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ICT expert advocates use of antivirus to check cyber attack



Mr Austin Agbakor, an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) expert, on Wednesday called on active online users to instal the right anti-virus to protect their computers and laptops.

Agbakor made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.

He noted that the installation of the right antivirus would protect the computers, laptops and handhelds from cyber attack.

He said that the antivirus protects all company devices, including company-provided handhelds as well as employee’s home computers and personal handhelds.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that antivirus software is a class of programme designed to prevent, detect and remove malware infections on individual computing devices, networks and IT systems.

According to him, there is a damage caused by computer attacks due to poor-quality antivirus; so one should get a good quality antivirus that would secure their computers and analyse the malware.

“There is need for one to use the right antivirus and desist from using the free online antivirus to protect one’s computer.

“A malicious file of any complexity can be analysed. The resulting report include: Information about the basic principles of the malware’s operation and those of its modules,’’ he said.

According to him, the antivirus will analyse the impact on the affected system and recommend how to neutralise it.

He said that if one’s company had fallen victim to malicious programmes and required the expertise of security researchers, one should take advantage of the services offered by Doctor Web.

Agbakor also the Chief Executive Officer, Softwareshop, said antivirus could also examine the computer and other related items to identify possible accomplice involved in illegal activities.

He, however, advised that one should take advantage of the services of Doctor Web security researchers.

Edited by Adeleye Ajayi



Australians asked to be patient with “careful” easing of coronavirus restrictions




Australians have been urged to be patient as coronavirus restrictions continue to ease across the country.

Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia (SA), told reporters on Monday that the state would continue to ease restrictions in a “careful and considered way, not a reckless way.”

SA on Monday moved into stage two of lifting restrictions with the maximum gathering size increased to 80.

In Victoria, pubs, cafes and restaurants opened their doors to customers for the first time since March.

“We have said from day one in South Australia, it is not just about opening. It is about opening sustainably,” Marshall said on Monday.

As of Monday afternoon, there had been 7,204 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, up from 7,195 on Sunday.

There have been four new cases in Victoria, three in New South Wales (NSW) and two in Western Australia (WA).

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in May announced a three-stage plan to restart Australia’s economy in a “COVIDSafe environment” by July.


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Roundup: Life edges closer to normal as Aussie states ease COVID-19 restrictions




Life for Australians in several major states edged closer to normal on Monday, with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and businesses after months of strict lockdowns.

Gatherings of up to 50 people were permitted once again, with restaurants and pubs being allowed to reopen, along with gyms, zoos, beauty salons, places of worship and other public institutions such as libraries and galleries.

While specific rules differed from state to state, with some only allowing gatherings of 20 people, the effect on thousands of businesses nationwide was significant and offered the return of a lifestyle similar to that of pre-COVID-19.

There were however rules for establishments to follow to prevent a second wave of infections, including allowing only one person per four square metres of space.

“We need to accept life will be different until we have an effective treatment or a vaccine,” New South Wales State Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

“A simple tip advocated by health experts is to act as if you are infectious which will help you think twice about how you interact around others, as more restrictions are eased.”

With many domestic borders remaining closed despite discussions between state leaders, Aussies were urged to take a holiday closer to home and help reinvigorate the nation’s badly affected tourism industry.

State leaders encouraged their constituents to take the money they would normally spend overseas or interstate, and use it to support local businesses and attractions.

“In terms of our spend, we spend billions and billions on international or interstate travel each and every year,” Western Australia State Premier Mark McGowan said.

“This is the opportunity to spend all of that money right here in Western Australia, whether it is our magnificent regional communities or our great city places to spend your money.”

The easing of restrictions follows a significant drop in the number of new cases being recorded despite widespread testing.

On Monday, the aged care home which staged one of the country’s largest clusters was declared infection-free.

Nineteen residents died, with 37 residents and 34 staff testing positive for the virus at the nursing home during the outbreak, which began in mid-April after a member of staff worked six shifts with mild COVID-19 symptoms.


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Spotlight: More countries to ease COVID-19 restrictions as global cases rise with Latin America as new epicenter




More countries in Europe and Asia began to ease restrictions and resume operations, but more than 1 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, now the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed 6.16 million, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.


Brazil on Sunday said its nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 514,849 after 16,409 people tested positive in the past 24 hours, while the death toll neared 30,000.

Its death toll rose to 29,314, the fourth highest in the global pandemic after the United States, Britain and Italy, after 480 deaths had been reported since Saturday, while another 4,208 deaths are still being investigated for any linkage with COVID-19, the Ministry of Health said.

Also on Sunday, Mexico‘s Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said that the country reported 3,152 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 90,664.

There were 151 new coronavirus deaths in Mexico, taking total fatalities to 9,930, Lopez-Gatell added.

Meanwhile, Chile‘s COVID-19 cases increased by 4,830 to reach 99,688 on Sunday.

In the past 24 hours, 57 more patients died, the highest number of fatalities in a single day so far, taking the death toll from the disease to 1,054.

A lockdown is in effect in the capital Santiago and the metropolitan area through June 5, as the region is the epicenter of the country’s outbreak.

In recent weeks, Chile has seen an exponential rise in the number of cases and deaths, leading the government to set up field hospitals to deal with the growing number of patients.


Italy has now recorded fewer than 600 new cases per day for eight consecutive days, a dramatic drop from peaks of more than 6,000 new infections a day, when Italy was the epicenter of the pandemic in late March.

Recent trends show that the spread of the virus has slowed dramatically despite a gradual easing of Italy’s national lockdown at a two-week interval, first on May 4 and again on May 18.

The next step toward easing will come on June 3, when Italians will be allowed to move freely between regions even if for non-essential reasons. It will be the first time such travels will be allowed since March 9, the day before the national lockdown entered into force.

Many businesses across Turkey on Sunday also prepared to resume operation for the first time after over two months of closure amid a slowdown in the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants, cafes, parks, beaches, daycare centers, kindergartens, libraries, sports facilities, swimming pools, and museums will be operational as of June 1 as part of the new normalization process announced on May 28.

Following the announcement, the Health Ministry prepared a guide in particular for the eating and drinking industry, explaining the new rules in a detailed way.

Likewise, the Egyptian government on Sunday announced a decision to reduce its curfew from 10 hours to nine, following a meeting led by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

The government has already started gradual reopening of services and offices suspended since mid-March amid a “coexistence plan” to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

Chairing Saturday‘s Downing Street daily briefing, British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Britons will be able to exercise outside with up to five others from different households from Monday, provided that strict social distancing guidelines are followed.

He also announced that from Monday, competitive sport will be allowed behind closed doors in England, paving the way for the return of live sports on TV screens in almost three months.

The move came as some experts warned that lifting restrictions before cases come down is too “risky.” Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England‘s deputy chief medical officer, said that Britons need to “actually follow the guidance.”


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Iran, Turkmenistan agree to reopen borders amid easing of COVID-19 restrictions




Iran and Turkmenistan have agreed to reopen borders on June 10 as the restrictions pertaining to the novel coronavirus are eased in both countries recently, Iranian ambassador to Ashgabat announced on Sunday.

The rail and road borders between the two countries will reopen under strict monitoring of health protocols, Gholamabbas Arbab Khales told official IRNA news agency.

Iran and Turkmenistan had previously agreed to reopen borders on June 1, but the date was postponed to June 10 for disinfection operations at the border posts, said Arbab Khales.

He noted that at a ministerial meeting among Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as negotiations between the heads of railway companies of the three countries, they have agreed to install sanitizing tunnels at both sides of the borders to help better implement health protocols.

The ambassador did not mention whether the reopening of border crossings includes only trade transactions or passengers as well.

Iran and Turkmenistan closed borders in late February after Iran reported first cases of COVID-19 in the country.


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Nigeria’s ICT sector accounts for 14.07 pct of GDP in Q1: minister




Nigeria’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector has contributed 14.07 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), said the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Patanmi on Sunday.

This is an unprecedented record by the ICT sector in the country, Patanmi said in a statement made available to Xinhua.

He said the ICT sector contributed that percentage to the Nigerian GDP in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, citing recent data by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics.

“It is noteworthy that the ICT sector contributed 14.07 percent to the total real GDP in Q1 2020, higher than its contribution a year earlier, which was 13.32 percent, and in the preceding quarter, which it accounted for 13.12 percent,” the minister said.

He attributed the growth of the ICT sector and its contribution to the GDP as a “direct result of the focused and committed effort of the Nigerian federal government”.

Patanmi said the COVID-19 pandemic had shown how critical the ICT sector was to the growth of the country’s digital economy and by extension, the general economy.


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Anti-COVID-19 restrictions among East Africa countries boon for Kenyan farmers




Restriction of movement between east African countries to curb spread of COVID-19 has come as a boon for Kenyan farmers, whose produce is currently selling at a better price as food demand surges.

The restrictions have seen a decline in food imports, allowing Kenyan farmers’ produce to dominate the market.

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have each limited movement of goods and people into and out of their borders.

While travel of people between the countries has been banned, movement of goods and cargo is allowed.

However, the transporters have to test for COVID-19 and get certificates to show they don’t have the disease.

The testing has occasioned delays, curtailing free movement of goods, thus creating a boon to Kenyan food producers.

Kenya imports a bulk of food produce from its neighbors Uganda and Tanzania. From Uganda, the country imports cereals, legumes, sugar and eggs mainly.

And from Tanzania comes fruits like oranges, lemons, pineapples and mangoes, onions, potatoes and tomatoes.

“It is a good time to be a farmer in Kenya because prices of commodities are now high due to COVID-19 restrictions. I produce eggs, at least 100 crates a day and for the first time, buyers are scrambling for them,” said Cornelius Mutuku, a farmer in Kitengela on the south of Nairobi.

Farmers growing onions and tomatoes are also enjoying the boom as imports from Tanzania remain restricted.

At Wakulima food market in the capital Nairobi, where most produce from Tanzania is usually offloaded for supply to other parts of the city, very few trucks from the country now deliver food at the market.

From about 40 trucks in a day to now less than 10 arrive daily due to the restricted movement, a trader said.

Beatrice Macharia, an agronomist with Growth Point, an agro-consultancy, observed that Kenyan farmers have been able to sustain the market amid limited imports due to good rains in the March to May season.

“The rains offered a boost in the production but in the long-term we still need the imports,” she said, adding good prices have cushioned farmer from high cost of inputs.

Kenya’s agriculture secretary Peter Munya on May 20 asked local farmers to use the window brought about constrained supply chains to reap from their ventures by supplying the market.

Kenya food imports topped 1 billion dollars in 2019, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, with the high imports blamed on erratic weather during the period.


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Belgian prince contracts coronavirus after attending party breaking Spanish restrictions




A Belgian prince has tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a party which broke Spanish restrictions, both Belgian and Spanish authorities confirmed on Sunday.

Prince Joaquin, who is tenth in line to the Belgian throne, attended a party in Cordoba in southern Spain on May 26, two days after arriving in the city to start a job.

The Spanish El Pais newspaper reported that 27 people were at the party, 12 more than the maximum of 15 people currently allowed to meet under the restrictions in place in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.

All 27 people are now in isolation and face fines of between 600 to 10,000 euros (666 to 11,100 U.S. dollars) for breaching regulations.

Rafaela Valenzuela, the Spanish government delegate in Cordoba, criticized the prince and others at the party, saying they were “completely irresponsible.”

“I feel surprised and angry. An incident of this type stands out at a moment of national mourning for so many dead,” she commented.

The Spanish government has put a four-stage plan to ease lockdowns, with different regions progressing to different stages depending on a series of factors, including numbers of cases, hospital beds, primary attention, and ability to carry out testing and tracing of possible cases of COVID-19.

According to the latest Spanish government data, nearly 240,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and over 27,000 have died. The country is currently in the middle of 10-day official mourning for those who have lost their lives.


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Israeli PM warns new restrictions amid fresh coronavirus outbreak




Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that new restrictions will be re-imposed if the coronavirus spread in the country continues, after most of the lockdown rules had been lifted.

Speaking during Israel‘s weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu told his ministers that recent days showed a steep increase in the number of the confirmed cases of coronavirus.

“The coronavirus is not behind us,” said Netanyahu. “In order to know if there is a real trend change, we will review our next steps over the next few days and if needed we will change the policy accordingly,” he said.

On Saturday, Netanyahu addressed the nation and warned that “there has been a general loosening in discipline.” He urged people to wear masks and keep social distancing.

On Friday, Israel recorded 115 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, the highest daily increase since the beginning of May, according to official figures by the Health Ministry.

At least 78 of them are students and staff members at the Hebrew Gymnasium, a prestigious high school in Jerusalem. The outbreak was diagnosed some ten days after the school was re-opened.

Overall, there were on Sunday 1,917 people infected with the coronavirus in Israel, 36 of them in a serious condition.

Israel has lifted over the past two weeks most of the lockdown rules, including re-opening of schools, kindergartens, shops, swimming pools, restaurants and cafes.


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General news

Financial Autonomy: Presidential committee tasks governors on strict compliance




The Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy for Judiciary and Legislature,  has urged governors to comply with the Executive Order 10.

This it said would enable effective implementation of the financial autonomy of  states’ Legislature and Judiciary guaranteed by the Executive Order 10.

The Committee’s Secretary, Sen. Ita Enang stated this whiel speaking with newsmen on Sunday  in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Executive Order 10, was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari  for the implementation of autonomy of the two arms of government; the state legislature and the judiciary.

The  Executive Order 10,  granted  financial autonomy to the 36 state Houses of Assembly and its Judiciary.

The executive order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory that all states of the federation should include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.

Enang said that the financial autonomy would  facilitate development and promote financial accountability at states level.

Enang, who is also the  Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, said that the greatest challenge in Nigeria’s democracy  today was wastage at the state level, hence the need to address it.

He said that the Executive Order no 10 would guarantee financial transparency in states.

According to Enang,  one important feature of the financial autonomy is that all the three arms of government will prepare their budget together; they will know what the state government has and what it do not have.

“In the budgeting process, they will know how much each of the arms of government will use in settling salaries and allowances of the legislators, paying their aids, legislative staff and office maintenance, among others.

“The governors will no longer be responsible for their expenses, it will also make the house of assembly responsive.

“So; what the president is doing is to ensure that each state house of assembly is independent not for the purpose of attacking the governors but for the purpose of checking the executive and making  government more responsible and responsive to the yearnings of the people, and development will be faster.

“The governors will know that the judiciary is independent and same with the legislature, these arms of the government need not to get approval from the governors in order to execute their respective duties,” he added.

The secretary also said that the provision stipulated that the governors upon receipt of money due to any arm of government in the consolidated revenue fund of the state from the federation account and internally generated revenue,  should remit same to the respective arms.

“But where any governor fails to remit the money due to the arms, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) will deduct that amount standing to the credit of that state in the federation account and remit directly to arms concerned.

“It is important to emphasise that this deduction is not the first line action, but it is only applicable when one arm of the government is oppressed.

“We are confident that none of the 36 states will in any manner deprive their state legislature or judiciary of the fund that is due to them.

“The implementation committee will be very conciliatory and respectful of the powers of each arm of government at the states level and the powers and privileges of the governors,” Enang said.

He, therefore, advised that all the arms of government at state levels should ensure  they followed the practice that had been at the federal level for proper accountability.

The state Houses of Assembly should follow the process that goes on in the National Assembly, be as independent, inter dependent and consultative as the national assembly is with the executive,  then we will have the best democracy.”

The Presidential Implementation Committee was constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the state legislature and judiciary in compliance with Section 121 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Section 121 (3) of the 1999 Constitution states: “Any amount standing to the credit of the judiciary in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State shall be paid directly to the heads of the courts concerned.”

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma (NAN)





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