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Police Plan New Crime-Fighting Technology

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Criminals in Lagos and
Ogun States may not have breather any longer to operate as the Zone 2 Police Command says it will soon launch a new technology platform to boost its crime fighting.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of the zone, Mr Bala Hasan, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lagos in an interview with newsmen.
Hassan, who reviewed how the police reduced crime in the zone during the Yuletide, said the technology would enhance the measures already put in place to rid the states of criminality.
He said that the sustained efforts at curbing crime paid off as the zone witnessed the lowest crime rate in the last five years during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
The AIG said the command in line with the pursuits of the police top hierarchy would strive to motivate its officers and men and apply technology in fighting the menace this year.
“We are going to motivate our officers and men by taking care of their welfare and try to create more platforms which the people could use to alert the police about crime.
“ We want to motivate the men to serve the public better and we are creating more platforms in this direction.
“I know the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Fatai Owoseni, has launched “Flash Alert’’ that will assist members of the public to report crime promptly, but we are going beyond that now.
“We are going to have a “Flash Alert’’ that even if you do not know or have any police distress telephone number, once you are attacked and you press any part of your phone, it will send signal to the control room.
“We are also looking at other areas whereby if your phone is not close to you and you are attacked, you can shout and your phone will send a distress signal to the control room.
“There and then officers will come and assist you. This will leave the criminals with no time to carry out their despicable activities.
“Once you do that, you have helped us to reduce the time we use to attend to distress calls and once criminals know they no longer have enough time to operate, criminality reduces,’’ Hassan said.
On the use of technology, the AIG said that the police would deploy the technology to make it difficult for criminals to attack innocent members of the public.
He said:“We request the banks and other commercial institutions to ensure that effective Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are installed in their premises.
“If anybody commits crime and runs away, we will have the video and the record on how to trace the person.
“So, all banks, financial houses, Shoprite and other shopping malls should ensure that cameras are installed in their work places.
“If there is a robbery, we will have a record of it in our system and that is what I want to enjoin the residents of Lagos State to do for us.
“They will also ensure that they have records of movements within and outside their institutions to help us see who comes in and goes out’’.
Hassan recalled that he had done something like flash alert while he was the Commissioner of Police in Edo.
“I have some youths who are experienced in information technology and I have tasked them to develop sophisticated software, and this one maybe ahead of what we have in Lagos State currently.
“In this innovation, you do not have to dial any number, you just press any part of your phone or you shout at the top of your voice and it sends a distress signal to the police.
“This will send signal to our control rooms and you will have quick response from our men which is our major plan for 2016.
On the Yuletide, he said that there was safety on the roads while people travelled for the Christmas and New Year because the zone deployed 15 patrol vehicles each in Lagos and Ogun.
“The measure under ‘Operation Safer Highways’ of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, ensured that the people were protected and travelled safe.
“Under the Safer Highways patrol, we provide, even though it may be small, for the policemen things that will make them not to stop vehicles and ask for money.
“Such include provisions like water and food so that they will not be hungry.
“The 186 patrol vehicles recently donated by the Lagos State Government were also deployed in strategic places.
“The presence of the police everywhere sent fear into the criminals as they knew that they will be caught on the least attempt to commit crime.
“I urge members of the public to have the numbers of the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), Area Commanders, the commissioner of police and the control room.
“I want them to know that police officers will be willing to assist them in distress,’’ Hassan said.

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Group Makes Case For Technology, Entrepreneurial Skills Dev

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As part of efforts to redirect the minds of youths towards positive thinking and creativity, a youth body, the Community Reformed Youths Initiative (CRYI), says it is ready to win the youths back via technology and entrepreneurial skills that will sharpen the minds of young people.
The National Coordinator of the group, Engr Gogo Wenike-Briggs, said this during an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Wenike-Briggs, however, said that such venture can only be achieved through a public private partnership arrangement.
According to him, his association which has manufacturing and production of goods and services as its focal points, will not rest on its oars until the whole youths are technologically up-to-date.
“The main aim of Community Of Reformed Youths Initiative is to help educate the government to create avenues for new industries through public private partnerships, encourage and support manufacturing and production organisations to have a welcome environment, acceptable and easy paying tax process”, he said.
He said that his group would move for policies that will encourage entrepreneurial drive and technology in communities so as to train, empower and improve professional competence among the youths.
“Our target is to have leaders and professionals in the youth sector to successfully work through formal and non-formal education on improving the entrepreneurial, employability and transversal skills of young people they work with within their organisations and communities”, he explained.
Wenike-Briggs insisted that the only way to combat youth unemployment and promote active participation in democratic life in Rivers State and the country at large is by creating employment for the youths through technology. 
“To increase participants’ knowledge and skills in several communities on using new technologies and methods as tools to boost young people’s entrepreneurial, practical and transversal skills can ultimately lead to employment or starting their own business”, he said.
He hinted of the group’s plan to introduce at least 10 international cooperatives and 50 local cooperatives within five to 10 years, while creating workable environments that will boost the businesses of both indigenes and non- indigenes.

By: King Onunwor

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Airtel Ranks Nigeria’s Best In Broad Band Coverage Speed

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A newly published report has ranked Airtel Nigeria, a leading mobile telecommunications company, as Nigeria’s best in broadband coverage speed, following a nationwide broadband assessment by Umlaut.
Airtel confirmed this development in a statement it issued in Lagos.
Umlaut is an international company full-service cross-industry, end-to-end that offers advisory and fulfilment services to clients globally.
Chief Executive Officer, Umlaut Telecommunications, Hakan Ekmen, said that based on their assessment, Airtel achieved the best-rated broadband coverage and user download speed among other mobile network operators in the country.
“In our nationwide assessment, 82.8 per cent of the urban built-up areas and 83.9 per cent of the population areas were tested.
“An extensive analysis revealed that 263,000 users contributed 707.4-million samples in 24 weeks from October 2020 until early April 2021.
“We concluded that Airtel Nigeria is Best in the Tests, achieving the highest Umlaut score with 697 points”, Ekmen said
“Airtel scored the highest with 697 points, while MTN emerged second with 663 points, 9mobile with 591 and Glo with 486 points.
“The tests were carried out with Umlaut’s crowdsourcing methodology, which was used to evaluate the mobile networks in Nigeria”, he added.
Ekmen noted that umlaut’s sophisticated methodology enabled the results to be compared across network operators globally, adding that the transparency it provided not only boosted network quality and performance, but also improved experience for every customer.
He commended Airtel for emerging the best-rated, citing this remarkable feat as a positive step towards attaining digital equality in Africa.
However, Ekmen added that while the results in Nigeria were quite impressive, there was still room for improvement in global comparison.
The competition in Nigeria’s telecoms landscape was working favourably for consumers in the country, he noted.

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Twitter Writes FG Over Suspension, Seeks Dialogue

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The Federal Government yesterday confirmed that Twitter has formally written to seek for dialogue on issues leading to the indefinite suspension of its operations in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, confirmed this when he featured on “Politics Nationwide,’’ a Radio Nigeria call-in programme in Abuja.
“I can confirm that Twitter has written the Federal Government that they are ready to talk.
“As we have always maintained, the door is not locked and we are open minded but Twitter must work toward it,” he said.
The minister reiterated the government’s position that it would not tolerate any platform that would be used to destabilise the country.
Mohammed said among other conditions for Twitter to resume operation in Nigeria, there must be an agreement as to what contents it could post.
He said Twitter and other platforms must also register as a Nigerian company, obtain license from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and be guided by the rules of the licensing as well as pay taxes.
According to the minister, regulation of social media platforms is becoming a global practice.
He said most countries were just waking up to the fact that the platforms were becoming more powerful than even government and needed to be regulated.
“Singapore, Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey regulate the social media, Australia has done so.
“ Even EU that does not have particular laws on social media has made recommendations in a white paper,” he said.
The minister said that the UK initiated a new law which would make social media companies to be fined up to 18 million pounds (about N10.8 billion) if they failed to stamp out online abuses.
He said Google was fined 220 million Euros (about N110 billion) on June 7  by French Competition Regulator for abusing its dominance in the online advertising market in France.
Similarly, the minister said the Federal Cabinet of  Pakistan had approved a new set of rules to regulate social media.
In the rules, according to the minister, companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even TikTok were to register and open offices in Pakistan.
He said in compliance with the new online broadcasting rule of Turkey, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video had obtained licences from that country’s broadcasting authority.
Mohammed noted that regulation of the social media was not synonymous with stifling press freedom.
“We must not confuse press freedom with irresponsibility.
“How can you stay in your country and allow your own platform to be used to propagate war in another country?
“The suspension of Twitter is to ensure that no particular platform is used to cause war in Nigeria.
“Secondly, to ensure that whoever is making money in Nigeria must be made to pay tax.
“Our appeal to Nigerians is that they should understand where we are coming from.
“We have no intention to stifle people’s freedom or to cut off the source of livelihood of anybody.
“There must be a country devoid of war before we can talk of freedom and a source of living,’’ he said.
The Federal Government had on June 4 suspended indefinitely the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.
Mohammed, who announced the suspension, cited the persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
He said the Federal Government had also directed the NBC to immediately commence the process of licensing all Over the Top (OTT) and social media operations in the country.

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