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Microsoft Tasks FG On Piracy

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Microsoft Nigeria last Wednesday advised the Federal Government to intensify the campaign against piracy at all levels to bring about improvement in the economy.

Microsoft Country Manager, Mr Emmanuel Onyeje, gave the advice at the media briefing to mark this year’s Microsoft Anti-Piracy Day in Lagos.

Onyeje described piracy as a major scourge on the economy as it affected virtually all sectors of the economy.

“We are not just advocating for the eradication of software piracy because we are software developers, but piracy in general because it affects virtually all intellectual properties.

“Piracy affects the music, movie and creative arts industry making these industries unattractive for newcomers who tend to use their intellectually property as a means of livelihood,” he said.

Onyeje said piracy was killing intellectual property and the economy since no industry alone could engage about 170 million people.

“Piracy also affects government because of the loss of tax that should be remittable to government, but since pirates are faceless entities it is impossible for them to be taxed.  “The software piracy especially is detrimental to every sector, whether public or private, because malwares that can cripple an organisation’s system are usually embedded in pirated software’s,” he said.

He advised government to invest more in information technology and create more awareness on the danger of buying pirated products, not just software’s but any counterfeit product or pirated copy.  “Over the years, more than 60 per cent of people and organisations will get infected by dangerous malware due to lack of awareness of the danger of pirated products,” he said.

The Hewlett-Packard (HP) Supplies Country Manager, Mrs Rita Amuchienwa, said that HP had developed an innovation that would help reduce the manufacturing of pirated computer hardware in its fight against piracy.

“We have developed a code called the QR code which can be used to authenticate our product at the point of sale by just using your smart phone.

“We need more innovation like this to help us save the various industries that are highly prone to piracy to create more employment and save our economy,” she said.  Gabriel Afolayan, an actor, who represented the Nigerian entertainment industry at the event, described the sector as the worst hit by piracy.

“Nollywood is the third largest producer of movies in the world.  “And we don’t have anything to show for it in the quality of our movies or the lifestyle of the people in the industry.

“This is because over 50 per cent of Nollywood movies are pirated; a movie that’s to debut on Monday will be already in the black market on Sunday.

“Government needs to step in and make this work for us because it’s a continuous war and they should not relent in their efforts.  “The media also has a major role to play by sensitising the public on the dangers of patronising pirated products.

“I will like to urge all relevant authorities to work on the mindset of the public in their fight to curb piracy.

“It’s only when the public knows that buying pirated products will eventually hurt them that we can start making head way in curbing this menace,” he said.

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Eco Currency: Finance Ministers, C’Bank Govs Oppose Buhari, Others

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Nigeria and some other West African countries have kicked against the adoption of Eco as regional currency by President Muhammadu Buhari and others.
This is contained in a communiqué read by the Minister for Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea, Mr Mamadi Camara, in Abuja, yesterday.
The communiqué was issued after an Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Governors of the Central Banks of the Member States of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).
Camara said the meeting noted with concern, the declaration by the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Alasane Outtarra on December 21, 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as “Eco” by 2020.
He said: “WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasise that this action is not in line with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the “Eco” as the name of an independent ECOWAS Single Currency.
“WAMZ Convergence Council re-iterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government toward the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
“The WAMZ Convergence Council recommends that an Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the WAMZ Member States be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues.”
According to him, those at the meeting are, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Gambia, Mambury Njie and Minister of Finance of Ghana, Ken Ofori Atta.
Others were Minister of Finance and Development Planning Liberia, Samuel Tweah Jr, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Nigeria, Zainab Ahmed and the Minister of Finance, Sierra Leone, Jacob Shaffa.
Also in attendance were Central Bank governors of Gambia, Mr Buah Saidy, Gambia; Ernest Addison of Ghana; Louncenry Nabe of Guinea; Aloysius Tarlue of Liberia; Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria and Kelfala Kallon of Sierra Leone.
The Tide reports that eight West African countries had agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco, thereby effectively severing the CFA franc’s links to former colonial ruler, France.
The countries include Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

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RSG Dispels Rumours Of Unapproved Structures Demolitions

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Engr Austin Ben-Chioma, has dispelled rumours making the rounds that the state government demolished structures that were not originally marked by the construction company handling the Rumuogba flyover project for demolition.
Ben-Chioma, who cleared the air on the rumours, on Tuesday in a chat with newsmen while supervising the demolition exercise, noted that the ministry only demolished structures that the construction company, Julius Berger had marked as being in the Right of Way (RoW) of the flyover, and for which compensation was paid.
He said that there was enough evidence to show that the ministry had not exceeded the demolition instruction given by Julius Berger Plc.
According to him, “I am on site and evidences are shown as you can see that we did not exceed the red line marked by Berger” adding that the property owners, “are not telling the truth because the evidences are visible and verifiable”.
The commissioner pointed out that, of the three flyovers under construction, the Rumuogba flyover was the longest with about 517.5 metres length.
He, however, noted that there was the challenge of high-rise buildings along the path, which must be cut to maintain the RoW of the flyover, having given the property owners till Thursday, January, 16 (yesterday) to do the reduction themselves to avoid using the ministry’s tractors which could negatively impact the buildings.
On the payment of compensations to those affected by the demolition, the works commissioner said 95 per cent of the compensation had been paid already to affected landlords.
“Government has paid 95 per cent of compensation to property owners and they are complying with the process,” he said.
Corroborating the claims, the consultant in charge of compensation for demolished structures, Mr Emma Wike, said all affected landlords would be paid what is due them by the end of the week.
According to him, most of the claimants, we sent them letters and those that gave power of attorney to consultants, estate surveyors and valuers or lawyers, we also wrote to them and informed them this is where the payment is being held. They’ve been coming to collect their money; within the week, we are going to pay more and if we do that, it will be remaining less than 10 percent of those that have not collected their money.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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CBN Gets New Deputy Gov

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President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Dr. Kingsley Obiora as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Obiora will replace Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, said the President has already forwarded a letter nominating Dr. Obiora to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the name of Dr. Kingsley Isitua Obiora to the Senate for confirmation as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President Buhari said the nomination was in accordance with the provision of Section 8(1) (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.
“Dr. Obiora, upon confirmation by the Senate, replaces Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.
“Dr. Obiora holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin, a Masters in Economics from the University of Ibadan, and a Doctorate in Monetary and International Economics, also from the University of Ibadan.
“He is currently an Alternate Executive Director in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, United States of America”, the statement said.
Since joining IMF as an Economist in 2007, Dr. Obiora has worked in various countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
While on leave from the IMF, he worked with the Nigerian government as Special Assistant to the President’s Chief Economic Adviser and Technical Adviser to the National Economic Management Team.

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