By Gabriel Agbeja
Abuja, Aug. 9, 2018 The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) on Thursday in Abuja received 17025:2005 to update its standard.
17025:2005 specifies the general requirements for competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling.
It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods.
It is applicable to all organisations performing tests and/or calibrations such as
first-, second- and third-party laboratories, and laboratories where testing and/or calibration forms part of inspection and product certification.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who received the certificate on behalf of the institute from the Nigerian National Accreditation Services (NiNAS), maintained that FIIRO had been conducting research according to international standards.
The certification is for Production, Analytical and Lab Management (PALM).
According to Onu, Nigerians will soon begin to see the positive effects of the certification on national economy through direct and multiplier effect.
He added that “it means that all along, FIIRO had been conducting research according to international standards. This shows that we are indeed making great progress.
“Attaining 17025:2005 is an important state needed for FIIRO to become leading research institute, not just in Nigeria but also in the world.
“This certification will enable FIIRO to analyse food and non-food products and certify them suitable for export, hence such products will no longer require any other analysis outside the country.
“It also means that research conducted in FIIRO labs can be easily published in international journals. This will greatly assist our export market with potential to create more jobs, additional wealth to defeat extreme poverty.”
The FIIRO Director-General, Prof. Gloria Elemo, explained that the institute was accredited with 10
parameters, covering critical areas in food and non-food especially charcoal where FIIRO had developed some expertise over the years.
“Another eight parameters will be considered for accreditation, under this extension of the scope by October.”
Elemo added that the road to attain the ISO 17025:2005 certification had been long and challenging, noting, however, that it was a journey of great learning, expertise, discipline and excellence.
Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
The Syrian government troops found chlorine and smoke bombs of Westernproduction in Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta liberated from terrorists, Russian Foreign Ministry’s
spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.
“In the liberated territories of Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian government troops have found containers with
chlorine, the most terrible type of chemical weapons – from Germany, as well as smoke bombs produced,
attention! – in [UK town of] Salisbury,” Zakharova said at a weekly news conference.
“It is difficult to even comment on this fact in any way, as it is so frightening and undermining the belief
in the humanity of certain countries,” Zakharova added.
Earlier, Saeed Saeed, head of the Syrian Scientific Research Centre in Barzeh, which was left in ruins by
the April 14 U.S.-led missile strikes, said life-saving medicines have been in short supply due to Western
The centre, specialises in research into cancer drugs and production.
“Our research institute worked in two directions. [First of all, the center] specialised in the development
of chemical formulas for cancer drugs because – due to US and EU embargo – Syria has been unable to
import anti-cancer medicines,” Saeed said.
He noted that the centre also specialised in production of snake venom and scorpions stings’ antidotes
and also supplied the life-saving drugs to the neighboring countries.
“The second direction was the production of medicines for hospitals across Syria, as well as serums and
antidotes for snake venom and scorpions stings. Our centre was the only in the region that produced these
drugs over 20 years, and the neighbouring countries of Jordan and Lebanon used to purchase them
from [Syria],” he pointed out.
Saeed said back in 2013, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspected
the centre five times and published two reports confirming that the center was not involved in
any chemical weapons programmes.
He said the centre was completely destroyed as a result of the attack.
Among the losses is a high-tech chemical analysis laboratory that had ISO certification and used to issue
quality certificates for the whole country.
On April 14, the U. S., France and the UK launched more than 100 missiles on a number of targets in Syria
in response to the alleged chemical attack in Duma, located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.
Accorinf to the Russian Defence Ministry, a total of 71 out of 103 missiles were successfully intercepted by
Syrian air defences.
The Syrian government has denied the accusations of chemical weapons use and said that the Jaish al-Islam
terror group staged an attack to justify potential foreign intervention in Syria.
Technology penetration is slow in Nigeria’s insurance industry and must be improved fast, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professional, Mr Innocent Nwume, said on Tuesday.
“Dealings in the industry are mostly historical; this should not be so,’’ Nwume, the Managing Director, Numeric Technologies, said in Lagos.
He spoke with the Nigeria News Agency .
According to him, most businesses carried out by insurance companies are paper-based, although they are the oldest financial institutions.
“When you get to insurance companies, there are little or no online transactions unlike in banks which they insure.
Nwume said that insurance companies had yet to embrace International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) information security standards in spite of the massive data they had about people.
He said that banks and other organisations and individuals insured by insurance companies were more ICT-compliant.
“It is when these companies understand what technology is all about that they can begin to improve on what exists,’’ Nwume, however, noted.
The managing director said that effective utilisation of ICT in the insurance industry would improve service delivery and reduce loss of information.
Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare/Ijeoma Popoola
Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Council on City Data (WCCD) to make Minna a Local Data Hub on Sustainability Solutions.
Bello signed the agreement with Dr Patricia McCarney, President of the Council, at the Nigeria House in New York, alongside some members of Niger’s Cabinet, Nigeria Consulate General and Permanent Mission to the UN.
The agreement made Minna the only city in the West African sub-region and second only to Johannesburg in Africa to enter the Global Cities Registry and certified under ISO 37120.
The WCCD Local Data Hubs – launched at the United Nations on July 17 – is a global initiative that will drive the consolidation and collection of high calibre, globally comparable and standardized city data throughout the world.
Through the implementation of WCCD’s ISO 37120 standard globally, cities are better equipped to direct and inform investment, as well as localize global agendas such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Bello said the Local Data Hub would be pivotal to helping create a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive Minna and Niger.
He said his administration would serve as a good representative of Nigeria and the sub-region by ensuring that the state maintained its commitment to the objectives of the Council.
The governor said: “As one of the WCCD Local Data hubs, I want to assure the WCCD of our commitment to the objectives of the initiative.
“This is by ensuring other cities within Niger State join the WCCD reporting system and also serve as a very good representative in Nigeria and the sub-region.”
He stressed that the establishment of the Minna-WCCD Local Data Hub was the beginning of a new phase of the Council’s longstanding relationship with Minna.
“My presence here in New York with some cabinet members and technical staff, is to show our complete support and commitment to the selection of Minna as one of the first eight WCCD Local Data Hubs.
“I look forward to working with the World Council on City Data, and its sister organization, the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, to improve the capacity of my staff and train our ever enthusiastic youthful population.”
Bello said the Hub’s initial mandate to help cities and communities throughout Niger create a culture of data, based on WCCD’s ISO 37120 standard, would be carried further throughout Nigeria and West Africa.
He underlined the importance of data in helping to not just build more sustainable communities, but also more resilient communities in light of recent flooding that resulted in loss of life.
“Minna is one of the 20 cities WCCD chose for this statistics and to take data from; at the end of the exercise, we’re going to have data alongside the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The data will help us towards preparing for infrastructure, health, agriculture and so many other things; without data, you’re not able to plan well.
“This MoU is the foundation for meaningful development and I’m very excited with the fact that Minna is one of the cities that the WCCD has decided to use as the platform for this survey.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, McCarney highlighted the WCCD’s longstanding relationship with the state and the evolution of the relationship through the establishment of the Minna-WCCD Local Data Hub.
“Minna and Niger State have been long-term partners of the WCCD. As a WCCD Foundation City, Minna was essential in the effort to pilot ISO 37120.
“And moreover, Minna was one of the first cities to commit to this ambitious undertaking.
“The establishment of a WCCD Local Data Hub in Minna will continue to drive this cooperation, and further catalyze action throughout the city, the state, Nigeria and the African Continent.
“The high calibre, standardized and internationally comparable data that is generated through this Hub will help to drive infrastructure investment, while helping to build sustainable and more resilient communities throughout Niger state.”
The other local data hub foundation cities are Amsterdam, Amman, Barcelona, Bogota, Boston, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Guadalajara, Haiphong, Helsinki, London, Makati, Makkah, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Shanghai, and Toronto.
Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says non utilisation of the Internet Service Point gives room for many illegal online news, radio and television stations across the country.
The Director General, NITDA, Dr Isa Pantami said this in a statement signed by Mrs Hadiza Umar, the Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of the agency on Friday in Abuja.
Pantami expressed his dismay on non utilisation of the Internet service point at the Galaxy Backbone headquarters in Abuja.
“It is our collective responsibility to respect the Nigeria’s Internet service point in order to coordinate the activities of internet usage in the country.
“Many illegal online radio and television that have sprung up today is due to non utilisation of this point.
“Most of these online radio and television stations are being abused, used to canvass for agitations and they are causing disunity in the country,’’ Pantami said.
He called for service improvement on the part of the service providers, especially Galaxy Backbone and urged the company to prevail on other service providers to adopt NITDA policies in discharging their services.
He said that recently the agency got reports from some Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) complaining of poor quality of service.
“Charity they say begins at home. We are using this visit to also urge you to build on your achievements.
“We are proud of your recent achievement on the attainment of the ISO 2000 certification.
“It is our collective success and I believe we can still do better because there is always room for improvement,’’ he said.
While advocating for the local hosting of data, Pantami said that recent event that made Microsoft to establish a data centre in South Africa was regrettable.
He added that NITDA was working assiduously to forestall future occurrence of such action.
“We are seriously putting in place a strong data protection policy that will put a stop to such action. It will also aim at motivating service providers to host data locally.
“The issue of data sovereignty is also critical; we are talking with some MDAs to bring back their data to Nigeria.
“Some of them have come to our office and we gave them time frame to achieve this because it is secure, reliable and available for us to host our data locally,” he said.
Reiterating the need for collaboration between NITDA and Galaxy Backbone, he said it had become necessary for the two organisations to strengthen their relationship.
“We need to support each other, strengthen our relationship and advise ourselves on how to move the industry forward and deliver on our mandates to Nigerians,’’ he said.
The Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Mr Yusuf Kazaure agreed that there was still a lot to be done in Nigerian ICT sector and called for collaborations among stakeholders.
He said that capacity to move the country forward was actually lacking within the highest form of government.
He acknowledged that ICT was the greatest catalyst to the development of Nigeria as nation, therefore, there was need to move in the speed of light to catch up with technological developed countries of the world.
Kazaure said that training in standards and frameworks were highly recommended for people to catch up with trend in ICT.
“We are keen to make use of the infrastructure but there is need to build capacity.”
On data centre and cloud service, the Managing Director said Galaxy Backbone was working with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for compliance on how to keep data in the country.
He said that the recent ISO 2000 certification was part of the effort to ensure that it provided world class services in Nigeria.
“We are very willing to adopt standards created by NITDA. We will act as laboratory to test these standards and frameworks so other service providers can emulate,” Kazaure said.
Edited by: Grace Yussuf
MainOne, a telecom company said it planned to become largest internet hub in West Africa with Open-Connect Service.
Mrs Funke Opeke, the Chief Executive Officer of MainOne made the disclosure in a statement issued on Monday in its website in Abuja.
The Main One Cable is a submarine communications cable stretching from Portugal to South Africa with landings along the route in various West African countries.
MainOne provides world class network, internet solutions, voice, data center and cloud services to providers in Nigeria, Ghana and all of West Africa.
“Following partnership of MainOne’s (www.MainOne.net) Data Center company, MDXi with Nigerian Internet Exchange, (IXPN) to improve national transit traffic in Nigeria, the company has recently announced a new interconnect service for carriers, enterprises and ISPs called Open-Connect.
“Open-Connect is a service that facilitates improved interconnection, collaboration and peering within the MDXi Lekki data center and the Internet exchange.
“The product will enable the creation of an environment that allows collocated customers connect to multiple networks, cloud and content providers,“ she said.
She said that the effort would significantly reduce the cost of backhaul links to various providers and offer competitive pricing in an open access, carrier neutral environment.
According to her, Open-Connect guarantees the best cross connect services in Nigeria enabling customers bypass the public internet and connect directly to partners, cloud and other providers with secure, reliable and flexible direct connections.
“With connections to internet exchanges in Lagos, Amsterdam, London and Ghana and 50+ Points of Presence locations across West Africa, MainOne enables carriers, ISPs, content providers and enterprises of all sizes to easily increase their network footprint.
“This is done without investing heavily in additional infrastructure,“ she said.
She said that traffic growth was a useful indicator of the health of the entire Internet ecosystem, adding that it would help to measure the development of the digital economy.
She said that the new interconnection service for customers within the Data Center would significantly improve traffic growth and localisation in Nigeria with reduced latency, improved speed and better quality of services to end users.
She said that solution would enable more operators and carriers to take advantage of connections of IXPN within MainOne’s connected Data Center and enhanced Internet traffic originating and terminating on any network in Nigeria to remain in-country.
“MainOne’s Open-Connect service takes advantage of the company’s recent partnership with the Nigerian Internet Exchange, which provides the exchange with an IPV4/V6 network, backed by diverse backhaul, links across Lagos and Nigeria.
“The data center, West Africa’s premier vendor-neutral data center is directly connected to MainOne’s 1.92TBPS submarine cable.’’
Edited by: Grace Yussuf
Experts in the technology industry urged institutions and organisations to embrace best global practices to ensure that information on their systems were protected.
The experts made the call on Wednesday in interviews with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja against the backdrop of the recent cyber attacks in some developed countries called Ransomeware, popularly known as “WannaCry” or “WannaCrypt”.
Mrs Adedoyin Odunfa, the Chief Executive Officer, DigitalJewels Ltd., a technology company said that imbibing global best practices on information protection would institutionalise effective measures to ensure data were protected.
“Everyone is at risk of information hacking, no one is immune.
“Information security is an ongoing process of ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of information assets.
“New threats emerge daily whereas controls and counter measures are required.
“To mitigate the high and rising risks of breaches, I encourage organisations to implement global best practice standards such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and the ISO27001 (Information Security Management System) Standard.
“These standards help to institutionalise simple effective measures, ensuring data is backed up, so that even if you experience an attack, you can restore the data from your back up,” she said.
Odunfa said that institutions should install updated software on their operating systems with the latest patches, anti-virus and anti-malware tools to conduct regular scans of network to detect malicious system attacks.
The CEO added that organisations should manage the use of privileged accounts to ensure that users were assigned administrative access and limit the number of people to install new software.
She said that awareness of information security was increasing but more work needed to be done, adding that systems were being hacked in the country daily.
“Standards in Information Security, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Management which help to protect information are still in nascent stages for many in the public and private sector today.”
She noted that the country has a Cyber Crime Law but nothing much was being done toward implementing it.
According to her, putting in place an effective legal and regulatory framework, institutionalising global standards, deploying appropriate technology, ensuring vigilance, regular training and awareness on information security are aspects to be addressed to improve cyber resilience in the country.
Similarly, a Cyber Securities expert with the Ministry of Communications, advised Nigerians to always ensure that they backed up their files and upgrade their systems to avoid attacks.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the ongoing cyber crime globally mainly affects systems that were not upgraded with the recent patch released by Microsoft Company.
He said older versions of the operating systems like the SP and the Windows 7 that were not upgraded stood the chance of being vulnerable to “Ransomeware attacks”.
“Whoever is running the attack locks you out of the system and you have to pay him to have access back.
“Systems only get infected when they click on a link that is attached to an email; so do not click on any link you are not sure of and also ensure that your system is up to date,” he said.
According to him, the attack affects private documents on the system and the system must be connected before it can be affected.
According to him, the way the attack works is that when you click on a link, it runs on an executable file and the executable file encrypts all the files on that particular system.
“So the only way you can gain access to those files is if you have the encryption key.
“What the cyber criminals easily do is that they sell the encryption key to you, when you buy the encryption key you will now gain access to your files.
“But the fact is that you cannot really trust them because you can pay them and they will still not give you the encryption key.
“Its like blackmail, you pay them hoping that they might release the encryption key and they will not release it.
“To forestall any lasting damage, it is good to have backups as often as possible,” he said.
The expert said that Nigeria’s Cyber Crime Law could not affect the attacks because they originated from outside the country.
He therefore advised Nigeria to sign up to the Budapest Convention which gave room for collaboration between various countries concerning issues on cyber space.
Ransomeware or WannaCry attack demands payment of ransom when it affects a system and does not require human interaction to spread.
The recent hacking of computers affected over 150 countries including Russia and the UK last week is still under investigation.
Edited by: Akin Makanjuola/Grace Yussuf