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Nigerian Police, HP Block Sale Of 54,000 Counterfeit Goods in 6 States



Nigerian Police HP Block Sale Of 54000 Counterfeit Goods in 6 States, SiliconNigeria

The Nigerian government and HP’s Anti-Counterfeiting and Fraud (ACF) have identified and halted the potential sale of over 54,000 counterfeit goods, sale of illegal ink cartridges including ready-for-sale fraudulent toner and ink cartridges across six states. 
 The Nigerian Police with the assistance from HP Nigeria discovered a massive operation selling counterfeit cartridges for HP printers. As a result, they worked with HP specialists to raid multiple retail and workshop premises in the Lagos area. In the same month, officials of the Nigeria Police carried out further, separate anti-counterfeiting raids in the states of Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, and the Abuja area.

According to Director, Global Anti-Counterfeit Programme at HP, Glenn Jones, “We are very proud of our ongoing partnership with Nigerian authorities to help safeguard our consumers and partners from illegal, fraudulent activity, as well as working together to bring counterfeiters to justice in Nigeria.”
He said, “The successful removal of counterfeit products from the Nigerian market is a testament to HP’s unwavering efforts and commitment to protecting our customers, and the continued success of our Anti-Counterfeiting and Fraud Programme.”
 Counterfeiting is a crime. For users, such illegal imitations can cause a multitude of problems that can lead to performance and reliability issues. Should your printer break because of using counterfeit printer ink or toner, you may have difficulty with your manufacturer’s warranty becoming not applicable.  

In contrast, original HP products are designed to meet HP’s strict quality and reliability standards, based on a long history of research, development, and testing. Original HP LaserJet and HP inkjet cartridges, unlike counterfeits, benefit from superior performance and consistent results. 

Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) over the last five years, approximately 12 million counterfeits and components have been seized by local authorities, supported by HP. HP has conducted over 4,500 audits and inspections (CPPAs and CDIs) of partners’ stocks or suspicious deliveries for customers. 

Through HP’s Anti-Counterfeit and Fraud (ACF) Programme, the company actively educates its customers and partners to be vigilant against fake printing supplies. It also cooperates closely with local and global law enforcement authorities to detect and dismantle illegal operations that produce counterfeit HP printing components.

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Remote Working: Tros Technologies To Train SMEs To Stem Cyber Risks



Remote Working: Tros Technologies To Train SMEs To Stem Cyber Risks, SiliconNigeria

Indigenous tech firm, Tros Technologies said it will hold free cybersecurity training to help small and medium enterprises and big corporate alike in the country tackle the rising trend of cyber risk.

The firm said that as the incidence of Coronavirus continues to force people to work from home, cyber criminals are continuously on the prowl to exploit the environment with data breach and revenue losses.

Tros Technologies has also created EazyAppz, a platform for small and medium-sized businesses to create their personal Apps by following three steps, thus, enhancing further digitization of small business operations.

The company explained that the robust cybersecurity training programme is designed to educate employees on common threats to their organization’s cybersecurity and offers a new way for SMEs to educate their employees on cybersecurity risks and best practices amid the coronavirus pandemic, right from their home.

The managing director at Tros Technologies, Mr. Muyiwa Awosile, said working remotely has its perks, but also comes with distractions and risks. We’re seeing a huge rise in COVID-19 scams which can pose a major risk to the security of our local businesses.

“That’s why we’re rolling out free cybersecurity training to any organization that wants it. Whether you’re a current customer or not, we want to make sure your employees have some knowledge of how to protect your business. Right now, all that matters to us is coming together to protect our community,” he added.

According to him, features and benefits of the free cybersecurity training include engaging video-based training program accessible from anywhere; best practices for avoiding scams and protecting sensitive data; training quiz to test employee knowledge with a certificate of completion and complementary dark web scan of your company domain.

Others are complementary phishing test of your employees and easy-to-manage portal with employee metrics. The cybersecurity training program is currently available, at no charge.

On the EasyAppz platform, Awosile said the platform is tagged ‘smart apps for everything and everyone the easy way’ because through the platform, an App can be developed in just three steps which are design, features and publish.

He said: “For the step 1, select your app layout from our template library, choose from ready-made colour themes and add content like images, text and your business location and contact information and see what your app looks like in the design preview area.

“For the second step, add features from our library. We offer you a long list of features grouped into the following categories: Monetisation, Contact, Customisation, Social Media, Events, Miscellaneous and more.

“Lastly, customize the way your app looks, add your app icon and publish in Appstore, Google Playsore or create a link for a Progressive Web App (PWA). Monitize your app if you wish with Google Admob and watch your app generate a steady stream of advertising income.”

Awosile further stressed that the EazyAppz platform is presenting a unique opportunity to business owners to promote their operations and brands beyond their immediate geographical settings by leveraging the easy digital resources on the platforms.

“Mobile apps help you engage more with your customers and improve sales. We have made provisions for you to seamlessly develop your own Apps with features such as contactless food ordering, mCommerce, Push Notifications, Customer Loyalty Cards, Discounts and Promotions and Bookings,” he said.

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TEC Set To Equip Entrepreneurs On Navigation Uncertainties



TEC Set To Equip Entrepreneurs On Navigation Uncertainties, SiliconNigeria

Frontline non-denominational Christian ministry, The Elevation Church (TEC), is set to equip entrepreneurs and business executives to build lasting businesses at her annual business outlook event, Vantage Forum, taking place virtually on Saturday, 30th January 2021 from to noon.

Now in its 7th edition, Vantage Forum will host renowned Economist, Bismarck Rewane, Digital Empowerment, Advocate, Juliet Ehimuan, and Global Influence Consultant, Kunle Soriyan, who will join other business and economic thought leaders to share pathways to navigate through the uncertainties of the present times.

Themed ‘Built to Last: Navigating Uncertainties’, Vantage Forum 2021 aims to resource and equip entrepreneurs and C-suite executives to building lasting businesses and navigate unprecedented terrains through strategic insights on economic trends, government policies, and other crucial aspects of running successful businesses in today’s world.

“As a church, we organise learning and human capital development opportunities such as the Vantage Forum because we believe we have a role to empower people with the requisite skills and expertise required to excel in various endeavours. Our vision at The Elevation church is to make greatness common and Vantage Forum is one of the platforms we deploy to actualise that vision,” said Godman Akinlabi, Lead Pastor of The Elevation Church.

Vantage Forum will be solely virtual for the first time in 2021, in adapting to the realities of the ongoing pandemic. It will feature other renowned speakers such as Funke Amobi, Head Human Capital, Stanbic IBTC; Yemi Faseun, Senior HR Executive, Globacom; Chinyere Almona, CEO Vantage Coaching & Consulting Services; and Godman Akinlabi, Lead Pastor, The Elevation Church.

The Elevation Church continues to push for higher education and training of businesspersons and the annual Forum provides the opportunity and promotes networking, rubbing of minds, and developing insight-based strategies that will, in turn, contribute to the growth of the economy of the nation and continent.

“Beyond Vantage Forum, TEC hosts a series of webinars, both quarterly and on-demand, conferences such as Business Roundtable, and small interest-based group meetings, to further expatiate on the information gleaned from the Forum, thus helping interested individuals to apply the learning from the conference in everyday business scenarios,” said Wale Onadeko, head of the organizing committee for the Vantage Forum and Executive Director, ARM Agribusiness.

Previous editions of the Vantage Forum featured eminent personalities in the business space, including the MD of Access Bank PLC, Mr. Herbert Wigwe; MD, ARM- Harith Infrastructure Investments Ltd, Opuiyo Oforiokuma; MD/CEO – African Operations, Inlaks Limited, Femi Adeoti; Chairperson of First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika; and MD of SystemSpecs, John Obaro, amongst others.

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TLcom Leads $6mn Series A In African InsureTech Platform, Pula



TLcom Leads $6mn Series A In African InsureTech Platform Pula, SiliconNigeria

Pula, an African InsureTech service provider startup that specialises in digital and agricultural insurance to derisk millions of smallholder farmers across Africa, has closed a $6mn Series A fundraise.

The Series A fund was led by TLcom Capital, with the participation of Women’s World Banking. The new investment will be used to scale up operations in the company’s existing 13 markets across Africa. Currently, Pula has impacted over 4.3mn farmers on the continent and the new funding will also help propel its expansion into Asia to power resilience and profitability for Asian smallholder farmers.  

Launched in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure climate risks, improve their farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.

For smallholder farmers in emerging markets, the traditional method of calculating insurance through farm visits is often unaffordable for farmers, meaning these farmers are often neglected from financial protection against climate risks. 

 Through its Area Yield Index Insurance product, Pula leverages machine learning, crop cuts experiments and data points relating to weather patterns and farmer losses to build products which caters for a variety of risks including drought, excessive rainfall, pests and diseases. The company’s key clientele include the likes of the World Food Programme, Central Bank of Nigeria, Zambian Government & the Kenyan Government. Pula has also  launched an NDVI Livestock insurance as an offering for livestock farmers.

 Speaking on the new fundraise, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Pula, Rose Goslinga, says “When Thomas and I launched Pula in 2015, we had one goal in mind – to build and deliver scalable insurance solutions for Africa’s 700mn smallholder farmers and with our latest funding, now is the time to break into new ground. In our five years since launching, we’ve built strong traction for our products but the fact remains that across Africa and other emerging markets, there are still millions of smallholder farmers with risks to their livelihoods that have not been covered.” 

“In the midst of a global pandemic, farmers need assurances now more than ever and with this in mind, it’s time to scale up. Having TLcom Capital and Women’s World Banking along on the journey with us, opens up many more opportunities as we build across the continent and beyond.”  

Through its partnerships with banks, governments and agricultural input companies, Pula is at the center of an ecosystem which provides insurance to smallholder farmers and has amassed 50 insurance partners, as well as six reinsurance partners. In December 2020, the startup was named as the “InsurTech of the Year” at the African Insurance Awards 2020 held in Lagos, Nigeria. As part of the new fundraise, TLcom’s Senior Partner Omobola Johnson will join Pula’s Board. 
Maurizio Caio, Managing Partner and Founder at TLcom Capital, states “In Pula, we found a company addressing a hugely underserved market in one of Africa’s key drivers of growth and with this, an opportunity for major economic upside. The potential for  the insurance market for smallholder farmers in Africa is huge and under the leadership of Rose and Thomas, Pula has rapidly established a strong presence throughout the continent and has a number of high-profile clients on their books. We are confident of Pula’s potential for growth in spite of the pandemic and look forward to partnering with them as they execute the next phase of their journey.” 

Christina Juhasz, CIO at Women’s World Banking, also states “Given the legions of women engaged in small-hold farming and securing the food supply for communities around the globe, Women’s World Banking is delighted to partner with Pula Advisors in providing them financial safety nets against the risks of pests, disease and climate change”.

In 2018, Pula announced the close of its $1mn seed round from Rocher Participations with support from Accion Venture Lab, Omidyar Network and several angel investors. Previous funders have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mulago Foundation and Mercy Corps Social Ventures and the company presence in Africa currently extends to Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. 

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