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MTN’s Investment In Infrastructure to Deliver Best Customer Experience

MTN’s 4G network currently covers approximately 40% of its coverage locations, which translates to about 65 million data customers.

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MTN Nigeria has said it will prioritise the expansion of the 4G network with an estimated N600 billion on technical infrastructure over the next three years as it looks to increase 4G network across the country from the existing 40% coverage.

Speaking at the company’s first public Annual General Meeting which held in Lagos on Friday, 15th May 2020, Ferdi Moolman, CEO, MTN Nigeria said:

“Due to the nature of our business, we are committed to innovating new technology and delivering the best customer experience which can be capital intensive, our target is to have coverage across the country and a minimum of 4G network service across all locations.

“Cash collateralized Letters of Credit, Forwards contracts, and favourable credit rating with major partners and vendors will make funding relatively easy for us, but we will also be cautious in our approach to limit foreign currency exposure.”

READ ALSO: Update: FG extends gradual easing of lockdown by 2 weeks

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Presently, the company’s 4G network covers approximately 40% of its coverage locations which translates to about 65 million data customers. A significant amount of investment would be made to not just extend the 4G network but to also cover more rural locations in Nigeria. The company expressed excitement on the possibilities that the transition to digital platforms presents to the company as growth in voice revenue is also expected to remain healthy.

“We closed the year with 132 cities covered by 4G and became the first mobile network operator in West Africa to demonstrate the capability of 5G technology. We are excited about its potential for our customers and the country’s national development plans.

READ ALSO: NCC wades into Coronavirus linkage with 5G, says controversy is untrue

“We maintained our leadership position in network net promoter score (NPS) as we continue to invest to improve service quality and drive expansion and innovation,” Moolman said.

This investment in infrastructure will enable the company to accelerate its 4G network expansion, deepen population coverage, and support the Federal Government’s broadband initiatives.


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Corporate Press Releases

DAPPMAN highlights critical role of warehousing and logistics in growth of downstream sector

Deregulation opens up opportunities for other ancillary industries, while deepening economic activities.

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DAPPMAN highlights critical role of warehousing and logistics in growth of downstream sector, Oil, Oil prices slump from 5 week high over lockdown concerns

With the continued drive by the Federal Government to fully deregulate the downstream sector of the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), has reiterated its commitment to ensuring seamsless storage and distribution of products across the nation.

DAPPMAN said the significance of deregulation goes beyond price determination, noting that the handling of petroleum products have far reaching effects on the health of the general public and environmental sustainability.

READ: Minister of Petroleum explains reasons for subsidy removal

“The critical role of DAPPMAN member companies in storage, distribution and supply infrastructure investment has been instrumental to the growth of the sector. As deregulation opens up the market, all stakeholders can rest assured that DAPPMAN’s role in promoting global standards gives the buying public value for money with a huge premium on transparency and professionalism,” said
DAPPMAN Chairman, Mrs. Winifred Akpani said the entry of private warehousing and logistics operators under the aegis of DAPPMAN has over the past two decades made the downstream sector more robust, competitive and efficient.

“DAPPMAN notes that a major part of the success of the oil and gas industry rests with investors in the warehousing and logistics aspect of the value chain as they enable producers, refineries, marketers and distributors to warehouse and transport their products in the short and long-term.

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READ: Gas is the new petrol – FG to Nigerian car owners

“This continues to enhance local capacity in the management of strategic and essential storage operations as well as distribution through investments in new and additional pipeline networks. This will certainly position the sector for increased growth upon full deregulation and translate to more value for consumers,” she added.

Industry experts say as has been the case over the last three decades, through their investments in major warehousing and logistics terminals totalling almost 1.029 million metric tonnes of products across the nation, DAPPMAN has been instrumental to efficient management of growing increase in the supply and demand of petroleum products, resulting in a higher level of reliability, security and transparency across the country.

READ: FG to save N1 trillion annually from petrol subsidy removal

DAPPMAN’s huge infrastructure development has helped improve the Supply Chain Management of the downstream sector, which has led to increased efficiencies in the distribution and retailing of petroleum products.

Mrs. Akpani said deregulation will also open up opportunities for other ancillary industries, while deepening economic activities and driving stable demand and supply mechanisms such as product blending facilities, necessary for the continued growth of the industry.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

“DAPPMAN sees a future of opportunities for all stakeholders through full deregulation of the downstream sector of the industry and believes that Nigeria is moving in the right direction towards becoming a major hub for warehousing and logistics management across the continent that would compete with major terminals across Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.”

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Corporate Press Releases

FITC/NIBSS Cybersecurity conference: The need for a robust cybersecurity strategy

Data protection is key as there are over seven billion internet connected devices in the world.

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Stakeholders have underscored the need for a Robust Cyber Security strategy and Risk Management Financial Services Growth Cybersecurity risks, as e-fraud have continued to ravage global economies and businesses, with emerging market worst hit due to weak corporate governance and processes.

To get more businesses and financial institutions to know more about the rising trend and ways to curb it, FITC/Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), held a Virtual ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference where stakeholders shared knowledge and insights on curbing the increase in cybercrime.

The conference drew industry experts and thought leaders in Cybersecurity, Technology and Financial services and regulators within and outside Nigeria to discuss avenues where the Nigeria Financial Services Sector can upscale its capacity to tackle emerging challenges in the Nigerian and African cybercrime space.

With the global digitization and shift towards a more connected tomorrow, cyberattacks and risks stemming from these innovations have increased in frequency and impact. The advent of telework arrangements necessitated by the COVID pandemic has seen cybersecurity risks rise significantly with current defences being challenged and weaknesses being exposed.

Combined with the expanding threat landscape, organizations are seeing a steady rise in the number of security breaches, with many organisations experiencing stealthy, sophisticated, and targeted cyberattacks. The gap between cybersecurity risk and defensive effectiveness is now as wide as it has ever been for most companies.

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As the number of cyberattacks increase, and take more time to resolve, the cost of cybercrime continues to rise. Organisations are now faced with an evolving and fluid threat landscape with cross jurisdictional actor parties that target every vulnerability.

FITC, Nigeria’s leading knowledge curating and performance improvement firm for the financial sector, in its zeal to bridge the gap between cybersecurity threats and defences, while demonstrating its technology-driven and innovation-led approach to value creation, collaborated with Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) to bring to stakeholders Africa’s largest virtual cybersecurity conference.

The event attracted experts from across different sectors of the economy including Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor Financial System Stability, Ms. Aishah Ahmad CFA, Deputy Managing Director, NIBSS, Niyi Ajao, Chief Information Security Officer at FirstBank, Harrison Nnaji, Dr. Obadare Adewale Peter, Co-Founder and COO, Digital Encode, Chief Information Security Officer, Zenith Bank Plc, Festus Amede, NIBSS, Chief Information Officer at NIBSS, Wunmi Faiga, the Security and Compliance Specialist at Microsoft, Somi Ochuba and Wema Bank CEO, Ademola Adebise, among others.

(READ MORE:FITC/NIBSS to host largest financial services sector cybersecurity conference in Africa)

The conference was attended by over 1000 delegates across five continents, 30 countries and 300 organizations. The conference’s virtual platform using AI technology mimicked and, in some cases, enhanced the experience beyond that of a physical conference.

 

Some of the major topics discussed include – Cybersecurity and Digital Transformation: Challenges for Emerging Markets; Cybersecurity and IT Infrastructure Protection; Cybersecurity and Financial Services: Imperatives, Risks and Control; Building Cybersecurity for Financial Services Growth; among others.

In her opening remarks, Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer FITC, Ms. Chizor Malize, said the programme is for collection and documentation of new knowledge in the areas of cyber security and finding new ways of tackling the menace.

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According to her, FITC as an organization driven by technology and innovation is delighted to have organized the largest of such engagement on cybersecurity in Africa. She said,
“For over 15 years, FITC has published survey findings on Fraud and Forgeries cases in the Banking Industry, insights from this quarterly publication highlights the issue of cybercrime and the imperatives for players in the industry to build cybercrime fighting capacity relevant for today’s sophisticated digital world.

“Some of the increasing risks and threats facing organizations emanate from social engineering, ransomware, and security risks from IoT which necessitates integration and interoperability of devices. It also includes cloud misconfiguration and, in some cases, general data protection regulations and compliance that further exposes organizations with global operations. The COVID-19 pandemic also further exacerbated the level of cyber attacks in 2020.’’

(READ MORE:CardinalStone’s Debut Commercial Paper Issuance records 148% subscription)

According to her, organized crime groups have shown themselves more ruthless and entrepreneurial, repurposing phishing, attacking infrastructures, and building fake websites with recorded increase in scam.

Also speaking, CBN Deputy Governor Financial System Stability, Ms. Aishah Ahmad CFA, said the financial services sector is particularly susceptible to cybercrime given its crucial role of financial intermediation in a highly connected financial system.

Aside significant financial losses, the sector is also exposed to potential compromise and loss of customer data, and disruption of operations, which undermine stakeholders’ confidence in financial system stability. She said,

“The challenge of banking product security and abuse is impacting the adoption of products. If people find out that digital channels are getting more secured and that there are opportunities they can leverage when they have challenges, there are more chances that they will embrace the channels.

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“As the world switched to social distancing and remote working, remote learning, remote shopping and electronic financial transactions, due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, more opportunities have opened for cyber criminals to prey on unsuspecting citizens and businesses.’’

(READ MORE:Nairametrics announces Strategic Data Partnership with Statista)

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Speaking further, Ahmad said the CBN is committed to strengthening its regulatory and supervisory framework to boost the resilience of the financial system against cybercrime.

“It is gratifying to note that most Nigerian banks have in place Security Operation Centers (SOCs) in line with global best practices, others have been encouraged to follow suit, whilst the CBN has also commenced the development of an industry wide SOC – CBN Cybersecurity Fusion Centre (C2FC) – to serve as a shared service platform for the Financial Sector providing cyber intelligence gathering, analysis, dissemination and crisis response,” she added.

Deputy Managing Director at NIBSS, Niyi Ajao, said the programme is crucial for the industry, as a way to guide industry wide cybersecurity development. He said,

“We will continue to educate and inform stakeholders about cyber fraud threats to protect the system. We will keep partnering with stakeholders to share experience, and the participants to put what they learnt in practice to bring benefits to the industry and their companies.”

Ajao spoke on the theme: Cybersecurity and Financial Services: Imperatives, Risks and Controls. He stated that e-fraud is increasing due to increase in financial inclusion and e-payment adoption. He also added that from basic technology to AI, tools are readily available to rogue players who are after unauthorized access to data.

In his Keynote address, Senior Director, Supervisory Guidance, Toronto Centre, Phang Hong Lim, shared proven roadmaps to a more cyber resilient financial sector. He emphasized the imperatives for banks to develop an effective control and response framework for cyber risk including the implementation of general sound risk management practices to provide baseline cyber hygiene.

(READ MORE:Active bank accounts in Nigeria surge to 111.5 million as COVID-19 drives account opening)

Wema Bank CEO, Ademola Adebise, who was one of the speakers at the second plenary, shared that the bank started ALAT in 2017 and had known that cyber threats will occur. The bank, he added engaged a Chief Information Security Officer and took governance issues seriously ensuring that the CIO reports to the MD and risk management committee presents regular report to the board.

The Chief Information Officer at NIBSS, Wunmi Faiga, who was one of the speakers at the third plenary, advised that people should be risk aware. The risk segment of the organisations should pay attention to the insider threats adding that some of the crimes are aided and abated by internal stakeholders. She said that controls should be extended to homes as people have started working from home.

On third party risk, she said that it is a cashless world, and there’s demand for quick realtime services and that third party risk assessment is very critical for NIBSS, adding that all third parties connected to organizations should have the right governance.

Also speaking, Chief Information Security Officer at FirstBank, Harrison Nnaji, shared that very importantly too, financial service providers need to build confidence in the digital products they offer. They need to make sure the products they put up are well secured.

Co-Founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Digital Encode Limited, Obadare Adewale Peter brilliantly shared that there is nothing like 100 per cent cybersecurity because any system can be digitally invaded. “You need to be able to take charge of architecture, design, implementation and operation of your security to be able to secure your systems. In building cyber security, a company’s chief information officer (CISO) needs to look beyond technology, and strike balance between the people, process, and technology. As a CISO, one needs leadership, material, and financial skills to build stable and robust technology. The CISO is expected to be dealing with a lot of stakeholders in the company and needs to be versatile,” he said.

(READ MORE:Quick Take: SWOT analysis of Nigeria’s financial sector according to Fitch Solutions)

Chief Information Security Officer, Zenith Bank Plc, Festus Amede, said that rapid adoption of technology without adequate defence mechanism and pressure on financial institutions to keep costs low remains a major challenge facing the adoption and deployment of digital products.
“Most emerging markets have their data centre in-house, only very few are in the cloud. Even though cloud is where to be, you need to prepare before migrating to the cloud. Account hijacking is also a major concern, especially with people using unsecured channels because of the challenges to grow the numbers. Using channels like USSD exposes bank customers a lot, as their SIM cards can be swapped, or your PIN harvested through phishing among other means,” he said.

Security and Compliance Specialist at Microsoft, Somi Ochuba, explained that as businesses embrace digital transformation, and compete with companies trying to develop their own technology, they would need to develop new digital capabilities using data and information. Data and information are the lifeblood of organizations, but they also attract criminal activities.

According to her, Data protection is key as there are over seven billion internet connected devices in the world, excluding laptops and devices, which are sources of vulnerabilities.

According to Ruth Didam of Bank of Agriculture, the conference was one of her best virtual event experiences. “The cyber security conference was so super amazing, insightful, and revealing. FITC was able to take virtual learning to another amazing level. Looking forward to the 2021 conference.”

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Corporate Press Releases

FITC/NIBSS to host largest financial services sector cybersecurity conference in Africa

FITC in partnership with NIBSS will host the biggest virtual cybersecurity conference in Nigeria.

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The global cyber threat continues to evolve at a rapid pace, with a rising number of data breaches each year. A report by Risk Based Security revealed that a shocking 7.9 billion records have been exposed by data breaches in the first nine months of 2019 alone. This figure is more than double (112%) the number of records exposed in the same period in 2018.

Today, in one form or another, most organizations are on the path to digital and some are fully there. This has presented businesses with new opportunities and challenges, organizations as a necessity, must rethink cyber protection in this digital age. Thus, strategies and consequent policies to tackle cybercrime have become top priorities in many emerging markets, and their adoption requiring strong commitment from national authorities and the allocation of appropriate resources and capacities.

As a leader in knowledge content consolidation and capacity building, FITC in partnership with NIBSS will host the biggest virtual cybersecurity conference in Nigeria, themed “Combating Cybercrime: Strategies for Strengthening Emerging Markets”, scheduled to hold on Thursday, September 10, 2020. FITC and NIBSS as socially conscious, innovation-led and technology-driven organisations, have collaboratively designed the Conference for individuals and organisations, driven by a collective commitment to divergent thinking and global sustainable development, to proffer and co-create solutions to this cybercrime menace, particularly focusing on Africa and emerging markets. The event will bring to the stage thought leaders from the Financial Services Sector inclusive of Banks, Technology and Fintech companies across the sub-Saharan Africa. It will attract top C-suite Executives, Subject Matter Experts, and professionals from across the world who will share insights on contemporary issues around cybersecurity, relevant to the sustained growth, development, and survival of businesses in Africa.

The Conference, which is in partnership with Nairametrics, is set to achieve the following objectives amongst others; share survey findings on recent incidence on cybersecurity issues facing the financial services sector; provide industry expert insights on building cybercrime fighting capacity relevant for today’s sophisticated digital world and share organizational resilience strategies adopted by developed economies in protecting organization’s digital life. Cybercrime is now being perpetrated on a commercial scale, even in the midst of the pandemic, by very well-connected and sophisticated professionals and firms, but continuous education and sensitization will create the awareness and collaboration needed to win this war.

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Some of the high profiled lined up speakers include industry giants such as Aishah Ahmad CFA, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN  Ademola Adebise MD/CEO, Wema Bank,  Niyi Ajao, Deputy Managing Director, NIBSS, Mitchell Elegbe MD/CEO Interswitch, Adedoyin Odunfa CEO, Digital Jewels,  Azeez Oluwafemi, Head, Product and Innovation, Flutterwave, Musa Jimoh, Director, Payments System Management, CBN, Adebayo Sanni, Country Managing Director, Oracle, Nigeria, Dr. Tunde Coker CEO, Rack Centre, Funke Opeke, MD/CEO MainOne Cable, Nkemdilim U. Begho CEO, Future Software Resources, Wunmi Faiga, Chief Information Security Officer, NIBSS, Chike Ive-Meme CEO, Environ and Adewale Obadare, MD Digital Encode.

The speakers will share comprehensively, tried and trusted practices on how they have stayed afloat in combating cybercrime, proffering apt solutions and resolves in combating cybercrimes in their various industries both in Nigeria and beyond.

The 7-hour event will have four power packed sessions, with over 25+ renowned speakers. There will also be networking arenas, exhibition booths, sponsors booths, meeting lounges and other interesting features guaranteed to make the experience feel like an actual physical conference.

About FITC

FITC is a world-class innovation-led knowledge and professional services firm providing cutting edge Learning, Consulting, and Research Services to clients within and outside Nigeria. FITC was established in 1981 as a non-profit organization limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and serve as a knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector. The organization is owned by the Bankers Committee, i.e. CBN, NDIC, and all deposit money banks in Nigeria.

For over three decades FITC has been at the forefront of innovative knowledge offerings designed for an array of C-suite executives, directors of banks and other financial institutions. FITC is a recipient of the International Federation of Training & Development Organizations (IFTDO) ‘Change Agent in Learning and Development in Africa’ Award.

About NIBSS

Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) was incorporated in 1993 and is owned by all licensed banks including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). NIBSS has put in place modern world-class infrastructures for handling inter-bank payments to remove potential bottlenecks associated with inter-bank funds transfer and settlement. The company also operates the Nigeria Automated Clearing System (NACS) which facilitates the electronic clearing of cheques and other paper-based instruments, electronic funds transfer, Automated Direct Credits and Automated Direct Debits. NIBSS also operates the Nigeria Central Switch which interconnects all banks and other licensed payments service providers to provide interoperable services, including the Digital Bank Verification Number scheme. The company continues to lead in providing innovative services and remains at the forefront of championing fin-tech future in Africa.

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