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NLC, Telecoms Union Give MTN Two Weeks to Amend Anti-Labour Practices

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MTN

NLC, Telecoms Union Issued MTN Two Weeks to Amend Anti-Labour Practices

The Nigeria Labour Congress in collaboration with the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) has threatened to embark on two weeks of industrial action if MTN Nigeria failed to amend its anti-labour practices.

According to the union, MTN Nigeria must discontinue with expatriates doing what Nigerians can do. Also, the union accused the telecommunications giant of using Nigerians as mainly casual workers and contract staff, yet overworked them.

The union said “We have called you here to let the world know about the unfortunate events in MTN Nigeria which if not quickly apprehended and mediated may portend great danger to the industrial relations clime within MTN Nigeria. We shall also be using this opportunity to inform the management of MTN of the consequences to industrial peace within its organisation if our demands are not met within 14 Days from this day.

“The Chief Executive Officer of the company whose priority should be organisational growth and sustainability which ought to make workers’ welfare, concerns and grievances paramount has abandoned this vital responsibility. He has rebuffed several calls by the workers and their Union representatives to meet with him on critical issues facing workers in the company.

“MTN practices an unwholesome, insensitive, and discriminatory structure in the emoluments of some categories of workers. Workers on the same job level earn disproportionately. In many cases, members of a team earn more than their team leads and even more than their direct managers,” the union alleged.

It added, “Non-payment of severance benefits at the point of departure of employees after long years of dedicated and uninterrupted services to the company has become a deep frustrating practice to the live long guarantees for workers in MTN.

“The company claims it has not been paying exiting employees severance benefits, hence, it cannot be a matter for negotiation with the union despite the fact that social dialogue demands that all matters without exception concerning workers in the workplace are subject to negotiation.

“The rate at which companies in the telecommunications sector import excessive manpower to the country to do jobs Nigerians are not lacking in competence is alarming. It is becoming pervasive in MTN Nigeria as well.

“We have several expatriates in the company who do exactly what Nigerians do. Most of these expatriates are trained by Nigerians and we still wonder how the permits for these individuals were approved.”

The union warned that if MTN Nigeria failed to comply with its demands or source for another alternative to satisfy their business interest, it would embark on two weeks of industrial action starting from August 24, 2020 to disrupt the company’s operations.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Technology

Top 10 iOS Game Apps Record Over 190k Daily Installs in the US

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app store

10 iOS Game Apps Record Over 190k Daily Download in US

Data presented by Stock Apps indicates that the top ten games apps on iOS in the United States recorded an estimated 190,385 cumulative daily installs. The installs areas of as of September 23, 2020.

Pandemic spurs mobile gaming growth

Clash of Clans ranks top with about 21,667 daily installs. Pokémon GO has the second-highest installs at 21,346 followed by Coin Master with 20,824 daily installs. Among Us and Candy Crush Saga occupy the fourth and fifth spots at 19,890 and 18,898 respectively.

Other notable isntalls were recorded by Call of Duty(18,771), Homescapes(18,046), Roblox(17,040), Gardenscapes (16,948) and Toon Blast (16,864)

The research also overviewed the gross revenue for the day for the ranked games. Cumulatively, the games generated $9.75 million. Roblox leads with $2.48 million followed by Pokémon GO at $1.92 million while Candy Crush comes third at $1.86 million. Coin Master is fourth with a revenue of $978,273 while Homescapes closes the top five categories with $865,142.

Other game apps to generate significant revenue include Gardenscapes(16,948), Clash of Clans(21,667), Toon Blast(16,864), Call of Duty (18,771)and Among Us(19,890).

This has witnessed the growth of mobile gaming due to various factors. According to the research report:

The daily installs and revenue can be considered high having built on the moment established during the coronavirus pandemic. At the peak of the health crisis, most people were in lockdown and shifted to mobile games as a means of passing time. Notably, before the pandemic, mobile gaming on iOS and other platforms was growing rapidly. iOS game developer companies have been investing more resources into creating new games and mobile versions of well-known stationary games.”

The penetration of mobile devices is further expected to spur growth.

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Nigeria, South Africa, Others Experience Millions of Cyber Attacks in 2020

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Kaspersky Lab

South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria Saw Millions of Cyber Attacks in 2020 and the Year is Not Over Yet

Kaspersky security solutions have reported 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) they have accounted for by the beginning of August 2020. These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves. However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones. While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware. They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programs on their device and that in some cases, such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads. This is why many security solutions, including ours, flags such programs to make sure users are aware of its presence, influence on their device and activity,” says Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware. Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3,8 million malware attacks and 16,8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much. Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances.

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Finance

Healthcare Startups Raised $111.4bn in Total Funding, a 34% Jump Year-on-Year

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Startups in the Healthcare Sector Raises $111.4bn in Funding

The coronavirus pandemic put enormous pressure on the healthcare industry, forcing pharmaceutical giants and institutions to roll out clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine at breakneck speed. But behind the COVID-19 outbreak as the main healthcare issue in 2020, large health systems and venture capital firms continued investing millions in startups whose products could bring critical healthcare delivery innovation.

According to data presented by Buy Shares, UK, the total amount of funds healthcare startups raised over time hit $111.4bn in September, a 34% jump year-on-year.

Total Funding Amount Surged by 162% in Three Years

In 2015, healthcare startups worldwide raised $5.4bn in funding rounds, with the cumulative value of investments reaching $24.4bn that year, revealed the CrunchBase data. During the next two years, this figure surged by more than 68%, reaching $45.5bn in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Statistics show that 2018 delivered a $19.2bn of investments into healthcare startups, while the cumulative funding value rose to $64.7bn. In 2019, the total value of raised funds jumped by $24.7bn to $89.4bn, the most significant increase year-on-year.

The Crunchbase data revealed the first quarter of 2020 delivered $7.1bn worth investments into healthcare startups, a 51% increase year-on-year. Between April and June, the cumulative value of funding rose to $103.7bn and continued growing. Statistics show the total funding amount healthcare startups raised over time surged by 162% in the last three years.

Analyzed by geography, North America represents the leading region with $72.4bn of investments in healthcare startups. The US companies raised more than 97% of that amount, with California and San Francisco as the leading hubs. Asian startups hit $25.5bn in total funding, ranking as the second-leading region globally. European healthcare startups follow with $12.8bn worth funding rounds.

Three Largest Funding Rounds in 2020 Worth Over $2bn

The CrunchBase data also revealed the three largest healthcare startup funding rounds this year hit over $2bn value.

Last month, JD Health, the healthcare unit of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, raised more than $830 million from Hillhouse Capital in Series B funding, the largest investment in 2020. The company announced it would use this capital to further strengthen its pharmacy supply chain capabilities and explore additional healthcare services opportunities in the broader healthcare sector.

In July, Seattle-based biotech startup Sana Biotechnology raised $700 million in initial financing that will be used to advance the company’s discovery and development programs that deliver engineered cells as a treatment for different types of diseases.

Statistics show that Lyell Immunopharma`s $493 million worth Series C funding round represents the third-largest healthcare startup investment in 2020. Last year, the San Francisco-based company joined forces with GlaxoSmithKline plc to develop new technologies to improve cell therapies for cancer patients.

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