News

Nigeria’s fight against cybercrimes ranked 57th globally

Nigeria’s campaign against the menace of cybercrimes in the country have been ranked 57th out of the 175 countries surveyed in 2018 to have commitment towards a safer online space. It ranked fifth in Africa.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), through its Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), which conducted the study, claimed that Nigeria’s commitment towards fighting the threat is medium. Nigeria is in the same category with United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kuwait, Tunisia, and 50 others.

The commitment of United Kingdom, USA, France, Egypt, Kenya, and 49 others was ranked high, while Gabon, Algeria, and 86 others were ranked low.

Recall that the former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, had decried the rise of cybercrimes in Nigeria, saying the country was losing N127 billion yearly to porous online space.

Last week, Sophos had revealed that cybercriminals had increased their attacks via multiple channels, hence increasing the difficulty to defend networks. This multiple channels of attacks also imply that there is no one defensive strategy.

Noting that the wide range, multiple stages attacks are proving effective, Principal Research Scientist, Sophos’, Chester Wisniewski, said cybercriminals are evolving their attack methods and often use multiple payloads to maximise profits.

Meanwhile, while calling for more concerted efforts among nations, ITU, the United Nations arm in charge of global communications, said studies have shown that global average cost of a data breach was up 6.4 per cent in 2018. Due to the boost in the use of ICTs, the projected cybercrime cost will be an estimated $2 trillion by the end of 2019.

According to ITU, there have been less ransomware attacks, but more personal data and critical infrastructure breaches, including in hundreds of universities.

The UN body noted that there is still a visible gap between many countries in terms of knowledge for the implementation of cybercrime legislation, national cybersecurity strategies (NCS), computer emergency response teams (CERTs), awareness and capacity to spread out the strategies, and capabilities and programmes in the field of cybersecurity. It stressed that sustainable development in this area should ensure the resilient and adequate use of ICTs as well as economic growth.

According to ITU, the goal of the GCI is to help countries identify areas for improvement in cybersecurity, as well as motivate them to take action to improve their ranking, thus raising the overall level of cybersecurity worldwide.

The body said through the collected information, GCI aims to illustrate the practices of others so that countries can implement selected aspects suitable to their national environment, with the added benefit of helping to harmonise practices, and foster a global culture of cybersecurity.

Going forward, ITU said cooperation will play a major role in cybersecurity development. With the increasing interest in cybersecurity knowledge sharing and transfer in organisations, cooperation among relevant stakeholders such as central government, local public authorities, the private sector, academia, civil society, and international organisations become imperative.

ITU also called on countries to join the initiatives carried out in their regions to provide support in cybersecurity awareness and capacity building. In the Africa region, the UN body said member states can participate in the ECOWAS Convention on Cybersecurity, the SADC cyber drills and capacity building activities, and the East African Initiatives.

Already, software firm, Microsoft, had called for safer online community in Nigeria for improved economic growth.

Microsoft said the call became necessary following increasing phishing attacks on the Nigerian community, which it said is the biggest security headache for businesses and individuals, is among the hardest to tackle. The American technology company said phishing increased by over 250 per cent in Nigeria, and other parts of the world.

source: guardian.ng

News

Mali’s standoff, a time bomb to Nigeria, others, ECOWAS…

The Parliament of the Economic Community of West Africans States (ECOWAS) has raised the alarm over the isolated treatment of the Malian impasse by member-states, warning that the rest nations in the sub-region were sitting on a keg powder on account of the unabated standoff.

A delegation to the beleaguered West African nation, in its preliminary assessment yesterday of its visits to camps of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mopti and Bamako, urged for a swift resolution of the crisis, adding that no part in the entire sub-region was longer safe.

The team, which gathered relevant data concerning the refugees and first-hand information about their condition, sought to know if the rights of the affected persons to healthcare, shelter, food, and education had been respected.

The parliamentarians also engaged heads of the affected communities.

The trips, which gave the delegation a clear lead to addressing the problem in the country, gave direction on the need for a more critical look at the underlying triggers of the conflict in the first place as a good start to resolving the imbroglio.

Malian lawmaker, Fatimara Fonba, called on the parliament to also consider the role of some foreign political interests accused of fuelling the crisis in its report.

A member of the parliament, She said: “As representatives of the people, we should do something. We have to act and deal with the issues. Also, the involvement of the Parliament is necessary.

‘’It is a big mistake to think only Mali is threatened by this situation. We, as members of parliament, have a responsibility to find out what is behind the issues.

“Governments might not be able to say a number of things, but we as MPs are free to represent our people, criticise and condemn some initiatives.”

A member from Nigeria, Foster Ogola, stated that the only way the crisis in the country could be solved was to identify its root cause and grievances of the masterminds.

To Senator Mohammed Lafiaji, another MP from Nigeria, the legislative body should extend its peace efforts to other West African countries where necessary because ‘’if one part of the body is not functioning, the whole body does not.”

He urged that delegates should be sent to other nations in search of solutions.

The speaker, Moustapha Cisse Lo, while closing the session, submitted that the engagements in Mali had been fruitful and insightful.

He called on authorities in the sub-region to collectively address the crisis at hand, pointing out that the affected country “occupies a key position as a hub in the heart of Africa.”

 

 

source: Guardian.ng

News

‘192 Million in ECOWAS sub-region lack access to electricity’

 

About 192 million of the 330 million people living in West Africa do not have access to electricity.

The Executive Director, Economic Community of West Africa State (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), Mr. Mahamah Kappiah, disclosed this during an oversight visit by members of ECOWAS Parliament to the centre in Praia, Cape Verde.

He said only eight per cent of rural population in the region has access to electricity, attributing the poor development to population growth.

Statistics released by the centre revealed that Sierra Leone has the least access rate to electricity in the ECOWAS region, with less than 30 per cent of its urban community and two per cent of its rural population having access to electricity.

Cape Verde, on the other hand, has the highest rate of access to electricity, with more than 90 per cent access rate in its urban community and 65 per cent in rural areas.

He said the centre has formulated a regional policy in collaboration with the 15 member states to come up with an action plan for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

source: Guardian.ng
News

ECOWAS court records highest number of Judgment, ruling in…

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, on July 12,2019, said that the court recorded the highest number of judgments and rulings in 2018/2019 legal year.

The President of the Court, Justice Edward Asante, disclosed this at the end of 12th Administration and Budget Retreat held in Goshen city, Nasarawa state.

He said that since the inception of the court, the court recorded 28 judgments and eight rulings, which were the highest the court had ever recorded.

“Many more people have come to the court, it used to be an inter-state court, so therefore, at that time there were no cases, and just two cases were filed.

“But since they opened the court for individuals to have access to, the court has been flooded with so many cases and we are doing our best.

He said that its budget in the previous years was cut by five percent, saying that it has increased the 2020 budget by the same five percent.

According to him, the increase will be used for training staff, especially those in the research section, because there is a need for a library to enhance the activities of the court.

Speaking on the implementation of judgment by members state, the Judge said only five members state has appointed execution authorities to enforce implementation.

Asante said that even though Nigeria was among the countries yet to appoint executive authority, they are enforcing some of the judgments and rulings.

According to him, they have gotten reports from the parties that Nigeria is already paying some compensation from some judgments.

Asante said that it had issues with the laid-off contract staff and promised to appeal to the Council of Ministers to retain the staff they have on the ground so that work can progress.

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice commenced vacation on July 15, to resume on Sept. 15.

 

source: Guardian.ng

News

ECOWAS COURT FIXES 30TH OCTOBER 2019 TO DECIDE CASE…

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed the 30th October 2019 to deliver Judgment in an administrative case brought by a former ECOWAS Staff, Mr. Babatunde Adeyemo, against the West African Power Pool (WAPP) over his wrongful dismissal about two years ago by WAPP, a specialized agency of the Community.

The Court had earlier overruled the preliminary objection of the defence counsel, Mr. Raul Houngbedi, that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit, that the plaintiff had not exhausted the internal measures for seeking redress before approaching the court and that the plaintiff had not proved the actions taken against him were inconsistent with the specified procedure.

The plaintiff’s counsel had argued, relying on Article 83 (a), 84 and 85 of the Staff regulation, that the Court had jurisdiction since the Regulation applies to staff of all institutions and agencies of the Community.

WAPP was founded in 1999 as a cooperation of the national electricity companies of West Africa under the auspices of the ECOWAS and working towards the establishment of a reliable power grid for the region and a common market for electricity.

Mr. Adeyemo, a Nigerian/ Community citizen, who was employed on 7th December 2006 as the Director of WAPP’s Centre for Information Coordination, alleged in suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/31/18 filed on 3 August 2018 that his rights were violated through his abusive/wrongful dismissal from the service of WAPP.

Counsels to the plaintiff, Mr.Baba Body Zakari, Alexis Armand Deguenon and Mr. Ayodeji Tokunbo submitted that Mr. Adeyemo, worked assiduously for 11 years without receiving a query, the only query being for disregarding/having disregard for the Committee of Human Resources and Governance of WAPP during its 12th meeting/session held in Cotonou in March, 2017.

They alleged that the plaintiff was summoned before a disciplinary committee but denied the opportunity to defend himself and subsequently dismissed for an unfounded motive which was sustained despite various interventions.

They further averred that while the ECOWAS Staff Regulation provided for termination of appointment/dismissal when a serious offence had been committed by a staff, the alleged offence of the plaintiff did not amount to serious offence which was evident from the delay in the query which he received on the 2nd of May, 2017, two months after the alleged offence and dismissed after three tortuous months.

Among the reliefs sought were a declaration that he was wrongly dismissed; an order for WAPP to pay him damages and interests totaling 2 Million USD for defamation and prejudice suffered following his dismissal; an order for WAPP to pay compensation of three months’ salaries; and an order for WAPP to pay his social contribution for the remaining two years before his normal retirement from service.

The plaintiff also urged the court to fix timelines for the payment of the damages.

Among other things, counsel for the defence had argued that their actions were justified given that the plaintiff’s poor conduct could have adverse effect on the institution and that the procedure did not forestall an extension of suspension while the eventual termination was necessitated by the seriousness of the offence.

They also averred that the plaintiff’s salaries were paid to him until July 2017 as well as his severance package and produced evidence of payment of the entitlements.  In addition, they contended that the plaintiff was given fair hearing as indicated by the correspondences between both parties on the issue of query and his appearance before the disciplinary committee.

 

Source: ecowas.int

News

COURT FIXES 28TH JUNE 2019 TO RECEIVE REPORT OF…

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed the 28th of June 2019 to receive the report of a settlement in a case brought against the ECOWAS Commission by one, Mr. Ahounou Ambroise, a citizen of the Republic of Benin alleging the violation of his human rights following the premature termination of his contract by the Commission.

Mr. Ishaku Sambo and Mr. Daouda Fall, representing the Defendant said that although the Commission had filed an application for the extension of time, they had initiated a process for an out of Court settlement with the plaintiff. The defendant added that a committee has been set up on the dispute and therefore pleaded for an adjournment to enable both parties reach an amicable settlement.

Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante, who presided over the three member panel of the Court in the suit, adjourned the case after Counsel to the Plaintiff, Mr. Bertin Amoussou, did not raise any objection to the request by the Defendant.

In the initiating application no ECW/CCJ/APP/26/18 filed before the Court on the 12th of June 2018, Mr. Ahounou alleged the breach of his contract to provide technical support to the Commission’s Customs Directorate in the conceptualization and realization of the process for the setting up of a regional Customs Union

Relying on the signed contract between both parties and several memoranda, the plaintiff averred that his contract with the ECOWAS Commission was meant to end 31st August 2018, but terminated on 31st May 2018 through a letter of the same date.

The plaintiff is demanding the payment of all his entitlements until 31 August 2018, the effective date for the end of his contract with the defendant and the payment of 50 Million CFA Francs as damages.

But the Commission said it acted in line with the provisions of its new Tender Code and the 13th May 2016 Decision of the Community’s Council of Ministers in Dakar while the termination was communicated through a correspondence dated 31st May 2016 informing the Plaintiff of the termination of the contract with effect from 1st July 2016.

Also on the panel were Honorable Justices Dupe Atoki and Keikura Bangura.

 

Source:Ecowas.int

News

COURT FIXES 28TH JUNE 2019 TO RECEIVE REPORT OF…

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed the 28th of June 2019 to receive the report of a settlement in a case brought against the ECOWAS Commission by one, Mr. Ahounou Ambroise, a citizen of the Republic of Benin alleging the violation of his human rights following the premature termination of his contract by the Commission.

Mr. Ishaku Sambo and Mr. Daouda Fall, representing the Defendant said that although the Commission had filed an application for the extension of time, they had initiated a process for an out of Court settlement with the plaintiff. The defendant added that a committee has been set up on the dispute and therefore pleaded for an adjournment to enable both parties reach an amicable settlement.

Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante, who presided over the three member panel of the Court in the suit, adjourned the case after Counsel to the Plaintiff, Mr. Bertin Amoussou, did not raise any objection to the request by the Defendant.

In the initiating application no ECW/CCJ/APP/26/18 filed before the Court on the 12th of June 2018, Mr. Ahounou alleged the breach of his contract to provide technical support to the Commission’s Customs Directorate in the conceptualization and realization of the process for the setting up of a regional Customs Union

Relying on the signed contract between both parties and several memoranda, the plaintiff averred that his contract with the ECOWAS Commission was meant to end 31st August 2018, but terminated on 31st May 2018 through a letter of the same date.

The plaintiff is demanding the payment of all his entitlements until 31 August 2018, the effective date for the end of his contract with the defendant and the payment of 50 Million CFA Francs as damages.

But the Commission said it acted in line with the provisions of its new Tender Code and the 13th May 2016 Decision of the Community’s Council of Ministers in Dakar while the termination was communicated through a correspondence dated 31st May 2016 informing the Plaintiff of the termination of the contract with effect from 1st July 2016.

Also on the panel were Honorable Justices Dupe Atoki and Keikura Bangura.

 

Source: Ecowas.int

News

Sierra Leone: Amnesty International joins legal challenge against government…

Amnesty International has joined a legal case brought by two non-governmental organizations, Equality Now and WAVES, to challenge the Sierra Leonean government’s ban on pregnant girls attending mainstream schools and sitting exams.

The announcement was made ahead of a hearing at the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice on 27 June 2019, where the case was initially filed in May 2018.

“We at Amnesty International believe this ban clearly conflicts with the right to education without discrimination, according to international and regional standards,” said Lucy Claridge, Director of Strategic Litigation at Amnesty International.

“Courts from South Africa, Zimbabwe to Colombia have already found that such bans violate the rights of women and girls to be treated equally and to receive education. This case represents the first time that a regional court in Africa has considered the issue. It therefore has the potential to impact the situation of pregnant girls outside of Sierra Leone and even beyond the ECOWAS community.”

Amnesty International has documented how the ban, which was imposed after the Ebola crisis in 2015 by Sierra Leone’s then Minister of Education, put the rights of thousands of girls under threat.

Source:www.amnesty.org

News

ECOWAS to start cross-border sale of electricity to member…

Member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will commence cross-border sale and distribution of electricity among themselves in 2020, the regional body announced on 25 June,2019.

The Chairman, Regulatory Council of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA), Honoré Bogler, disclosed this in Abuja.

Mr Bogler spoke at the ECOWAS Secretariat after the swearing in of the three-man regional regulatory council.

He said the challenge the region is facing was inadequate funding for the huge investments in infrastructure required in the region.

The chairman said his council would reposition the power sector of the sub-region.

“No country in the sub-region has the necessary funding to get electricity to every home in every country.

“That is why the Heads of States and government decided to create a market power pool so that all the potentialities we have in the region, in terms oil, gas, sun, wind – could be harnessed for the benefit of the people.

“The only limitation we fàce to harness these potentialities has been lacking of funds to get these resources working for the population,” Mr Bogler said.

According to him, the Heads of State and government decided to pool all these potentialities so that the huge population of the sub-region would be an attraction for investors, once the investors realise that the electricity that would be produced would be used up by the huge population.

Mr Bogler assured that the people of the region would not be left at the mercy of the operators, particularly on the issue of tariffs, which he said would be a priority of the regulatory council.

The mandate of ERERA, he sàid, is to provide the link between all the interest groups, supervise the effective functioning of the electricity market, by arbitrating on any dispute arising from the arrangement between the operators.

“The aim is to have a power market in the region, working with commercial rules and regulations that will be sustainable.

“We think people will have the best price of electricity if we use the regional resources that are cheaper to feed our network. ERERA will monitor and supervise all these to get it running in an organized manner.

“By 2020, the region will be ready for the transmission of power from one country to the other.

“⁴Once that is achieved, we will go into the phase of the plan whereby all the countries in the region would have the opportunity of buying electricity from the market through the regional lines,” he said.

By implication, he said with the entering of the real commercial phase of the project, all interest groups must know there is a regional regulator of the trans-border electricity trade.

Consequently, he said the various groups must realize there is somebody that will work for the interest of everyone; one that will not act in favour of anyone.

“If we want electricity for all, we must invest in the sector. But, we all know that all the countries of the sub-region are going through electricity supply challenges.

“This means that we do not have enough electricity produced in the region. We do not also have the lines for transmission from one country to the other over the borders, even if we generate enough electricity.”

On the huge investments required to attract investors, he said the council was optimistic to exploit the advantages of the big market in the region due to the large population since the investors want returns on their investments.

A member of the regulatory council, Haliru Dikko, said he was also optimistic about the scheme, with the regional political leaders determined to provide an enabling environment for would-be investors and their investments.

Mr Dikko said the political will has been demonstrated by the leaders of all the West African countries by way of needed guarantees for investors’ investments to make them safe and secured.

“The investors who are coming also need the assurance that they would be given appropriate rights of what is expected of them to stay.

“It was for this reason that the West African sub-regional market was able to attract investments from the World Bank, African Development Bank and other multilateral and multi-national investing public,” he said.

 

Source: Premiumtimes.ng

News

Buhari, ECOWAS condemn coup attempt in Ethiopia

The Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has condemned the recent coup attempt in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.

In a statement he personally signed and made public in Abuja on 27th June, 2019 the ECOWAS chairman also condoled with the families affected by the failed coup.

Buhari noted that ECOWAS remained committed to democratic ideals and all the instruments of the African Union meant to promote good governance.

The statement read, “In my capacity as the Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and on behalf of our regional organisation, we strongly condemn the coup attempt in the Amhara Region and the tragic events in the capital of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, on Saturday, June 22, 2019.

“We express our deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the coup attempt and to the people and Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

“We reaffirm the imperative for the adherence to relevant African Union Instruments, principally the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Lome Declaration on the Unconstitutional Change of Government.

“We are committed to the ideals of the African Union on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance adopted at the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2007.

“We urge all concerned to exercise maximum restraint and avoid any action that could undermine the peace, unity and stability of Ethiopia.

“At this trying period, we also convey our full solidarity to the people and Government of Ethiopia.

“We finally reiterate our respect for the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.”

 

 

Source:Punchng