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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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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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