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Daily Archives: December 31, 2017

The Gurkhas and Lahore

LAHORE-When Nepalis fought the East India Company in the war of 1814-16 the British were impressed by the gallantry of the defenders. So, after the Sugauli Treaty they started recruiting Nepali soldiers in the British Army.In the 20th century, Nepali s…

Maritime: Stakeholders seek intervention fund

Our Correspondent OLUWAKEMI DAUDA dissects policies that will shape the sector in 2018, benchmarking it on stakeholders’ expectations.

During the presentation of the 2018 budget to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari projected that the much-expected rail to link Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports would come on stream by the end of this year. This, the government said, is part of efforts to reposition the sector.

But the stakeholders in the sector, however, said what they want in addition to what the President promised, is that the government should  formulate an holistic policy that will enable the country maximise the benefits of  its oceans, seas and water this year.

Use the sea to boost economy

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) President Prince Olayiwola Shittu said the sector needs intervention fund to boost maritime trade. The government, he said, needs to come up with a better intervention fund like they have done in the aviation, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

“Nigeria must emulate countries  like Britain, Rome, America, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Singapore and India on how best to use the sea to boost the economy.

“Seventy-six per cent of shipping business that takes place in West Africa is done in Nigeria, which means that the country is very important in the continent sea ladder. Maritime trade must, therefore, be of great interest to President Buhari and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to boost economy. If we get intervention fund from the government and make it available to the people, millions of Nigerians would have gainful employment and that would solve a lot of problem the country is facing now and in the future,” Shittu said.

Ports’ access roads

The roads that lead to the seaports in Lagos, Warri, Onne, Port Harcourt, Calabar, and Sapele are impassable.

These ports’access roads have not attracted the government’s attention. Those leading to the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports in Lagos are so bad that some stakeholders have described them as a “shame to the nation”, despite efforts by the Dangote Group to fix part of the road.

The Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) President Mr Remi Ogungbemi and other port users urged President Buhari to fix the road this year.

“The bad roads have constituted nightmares to consignees, importers, exporters, freight forwarders and other port users who use the roads to evacuate their goods. The chaotic situation on the road is making port users spend hours daily to access or exit the terminals. The Federal Government must support the NPA in fixing the road this year.

“Importers, truck owners and clearing agents have agreed to give President Buhari and his team the first two months of this year to fulfil part of his projected plans to fix the Apapa roads, reduce the congestion and its adverse effects on business activities at the ports before we can take the government serious on its plans to uplift the maritime industry this year,” Ogungbemi said.

Addressing misnomer in the oil and gas cargoes by NPA

At the forum organised by the Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi in Lagos last year, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was confronted with protests by some terminal operators over the designation of a terminal operator as the exclusive handler of oil and gas cargoes.

This, the protesters said, was against the port reforms carried out by the Federal Government in 2006. The operators insisted that the government must ensure that all ports operations are modeled in line with global best practices which recognised only three classes – bulk, container and multipurpose cargo. This, the protesters insisted, is the practice globally.

The operators and Prince Shittu, however, gave kudos to President Muhammadu Buhari and the management of NPA for initiating last year, an impressive policy that empowered the authority to return to the three classes as it is done across the globe. Shittu and other operators, importers and clearing agents said they hope that the misnomer in the oil and gas designation which was corrected by the NPA in 2017 to enthrone competitiveness and end the unwarranted monopoly must not be allowed to resurface its ugly face this year.

Inauguration of the Command & Control, Communication and Intelligence Centre by NPA

Shittu said the unveiling of the Command & Control, Communication and Intelligence Centre by the NPA which was seen as one of the giant strides taken by the authority last year and needs to be improved upon this year to boost the government revenue.

“The facility is a very good facility because it serves as surveillance for NPA’s activities and for security agencies.While commending the authority for the launch of the provisional, final billing and customer portal module of Revenue Invoice Management System (RIMS) to improve its service delivery and reduce revenue leakage, we hope the management of the Authority will ensure that the efficacy of the platform is not compromised

Acquisition of tug boats and dedication of terminal for exports

“The acquisition of four new tug boats – MT Daura, MT Ubima, MT Uromi and MT Majiya by the NPA was part of the good policy initiated by the authority to improve operational efficiency that must be sustained this year.

“Ditto the development of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and establishment of  a dedicated terminal to handle exports aimed at diversifying the economy and improving earnings in line with the mandate of the Federal Government. The terminals include Ikorodu Lighter Terminal for Lagos, Shoreline logistics terminal for Calabar Port and Bua Ports. This year, all the terminals must be mandated by the NPA to establish dedicated desks that will handle all documentations on export, receipt of consignment and the loading of vessels to boost the Easy of Doing Business posture of the current administration,” said, a maritime lawyer Mr DipoAlaka.

Restoring investors’ confidence

An importer, Chief Celestine Davies, said he was happy with the efforts of the authority to restore investor’s confidence in the maritime industry. “The China Harbour Engineering Company has agreed to take up 15 per cent shareholding in the Lekki Deep Seaport project. Dubai Port World also negotiated an agreement with Josepdam Port Services while the Tanger Med Port of Morocco also indicated willingness to develop a green field terminal logistic base.

“These initiatives must be pursued by the NPA and translate into a more efficient port sector this year, so that the country achieves its vision of housing the leading port in Africa,” Chief Davies said.

National single window policy

Chief Davies also urged NPA to continue to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority to develop the operational framework of establishing the National Single Window, Ports Community System and Scanning services to address the chaotic clearance of cargoes from the port. The collaboration, the importer said, must be used by the NPA this year in simplifying and harmonising formalities that impede trade.

Making more large vessel berth in Eastern Ports

Many decades after the Eastern Ports came into being, a flat bottom ship, berthed at the Calabar Port last year. It elated importers and clearing agents. The vessel, MV’ Desert Ranger, weighing about  62,000 metric tonnes, made history as the largest ship to call at the port, despite its draft limitations. The heavy vessel, which sailed from Greece, was laden with 60,000 tonnes of wheat. The 200-metre long vessel, which called at the port after the arrival of large MV Desert Rhapsody was seen as a good omen that must not end with last year. Many importers and clearing agents operating at the Eastern ports gave kudos to the management of NPA for achieving the landmark and specifically urged its Managing Director Ms Hadiza Bala Usman to sustain the tempo this year.

Concerns over ports and harbour bill

Maritime unions are protesting some aspects of the Ports and Harbour Bill as it relates to retrenchment of staff and harbour operations being ceded to the private sector. A former member of the House of Representatives Mr Moroof Akideru-Fatai said it was good that NPA drew the union’s attention to the fact that the bill would not in any way bring about retrenchment or retirement of staff. “The Bill will  allow the NPA to concession some of its operations but it does not stipulate that harbour operation would be handed over to private company by the authority,” he said.

Making the ports competitive and review of the concession agreement

The Federal Government, through its agencies, stakeholders said, must do everything possible to make the ports competitive.

ANLCA Publicity Secretary, Dr Kayode Farinto said: “One of the two approaches adopted by the NPA to achieving this is to have a competitive pricing and tariff regime. The agency has embarked on conducting a study to determine respective tariffs and pricing regimes across the region.

“Also, the authority also set in motion last year, the machinery to review the concession agreements after the initial 10 years. We believe the effort is to reposition the ports by ensuring that critical issues around equipment deployment and infrastructure deployment are carried out by all parties, as entrenched in the agreement.’’


Executive order and 24-hour port operation

“The Federal Government last May issued an Executive Order on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in business and sequel to this order, government agencies, such as the NPA, NIMASA and the Shippers Council, commenced implementation of some of the directives at the ports. One of the executive orders mandated 24-hour operations at the Apapa Ports and the NPA. Some of the actions taken by the authority included Pilotage  and Berthing of Vessels on 24-hour basis.

“We are aware that last June 18, when the Order took off, NPA’s Harbours Department handled 20 vessels after 19.00 hours at Lagos Port in the first two weeks of the commencement of 24 hours operation and we hope that the trust of the Order would not be jettisoned by the management of the authority this year. We also appeal to the government to direct other agencies and terminal operators to also make their tariffs accessible anywhere in the world like NPA.

“Cargo dwell time (CDT), the average time a cargo remains in the terminal from the point of discharge to the point it exits the terminal, must be improved upon significantly this year. The government must support NPA and the Nigerian Shippers Council in ensuring that human contact, which breeds corruption in the seaports, airports and international land borders are eliminated to boost the campaign for 48-hour cargo clearance regime announced by the Federal Government.

“About 90 per cent of goods are still subjected to physical examination as against use of the mobile and fixed scanners. A lot of deals devoid of transparency and integrity that are taking place at ports and international land borders must be addressed seriously by the government this year,” DrFarito said.

NIMASA, security and CVFF disbursement

Indigenous ship owners said they were sad because they had not accessed the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF). A member of the group, Mr Margret Orakuwsi  urged the Minister of Transport RotimiAmaechi to ensure that the money is disbursed this year to boost indigenous capacity id shipping.

Other stakeholders said they were happy that the NIMASA Director-General Dr Dakuku Peteride brought the issue of the blue economy to the front burner. Maritime, they said, has become a key sector.

“As an oil-producing and exporting country, as well as a consumer nation, the country is a large market for foreign goods owing to its population. Thus, the industry is key to growth.  To unlocking the potential in the sector this year, policies and programmes on blue economy by the Federal Government are vital. Although, NIMASA is  taken steps to reposition the maritime security landscape. The security of the waterways and the sea must be a key component of DrPeterside’s policy this year,” Alaka said.

Cabotage Act, Alaka said, must be made to work in areas like the environment, lives and clean ocean.

Shippers Council and intervention fund

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) needs the maximum support of the Federal and state governments to build the Truck Transit Park (TTPs) and the Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) across the country. The Council must continue with his laudable engagement of the terminal operators and other critical stakeholders to make the ports attractive and competitive.

Its role as economic regulator transcends the position of the Federal Government on every issue relating to trade and commerce. “Shippers Council is the umpire between the government and the investors at ports. It is not biased and it must be seen to be faired to everybody this year to make the ports attractive and competitive in the sub region,”  Alaka said.

Its Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, according to the operators, has what it takes to contribute meaningfully to reviewing the concession agreement and to carry out the reforms in our ports.








 このように中国において、知財保護に向けた法整備および管理プラットフォームの構築が進んだことで、これまでライブ興行ばかりが目立っていた音楽ビジネスにおいても、新たな可能性が広がっている。実際に、中国の楽曲版権管理およびイベント制作を行うHi Fiveでは、楽曲版権の管理ツールを開発し、2017年から音楽配信プラットフォームなどでの楽曲使用の管理をスタート。音楽配信やイベント制作のほか、携わったイベントのライブストリーミング配信など、多方面から音楽IPの流通を促進させている。



 例えば、Zeppライブホールネットワークはライブホール・Zeppのアジア進出を本格化。2017年6月にシンガポールに「Zepp@BIGBOX Singapore」をオープンし、さらに、2020年にはマレーシアと台湾にホールを開設する計画が正式に発表された。Zepp は現在、国内4都市6ヶ所(札幌、東京2ヶ所、名古屋、大阪2ヶ所)で展開しており、2018年には福岡、2020年には横浜(コーエーテクモゲームスより運営受託)にも開設予定。



 さらに、音楽配信においては、Spotifyのようにグローバルで展開しているサブスクリプションサービスを通じて、日本国内を飛び越え、アジアや欧米で一気に頭角を現すアーティストも2017年に多数出現した。その代表例が日本人エレクトロデュオ・AmPm(アムパム)だ。彼らは2017年4月にデビューシングル「Best Part of Us(feat.Michael Kaneko)」をSpotifyでリリース。わずか4ヶ月で再生回数650万回超を記録。このうち90%以上が海外からのリスナーとなった。




 ただし、2017年12月に実施された「知的財産戦略本部検証・評価・企画委員会 コンテンツ分野会合(第2回)」に提出された、内閣府知的財産戦略推進事務局の資料によると、2015年のコンテンツの世界市場規模が5550億ドルだったのに対し、日本由来コンテンツの売上は約141億ドルで、世界市場規模全体でのシェアはわずかに2.5%。内訳では、放送が0.4%、音楽に至っては0.2%に留まっている(出典:経済産業省「コンテンツ産業政策について」(2017年))。





(『コンフィデンス』 18年1月1日号掲載)

Councillors and officers bill ratepayers for global trips

AN OFFICER’S trip to New York at a cost of $19,253 was one of many taken by staff and councillors in the financial year.The annual report also reveals international travel to destinations including Hong Kong, Indonesia, China and the United Kingdom. Ra…

展望2018:共享经济全球领跑 人工智能弯道超车

































王正伟认为,2017年我国物联网加速进入“跨界融合、集成创新和规模化发展”的新阶段,智能可穿戴设备、智能家电、智能网联汽车、智能机器人等数以万亿计的新设备竞相接入网络,形成海量数据,带来应用的爆发性增长。首先,NB-IOT(基于蜂窝网络的窄带物联网)技术引爆了物联网市场。华为公司率先提出的NB-IoT 核心协议标准,在 3GPP(第三代合作伙伴计划,是一个成立于1998年12月的标准化机构)获得通过,从而引爆了物联网的热点。其次,2017年三大电信运营商开足马力,强势介入,齐齐杀向物联网的新蓝海,全面激活了中国物联网市场。同时,工信部印发《关于全面推进移动物联网(NB-IOT)建设发展的通知》,明确加快推进移动物联网部署,到2017年末,实现NB-IoT网络覆盖直辖市、省会城市等主要城市,基站规模达到40万个。


<!–enpproperty 501813142018-01-01 06:46:33:22崔玉玉展望2018:共享经济全球领跑 人工智能弯道超车人工智能,支付宝,摩拜,场景分类,弯道10007183219新闻库新闻库人民日报海外版中国共享单车入驻法国巴黎。中国社科院财经战略研究院互联网经济研究室主任李勇坚表示,共享经济在中国高速发展,不但经济规模持续扩大,而且各类创新商业模式层出不穷。工业和信息化部电子信息司副司长乔跃山在前不久召开的国际虚拟现实创新大会上表示,发展虚拟现实产业可以促进融合创新。1/enpproperty–>

Digital payments player looks to mirror Indian success in Canada Subscriber content

At first glance, Harinder Takhar’s business seems boring, and he knows it.

“Maybe we should have a slogan,” he says, grinning: “Make bill payments interesting again.”

The technology sector is enjoying a boom unlike any since the dot-com era of the late 1990s, but much of the excitement is in areas such as social media, online retailing, cybersecurity and streaming entertainment services. There’s very little glamour in building an app that helps people pay their monthly bills more efficiently.

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But Mr. Takhar, the 40-year-old chief executive officer of Paytm Labs, reckons those pesky bill payments sap more than half of what’s in the average Canadian’s wallet each month, so he sees potential. And his company’s corporate pedigree is not to be underestimated.

Paytm’s Toronto office is in a squat brick building sandwiched between a burrito shop and a purveyor of poutine on a stretch of Adelaide Street West that’s at its liveliest in the wee hours of the morning, when the neighbourhood bars let out. Inside, it has all the trappings of a typical tech startup: exposed brick and wooden beams, a Ping-Pong table and a pod of staff known internally as “the suits,” none of whom are dressed in anything remotely resembling a suit.

But Paytm Labs represents something more noteworthy: A lab for research and development to tap into a growing trove of customer data and a Canadian foothold for India’s foremost e-commerce and mobile-payments firm. Paytm, in turn, is backed by two of the world’s emerging corporate superpowers: China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Japan’s Softbank Corp., which have invested more than $2-billion (U.S.) combined.

In India alone, Paytm boasts some 230 million registered users, though not all of them use the app regularly. And now it has quietly set up shop in Canada, with ambitions to improve the way Canadian consumers, businesses and even cities make and receive payments.

“What we have figured is that bill payments, even though it is boring and doesn’t sound interesting to anybody, we have an opportunity to make it really interesting,” Mr. Takhar says in an interview. “It is actually a very nice, sticky surface.”

Paytm has done business in Canada since 2014, though it was incorporated earlier. Mr. Takhar was Canadian employee No. 1, having settled here to raise his family after stints in Finland, Britain, Singapore and France.

Born in India, he studied at Delhi College of Engineering and became pals with Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications, and went on to be that company’s first engineer.

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After stints at global firms such as BlackBerry Ltd. and Nokia Corp., he reunited with Mr. Sharma in 2011 as Paytm’s CEO, and turned his focus to forging partnerships with firms such as ride-hailing leader Uber in India.

It was on a phone call with Mr. Sharma and a board member in the fall of 2014 – just as data was gaining steam as the tech world’s latest hot commodity – that they decided, “You know what? Let’s put our foot down,” as Mr. Takhar remembers it. He was told to build a 100-person team in Canada with a focus on data, where Paytm was “weak” at the time. “Make it the strongest thing in our company,” Mr. Takhar’s bosses told him.

Paytm’s Canadian bill payments app launched in March of 2017, and the Toronto lab now has about 60 staff. It took 60 days for the company to process its first million dollars in bill payments, but by summer, the company had shortened that pace to 15 days. Even so, Paytm’s reach in Canada is still small, with a goal to reach 100,000 active users soon. The app also allows person-to-person money transfers, but that feature isn’t used much so far.

Online and mobile bill payments are not new, and every major banks offers them in some form so it won’t be easy to stand out. “But because this is not their attention area, I think we have a chance to make it front and centre,” Mr. Takhar says. Paytm will give users reminders of when their bills are due, alerts when a regular bill is out of the ordinary, and predict monthly expenses. Paytm talks regularly with Canadian banks about supplying them with its platform, and is in “advanced-stage discussions” with two banks, Mr. Takhar said.

In India, one of Paytm’s big breakthroughs came in 2016, when the country’s government suddenly withdrew most of the smaller banknotes from circulation to try and bring a bustling shadow economy onto the books. With cash suddenly in short supply, Paytm became a vital way to move money.

But Canada is a vastly different market, and rather than import its Indian business model, most of Paytm’s Canadian tech is built from the ground up. Canada’s payments system is also in the midst of its own modernization plan, which aims to introduce, among other things, a real-time system to settle payments instantly by 2019. When compared with other countries, Canada’s current payments infrastructure is adequate, Mr. Takhar says. But he is something of an evangelist for the power of technology to make things better, and he’s prone to throwing his hands on his head in exasperation at how costly and inefficient making a simple payment can still be.

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“We, ourselves, go to China to be humbled,” he says, where payment products from Alibaba and rival Tencent are dominant. “That is how you do payments 10 years from now.”

So far, Paytm makes very little money in Canada. But the company sells gift cards through the app and pockets a spread, and will use targeted ads to sell products to users by predicting their needs and working directly with retailers. “We cannot bombard you … So you come to our app 50 times, we will show you a product three times, and we hope that you buy it once,” Mr. Takhar says.

Paytm Labs is also looking to facilitate faster, cheaper payments for small cities, large utility companies and even mom-and-pop businesses. Mr. Takhar expects it will take a decade to build its brand in Canada. “We are standing on the shoulders of giants, so we actually are not seeking [an] immediate sort of bump in numbers,” he says.

But it still irks him that when Paytm inked its deal to work with Uber in India, Western media framed it as the ride-hailing company choosing Paytm, even though the Indian payments provider was the more established company at the time.

“I hope that what we’re doing over here, in five years it changes it a little bit, that we get some credit,” he says. “A little bit.”

In deze landen is 2018 al begonnen: ook Europa aan het feesten

  • 31 december 2017
  • 22u00
  • Bron: ANP, VRTNWS

Om middernacht was het (eindelijk) zover en begon 2018 bij ons, maar door de verschillende tijdzones is het niet overal tegelijkertijd Nieuwjaar. Op de eilanden in de Stille Oceaan en in Nieuw Zeeland werd 2018 al veel vroeger ingeluid. 

In Apia de hoofdstad van de republiek Samoa was het om 11.00 uur onze tijd middernacht. Het nieuwe jaar is in het westelijke deel van de Stille Oceaan dus al begonnen.


In Nieuw Zeeland begon het nieuwe jaar om 12.00 uur onze tijd. Daar hebben ze een spectaculair vuurwerk afgeschoten vanaf de Auckland Sky Tower. 

Omdat het nieuwe jaar niet overal op hetzelfde moment start, is tijdreizen vandaag niet onmogelijk. Zo steeg er een vliegtuig op in Nieuw-Zeeland waar het al 2018 is dat in Hawaii landde terwijl het daar nog 2017 was.

Time travel is possible!
Flight #HA446 just took off from New Zealand in 2018 and will land in Hawaii back in 2017!

Flightradar24(@ flightradar24)link


Om 13 uur was het de beurt aan een klein deel van Rusland. Vanaf 14.00 uur onze tijd was het ook de beurt aan  Australië. In de haven van Sydney keken naar schatting 1,6 miljoen mensen naar het traditioneel spectaculaire vuurwerk.

Japan en Zuid-Korea waren aan de beurt om 16 uur, Noord-Korea volgde een half uur later.  Om 17 uur vierden China, Filipijnen en Singapore Nieuwjaar. Een uur later was het ook feest in Indonesië, Thailand en Vietnam. Bangladesh volgde om 19 uur. 

In India is Nieuwjaar gevierd om 19u30 en Pakistan volgde een half uurtje later. In Afghanistan was het om 20u30 2018 en nog een uur later was ook Iran aan de beurt. 

2018 heeft intussen het Europese continent bereikt. West-Rusland, Turkije, Irak en Kenia hebben om 22 uur Nieuwjaar gevierd. Om 23 uur was het de beurt aan Griekenland, Egypte en Zuid-Afrika. En om middernacht was het onze beurt!

Een uurtje na ons heten ook de Britten, Ieren, Portugezen en Marokkanen 2018 welkom. Brazilië moet wachten tot 3 uur Belgische tijd om het vuurwerk af te steken. Dan is het ook Nieuwjaar in Argentinië. Noord-Amerika viert 2018 tussen 6 en 9 uur.