The Federal Government has declared Sept. 16 as National Identity Day and has supported the enrolment of Nigerians for Digital Identity (ID) across the country.
Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said this in a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, his spokesperson on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Pantami reminded Nigerians of the importance of digital identity, adding that the ministry was developing the right policy environment to support enrolment for digital IDs in the country.
He said that the celebration of the National Identity Day would take place virtually, adding that digital IDs play critical roles in the development of digital economies, as they were often called the fabrics of the digital economies.
Pantami also stressed that the importance of a digital identity programme for the successful development of a digital economy cannot be overstated.
“The Sept. 16, has been declared as the National Identity Day. Following the approval of the federal government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria also formally adopted 16.9 as the National Identity Day.
“This year’s edition of the National Identity Day will take place virtually on the same date and will have the theme: Identity for Health, Sustainable Development and Growth.
“We will start by capturing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria and will also support the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and other stakeholders to ensure that we make the process of obtaining digital identities swift and secure.
“One of the key objectives of pillar 6 (Soft Infrastructure) of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) is support for the accelerated implementation of a Digital Identity Programme,” he said.
He said that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa rightly noted that Digital Identity and the digital economy were not only linked, but reinforcing as digital ID was the basis for digital economy platforms.
He explained that digital identification can be an important catalyst for various development initiatives in the continent such as impacting on trade, governance, social protection, financial inclusion, domestic resource mobilisation, as well as security and human rights.
As the world and Nigeria mark the International Identity Day and National Identity Day, accordingly, Pantami urged Nigerians to support the development the digital economy by embracing the use of digital identities.
He encouraged Nigerians to visit NIMC accredited centres for their digital identities.
That minister said that his ministry is committed to ensuring that Nigeria derives the benefits of a functional digital ID system and calls on all stakeholders to support the process.
Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa
NSE, others commit to expanding retail investment opportunities in capital market
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 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.
“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.
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
Imo Govt. moves to restore Owerri masterplan to check flooding
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
Cyber-security: CSCS chief, others say collaboration key
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
Tinubu hails wife at 60
Sen. Bola Tinubu, National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), has felicitated with his wife, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, as she clocks 60.
Tinubu, in a tribute on Monday in Lagos, praised the Sen. representing Lagos Central Senatorial District for her perseverance, endurance and independent character.
He appreciated her commitment, humanitarian care for both young, the elderly and the needy, especially for the people of her senatorial district.
The APC leader described Sen. Tinubu as her greatest friend, ally and supporter even at mostly difficult times.
“We are a living symbol of love, care, perseverance and commitment. There are so many moments, twists and turns in our lives.
“During the dark days when democracy was assaulted in this country, we suffered a lot, the family suffered and as a result of that, she was in America while I was criss-crossing Europe.
“It was a very trying period for every one of us as my wife single handedly raised our children.
“We endured and got through all the turbulence and today we are still in positions to serve our nation and serve our people,” he said
The former governor of Lagos who expressed happiness as his wife attained 60, thanked God for sparing their lives and preserving their love together.
“This moment when Nigeria is 60, my wife is also 60. It is a wonderful thing.
“We mark the day with soberness. Soberness because many people pray to live to see today but they could not.
“The pandemic has taken away some of our friends, those close to us.
“Today, some people are still lying critically ill in the hospital. Some children have become orphans as a result of what is happening around the country.
“So, it is a sombre celebration on the occasion of her 60th.
“For Nigeria, turning 60 is also a moment for reflection about all that we have been through and where we are,” he said
Tinubu added that he wished his wife to live longer and for her legacy to be great.
“My wish is for her to live longer, for her legacy to be great, be in good health and continue to enjoy the fruit of her labour.
“I pray she enjoys her children, grandchildren and for all of us to live in good health,” he said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi