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LSETF to host maiden Employment Summit to showcase leading job creation strategies

LSETF is pleased to announce the maiden edition of its ‘LSETF Employment Summit’, scheduled to hold on 5th – 6th February, 2020.

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LSETF to host maiden Employment Summit to showcase leading job creation strategies

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), is pleased to announce the maiden edition of its ‘LSETF Employment Summit’, scheduled to hold on Wednesday, 5th February – Thursday, 6th February 2020 at the Radisson Blu Hotel Ikeja, Lagos State.

The LSETF Employment Summit 2020 themed “Showcasing Leading Practices in Job Creation” is the Fund’s strategic platform that will bring together stakeholders to discuss and share winning strategies, plans, achievements and interventions on sustainable job creation and tackling unemployment in Lagos and Nigeria at large.

The Fund will showcase the impact and learnings from its interventions with representatives from other State Governments, corporate organisations and international development agencies responsible for job and wealth creation, LSETF believes the summit will also be an opportunity to showcase other leading models as case studies for job creation that can be replicated and used to accelerate existing interventions for a more holistic approach towards tackling unemployment in the country and beyond.

[READ ALSO: Lagos State Government seeks partnership with insurance operators]

Since the inception of the Fund in 2016, LSETF has positioned itself as a pivotal force in reducing the rate of unemployment in Nigeria, by providing entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for Lagos residents for job and wealth creation.

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An independent Impact Assessment Report supported by the Ford Foundation in 2018, shows that beneficiaries of LSETF’s various programmes were able to create almost 100,000 jobs within two years. In another report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), within the same period, Lagos State created the most jobs in the country, resulting in a 6.7% drop in the unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2018.

In his opening remarks at the press conference to announce the Summit, a Member, Board of Trustees, LSETF, Mr Dele Martins stated this year’s theme hinges on the understanding that “by drawing successful experiences from both the private and public sectors in putting people to productive work, we can identify sustainable solutions for job creation”. 

“I believe strongly that this Summit aligns with the ‘Next Level’ goals of both the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government’s THEMES agenda on job creation,” he said.

Speaking further on the Summit, the Acting Executive Secretary, LSETF stated, “We look forward to working with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum as we host representatives of State Government across the 35 states, Government agencies, NGOs, International Donor Agencies and Corporate organisations across Africa and the world.”

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Mrs. Abisoye also encouraged organizations, agencies, entrepreneurs, youth, women and the general public to join the conversation and take deliberate steps to create jobs.

The Summit will focus Jobs for the Future: Leveraging Technology for Job Creation, Generating employment opportunities through Agriculture, Women and Entrepreneurship, Government as an enabler for Job Creation, SME financing, The Importance of Monitoring and Evaluation for Sustainable Impact amongst others. Some of the confirmed speakers include: Mrs. Ndidi Nwunel, Managing Partner, Sahel Capital, Ms. Sharmi Surianarain, Chief Impact Officer, Harambee Youth Accelerator, South Africa, Mr. Dipo Faulkner, Country General Manager, IBM, Dr. Ndidi Nnoli, Group Chief, Sustainability and Governance, Dangote Group, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, Honorable Commissioner, Establishment, Training and Pension and Mrs. Solape Hammond, Special Adviser, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) and Lagos Global.

The Fund also appreciated partners and sponsors for their valuable contributions towards hosting a successful summit. The partners include IBM, Harambee Youth Accelerator South Africa, FCMB, Tek Experts, GIZ, Eko Innovation Centre (EIC), Jobberman, SOS Children’s Village, International Breweries, and Coca-Cola.

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Why you should be concerned about Nigeria’s cybersecurity problems

A VPN guarantees the security of online browsing by means of an encrypted “tunnel,” which replaces dedicated lines and hardware.

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According to the CIA Country Fact Book, Nigeria has nearly 85.5 million internet users. Mobile cellular subscriptions are slightly more than 184 million, an approximate 88 per 100 Nigerian inhabitants. Deloitte, a leading worldwide business services and consulting firm predicted that in 2020 Nigeria, like the rest of the world, would “witness unprecedented cyber-attacks and cybersecurity solutions.”

The real problem for Nigerian citizens is highlighted in this Stears Business online article. The average Nigerian, like citizens the world over, is accustomed to surrendering personal data in exchange for digital services. The problem in Nigeria is that there are no government mandates to prevent and report misuse or compromise of all that data.

The Stears article points out that “Nigeria is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to cyber-attacks.” As recently as 2018, “about 60% of Nigerian firms suffered an attack…” The bottom line is “Nigerian firms are being attacked, but no one is reporting what is stolen.”

The flip side of the issue is government censorship and control of internet access. According to Freedom House, after the February 2019 elections, the Nigerian government considered legislation to “restrict online speech” in response to the spread of misleading and false online information.

While civil libertarians, bloggers, and internet users mobilized to oppose the bill, the government continued to leverage existing criminal defamation laws to arrest people for online activities. Nigeria has also blocked websites promoting the independence of the Biafra region and previously shut down internet access in three northern states during the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency.

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The good news is that Nigeria’s internet infrastructure is decentralized and complex. This promotes competition and makes it difficult for the government to systematically filter or censor internet use.

Nevertheless, there are troubling reports that Nigeria’s government accessed call records from service providers and arrested at least three reporters along with numerous bloggers for online activities. Also, journalists and news sites reported several distributed denial of service cyberattacks.

So, the struggle between Nigerian citizens and a government concerned with security means that hacking, privacy, and censorship issues will remain part of the Nigerian digital landscape indefinitely. Internet uses wanting to access Nigerian resources should use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

The best reasons to use a VPN in Nigeria

VPNs are an encrypted tunnel

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A VPN guarantees the security of online browsing by means of an encrypted “tunnel,” which replaces dedicated lines and hardware. The “tunneling” is by means of a pathway where a packet of data is enclosed within another encrypted packet, which can neither be intercepted nor read without the encryption key at the destination.

The VPN shows the user’s address as that of the VPN server the user logged into—a secure server in Nigeria, for example. When the VPN routes the user to the that secure VPN site, the data is encrypted.

Hackers and other surveillance agencies will have a difficult time tracing and tracking the user, even if the destination site is not secure. This is due to location and IP masking provided by the VPN server.

VPNs provide privacy and online protection

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Browsing without a VPN makes the user a sitting target for trackers. Without the privacy and online protection of a VPN, the internet service provider can observe and record the user’s browsing activity and habits and sell the data to marketers. Also, without a VPN, the user can be vulnerable to compromises on unprotected public networks through so-called “Man-in-the-Middle” (MITM) attacks.

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Preventing MITM breaches

Protecting against MITM attacks is the top reason for using a VPN. This is especially so on public Wi-Fi networks. Cyber criminals use detection technology and clever tactics like employing fake websites and apps. The goal is to gain their victim’s user credentials and passwords. The interference can be real time, or through injection of malware to the victim’s device for later activation.

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MITM hackers use a number of tech-savvy and clever strategies, which include the following:

  • using so-called “pineapple” devices to find nearby unsecured user networks
  • DNS spoofing to lure the user to fake websites
  • using fake web applications to trick the victim into providing personal login credentials
  • using “sniffer” software to detect online activity of their target users
  • hijacking unencrypted session cookies, which show email login information

A VPN, then, acts as a mobile shield. It hides the user’s IP address and adds encryption to the mix. Even if the hacker were to intercept the connection, what is displayed is only indecipherable gibberish.

VPNs bypass geo-blocking

Most countries enforce copyright restrictions and allow online streaming services to permit access to local users only. A premium VPN service like Surfshark can defeat VPN blockers. It does that through location hopping seeking servers that to bypass government censorship and geo-blocking. Essentially, a VPN maintains the founding principle of the internet, which is free and open access to everyone.

VPNs defeat unfair pricing practices

Some online shopping services display different prices based on from where the shopper logs in. Those price variances can be as great as 150 percent. The common practice is to charge a user logging in from an affluent location the higher price, or the user could be directed to a site that has premium prices.

Looking for the best price for a flight to Abuja? The foregoing pricing practices are also employed by some airlines, their ticketing agents, as well as auto rental agencies and hotels. A traveler see could higher or lower ticket prices for the same trip, depending the IP address of the traveler. So, logging into a VPN server from a variety of VPN locations is a way to find the best traveling bargains.

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The Advantages of Premium VPNs

Free VPNs are not the best choice

There are a variety of free VPN services to choose from. They offer free downloads with no subscription fees. Rather than charging the user, free services raise revenue through intrusive ads and engage in sometimes shady practices that exploit their users. Free VPNs can also make the user’s online experience less secure and slow down web performance.

Free VPNs are essentially stripped-down versions of their premium counterparts. However in contrast to premium services, free VPNs:

  • monitor the user’s online activity and sell the logs to marketers
  • make the user a secondary target for hackers through malware-infested ads
  • slowdown browser performance/speed with popup ads broadband restrictions (i.e., throttling)

Premium VPNs are the optimum choice

On the other hand, for a low monthly subscription cost a premium VPN service provides the following advantages:

  • a no-logs policy–The user is never tracked on line, nor is any record kept of the user’s internet browsing habits.
  • state-of-the-art encryption and security protocols—A premium VPN includes 256-bit, military grade, unbreakable encryption.
  • a “kill switch” which safeguards against data linkage—When the user’s connection drops off the line, the VPN disconnects the user from the internet automatically.
  • effective bypassing of geo-blocking and VPN detectors—This is done through VPN server hopping.

A VPN Does Not Replace Online Security Measures

VPNs do not provide an absolute shield against cyber-attacks. Non-technical phishing and social engineering can bypass the best security where unwary users have been duped into downloading cleverly concealed malware.

So, a VPN is only one element of an overall security awareness that must include the following:

  • using strong antivirus software, which the provider updates as new threats develop
  • activating the built-in security settings already present on Windows and Mac operating systems
  • avoiding entering public Wi-Fi networks unprotected by a VPN
  • logging on to websites that only have the HTTPS header
  • being on the lookout for email phishing and never clicking on suspicious attachments or links
  • using a solid password strategy, e.g., lengthy passwords, with a different password for each secure entry point
  • backing up everything every day as the final defense against malware attacks

Summary and Takeaways

Nigeria, like everywhere else, has been a target of phishing and malware attacks. This densely populated African nation has been a target of cyber-attacks, but has lacked transparency in both reporting breaches and enforcing online security. Also, the Nigerian government has a history of trying to impose web censorship.

So, when signing on to the Nigerian internet, users should always use a strong, premium VPN. A VPN protects the user’s online connection that masks the user’s location and IP address. A VPN also protects against surveillance, online tracking and man-in-the-middle attacks.

MITM attackers use clever tactics both live attacks and injecting malware on the user’s device. Live MITM attacks can dupe the user into signing into fake websites and disclosing login information. VPNs also bypass geo-blocking and defeat unfair pricing practices.

Premium VPNs have distinct advantages over free VPN services. Free VPNs can compromise the user’s online anonymity and expose their systems to malware. Free VPNs can slow down the user’s internet experience with popup ads and restricting the user’s broadband width.

Premium, subscription-based VPN’s, on the other hand, have “no-logs” policies. They neither collect nor log user data. Premium VPNs also employ best-in-class encryption and security protocols. They do a better job in defeating VPN blockers.

A VPN must be considered as an important, but not the only element of, overall online security preparedness. Users need to load antivirus software, use their operating system built-in security—firewalls, encryption, etc.– and stay away from unsecured public Wi-Fi portals without using a VPN. Finally, for best web security, users should only enter websites that have HTTPS as part of the address designation.

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The payday revolution from Fidelity Bank is here

With Pay Yourself, you are able to decide when you receive your salary via USSD between the ‘official’ payday and the last day of the month.

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The concept of payday either brings with it hopeful anticipation of needs being met on the one hand, and on the other hand, the apprehension that the money wouldn’t be received in time to settle overdue needs.

Have you ever thought to yourself – ‘what if I could pay my salary myself?’

With the new product offering from Fidelity Bank called Pay Yourself, you are able to decide when you receive your salary via USSD between the ‘official’ payday and the last day of the month.

So whether you would like to start using your salary from your actual payday or prefer to receive it on the last day of the month, the choice is yours as you pay yourself whenever you want.

If you would like to know more about this revolutionary new product from Fidelity Bank, contact @fidelitybankplc on social media for more information.

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FirstBank begins the year with an innovative, convenient virtual payment card

The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a safe, convenient, and easy way of making e-commerce payments amongst other functionalities.

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FirstBank Agric Expo sets to promote new agribusiness opportunities

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider has launched the Virtual Payment card, a Naira denominated debit card and digital representation of the plastic debit card. The card is designed to be linked to either a customer’s operative account or wallet account.

The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a suitable alternative to the use of cash and cheques, with its wide-range features which include the ability of cardholders to protect his/her card using the block and unblock capabilities; PIN Reset; Change PIN as well as view statement at one’s convenience. It also enables diaspora customers to spend from his/her FirstBank account within the spend limit advised by the bank without the need for a physical card.

The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a safe, convenient, and easy way of making e-commerce payments amongst other functionalities.

The Virtual Payment Card can be created via the Bank’s leading digital channels; FirstMobile or Firstmonie Wallet applications. Customers can download the card, activate the card and consummate transactions all at once from the comfort of their homes/offices. No branch visit is required. Customers are advised to update their mobile application to the latest version, then select Card Services on the FirstMobile App and My Virtual Card application to create a Virtual Card at the cost of N215 (VAT Inclusive).

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said ‘the launch of our Virtual Payment Card is yet another secure and seamless way we promote electronic banking, whilst enabling customers to carry-out their transactions on the web”

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“The Virtual Payment Card is also designed to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 as it does not require physical interaction between the customer and FirstBank Branches. We enjoin our customers to download the application and stay ahead in modern banking,” he concluded.

Similarly, FirstBank recently launched the FAST Track ATM, the next-generation ATM and first of its kind in Africa, designed to promote financial activities on the ATM without any form of physical interaction with the machine.

For more information on the Virtual Payment Card, kindly click here for the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 126 years.

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With over 750 business locations and over 86,300 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on FirstMobile platform.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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