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Speaker Gbajabiamila asks NLC to suspend strike, offers palliatives

Nigeria’s lower federal legislative chamber has appealed to Labour to suspend its planned strike action.

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#EndSars: House of Reps to draft new Police legislation in 30 days, Speaker Gbajabiamila asks NLC to suspend strike, offers palliatives

The House of Representatives has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to suspend the strike planned to commence on Monday, as it offered the organised labour some palliatives.

This was disclosed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at a negotiation meeting with labour on Sunday in Abuja, according to NAN.

The palliatives, according to the Speaker, would be included in the proposed 2021 budget, which he said would soon be presented to the National Assembly.

READ: DisCos ask FG to reduce cost of gas in power generation

The speaker explained that some palliatives were being considered to cushion the effects of increase in electricity tariff and fuel price hike.

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Some of the palliatives are the distribution of food items, reduction of taxes on minimum wage and payment of some special allowances.

Others are involvement in ownership of housing programmes through mortgage and distribution of special buses to public institutions, which run on autogas.

READ: Only customers with minimum of 12 hours electricity can have tariff increase – FG

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Back story: Nairametrics had reported when labour insisted on going ahead with its earlier planned strike and protest, with effect from September 28, 2020, following the failure of the Federal Government to reverse the increases in electricity tariff and fuel price.

The disclosure was made by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, after the National Executive Council meeting of the labour organization in Abuja.

Gbajabiamila said that the palliatives would go a long way to assuage the suffering of Nigerians.

READ: NNPC gives condition for relocation of tank farms and depots from residential areas 

According to him, the lawmakers would also make provision in the budget to tackle the eight million deficit of meters to enable Nigerians to access them.

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He said, “I have never heard it anywhere in the world, so if we may have to provide for the deficit, we will have to do that.”

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He appealed to labour to suspend the planned strike, saying embarking on industrial action at this critical time would not augur well for the citizenry.

READ: Tariff hike: Unmetered customers will be exploited by DisCos, FCCPC alleges

You know, you cannot go on strike at this time, if you go on strike, the people you think you are protecting will be at the receiving end, we share your philosophy regarding workers’ rights. We know what Nigerians are going through, our position on electricity billing is obvious, the only thing now is to continue to talk, I am concerned about the people out there. Shutting down the markets, banks and other places of work is my worry, I am concerned about the people,” he said.

Gbajabiamila said that there was the need for every Nigerian to be properly metered in order to capture the true cost, adding that the lawmakers would consider metering in the 2021 budget.

Explore Economic and Financial Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

NLC’s response

Wabba, insisted that the organised labour would go ahead with the strike if its demands were not met by the Federal Government before the expiration of the ultimatum.

He said that the increase in electricity tariff and hike in fuel price had eroded the purchasing power of Nigerian workers.

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According to him, the initial plan was that there would not be increase in electricity tariff until meters were provided for Nigerians.

Wabba commended the speaker for the intervention, adding that he had consistently represented the interest of Nigerians.

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The NLC president said there was a valid court judgment nullifying the electricity tariff, adding that the judgment of the National Industrial Court asking NLC to stop its planned strike could not be sustained.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Beer Sectoral Group to support victims with N50 million

Beer Sectoral Group of MAN to support victims and families of those affected by the #EndSARS protest with N50 million

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Beer Sectoral Group of MAN to support victims and families of those affected by the #EndSARS protest with N50 million

The Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has announced the creation of N50million fund to support those affected by the civil unrest spiked by the hijacked #EndSARS protests.

This disclosure was made in a statement released by BSG this morning, which was seen by Nairametrics.

The statement reads,

“Over the past few days, we have all witnessed the sad events that have taken place in our beloved country Nigeria. What commenced as a peaceful movement was overrun and became marred by violence, resulting in loss of lives and property across our nation.”

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“The Beer Sectoral Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria is committed to Nigeria, to the inclusivity and to the valuing of each other. We, therefore, denounce the violence that has erupted across our nation and we want to lend a hand to support those rendered vulnerable as a result of this critical social issue.”

“To this end, we hereby announce the creation of N50 million fund to support the victims and families of those affected by this crisis. BSG will be working with partner agencies to administer this fund.”

“We know that this does not bring back the lives that have been lost or undo the injustice many have suffered, but we believe it is a step towards healing our vibrant nation and reinforce our commitment to contribute to the dialogue and action which can support a better Nigeria for everyone.”

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(READ MORE:7 stowaways, including Nigerians, arrested after suspected hijacking off Isle of Wight)

What you should know

  • The Beer Sectoral Group is a group under the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, it includes key producers in the Beer sector such as Nigerian Breweries Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc, and International Breweries Plc.
  • The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) was established in May 1971 as a company limited by guarantee. The establishment of the Association was motivated by the desire to have a focal point of communication and consultation between industry on the one hand, and the government and the general public on the other.

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Business News

COVID-19’s impact on cybersecurity and securing the remote workforce

Examining current cybersecurity challenges due to this pandemic as well as tips and recommendations on how to address them.

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We live in exciting times, COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, and as part of efforts to curb the spread of the disease, the pandemic has forced organisations to adapt to working remotely quickly.

Currently, working from home has become a new reality for organisations and their employees. As convenient as this may sound, it is fraught with its challenges.

From a cybersecurity perspective, working from home presents significant risks to organisations because cybercriminals around the world are capitalising on this crisis, and that makes the need to secure the remote workforce an ever-growing concern.

Since the outbreak began, there have been spikes in cyber-attacks as cybercriminals are using COVID-19 as bait to trap organisations and their employees.

To avoid falling victim, organisations must address these challenges without introducing new flaws by implementing and evaluating cybersecurity safeguards/controls.

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In this article, we will be talking about some current cybersecurity challenges due to this pandemic as well as tips and recommendations on how to address them.

Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime, with phishing, targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, credit card details and passwords. Cybercriminals know we desire more information at this time, and they are using that as bait to get people to click on malicious links via emails and text messages.

These messages often have an appearance of legitimacy and designed this way to pull you in, getting you to click on links that redirect you to malware-infested sites that could steal your personal information, money, or both.

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There have been numerous cases of criminals targeting governments and organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO reports a fivefold increase in cyberattacks directed at its staff and email scams targeting the public at large.

In another scenario, due to shortage of health-care-related products such as PPEs, test kits and ventilators, cybercriminals have impersonated sellers and manufacturers of such products and duped not just people and organisations, but also States, out of millions of dollars.

Business Email Compromise (BEC), a specialist type of phishing attack is becoming increasingly prevalent too. BEC attacks are designed to impersonate senior executives and trick employees, customers, or vendors into wiring payment for goods or services to alternate bank accounts.

How can you protect yourself? Here are five things you can do:

  1. Always verify the source of the message – never swallow anything hook, line and sinker. Pay attention to spellings or grammatical errors in emails or text messages.
  2. Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details.
  3. When entering sensitive information on a website, always verify that you are on a secure and legitimate website. A quick tip is to look out for the lock icon in your browser when you need to enter login details or other sensitive information such as your debit card details.
  4. Do not click on links from sources you do not know. Act by reporting them. Email service platforms such as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook, give you the ability to report phishing emails, this helps to protect other users from spam and abuse.
  5. Question everything. Always remember the adage, “if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

The Not-As-Secure Home Environment

As mentioned earlier, one of the fallouts of the pandemic is the shift from traditional working models to remote working. This has led to many individuals using their personal computers to conduct business and carry out work-related duties. These computers might not have up-to-date operating system patches or useful antivirus software, and attackers can easily exploit these vulnerabilities.

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It is essential organisations get employees on approved and secure devices to protect not only themselves but also the firm. Also, it is vital to know that while employees work remotely, they are not behind the typical corporate security perimeter. They are not protected by firewalls, no intrusion detection or prevention systems, no proxies etc. and with employees connecting directly to the internet with personal modems and routers, their visibility to attackers increases.

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What can be done to prevent this?

  1. Always ensure your operating system and security software is up-to-date with the most recent patches.
  2. Avoid free, unsecured, public WiFi.
  3. If you must connect remotely to your organisation’s network, maybe to login to a corporate application, use a VPN. It reduces your visibility on the internet by creating a safe and encrypted connection known as a tunnel.
  4. Use Multi-factor authentication. Authentication deals with validating the identity of individuals. It requires users to prove they are who they claim to be. There are three factors of authentication: the knowledge factor or something you know such as passwords, the possession factor or something you have such as tokens, access cards, keys and the inherence factor or something you are such as biometrics – fingerprints, retina.

Consequently, when we talk about multifactor authentication, the idea is having at least two of these factors present when proving your identity to a system. Use cases when logging into emails, corporate applications, and internet banking platforms.

Cyberattacks are nothing new, but in recent times, they have increased in frequency and magnitude. Cybercriminals are not letting this crisis go to waste, and they are working overtime, so organisations must take steps to protect themselves.

Governance and risk management functions must conduct and drive comprehensive risk assessments and business impact analysis for critical functions and processes within the organisation.

Policies around information security, cybersecurity and acceptable use of devices should be up-to-date and disseminated to all employees.

Organisations should test and update their cyber incident response, business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Operating system updates and security software patches must be mandatory.

Critical systems such as servers, core business applications should be monitored. Logs and security events from such systems should be reviewed daily. This will help to identify anomalies or suspicious activities quickly.

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Finally, do not forget your people. Humans are the weakest link in the security chain. It does not matter if you have the best technology or the most efficient processes. If your people are not informed, they put the entire organisation at risk.

Now is not the time to cut down on information and cybersecurity training and awareness. Learning interventions such as videos, newsletters, pictures, even games and quizzes go a long way in building a security-conscious culture in an organisation.

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These recommendations if implemented, can strengthen the security posture of your enterprise, enabling you to build and maintain a cyber-resilient one.

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Sports

UEFA to cut prize money for next 5 seasons due to financial impact of COVID-19

UEFA has decided to cut prize money for the Champions League and Europa League competitions due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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UEFA to cut prize money for next 5 seasons due to financial impact of COVID-19

The Union of European Football Association (UEFA), lost £514million from the Champions League and Europa League last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This led to reduced TV and sponsorship income, and as a result, it plans to cut prize money for club competitions – Champions League and Europa League, over the next five years (seasons) to offset the incurred losses.

READ: Football: AC Milan announces loss of €195million

According to The Times, UEFA wrote to its 55 member associations revealing the amount lost (£514million) due to the financial impact of the pandemic and its plans to cut the prize money for its two competitions.

By spreading the costs out to offset losses, competing clubs in the two UEFA club competitions (Champions League and Europa League) can expect a roughly 4-per-cent drop in Uefa prize money in each of the next five seasons.

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READ: Manchester United: A football club or a business

The 2019-20 Champions League and Europa League were on hold for five months (mid-March to August) when the pandemic wreaked havoc on the global sporting calendar, with the UEFA opting to schedule matches from the quarter-finals which were played as single-match knockout ties at neutral venues in Lisbon, Portugal (Estádio da Luz and Estádio José Alvalade).

DAZN, an English streaming platform terminated its rights deal for the UEFA club competitions (Champions League and Europa League) in particular places like South East Asia and Japan, the streaming platform cited the delay and the reduced number of matches (one-legged tie) as a reason for the termination.

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READ: Ajax FC’s shares fall by 21% after Champions League defeat

Telco Altice, a French multinational telecommunications corporation, which holds exclusive rights for the Champions League and Europa League in France, has publicly demanded its money back, due to the delay and reduction in matches played. Telco Atlice pays €350million per season for its rights to the two UEFA club competitions for the 2018-21 cycle.

READ: Messi emerges highest paid Sportsman on earth; here is how

Also, UEFA recently announced that financial services company – Mastercard, has renewed its Champions League sponsorship contract to continue through the 2021-24 cycle extending its 26-year partnership, dating back to 1994. The agreement also includes sponsorship rights for the UEFA Super Cup competition in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

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