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2023 General Elections: INEC Assures Nigerians of Zero Hacking And Network Issues

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2023 Presidential Candidates

Ahead of Nigeria’s 2023 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that would be no hacking and network issues.

This was disclosed by Dr. Lawrence Bayode, the deputy director of ICT, INEC while fielding questions on Channels television ahead of the election.

Dr. Bayode disclosed that the commission is aware of a possible attack on the system and has already put measures in place to repel any attack from hackers. He also gave the assurance that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has been configured to avoid any form of network failure.

In his words,

“The commission is aware of hacking; we have done our best to protect our data and systems. Data at rest and data in transit are protected in case there is any successful cyber-attack, we will have a failover.”

He further reiterated that no citizen would be allowed to vote with their permanent voter’s card (PVC) and accreditation as provided in section 47 (1) of the electoral act, 2022.

With so many errors and breaches of data that have been recorded in previous elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) mandated that the 2023 general election will be technology-driven to avoid hacks and human errors, hence the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

The BVAS device is designed to read permanent voters cards (PVC) and authenticate voters through a biometric verification mechanism, using both fingerprint and facial recognition of voters.

The device can also capture images of the polling unit result sheet (Form EC8A) and upload the image of the sheet on INEC’s election result viewing platform (IREV). The IREV is an online portal where results from polling units are uploaded, transmitted, and published.

Investors King understands that with the nature of BVAS, the uploaded polling units (PUs) results cannot be manipulated after INEC disclosed that the machine was not designed to edit the photographic results uploaded and sent to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV); and once sent cannot be recalled.

There have been a lot of conversations about the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and how effective it will be in aiding INEC to conduct a credible election.  Meanwhile, political analysts believe BVAS will be a game-changer in Nigeria’s electoral system because it is designed to eliminate all forms of electoral malpractice.

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African Fintech Kuda Raises $100M Despite Investment Challenges

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Kuda Microfinance Bank - Investors King

Kuda Technologies, a leading fintech company with operations in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, has successfully raised nearly $100 million in funding over the past five years.

This significant milestone was revealed by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Babs Ogundeyi, during a panel session at the GITEX Africa conference in Morocco.

The GITEX Africa 2024 technology fair, which runs from May 29 to 31 in Marrakech, brings together over 1,500 exhibitors from 130 countries and nearly 700 startups.

During the event, Ogundeyi highlighted Kuda’s growth journey and the difficulties African fintech startups face in attracting foreign investment.

“We launched in Nigeria in August 2019 and have raised close to $100 million within that period,” Ogundeyi announced during the panel session titled “Beyond the Starting Lane: Navigating Advanced Funding.”

The session also featured prominent figures such as Sacha Michaud, co-founder of Glovo in Spain; Yassine Oussaifi, partner at Africinvest Tunisia; and Katlego Maphai, CEO of Yoco South Africa.

The discussion centered on the challenges and strategies for securing advanced funding for startups.

Ogundeyi emphasized that African startups often struggle to secure foreign investment due to investors’ unfamiliarity with the local market environment.

To mitigate this, Kuda Technologies established its headquarters in the UK, facilitating easier access to funding from Western investors.

“We are headquartered in the UK, but we are Africa-focused, and there is a reason why we are headquartered in the UK. It’s very much related to access to funding. The capital comes primarily from the west. It’s easier to attract capital in those jurisdictions,” Ogundeyi explained.

He stressed that securing funding is a rigorous process, particularly in Africa, where trust levels are low.

“When we raised our seed funding, the majority of investors had not been to Africa before, making it difficult to connect with something they didn’t understand. It goes beyond investors seeing the numbers or potential; if you don’t have a feel for the environment or understand the psyche of the people, it becomes very difficult to connect resources to that region,” Ogundeyi elaborated.

Despite the challenges, Kuda Technologies has made significant strides. Its subsidiary, Kuda Microfinance Bank in Nigeria, has grown its customer base to 7.5 million users, making it one of the largest fintech companies in Africa.

The company’s expansion strategy includes obtaining licenses in Canada and Tanzania, reflecting its vision of global reach.

Ogundeyi’s insights were echoed by Sacha Michaud, who noted that venture capitalists tend to invest in regions where they feel comfortable.

“We launched in Africa six years ago and were in high funding mode. In every funding round, we had to convince our investors why we were focusing on the region when we could invest our resources in higher-return areas like Europe,” Michaud shared.

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Cybersecurity For Beginners: Understanding The Basis of Online Safety

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cybercrime - Investors King

The significance of cybersecurity in the linked world of today cannot be emphasized. The challenges in the digital sphere are constant, ranging from large-scale assaults on organizations and governments to compromises of personal data.

Knowing the fundamentals of cybersecurity is crucial for securing your online presence and defending yourself against potential dangers, regardless of experience level with computers.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the methods, tools, and procedures used to guard against illegal access, data breaches, and cyberattacks using networks, computers, and other electronic possessions. It entails putting policies in place to guarantee the privacy, integrity, and availability of data in digital spaces.

Key Concepts of Cybersecurity

  1. Confidentiality: Maintaining sensitive data private means keeping it hidden from prying eyes. This covers bank records, personal info, and other confidential information that bad actors might acquire and use against you. To preserve secrecy, for instance, using strong passwords and encrypting files are very helpful.
  2. Integrity: Data accuracy and integrity are guaranteed throughout processing, transfer, and storage. Preserving the integrity of data is essential to avoid any unapproved changes or manipulation that can jeopardize its dependability. Integrity policies such as checksums and electronic signatures are used to confirm the legitimacy of data.
  3. Availability: Availability guarantees that if required designated individuals may utilize the data and system. The goal of cyberattacks like Denial-of-service (DoS) assaults is to interfere with services and prevent authorized users from accessing them. Strong recovery and backup procedures help lessen the effects of these kinds of assaults and guarantee that vital resources are always available.
  4. Authentication: When someone or anything accesses systems and digital resources, authentication confirms their identity. Through demanding users to give various kinds of identifications like security tokens, passwords, or biometric passwords, strong authentication systems such as the multi-factor authentication (MFA)may deter illegal access.
  5. Authorization: According to their responsibilities and advantages, authorized users are given varying levels of permissions and access. By guaranteeing that users are only granted access to the tools and features required to do their work, it lowers the possibility of illegal acts or breaches of data.
  6. Risk Management: Identification, evaluation, and mitigation of cybersecurity risks are all part of the process of risk management which guards against future attacks and weaknesses. To efficiently handle security issues, this entails carrying out routine security evaluations, putting safety measures in place, and creating emergency response strategies.

Basic Cybersecurity Practices for Beginners

  1. Use Strong Passwords: With regards to each online account, choose a different, unique, and strong password and change it frequently to thwart unwanted access. Steer clear of passwords that are simple to figure out like “123456” or “password”.
  2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): To provide your online accounts with an additional degree of security, enable 2FA as often as you can. Usually, you will get an email or text message with a one-time code which you need to input in addition to your password in order to log in. Do so as this is of utmost importance to security.
  3. Keep Software Updated: Update your operating system, apps, and antivirus software frequently to fix security flaws and defend against identified risks.
  4. Beware of Phishing Attacks: Unidentified recipients could send you unsolicited emails, messages, or links; be wary of these as they could be attempts at phishing designed to steal your login credentials and confidential data. Steer clear of entering important information via the internet or clicking on dubious links.
  5. Secure Your Devices: To identify and get rid of unwanted software from your devices, install trustworthy antivirus and anti-malware applications. To avoid unwanted access, you should also encrypt crucial data and activate firewalls.
  6. Backup Your Data: Make frequent backups of your most significant documents and information to an external drive or cloud-based storage provider. This aids in preventing the loss of data as a result of attacks by ransomware, hardware malfunctions, and other unanticipated circumstances.

Examples of Cybersecurity Incidents:

  1. Data Breaches: Over 147 million people’s personal information was compromised in a significant data breach that occurred in 2017 at Equifax, one of the biggest credit reporting companies. The company’s website software had a weakness that led to the breach, underscoring the significance of applying security updates and patches on time.
  2. Ransomware Attacks:2020 saw a ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline, a significant petroleum pipeline operator in the US, which caused disruptions in the East Coast’s fuel supply. The intruders installed ransomware and demanded a large payment for the decryption keys by taking advantage of a weakness in the company’s network infrastructure.
  1. Phishing Scams: Phishing scams are still a common concern, when hackers use phony emails, messages, or websites to deceive people into disclosing personal information. Targeting Gmail users, a large phishing attack attempted to obtain their login credentials by pretending to be Google’s login page in 2016.

To keep safe online, it is imperative that you comprehend the fundamentals of cybersecurity which is an important part of our digital life. People may safeguard themselves and their digital assets from cyberattacks and data breaches by putting fundamental cybersecurity principles into practice, being watchful for possible hazards, and keeping up with the newest security trends and advancements. Recall that prevention is always preferable to treatment when it comes to cybersecurity.

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Imo State Power Project Reaches 70% Completion, Federal Government Assures Swift Finish

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Electricity - Investors King

In a significant stride towards bolstering the power infrastructure in Imo State, the Egbema Power Plant project has reached a commendable milestone of 70% completion.

The Federal Government, represented by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, offered reassurance during an inspection visit to the site over the weekend.

Accompanied by the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, Minister Adelabu lauded the efforts of Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma for his dedication to partnering with the NDPHC to ensure the timely completion of crucial power projects within the state.

The visit underscored the government’s commitment to advancing the nation’s power sector, particularly in states like Imo, where enhanced electricity supply remains a top priority.

Governor Uzodinma, equally invested in the success of the project, pledged continued collaboration with the NDPHC to facilitate the swift completion of the power plant.

He affirmed that the joint efforts aim to not only energize homes and businesses within Imo State but also to contribute to the overall economic and social development of the region.

“The projects are at various stages with the power plant at 70 per cent completion stage. The collaboration between the Imo State Government and NDPHC aims to enhance electricity supply and energize homes and businesses in Imo State through the completion of the Egbema Power Plant and associated transmission infrastructure,” noted Bolaji Tunji, spokesperson for Minister Adelabu.

As Nigeria strives to overcome longstanding challenges in its power sector, the progress of initiatives like the Egbema Power Plant project serves as a beacon of hope.

With concerted efforts from both federal and state authorities, coupled with strategic collaborations with key stakeholders, the vision of a more electrified and prosperous Imo State draws ever closer to realization.

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