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Cyber alert: How to safeguard online accounts, by NCC



The effective regulation off the telecommunication (telecom) sector by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has strengthened
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Telecommunication regulatory body in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is not only concern about creating enabling environments for the stakeholders in the industry to thrive, it is also very mindful of the need for the subscribers to enjoy the services being provided and how best they can secure themselves from cyber attacks.

On a regular basis, the NCC do educate Nigerian telecom subscribers by giving value adding tips on what the industry can give them.

The latest tips from the NCC was on cyber attacks and how the subscribers can safeguard their online accounts through creation of strong passwords.

The PAPERS reports that a cyber attack is a set of actions performed by threat actors, who try to gain unauthorized access, steal data or cause damage to computers, computer networks, or other computing systems. A cyber attack can be launched from any location. The attack can be performed by an individual or a group using one or more tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs).

Password on the other hand is a string of characters that allows access to a computer system or service. Each user has a password in order to log on to the network.

The NCC on its official Facebook handle warned subscribers to always go for a strong password in order to safeguard unauthorized access to the data on their phones.

“Safeguard your online accounts (banks, digital media and others) by creating strong and complex passwords,” the NCC says.

If you have a strong and complex passwords in place, you are guarding against cyber attackers who have the intentional effort to steal, expose, alter, disable, or destroy data, applications, or other assets through unauthorized access to your network, computer system or digital device.


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Telecoms: How NCC’s strong regulation boosts revenue for govt, banks



The effective regulation off the telecommunication (telecom) sector by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has strengthened
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The effective regulation off the telecommunication (telecom) sector by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has strengthened the operators towards effective e-services that boost government and financial services revenue through taxes and levies.

A look at the performance of Nigeria’s major banks and the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) last year revealed that both sides raked huge revenues through e-service windows facilitated by the telecom operators amid challenging/ environment.

The various windows of taxes, levies and service charges became imperative as the increasing reliance on mobile phones, internet services and other connectivity makes it imperative to ensure that the industry operates within regulatory frameworks that promote efficiency, competition and environmental sustainability.

According to the findings by THEWILL, revealed that the Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) component of FAAC introduced by the Finance Act of 2022, increased significantly from mere N11.4 billion in 2021, to N391.28 billion.

The financial services institutions are huge beneficiaries of the revenue boost created by the various taxes, levies and service charges in consuming the e-services offered by the telecom operators as value chain enablers.

Using the five major banks as benchmark, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Holdings Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, GT Corporation (GTCO) and FBN Holdings recorded combined electronic banking income of N371.39 billion against N291.34 billion achieved in 2022, representing a 27.4 percent increase.

The biggest beneficiary is UBA which raked in N157.12 billion in 2023 against N93.15 billion in 2022, showing a 68.6 percent rise. Access Corporation achieved N101.61 billion compared to N59.65 billion in the previous year, representing a jump of 70.3 percent.

FBN Holdings recorded e-channel income of N66.04 billion against N55.09 in 2022, while Zenith Bank achieved N51.81 billion compared to N45.73 billion in 2022 – representing 19.8 percent and 11.7 percent respectively.

The least is GTCO which grew its e-banking income bv 8.16 percent from N37.73 billion in 2022 to N40.82 billion in 2023.

Electronic banking income represents income taken on transactions processed via electronic channels such as ATM, PoS, mobile banking as well as credit and debit card transactions.

“These transactions rely on the effective performance of the telecom companies as service enablers and conveyors of information between the banks and their clients without which no results can be achieved,” said Engr. Michael Muonye, a telecom service expert.

He added, “If the services of MTN, Airtel or any other service provider is down, the banks cannot do e-service transactions or use their various channels such as mobile banking. Telecom is a very vital sector and this explains why the NCC is strict in its regulation of the industry through policies and relevant oversights.”

Industry experts say, the telecom firms, as the enabler and central to the buoying digital economy, are the inevitable drivers of the rapidly expanding fintech ecosystem and the aggressive financial inclusion strategy.

“Beating the telecom operators into the path of professionalism, efficiency and playing by the rules is one measure the NCC has pursued without reservation to put the telecom industry in the position it should serve the purpose required of it,” said Mike Akhigbe, a telecom specialist in a chat with THEWILL.

According to Akhigbe, the NCC leadership from the outset paid close attention to the telecom operators and ensured they did not misbehave or take undue advantage of Nigeria’s thirst for effective telecom services; and this has created an enabling environment for the citizens to enjoy the benefits of the telecom industry.

The Commission is responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country.

The mandate has led to the expansion of Nigeria’s digital economy with the inbuilt windows for revenue opportunities across the sectors through taxes, levies and charges as the telecoms act as enablers in expanding the digital economy.

The NCC often engages with stakeholders in the telecom ecosystem with a view to pursuing proactive regulatory interventions targeted at ensuring an enabling operating environment and improving investment climate in the Nigerian telecom industry. This also enhances revenue drive for the government and the corporate bodies.

A similar event, which took place recently in Lagos, was an assemblage of key industry stakeholders with the central objective to analyse the current state of the sector, process the issues, and chart new pathways to a more effective and sustainable regulatory regime for the stability and growth of the Nigerian telecom industry.

The NCC Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Dr. Aminu Maida, used the opportunity to unveil key drivers for the telecoms industry.

This was part of activities to mark his first 100 days in office following his appointment as the new boss of the nation’s telecom regulatory body by President Bola Tinubu.

Maida, who unveiled the strategic blueprints at an interactive meeting with the media in Lagos, also stressed his commitment to driving a good total customer experience for telecoms consumers in the country.

According to him, all efforts will be deployed to ensure that the sector contributes more, especially in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the economy, job creation and more revenue to the government, adding that he would need the support of the media to be able to achieve that.

He noted that one of the key things “we have to recognize is that within the digital economy space the NCC plays a very huge role, because the communications infrastructure especially in this digital age is the backbone of the digital economy and of course the backbone of any nation.

The utilisation of the telecoms sector as a platform for the economic and social development of Nigeria manifests in the tax revenue windows that the effective regulation of the sector by NCC guarantees.


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Rack Centre delegation pays courtesy visit to NCC to strengthen partnership



The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rack Centre, Lars Johannisson, led his management team on a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of
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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rack Centre, Lars Johannisson, led his management team on a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Johannisson, who assumed duty as the CEO at Rack Centre in January this year, was at the NCC to see how his company and the telecommunication regulatory body in the country can build on the existing relationship and collaboration.

Executive Commissioner Technical Services of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) Engr Abraham Oshadami represented the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Dr Aminu Maida to receive the delegation from Rack Centre at the Headquarters on Tuesday.

Founded in 2012, Rack Centre is the only carrier neutral Tier III Constructed Facility Certified data centre in Africa and focuses solely on providing best in class data centre colocation services and unrestricted interconnect between carriers and customers.

Rack Centre is host to the leading IXP on the African continent, the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).

With 73+ ASNs and a wide range of local and global networks, enterprise, CDNs, and cloud and content providers, the exchange unlocks access to a population of over 380 million people on the west coast of Africa.


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Tesla to sack over 6000 employees, cut global workforce by 10%



Tesla Inc. is set to enact significant job cuts, affecting more than 6,000 employees across its operations in Texas and California, aligning
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Tesla Inc. is set to enact significant job cuts, affecting more than 6,000 employees across its operations in Texas and California, aligning with CEO Elon Musk’s directive to reduce the global workforce by over 10%.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the cuts will impact 2,688 workers in Austin, Tesla’s headquarters city and a crucial site housing a major factory. Based on a WARN notice filed with the Texas Workforce Commission, these reductions will commence over a 14-day period starting June 14.

Concurrently, Tesla plans to lay off 3,332 employees across various locations in California, as indicated by separate WARN notices filed in the state.

Before the implementation of these layoffs, Tesla had boasted a workforce of over 140,000 globally. However, the company’s recent announcement of layoffs exceeding 10% suggests that the actual number of affected individuals may surpass 20,000, according to insiders familiar with the situation.

At the close of last year, Tesla employed more than 22,000 individuals in Austin alone. The production facility in Austin primarily focuses on manufacturing the Model Y and Cybertruck, though of the specific breakdown of impacted roles, including factory positions, remains unclear.

Despite these workforce reductions, Tesla’s shares saw a 2% increase in New York trading at 3:18 p.m. However, the stock’s performance throughout the year has been less favorable, with a 42% decline marking it as the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 Index.

The move to cut jobs comes amidst a broader context of transformation and challenges within Tesla. As the company navigates its shift towards Elon Musk’s vision of a robotaxi future, internal reorganization and strategic realignment are underway, reflecting Tesla’s ongoing evolution in the automotive industry landscape.

Tesla’s decision to reduce its workforce is not an isolated occurrence in the corporate landscape. In a trend mirrored by other industry giants, several companies have recently announced plans for significant job cuts.

Sports brand Nike, for instance, disclosed intentions to terminate approximately 700 employees’ jobs, as reported by Nairametrics. Similarly, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing division of Amazon, unveiled plans to slash hundreds of jobs as part of broader cost-saving initiatives.

Joining this wave of downsizing efforts, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, declared its intention to reduce its workforce by 12,000 employees globally, constituting 6% of its total employee base. Concurrently, Microsoft also announced its plans to lay off 10,000 workers within the same timeframe.

These announcements point to a broader trend within the corporate sector, as companies navigate evolving market dynamics and seek to streamline operations in response to various challenges and strategic imperatives.


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‘How TikTok changed us’



In the coming days, Congress may advance a bill to ban TikTok or force its sale to an American company. Politicians in both parties call the
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In the coming days, Congress may advance a bill to ban TikTok or force its sale to an American company. Politicians in both parties call the app a threat to national security. But its reach is felt most acutely in our culture.

Since it first arrived in the United States in 2018 (after merging with another app), its 15-second gulps of entertainment have become a fixture in the lives of tens of millions of Americans — including those who’ve never opened the app.

The engine that powers this juggernaut is TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, which figures out what users like and populates a customized feed of addictive videos. It’s called the For You Page, or FYP. It was not built to connect people with friends, the way Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were. It was built to entertain.

As the app fights the most serious threat yet to its autonomy, my colleagues and I explored the ways that its innovation has reshaped American lives. In today’s newsletter, I’ll spotlight a few of them.


The film industry at first ignored and feared TikTok. But it eventually embraced the platform as a marketing tool for a new generation of moviegoers. The Sony romantic comedy “Anyone But You” drew a weak $8 million in ticket sales over Christmas weekend, my colleague Brooks Barnes, who covers Hollywood companies, writes. But “the movie turned into a full-fledged hit ($219 million) after TikTok users (at the urging of Sony) began making videos of themselves re-enacting the credit sequence.” The app is virtually a “ticket-selling machine,” he writes.


A few schools have removed bathroom mirrors because so many students were leaving class to film TikTok videos there. These clips constitute “a TikTok genre, dating back at least five years, in which students use school bathrooms as film sets for dance routines, lip-syncing clips or critiques of unclean lavatories,” my colleague Natasha Singer, who covers tech use in schools, writes. School bathrooms have also become “arenas to stage, film and post videos of bullying, physical assaults on schoolmates and acts of vandalism.”


For 14 percent of American adults, TikTok is a regular news source, up from 3 percent in 2020. People who don’t have traditional backgrounds in journalism, akin to bloggers for the TikTok era, aggregate and share information in snappy videos. Traditional news outlets are scrambling to catch up — and fretting about accuracy and context. Organizations including The New York Times are also making short-form videos in which reporters talk to the camera about their stories, the TikTok way.


Recipes got a makeover on TikTok, as creators depart from static images and step-by-step instructions. My colleague Becky Hughes, NYT Cooking’s social media editor, writes that traditional recipes have given way to looser concepts. That has helped create trends like eggs fried in a puddle of pesto, sandwich fillings chopped into a homogenous mixture and mini pancakes served like cereal, she says. “The most shareable recipes are the ones that you can watch once, then turn around and make — no measurements, bake times or reading needed,” she writes. “Just dump, stir, like, follow, repeat.”

Our story also chronicles how TikTok has prompted self-diagnoses of ADHD and replaced window shopping at the mall. My colleagues looked at the app’s knack for spreading conspiracy theories, its fight with Taylor Swift’s record label and the secrecy around its algorithm.

We hope you’ll spend some time on these articles, even if it’s only to check how many TikTok “microtrends,” such as glazed-donut skin and sleepy-girl mocktails, you’ve heard of.

By Sapna Maheshwari, The New York Times 


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Finally, Meta rolls out WhatsApp AI feature



Meta has begun rolling out its AI assistant across all its platforms in seven countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Meta has begun rolling out its AI assistant across all its platforms in seven countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The AI assistant is available on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger and can access real-time information from across the web without leaving the app.

It said users will be able to create images from text using its AI imagine feature. The rollout is in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.

Meta said its AI assistant in English will enhance connections and provide people with tools to be more creative, expressive and productive.

The company also launched its feature in countries outside the US, such as Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Singapore, and announced the launch of its AI website.

“We want Meta AI to be available when you’re trying to get things done at your computer too, so we’re rolling out (the website) today,” it stated.

While announcing this update, Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta, said: “Our goal is to build the world’s leading AI. We believe Meta AI is now the most intelligent AI assistant that you can freely use. To make Meta AI even smarter, we’ve also integrated real-time knowledge from Google and Bing right into the answers. We’re also making it much easier to use across our apps.”

He said the expansion of Meta AI to Nigeria and others will provide real-time information through its seamless search integration in the apps users know. He noted that new features of the AI include the ability to animate images, iterate on them in a new style, or even turn them into a GIF to share with friends.

Zuckerberg further stated that the AI assistant has been integrated into the search boxes at the top of WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.

“We also built some unique creation features, like the ability to animate photos. Meta AI now generates high-quality images so fast that it creates and updates them in real time as you’re typing. It’ll also generate a playback video of your creation process,” he added.

Meta first announced it would roll out Meta AI on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram in September 2023.


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NCC hosts South Korean delegation over implementations of Information Technology Centre



In a bid to further strengthen Nigeria’s role in the ICT field, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has received a delegation from
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In a bid to further strengthen Nigeria’s role in the ICT field, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has received a delegation from South Korea.

The South Korean delegation was also visiting to explore joint efforts to implement the Information Access Centre (IAC).

The delegation is headed by prominent South Korean technology leaders who have held talks with NCC officials to share knowledge and expertise on establishing the IAC.

The Information Access Centre (IAC) will develop important knowledge and tools, especially in the field of communications, to promote innovation and development in Nigeria’s digital sector.

L- R; Executive Principal, Department of Global ICT Cooperation/ Global ICT Project Team, Mr Un Jong, JI, Executive Commissioner Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Engr Abraham Oshadami; Group Head Corporate Services DBI, Ms Viola Askia Usoro; Senior Manager Department of Global ICT Cooperation/Global Digital Transformation Team, South Korea, Mr Kim Dohum, during a Courtesy visit to the Commission Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

While at the NCC, the two sides exchanged views on strategies and best practices for the effective implementation of the Information Access Centre (IAC)

The delegation from South Korea praised the NCC’s efforts to promote transparency and access to the telecommunications industry and expressed its willingness to support the establishment of the IAC.

Through this collaboration, the partners expect significant improvements in the dissemination and access of information, which will ultimately contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector.


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