to Apollo Medical Team, if you use your right ear to answer calls, then the brain will be more prone to radiations. But they have failed to prove that using the left ear is totally safe or not.”

Speaking on the imperative of using left ear, Agbontan said he had a bad experience using his left ear to make calls.

“I have experienced this issue and it was a bad experience, because I was slightly unconscious when it happened. I would advise that people should answer phones with their left ears, as doing otherwise could cause tumour of the brain, head and neck, although it may not necessarily be linked when this problem occur.”

He also cited other ways in which using smartphones could affect people’s health. In his view, smartphone decreases memory and is also the culprit for memory loss.

“When connected to digital photos for long, we stop bothering to remember things by ourselves and this stop us from using our internal memory,” he explained. “I would advise such a person experiencing this issue to take a break from his or her smartphone and enjoy some outdoor activities, rather than staying glued to it.”

According to him, smartphones also weaken deep thinking, which may lead to laziness and procrastination, which could affect people’s health.

The tech expert also said excessive use of smartphones could lead to increase in physical injury.

“If you are physically less active, the muscles in your body begin to weaken, along with your endurance and immune system. In addition, it can cause disruptive sleeping patterns by disrupting our sleeping hormone called melatonin.”

He advised users to combat addiction, by taking a break for outdoor activities such as playing with pets, reading a book and undertaking sports, among others.

On other means of protection against adverse effect of using smartphones, Gupta stated that people should simply use earpiece.

“All the research, all the science is pointing that way. And since we don’t know enough yet, we don’t want to find out twenty years from now, that there was a cancer and you didn’t do anything about it. Now, the solution is simple.”

Segun Oluwaseun, a health consultant and marketer of cell phone anti-shield stickers, said anti-radiation stickers for mobile phones are made of Nano technology to protect phone users and other electronic devices against the effect of radiation arising from the use of these devices.

He insisted they are necessary accessories for mobile users, saying the device could be used on computer, television screen and microwave, as all of these also emit electro-magnetic frequencies (EMFs).

However, as phone cases get more fashionable, anti-shield phone cases have made their debuts to add style to protecting against radiation. Some of the manufacturers of these products claim they are stylish phone covers with hidden innovative technologies that protect reproductive health by blocking the mobile phone radiation testicles absorb by more than 85 per cent.

According to them, the anti-radiation case is designed in such a way that the phone could still send and receive messages, calls and data as normal.

Another anti-radiation shield seller, Elisabeth Ekon, explained that the device is a necessary accessory for cellphones, as it shields users from harmful radiation. She declared that using it is very important for people to protect against health hazards associated with using phones.

Ekon stated that from personal experience, she has learned that using the shield helps reduce the noise she always hears, when making calls.

She, however, lamented the fact that there is low awareness of the product among Nigerians, saying it is important that they use it to protect themselves.

An investigation by The Guardian revealed that most phone accessories sellers in Lagos are not selling these protective products. Similarly, some of the itinerant accessories sellers claimed ignorance about its existence, while others simply said they did not have it.

However, findings by The Guardian revealed that the science behind the device is still controversial.

For instance, in 2002, the United States Federal Trade Commission charged two manufacturers or purported cell phone radiation patches with making false claims.

In June 2011, the same agency issued an alert stating that radiation shields are utterly without scientific merit.

According to a tech expert, Robert Lamb, a small anti-radiation sticker placed near the antenna would not cut down absorption rate of radiation on users’ bodies, as the entire phone emits electromagnetic waves.

He said: “Not only do such stickers not absorb the radiation they claim to, they might actually increase the amount of radiation your phone pumps out. Such stickers might interfere with a phone’s signal, thereby forcing it to draw even more power to communicate with cell towers and emitting more radiation in the process.”

He advised phone users to rather play safe by using hand-free headsets to distance the radiation-emitting phones from their brain cells. While urging users to consider using phone in open spaces, as opposed to enclosed rooms, the tech expert said they should consider the use of SMS more and avoid long calls, when signal reception is poor, as the harder the phone has to work to maintain a signal, the more radiation it emits.

The past President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Chris Uwaje, however, described anti-radiation shield as a marketing gimmick, saying it offers no protection whatsoever.

He explained that the device only validates the fact that excessive radiation emission exists in the global cellphone production and usage ecosystem.

He noted that with the rapid expansion of mobile phone market-demand, this remains a global challenge and critical health issue.

He said: “My concern as a practising IT professional in the software domain is future possibilities of weaponisation of mobile phone as a weaponry of warfare at the Nano scale of things within the context of Internet of Everything! This concern becomes more contingent, as the UN is set to discuss the emergence of killer robots”.

He called for a massive awareness campaign by government to educate users, who must learn to send more meaningful text messages and programme their phones timer to talk less.

Netanyahu in India for first visit by Israeli PM in 15 years

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ariel Schalit

Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on Sunday for the first visit by an Israeli leader to India in 15 years, promising closer ties with the regional power.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara were welcomed at the international airport in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who made history in July when he became the first Indian leader to visit Israel.

“This visit is an opportunity to enhance cooperation with a global economic, security, technology and tourism power,” Netanyahu said in a statement ahead of his visit.

“Indian Prime Minister Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine.”

Modi — who will accompany Netanyahu for large parts of his five-day tour — embraced the Israeli prime minister on the tarmac before the pair set off to pay homage at a war memorial in the Indian capital.

“Your visit to India is historic and special. It will further cement the close friendship between our nations,” Modi said on Twitter.

Netanyahu will be only the second Israeli PM to visit India and the first since Ariel Sharon in 2003.

He is accompanied by the largest-ever business delegation to travel with an Israeli leader.

Executives in technology, agriculture and defence are among those making the journey as Tel Aviv pursues deals with Asia’s third-largest economy.

The build up to Netanyahu’s visit was soured this month when India called off a deal to buy 8,000 anti-tank guided missiles from Israel’s state-owned defence contractor Rafael.

The Indian army and the government are discussing ways to revive the $500 million order, which was scrapped when the country’s own state-run defence contractor offered to build similar missiles locally.

Israel is a major weapons supplier to India, exporting an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year, but Modi wants to end India’s status as the world’s top defence importer.

Netanyahu and Modi kicked off the visit with a stop at a memorial to Indian soldiers who fought in World War I to help liberate the Israeli city of Haifa.

The Israeli leader will later meet with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj before a private dinner with Modi.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The true cost of free public WiFi

Image result for image of wifi
Look for the lock. Before you enter personal information online, make sure the website is encrypted by looking for the lock icon next to the URL (lock icon).
 Go Virtual. If you use WiFi often, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). 
Consider before connecting. Change the settings on your mobile device to not automatically connect to public WiFi.

Five interesting technology trends for 2018

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 20, 2017 shows a robot interacting with visitors at the Soft Bank robotics stand at the Cebit technology fair in Hanover, Germany. Technology has long impacted the labor force, but recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics have heightened concerns on automation replacing a growing number of occupations including highly skilled or “knowledge-based” jobs.

It does not really count if you are a tech enthusiast or an ordinary consumer, you will always look forward to the tech developments especially the tech trends that will make a difference in the future or New Year. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, highlights 5 technology set to define 2018.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) will be bigger this year. More and more organisations will embrace AI which is made possible through machine learning algorithms and will be incorporated in uncountable applications.

5 Generation Technology
This year, developers and engineers are getting ready to make a new generation of internet possible. By the end of 2019, 5G networks and phones with 5G will be available. 5G internet has the potential to be almost 10 times faster than 4G, making it even better than most home internet services.

Data overload
In 2018, data collection is going to become an even higher priority as companies have seen the advantage of collecting consumer data. With consumers talking to smart speakers throughout their day and relying on digital devices for most of their daily tasks, companies will soon have access to big amounts of personal data.

Automation is inescapable as robots are becoming more effective in performing jobs. AI has become advanced enough to replace at least some white collar jobs for years. 2018 may be the year that we see more sweeping job transformations and companies making big technology changes by automating functions.

IoT becomes Blockchain IoT
The Internet of things (IoT), which involves adding smart sensors to connected devices so that users can do things like asking Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant to turn off the lights or order a pizza. Combining IoT with blockchain —or BIoT—brings in a whole host of new services and businesses. For example, BIoT can be used to track shipments of pharmaceuticals and to create smart cities in which connected heating systems better controls energy use and connected traffic lights better manage rush hour.

Operators doubt 30% broadband penetration target for this year

Telecommunications operators that are expected to deploy telecom infrastructure for the realization of government broadband penetration target of 30% by the end of this year have described the target as a mere wish.
 They explained that the operating environment and policies of government in relation to deployment and protection of telecommunications infrastructure does not encourage investment.
Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), expressed concern over issues of interference by state government agencies and their consultants in shutting down base stations of operators as well as lack of strong will on the part of federal government in driving stakeholders to bring about stability in the industry.

“How can you achieve 30 percent broadband penetration when efforts that are supposed to be channel to network optimization are used in repairing shut down towers by state government agencies. As I’m talking with you now (on Wednesday) our men are in Jalingo, Taraba state discussing with the state government over a state law on multiple taxation that has led to base stations of our members being shut down.

“We are facing the same situation in Kogi, Ogun, Edo and Ebony states. The issue surrounds environmental Impact assessment (EIA) for the state, this same EIA has been done through National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) an agency of the federal government by our members, why is state demanding same and shutting down cell sites if not for revenue generation. These elements and impediments to network optimization are scaring away investors and make deployment of telecommunications infrastructure for broadband penetration difficult,” he noted.

Engr. Olusola Teniola, president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said that the recessionary impact in 2017 led to uncertainty amongst their members and the industry at large, in particular the FOREX regime which was very unfavourable to operators.
“The mechanism in place to allow our members access to FOREX at the I&E rate was not well communicated by CBN and government disregarded our calls for a more enabling environment to prevail that would give our members encouragement and confidence that investments made will result in a viable Return-on-Investments (ROI) over a medium term period.

“If you dig into the numbers behind the 21 percent broadband penetration that NCC quotes, that was attained in Q4 2016, you will notice that it was on the back of 4G LTE and initial 4G LTE- deployments that were made in that year, however, there has been no further significant deployment and expansion of these ‘high speed internet networks’ alongside MNO(s) 3G networks. Our members, did not see and still do not see any viability in further bringing in hard earned money into an environment that appears hostile to them. Until Government seriously addresses the multiple taxation issue, multiple regulation and the harmonization of taxes and removal of exorbitant Right of Way charges applied to our members then there wasn’t and there still isn’t any logical or business reason for further investments to be made by them.”

“Just to emphasis the point, the INFRACO licenses were created to address the neutrality in accessibility, affordability and availability of undersea fiber into the hinterland that was the missing piece to ensure ubiquitous broadband infrastructure can be made available to the masses. What we witnessed and the records are there for all to see, is the numerous delays and slowing down of government to assist in the realization of the implementation – without government’s full buy-in there were mixed signals sent to the investment community as to exactly how this was going to be realized. So in Jan 2018 we are still yet to witness any rollout of any fiber by the two INFRACO operators that were licensed in 2015-16 and as yet the remaining five INFRACO licences are still pending – with less than 12 months to go, it’ll take a miracle to move the 21% to 30% by any measure,” he added.


University ranking has become increasingly important in recent years among the general public at large because it creates a public platform...