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IT and Telecomms

NIMC Debunks Report On Data Server Breach

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NIMC Debunk Report On Data Server Breach, SiliconNigeria

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has debunked the report making the rounds that its server was breached, describing it as false, a hoax, and of mischievous intent.

A statement signed by the Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Kayode Adegoke on Wednesday assured the public that there have been no such breaches or incidents.

Adegoke said investigations on the alleged data dump were found to be non-existent in the National Identity Database.

He explained that the investigation carried out by the Commission on the data breach claim found out that the database schema presented by the adversary does not tally with the existing schema of NIMC records, adding that the data being posted by criminals purporting to contain citizens’ information is fake.

The statement reads in part: “The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) would like to bring to the attention of the members of the general public that the purported breach of the National Identity Database going round the social media is false, a hoax, and of mischievous intent

“The NIMC would like to assure the public that there have been no such breaches or incidents. Investigations on the alleged data dump were found to be non-existent in the National Identity Database

“The Commission investigated the data breach claim and found out that the database schema presented by the adversary does not tally with the existing schema of NIMC records. The data being posted by criminals purporting to contain citizens’ information is fake.”

He however, reaffirmed that the Commission would continue to guarantee the security of the National Identity Database through various layers of security, insisting that no data was breached.

He urged members of the general public therefore to refrain from spreading false reports on the purported data breach

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IT and Telecomms

Nigeria’s Sparkle Partners with Payment Experts Network International for virtual and physical payment cards

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Nigeria’s Sparkle Signs with Payment Experts Network International for virtual and physical payment cards, SiliconNigeria

Sparkle, a mobile-first digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle and business support services to Nigerians across the globe, has partnered with Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across Africa and the Middle East, to power its recently launched payment card offering. 

Sparkle’s new virtual and plastic debit cards are targeted at SMEs and upwardly mobile, unbanked consumers across Nigeria, bringing them the convenience, flexibility, safety and security of cashless payments across various channels. The cards will enable Sparkle customers to make in-app purchases as well as pay for e-commerce and m-commerce transactions. 

Sparkle was founded by entrepreneur, tech pioneer and financial inclusion advocate, Uzoma Dozie with the mission of helping Nigerians fulfil their financial and lifestyle needs. The company’s collaboration with Network International is based on their shared commitment to further the adoption of digital payments among emerging markets across Africa and the Middle East.    

Collaborating with the region’s largest payment company offers Sparkle access to Network’s years of experience and expertise in creating card solutions for emerging markets. Sparkle can benefit from Network’s advanced digital infrastructure and robust security protocols, avoiding the need to invest in expensive card management infrastructure. 

Commenting on the partnership, Uzoma Dozie, Founder of Sparkle, said, “Digital adoption and customer experience is going to be dependent on the people, platform and partnership. In the area of payment processing and data insights, Network International brings that to our platform, and we are truly excited about the future of the partnership and what it means for the enablement and transformational impact for Nigerians anywhere in the world who are connected to the Sparkle platform.” 

Andrew Key, Managing Director – Africa, Network International, said, “We are delighted to strengthen our strategic alliance with Sparkle as it seeks to further disrupt the payments offering to consumers and retailers in Nigeria. Building on our two decades of experience within payments and deep insight of the African market, we look forward to deploying our trusted platform and best-in-class technology towards supporting digital and financial inclusion of Nigerian consumers and businesses.”

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IT and Telecomms

META IT Market Spending Predicted to Top $77 Billion

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META IT Market Spending Predicted to Top $77 Billion, SiliconNigeria

After contracting 4.9% in 2020, IT spending across the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) will make a welcome return to growth this year, increasing 2.8% to $77.5 billion.

That’s according to the latest predictions revealed by International Data Corporation (IDC) as more than 1,000 senior executives from the region’s most influential technology vendors, telecommunications operators, and IT service providers gathered online last week for the first ever virtual edition of IDC Directions Middle East, Turkey & Africa.

The annual event is a firm fixture on the ICT industry calendar and this year focused on the theme of ‘Resetting for the Next Normal: Strategies for Enabling the Future Digital Enterprise’. Opening the day’s proceedings, the firm’s group vice president and regional managing director, Jyoti Lalchandani, explained that spending on digital transformation (DX) is set to gather even more pace in the post-pandemic period, increasing from 25% of total IT spending in 2020 to 37% in 2024.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic fallout has accelerated digital transformation across the region, spurring unprecedented demand for contactless services, cloud solutions, and collaboration applications,” said Lalchandani. “Most economists predict a return to economic growth this year as vaccines become more widely available, and we expect that by 2022, 70% of organizations worldwide will have increased their use of digital technologies, transforming existing business processes to drive new levels of customer engagement, employee productivity, and business resiliency.”

Lalchandani’s other predictions for the META region’s dynamic ICT markets in 2021 included the following:

  • Overall ICT spending (telecom services and IT) will grow 1.9% to surpass $209.5 billion.
  • Spending on public cloud services will grow 26.7% to top $3.7 billion.
  • Spending on SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS will grow 24.5%, 30.6%, and 30.7%, respectively.
  • Spending on professional cloud services will grow rapidly to total $1.6 billion.
  • Spending on AI software will grow 23% to top $540 million.
  • Spending on security (hardware, software, and services) will grow 7.1% to reach $3.3 billion.

IDC’s global president, Crawford Del Prete, presented the event’s keynote address, outlining IDC’s long-term outlook and explaining how many of the changes instituted during the last 12 months will lead to a permanent shift in IT customer behavior. “COVID-19 has brought about huge changes in IT demand across almost every segment of the market,” said Del Prete. “A clear example of this is the dichotomy between DX investment and non-DX investment, with the former set to grow at a CAGR of 15.5% globally between 2020 and 2023, while the latter will contract -1.4% over the same period. We expect 65% of the world’s GDP to be digitalized by 2022, with direct DX investments totaling $6.8 trillion globally between 2020 and 2023.”

The agenda also incorporated a series of track sessions that enabled the delegates to deep dive into the individual markets that top their agenda for the year ahead. These dedicated sessions outlined trends and forecasts for key countries/sub-regions and explored the latest developments in critical technologies such as cloud, security, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and the Internet of Things. They also included fascinating market-focused panel discussions that showcased invaluable demand-side insights from leading end-user decision makers such as:  

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IT in Healthcare

54gene Unveils World-class Scientific Research Laboratory in Lagos State, Nigeria

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54gene Unveils World class Scientific Research Laboratory in Lagos State Nigeria, SiliconNigeria

54gene has unveiled its new lab in Lagos State, Nigeria, capable of human whole genome sequencing and a variety of other scientific investigations. Hosting a suite of world-class molecular genomics capabilities, including the Illumina Novaseq 6000 and NextSeq 550Dx the lab is part of 54gene’s mission to enable Africans to conduct genomics research and will be fully operational from January 2021.

The new lab, recently inspected by the Commissioner of Health for Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, is geared to crucially expedite internal and external research projects designed to facilitate precision medicine for Africans and the global population. 

54gene is currently conducting research to discover novel biological insights based on genetic modifiers, by deriving information from its unique and rich data set. This will allow the company’s researchers to determine the underlying drivers of infectious and noncommunicable diseases prevalent on the African continent as well as genetic variants unique to its population. The new lab strengthens 54gene’s capacity to enable more research that yields insights from the world’s most diverse populations to solve some of the biggest global healthcare challenges.

Commenting on the significance of 54gene’s advanced molecular capabilities, Founder & CEO, Dr Abasi Ene-Obong said: “Over the last two years, our growth has been underpinned by a supremely experienced world class team, and the collaboration of key stakeholders on the continent. I am proud of the impact our work is making scientifically and economically on the African continent and globally; and the many scientists around the world, who collaborate with 54gene. 

“Our vision is not just to address the health disparities in Africa but to distinctly advance research in some of the most common and rare diseases that affect the global population. To do this we need to scale our operations and continue to collaborate on cutting edge research. The possibilities are immense and we look forward to expanding this impact even more.”

Visiting the Molecular Genetics Operations labs and the Biobank, the Honourable Commissioner of Health for Lagos State, Prof. Emmanuel Akinola Abayomi, said, “This is quite an impressive setup,

and I am happy that 54gene has chosen Lagos as its base. I believe this is going to be a mutually

beneficial arrangement as Lagos is keen to promote a medical innovation hub in the State. We will continue to create an enabling environment for the private sector, like 54gene, to flourish, while ensuring that the public’s interests are adequately protected. We look forward to partnering with 54gene and other stakeholders alike to power innovation and a sustainable bio economy.”

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