Features

Enemy of The State – by Femi Adesina

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ENEMY OF THE STATE

You have possibly watched the 1998 action-thriller film with the above title, starring Will Smith. It was the box office hit story about a group of people plotting to kill an American Congressman, and the tape of the plot was discovered.

Well, an Enemy of the State struck in Nigeria on Monday, but this time, it was no fiction. It was real life act of sabotage from somebody who does not wish his own country well at all, and who derived a sinister kind of pleasure from undermining the system.

President Muhammadu Buhari was to broadcast to the country by 8 p.m, to give an update on the battle against COVID-19, and what becomes of the lockdown that had lasted four weeks, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States. Kano was also a point of heavy interest, with the strange deaths ravaging the state. Was it COVID-19 or not?

As the country waited for the President with great expectations, a purported copy of the broadcast began to circulate on social media from about 4 p.m. Whodunnit?
I took a look at the circulating document, and within one minute, I knew that it was a rogue copy. What immediately gave it away was the paragraphing. It was completely different from the one I had been part of producing, and which had been recorded for broadcast by the President.

Another tell-tale to the dubiousness of the document was the date it gave. It said the lockdown in the affected states and the FCT would be eased from May 2, while the authentic copy bore May 4. There were some other discrepancies. Paragraphs that had been excised from the final copy were still intact, and the document was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, which you would rarely find in a presidential broadcast, which would have passed through a number of select and trusted hands.

I made a few phone calls to those of us involved with the script, right from origination, which was from outside the Presidency, to final editing, which I did, and the conclusion was easy to reach. Somebody had spirited out the original draft, which had gone through many stages of fine-tuning in terms of content and language, and thinking that it was a world exclusive in terms of artifice and underhand action, he fed it into the social media.

Who would do such a thing, except an Enemy of the State, someone who wants to ridicule the government, cause utmost confusion in the polity, and smirk his lips in malevolent pleasure, as the government, and possibly the media handlers of the President were flagellated, and taken to the cleaners.

Yoruba people talk of ‘ba ase je.’ Somebody who spoils the feast. Everybody is rejoicing and making merry, and he comes to pollute their joy. He could bring extremely bad news that sends everyone scurrying home, or looking for cover. He could even urinate in the big pot of soup in the full glare of the merrymakers. Or he could pour sand in the big pot of rice on the fire. Ba ase je (spoiler of the feast) can strike in many ways. That was the same thing the Enemy of the State did.

Igbo people speak of the proverbial lizard that ruined his own mother’s funeral. That was what the hidden hostile hand did. But he forgot that in these days of technology, almost everything leaves a trail. Before the end of that evening, computer evidences had narrowed down the suspect, and he was already answering for his evil action.

There is the house mouse called ‘oofon ‘ in Yoruba. And there is a delicious soup made from beans called ‘gbegiri.’ Yes, do you remember the popular amala and gbegiri politics as championed by Lamidi Adedibu in Oyo State in those days? That’s the soup I’m talking about. What happens when the house mouse urinates inside the bowl of gbegiri soup? Lassa fever! That’s why we have the Yoruba saying; oofon to si gbegiri, ki eleko ko eko e dani. Translating this into English makes it lose some originality, but let me try. The house mouse has urinated in the pot of gbegiri soup, let all merrymakers find their ways home. That was what the evil mind attempted to do by leaking the presidential broadcast hours before it came. But he fired blank, having laid hands on a wrong copy.

However, if that person had got the final, authentic copy, that is the same way he would have leaked it. To what end, to what purpose? Sinister. Sneaky. Hateful.

Some people hate their own country, and ironically would be the first to complain that things were not going well. Every act of the government (any government) they would undermine. If they can stick a knife into the soft underbelly of government in any way, they do it with relish, and would be the first to grumble that things were not going right. Enemies of the State.

If the person that leaked the unedited draft of the broadcast had access to more sensitive national documents, he would do the same thing. If he cottons on information that could sell Nigeria to the enemy, he would gladly do it. Thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.

I am surprised that a large number of people, including newspaper houses, fell for the gambit. They took their information from the wrong source, and ended up publishing falsehood. That was what the Enemy of the State wanted. Cause maximum confusion. And he succeeded to some extent.

There is a way we release information from the media office of the President. And the media knows it. If a presidential speech was to be given ahead, there would be an embargo on it for a particular time. The circulating copy bore no embargo, yet they fell for it. And got embarrassed by publishing inaccurate information. Serves them right, do you say? The final copy was released by 8.06 p.m, good enough time for a newspaper to still produce and get early to market for the next day.
The social media is being used for every purpose: good and bad. It is the bastion of fake news, hate news, concoctions and all sorts of conjurations. Will the users and consumers be more discerning? It is said that the person that stole a keg of palm oil from the rafter is not the only thief. The person that collected the keg from him is also a rogue. Those who began to share an obvious leak, rebroadcasting it, are also not guiltless. Be quick to hear, and slow to speak.

It was amusing to me to hear armchair critics blaming the media office of the President for the leakage. Ignorance. Why pontificate about what you don’t know? They were on radio and television stations the next morning, magisterially shooting breeze. It was Dr Reuben Abati, immediate past media adviser to a President who gave some proper perspectives on how a presidential broadcast is originated and produced, and how it was improbable that the leakage came from the Presidency. The lesson? Seek information, get your facts right, before arriving at a conclusion, lest you look foolish and uninformed.

Some people are not interested in the well- being of their own country. Sad, very sad. Such would sell their mothers, and their country for thirty pieces of silver. Thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.

.Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari

https://nnn.ng/enemy-of-the-state-by-femi-adesina/

COVID-19

NCDC announces 195 new COVID-19 cases, death toll hits 1,100

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 195 new cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the country.


The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.

According to the agency, the new infection takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 57,437.

The health agency sadly reported two new deaths raising the death toll in the country to 1,100.

It also reported that 105 patients who had been treated and had also recovered from the infection were discharged across the country.

The NCDC said that Enugu State recorded the highest number of new cases with 51, followed by Gombe with 40, Lagos with 39, Plateau with 23, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),  with 15.

Among other states that recorded new cases were  Rivers (12), Kaduna (8), Ondo (3), Bauchi (2), Edo (1), and Ogun (1).

According to the agency, till  date, 57,437 cases have been confirmed, 48,674 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.

The health agency said a multi-sectoral national emergency operation centre (EOC) activated at Level three, had continued  to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

Meanwhile, the agency has warned that majority of Nigerian states were not testing enough.

It said, “We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where exactly we are.

“So we have to work together; in summary, it is way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not.”

The NCDC appealed to more states to test consistently so that progress could be monitored on a national level.

Edited By: Ejike Obeta
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ncdc-announces-195-new-covid-19-cases-death-toll-hits-1100/
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Economy

NSE, others commit to expanding retail investment opportunities in capital market

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Nigerian International Securities Limited (NISL) and the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) on Monday commited to expanding retail investment opportunities in the capital market.


The trio made the commitment at a webinar organised by the NSE in collaboration with the NISL in Lagos.

It was also supported by the CIS and the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar was on “Capital Market Investing in a Digital Age”.

Mr Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, in his address, said that investor participation was crucial to sustainable economic growth.

Onyema said that the Exchange was committed to playing its role in advancing the Federal Government’s financial inclusion goals.

“Investor participation is central to the growth of sustainable development of any economy.

NSE is committed to playing a critical role in the advancement of the FG’s financial inclusion goals.

“As part of our efforts to realise the objectives of the financial inclusion, we intend to facilitate conversations which will serve to equip existing and potential investors with the necessary skill to effectively manage and grow financial resources at their disposal.

“In these engagements, we will also expand the retail investment opportunities available in the capital market and the channels through which they can be accessed,” Onyema said.

The CEO of the Exchange also hailed operators and investors in the capital market for their resilience, with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 adversely affected the global economy in many ways and at different magnitude.

“The Nigerian capital market was also negatively affected, with the market witnessing a downturn in Q1 of this year.

“However, the market rebounded in Q2 and as a result the NSE all share index has recorded a 18.9 per cent increase from its position at the end of March.

“The market also witnessed the growth in the percentage value of equity transactions contributed by retail investors, currently at 29 per cent from 21.8 per cent in 2018 and 24.72 per cent in 2019,” he said.

According to him, these highlight the market’s resilience in time of adversity and is a testament of market stakeholders’ ability to adapt.

Onyema said that digital technology played a significant role in achieving the positive results recorded in the NSE so far.

He said that technology had helped to make significant services more easily accessible.

Mr Laolu Martins, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NISL, said that it had become imperative to ensure that retail investors were made aware of the opportunities inherent in the capital market.

Martins said that for retail investors, navigating through the web of processes in the capital market was usually difficult, thereby discouraging them from investing.

He said: “The general belief is that retail investors are often left behind and do not have enough knowledge on the workings of the capital market.

“It is interesting to note that the NSE has over the years taken time and work to ensure that retail investors are carried along and aware of the various opportunities inherent in the NSE.

NISL is a securities trading company, financial advisory service, offering consulting solutions to corporate bodies across the value of activities on the stock exchange.

“In order to invest properly, all investors need to carry out some sort of financial planning, no matter how small or big.

“We realised that for retail investors, it is usually difficult for them to navigate through these web of processes and other issues that create a bottleneck or discourage investors.”

Martins said that some processes that create difficulties for investors include budgeting, investment, savings, risk management and liquidity management.

“At NISL, we have enough expertise to ensure that we help our investors navigate through this web of terms and processes to ensure that their investment is rewarding,” he said.

Martins said the reason for the webinar was to expose some of the investment opportunities for retail investors.

“This webinar is to enlighten the investing public, retail investors, that they can buy bonds in the NSE and it is like lending your money to a company or a government entity.

“It is advisable that retail investors should approach their stockbrokers to guide them in which bond they should invest in,” he said.

Mr Femi Balogun, Head, Market services Department, NSE, spoke on the importance of market data in guiding investors’ decision.

“Market data is important to the investment of an intending investor.

“Some people are good at picking stocks, but If you use data to drive your decision in conjunction with your expertise, you make a better informed decision on your investment,” he said.

Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, President of CIS, commended the NSE, while pledging the Institute’s continued support to drive an inclusive financial system.

Amolegbe said that the Exchange had always provided avenues that would support and ensure a seamless investing process for retail and other investors.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/nse-others-commit-to-expanding-retail-investment-opportunities-in-capital-market/
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General news

Imo Govt. moves to restore Owerri masterplan to check flooding

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Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo, has said his administration is desirous to restore the original masterplan of Owerri, the capital city, as part of the efforts to tackle flood-related issues in the state.


Uzodinma said this on Monday, when a delegation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) came on an advocacy to the state.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mr Cosmos Iwu, said that plans were underway to demolish all the houses built on the waterways in the city “in order to give the water access to flow into Otamiri River.”

He also said that government had carried out series of sensitisation programmes in the state aimed at preparing the people for emergencies and called for the agency’s support.

“We are appealing to NEMA to assist us because the environmental impact of the flood in Imo is bigger than us.

“We have been doing our best and we will continue to do our best. We have received some relief items from NEMA but we are asking for more.

“We also commend your visit to Imo, it shows serious commitment on the side of NEMA,” the governor said.

In a speech, the Director-General of the agency, AVM Mohammed Mohammed (rtd.), appealed to the state government and major disaster stakeholders to demonstrate greater commitment to disaster management.

Mohammed, who was represented by Deputy Director (Accounts) in the agency, Mr Abdul-Aziz Jibrin, said that the visit was to ascertain the level of preparedness by Imo government in case of any disaster.

He said that the state was among the states in Nigeria likely to witness flooding this year as predicted by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency.

The NEMA boss said that Imo had shown capacity in disaster management in the past and urged Gov. Hope Uzodimma to show more commitment in mitigating flood and other disasters in the state.

“We are here on advocacy visit and awareness campaign to sensitise the people on the need to be prepared at all times.

“I am assuring Imo of NEMA’s full commitment to partner with the government and dissaster stakeholders in the area of disaster management,” he said.

Mohammed listed Ohaji-Egbema, Ogutta, Oru-East and Owerri North as highly probable flood risk local government areas in the state.

He warned that other council areas, “which does not fall under high probability may also be affected.”

He said that although the state seemed prepared for any disaster, there was need for the government to ensure regular sensitisation of the people to be vigilant.

“We have interacted with all the disaster stakeholders and government and I can assure you that we are satisfied with their level of preparedness.

“But they must not relent in showing commitment at all times,” Mohammed said.

He said the agency was also in Imo to interact with other disaster stakeholders to know their challenges and the way forward.

The Commander, 211 Quick Response Group Nigerian Air Force, Group Capt. Elisha Bindul, assured the NEMA delegation in his office of the command’s commitment to disaster management.

Bindul said the command had also embarked on advocacy visits to various community leaders in Imo to sensitise them on disaster management.

He said the command also carried out rescue operations in various communities and also provided security to NEMA officials during emergencies.

“It is our legal responsibility to carry out rescue operations during emergency and to also collaborate with other stakeholders in mitigating disaster,” Bindul said.

He listed limited speed boats and life jackets, ambualances and mattresses as some of the challenges facing the command during interventions in disaster management.

He solicited the assistance of the agency in providing the necessary logistics to the command for a better proactive approach to disaster management.

He promised the command’s readiness to continue to partner with the agency in disaster management in the state.

Edited By: Sam Oditah
Source: NAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://nnn.ng/imo-govt-moves-to-restore-owerri-masterplan-to-check-flooding/
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Economy

Cyber-security: CSCS chief, others say collaboration key

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Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Chief Executive Officer, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, says cyber-security is a collective effort, and everyone must play their roles to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the financial market.


He spoke on Monday at a webinar on “Cyber Security and Information During the Pandemic”, organised by the CSCS, Nigeria’s capital market infrastructure.

Financial market stakeholders, including bankers and capital market operators, shared ideas on innovative measures for preventing cybercrimes at the webinar.

Jalo-Waziri said that eradicating cybercrimes required collaborative effort.

According to him, the pandemic and its attendant remote connections occasioned by business continuity and work-from-home protocols have increased exposures to cyber-security risks.

He said that some businesses may also have suffered colossal losses due to cyber attacks since the pandemic.

“More than ever, cyber attacks are like a double whammy at this challenging time when businesses are re-strategising to adapt to the new normal and ensure sustainability,” he said.

Mr Femi Onifade, the Chief Strategy Officer, CSCS, said that a breach on a market operator’s system could inadvertently expose the  entire system.

This, he said, reinforced why all must collaborate to prevent any vulnerabilities in the financial system.

He said that all participants and stakeholders must take active and effective measures in ensuring and sustaining cyber-resilience.

Mr Bharat Soni, Chief Information Security Officer, GTBank Plc, said the new work culture had expanded remote activities and cloud capabilities to an unprecedented level.

He said this had made businesses more vulnerable to cyber-attacks such as online scams and phishing, disruptive malware, malicious domains amongst others.

Soni said that due to this, the use of strong authentication for accessing networks would no longer be an option but a necessity.

According to Soni, awareness of the new realities of safe cyber practices needs to be communicated to employees, partners and customers.

He said this was necessary so that they could remain aware of the evolving cyber threat and how to best protect themselves and their organisations.

Mr Ikechukwu Ugoji, Chief Information Security Officer, Interswitch Limited, said that over 90 per cent of breaches were facilitated by phishing emails or social engineering attacks.

He said that every employee is a first-line of defence against incoming threats and employees must be made to understand their vital roles and responsibility in protecting the organization.

On his part, Mr Tobe Nnadozie, Divisional Head, Technology and Innovations, CSCS, noted that the pattern of spending on cyber-security showed that organisations were taking steps to protect their systems.

“Organisations are making relevant investments to protect their systems and broader market, albeit sadly, lack of vigilance is the leading cause of breaches,” he said.

The attendees lauded the timeliness of the webinar, as COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant remote connections may have increased cyber-security risks in many organisations.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/cyber-security-cscs-chief-others-say-collaboration-key/
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