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…Govt Gives Conditions for Re-Engagement
The Oyo State Government has revealed that over One Hundred and Ninety-Seven (197) waste collectors have applied for the renewal contract of PSPs.
This was revealed today by the Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Hon. Abiodun Oni in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
It would be recalled that the State Government recently terminated the appointment of PSPs due to the poor service delivery of waste collection, citing an instance of heaps of refuse experienced everywhere in the state which are prime breeding sites for communicable diseases.
Hence, the need to take holistic measures that would create a turnaround in the Environment Sector, while also announcing the appointment of Mottanai Recycling as the State’s waste Management consultant.
In the statement Hon. Abiodun Oni emphasized that the Oyo State government’s mandate is to ensure that its citizens stay in a clean and safe environment.
Mr. Abiodun Oni however said, “reapplication does not necessarily mean automatic re-engagement, as the criteria for re-engagement must be met to achieve the cleanliness and efficiency deserving of our citizens”.
“Planting of trees, cleanliness of the environment is of great concern. It would be of the interest of the people if willing to accept the government’s disposition to waste management”, he added.
Oni further urged residents to take on some responsibilities particularly by fighting against wrong attitude to waste disposal in the state, adding that the menace would be conquered in no distant time.
While admitting the new drive, Mr. Abiodun Oni stressed that this administration would not relent its efforts in ensuring the success of the new architecture system on waste management in the state which he said is aimed at having and maintaining a clean and safe environment.
He stated that the said time had come for residents to appreciate and adopt the state government’s programme on waste management which in the long run would be beneficial to all
The statement stressed further that the Ministry in conjunction with its waste management consultant, Mottanai Recycling would be embarking on an emergency clean-up campaign exercise which will also mandate the appointed waste collectors to embark on household door to door collection of wastes.
Consequently, the State government has embarked on enforcement in its bid to ensure success of the emergency clean up exercise.
“To this end, there shall be no indiscriminate dumping of wastes on road medians and other open spaces”, Oni added.
Furthermore, residents, Traders and business owners are expected to pay promptly their apportioned waste bills to at least be responsible for the wastes they generate, which is part of their civic responsibilities.
Hon. Wasiu Olatubosun, Ph.D.,
Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism.
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Nile Younis joins as Klasha continues its rapid 2022 scaling as it transforms cross-border African commerce
San Francisco, USA – 30June 2022.Klasha Inc, a San Francisco and Lagos-based technology company transforming cross-border African commerce, announces the appointment of Nile Younis as Chief Commercial Officer.
Nile will be based in Dubai, and joins Klasha after a successful 10-year career at Mastercard, where he created leading go-to-market strategies across the MEA (“Middle East Africa”) region for real-time and multi-rail payments interoperability.
Most recently, Nile was the P&L business owner responsible for building and establishing Digital Payment Ecosystems at national levels for Mastercard in MEA. In the last five years, Nile and his team successfully digitised large cash flows across multiple sectors.
Nile has over 20 years of global experience in solution sales, product management and business development, which focuses on e/m-commerce alongside cyber and Card-Not-Present fraud solutions.
The appointment follows Klasha’s recent announcement of a $4.5 million seed funding round backed by Amex Ventures – its first investment in an African-focused startup – and Global Ventures, a leading MEA-focused venture capital firm.
Jess Anuna, Founder and CEO of Klasha, said:
“We are pleased to announce the appointment of Nile Younis as Chief Commercial Officer at Klasha. Nile’s global experience, most recently at Mastercard, will build the commercial infrastructure needed for more international businesses to tap into the African market via Klasha, and provide a seamless cross-border experience for African consumers. His wealth of experience will add immediate upstream and downstream value to Klasha as we bullishly scale the business this year.”
Nile Younis commented:
“Our goal at Klasha is to continue providing real value to our customers by addressing the vast opportunity available in the African e-commerce sector. By 2025, half of the world’s working population will live and work in Africa, but today only 30% of the over one billion population have ever made online payments. Klasha aims to create easy access to the world’s largest emerging and fastest-growing consumer market, and I am thrilled to have recently joined the energetic, driven and focused team of talent that makes Klasha so unique.”
Brought up in Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf, Nile’s experience includes working in the UK, Holland, Bahrain, Tanzania and the UAE.
In his new role, Nile will develop and execute commercialization strategy at Klasha, including structuring and growing the organization to drive essential market adoption of the company’s products and services. Nile brings new perspectives and cultural diversity to the organization, will ensure adaptability in the execution processes, be accountable for profitable revenue growth, and work with the team to achieve Klasha’s core goal of bridging the e-commerce gap between Africa and the rest of the world.
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Mitigating the risks of payments fraud
6 ways CFOs can stay ahead of hackers
Global losses from payment fraud have tripled from US$9.84 billion in 2011 to US$32.39 billion in 2020, according to Deutsche Bank’s 2021 report on the future of payments. And financial professionals are saying COVID-19 hasn’t helped matters, with 65% believing that the global pandemic is to blame for some of the accelerated rate in fraud activity, revealed by a 2021 survey by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).
While these cybercriminals can target many areas of an organisation, the dangers are ultimately measured in financial terms. This means that Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) can no longer ignore cyber security simply because it is a complex issue outside their area of expertise. As custodians of the company’s monetary assets and financial data, CFOs are responsible for safeguarding the enterprise from threats to its financial health, especially those that can result from processes within the finance domain, such as accounts payable.
Ryan Mer, Managing Director, eftsure Africa, a Know Your Payee™ (KYP) platform provider, says that CFOs need to play a key role in their company’s cyber security. The CFO is responsible for some of the most sensitive and valuable data the organisation possesses. “It is potentially disastrous for the finance team to be ignorant of cyber risk,” he says.
Below are six ways CFOs can combat the risk of payment fraud:
The first line of defence is to identify which information requires the most protection and research the many ways your organisation could be attacked. Hackers often target the finance department and team members directly in attempts to defraud. CFOs need to ensure that these vulnerabilities are both understood and addressed. This means testing current processes and systems to find weak spots, perhaps with the help of external experts.
Many organisations’ weak areas lie in their manual processes, which use human inputting methods and decision-making, often resulting in errors and gaps in security. Independent third-party platforms, such as eftsure, can help manage supplier data and automate payment checking and supplier verification, saving time on manual processes and reducing human error and manipulations.
Review your company practices in relation to password and security controls. Look at whether you can strengthen your company’s passwords and ensure that they are changed on a regular basis, if possible, adding an extra layer of security with two-factor authentication.
Stay ahead of ever-changing security demands by moving sensitive data to the cloud, where it is kept in centralised storage that can only be accessed through sophisticated authentication methods. Cloud providers update their systems frequently based on the latest security best practices, providing new encryption techniques, improved login protocols and real-time identification of unauthorised users and suspicious activity.
Look at your payments processes and identify potential weaknesses, possibly re-evaluating your financial procedures for approving payment releases. Ways to address weaknesses include ensuring there is clear separation of duties between staff and adding more verification steps.
While checking with senior executives,verifying by phone or relying on staff to perform other account verification procedures are options, they are manual, time consuming and hold their own risks. A Software as a Service (SaaS) provider like eftsure can help limit the risks by providing an integrated payments system that cross-references the payments an organisation is about to release with a database of verified bank account details. The platform alerts you to any suspect payments, at point of payment, allowing you to deal with the problem before the flow of funds have occurred.
Employee email accounts are gateways to sensitive information and attacks, especially those in finance and accounts payable, making them targets of cybercrime. Equip staff with the skills and tools to spot threats and respond appropriately by introducing cyber safety awareness programmes, workshops and simulations. Enforce policies that restrict what information can be kept in email inboxes prior to secure archiving. eftsure’s secure, digitised payee onboarding platform can assist with the collection and management of payee information, thereby avoiding trying to manage this through email workflows and inboxes.
As cyber risk grows and cybercriminals get better at what they do, it pays to be proactive about the controls, oversight and data management processes you have in place. Avoid waiting for a fraud incident or assuming your organisation is fully protected from fraud. Constantly remind staff at all levels about the risks of cybercrime to help build a strong security-conscious culture and continuously update controls to adapt to new fraud patterns. Collaborate with the chief information security officer (CISO), if your organisation has one, or enlist the help of an outsourced CISO-as-a-Service to address these risks and for assistance in deploying new defences.
In South Africa there is case precedence for firms being held liable for payments that did not reach the intended recipient, a situation that demands every CFO’s attention. “It’s a war out there – and cybercriminals are bringing the battle to you. Don’t wait for them to succeed – be proactive and get on the front foot now so you stop them before they succeed,” advises Mer.
eftsure is a comprehensive, system agnostic solution, designed from the bottom up to give businesses the ability to manage, control and secure the full lifecycle of a payee from onboarding through to the actual point of payment. Not only does eftsure’s secure payee management portal allow companies to onboard and verify payees with more efficiency, accuracy and certainty, but it also automates 100% of the payment checking process, in real time, at the point of payment, prior to any payment release.
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Ariunaa Byambakhuu began knitting as a teenager in Mongolia and by 2005 founded Goyol Cashmere. The business in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar started with just five employees, but Byambakhuu now employs 100 workers, 80% of them women.
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) supported Goyol with a $5 million loan in 2020, advancing its 2X Women’s Initiative to economically empower women worldwide. The loan will help Byambakhuu, who provides housing and child care for working mothers on staff, to build a new factory, buy equipment and expand production.
By bringing U.S. private sector investment to emerging markets, DFC enables entrepreneurs around the world to grow their companies without ensnaring countries in unsustainable state-directed debt.
Through its 2X Women’s Initiative, DFC has catalyzed more than $7 billion in private sector investment in projects that economically empower women in developing countries — which includes expanding access to financing for women entrepreneurs.
What does this access to financing look like?
For Talita Setyadi, a 2021 loan from DFC and the U.S.-based lender Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) provided in 2021 helps her bakery in Jakarta, Indonesia, avoid layoffs and expand, despite limits on indoor dining to fight COVID-19.
“We are facing unprecedented challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic,” Setyadi said. “The loan will enable BEAU Bakery to survive, regain our footing and continue to deliver to local communities through this crisis.”
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U.S. government scientists recently discovered a new whale species.
Scientists had long considered a group of whales in the Gulf of Mexico a subset of Bryde’s whales, which are also found in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Yet these massive and endangered whales seemed different, and a little mysterious.
While Bryde’s whales live near the surface, the whales in the Gulf of Mexico plunge the depths for food. And while they can grow to nearly 13 meters long and weigh more than 27,000 kilograms — five times heavier than an elephant — no one knows for certain what they eat.
“I was surprised that there could be an unrecognized species of whale out there, especially in our backyard,” Lynsey Wilcox, a scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service, who aided in the discovery, told The Guardian.
NOAA researchers named the newly identified, unique species Rice’s whales in honor of American biologist Dale Rice. The discovery will help researchers better understand and protect the critically endangered whales, which number as a few as 33.
NOAA Fisheries scientists detail their findings in a January 10 study published in Marine Mammal Science. The discovery came after one of the whales was found stranded ashore in Florida in 2019, allowing scientists to conduct a first-ever analysis of its skull. They found unique features that distinguished Rice’s whales from Bryde’s whales. DNA testing confirmed that the Rice’s whales are a unique species.
NOAA Fisheries’ Patricia Rosel, who analyzed the skull, says further study of Rice’s whales is needed to identify potential habitat and threats to the endangered species, the Associated Press reports.
Lori Schwacke, of the National Marine Mammal Foundation, says NOAA researchers’ discovery provides added motivation to protect the critically endangered whales.
“It’s such a small population in the Gulf of Mexico that marine scientists and managers were already focused on conservation efforts for them,” Schwacke told the Associated Press. “But now confirming that these whales are indeed a previously unknown species really raises those stakes.”
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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made history this month as the first woman and first African to serve as director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“Being the first woman and the first African means that one really has to perform,” she said in a February 15 statement. “I take the reins of the WTO at a time of great uncertainty; [it] cannot be business as usual at the WTO.”
The WTO, which comprises 164 members, provides a forum to negotiate new trade rules, monitor compliance with existing agreements, and settle disputes.
“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Okonjo-Iweala said in a statement. “I look forward to working with members … to get the global economy going again.”
Born in Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before leading the WTO, Okonjo-Iweala twice served as the finance minister of Nigeria. She also served as managing director of the World Bank and most recently chaired GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. WTO members agreed by consensus to appoint her to be director-general February 15, and she took office March 1.
“Trade is about people,” Okonjo-Iweala said. The question is: “How do we bring those who have been excluded or marginalized — like women, like owners of micro, medium and small enterprises — into the mainstream?”
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Courageous women who stand up for their rights inspire a better world, said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Blinken and first lady Jill Biden hosted the 15th annual International Women of Courage Awards in a virtual ceremony on March 8. The ceremony honored a group of brave women, nominated by U.S. embassies from around the world, who have made a difference in their communities, countries and the world.
These women have dedicated their careers to advocating for justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, often while sacrificing their personal safety.
During the ceremony, Blinken emphasized, “that it is often women who lead the charge for human rights, democracy and justice, including in places where women hold much less than half of the political, economic and social power … And it’s often women and girls who are the most vulnerable to human rights abuses.”
The award ceremony recognized such women as Venezuelan Ana Rosario Contreras, who is president of the Caracas Nurses’ Association and a front-line fighter for health care workers’ rights in a country that suppresses free speech. Under the illegitimate Maduro regime, those who are deemed opponents of Nicolás Maduro and his cronies are often jailed, tortured and detained. Despite these threats, Contreras continues to publicly fight for the rights of health care workers, patients and labor unions.
Blinken and Biden also presented a posthumous group award to seven Afghan women — public servants, journalists and activists — who were assassinated simply for serving their communities.
“They represent women and girls across Afghanistan who continue to press on in defense of their hard-won gains and in the face of high rates of violence against Afghan women,” Blinken said.
Both Blinken and the first lady emphasized that the United States will continue to stand with and advocate for women and girls around the world.
“Your fight is our fight and your courage calls us to come together again, and again, and again,” Biden said. “The United States will stand with you. We will make the choice to lead, to be bold and to lift up women and girls everywhere who light our way.”
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Crown Flour Mill, a subsidiary of Olam Group and a major player in the Wheat Milling industry in Nigeria, has reiterated its commitment to assist the federal government of Nigeria achieve sustainable food sufficiency in the country.
This plan was revealed when the Wheat Development Team of Crown flour Mill led by DamilolaAdeniyi, the Corporate Affairs Manager and MoshoodQuadri, Head Human resources along with other senior management staff of the company were on a courtesy visit to the honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono in his office on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 in Abuja.
Adeniyi stated that the company’s management decided to visit the minister today to intimate the ministry of the company’s commitmentto build Nigerian wheat growing capability by bringing in new seed varieties and innovative ways of agriculture.
Crown Flour Mills is looking to partner with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, state governments and other major stakeholders in the agricultural sub-sector in order to achieve this objective. She said the company plans to introduce the findings of research trialsand cultivation of a heat tolerant durum wheat variety carried out by the company in Senegal into Nigeria.
CFM through its contribution to the wheat millers’ association under the auspices of the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) where CFM is a key member, has also made some valiant strides through FMAN’s wheat development program and various initiatives in areas such as research and seed trials, capacity building in modern agricultural practices, distribution of input, seed production, etc. targeted at smallholder wheat farmers and other players in the wheat production value chain and downstream sectorand aimed at boosting the quantity and quality of local wheat production.
Contributing at the meeting, Rauda Musa Umar, the company’s Wheat Development Programme Officer, stated that the company will soon be embarking on research andseed trials, trainings in modernagricultural practices in a block farming pilot project. According to her, plans are at an advance stage to commit Kano State to make land available for the project.
Mr Ashish Pande, the Managing Director of Crown Flour Mill, believes strongly in Nigeria’s potential to grow good quality wheat and will support by training local farmers, gathering resources for new seed development and bringing in new technology all aiming to boost up the capability of Nigeria.
Responding, the minister thanked the team for coming and promised that government will extendto the company all the support it needs to succeed in the developmental programmes they have elected to undertake.
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SITA’s Air Transport IT Insights reveals a sharper focus on safety, automation, and efficiency
GENEVA – 24 February 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has refocused IT spending priorities for airlines and airports in 2020 as revenue plunged and the industry faced new health and operational requirements needed to keep flying.
Among the key findings from SITA’s 2020 Air Transport IT Insights, published today, was an accelerated investment in automated passenger processing focusing on touchless and mobile services. There was also a strong focus on virtual and remote IT services that allowed employees to work from home while ramping up communications with passengers. Cybersecurity and cloud services – that helped automate operations and drive new efficiencies – were key.
In 2020, SITA data showed that flight volumes plunged 44% year-on-year due to the pandemic. As a result of this impact on demand, IATA forecast the airline industry’s full-year loss at $118 billion.
David Lavorel, CEO SITA AT AIRPORTS & BORDERS, said: “The severe slowdown in 2020 forced the air transport industry to focus on driving new cost efficiencies. Adding to the pressure, airlines and airports had to rapidly incorporate new health measures such as touchless passenger processing and the handling of new health information and protocols, including PCR testing in many destinations. These efforts have been made in a market that continues to face rapid changes in air travel regulations that make operational planning volatile and last minute.
“To solve these challenges, the industry has turned to technology and, in many cases, reprioritized where they invested in 2020. The good news is that airlines and airports were able to capitalize on existing trends to automation and have made significant strides in implementing new solutions that will bring new improvements for the passenger now and into the future.”
Data and automation are key
Making the check-in process completely touchless is now the main priority for airports and airlines to help protect passengers and staff, improve the passenger experience, and drive efficiency.
Biometric technology is the focus for airport investment with 64% of airports aiming to roll out self-boarding gates using biometric & ID documentation by 2023, three times as many as in 2020. Airlines have doubled implementations and plan to double investment for self-boarding using biometric & ID documentation by 2023 (82%).
Similarly, airlines are prioritizing a completely touchless check-in process, and most want mobile touchless payment options for all services provided. The majority (79%), is focused on enabling self-bag drop for passengers. All essential customer services will become contactless from booking to arrival, including automated lounge access and mobile delayed baggage reporting.
Airline mobile applications for passenger services is a priority with nearly all (97%) of airlines having major programs and R&D in place by 2023. By 2023 the majority of airlines plan to send passengers real-time notifications on their mobile devices about their bags and plan to provide real-time bag-tracking information for staff.
Virtual IT services
In response to the pandemic, most airlines and airports are investing more in in-house virtual and remote IT services allowing employees to work in a more agile and effective way while speeding up communications with passengers. Almost three-quarters of airports and airlines will continue to invest in data exchange, cloud services, cybersecurity, and business intelligence to accelerate their digital airport processes. This includes increasing services on passenger mobile apps and ensuring staff services are accessible via mobile or tablets.