Thursday, November 26, 2020
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9PSB promotes innovative customer service with ‘Our Bank” campaign

L-R: Mr. Mohammed Edewor, Board Member 9PSB; Mr. Asega Aliga Board Member 9PSB; His Highness Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero and Branka Mracajac, CEO 9PSB at the launch of 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB) in Lagos State yesterday

As part of efforts to provide exceptional customer service and reduce the financial exclusion ratio among Nigerians, 9PSB, a payment banking company, has unveiled its slogan tagged, Our Bank.

Designed to operate simpler, convenient and more reliable channels for customers to conduct financial services, 9PSB is also the first Payment Service Bank to address critical challenges of the financially excluded customer demography in Nigeria. With the *990# code, customers can own an account with 9PSB and enjoy value-driven propositions with their financial transactions.

This much was revealed at a recent panel discussion with the theme: Examining the challenges facing Nigerian banks and payment industry and how 9PSB can revolutionize the financial sector.

While examining the 9PSB approach, seasoned Fintech analysts on the panel, which includes Ashley Immanuel, Tunji Andrews, Tracia Ikponmwonba and Adejuwon Soyinka, unanimously agreed that players within the banking sector must be prepared to offer innovative solutions to customers in order to engender trust and flatten the curve among financially excluded rural and urban Nigerians.

Speaking during the event, the CEO of 9PSB, Branka Mracajac stated that the key mitigating strategy that would aid 9PSB in fufiling the financial Inclusion mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria is by offering compelling products, seamless execution and excellent customer service.

“Financial innovation plays a unique role in fostering sustainable and equitable growth primarily among the unbanked and underbanked within the rural areas in Nigeria, and I am very optimistic that 9PSB will drive financial innovation, especially among the youth and women across Nigeria. This is our goal at 9PSB. It is also why we are here. It is the difference we are committed to making in the Nigerian financial sector,” she said.

While acknowledging thatinfrastructure deficit and geographical coverage limitations have previously affected financial inclusion in Nigeria, Branka said that the key mitigating strategy is to create synergies between agent banking as an important driver of financial inclusion and a superior product mix.

She explained that, “9PSB will deploy a wide distribution network that will serve as a channel for financial education for rural and low-income consumers. This will enable them to conduct basic banking services like cash-in and cash-out transactions.”

In his goodwill message at the event, Chairman Board of Directors, EMTS, His Highest, Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero, stated that the launch of 9PSB is the beginning of an exciting chapter in the company’s growth agenda.

“We see 9PSB as yet another opportunity to serve 59 million unbanked adults through the deployment of financial services that will leverage on top mobile technology and distribution network to support the financial inclusion of the Federal Government,” he said.

MTN is leading the charge for Africa’s fourth Industrial Revolution

It has been predicted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world. In a keynote session at the African Continental Free Trade Area Strategy Workshop held in Lagos recently, the Chairman, MTN Nigeria Communications PLC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, OFR, highlighted the opportunities of the 4IR on the African continent.

While the first, second, and third industrial revolutions focused on Steam Engineering,  Electrification and Assembly Line, and Computing Internet Nuclear Energy respectively, the 4IR is building on the third. The 4IR is characterized by a fusion of technologies that are blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

Highlighting the opportunities presented by the 4IR in Africa, Ernest Ndukwe asserts that the revolution represents a unique opportunity for African countries to leapfrog over development hurdles with the help of technology. Not forgetting the role that telecommunication companies play in the acceleration of the 4IR in Africa, Dr. Ndukwe elucidated on how MTN Nigeria is taking the lead on this.

The Nigerian telecommunications industry in 2020 has recorded an increase in National Broadband penetration, contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Traffic, Radio Latency, and others. MTN is leading on the tripartite levers for 4IR acceleration, which include Pervasive Broadband through advances in 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), amongst other categories.  Through innovations in these areas, the telecommunications company is at the forefront of enabling transformation through secure, high-speed connectivity and cloud solutions.

Apart from telecommunications companies, Dr. Ndukwe highlighted other drivers of 4IR on the African continent.

He mentioned that African policy makers and regulators would need to use a “united vision to seize opportunities as well as create incentives for technology adoption in national priority sectors like agriculture and energy.” He expounded on the roles of Business Associations, which include raising awareness and providing information about the potential and markets for technologies while also increasing investments in training. Dr. Ndukwe concluded that development partners would need to “finance projects on the impact of the 4IR on African economies and societies, support the creation of regional R&D centers and foster linkages with R&D centres.”

Real Estate Brands Africa Awards holds December 3rd

The Most Innovative Real Estate Brands Africa Awards 2020 is a Celebration of Innovation, Leadership and Growth of the Real Estate and Property Industry. The Award will honour Real Estate Game Changers, Companies, Products and Personalities that have made contribution to the development of the sector.

The Award Ceremony is on 3rd of December, 2020 at Banquet Hall, Sheraton Hotel and Tower, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, Time 4:00pm

The Winners would have made outstanding contribution to the development of Real Estate Brand of the continent, the economic aspiration of its citizenry and the transformation of Africa’s image in the International market while displaying high standard of good citizenship, social and environmental responsibilities. The Award brings together prominent Real Estate Personalities, Government Official, Regulators and other Stakeholders.

The Africa Brands Magazine as Leaders in Brand Journalism will provide an exclusive reporting the entire Award winners and showcase their Brands Strategies/Policies through interactive platform and profile their Brand Achievement. Also for the benefit of comprehensive reportage we shall conduct interview of different Bank CEO’s/Regulators and Stakeholders for the benefit of our readers.

The Most Innovative Real Estate Brands Africa Awards 2020 Research represents the most comprehensive Real Estate Brands study in Africa.      It is a consumer-led survey establishes Best Real Estate preferences across the continent. The study is independently concluded by The Africa Brands Magazine, Geopoll, the leader in providing fast, high Quality research from emerging market with strategic analysis and insight and Fast Track Brand Communications & strategy-Africa premier Branding Advisory Firm.

In the 2019-2020 periods the survey was conducted in 23 countries which cover all African economic regions and collectively represent at least 75% of the population and the GDP of Africa. These countries Best Real Estate are often the most dominants Real Estate Brands across Africa or within their regions.                                                                                       Since 2019, the Best Real Estate Brands has been using geopoll multimodal survey platform to collect data via SMS rather than face-to-face method.

Mobile interviewing has proven to be most effective way to reach Africa consumers because of the high penetration of mobile telephony as a primary mode of communication and increasingly for consumer transition in Africa.

The mobile methodology of firm large database of respondent across Africa therefore assured a wider reach and expediency in conducting research across the continent, individuals age 18 and older in the sample countries were asked to report on their Best Real Estate Brands irrespective of countries of region. In addition, because of their catalytic impact or influential role respondent were further as asked to rank their Best Real Estate Brands.         As an Africa-focused survey and given the growing number of Africa Real Estate Brands this new question was introduce specially focusing on identifying the ”Most Innovative Real Estate Brands of the year 2020”

The survey yielded over 5,000 Real Estate and Property Brands covering over 100 Best Real Estate Brands with the final coded data.                                                                                                                                                                      

Our team calculated a score for each Real Estate Brands and created an index that takes into account the sample and population size of each country covered.                                                                                                                                

The Best Real Estate Brands where further analyzed to ensure there are no duplication and no generic category rather than trading Real Estate mentioned.

Finally, to make the list of the Best Real Estate Brands, the Brands have to be available and recalled in at least one other country other than their domicile market. Given the fragmentation and proliferation of local media, the media list is now focused truly pan-Africa Countries.

Overall, The Most Innovative Real Estate Brands Africa Awards 2020 is on the most regions consumer-led methodology consistent with global best practices and the most representative and comprehensive study and ranking of Real Estate Brands in Africa.

CACOVID to empower 4million youths with N150billion job program

L-R: Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe; President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; and Chairman, Heirs Holding, Tony Elumelu, at CACOVID press conference on CACOVID new initiative after their intervention on Covid-19, in Lagos on Wednesday, November 25, 2020

  • To renovate 44 burnt Police stations; spend N100bn on Police equipment

 The private sector led Coalition Alliance Against COVID 19 (CACOVID), has unveiled plans to empower four million youths with N150 billion employment program, noting that once the nation’s high rate of unemployment is curtailed, social unrest will be significantly reduced.

Co-Chairman of CACOVID and Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who briefed the media alongside the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, Chairman of United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu and the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, revealed that, unemployment among the youth was a critical factor behind the recent EndSars protest.

As a result of that, Emefiele said “CACOVID has committed to create a high impact youth development program that will provide technical and vocational education to over 4 million Nigerian youths over the next 5 years. Students will be trained on craftwork, plumbing, masonry , capentry, and other artisanal related skills for which sufficient demand exist in Nigeria . Over N150bn is expected to be deployed towards the set up and implementation of the youth development program, which will be available at select training centers across the country.”

On conclusion of the program, Emefiele said the students will be certified by the appropriate standards board and will be eligible to receive loans to support their entrepreneurial pursuits. So far, he said “over N25bn will be domiciled in a fund to support these entrepreneurial pursuits, which would also include acquisition of related equipment’s to conduct business activities. The ultimate objective is to provide young Nigerians with employable skills sets that will enable them to live a gainful life. We believe this initiative can lead to the creation of over 4m jobs over the next five years”

For the out of school graduates that possess certain entrepreneurial skills, the apex bank governor said, CACOVID will be working with Bankers Committee to complete the Creative center at National Arts Theater area of Lagos in four select areas namely; ICT and software design / development, Fashion, Music and Movies. This project, according to him, is expected to cost the Bankers Committee over N40 Billion.

Meanwhile, the Group said it received N39.6 billion as donation from over 200 members of the private sector and spent N43.272 billion on the acquisition of, not only medical equipment and supplies, but also Food palliatives for the vulnerable Nigerians. He said the funds raised by CACOVID was used to support 3 key priorities: Medical facilities and equipment, food relief programs and communication plans on the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to the youth empowerment program, CACOVID has further promised to spend N100 billion to purchase equipment for the police as well as renovate the 44 police stations destroyed during the crisis that followed the ENDSARS protest.

Emefiele said: “CACOVID has committed to fully rehabilitate all 44 damaged and destroyed police stations nationwide in a bid to restore provision of security in affected locations…To further strengthen the security apparatus in the country, CACOVID has committed to provide over N100bn to procure equipment and gadgets for the Nigerian Police Force over the next 2 years; as our contribution to fully modernize the Nigerian Police”

MTN’s mPulse hackathon offers funding for solutions to COVID-19 challenges

As countries grapple with the realities of the new normal, MTN Nigeria has initiated a call for entries for its mPulse hackathon, themed “Beyond COVID-19.” The project aims at encouraging young innovators in primary and secondary schools who can navigate the barriers of remote engagement to create solutions that can mitigate various challenges imposed by COVID-19.

Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, Bayo Adekanmbi, emphasised the need for an evolving educational platform to train young Nigerians. “We’re all figuring out lifehacks to help us cope with the new normal resulting from the pandemic. But for members of Gen Z, given the peculiarity of their exposure to technology, they are uniquely equipped to profer solutions to the challenges imposed by COVID.

This unique virtual hackathon is designed to engage young inventors stimulating the development of home-grown-technological innovation, to effectively deal with the challenges of COVID-19. We look forward to seeing several incredible solutions put forward, and working with the finalist to develop them further,” he said.

Entries to the MTN mPulse Hackathon close on December 6, 2020. The top ten innovators will be selected to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges at a live Hackathon on December 19 where the top three winning solutions will be chosen. The ten finalists will proceed to an exclusive MTN GAP Bootcamp in collaboration with TechQuest STEM Academy where their solutions will be refined for optimal impact.

This STEM programme is designed to spot bright young innovators across the country. Finalists will receive cash, prizes and funding support to launch their solutions on the market with a total value of over 10 million naira.

TBWA Sydney unveils new brand platform for Australian Mushrooms

Australian Mushrooms has unveiled its new brand platform, Add the Mighty Mushie, via TBWA Sydney.

The integrated campaign will appear across paid, earned, and owned media highlighting the unique superfood health benefits of Australian mushrooms in order to increase consideration and grow consumption in Australia.

“To further support mushroom growers, we needed to create a campaign that cemented the unique superfood qualities of mushrooms, while showcasing just how delicious they are,” Hort Innovation group marketing manager Samantha Parker says.

“Australians are becoming more and more health conscious, particularly with the rising popularity of flexitarian and plant-based lifestyles. As well as nutrition being a high priority, we know how important taste is too.

“The new campaign encourages consumers to add mushrooms more regularly to their meals in order to experience just how mighty they are – in both health and flavour.

“I’m incredibly proud of the collaboration between the team at Hort Innovation and our creative and media partners in developing such an exciting and inspiring new campaign through Add the Mighty Mushie. We hope this will encourage Australians to buy and consume more mushrooms and in turn support our Australian mushroom growers.”

To further bolster the campaign, Australian Mushrooms enlisted the help of some of the country’s top chefs to create a series of bold mushroom-based recipes which will be released over the month of November through PR and social channels.

Darren Robertson of Three Blue Ducks and Rocker, Julian Cincotta of Butter, Reynold Poernomo from MasterChef and KOI Dessert Bar, Shannon Martinez of Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli, and Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham from Mary’s Burger Group are set to disrupt breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert dishes using Australian mushrooms as you’ve never seen them before.

“We’re excited for the possibilities that the ‘Add the Mighty Mushie’ platform holds for the brand,” TBWA Sydney creative director Stuart Tobin says.

“In partnership with Hort Innovation, we look forward to bringing the transformative power of mushies into Australian households.”

The Add the Mighty Mushie campaign will exist across TVC, OLV, OOH, social, digital, PR and retail.

Hort Innovation’s media agency Atomic 212° will amplify the campaign through a range of channels including Channel 7, Channel 10, and News Corp, reaching 85% of Australians.

The campaign will run until the end of June 2021.

The Add the Mighty Mushie campaign comes off the back of TBWA recently winning the creative, social and PR account for Hort Innovation.

Hort Innovation is a not-for-profit, grower-owned research and development corporation for Australia’s $12.6 billion horticulture industry.

Hort Innovation invests around $120 million in research, development and marketing projects annually to provide benefits to the horticulture industry and the wider community.

Shoprite surprises customers on a bumper Black Friday

Shoprite Nigeria’s supermarkets have offered early Black Friday deals and big discounts on everyday essentials as customers are increasingly looking for value, given the pressure many households are currently experiencing.

The Shoprite bumper black Friday offer begins from 25th November and ends in 29th November, 2020 and it’s a pan-Nigeria value added offer.

According to the Shoprite statement, “ In response to COVID-19 pandemic, Shoprite will for the first time offer early Black Friday deals and keep the deals valid for longer, to allow customers more time to plan and shop, and to prevent overcrowding.”

The statement further stated that some of the great deals on offer include   Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite products, Power Vegetable Cooking, Ariel Washing Powder and many others products.

Stringent hygiene and sanitizing protocols will be in place at all Shoprite supermarkets in Nigeria to help protect customers and employees as far as possible.

These include, but are not restricted to, the use of face masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing and limited entry where necessary to avoid overcrowding. Customers are encouraged to pay by card and to capitalize on the extended trading hours to make the most of the deep-cut specials that will be on offer.

Agusto & Co unveils ‘2020 consumer digital banking satisfaction survey’

Leading Research and Credit Rating Agency, Agusto & Co has launched the third edition of its consumer banking satisfaction index which dissects the level of customer satisfaction towards digital banking channels in Nigeria with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) ranking highest in user experience. 

According to Agusto & Co, the objective of the Index is to create an independent appraisal of the ease of using digital banking platforms by the Nigerian populace following an increased competition by banks on digital platforms as well as the growing quest for higher electronic banking income by Nigerian banks.

The consumer banking satisfaction index reveals customers’ preferences towards digital banking channels on some selected banks in Nigeria. The index which contains a survey and a scorecard, is now available online on https://www.agusto.com/2020-consumer-digital-banking-satisfaction-index-report/ and showcases that the crux of customers’ complaints is customer service delivery.

As revealed by the report, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Emerges the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria with a user experience score of 74.2. Zenith Bank was the highest-ranked bank in the 2019 edition, with a score of 74.2 but dropped to the 4th position this year (a score of 70.9) due to lower ratings in transaction success rates and troubleshooting & IT support.

GTBank’s top position was underpinned by comparably higher transaction success rates, is most crucial in the current ‘COVID-era’. The Bank’s position was also upheld by the significant level of awareness of its digital banking services compared to the other banks in the survey sample Agusto & Co also observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has driven an increase in the use of digital channels and created an opportunity to grow transaction income across the various platforms. In addition to benefits to commercial banks, the pandemic has also provided digital banks with an avenue for growth. The survey also indicates that only 46% of the survey respondents are aware of digital banks.

Senior Analyst, Financial Institutions Ratings at Agusto &Co, Mariam Dabiri says; “As a research and credit rating agency, we seek to provide banks with credible information on how best services can be improved for customers. We believe findings from this Index will provide good insights and suggestions to enhance customer experience. Generally, we believe that there is a need for more dedicated investments in customer service and relationship management to support growing traffic across digital banking channels.”

The 2020 Consumer Digital Banking Satisfaction Survey targeted a focus group of respondents drawn from the formal and informal sectors of the economy. The coverage banks indicated in the survey are also top 10 commercial banks based on the value of total assets and contingents as at 31 December 2019.

Shoprite facilitates customers, farmers meeting through ‘meet the farmers’ initiative

Nigerian farmers will have the opportunity to sell their fruit and vegetables directly to Shoprite customers on Saturday, 28 November, as part of the retailer’s ‘Meet the Farmer’ initiative.

Shoprite Adeniran in Lagos will host a fresh produce supplier from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

A large percentage of the fresh fruit and vegetables sold in Shoprite Nigeria’s 25 stores is sourced locally and by hosting these events the retailer gives the farmers the experience of selling in

a formal retail setting.

Nwaorisa Chinedu Prosper, owner of AMET Farm Ventures, has been supplying Shoprite for five years. For him the most gratifying part remains the interaction with customers. “They were very surprised that the majority of the produce available at Shoprite is locally sourced.

I’m also grateful for the opportunity to market my business directly to customers. This is particularly good for smaller farmers as it could lead to people from their community buying directly from them in order to save some money,” adds Prosper.

Chinyere Abade, spokesperson for CSS Global Integrated Farms another participant in Meet the Farmer, recommends that growers participate in initiatives like these because of the invaluable feedback from shoppers, “The customers tell you what’s good about your produce and what’s not, so you have a very clear idea where improvements are needed to attract even more customers,” she added.

Chivita celebrates World Juice Day

Chivita, one of Nigeria’s juice brands holds its second Annual Chivita World Juice Day Event recently. The Annual Chivita World Juice Day is a public interest initiative undertaken by CHI Limited, makers of the Chivita brand of fruit juices, to deepen conversations on consumption of 100% fruit juice thus enabling healthy living and happier lives for all Nigerians. 

The theme for this year’s edition of the event, “Fruit Juice: The Smart Secret of Boosting Immunity”, was informed by the need to highlight the beneficial properties of consumption of 100% fruit juice to support the body’s immune system in order to promote everyday wellness. 

Speaking about the event, the Managing Director of CHI Limited, Mr. Deepanjan Roy, emphasized the need for 100% fruit juice consumption as a smart way of supporting immune function during the COVID19 era and beyond. He said while the global pandemic has challenged systems everywhere, it has also raised social consciousness on healthy diets and lifestyle. 

In partnership with health and nutrition experts who were carefully selected to share their perspectives on how Nigerians can defend themselves from within through fruit juice consumption, CHI Limited hopes to empower consumers to consider daily consumption of a glass of 100% fruit juice as a smart choice in their daily health routine. 

One of the Guest Speakers and Principal Dietician with the National Orthopedic Hospital Igbobi, Mrs. Adejoke Adeniji, listed the benefits of consumption of 100% fruit juice to include strengthening of the immune system, aiding of digestion, weight loss and prevention of allergies and ailments from entering the system.  

 “Consumption of 100% fruit juice is a valuable source of nutrients that are bioactive and can support the immune system by fighting free radicals and also reducing fatigue. While not postulating that fruit juice can prevent or protect against COVID-19, available facts show that drinking a glass of 100% fruit juice daily can boost Vitamin-C and folate intake and, by so doing, support the optimal functioning of the body’s immune system,” she said. 

In celebration of this year’s event, there has been a sustained drive to create consumer awareness and drum up anticipation across several touch points including Guest Appearances on National TV Stations, Radio Hypes and Call-in Sessions, Out-of-Home Displays, Engagements on Social Media platforms, Article publication on Print Publications, and In-store CHI-Shoppe promotions aimed at rewarding the brand’s consumers.  

MultiChoice Nigeria launches festive season campaign

Multichoice Nigeria has announced that it is set to entertain subscribers during the festive season with its array of entertaining content across different channels on DStv and GOtv, as well as special price offers.  This announcement was made at a media event in Lagos.

During the media event, MultiChoice Nigeria revealed that, starting Monday 21 November, it will provide new DStv customers with an opportunity to get DStv HD decoder Dish + 1-month Compact subscription for N18,600, while the GOtv decoder + GOtenna + 1-month Jolli will go for N8,400, to all new customers.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe said “As we get closer to the Festive Season we keep all customers at the heart of everything we do. And that explains why we have an amazing lineup of content on DStv and GOtv to bring families together, to strengthen the bond between them and showcase some of the most exciting and entertaining programmes that reflects who we are as Africans and indeed, as Nigerians. Our content are local and original, steep in our culture, values and traditions and there’s no better time to give these content to our subscribers than now.”

Some of the amazing content lineup on DStv that customers can look forward to during the festive season include the European football league season live include: Man United vs Man City on Saturday 12 December,  Liverpool vs Spurs on Wednesday 16 December, Chelsea vs Arsenal on Saturday 26 December and Chelsea vs Man City on Saturday 2 January, in La Liga, there is the  Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid taking place on the 13 of December football games, all available on the SuperSport channel. While on Formula 1, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will be available to entertain subscribers on the 29 November and 13 December, respectively, and Basketball lovers can look forward to the NBA as it returns on ESPN.

GOtv Sports fans can also look forward to an exciting festive season with LIVE football action from La Liga featuring the Atletico Madrid and Barcelona on Saturday, 21 November on SS La Liga; the 21st edition of GOtv Boxing Night on Friday, 27 November on SS Select 2;  WWE Survivor Series on Sunday, 29 November on SS Select 2

Insight Publicis founder, Shobanjo’s advertising works for launch 26 November

Biodun Shobanjo says... FG action is an affront on the industry

The much-anticipated biography of Nigeria’s foremost marketing communications practitioner and Chairman of Troyka Holdings, Dr Biodun Olusina Shobanjo has been slated for public presentation in Lagos on Thursday, 26 November, 2020.

The book titled, The Will To Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjo is written by Mr Dotun Adekanmbi, an award-winning business journalist and accomplished public relations practitioner.

Distinguished boardroom guru and diplomat, Ambassador (Dr) Christopher Kolade CFR, will chair the launch while renowned African entrepreneur, Chief Dele Fajemirokun, is the Chief presenter of the book. Veteran journalist, Mr Ray Ekpu, will review the biography during the launch.

The Will To Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjo is the first authoritative biography on the guru of advertising who at various times had been conferred with high honours including Doctor of Letters (D.Litt Honoris Causa) by the Obafemi Awolowo University; Advertising Man of All Time by The Sun newspapers and Most Influential Personality in Advertising in Africa by Africa Development Magazine, Ghana.

The book chronicles the trajectory of Shobanjo’s career right from his humble beginning as a Studio Manager in then Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) now Radio Nigeria to his days at Grant Advertising Ltd, an American-Nigerian agency; his foray into entrepreneurship when he co-founded Insight Communications in 1980 and his days as a daring creative innovator in the marketing communications industry till date.

Author of the book, Adekanmbi, said: “I was motivated to write this book because I found Dr Shobanjo’s personality and professional accomplishments quite intriguing, particularly because he evokes diverse passions in players in his industry. My determination to unravel the myths that surround him prompted my proposal to write The Will To Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjo. His willingness to share his professional worldview with young practitioners and people in search of knowledge is what is now being presented to the public.”

While commenting on the book, Shobanjo disclosed that its publication took a while because he had never been interested in a ‘been there, seen it all and done it all’ kind of storytelling, saying:

“In my view, every biography must be a learning encounter for its reader; not a platform for a subject to blow the trumpet of perceived accomplishments in one’s field over several decades. For me, therefore, The Will To Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjois a legacy project intended to demonstrate how our Groups – Troyka Holdings, Insight Redefini, Halogen Group – arrived at where we are today in our industry. As I like to say, ‘unless people understand the dream, they cannot act the dream.’”

Pinkberry introduces Kafé

Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt has on Monday 16th November, 2020 launched the first Naija Healthy Kafé,  –The Pinkberry Kafé. This is in a bid to offer healthier and delicious food alternatives to its consumers across Lagos.

 Over the past two years of its operations in Nigeria, Pinkberry has become prominent for fresh, pure, healthy, and supremely tasty frozen yogurt and variety of toppings. The newly launched Pinkberry Healthy Kafé, located on Awolowo Rd. Ikoyi and Ajose , VI will offer healthy breakfasts and lunch options to its customers.

Speaking about the launch of the Kafé, Ilyas Kazeem Marketing Director at Eat’N’Go said “Serving healthy and delicious treats is what we enjoy doing at Pinkberry and this is what we have been doing since our entrance into the market in 2018. We are particularly delighted about the launch of Naija’s number one healthy Kafé,  as it gives us the opportunity to serve an array of different healthy treats. Now lovers of healthy options can now walk into our outlet and be sure to have a filling yet healthy breakfast or lunch” 

“We are also very grateful to our customers who have shown their loyalty over the years and we will continue to uphold our brand promise of serving products with uncompromised quality.” He added.  

Pinkberry Yoghurt is a franchisee of Eat’N’Go limited, the leading franchisee of Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery. The brand continues to offer interesting deals and offerings, ensuring ultimate customer satisfaction.

Elumelu shines in Belgium, wins African philanthropist

The Kingdom of Belgium has conferred the honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold, the country’s oldest and most important National Honour, on Africa’s leading investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, in recognition of his commitment to poverty eradication and the economic empowerment of young Africans.

The Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, H.E. Ambassador Daniel Bertrand, presented the royal decoration on Sunday, November 15 – the Belgian King’s Day and a symbolic national day of celebration, at the Belgian House in Abuja, with public and private sector leaders witnessing the ceremony.

Mr Elumelu has been responsible for initiatives creating millions of jobs and employment for young Africans across the continent, through his philanthropy, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).  The Foundation’s flagship intervention, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, is a 10-year, US$100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor, and fund 10,000 young African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries.  Over 9,600 young Africans are current beneficiaries, just six years since its inception.  In addition to its own significant programme, the Foundation partners with institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to bring its proven methodology to an even broader universe.  Mr Elumelu believes that youth entrepreneurship has the potential to tackle global challenges such as forced migration, poverty, and hunger.

Mr Elumelu’s concept of Africapitalism is redefining national development, making the case for the critical role that the private sector must play in transforming Africa.  Mr Elumelu’s businesses are present in 20 African countries and key international markets, with over 30,000 people in employment   His investments span power, financial services, healthcare, energy, technology, hospitality, and real estate.

Mr Elumelu chairs family-owned African investment company, Heirs Holdings; pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which operates across Africa, the United Kingdom, France and the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States, and Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.

Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who was at the event, said: “Your Excellency Ambassador Daniel Bertrand, Ambassador of Belgium, let me, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, express our deepest appreciation to the King and Queen of Belgium for recognising the wonderful work of Mr. Tony Elumelu and what he is doing in our nation and on the continent of Africa by prioritising the empowerment of our youth”.

Commenting further, he said: “Mr. Elumelu, I listened to your priorities, which include; eradicating poverty, creating jobs and improving access to electricity and I can assure you that this was the motivation of President Muhammadu Buhari when he spoke about lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.  When we identify somebody in the private sector who believes in that core mandate, the government has no option but to continue to support your endeavours, and I can assure you that on behalf of the President, you will continue to receive it.  Mustapha concluded, “As Nigerians, we stand here today very proud of the excellent work Mr Elumelu has done in Nigeria and on our continent and we ask him to do more”.

Earlier in 2019, Tony Elumelu was conferred with the National Productivity Merit Award in Nigeria and in 2020, he featured in the Time 100 most influential people in the world.

SBI Media’s media workshop rewards mediaprenuers

L-R: Digital Entrepreneur/Social Media Influencer, Chidi Okere, Head Commercial/ General Procurement & Contract Management, 9mobile, Oladapo Adefolajo, CEO Digital Republic, Tele Aina, Managing Director SBI Media, Rotimi Bankole, MC Lively

SBI Media Limited, a leading media agency in Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment towards youth’s empowerment and development during the maiden edition of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) workshop titled “The SBI Media Workshop” where some upcoming media entrepreneurs and other innovators were rewarded with cash gifts in grant for their viable ideas and a lucky round-trip ticket winner, courtesy the Turkish Airlines.

The SBI Media Workshop is a CSR initiative of SBI Group aimed at encouraging young Nigerians by giving them a push to be creative and innovative towards birthing unique ideas.

With the theme “How to Monetize the Media in Your Hands”, the workshop had many Nigerian youths in attendance with industry facilitators who shared hands-on experience.

The workshop unveiled seven winners who won a grant of N200, 000 each for sharing the most valuable ideas in media. Elvis Boniface, one of the most inspiring and most valuable idea winner is building an online platform that can connect parents with home school teachers thereby creating an ecosystem that provides jobs for teachers and knowledge to students within the comfort of their homes.

In his opening remarks at the two-day workshop which held at Radisson Hotel Ikeja, Lagos with other corporate sponsors like Turkish Airlines, British Council, 7UP among others, the Managing Director of SBI Media, Rotimi Bankole made it known that ‘for the upcoming generations to really feel the impact of the older ones, it is time to stop talking and start doing”.

Rotimi explained that he is convinced that the informative and practical sessions experienced by those who won and other participants will spur them to become better media entrepreneurs, innovators and thought leaders in the nearest future.

While congratulating participants for making time out to be a part of history at the workshop, Rotimi implores them to remain focused and committed.

He also expressed gratitude to the facilitators and for their selfless exposés which according to him will birth great ideas towards nation-building in the nearest future.

Highlight of the event was a fireside session on the first day with Lawyer turned comedian, Michael Sani popularly called MC Lively, where Tele Aina, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Digital Republic drilled him on his journey into comedy. The event had other facilitators like Bola Bello Popoola, Marketing Manager, Sport Bet, Olakanmi Amoo-Onidundun, Managing Consultant, OMP Consult Limited, Oladapo Adefolajo, Head Commercial/ General Procurement & Contract Management, 9mobile and Chidi Okere, Digital Entrepreneur/Social Media Influencer.

During the second-day fireside session, Oke Umorhohwo, Marketing Manager, Itel Mobile with Tomi Kolawole, a Marketing & Communication Expert shared their wealth of experience.

The session also featured facilitators like popular tech Youtuber, Fisayo Fosudo, Kayode Adegbite, MD CEO, Mediacrush Outdoor Advertising Ltd, Barrister Tolulope Aderemi, Partner Perchstone & Graeys LP, Samuel Odusami, Group Head, Strategy & Data, SBI Media among others.

While commending the agency’s initiative geared towards youth creativity and engagement, MC Lively stirred the youth to turn what they have in their hands to money. In his words: “Your smartphone is your new television” create and get all the values you can from it.

Also speaking, Olakanmi Amoo Onidundun pointed out to the youths that “your life is God’s gift to you, what you make of is your gift to God, don’t just be creative but be innovative as well”. He expressed delight at the establishment of the SBI Media Workshop which he described as a platform that the current generation needs to help improve their creativity in order to reduce unemployment and poverty among youths.

Safety, and the new normal, in focus at leading food & drink trade show

The new normal, emerging trends and safety will be among the hot topics under discussion at food & drink technology (fdt) Africa, the continent’s leading beverage and food processing, filling and packaging industry trade show, next year.

food & drink technology (fdt) Africa presents food and drink manufacturing solutions from innovative developments for resource conservation to raw materials, through to processing, filling and packaging machines. In 2021, the trade show’s high-level Forum will focus on a broad range of top of mind issues in the sector. The presentations will include a topical look at ‘the new normal’ in the industry, the importance of traceability and food safety, risk analysis in the food industry, grain cleaning for mycotoxin management, the importance of agriculture and agro processing, the rise of women in the brewing industry, yeast and hops interaction, plastics in the environment, and a look at ‘snackification’ – the changing tend that’s catching up.

Dain Richardson, Senior Exhibition Manager of fdt Africa from organisers Messe Muenchen South Africa, says safety and progress are strong themes running throughout food & drink technology (fdt) Africa and its co-located events, IFAT Africa – the water and waste trade show, and analytica Lab Africa – the laboratory technology, analysis, biotechnology and diagnostics trade show. “This is in line with trends emerging at Messe München’s international events for the sector. Globally, stakeholders are increasingly focused on safety, quality and sustainability in food and drink production and manufacturing, and digital transformation has emerged as the key enabler for these.”

food & drink technology (fdt) Africa is supported by leading industry associations and supporters including the Bakery & Food Technology Incubator (BICSA),   Craft Brewers Association South Africa (CBASA),  Distillique, FoodTek Solutions, the Institute of Brewing & Distilling Africa Sector (IBD Africa), Plastics SA, the South African Association of the Flavour & Fragrance Industry (SAAFFI).

The trade fair will also feature top local and international exhibitors including Fermentis, Instek Control, PMT Process Management Technology, Reiger Industrial Consultants, GEA Africa, SACMI South Africa. food & drink technology Africa will be co-located with IFAT Africa and analytica lab Africa, with AECI Water the diamond sponsors of the three co-located trade fairs to take place from 13 – 15 July 2021 at Gallagher Convention Centre.

UBA deepens retail products, revamps services via digital channels

Pan African financial services institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has deepened its retail products and services with an aim to delivering services aimed at meeting the needs of its customers across Africa.

These services and product offerings, targeting at all classes of customers have been specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of individual customers of the bank, in line with the Customer First policy of the bank.

 UBA’s Head of Retail Liabilities, Ogechi Altraide, who spoke in a virtual international media parley with a diverse group of journalists and publishers from all over Africa,  pointed out that UBA was well prepared ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic and had rolled-out a number of products that enabled customers to carry out their daily transactions with ease from the comfort of their homes.

She said, “At UBA, we have developed very deep and customer-centric solutions that have given us number one ranking over time. Our retail footprint cuts across 20 African countries, where we serve over 20 million customers through well researched platforms including over 20,000 POS as well as 3,000 ATMs deployed across the continent. We have well over 10 million active cards, while our very active and highly applauded Mobile App and USSD platforms serve several millions of subscribers every second.”

Continuing, Altraide said, “Our retail banking platforms cater to all ages and classes with the Kiddies and Teens Account – where parents can earn rewards and bonuses for saving for their kids, while also enjoying support in terms of scholarships and health insurance; Next Gen Account – which caters for young adults; Mass Marketing segment – made up of low to mid income earners; Affluent Banking for the premium banking experience as well as SME banking, which caters to meeting the needs of a niche industry essential for the growth of any economy.”

Throwing more light on the bank’s increasing support for the MSMEs, she explained that the bank offers both financial and non-financial services to this all-important sector as well as access to loans, adding that “At UBA, we recognise that SMEs are important to economic growth, therefore our various offerings for MSMEs is positioned to support them in this regard.”

Altraide noted that other retail propositions the bank has developed to promote financial inclusion are Diaspora Banking where customers can enjoy the same quality of services in all locations around the world through UBA Connect and Africash; and Agency Banking, which makes use of digital channels that allow customers to access UBA banking services right in their neighborhoods from our dedicated Agents.

Apart from UBA mobile banking, USSD, internet banking and LEO – UBA’s virtual assistant other innovative platforms that drive the bank’s retail business include UBA’s Click Credit – a much loved and accepted facility that makes instant cash available to customers with salary accounts within minutes.

Altraide added that already, over 50,000 people have benefited from the facility, adding that customers can access up to N5m in a matter of seconds.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries.

With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services

Hakeem Adenekan, CEO Commstrat Associates Group dies

One of Nigeria’s brightest advertising eggheads and chief executive officer of Commstrat Association Group, Hakeem Adenekan, has been reportedly passed in the early hour of this morning, Monday November 11th, 2020 in Lagos Nigeria.

Adenekan, who started Commstrat in 2002, had remained a prominent name in the advertising industry in Nigeria till date. He had been reported ill for a while prior to his death today.

The Group Chief Executive Officer at Commstrat Associates Group whose story is one wrapped in multiple folds, has played in core advertising, event management , public relations and brand management.

Disclosing his death to 789marketing.ng, Gani Kayode Balogun, a media practitioner said, “I didn’t believe it until I reached out to his brother abroad. It is huge lost to the industry and the entire country.”

While describing Adenekan, his former staff, Michael Igagha Williams, CEO/Lead Creative Officer at Gogaga Ideas said, “Mr. Hakeem is not just a boss to me, he is a team leader and team player per excellence; his leadership qualities stands out amongst CEOs I been honored to have worked with so far in my career, he is an extraordinarily humble and honest man yet inspirational, motivational and result oriented.”

The alumnus of Pan African University also attended Ogun State Polytechnic and University of Navarra in his course of seeking knowledge.

The Abeokuta born adman established the Above The Line (Commstrat) and Below The Line (Cross Marketing), both companies managed some of lucrative brands in the early 2000 and became agencies to be reckon with in the industry then.

P+ Measurement offers 45 brands, 15 PR agencies unique services at 5

P+ Measurement Services, Nigeria’s foremost Independent Public Relations (PR) measurement and evaluation agency, marks its fifth-year of successful operation in Nigeria with qualitative offerings that surpasses clients’ expectation.

The leading agency with expertise in Media Monitoring, PR Measurement and Audit, CEO Media Performance and Advisory, has offered services to over 45 brands and 15 Public Relations agencies in its five years of operation in the country.

As the only AMEC Member in Nigeria, P+ has strong partnerships with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Reel forge Media Monitoring; the biggest media monitoring agency in the East African region covering more than five countries.

Speaking on its business portfolio, the Chief Insights Officer, Philip Odiakose, said every client media data has a story to tell and it depends on how strategic you are in flogging the data to yield meaningful results.

He avowed that P+ services with state-of-the-art technology and highly skilled media analysts has greatly enhanced clients’ businesses to immeasurable heights, exceeding their expectations, thus making P+ unique in the industry it operates.

“Our Measurement and Evaluation report is in-depth, robust and flexible to accommodate valid metrics that brands desire to see reflected in their reports, andit is alsobased on the AMEC Standard in accordance with the Barcelona Principle 3.0. We deploy the P+MCA(media content analysis) methodology for mediaevaluation and analysis based on qualitative and quantitativemetrics in analysing media exposure,” Odiakose affirmed.

On the agency’s portfolio, the Chief Operating Officer, Olufunke Mohammed, points out that P+ understands the value of valid PR metrics to its clients’ mediaperformance audit report.

Since inception, the agency has been able to provide media monitoring, measurement, evaluation and performance audit services for brands, agencies and government bodies that operates in various industries and organisations ranging from Banking, Telecom, Insurance, Airlines, Tourism, Government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Pensions, Health Management Organisations (HMOs), Tobacco and Lifestyle.

Attesting to P+ capabilities and unique offerings, the Regional Executive Head, Marketing and Corporate Communication, Standard Bank Group, Nkiru Olumide-Ojo, said they are strategic in their input, futuristic in theiroutlook, and that the agency is an amazing partner on managing upheavals in the media management value chain. “I would recommend them easily,” she said.

Also, the Principal Lead/ Chief Executive Officer, BudgIT Foundation, Gabriel Okeowo, put forward that P+ has been of great support to the Foundation, as it serves as a media crawler and auditor for its PR activities.

He further stated that P+ is relevant for impact tracking and more importantly for quickly identifying negative vibes around the work of BudgIT, thus giving the Foundation the opportunity of responding swiftly to issues. He therefore recommends the agency to other organisations for optimum efficiency.

Africa Banking Brands Awards 2020 to hold November 19th

Previously scheduled to take place on October 30th, 2020, the Africa Banking Brands Awards 2020, has been rescheduled to hold on November 19th, 2020 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja Lagos.

The event was postponed due to the #ENDSARS protests that greeted the entire country and snowballed into hoodlums hijacking the peaceful protest to wreck havoc on both public and private property.

 Speaking to the media, Desmond Esorougwe, Editor-In-Chief, The Africa Brands Magazine and Founder, Africa Banking Brands Award, said that “The African Banking Brands Awards 2020 is a celebration of leadership, innovation and growth of Banking Brands in Africa.”

“The Award will honour banking and finance brands, payment solutions providers, their CEO’s, products and services and others personalities that have made significance contribution to the growth of the industry over the years.”

Esorougwe, a consummate brand expert further stated that the winners would have made outstanding contribution to the development of banking and financial services brand of the continent, the economic aspiration of its citizenry and the transformation of Africa’s image in the International market while displaying high standard of good citizenship, social and environmental responsibilities. The Award brings together prominent Banking and Finance Personalities, Government Official, Regulators and other Stakeholders.

He said, “The Africa Banking Brands 2020 research represents the most comprehensive banking brands study in Africa.   It is a consumer-led survey establishes Best Banking Brands preferences across the continent. The study is independently concluded by The Africa Brands Magazine, Geopoll, the leader in providing fast, high Quality research from emerging market with strategic analysis and insight and Fast Track Brand Communications & strategy-Africa premier Branding Advisory Firm.”

In the 2019-2020 periods the survey was conducted in 23 countries which cover all African economic regions and collectively represent at least 75% of the population and the GDP of Africa. These countries Best Banking Brands are often the most dominants Banking Brands across Africa or within their regions.                                                                                       Since 2019, the Best Banking Brands has been using geo-poll multimodal survey platform to collect data via SMS rather than face-to-face method.

Mobile interviewing has proven to be most effective way to reach Africa consumers because of the high penetration of mobile telephony as a primary mode of communication and increasingly for consumer transition in Africa.

PR Report reveals 5% error margin in 3,360 publications in Q3

The P+ Measurement Services, Nigeria’s foremost PR Measurement and Evaluation agency, has revealed in its Quarter 3 report that out of 3, 360 publications monitored, only 5% error margin was found. The report also said that Thisday and BusinessDay newspapers were the most sought after publication in the third quarter of 2020.

It said, “The report, based on the research data for advert and editorial analysis had an error margin of 5% and 95% confidence level and in Q2 and Q3 2020, a total of 3,360 publications were monitored.”

The Q3 report stated that ThisDay newspaper was the most sought after publication for banks, as BusinessDay newspaper was the most sought after publication for insurance companies in terms of placement of adverts in th e media.

Analysts at the media intelligence agency remarked that this data-driven report is to provide rich insights into the media performance of brands in the banking and insurance industry, identify key areas where media exposure for these brands can be further strengthened.

The Managing Director of P+ Measurement Services, Philip Odiakose, encouraged brands to key into media monitoring and evaluation as part of their PR and Communications strategies to gain valuable media share as top players in their industries, which will contribute to driving brand loyalty and increase patronage for brands in a competitive business world.

“From the report, the sampled data and platforms used were 21 commercial banks in Nigeria and leading insurance companies’ media data; 44 newspapers including magazines; online media publications consisting of blogs, forums, financial sites, insurance sites, online news-sites and brand sites,” he said.

The most engaged online publications for editorial in the banking industry for Q3 were Thisdaylive.com, Businessday.ng and Nairametrics.com, while Proshareng.com, Thisdaylive.com and Independent.ng were the most engaged online publications in the insurance industry for Q3.

Advert placement was sourced out more by the banking industry, with ThisDay, Leadership and BusinessDay topping the list of print publications with the highest earnings in the Q3, while BusinessDay, The Punch and Daily Trust topped the list of print publications with the highest earnings in the insurance industry for Q3.

Findings from the Q3 report shows that the media engagement on Corporate Social Responsibility was led by Stanbic IBTC (46%), Heritage Bank (24%), Fidelity Bank (12%), Union Bank (11%) and Sterling Bank (7%) and the insurance companies that ranked most on Corporate Social Responsibility includes Prudential Zenith Life Insurance (67%), AIICO Insurance (20%), and AXA Mansard Insurance (13%).

The P+ Measurement Services, Nigeria’s foremost PR Measurement and Evaluation agency, has revealed in its Quarter 3 report that out of 3, 360 publications monitored, only 5% error margin was found. The report also said that Thisday and BusinessDay newspapers were the most sought after publication in the third quarter of 2020.

It said, “The report, based on the research data for advert and editorial analysis had an error margin of 5% and 95% confidence level and in Q2 and Q3 2020, a total of 3,360 publications were monitored.”

The Q3 report stated that ThisDay newspaper was the most sought after publication for banks, as BusinessDay newspaper was the most sought after publication for insurance companies in terms of placement of adverts in th e media.

Analysts at the media intelligence agency remarked that this data-driven report is to provide rich insights into the media performance of brands in the banking and insurance industry, identify key areas where media exposure for these brands can be further strengthened.

The Managing Director of P+ Measurement Services, Philip Odiakose, encouraged brands to key into media monitoring and evaluation as part of their PR and Communications strategies to gain valuable media share as top players in their industries, which will contribute to driving brand loyalty and increase patronage for brands in a competitive business world.

“From the report, the sampled data and platforms used were 21 commercial banks in Nigeria and leading insurance companies’ media data; 44 newspapers including magazines; online media publications consisting of blogs, forums, financial sites, insurance sites, online news-sites and brand sites,” he said.

The most engaged online publications for editorial in the banking industry for Q3 were Thisdaylive.com, Businessday.ng and Nairametrics.com, while Proshareng.com, Thisdaylive.com and Independent.ng were the most engaged online publications in the insurance industry for Q3.

Advert placement was sourced out more by the banking industry, with ThisDay, Leadership and BusinessDay topping the list of print publications with the highest earnings in the Q3, while BusinessDay, The Punch and Daily Trust topped the list of print publications with the highest earnings in the insurance industry for Q3.

Findings from the Q3 report shows that the media engagement on Corporate Social Responsibility was led by Stanbic IBTC (46%), Heritage Bank (24%), Fidelity Bank (12%), Union Bank (11%) and Sterling Bank (7%) and the insurance companies that ranked most on Corporate Social Responsibility includes Prudential Zenith Life Insurance (67%), AIICO Insurance (20%), and AXA Mansard Insurance (13%).

AAAN unveils first LAIF virtual awards

Lanre Adisa CEO Noah's Ark Group-789marketing

The Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAN) has concluded arrangements to organise its first virtual Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF) Awards. Although the 2020 LAIF awards is the 15th edition in its series, it is the first time the awards will be virtual. The event is scheduled to take place on December 12, 2020.

The theme of this year’s award is “Grind and Shine”.

The LAIF Awards was instituted in year 2006 by the AAAN with the aim of recognising, rewarding and fostering creative excellence in all areas of marketing communications. An international status award, LAIF Awards has continuously promoted Nigeria’s creative potentials in the international circle as well as recognised outstanding creativity and created an avenue for the celebration of world class ideas.

According to the Chairman, LAIF Management Board, Mr. Lanre Adisa, stated that this year, through utilising technology, the organisers of the award has created an online portal where all activities for the awards will be carried out. Submission of entries will be done using the online portal. Also, the jurors who will be working remotely will judge each category online through the portal.

Mr. Adisa further stated that due to current challenging market conditions, “we are pleased to be able to reward creative excellence within the industry. Every year we recognise advertising creatives, this year we will also be rewarding creative ideas of individuals within and outside the industry who are willing to participate in this year’s awards”.

The Association is working on a jury selection that is representative of the industry and that will create a fair and balanced atmosphere for judging the LAIF entries. Selected jurors will be announced at a later date.

As part of the LAIF awards activities, the LAIF board will be organising a seminar to share and discuss interesting topics in two sessions. The seminar will be a virtual event hosted online.

According to Adisa, the first session of the webinar will hold on 11th December, 2020 as FEMI ODUGBEMI, Film Maker delivering a paper on the topic “Place of identity and how it can help us distinguish our work in the world.”

YASH DEB, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy Africa is the keynote speaker for the second session and he will deliver a paper on the topic “Ascendancy of Digital and the shape of our industry going forward”.

Why Nigeria’s mobile networks experienced service outage

Recently, network subscribers across the country took to social media to share their grievances about service challenges that made it difficult to access the internet and make phone calls. Although the complaints were initially perceived to be around Lagos, customers from other states also reported outages shortly afterwards.

Quelling speculations as to the cause of the outage, the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) on behalf of member operators in a statement revealed that “the downtime has been compounded by fibre cuts that occurred across major routes in the metropolis resulting in congestion and poor service.”

It was further revealed that “the affected member operators are exploiting all avenues to remedy the situation. Engineers are working round the clock to access the sites, while in the interim there are plans to optimize coverage from other hub sites, deploy mobile sites and reroute traffic on fibre links as a stop-gap solution to the most impacted locations.”

The statewide curfew imposed by Lagos and other state governments might have contributed to prolonging the outage as engineers of the telecommunication companies have experienced challenges in accessing the affected sites to fix the problems.  Mobile network services have become increasingly stable over the past couple of days, signifying that the situation was quickly resolved, and service restored.

Story 3: inq.Digital Nigeria wins 2 awards at NTITA

inq.Digital Nigeria Logo

Inq.Digital Nigeria, has received Telecom Business of the Year and best Unified Communications Provider of the Year in the recently concluded Nigeria Information Technology & Telecom Awards powered by Instinct Wave UK, in partnership with Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

Akin Naphtal, Chief Executive Officer,  Instinct Wave said the choice of inq.Digital Nigeria is based on popular votes by members of the general public and members of the Information Technology community that have come to recognize the reputational capital of inq.Digital Nigeria within the industry.

According to Akin, inq.Digital Nigeria’s footprint in the country is synonymous with technology and digital development with a consistently positive contribution to the development of the sector through the provision of unique cloud and digital solutions services.

-R: Head, Northern Operations, inq.Digital Nigeria Limited, Fred Ibia, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola and Account Manager, inq. Digital Nigeria limited Babafemi Banjo during the Nigeria Information Technology & Telecom Awards recently.

 In response to the awards, Valentine Chime, Managing Director inq.Digital Nigeria, thanked the organizers for recognizing the series of activities, roles, and the contribution of inq. Digital in the country’s sojourn in the technology and digital space.

Valentine stated that the organizers of Nigeria Technology and Telecom Awards have consistently provided quality information for the industry through various platforms such that the award programme has evolved to be an independent rating institution.

Sunvita Cereal, Onga win Marketing Edge Excellence Awards

. L-R Past President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria(AAAN) and Lead Consultant/ CEO of Ladybird LTD, Mrs Bunmi Oke after presenting Outstanding Product Launch of the Year award won by Sunvita Cereal to the Category Manager, Culinary, Promasidor Nigeria LTD, Miss Sophiat Bello at the MARKETING EDGE BRANDS & ADVERTISING AWARDS of Excellence held recently in Lagos.

2020 has been a turbulent period for most brands and this has also reflected in their performance in their markets. For Promasidor Nigeria, it has been a different and remarkable year of outstanding performance for most of its brands in the different categories despite the challenges. It was indeed a memorable moment to savor as two of Promasidor’s brands won the prestigious and highly respected Marketing Edge Excellence awards.

The leading food and dairy manufacturer stole the show and became the cynosure of all eyes when its iconic seasoning brand, Onga and its new “baby”-Sunvita Cereal were recognized by Nigeria’s leading marketing publication-Marketing Edge.

L-R Past President ,Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria(AAAN) and Lead Consultant/ CEO of Ladybird LTD, Mrs Bunmi Oke presenting Outstanding Consumer-Centric Seasoning Brand of the year award won by Onga Seasoning to the Category Manager, Culinary, Promasidor Nigeria LTD, Miss Sophiat Bello at the MARKETING EDGE BRANDS & ADVERTISING AWARDS of Excellence held recently in Lagos

The award ceremony held at D’podium international event center, Ikeja recently and holds annually to recognize outstanding and deserving brands, brand personalities and players in the integrated marketing communication industry.

At the 2020 edition of the awards, Sunvita Cereal won the award for Outstanding product launch of the year while Onga Seasoning was awarded the Consumer-centric seasoning brand of the year.

In 2004, Promasidor pioneered the powdered seasoning segment through the introduction of Onga powdered seasoningin four variants. This was a bold step to introduce a different format in an already existing, seasoning cube dominated market. Ten years later, Promasidor leveraged on the success it had received in the powder segment to introduce a cube format as Onga Cubes. Today, brand Onga has grown its presence to become a force to reckon with in the seasoning industry in Nigeria.

Sunvita Choco Crunch was launched into the Nigerian market in March2020. The proudly Nigerian healthy, family cereal made from locally sourced maize, soya and premium quality cocoa powder is fortified with NUTRI-V, a blend of seven power-packed micro-nutrients (Vitamins A, B6, B9, C, Zinc, Calcium, Iron and Vitamins).

Despite its exclusive market launch in March 2020, the product has gained huge popularity and acceptance from consumers. Market intelligence shows that Sunvita Choco Crunch has become the choice of children and teenagers.

: Eagleserve emerges ‘Young Creative Agency’ of the year

L-R: Mr. Femi Adelusi, President, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Prince Shola Rotimi, Managing Director/CEO, Eagleserve Consultants Limited, Mr. Steve Babaeko, President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Mr. Ago Sheu, Account Officer, Eagleserve Consultants Limited and Mr. Lanre Adisa, Chief Creative Officer/CEO, Noah’s Ark Communications Limited during 2020 Marketing Edge Brands and Advertising Excellence Award held recently in Lagos.

Eagleserve Consultants Limited, an Abuja based leading brand building and marketing communications firm has emerged as the winner of the Young Creative Agency of the Year Category at the just concluded 2020 Marketing Edge Brands and Advertising Excellence Award held recently in Lagos.

The event, which was organised by Marketing Edge Magazine, a prominent marketing and advertising publication, as a platform to celebrate the best innovative minds in the Nigeria Integrated Marketing Communications industry.

In his welcome address, the Publisher/Chief Executive Officer of Marketing Edge, Mr. John Ajayi described the award being unique with special attractions that was organically planned and designed to reboot, restart and re-energise the social, intellectual and entrepreneurial landscape of the Nigeria IMC industry.

‘’We have watched and monitored these individuals and agencies very closely in the last few years and can confidently attest to their market leadership, resilience, excellence and above all landmark achievements in their various sectors,’’ he said.

He added that, ‘’Our resolve to recognise these players and gladiators as well as iconic leaders in the business of brand management and management of brand business was equally informed by the fact that these are the people that have made the industry tick over the years.’’

Speaking while receiving the award, the managing Director of Eagleserve Consultants Limited, Prince Shola Rotimi expressed the company’s profound appreciation to the organisers saying that the honour has affirmed the hard work of the agency making significant impact on the business of its clients.

‘’We feel very great and honoured to have been recognised by Marketing Edge for our contributions to the growth of the Marketing Communication industry. We thank Almighty God for His grace, my team at Eagleserve, you are all wonderful, our clients, we are always indebted to you because you are the reason for our existence, AAAN and APCON, we say a big thank you,’’ he said.

He mentioned that: ‘’This award bears testimony to the fact that our works are now making huge impacts on the businesses we handle for our clients. As an agency, we strive to make creativity our driving force because we realize that the industry is changing and the way to go now is digital, proactive agency should learn how to deploy creativity towards digital.’’

Fadolapo has capacity to excel as APCON boss – Iyoha

Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, Immediate Past Acting Registrar handing over to Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo CEO/Registrar, APCON

The immediate past acting Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, has expressed confident on the capacity of the newly appointed Registrar/CEO of APCON, Dr. Olalekan Olumuyiwa Fadolapo to excel on his position.

She expressed this after the new Registrar was announced by the ministry of information and culture in Abuja a couple of months ago.

Mrs. Iyoha said “Dr. Fadolapo has for many years been of valuable support to APCON and to the advertising industry in general. I am confident that he will excel in his new role. He has in the past worked in various capacities for APCON and has never performed below expectations in any of the duties he has been part of. We are exceedingly delighted that he was found worthy to be appointed the Registrar. He is going to get outstanding support from APCON and advertising stakeholders.”

 Describing her time as acting registrar/CEO, Mrs. Iyoha said, “It has been a worthwhile experience for me to act on that capacity. The industry is a vast and interesting sector of the economy with peculiar challenges. I will adjudge my tenure as a successful one.”

She attributed the tremendous support she achieved to the support she received from the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Gekpe, the management and staff of APCON and all the sectors in the Advertising industry.

Reacting to the appointment of the Dr. Fadolapo, the immediate past acting registrar stated that “Being the most senior officer in APCON I was appointed to act in the capacity of overseeing the affairs of APCON pending the appointment of a substantive Registrar. It naturally follows that I will revert and continue in the position I was prior to that appointment. I am a career officer,” she enthused..

When asked, if given an opportunity again and what she will love to improve upon, she said, “I will continue to build and improve on the works I have done with my team.”

Reacting to the appointment of the substantive CEO, she said “Dr. Fadolapo has for many years been of valuable support to APCON and to the advertising industry in general. I am confident that he will excel in his new role.”

She added that he has in the past worked in various capacities for APCON and has never performed below expectations in any of the duties he has been part of. We are exceedingly delighted that he was found worthy to be appointed the Registrar. He is going to get outstanding support from APCON and advertising stakeholders.”

I want APCON that is not regulating to strangulate, says Fadolapo

Dr. Olalekan Olumuyiwa Fadolapo, CEO/Registrar APCON

GODDIE OFOSE

Having emerged the fourth registrar/CEO of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, (APCON) a couple of months ago, Dr. Olalekan Olumuyiwa Fadolapo said his vision for the advertising apex regulatory body is that will provide a healthy environment for all competitors within the industry.

Fadolapo who spoke recently to select media on where he will like to see APCON said, “I see an APCON that plays the role of an industry regulator- not regulating to strangulate or regulating to kill, but a regulator that is there for the stakeholders and players in the industry. An APCON that is closer to the people, players, practitioners and stakeholders, that is, the advertising community.”

At where he met APCON and where he’ll like to take it to, the newly appointed APCON registrar stated that “I met was without a substantive registrar and the entire industry was clamouring for a change — not a change in the management, but a change in the way and manner things were done. I met an industry that was yearning for implementation of advertising industry reforms.”

On the state of regulation prior to his appointment, he said fortunately, I was the secretary of the Advertising Industry Reform Committee that was set up some years ago. We took a look at the industry, found the challenges that the industry was facing. Therefore, we came up with so many things.

CEO/Registrar APCON and Chairman Senate Committee on Advertising

“We looked at them vis-a-vis other professions in Nigeria and the global practice — the best business practices. It may interest you to know that in other countries, there is a standard operating framework that guides the relationship of every stakeholder in the industry: the client and agency, and between the agency and the vendors. But in Nigeria, we do not have anything we can hold on to,” he said.

So, we are looking at a new APCON that has a standard operating manual for the entire advertising industry, even in the issue of contract and payment policy. These are some of the issues we are going to look into. For now, I’m consulting. I’m talking to all the sectoral groups. Asking them: ‘What are the major challenges you want us to address?’ All this, put together, will form our new operating manual,” the former AAAN Executive Secretary revealed.

Speaking on how soon can be achieved, he said, “We would take the remaining part of this year to take a detailed look at it. So many things have changed between the last time the industry reform was done and now. For example, the new government policy on ease of doing business, you also need to take that into consideration. The Company And Allied Matters Act (CAMA) have been amended, you need to take that into consideration as well.

“He explained that for you to apply for corporate licence before, you needed to be a company with a minimum of two shareholders. The amended CAMA said it is one shareholder. There is also a provision for liability partnership, which was not there before. We are looking at the new provision of CAMA and how we are going to situate our own industry reform into this and how we are going to make it better.”

Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, Immediate Past Acting Registrar handing over to Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo CEO/Registrar, APCON

On advertising capacity to create employment, Dr. Fadolapo revealed that industry has the potential to create over five thousand jobs. He said, “Let me tell you this, if we start this, the advertising industry can create 5,000 jobs immediately and that is part of government’s policy: job creation. You can quote me on this that if we implement the APCON reform, we will create 5,000 jobs.”

Reacting to the emergence of social media as massive platform for advertisement and offensive advert dotting the social media and the role of Advertising Standards Panel over the years, Fadolapo said APCON did not have a council. Neither did it have a registrar. “I’m not holding brief, but I am saying that some of these things might be responsible for this

“Social media caught APCON unawares like many other government agencies. Some countries are just developing regulation for social media, this year. Now, the challenge is, let us even define the social media players and social media space owners. They are not practitioners; they are just media space owners. Look at Linda Ikeji, for example, she is just a social media space owner, she is a blogger. There are digital creative agencies. Those are the people that do creative things that are exposed on those social media space,” he reacted.

Explaining further the APCON registrar stated that “We can only regulate the digital creative agencies or the digital buying agencies. We cannot regulate the digital space owners. But what are we going to do? We need to engage the social media space owners. We are going to identify and take a pitch to them. We will not engage them in warfare because we want to regulate. We will sit everybody down and ask questions, we will plead with them. It is going to be a win-win situation. It’s not because we have the Federal might behind us. What we want to do is to sit down with each and every one and discuss where the infractions are coming from.”

Speaking to the state of media debt in the industry, Dr. Fadolapo, a former AAAN executive secretary who was a member in most of the APCON and industry wide committees, stated that several years ago, a Special Committee on Media Debts Issue (ACOMDI) was set up. Members of the committee were drawn from the major sectoral associations, namely ADVAN, AAAN, BON, MIPAN, OAAN and NPAN.

“I served in that committee. The media houses were requested to bring their statement of accounts because the thing was more to reconcile the debts. At the end of the day, most of the media houses did not respond because of business relationships with the agencies of the parties involved,” he said.

According to him, the people that responded also had so many reconciliatory issues. The issue is also coming up again. I have been meeting with the Director General of NBC, we are the two regulatory bodies involved in this, and we both agreed that going forward, we would have zero tolerance for industry debt, and that is where our standard of practice will come.

“We will also define business relationship and what is classified as debt. Now, if any organisation owes a media house, and it is confirmed that they are not paying or have been paid but are not remitting, we would take a decision. NBC and APCON will make a pronouncement. NBC issues licence to the media house, while APCON issues licence to the advertising agencies, so as their regulators, we have resolved to come in and ensure we bridge this gap and to ensure we resolve this issue and give you the permanent solution,” he said.

FCCPC places Harzoyka Restaurant under surveillance over gender based discrimination

Babatunde Irukera, New DG CPC

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, (FCCPC), has placed Harzoyka Restaurant located at 71B, Oduduwa Crescent, Ikeja GRA Lagos under supervision over allegation of gender based discrimination against a female customer.

The Commission noted that Harzoyka Restaurant failed to provide appropriate sensitivity training; and exercise sufficient oversight with respect to security operatives who enforce access control policies and efforts (including clear and timely escalation of customer dissatisfaction to management). As such, it is highly probable that this failure led to the unresolved discriminatory incident.

The Commission is issuing a Compliance Notice pursuant to Section 150, Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Act, and the undertaking in question shall remain under supervision for a limited period to ensure adequate training and oversight regarding illegal or prohibited parameters for denying access; and proper customer engagement and complaint resolution.

The Commission rejects any discrimination or stereotyping on account of race, gender, social class or any other protected ground, and will subject any perpetrators to the fullest weight of the law. The Commission commends the complainant, and invites the public to call out conducts and practices by businesses that violate the rights of citizens.

In statement made available to 789marketing.ng, the Commission said, “On Sunday, November 8, 2020 it received credible information, and subsequently a complaint ref: FCCPC/DSE/32849 at approximately 11:00 P.M.  The subject of the information and complaint was that a regular patron at Harzoyka Restaurant, No. 71B Oduduwa Crescent Ikeja GRA Lagos was denied entry at approximately 3:50 PM on Sunday November 8, 2020. The reason for denied entry to the restaurant was that she was female, and unaccompanied by a male companion.”

According to Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of FCCPC in a statement “Between the restaurant’s opening time 0f 11:00 A.M and 1:30 PM on Monday, November 9, the Commission conducted surveillance and monitoring at the location, including attempted patronage by an undercover lone female operative of the Commission.”

The further stated that the operative was only engaged to ensure proper face covering to gain access, and there were other lone female patrons in the restaurant.”

Irukera said, “Further investigations by the Commission included engaging security, service personnel and senior management of the restaurant.  The proprietor admits that approximately 30 days ago, it implemented a new access control policy to promote social distancing in accordance with prevailing COVID-19 management protocols, but denies such policy was targeted at, or to deny access to lone female patrons.”

Nigerian, Kenyan, South African Banks, Financial Service Companies Jostle For Africa Banking Brand Trophies

Preparations are in top gear as banking and financial service brands across Africa continent are prepared to storm Lagos Nigeria for the 2020 Africa Banking Brands Awards this week. Majority of these brands come from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana organisers have said.

The awards, which is organised by Africa Brand Magazine is scheduled to hold at Sheraton Hotel Ikeja in Lagos Nigeria on November 19th, 2020

The African Banking Brands Awards is a platform designed to celebrate leadership, innovation and growth of banking brands in Africa. The Award will honour banking and finance brands, payment solutions providers, their CEO’s, products and services and others personalities that have made significant contribution to the growth the industry over the years

Speaking on the survey that gave birth to the awardees, the Editor-in-Chief of Africa Brands Magazine, Desmond Esorougwe said, “The survey yielded over 5,000 banking and financial services brands covering over 100 best banking brands with the final coded data.”   

He said, “Our team calculated a score for each banking brand and created an index that takes into account the sample and population size of each country covered.   

 The Best Banking Brands were further analyzed to ensure there are no duplication and no generic category rather than trading Bank mentioned,” Esorougwe stated.

Esorougwe further stated that the winners would have made outstanding contributions to the development of banking and financial services brands of the continent, the economic aspiration of its citizenry and the transformation of Africa’s image in the International market while displaying high standards of good citizenship, social and environmental responsibilities.

The award will bring together prominent banking and finance personalities, government officials, regulators and other stakeholders.

“The Africa Banking Brands 2020 research represents the most comprehensive Banking Brands study in Africa. The consumer-led survey establishes Best Banking Brands preferences across the continent. The study is independently concluded by The Africa Brands Magazine, Geopoll, the leader in providing fast, high Quality research from emerging market with strategic analysis and insight and Fast Track Brand Communications & strategy-Africa premier Branding Advisory firm,” he said

In the 2019-2020 periods the survey was conducted in 23 countries which cover all African economic regions and collectively represent at least 75% of the population and the GDP of Africa. These countries Best Banking Brands are often the most dominants Banking Brands across Africa or within their regions.                                                                                      

Since 2019, the Best Banking Brands has been using Geopoll multimodal survey platform to collect data via SMS rather than face-to-face method.

Mobile interviewing has proven to be the most effective way to reach Africa consumers because of the high penetration of mobile telephony as a primary mode of communication and increasingly for consumer transition in Africa.

The mobile methodology of a firm large database of respondents across Africa therefore assured a wider reach and expediency in conducting research across the continent, individuals aged 18 and older in the sample countries were asked to report on their Best Banking Brands irrespective of countries of region. In addition, because of their catalytic impact or influential role respondents were further asked to rank their Best Banking Brands.         

As an Africa-focused survey and given the growing number of Africa Banking Brands this new question was introduce specially focusing on identifying the ”Best Africa Banking Brands of the year 2020”

Phillips Consulting lists benefits of embracing digital revolution

Phillips Funso, Chairman and Robert Taiwo, MD

Phillips Consulting Limited has encouraged organisations seeking to move into this new digital-first reality environment to first require an assessment to provide one simple, yet crucial perspective – provide bearings in a digital age.

Speaking to the topic ‘Gauging Digital Readiness through Digital Assessment’, Jason Ikegwu, Associate Partner, Digital and Technology Consulting of pcl., said, “It is, therefore, essential to assess the optimisation potential in determining its digital readiness and maturity.”

According to him, the two most important aspects of a digital readiness assessment are the evaluation of behavioural and cognitive competencies. An employee needs to have the ability and the will to learn and excel in the age of digital transformation.

“Not only do employees need to be resilient to transforming technologies, but they also need to possess mental agility, openness to learning and manage change, a collaborative and inclusive outlook, and an innovation-focused approach to truly imbibe the digital way,” he stated.

Digitally mature organisations look beyond just investing in quality digital tools. They relentlessly focus on deriving new business value from digitization, through continual optimisation of operations.

To achieve this, Ikegwu said, “They do not just implement edge solutions. Instead, they use Digital Assessments to integrate digitization into core operations and, in the process, reshape the entire organisation. It helps them to maximise productivity, performance, and ultimately generate industry-leading results.”

Consequently, he further stated that after completing a digital assessment and successfully implementing a digital transformation strategy to become digitally mature, organisations can now say goodbye to busy work and welcome real productivity.  Employees thrive in a digitally enhanced work environment, quality training, practical on boarding processes, and user-friendly tools to bring the best out of teams.”

Speaking on the need for organisations to be competitive, innovative in the new digital market place, Ikegwu said, “To remain competitive, agile, innovative and responsive, organisations need to be part of the digital revolution. It is reshaping the world right before our eyes in no small measure”.

The Associate Partner, Digital and Technology Consulting of pcl., who said digital technology is changing how we work, further stated that almost overnight, entire populations are told to stay at home, and a fully digitized environment became a necessity for businesses to continue operation.

“To some extent, this was inevitable with the current rate of innovation, but it is no doubt that COVID-19 has accelerated this process. As society starts to emerge from the pandemic, this new digital reality is here to stay. Digital capabilities will be necessary to perform 90% of jobs in the near future, regardless of the sector.” He said.

According to him, the digital transformation strategy of every organisation needs to be well prepared to accommodate varied aspects of digitalisation. It requires a defined objective, an all-encompassing business plan, as well as a workforce ready to take on the challenges that come in the way of achieving the digital goal.

The quest for digital transformation begins with a Digital Assessment to identify the state of digitization and recognise the next steps in becoming a truly formidable force in the future market.

At Phillips Consulting, he said, “We support organisations in conducting digital assessments (readiness, culture, platforms) and developing a digital strategy for proper alignment between digital journey and business goals.”

Businesses need to be digitally ready to compete in new market, says Phillips Consulting

PCL-Logo

To remain competitive, agile, innovative and responsive, organisations need to be part of the digital revolution. It is reshaping the world right before our eyes in no small measure, said Jason Ikegwu, Associate Partner, Digital and Technology Consulting at Phillips Consulting Limited.

Ikegwu, who said digital technology is changing how we work, further stated that almost overnight, entire populations are told to stay at home, and a fully digitised environment became a necessity for businesses to continue operation.

“To some extent, this was inevitable with the current rate of innovation, but it is no doubt that COVID-19 has accelerated this process. As society starts to emerge from the pandemic, this new digital reality is here to stay. Digital capabilities will be necessary to perform 90% of jobs in the near future, regardless of the sector.” He said.

According to him, the digital transformation strategy of every organisation needs to be well prepared to accommodate varied aspects of digitalisation. It requires a defined objective, an all-encompassing business plan, as well as a workforce ready to take on the challenges that come in the way of achieving the digital goal.

Therefore, there are two significant facets to it – a cultural change, starting at an organisational level and trickling down to the individual level, and an actual shift in technology, with an infrastructural update using new technologies in processes and operations. However, the real power of digital transformation lies at the human level, with people who execute it.

For organisations to successfully transit through the digital journey, he said, “They need to be digitally ready, not only by tackling the associated challenges, but also ensuring they build a culture that supports digital capabilities,” Ikegwu enthused.

Digital readiness, therefore, is the ease in which employees and organisations can transit to digitised work flows, using software and other technologies to enable digital transformation.

He said, “The eventual goal is to streamline the way business is done, and customers are served. For an organisation to completely transform every facet of its business to be in sync with digital technology, its employees have to onboard the digital readiness train.”

“Employees are the building blocks of any business, and it is essential for organisations to proactively train them to undertake the digital transformation, for their personal, as well as professional growth,” he said.

The quest for digital transformation begins with a Digital Assessment to identify the state of digitisation and recognise the next steps in becoming a truly formidable force in the future market.

At Phillips Consulting, he said, “We support organisations in conducting digital assessments (readiness, culture, platforms) and developing a digital strategy for proper alignment between digital journey and business goals.”

FCCPC signs MoU with EFCC, FTC to curb cross-border consumer fraud

Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive FCCPC formerly CPC

In its bid to curb cross-border consumer fraud and ensure adequate consumer protection in Nigeria, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, has signed an updated tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and United States foremost competition and consumer protection authority, the Federal Trade Commission, FTC.

The MoU, which was signed on October 28th, 2020, is jointly tagged ‘the Agencies’ and the purpose of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation and collaboration in addressing mutual cross-border consumer protection/fraud concerns and problems. 

Speaking after the MoU was signed, Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, FCCPC said, “The updated MoU reaffirms the Agencies’ intention and willingness to deploy their capacities to work together, share information, and assist one another in relevant investigations. It also establishes a Joint Implementation Committee to develop joint training programmes and provide assistance with regards to specific investigations.”

“The MOU also affirms the Agencies’ continuing support for econsumer.gov;  a joint project of similar  agencies from 40 countries for reporting international online scams. The MOU is a framework for voluntary cooperation that does not change existing laws in either country,” said Irukera.      

Irukera, Mohammed Umar Abba, Acting Executive Chairman, EFCC and, Joseph Simons, Chairman, FTC all signed the updated MoU on behalf of their respective agencies. 

Commenting further on the MoU, the EVC/CEO, FCCPC said “this cross-border collaboration is perhaps one of the most vital tools for combating criminal conduct and consumer protection violations which now transcend territories. Indeed, criminals and exploiters specifically create arrangements and devices to exploit consumers globally from remote locations in order to escape justice and retribution.  This framework strengthens our joint abilities and efforts to address this”.

FCCPC discharges its mandate of protection by both preventive and remedial action including complaint resolution, investigations and enforcement action, while the EFCC investigates and prosecutes financial crimes including frauds perpetrated on consumers. The FTC is the United States government’s equivalent of the FCCPC with a mandate to regulate competition and enforce consumer protection laws.

This MoU is consistent with FCCPC’s mandate and strategy to cooperate with counterpart agencies and other regulators to protect consumers and promote market competition in Nigeria.  

Corporate Service expert, Okigbo trains SMEs on crisis management

Corporate Service and crisis management expert, Tobechukwu Okigbo recently joined other experts to upskill SMEs on stakeholder and crisis management at The Revv Programme masterclass. The masterclass themed, “The Resilient Small Business – A Stakeholder and Crisis Management Perspective” held virtually.

Other experts at the masterclass include Prince Arthur Uche, CEO, Beyond Clothing; Nkechi Ali-Balogun, Principal Consultant, Necci Consulting; Peter Bankole, Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University; and Cyril Ilok, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer, MTN Nigeria. The masterclass was moderated by Amina Dambatta, General Manager, Regional Operations, MTN Nigeria.

With almost three decades experience in corporate service management, Tobechukwu Okigbo provides leadership for stakeholder management solutions and practices aimed at driving corporate brand equity.

Tobechukwu has been the Chief Corporate Services Officer of MTN Nigeria since 2017. Under his leadership, MTN Nigeria has won several awards, including the LaPRIGA 2019 awards for Best in Crisis Management and Excellence in Internal Communication. A results-oriented business leader, he has a record of accomplishment for out-of-the-box and innovative approaches to the attainment of objectives. Tobechukwu’s stellar leadership qualities at MTN Nigeria have been evident in the manner the company has managed its diverse stakeholders through different seasons.

Speaking at the masterclass on CSR in crisis management, Tobechukwu said, “CSR is simply a company giving back to the community in which it operates. CSR is used to earn the social right to operate. Where you have embedded yourself in the community through CSR programs, your corporate social responsibility (CSR) becomes corporate social investment (CSI), because the community will help you transition and survive the crisis”.

The Revv Programme was created to reach over 10,000 small business owners using a four-pronged approach, which includes masterclasses, access to new markets, productivity tools support and expert advisory. Through the programme, MTN Nigeria aims to help entrepreneurs rethink and retool their businesses in order to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firmus, Infinity Mortgage Bank, win Africa Finance Awards 2020

Mr. Emeka Iloelunachi, MD Fast Credit presenting Africa Finance award 2019 plaque to Olabanjo Obaleye, MD Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank plc at the awards dinner

Names of high profile companies in financial and investment sectors have emerged as winners of 2020 Africa Finance Awards. Some of the companies include Firmus Limited, KCB Bank, Infinity Mortgage Bank Plc, Crystal Finance, Norremberger, Marvellous Mike Press, and Landwey Investment.

It would be recalled that the 2020 edition of Africa Finance Awards, which was initially slated to hold in April this year but was postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic will now take place in December 2020 in Lagos..

According to Africa Finance Awards Project Director, Mr. Abidemi Adesanya, “The award that is in its 9th year will reward excellence and outstanding achievements in various business sectors across Africa and it includes Banking,  Real Estate, Marketing Communications, Public Sector,  Security Services, Oil & Gas, Telecoms,  ICT among others.”

Some winners of the coveted award this year include NNPC Retail a subsidiary of NNPC, Firmus Limited, Hygeia HMO, Infinity Mortgage, Norremberger, Marvellous Mike Press, Landwey Investment, CreditVille, Xymbolic Development, Ghana Union Assurance among several other leading brands.

The 2020 award dinner will follow all Government laid down Covid 19 protocols to ensure that all our executives attendees from within and outside the country are protected during and after the award ceremony.

Hope PSBank announces board appointments

Chairman, Hope PSBank-Alhaji Sheu Abubakar

Hope PSBank, Nigeria’s premier Digital-first Bank and a subsidiary of Unified Payments has and announced key appointments for the bank.

The board has approved the appointment of Alhaji Shehu Abubakar as the Chairman and Ayotunde Kuponiyi as Managing Director. The list of other Directors includes Agada Apochi, Ochanya Dan-Ugo, Festus Eze Ikediasor, Ano Anyanwu and Nana Fatima Mede. While Mrs Mede and Mr Anyanwu are Independent Directors,  Apochi, Ikediasor amd Dan-Ugo are non Executive Directors.

Alhaji Abubakar has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry during which time he held strategic positions in different Banks. He worked at different times in International Merchant Bank, FSB International Bank, Fidelity Bank and Keystone Bank where he retired as an Executive Director.

Until he was appointed the Managing Director of Hope PSBank, Kuponiyi held various leadership roles in both the Banking and Telecoms Industries where he was Director, Telebanking, Globalcom Nigeria and the Head of the Consumer Distribution Department in Ecobank Nigeria .

At Ecobank Nigeria, he led the team that implemented the upgrade of the bank’s core banking application across 33 countries in Africa while at Globalcom, he was responsible for launching the first Mobile Money Service, Glo TxtCash, in Nigeria, in partnership with UBA Plc and Stanbic IBTC Bank.

Kuponiyi, who obtained academic degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, has attended several courses and programme both local and abroad.

Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Mobile Payments Scheme Board, having been appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in recognition of his role in advancing and strengthening alternative payment platforms in the country.

He holds the membership of major boards among which are Payment Systems Strategy Board and the Payment Infrastructure Coordinating Committee in Nigeria and the Governing Board of the Committee of e-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH). He is expected to bring his robust wealth of experience in the banking and Telecom sectors in his new role.

Advertising, media, PR bodies, condemn attacks on #ENDSARS protesters

Steve Babaeko, Chairman, Heads of Advertising Sectprak Group/President AAAN

Some key stakeholders within the integrated marketing communications, (imc) industry, media and public relations, have come down hard on the military, state and federal government over the handling of the #ENDSARS protests that greeted the nation, and which resulted to soldiers allegedly shooting at the protesters on Monday night.

In a statement made available to Sunday Independent, the Heads of Advertising Sectoral Group, (HASG) that comprises of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), Media Independent Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, (BON)  and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), said “Yesterday,  across  different  parts  of  the  country,  we  observed  with  shock,  reported  cases  of  military  force  against  protesters in Lagos and other parts of the country”

The statement, which is signed by all the presidents of the member association of HASG further stated that the group have watched with concern,  multiple  violent  attacks  across  the  country,  as  young  Nigerians  trooped  out  peacefully  to  protest  police  brutality.

“We condemn, in every way possible, police brutality, citizen harassment, and the use of force by the army on innocent, unarmed citizens who are exercising their constitutional-ly-guaranteed rights to peaceful gathering and protest.

“.Our prayers, and sympathy goes out to every Nigerian affected directly, or indirectly, and we commiserate with families who have lost loved ones to this avoidable violence.,” Steve Babaeko, President of AAAN said.

According to the Chairman of the body, Sir Abuchi Anueyiagu, “We are worried that the attacks could lead to heavy loss of jobs and financial investments at a time of severe economic headwinds in the country.”

Advertising, media, PR condemn attacks on #ENDSARS protesters, a body of senior journalists of Southeast of Nigeria origin, condemned in the strongest terms the attacks on media houses  (The Nation newspaper, Television Continental (TVC), Lagos State Television and Channels Television) in Lagos.

“We stand in firm solidarity with our colleagues in the media houses that have suffered these attacks, while calling for immediate stop of such evil acts,” Anueyiagu stated.

IZUNWANNE expressed the suspicion that such evil attacks could be an attempt to muzzle the media, attack the freedom of the press and diminish the right of individuals and groups to freedom of association and the right to establish organs for free expression.

For Public Relations Consultant Association of Nigeria, (PRCAN) in a statement titled, ‘Lekki Toll Gate Attack By Soldiers, PRCAN Demands Probe,’, the body said, “PRCAN aligns itself with the global outrage against the mindless attack on peaceful protesters demanding sweeping police reforms at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos on Tuesday 20th October 2020. We condemn this barbaric action by officers and men of the Nigerian Army and hereby demand an urgent probe into the operation.”

In a statement co-signed by Mr. Israel Jaiye Opayemi, president and Mr. Bolaji Abimbola, publicity secretary, PRCAN said, “As a body of professionals, while we remain circumspect on the actual fatality figures, we hasten to say, the denial by the Nigerian Army seems to be in character when we remember similar atrocities in ZakiBiam and Odi respectively.”

 Till date,”We are not aware that any soldier has been brought to justice for those atrocities. It is an insult on the collective intelligence of Nigerians for the Army Headquarters to claim no soldiers were at the scene of the Lekki Toll Gate incident. Are they unknown soldiers yet again,” PRCAN queried.

The body wishes to tell the army, ‘you have messed with the wrong sub-national jurisdiction and the wrong people’. This is Lagos, the epi-centre of the struggle to end military dictatorship in Nigeria”.

According to HASG, “Not only is this a breach of the fundamental rights of Nigerians, this incident has brought yet another layer of stain, on our country’s reputation, threatening to destroy years of hard work by government, corporate organisations, sports men, and the creative/media/marketing industry in showing the world the great, beautiful Nation that is Nigeria.”

“It is not too late to arrest this situation and turn it positively to get the country back on track. We as a group will be happy to work voluntarily with all parties in developing the right people-centred strategy for the short and long term interest of our dear Nation,” Babaeko said.

Life Lager injects N40million life support for small businesses in the east

Life Lager is set to support over 200 businesses with a cumulative sum of over 40 million, in the “Chop Life” Experience.

In a similar vein to the acclaimed Progress Booster campaign, the Chop Life Experience will see Life Lager empower its consumers with cash to support their businesses. This will be done through in-bar activations that will span across southeastern cities like Enugu, Aba, Uyo, Warri, Onitsha, and Port Harcourt from September 27 to October 25, 2020.

Speaking on the Chop Life Experience, National Trade Marketing Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Funso Ayeni, expressed his delight at the launch of the initiative saying;

“As a brand, Life Lager believes in progress, and the Chop Life Experience is our way of empowering our consumers. We recognise that sometimes all we need is financial support to get our dreams off the ground, and help us progress. We share this sentiment, and we are humbled to have the opportunity to support businesses across the southeast.”

Life Lager has had a stellar year with remarkable initiatives such as its brand relaunch, as well as the widely acclaimed lighting of the Niger Bridge and the release of its theme song titled “Chop Life” featuring Phyno and Flavour.

Unveiled on August 1, 2020, the Niger Bridge lights further established Life Lager as a truly progressive brand, while its timely message of self preservation; “Ndu Ka” was widely praised for its relevance and significance, particularly during the lockdown period of the pandemic.

NECCI Roundtable on the role of PR in venture capital funding holds Oct 29

The twentieth edition of NECCI Public Relations Roundtable scheduled to hold in Lagos this  month themed: ‘Raising the Venture Capital Funding Clarion – The Role of Public Relations in Growing the Enterprise Base through Venture Capital Funding ,  will focus on the role public relations plays in venture capital funding in growing enterprise.

 This year’s marks the 20th edition and due to the ongoing social distancing, the event will be held both physically and live-streamed across various digital platforms. The 3-hour event will kick off at 10.00am organisers have said.

According to the Convener Nkechi Ali-Balogun, Principal Consultant/CEO, the theme will expound the new frontier of enterprise development through venture capital funding, especially with a focus on the part of Nigeria’s demography that has the least access to funding from the capital market, namely women and youth.

Pix from left Dr Maria Onyia, Human development Expert; Hajia Lami Tumaka, Director, Corporate Communication, NIMASA; Toro Oladapo, representing Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy; Professor PLO Lumumba, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya School of Law and Guest Speaker; Nkechi Ali-Balogun, Convener during the 16th edition of NECCIPR Roundtable held in Lagos. Photo Lamidi Bamidele

“It will define applicable means for venture capital funding targeted at upstarts, idea-driven innovative ventures and small businesses within the Nigerian economy. More importantly, it will highlight the role of public relations in driving funding for business upstarts as the most viable means to building and sustaining an enterprise base for Nigeria” she said.

Mrs. Balogun believed that this will be a wakeup call that will tremendously boost the acceleration of the creation of this fund for sustainable economic growth and job creation. In alignment with the roundtable’s advocacy for youth inclusion, she further stated that emerging entrepreneurs and students in tertiary institutions would be supported with the provision of data to attend the conference.

Confirmed to speak at the roundtable are , Prof. Joseph Nnanna, Chief Economist, Development Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA Consult), His Excellency, Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State and a host of others.

Out-of-home practitioners urge LASAA to stop charges on vacant hoardings

Goddie Ofose

The stakeholders in the Out-of-home advertising industry in Nigeria has called on Lagos Signage and Advertisement Agency, (LASAA), to demonstrate sincerity if it’s truly desired to offer practitioners palliatives by waiving fees on vacant boards.

Some industry stakeholders who spoke after LASAA had announced palliatives for outdoor advertising practitioners in Lagos said that the regulator has displayed concern towards the good of the industry by reeling out some palliatives to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic but waiver on vacant board should have sufficed.

Last month, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of LASAA, Prince Adedamola Docemo, had said that the agency has decided to waive the permit fees for outdoor practitioners spanning three months from April to June 2020, following the approval of the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. “This represents 25 percent of the outdoor practitioners’ bill for the year 2020.”

He added that the agency is also willing to offer a special discount to all outdoor advertising practitioners that are ready to offset their 2019 outstanding bills completely and immediately. “This will, however, be done on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Speaking to Sunday Independent, the president of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, (OAAN), Mr. Emmanuel Ajufo said, “As Nigerians, any good gesture should be appreciated.  So we are indeed very grateful and a formal letter has been sent to LASAA to that effect.”

 “However we expect more. For a long time now, the first quarter is usually slow for our business. It peaks up in the second quarter. But we all know that the second quarter of this year came with all the Covid 19 restrictions,” Ajufo added.

The OAAN president stated that the Covid 19 pandemic created a chain reaction, so much so, that when government started gradual reopening of the economy, our advertisers used the third quarter to look at their plans in line with the Covid 19 realities and those that could afford it gradually started coming back on our platforms.

“In reality therefore, it is actually the fourth quarter that we’ll have a semblance of normalcy all things being equal. It is based on this scenario that I’ve painted that we’ll ask for more palliatives.”

Similarly, he said, “We have been on the issue of vacant sites for so long and we want government to make a statement on them now. This is because most of the debts we owe LASAA are as a result of charges on vacant sites. These debts will get even worse this year as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.”

 The government has shown from their actions so far that it is a listening government and we therefore hope that they will address our issues with the listening ears we have known them for, adding that “On our part, we will continue to collaborate with government and offer our services for the good of the society,” Ajufo reinforced.

While thanking LASAA for the overture made to the practitioners, Mr. Bidwell Nkemakolam Okere, CEO/MD, LUZO DN & Media Limited, said that “But looking at the offer you would see the emptiness of it with all due respect. April to June 2020, when the so called offer is to cover and anchored on was a lock down period. Most advertising campaign was cancelled and the economy shut down,” he stated.

“So, the question is, what is LASAA offering by using such peril period to give a bate? Is this the economic stimulus and tax/rate rebate other smart states and industries are giving to help business get back,” Okere queried.

“That LASAA offer is like the proverbial mermaid offer; bring a human head to gain a monkey head.”.

CEO of LUZO DN & Media Limited said, “Regulators are supposed to be looking for ways to support business and ensure survival of industry. Outdoor advertising industry is hemorrhaging and regulators kneel are on its neck.”

Africa Banking Brands Awards 2020 holds in Lagos October 30th

The African Banking Brands Awards 2020, a platform designed to celebrate leadership, innovation and growth of Banking Brands in Africa will honour Banking and Finance Brands, Payment Solutions providers, their CEO’s, Products and Services and others Personalities that have made significance contribution to the Growth the industry over the years.

The Africa Banking Brands Awards is scheduled to hold at  Banquet Hall Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria on 30th of October, 2020 by 6pm, the organizers said.

The Winners would have made outstanding contribution to the development of Banking and Financial Services Brand of the continent, the economic aspiration of its citizenry and the transformation of Africa’s image in the International market while displaying high standard of good citizenship, social and environmental responsibilities. The Award brings together prominent Banking and Finance Personalities, Government Official, Regulators and other Stakeholders.

The Africa Brands Magazine as Leaders in Brand Journalism will provide an exclusive reporting the entire Award winners and showcase their Brands Strategies/Policies through interactive platform and profile their Brand Achievement. Also for the benefit of comprehensive reportage we shall conduct interview of different Bank CEO’s/Regulators and Stakeholders for the benefit of our readers.

Desmond Esorougwe, Editor-In-Chief, The Africa Brands Magazine, said, “The Africa Banking Brands 2020 Research represents the most comprehensive Banking Brands study in Africa.      It is a consumer-led survey establishes Best Banking Brands preferences across the continent. The study is independently concluded by The Africa Brands Magazine, Geopoll, the leader in providing fast, high Quality research from emerging market with strategic analysis and insight and Fast Track Brand Communications & strategy-Africa premier Branding Advisory Firm.

In the 2019-2020 periods the survey was conducted in 23 countries which cover all African economic regions and collectively represent at least 75% of the population and the GDP of Africa. These countries Best Banking Brands are often the most dominants Banking Brands across Africa or within their regions.                                                                                       Since 2019, the Best Banking Brands has been using geopoll multimodal survey platform to collect data via SMS rather than face-to-face method.

Joel Nettey emerges first African IAA president

Joel Nettey - IAA World President and Chairman

Joel Nettey, a Ghanaian and the first African to hold such position, has been elected as the Chairman and World President of the International Advertising Association (IAA), the global compass for marketing and communications. His election was held virtually during the World Board Meeting of the International Advertising Association on October 5th 2020.

Srinivasan Swamy has handed over the baton of the Chairman and World President to Joel E. Nettey, CEO, Innova DDB, Ghana.

Others that will serve alongside with Mr. Nettey are Senior Vice President: Sasan Saeidi, Global Client Leader for Nestle at Wunderman Thompson Dubai; Secretary:  Carol Schuster, Business Information Advisor at Lafayette 148 New York (New York) and Treasurer: Venanzio Camarra from Milan.

A thoroughbred marketing communications professional, Joel Nettey has over twenty years of experience leading, creating and shaping campaigns for some of the most iconic brands. Joel has been Chief Executive of various multinational marketing communications agency affiliates in Ghana including DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis. He also served as the President for the IAA’s chapter in Ghana, The Advertising Association of Ghana. His passion for building relationships and his penchant for achieving extraordinary marketing and communications goals have resulted in the agencies he has led over the years being partners for a myriad of blue-chip companies both multinational and indigenous.

In November 2010 the Network Journal USA (www.tnj.com) recognised his sterling qualities when it named Joel as one of the inaugural 20 honorees from across Africa in its “TNJ 40 under Forty Africa” Awards.

He holds a Master in Business Administration (Marketing) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and Psychology degrees from the University of Ghana.

Speaking after the election Nettey outlined his plans for the two years ahead, “We will focus on four key pillars – Diversity & Inclusion, Creativity & Innovation, Regulatory Issues and Education. Together as a team we will take the steps required to ensure that the IAA remains the most recognizable, relevant and impactful marketing and marketing communications association across the globe, while ensuring that we attract and provide opportunities that engage and nourish the next generation of marketing game changers”.

Srinivasan Swamy, the Immediate Past President and the Chairman of Presidents’ Council said, “I have worked with Joel over the last two years when he was Senior Vice President at IAA. His understanding of the issues at IAA is amazing, as is his commitment level to deliver on what is required. I am sure IAA will flourish over the next two years under his stewardship and I am happy to actively support his initiatives that will build IAA further”.

In his congratulatory message to the new World President, the President, IAA Nigeria Chapter and Executive Vice Chairman of Verdant Zeal Group, Dr Tunji Olugbodi noted that, “IAA Nigeria Chapter celebrate and felicitate with you on this feat and epoch making occasion. In showing the way as the first Global President from the African continent to be bestowed this honour in the 80 year history of the IAA, we are conscious of your sterling qualities and heritage as a seasoned administrator and team player”. “Nigeria is proud to identify with you and you can be rest assured of our support and best wishes now and always”, he added.

Eagleserve to unveil ‘The Hedge Foundation’ at 4th anniversary

Abuja based brand building and marketing communication company, Eagleserve Consulting has announced the establishment of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative known as The Hedge Foundation to mark its four years of delivering exceptional marketing communication services to clients and other partners.

The Hedge Foundation, according to the company is to assist the less privilege individuals in the society to achieve their goals, and to help accomplish ideas that they believe could not be achieved in the nearest future.

Eagleserve, an all-round marketing communication agency known for creating cutting edge services through research based solutions was established in 2016 to assist in building bands and deliver profitable growth to clients.

Speaking on the 4th anniversary, Managing Director of the agency, Prince Shola Rotimi said, ‘’As we mark 4 years of operation in the Nigerian marketing communication industry, we will continue to strive our best to be more innovative and impactful in the Nigerian marketing communication industry market.’’

‘’In our four years of operation, and the only agency based in the north, we have strategically positioned ourselves to deliver outstanding marketing communication solutions to our clients because we have the lens, the compass and the map to navigate through this region.

‘’As we grow in the society, we want to begin to carry along the less privilege individuals in our society. We want to try as much as possible to assist them achieve things they believe could not be achieved.

‘’We always pride ourselves as the first advertising agency in Abuja and the entire North of Nigeria, and as the only certified agency in the north by the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) to practice the business of advertising and marketing communications in the region,’’ he said.

Rotimi added that, ‘’In our short period of existence, we have been able to work on accounts mainly for government agencies, federal and state ministries, office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, amongst others.

‘’These achievements were made through the use of great analytical skills to determine best media mix for our client’s target audience. Our media planners build platforms around consumer insights which separate brands from competition in the marketplace.’’

‘’Our agency identities unique story angles and media opportunities to finding the right media outlets to reach target audiences laced with extensive experience in planning and managing special events,’’ he noted.

Media debt comes under review as APCON, NBC move to sanitise Ad, media industry

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the two government agencies regulating advertising practice and the broadcast media have agreed to collaborate in ensuring the resolution of the age-long industry debt, adherence to advertising code among other critical industry issues.

This was part of the agreement reached during the courtesy visit of APCON management to the leadership of NBC.

The APCON Registrar/Chief Executive, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo recently met with the Acting Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Professor Armstrong Idachaba to seek collaboration and promote policies that will improve the advertising industry and strengthen intersectoral relationship.

The APCON Registrar hinted on the plan by APCON to develop a new business framework and Standard Operating Procedure for the advertising industry. He stated that the business framework will be comprehensive and will address critical industry concerns which include industry debt, payment policy, inter and intra sectoral relationships among other issues.

The APCON Registrar stated that NBC is expected to make substantial input and adequately participate in the formulation of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the industry. While the SOP will require stakeholders’ participation, the APCON Registrar sought the mutual collaboration of NBC as a government regulatory agency to support and ensure compliance. He also solicited the support of NBC in ensuring that all broadcast media organisations comply and enforce the advertising code.

The APCON Registrar noted that the visit is in line with the directive of the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, requesting that all agencies regulating the advertising and media industry should collaborate and seek solution to the age-long media debt.

The Acting Director General of NBC, Professor Armstrong Idachaba expressed delight at the call for collaboration by APCON. He reaffirmed the commitment of NBC to partner with APCON in every area of interest that will improve the long-standing relationship and the respective mandate of the two government agencies.

He assured the APCON Registrar on the support and participation of NBC in the formulation and implementation of the SOP. He further sought the support of the APCON Registrar on Zero Debt Tolerance policy of the broadcast media and the revised broadcast code.

The two regulatory agencies agreed to sign a MOU and work together to promote a healthier business environment for all stakeholders.

Lack of APCON governing council posed challenge to my tenure, says Iyoha

Ijedi Iyoha

The immediate past acting Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha has revealed that the biggest challenge she faced at the apex regulatory body in the integrated marketing communication in Nigeria was the lack of APCON council.

She disclosed this in an exclusive chat with 789marketing.ng after the federal government announced Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo a substantive registrar/chief executive officer of APCON.

She said, “Navigating the tides of supervising the activities of industry and carrying out our statutory mandates without a subsisting Governing Council was a major challenge encountered.”

Describing her time as acting registrar, Mrs. Iyoha said, “It has been a worthwhile experience for me to act on that capacity. The industry is a vast and interesting sector of the economy with peculiar challenges.”

“I will adjudge my tenure as a successful one, thanks to the very tremendous support I received from the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Gekpe, the management and staff of APCON and all the sectors in the Advertising industry,” she added.

Reacting to the appointment of the Dr. Fadolapo, the immediate past acting registrar stated that “Being the most senior officer in APCON I was appointed to act in the capacity of overseeing the affairs of APCON pending the appointment of a substantive Registrar. It naturally follows that I will revert and continue in the position I was prior to that appointment. I am a career officer,” she enthused..

When asked, if given opportunity again and what she will love to improve upon, she said, “I will continue to build and improve on the works I have done with my team.”

Reacting to the appointment of the substantive CEO, she said “Dr. Fadolapo has for many years been of valuable support to APCON and to the advertising industry in general. I am confident that he will excel in his new role.”

She added that he has in the past worked in various capacities for APCON and has never performed below expectations in any of the duties he has been part of. We are exceedingly delighted that he was found worthy to be appointed the Registrar. He is going to get outstanding support from APCON and advertising stakeholders.”

Phillips Consulting introduces Bite-Sized Micro-Courses to fuel the future of work in Nigeria

Work as we knew it was always poised to undergo a massive transformation driven by several developments. It was characterized by conflicting information and rooted behaviours for almost a decade.

This left plenty of room for debates across the advancement of technology, the talent evolution, the data boom, and more. The reality, however, is that the transformation of work is painting an even bigger picture than we envisioned or planned for. The creative destruction of Coivd-19 has ultimately led to an acceleration of said changes and workplaces have been taken over by radical innovation.

Offices are becoming smarter and talent more competitive. Softer skills like hosting online meetings, running successful teleconferencing, and collaborating via social media apps have become the mainstay. Geopolitical transformations are having an unprecedented impact on the daily changes we see. “Several mega-trends are bringing a radical shift to the way we work, live, and learn. We are looking, listening, learning, and creating banisters for all genres of the corporate world to transition smoothly on the unprecedented path to the future of work”, said Fokanferanmi Okojie, Senior Consultant Learning Innovation

Despite emergence from the pandemic lockdown, our unemployment rates are skyrocketing daily, youth are shaken and those currently employed are clearly unprepared for the future that is speedily presenting itself. The systems designed to support learning at all levels are just as inadequately prepped for the change. The quality of our long-term professional talent pool is dwindling and the influx of youth into the workforce only fails deeper when they are onboarded to a corporate system with no plan for the future of work.

This opportunity has presented itself for workable accessible solutions to bridge the knowledge and competence gap that currently exists in Nigeria. This must be done with a sense of purpose in contributing towards shaping the change that must take place.

According to Nwaji Jibunoh, Head of Training at pcl “Nigeria is at the inflection point where the name of the new game is how best prepared you are for the future. Upskilling yourself will no longer be about fulfilling requirements but about survival”. As technology continues to evolve and adoption accelerated, moving closer and closer towards fully automated systems, the future of work and the emerging technology skillsets required, are no longer conversations for tomorrow, but rather, for today. COVID-19 has forced us to reimagine the way that we work digitally, and it has brought the reality into our lives in many unimaginable ways. The growth of the digital workplace will continue unabated!

Rob Taiwo – Managing Director Phillips Consulting stated that “Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of technology adoption. Recent pandemic GDP indicators in Nigeria suggest that we will continue to see ICT growth. However, whilst we expect the impact to remain fairly low in the manufacturing sector, we can expect major disruption in financial services and logistics. Policy change and training are powerful tools that the public and private sector can use to prepare human capital for the impending disruption”.

As an innovative and tech-driven company, Phillips Consulting has developed a solution that shall address the challenges this current environment faces. The pcl. Micro Courses is a Virtually led interactive learning intervention. The unique and innovative price point of each course is designed to enable accessibility for the busy corporate professionals, students, unemployed graduates, and lifelong learner, etc.

Our learning team will psychometrically profile learners and guide them to courses they genuinely need for their development. Every course offered is an opportunity to interact with hundreds of minds per bite-sized session and active learners are prioritized into the pcl. talent pool for job opportunities. These courses will inspire, educate, and shape learning for the future, whilst disrupting a stagnant career trajectory.

Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana businesses, others win 2020 Africa Finance Awards

Mr. Emeka Iloelunachi, MD Fast Credit presenting Africa Finance award 2019 plaque to Olabanjo Obaleye, MD Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank plc at the awards dinner

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC Retail), KCB Bank Kenya and Ghana Union Assurance are some of the African top businesses that have won the 2020 Africa Finance Awards.

Other winners mentioned in a statement by the organisers include Credit Ville, Infinity Mortgage Bank Plc, Norremberger, Hygeia HMO, Crystal Finance, Xymbolic Development, Marvelous Mike Press, Landwey Investment, McDon Security  and several  others.

Emeka Iloelunachi Fast Credit MD with the 2019 Africa Finance Award trophy for Fast Credit

The 2020 edition of Africa Finance Awards, which was initially postponed due to the COVID 19 pandemic, has now been scheduled to hold in December 2020.

According to the Project Director, Africa Finance Awards, Mr. Abidemi Adesanya, “The award which is the benchmark for celebrating excellence, innovation and professionalism in Africa will honour some great brands that have been outstanding in their market segment in the course of the challenging.”

He said, “The highlights of this year’s award night include executive presentation session covering different sectors, red carpet, and other side attractions.”

Olabanjo Obaleye, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc present award to MacDanielles Ighedosa of Medallion Communications Limited at the 2019 award night

Some of the past winners of the award include Keystone Bank Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, La Casera, Powergas Africa, First Registrar, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Orange Insurance Brokers, Medallion Communications, International Health Management Services Limited, PAC Capital, Fast Credit, among several others.

GTBank, Dangote, FirstBank, Airtel, others celebrate Nigeria @ 60 through creative advertising

Brands celebrate Nigeria @ 60

Goddie Ofose, Lagos

Nigeria has attained a milestone of 60 as a nation, the milestones according to Bolaji Alausa, Executive Creative Director at Noah’s Ark Communications, has always been an avenue for brands to connect with their audience. By connecting the iconic moment with their brand narrative, they strengthen their bond with the consumer.

Therefore, in Nigeria @ 6o celebration, major brands across the nation have exhibited this strength through creative nuances on all the media channels such as print, electronic and digital.

Notable sectors that have shown greater interest in celebrating Nigeria @ 60 through creative advertising are financial institutions- banks and insurance companies, fast moving consumer goods, telecommunications, PayTV and other related industry.

Leading the pack are FirstBank, GTBank, Fidelity Bank, Polaris Bank, Zenith Bank, Dangote, Nigerian Breweries, Glo, MTN, Airtel, Seven Up companies, Coca-Cola and UBA.

In most of the newspapers on October 1, 2020, these brands took time to express their affinity, love, heritage of the Nigerian brand through creative advertising albeit lamely.  

FirstBank featured in almost all the national dailies. Its advert played basically with the nation’s natural endowments. The ad exalted the country rich agricultural endowment, mineral resources, trade and manufacturing and sport. Having lived in Nigeria for 125 years, the bank said, “We have powered the ambitions of our nation 60 years post-independence, we are still here, putting ‘You First’ today and enabling your dreams of tomorrow.”

Fidelity Bank opened with “Here is to 60 years of depending on each other”. A bank that pride itself on faithfulness went ahead to wish the country and its citizens a happy independence with a beautiful reminiscence on the nation’s cultural heritage and people.

Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Dangote and UBA did not stretch their creative skills too much. It looked like they were a bit cautious not to ‘offend’ by staying with the usage of Nigeria at 60 logo and the nation’s flag. While Zenith Bank puts it *966# forward, Access Bank preaches strength from more possibilities.

The UBA creative ad basically said, “We are there in 60, when calls for liberty became a celebration of freedom,” it stated.

The celebration logo was generously used in the UBA ad with the bank signing off with its mantra of unity by saying “We are here today, as the celebration of our independence reminds us of our responsibility to remain united as a nation.

APCON Ad for Nigeria @ 60

Dangote used the platform to encourage Nigerian to continue to observe the safety protocol against the COVID-19 pandemic. The ad again made use of celebration logo generously with a payoff “let us stay safe as we celebrate our 60th independence anniversary.”

GTBank ad reminds us of the milestones achieved by Nigeria. The only ad that is more creative enough to be referred to as creative advertisement. From the 1999 when the nation returned to democracy to Agbani Darego winning Miss World, the ad reminded us of all the good records we have achieve as a nation.

It is a good piece of historical document that should be recommended to anyone who may have lost touch with the country’s past achievements. Though a bit crowded, this may be due to the limited space but in the end, the bank made it count by signing off with “Here’s to more memories”.

GTBank Ad for Nigeria @ 60

Others that have shown great support to the celebration include 7Up bottling, ALAT, Nigerian Breweries, Cosgrove, Churchgate, Glo, Air Peace, and MTN.

Remarkably, 7up popped up with an inspirational message, “7up and Naija, all the way up”. The brand made use of its green colour in a near perfect nature. The ad reassured Nigerians that there is more to look forward to.

MTN Ad for Nigeria @ 60

For the telecoms brands, MTN rendered a strong message that resonates with the time. The telecom giant as usual with its creatives, expressed love by using Nigeria’s flag luxuriously with the message top left corner of the paper saying, “Like a DIAMOND, Tough times polish us into a nation shining with greatness.”

MTN ad is a classic work from professionals from an ad agency. The use of less words and gracious use of the nation’s symbol- green white green showed that the brand place emphasis on the celebration rather than the brand.

NB Plc Ad for Nigeria @ 60

Airtel ad for the celebration was even more remarkable. The brand chose National Theatre to drive home it celebratory messages. It carefully created a beautiful ambience that led to the iconic structure with years of notable achievements littered the street to the theatre.

Airtel crowned the beautiful work of art with an incisive messaging in caps, “The journey to 60 is one to be thankful for.” It is by all standards a handsome ad and industry experts voted for it as the best.

Lagos State Ad to celebrate Nigeria @ 60

Speaking on whether ad agencies that created these ads are losing creative steam due to lack of aspirational advertisement, Alausa said, “I wouldn’t say we’re losing our steam. A lot of brands approach this from different perspectives. Some take the simple, informational route; others add a little spice beyond print and even scale online. Traditionally, we see a lot, but a few will always rise to the top of the pile.”

Nigerian advertising creative ecosystem has seen quite a lot in recent times. Most banks create ad in house and rarely engaged advertising agencies. A renowned advertising practitioner who pleaded anonymity said, “The reason you see some of these half-baked creative works are that, these companies particularly, banks and insurance companies do not allow professionals to do these work.”

AIICO Ad for Nigeria @ 60

“We will continue to see this trend as long as these organizations keep creating these ads in-house” he added.

Reacting to exodus of the creative egg heads to client side, the executive creative director of Noah’s Ark Communications, Alausa said, “It’s a small industry; talent is scarce, so naturally turnover will be higher than the average. But I believe governing bodies and even agencies have started taking  training more serious. I say no need to panic.”

Bluebird Communications Ad for Nigeria @ 60

Bschool plans ‘immersive experience’ Bootcamp for stakeholders in advertising, marketing

Bschool, Africa’s Pop Culture Academy, has finalized plans to host 202 Strategy Bootcamp tagged ‘Immersive Experience”, from October 21 to 24, 2020 in Lagos. The strategy Bootcamp would impact practitioners in advertising, creative industry, marketing and related sector, The Industry on Sunday Independent gathered.

BSchool is a strategy and innovation school set up for to provide an unconventional learning system for business, marketing and creative professionals. It is the “New School” for entrepreneurs, admen, marketers, and corporate executives.

In October 21st-24th, Bschool will be running a series of live workshops. It’s a 4-day virtual getaway for senior marketers, brand custodians and business leads, who are planning to hold strategy retreats and to develop business transformation plans as we move closer towards the last quarter of the year.

The course modules include AI Marketing, CX Strategy, Behavioral Economics, Business Model Innovation, Product Design, Cultural Foresight and Trend Codes, Scenario Planning, and Customer Engagement. Organizations looking to send delegates can view the programme schedule at its website.

The webinar will be hosted by Frankline Ozekhome, the head of strategy and digital at Insight Publicis, where he will unpack mega-industry themes, consumer insights and the dynamics that apply to sectors like Retail and Ecommerce, Home and Personal Care, FMCG, and financial services. He will also be sharing business propulsion toolkits and innovation playbooks that will help organizations to successfully navigate the phenomenal changes that have affected every single industry.

Frankline Ozekhome, Convener Bschool Bootcamp

According to Ozekhome, “we have witnessed more shifts – economic, technological, social, cultural – in 6 months than we have in over 5 years. Now, it’s time to make sense of these changes and the attendant impact on business, markets and consumerism.”

The Strategy Bootcamp is a bespoke event designed to help businesses and brands rebound as future-determining entities that are focused on being viable, sustainable, and admired by employees, customers and competitors. The curriculum – curated by Ozekhome who is also the founder of Bschool, and Dean of Studies at Orange Academy – is premised on creating practicable ideas and executing new experiences that capture top-line and bottom-line growth.

Ozekhome is a pop culture maven and is a globally acknowledged expert on consumer trends and cultural intelligence. He has led multidisciplinary teams through the development of award-winning campaigns, product design initiatives and innovation platforms for multinationals, SMEs and startups. Over the years, he has worked with brands as diverse as Visa, Heineken, Google, Emirates, Tecno Mobile, Pepsi, MTN, Dangote, Vitafoam, Smile, Airtel and Samsung.

Bschool was founded in 2017 and already boasts an alumni network of 500+ students from varied backgrounds, disciplines and organizations.

AAAN president to speak on influencer marketing at virtual ad week confab September 30

Steve Babaeko

The President of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, (AAAN) and CEO / Chief Creative Officer at X3M Ideas Group, Steve Babaeko, will be speaking on influencer marketing at this year’s Advertising Week’s (AW2020) immersive virtual conference on Wednesday September 30, 2020.

The AW2020 starts from September 29 till October 9, 2020.

Advertising Week is a worldwide gathering of marketing, advertising, technology and brand professionals. From daytime seminars and workshops featuring some of the industry’s brightest minds to organized networking and world-class entertainment, Advertising Week which is a one-of-a-kind experience crosses the globe with events in New York, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Sydney and Johannesburg.

The inclusion of Babaeko, the president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) to bring his exposure and experience to bear when talking about influencer marketing does not come as a surprise, as he was also named among Adweek’s 100 Most Fascinating People in Marketing, Media and Culture for 2019. This is in line with Adweek’s practice of celebrating the Creative 100, a roster of gifted professionals who inspire current and future generations not only with their work but also their passion for creativity across advertising, media, art, literature, animation and more.

Babaeko is renowned for his creativity and consistency as he has successfully taken one of Nigeria’s most innovative creative agencies, X3M Ideas to greater height, establishing X3M Ideas SA PTY to serve the business interest of the agency in the Southern African region.

The X3M boss began his career in 1995 with MC&A Saatchi & Saatchi where he worked for five years, then to Prima Garnet Ogilvy, where he also worked for another five years. He also spent 7 years at 141 Worldwide, where he worked as creative director before establishing X3M Ideas in 2012.

He has served on the Grand Jury of the New York Advertising Festival, as well as being a keynote speaker at the 2018 International Advertising Association conference. His impressive stint in the International advertising scene also saw him act as judge on the 2017 The Loerie Awards.

BrandEye Media makes key changes at the mgt level

The responsibility of running Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria, (MIPAN) bestowed on Femi Adelusi, the Managing director/chief executive officer of BrandEye Media, has inadvertently created a vacuum at the top management level in the company hence the elevation of former Associate Director, Strategy & Planning, Demola Salami to chief operating officer.

Salami will be playing key role to ensure that the agency achieve its objectives and to deliver incremental share of the future to its clients and associates through strong partnerships, processes and ideas that are anchored on integrity, a statement from the agency stated.

In addition, he will also be ensuring that the agency continues to deploy cutting-edge research technique and expertise to achieve winning strategies and buying solutions for brands.

Salami, whose excellent presentation and client servicing have earned him an admirable level of respect in the media and advertising industry, as wide experience managing top brands such as Airtel, Guinness, Axa Mansard, Promasidor, PZ Cussons, Suntory and others.

The new COO began his career at BrandEye as Senior Manager and within a short time he was promoted to the position of Associate Director, Strategy & planning before his elevation as the agency’s COO. 

Recall, he started his career as Quality Assurance Manager at 2Sisters Food Group, located Nottingham, United Kingdom. At the company, he handled customer complaints, ensured that the company’s business practices complied with the UK health and safety code, performed and reviewed process auditing on a daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.

After his UK experience, he joined mediaReach OMD Nigeria as Account Planning Executive and was instrumental for providing strategic media planning and buying solutions to help major corporations achieve their marketing objectives.

Also, he served as key account handler for major FMCG companies. He was later elevated to the position of Senior Executive before leaving the agency to join Capital Media Limited as Assistant Manager, Strategy and Planning.

Thereafter, he rejoined mediaReach OMD Nigeria as Deputy Manager and became Manager before joining BrandEye Media.

Salami holds a B.Sc. Biochemistry from Lagos State University and Master’s degree in Pharmacology from The Nottingham Trent University. Also, he holds a Certificate in Professional Marketing from Simon Page Business School and Diploma in Marketing Management from Association of Business Executives, United Kingdom.

Original story featured on Brandcom

Lagos based business man wins TYLgames N1million grand prize, brand promises transparency

L-R: Managing Director/CEO, Cognitio Communications, Sam Osunsoko; former SA to Lagos State Governor on Revenue and Taxation, Bola Shodipo; Winner of N1million, Emmanuel Umoga; Deputy Director/Coordinator, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Priscilla Onuzulu; and Managing Director, Humber International, Andrew Humber-Osofisan, at the Grand launch and Cheque presentation of TYLGAMES in Lagos...yesterday

A Lagos based young entrepreneur, Emmanuel Umoga, has emerged the first N1million grand prize winner at the inaugural draw and cheque presentation ceremony of the lottery platform, TYLgames in Lagos.

The TYLgames grand launch and cheque presentation that took place at Calabar Hall in Surulere, Lagos at the weekend saw another 29 gamers being presented with their winning cheques ranging from N10, 000 to N500, 000.

TYLgames, a gaming (Lottery) platform is designed to positively touch gamers’ lives one game at a time. The focus is on gamers rather than on the gaming platform; placing in their hands the power to transform their lives with each game they play hence the acronym “TYL”.

TYL is an Instant Play, Instant Win, instant cash out game played on SMS, USSD, and Mobile Web platforms with the short code 33088. There are currently two games available to choose from, an instant numbers game tagged “SHOKI” and “SHAFFLE” which is a daily raffle game. With N100 game cost, a player can win up to N100,000 instantly and up to N1,000,000 in 24 hours by dialing or texting to 33088 or *33088# for USSD respectively.

 According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Humber Group, owners of TYLgames, Mr. Andrew Humber-Osofisan, “TYLgames is an innovative luxury product that is designed to positively touch gamers’ lives in real time.”.

L-R: Managing Director/CEO, Cognitio Communications, Sam Osunsoko; former SA to Lagos State Governor on Revenue and Taxation, Bola Shodipo; One of the Winners Kehinde Sadik; Deputy Director/Coordinator, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Priscilla Onuzulu; and Managing Director, Humber International, Andrew Humber-Osofisan, at the Grand launch and Cheque presentation of TYLGAMES in Lagos…yesterday

“You can change your life with N100”, Andrew Humber-Osofisan said. “Currently, there are two games available to choose from, SHOKI and SHAFFLE. SHOKI is an instant number game while SHAFFLE is a daily raffle game. Every time you dial *33088#, you win a SHAFFLE ticket that qualifies you for a draw that will be done every night, making you stand to win up to N1 million. Every successful play is charged N100.”

On transparency, he said, the regulatory authorities and Lagos State government are fully involved hence the platform desire to be credible and transparent

The Managing Partner of Cognitio Communications, Mr. Sam Osunsoko, referred to TYLgames as a vision of empowerment due to the fact that it came at a time when the economy has suffered at the hand of COVID 19 pandemic.

“TYLgames gives you the opportunity to win different range of prizes that can help you cushion the effect of the current economic hardship” he said.

Mr. Bola Shodipo, Former Special Adviser to the Lagos State government on Revenue and Taxation,  who encouraged and mandated the managers of TYLgames to make sure the platform is fair to the gamers, stated that state government is to ensure growing opportunities that can increase the GDP of the state. “TYLgames is an economic activity that can grow the GDP of Lagos State and by extension, the Federal government”, he said.

The Deputy Director/Coordinator National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos Zonal Office, Mrs. Onuzulu Priscilla Nkiru, ascertained that TYLgames is approved and that Humber Group has been doing the right thing from day one. She encouraged gamers to shout out if there is any reneging on promises made.

L-R: Managing Director/CEO, Cognitio Communications, Sam Osunsoko; former SA to Lagos State Governor on Revenue and Taxation, Bola Shodipo; One of the Winners Opeoluwa Ogundibo; Deputy Director/Coordinator, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Priscilla Onuzulu; and Managing Director, Humber International, Andrew Humber-Osofisan, at the Grand launch and Cheque presentation of TYLGAMES in Lagos…yesterday

An elated Umoga who narrated his experience said, “I saw the game online and I played. I played only once and my number was picked. It is very refreshing to know that game like this exist in Nigeria. I want to encourage Nigerians to play this game because it is valid,” he said.

Amongst the thirty winners who emerged during the inaugural draws Umoga, the grand prize  winner of N1 million, Mr. Opeoluwa Ogundibo and Mr. Kehinde Sadik were present at the cheque presentation ceremony.

Lilvera Group Boss, Buchi Johnson advocates 80% budget for digital marketing amid pandemic

Buchi Johnson, CEO/MD, Lilvera Group

The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Lilvera Group, Mr. Buchi Johnson, has urged clients and corporate organisations to review their marketing plans and budgets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has redefined the dynamics of the Nigerian marketing communications environment.

The London Business School alumnus, who spoke to journalists in his Lekki office recently, said that there will be new opportunities post pandemic that brands can pivot to be a part of. Technology is making it very easy for us to get a lot of things done and presently, any business that wants to make it has to create strategies using technology to achieve success online.

“Going forward, a serious minded organisation that wants to achieve great success for its brand and products must adopt an 80% to 20% budget planning for its marketing activities. This is as a result of the COVID-19 impact on bottomline as well as government regulations,” Johnson said.

The Lilvera Group boss, who believes that brands must make a conscious effort to understand their consumers’ online needs, said, “Understanding your consumers’ online behaviors will help any brand align with their needs. To achieve this, brands must ensure their teams are social media savvy to meet consumers need.”

“Their understanding of tech tools will help manage sales channels and consumer conversations. They will also be able to understand what influences consumer decisions in the present situation as well as what influence new business and partnership,” he said.

L-R, Goddie Ofose, Chief Executive Officer, December 29 Media, Habeebat Raji, Business Executive, Lilvera Nigeria Ltd, Buchi Johnson, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lilvera Group And Paix Otene, Head Administration, Lilvera Nigeria Ltd, at the Lilvera Nigeria Limited Media Interactive Session in the company’s headquarters in Lekki Phase 1 Lagos at the weekend.

Buchi Johnson advised that it is important businesses begin to take crisis communication and management seriously as pandemic continue to bite harder.

“It is also important that businesses should have a crisis management plan on hand, the pandemic is a huge crisis that a lot of businesses did not envisage and could not manage. This, caused a lot of businesses to shut down or lay off workers. It is important now more than ever to have a crisis management plan,” Johnson stated.

As a marketing communications expert with over 12 years experience, Buchi said, “I have come to understand that change is permanent and to stay relevant, one most understand the trends and stay steps ahead of uncertainty.”

Speaking on the impact of pandemic on retail marketing space, the CEO of Lilvera Group said, “the retail sphere would be impacted no doubt but brands that adopt digital marketing would conquer this space and make greater success out of it despite the effect of the pandemic.”

“I am an early adopter of technology and an advocate of it as well, I think up ways to use technology to build my business and it has been the best strategy so far during the COVID-19 issue. We literally kept working during the lockdown, found new ways of doing things and offering our clients new ideas, which saw us grow through the lockdown to this present time.”

African Consumer Care enters Nigerian surface cleaning market segment with Dazzl Disinfectant

Consumers sampling Dazzl disinfectant floor cleaner at the market activation in Lagos

 African Consumer Care, a subsidiary of Dabur International has strengthened the Dabur footprint in Nigeria with the introduction of the surface cleaning product, Dazzl Disinfectant floor cleaner in the Nigerian market.

In Nigeria, African Consumer Care Limited (AFCC) is one of the most trusted and reputable manufacturing companies, which has been successfully operating its business in Nigeria for last 18  years. Dabur Herbal Toothpaste, Odomos, Sani Fresh, Odonil, Medimax and ORS Olive Oils are brand names, trusted by Millions of Nigerian Consumers.

African Consumer Care Limited has launched Dazzl shield disinfectant to make an entry into the Nigerian fast-growing disinfectant market.

Dabur’s entry into Nigerian Surface Care market was unleashed through the recent launch of Dazzl Disinfectant Floor Cleaners. The product is an All Surface Cleaner + Disinfectant with 99.9% Germ Kill Claim.

The launch comes during a time when the demand for disinfectant household solutions are surging in Nigeria as COVID-19 health protocols requiring regular washing and disinfecting to curb the spread of the virus.

Dazzl can be used on Surfaces like Mosaic,  Granite, Marble, Marbonite, Kota and Vitro Ceramic to remove 99.9% Germs, dirt and grimes. What else? It also comes with long lasting floral fragrance that keeps the environment smelling fresh. 

Dazzl is now available in all key Hypermarkets, Supermarkets, Open markets as well in retail outlets across PAN Nigeria in 500ml, 1 Litre pack sizes. For institution/heavy users, it is also available in a large 4.5 Litre pack size.

The launch was supported by Open Market Consumer Engagements in Lagos, which included Brand detailing by the DJ, Anchor and brand Ambassadors,  Live Floor cleaning Demo with Dazzl Disinfectant, Free Sampling, Quiz and Q&A. 

Mr. Venkat R Reddy, Head of Business AFCC/Dabur West Africa mentioned in an event in Lagos Oke Arin market that Dabur is committed to bring New Innovation evaluating the relevance and local Consumer needs. Dazzl being a Disinfectant floor cleaner will also support the initiatives of the Federal and State Governments as well as the local communities for their current Fight against Covid-19 situation.

African Consumer Care is a subsidiary of Dabur International, which is the International business division of Dabur India, world’s largest Ayurveda or Natural Healthcare Company. With an overall turnover of over US$ 1 Billion and a market capitalization of ~US$ 11 Billion,Dabur’s International Business Division in Dubai, UAE is the cornerstone of its growth strategy, delivering outstanding growth year on year.

Despite COVID-19 disruptions, Comercio Partners keeps leveraging bright investment prospects

Steve Osho, Co- Managing Partner Comercio Partners and MD/CEO at Comercio Partners Capital

The Nigerian economy is currently in dire straits with major economic indicators looking grim due to increasing external shocks.

The COVID-19 as well as the drop in crude oil prices, the country’s major source of revenue, indeed exposed Nigeria’s weak underbelly.

Crude oil represents over 80 per cent of Nigeria’s export revenue and a downturn in the market for the commodity always has a ripple effect on the economy.

Often, this shock has a pass-through effect on the foreign exchange market thereby leading to depreciation of the naira exchange rate and putting pressure on external reserves as seen in recent times.

Indeed, as predicted, due to these external shocks, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2020 contracted by 6.1 per cent, which was the first negative growth since the first quarter of 2017.

This has been the trend globally due to the impact of the virus, as countries such as South Korea (-3.3%), Singapore (-41.2%), US (-9.5%), Germany (-10.1%), had earlier reported GDP contraction in Q2.

More worrisome is the projection that the country will plunge into a severe economic recession this year, the worst since the 1980s, according to the World Bank.

In fact, the World Bank has projected that the pandemic would push about five million more Nigerians into poverty this year, adding that while before the pandemic, the number of poor Nigerians was expected to increase by about two million largely due to population growth, the number would now increase by seven million.

Owing to the gloomy outlook, analysts at Comercio Partners noted that the impact of the pandemic and its unprecedented consequences has taught the global economy an important lesson on the need for brands to be innovative and agile.

They pointed out that the global economy is in an era of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), adding that the uncertainty has been heightened by the destabilisation of financial markets, protracted ultra-low interest rates, and changes in international affairs.

An integral part of Comercio Partners is empathy. Guided by this commitment as a brand, the firm acknowledges the facts and realities occasioned by the current pandemic.

NNAMDI NWIZU, Co-Managing Partner at Comercio Partners Limited and MD/CEO at Comercio Partners Trading

It pointed out that even though the full effect and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown, though it appears to have peaked in certain countries, most countries are still in a constant state of flux.

The world continues to reel from the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic, which has created a new world order for businesses around the globe just as governments, brands and consumers are struggling to survive the deleterious effects of the virus.

But despite concerns in the global economy, the company’s Head Financial Advisory/Co-Managing Partner, Steve Osho, said: “We see a great future in Africa, occurrences such as the pandemic is a reminder of this assertion. We like the dream of the future better than the history of the past; our words, messages, actions, services, businesses further confirm our belief in Africa’s business ecosystem.”

On his part, Head of Trading/Co-Managing Partner, Nnamdi Nwizu, noted that, “the world as we know it changed over the last six months. Comercio Partners is ready to partner with you and lead you to the new tomorrow. Now more than ever, the current situation has made the market more dynamic. We, therefore, owe our clients, the obligation to provide innovative financial products, by investing in traditional and alternative asset classes in various geographies across currencies for our proprietary and client portfolios.  We will leverage our broad array of strategic, international partnerships to expose our proprietary and client portfolios to assets in the international financial markets.

Similarly, the Head of Investments/Co-Managing Partner, Tosin Osunkoya, pointed out that, “leveraging our depth of resources to provide stability to your growing wealth and the right partnership to the financing demands to support your strategic business growth we remain your anchor to the future.”

According to Comercio Partners, “the impact and facts are starring at us in the face as the world slides into a global recession; the coronavirus pandemic is having devastating impacts across global market and wiping out trillions in asset value. Invariably, businesses are closing, people are losing income daily, families are being painfully separated by death, and life is taking a turn to what this generation has not experienced before.

“Admittedly, these are the facts, but are they the truth? The long age question of seeing the water in the cup as being half empty or half full comes to mind at this point. Let us delve a little bit more between truth and fact.

“The animals who survived the apocalypse are not the strongest, they are the ones that are able to adapt, they are able to separate fact from truth, they are the ones who were able to unlearn, relearn, forecast and took a stand for survival.”

The firm expressed optimism that if the world survived the First World War, survived the Spanish flu and the Second World War and other ‘socio-economic pandemics,’ it would also overcome the Covid-19.

TOSIN OSUNKOYA, Co-Managing Partner at Comercio Partners Limited and MD/CEO at Comercio Partners Asset Management

“As an organisation, a collection of people, beliefs, and mindset; as a brand, we have studied, unlearned, relearned and we quite seriously, acknowledge the facts and realities occasioned by this pandemic. We acknowledge that the situation will change and reshape a lot of things, we also, quite convincingly, know that a fact is transient while the truth is constant.

“The truth is that we irreversibly believe in the sheer audacity of hope that exist particularly in Africa, hope that authenticated by the possibilities and potentials that pervade Africa’s business landscape. We hold so strongly to this truth at Comercio Partners to the extent that it has inspired us to reinforce and re-emphasize our philosophy, our processes, and to reposition our brand as one that sees a greater future ahead of Africa especially in the financial services eco-system.

“Moving forward, our words, messages, actions, services, businesses will confirm our belief in Africa’s business eco-system. In making decisions in life, you will not only face the limits of time and imperfect knowledge, but the existence of multiple, complex and often conflicting goals. You will also face inner conflict of emotion, attitudes, and beliefs.

“We have seen all of that during this pandemic with various conspiracy theories flying around from 5G to G7conspiracy but the search for the truth is ours and only ours to solve,” the firm added.

Fadolapo’s era at APCON kicks off with a major project, seeks to collaborate with NILDS on legislative branding

The newly appointed Registrar/Chief Executive of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, who led a delegation from APCON and Brandmark Communications Limited to pay a courtesy call to the Director General of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Abubakar O. Suleiman, has disclosed that the apex regulatory body is exploring the opportunity to partner with the institute on legislative branding.

 The visit was to review the extent of progress made on the proposed collaboration by the two federal government agencies to further deepen democracy in Nigeria and legislative branding.

Other areas of mutual interest covered in their discussion includes re-branding and Integrated Marketing Communications support for the legislative arm of the government through the institute, IMC training and education etc.

In his address, the Director General, Abubakar Suleiman stated that NILDS is a capacity building and think tank organ for legislators in Nigeria and indeed the ECOWAS sub-region and beyond.He noted that the expansion of the mandate of the Institute has made it necessary for the institute to collaborate with Civil Society Organisations and other arms of government to further deepen democracy in the country.

Dr. Fadolapo while expressing his thanks to the Director General, Prof. Suleiman, noted the importance of the legislative arm of the government and the efforts of the Federal Government in establishing a positive and distinct reputation for trustworthiness and a positive set of valuesfor all government arms and agencies. The Registrar assuredthe Director General that APCON will do its best in providing IMC support to the institute and the legislative arm of the government.

The two institutions are currently working on an MOU and framework to define the scope and areas of mutual interest.

In attendance at the meeting were Head, Abuja Zonal Operations, APCON, Mallam Ahmed Yelwa, Head of Legal and Executive Assistant to the Registrar/Chief Executive, Mr.ChukwudiEzeaba, Mr. TundeAshaolu and Mr. ChidiebereOnwumereboth of Brandmark Communications Limited for APCON and Director, Special Duties,  Dr. AdeyemiFajingbesi, Director, Democratic Studies, Dr. AdewaleAderemi, Head, Bills and Legislative Drafting, Professor Yusuf Arowosaye, Acting Director, Training and International Cooperation, Hajia Amina Bibi-Farouk and Special Assistant to the DG on Administration, AlhajiSarafadeenAlabelewe for NILDS.

Nigeria 6oth anniversary logo unveiled

Ahead of Nigeria’s 60th anniversary on October 1, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled the logo and theme for the country’s Diamond Jubilee celebration.

President Buhari who disclosed that the word, “TOGETHER,” is the single-minded proposition around which the entire anniversary celebration would revolve, also unveiled the Diamond Jubilee anniversary logo during the Federal Executive Council Meeting (FEC) held at the Council Chambers, Aso Villa on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

He said: “Celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp and pageantry, but the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act differently, has also foisted on us the imperative of a low-keyed celebration.

​“Operating within the limitations placed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we created an internet challenge for Nigerians to make a choice from a set of four pre-selected logos that would appropriately define the theme. Of these four options, Nigerians from all walks of life participated in making a choice and I am happy to let you know that the logo I would be unveiling is a product of choice from the Nigerian people.”

President Buhari added that, “I am informed that the selected option depicts our togetherness, a country of over 200 million people whose natural talent, grit and passion glitter like the precious DIAMOND we are. This, to me, is a special appreciation to our most precious asset – our people. Everywhere you go, Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in Academia, Business, Innovation, Music, Movie, Entertainment, Fashion and culture.

​“Furthermore, I am also made aware that the neatly encrusted Diamond on the Nigerian Map symbolizes our age of treasure, the worth of the Nigerian people with our sparkle to the admiration of the world. In the same vein, the pear green and dark green colours should respectively remind us of our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land. All these properties make us unarguably the most prosperous black nation in the world and Africa’s largest economy.

​“It is, therefore, with a deep feeling of national pride that I hereby announce to you, that TOGETHER shall be the theme of our Nation’s Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration. Our founding fathers, In spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came TOGETHER to fight for Nigeria’s independence. This shall be a befitting tribute to the struggles of our heroes past.”

The selected logo which was one of the 15 options developed pro bono for the Federal Government by a consortium of marketing communications and productions companies comprising Chain Reactions Nigeria, a leading Public Relations and Integrated Communications Consulting firm, The Temple Management Company, a talent and event management agency, and TBWA Africa, one of Africa’s leading advertising agencies.

The anniversary identity was crafted around imagery of a giant figure 60 superimposed on the Nigerian map with the figure zero comprising several glittering crystals into a giant sparkling diamond. The logo symbolises Nigeria’s treasured age, worth of our people and our land, together; and how we sparkle together, to the admiration of the world.

Giving the creative rationale behind the logo, the Lead Consultant for the consortium and Managing Director, Chain Reactions Nigeria, Israel Jaiye Opayemi, said diamond is from the root word, “Adamas” which means invincible or unconquerable and enduring.

“These are the dominant traits of the Nigerian Spirit. We are invincible, unconquerable and enduring. The imagery of the diamond is in celebration of the resilience our people are known for. Diamonds are formed under pressures. It is a metaphor for how the Nigerian Spirit comes forth brilliantly under pressure,” he said.

Opayemi further explained that the logo is a celebration of the over 200 million Nigerian people whose natural talents, grit and passion glitter like the precious diamond that we are.

He said, “This is a special nod to our most precious asset, our people. It is etched in our DNA. Everywhere you go, Nigerians sparkle like diamonds in the pack; we are colourful people.”

Nigeria became independent from Britain on October 1, 1960. The 60th-anniversary celebration is an 11-month event featuring several commemorative activities.

Reshaping realities: Africa’s post-pandemic recovery is likely to be prolonged and uneven, but could also be transformative

  • Risk-reward scores across African continent nosedive

Specialist risk consultancy Control Risks  and independent global advisory NKC African Economics, the Africa-focused subsidiary of Oxford Economics, have launched the fifth edition of the Africa Risk-Reward Index.

The 2020 Africa Risk-Reward Index and graphics can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/3hwa13P

The index offers a comparative snapshot of market opportunities and risks across the continent. It provides a grounded, longer-term outlook of key trends shaping the investment landscape in major African economies, which should inform the strategies of organisations looking to invest in or grow their business in Africa.

Investors seeking to minimise risks and maximise rewards are cautioned not to focus on headlines, but rather on specific country, sector and project contexts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly eroded the overall improvement in risk-reward scores seen across the African continent in recent years, but this should not deter investors. Africa’s recovery may be prolonged and uneven, but it could also be transformative.

The pandemic’s huge economic cost has triggered a universal drop in our reward scores, but the impact on risk scores has been more varied. Ethiopia has seen the largest ratings drops as COVID-19-induced challenges combine with escalating ethnic tensions in the context of a delayed election.

Egypt’s risk score has remained relatively steady, but its reward score has been badly hit by the triple blow of the pandemic, low oil prices and plummeting tourism revenues. Algeria’s risk score has improved since the mass protests and landmark elections of 2019, but challenges for its oil-dependent economy have still dragged down its overall score.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis, but Africa’s recovery will be slower and more uneven than most,” warns Barnaby Fletcher, Associate Director at Control Risks. “However, this recovery will be an opportunity for governments across the continent to address structural constraints and promote new solutions. We are already seeing signs that they are doing so, and for investors this opens up some interesting opportunities.”

This 2020 edition of the Africa Risk-Reward Index examines the longer-term implications of COVID-19 on Africa. The first article looks at the longer-term impact of COVID-19 and imagines a post-pandemic landscape, while the second explores the role that African tech can play in revitalising more traditional industries.

The last article covers the growing efforts by both external and domestic actors to manipulate the public debate in Africa through influence operations and disinformation campaigns, and the risks these efforts pose to commercial companies.

Post-pandemic: The impact of COVID-19 and outlooks for Africa’s recovery

The immediate impact of COVID-19 will see Africa experience its first recession in 25 years, but more worrying is the lack of fiscal headroom available to African governments to engage in stimulus spending. For many countries, economic recovery will have to be driven by their private sectors, which were already weak and have only become weaker during the pandemic.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 will be varied but the recovery will be even more so” says Jacques Nel, Head of Africa Macro at NKC African Economics. “The optimists will hope to see a race to the top as governments undertake desperately needed reforms, while the pessimists will see a continent set back more than a decade. The reality will be somewhere in between, with each country finding a unique spot on this spectrum.”

However, there are already indications that the scale of this crisis is prompting some welcome reforms. Faced with a volatile global landscape, African governments have a pressing need to develop downstream manufacturing, regional supply chains and domestic capital markets. There are also indications that large portions of the workforce are entering the formal economy to access government financial support and cope with pandemic containment measures. Some of these trends were set in motion before its outbreak, but COVID-19 seems to have accelerated them. Investors who stay with Africa despite the current downturn will not only have an important role to play in its recovery, but will also see some exciting changes and opportunities.

The great enabler: How Africa is using new digital solutions to revitalise old industries

Investment into African tech has reached record levels in recent years. These are likely to fall in 2020, a consequence of both recent high-profile sector struggles and the impact of COVID-19 on external finance. However, any such decline should be viewed as an opportunity to reset expectations and approaches, not as an indication that the affected sectors are becoming less attractive.

COVID-19 has served to emphasise the need for tech and digital solutions across the continent. It has sparked the development of healthcare apps to help fight the pandemic, e-commerce platforms to facilitate life under lockdown, and new payment and microinsurance systems.

Digital and tech is set to play a far greater role in post-pandemic Africa than it ever did before. The wave of informal workers and companies entering the formal economy will need access to basic financial and legal services, which are likely to be provided through online or mobile platforms. Digital solutions may also help facilitate the growing push to build regional supply chains.

Hostile narratives: Reputation and African geopolitics in the age of influence operations

Africa has always struggled to set its own narrative and get past generalisations that cast the entire continent as beyond redemption or the next economic powerhouse. This struggle is becoming more acute as internal and external actors actively push false narratives through influence operations and disinformation campaigns.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Foreign powers engaged in such tactics are motivated the geopolitical competition over Africa, which has steadily intensified over the past decade. African governments are also building their own capacity to mount such campaigns.

Investors should not assume that such activities impact only governments. Foreign investment is frequently the subject of political debate in African countries, and when that debate is distorted by external actors, individual companies face significant reputational risks.

Not only that but disinformation campaigns have been used by militant groups for recruitment and to cause peaceful protests to escalate into violence, posing security threats to commercial operations.

The risk posed by influence operations in Africa should not be overstated, though the trend is growing as social media is adopted more widely across the continent. Just as grasping the political and business landscape can help investors avoid pitfalls and maximise their chances of success, understanding the information landscape – what the narrative is and who is seeking to influence it – will become increasingly important.

Methodology

The Africa Risk-Reward Index is defined by the combination of risk and reward scores, integrating economic and political risk analysis by Control Risks and NKC African Economics, the Africa-focused subsidiary of Oxford Economics.

Risk scores from each country originate from the Economic and Political Risk Evaluator (EPRE), while the reward scores incorporate medium-term economic growth forecasts, economic size, economic structure and demographics.

African Leaders for Nutrition urges continent leaders to embed nutrition within COVID-19 response and recovery plan

The African Leaders for Nutrition  (ALN) have unveiled a position paper calling upon African Heads of State and Governments to ensure that financing for nutrition is included in their country’s COVID-19 response and recovery plans. The position paper, titled “Embedding Nutrition within the COVID-19 Response and Recovery,” was sent to African member states by His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho, an ALN “Nutrition Champion”.

Embedding Nutrition within the COVID-19 Response and Recovery recommends that countries maintain and increase the level of funding allocated to nutrition to safeguard previous efforts to address malnutrition, and ensure there are no gaps within their multi-year nutrition programmes in immediate, medium-term and post-pandemic recovery COVID-19 responses.

The paper emphasizes the role of high-level political leadership, in particular Heads of State and Ministers of Finance, as Nutrition Champions. The Champions aim to ensure that actions and economic stimulus packages developed to combat the pandemic include plans to secure healthy and nutritious foods are made available and affordable to all.

The pandemic has created major global health and economic shocks, with unprecedented impacts on people’s health, nutrition and livelihoods. As a result, Africa is experiencing negative economic growth, primarily as a result of the sharp decline in productivity, jobs and revenues. At the same time, recent data shows that Africa has the highest prevalence of malnutrition and may soon overtake Asia as the region with the fastest-growing number of hungry and undernourished people [1]. Nutrition cannot be left behind in the COVID-19 response in Africa.

“As COVID-19 cases rise in Africa, the impact on nutrition and food systems cannot be denied. The threat of this new virus requires us to adopt new ways of looking and overcoming malnutrition,” said former President of Ghana John Kufuor, an ALN founding member and Nutrition Champion.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a chance for Africa’s leaders to reshape and spearhead high-level sensitization, advocacy and resource mobilization efforts towards securing increased investments in nutrition.

Embedding Nutrition within the COVID-19 Response and Recovery forms part of the African Development Bank’s COVID-19 Response Facility to deploy financial and technical measures to cushion African economies and livelihoods against the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic.

The African Leaders for Nutrition Secretariat is hosted by the Bank to foster opportunities for high-level engagement to drive policy changes in Africa.

Insurance firm seeks to guide SMEs on risk management, cyber security in virtual workshop

FBN Insurance Brokers, a subsidiary of Nigeria’s leading financial services group, FBN Holdings Plc, has announced a webinar to sensitise SMEs on risk management and cyber security. Spearheading discussions at the webinar are seasoned experts on insurance brokerage, cyber security and risk management.

The event is themed Risk Management and Business Continuity amidst COVID19 and scheduled for 10:00am on Thursday, 17 September, 2020. 

Perspective participate are advice to log on in to the company’s website to register to attend.

 Olumide Ibidapo, MD/CEO FBN Insurance Brokers will speak on Risk Management; Harrison Nnaji, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), FirstBank will drive conversation on Cyber security and Jamie Eaton, Regional Director, Financial Lines and Client Management, Howden One Insurance Brokers will focus on Cyber Insurance as a risk transfer option for cyber risks.

Speaking on the event, Olumide Ibidapo, MD/CEO FBN Insurance Brokers said; “SMEs remain the engine of growth of any economy, especially developing ones like ours and we recognise the indelible roles they play at creating jobs and meeting the economic and social needs of individuals.

We are excited with this webinar and implore every business owner to participate, as they will be exposed to very vital information to keep their business afloat and overcome various risks as well as operational challenges, including cyber security threats that have been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Nitro 121 boss, Omoyele tips to take SMEs through brand marketing post COVID-19 at UBA Series

Lampe Omoyele, MD Nitro 121

The managing director of Nitro 121, Lampe Omoyele today by 2pm will be on a driving seat to take small and medium enterprises and business owners through brand positioning and marketing for business post COVID-19 era at the UBA Business series.

The series is a quarterly UBA initiative designed to support the growth of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and equip them with the necessary tools to strengthen and sustain their businesses.

The third topic is tagged ‘Brand Positioning and Marketing for Businesses Post COVID 19’, and it will hold on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 via Microsoft Teams.

According to the Bank, “UBA will be hosting the Managing Director, Nitro 121, Lampe Omoyele, a brand management professional, who will give business leaders and upcoming entrepreneurs tips on the best ways to ensure their businesses survive especially in the wake of the pandemic.

Omoyele who is also the Founding Partner, The Lucent Consulting Company, is a widely respected business leader and mentor in the marketing and advertising industry of sub-Saharan Africa.

The UBA Business Series which is held quarterly, is an MSME Workshop and a capacity building initiative where leading business leaders share insights on best practices for running successful businesses in the face of huge economic challenges.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic presented a huge challenge to many entrepreneurs and to help mitigate potential losses, UBA through its business series has been providing businesses with essential tips that would help re-evaluate their models and strategies as they wade through these uncertain times.

The event which is open to all participants will be held virtually starting at 2pm WAT today and interested participants can register here, or via http://bit.ly/UBABusinessSeriesReg.

UBA’s Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, Jude Anele, who spoke ahead of the workshop, said with his vast experience in brand management, Omoyele will point small business owners in the direction needed to galvanise their brands and position it in such a way as to attract the right customers.

Anele pointed out UBA’s unending commitment and deep passion to help small businesses, which according to him, remains the engine of any developing economy. “We are well aware that small businesses are the backbone of the economy in every country. In many climes, businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 98.2% of all businesses. This no doubt aptly captures the importance of SMEs to a thriving economy which is why UBA is committed to seeing them flourish.”

UBA’s Group Head, Marketing and Customer Experience, Michelle Nwoga, said the bank’s passion is hinged on ensuring that customers and entrepreneurs run businesses that can stand the test of time with requisite knowledge and experience required to take their businesses to the next level.

She explained that the seminar is open to all business owners and leaders across Nigeria, adding that intending participants can register quickly to be part of the invaluable experience.

TYLgames collaborates with 9mobile, MTN to offer unique lottery experience

L-R: Product Manager, 9Mobile, Mr Olaniyi Adefabi; Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr Bashir Are; CEO, Humber International Lottery (promoters of TYL Games), Mr Andrew Humber-Osofisan; and Assistant Director, Lagos Zonal Office, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mrs Joy Okum, during the soft launch of TYL Games in Lagos recently

A new gaming platform named TYLgames has partnered with two telecommunication giants, MTN and 9monile to offer unique gaming proposition in the Nigeria’s lottery industry. TYLgames has turned the focus away from gaming, and now placing it in gamers’  hands the power to transform lives with each game they play hence the acronym “TYL”.

TYLgames, a gaming (Lottery) platform that is designed to positively touch gamers lives one game at a time. The focus is on gamers rather than on the gaming platform; placing in their hands the power to transform their lives with each game they play hence the acronym “TYL”.

TYL is an Instant Play, Instant Win, Instant Cashout game played on SMS, USSD, and Mobile Web platforms with the short code 33088. There are currently two games available to choose from, an instant numbers game tagged “SHOKI” and “SHAFFLE” which is a daily raffle game. With N100 game cost, a player can win up to N100,000 instantly and up to N1,000,000 in 24 hours by dialing or texting to 33088 or *33088# for USSD respectively or log on to  company’s website.  

TYL brings financial relief to the masses by providing the avenue to win instant cash to cover day—to-day living costs. With just N100, a player can win and cash out a minimum of N1,000 instantly, several times a day. The best part of it is that a player can do this privately and confidentially, 24 hours of the day.

To deliver a dynamic and a superior gaming experience, different from other available gaming or betting platforms in a transparent manner to the masses, Humber Lottery, promoter of TYLgames has collaborated with Telecommunication giants 9Mobile and MTN to touch as many lives, reinforce the brand’s authenticity, and to deliver its promises.

Founder and CEO of Humber Lottery, Mr. Andrew Humber-Osofisan gave his statements as TYLgames launched. “TYLgames is committed to ensuring that people play responsibly and that they are rewarded accordingly”, he said. He also stated that “TYLgames is much more than a gaming platform. It’s a way to distribute wealth, mitigate individuals’ daily cash-flow issues, and address some of the societal issues plaguing the masses. We do not claim to make people overnight millionaires, but we guarantee every player a chance to be fairly rewarded daily. TYLgames is that window of opportunity which they can seize to get the reward they deserve”.

He further spoke on the COVID 19 pandemic and why TYLgames is launching at this time. “The move to launch TYLgames at this time is strategic…”, he said; “…as fear, hopelessness, and depression from the pandemic overwhelms, I feel for the people and believe that TYLgames is a spark to rekindle hope for people to get back up and win again!” he added.

Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr Bashir Are; CEO, Humber International Lottery (promoters of TYL Games), Mr Andrew Humber-Osofisan; and Assistant Director during the soft launch of TYL Games in Lagos recently

He talked about the “Winning Code”, 33088. “We call 33088 the winning code because, with it, you can positively change a life. 33088 is like medicine you take to relieve financial/money issues. As paracetamol can relieve headache, body pain or fever so is dialing 33088 can relieve hunger, brokenness, poverty, and all cash-flow symptoms. Just dial the code 33088 for relief”, he said.

Lauding the company, the Acting Director of Marketing 9mobile Mr. Olayiwola Onafowokan said, “TYLgames will address a problem plaguing the Nigerian gaming industry.”

He also stated that “TYLgames is a gaming platform that’s incredibly unique and innovative. It is not just providing opportunities but also entertainment to people to be rewarded for their participation in a fair and transparent manner.”

Corporate organisations may not have fought a ‘good’ covid fight

President Muhammadu Buhari

On May 7 and 8, 2013 at the Responsible Business Summit in London, the editor of HRZone, Jamie Lawrence said, “Businesses cannot be successful when the society around them fails.” This cannot be farther than the truth.

The recent pandemic has given credence to this assertion from Lawrence, a prominent media and human resources professional in the United Kingdom. It is apparent that without corporate organisations and non-governmental organisations, Nigeria state would have lost the fight against COVID-19.

Dissimilar to other countries that have had a marshal plan to curtail the spread of the virus, the federal government of Nigeria at the initial outbreak of the virus in the country, looked helpless and to a large extent hapless and ill-prepared in terms of fund and action to confront the pandemic headlong.

It is worth the note that it was actually the first time in my 15 years of reporting brands and marketing as well as covering over a thousand corporate social responsibility projects in the country that every business from multinationals, large local corporates, small and medium scale enterprises and non-governmental organisations would be in agreement to pursue a course. 

There was no competition whatsoever. Every single organisation believes that it was a fight worth supporting hence the little fatal impact recorded in the country so far. This is against the Bill and Melinda Gate prediction that corpses may litter the streets of Africa if advanced nations would not help the continent.

Permit me to single out some organisations, in no particular other, to thank for the N36.3 billion raise so far in response to combat the dreaded virus. Though, federal government has already spent 84 percent of the N36.3 billion since April to July making it a whooping N30.5 billion.

It is not clear what the government would do with the 16percent left in its coffers . From the analysis of the expenditure by the Accountant General of the Federation did not actually captured what they spend on palliative, it is pleasing to see a bit of accountability on the part of the government this time.

Businesses that donated include UBA Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Multichoice Nigeria, Airtel, Glo, FirstBank Nigeria, Felix King Foundation, Access Bank, GTBank, Union Bank, Nigerian Breweries, Guinness Nigeria, UAC Restaurants, Heritage Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Nestle Nigeria.

There are quite a number but let me stop here for the lack of space. It is a good gesture that corporate Nigeria took a queue behind the government; however none of this company prepared for the virus despite that fact that these organisations knew Coronavirus was ravaging China.

It was shocked to find out that no organisation in the country made any budgetary allocation in its corporate social investment portfolio in preparedness for COVID-19 despite it ravaging effect in China. If government did not do it, which was not a surprise, corporate bodies did not expect to miss that.

Therefore, when Coronavirus eventually got into the country on February 27, through an Italian index case, panic button was press and every organisation began to scamper and made indiscriminate donations to government and its agencies.

Folake Ani-Mumuney, President of Advertisers Association of NIgeria (ADVAN)

Private sector organisations are notable for proper planning and adequate arrangement but the COVID-19 exposed everything all. Neither of private sector nor public sector made plans and adequate arrangement to curtail the spread of the virus hence everybody was scuttled to impress the government rather than impacting their key stakeholders- consumers and/or customers.

From manufacturing to financial sector organisations, none of them made adequate preparation to ameliorate the impact of COVID-19 on the customers and consumers. All attention was on donation to the government. This left a void and the consumers suffered untold hardship.

There was no better time or period to give back to the customers and consumers than the COVID-19 particularly when the government could not provide for the citizens. Imagine the social capital a bank will gain by crediting its customers’ accounts through Bank Verification Number identification with just N5000 at mid-night.

First off, if the bank has two million active customers and it gives N5000 each that would actually amount to N10 million. This amount is even far less to that of a bank that donated N1 billion to the federal government.

The social capital that would be generated from the ‘good deed’ for the bank would probably reposition the bank hence grow it equity as well as increased number of customers.

It shows that most CSR department in most organisations are not thinking right.

Apart from helping the bank to grow and repositioning it as the real customer-centric organisation, the deed would also substitute the organisation’s CSR project for the year without affecting its image.

But now, most organisations have suspended every CSR activities scheduled to happen this year because of the Covid-19 donation. According to senior CSR personnel in one of the top banks, who pleaded anonymity, “We have cancelled every CSR project this year because all the budget and more was donated to the government.”

The mad dash in who donate the biggest fund was unnecessary. It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. These organisations pay taxes and more. Why didn’t we see a similar trend in other part of the world? Why was it happening only in Nigeria?

Perhaps, we may have learned a few things or we may not have learned anything, we are not praying for another pandemic but we live in the world that disaster occur almost every time, organisations must plan and not just plan but adequate planning to execute project that really touch the people.

Just like Mr. Lawrence said, “When we inspire people by explaining why the destination is important, they develop the motivation to see the race through.”

The piece is written by Goddie Dgreat Ofose and he can be reached through 08099400139

FG spends 84% of N36.3billion corporates’ COVID-19 response donations

Finally, the Federal Government has come out with details spending of corporate organisations’ donations to fight Coronavirus pandemic in the country with the whooping N30.5 billion spent so far out of N36.3 billion realised.

According the FG N30.5 billion spent between April and July to boost the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Giving the detail account of the expenditure, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, disclosed this in response to the Freedom of Information request dated 10 August 2020, sent to the government by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and Connected Development.

It will be recalled that at the outbreak of the virus in Nigeria in March, top corporate organisations across all sectors had donated billions of naira to the government at all level to aid fight against COVID-19.

Some of the notable corporate figures that made mouthwatering donations are Multichoice, UBA, Access Bank, Felix King Foundation, GTBank, First Bank, Union Bank, Nestle Nigeria, and Nigerian Breweries.

Others include, Ecobank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank,  Stanbic IBTC Bank, Dangote Group, Lafarge, Unilever Nigeria and Zenith Bank plc to mention but a few.

 While giving the breakdown, the AGF said the FG received a total of N36.3billion in COVID-19 fund donations and that the N30.5billion spent, represented 84 per cent of the total amount.

The AGF also noted that some of the funds came from the public funds and donations from Banks, Nigerians, and non-governmental organisations, among others.

“We spent N30, 540,563,571.09, representing 84percent of the N36.3 billion public funds and donations received to respond to COVID-19 between 1st April 2020 and 31st July 2020, leaving the balance of N5.9 billion,” he said.

However, in their response, SERAP and CODE urged the SGF to respond to other information highlighted in the FoI letter, which includes information on projects which the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 purportedly spent N22bn, and those that benefitted from them.

In the letter to Idris, dated September 4, and jointly signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare and CODE Chief Executive, Hamzat Lawal, the NGOs noted that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 spent N22 billion, while 36 states spent N7 billion to support their COVID-19 initiatives.

“We also note that the Nigerian Air Force spent N877 million for the deployment of assets in support of COVID-19 operations; while the Nigeria Police spent N500 million on personal protective equipment. N17, 865.09 was paid as bank charges.

“However, we also note that the documents sent to us do not contain other significant details as indicated in our FoI request dated 10 August 2020, including details and breakdown of the number of Nigerians who directly or indirectly have benefited from the spending, and details on plans to spend the balance of N5.9 billion in the COVID-19 Eradication Support Accounts.

“It is refreshing to note that 115 ordinary Nigerians donated between N1 and N100 to support the authorities’ efforts to fight COVID-19, despite the fact that it is the country’s poorest and most disadvantaged sectors of the population that continue to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a huge lesson for public officials and politicians about the idea of public service to one’s country.

“It also sends a powerful message about the need for politicians to see public office as an opportunity to serve and give something back to the country, and not a place to mismanage, steal or divert the people’s commonwealth into private pockets for personal benefits.

“We welcome your demonstrated commitment to transparency and accountability, and hope other public officials and institutions would emulate and learn from the good example you have shown by honouring and respecting FOI Act as a matter of routine and practice.”

“We would therefore be grateful to receive more specific details and additional information on the spending of N34.4bn between April and July, and details on plans to spend the balance of N5.9 billion in the COVID-19 Eradication Support Accounts.

“Of the N36.3bn public funds and donations received, N1.4bn came from Nigerians and companies through accounts at the First Bank; Access Bank; GTB, Zenith, and UBA, while N536m donations were made through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“The N536 donations comprise of N89m and N279m from the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively.

“In addition, China General Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria donated N48m; the Petroleum Equalization Management Board gave N50m while the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board donated N70m.”

SERAP and CODE further stated in the letter that they await the additional information, which is expected to be provided within seven days on receipt of the letter.

“We would be grateful if the requested details and additional information are provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP and CODE shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to compel you to comply with our request,” the letter stated.

It may be recalled that in March, SERAP gave the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Federal Ministry of Health a week to publish the weekly details of funds and other resources deployed so far in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

In two separate Freedom of Information requests sent to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, SERAP asked the Federal Government to disclose information on the exact number of tests carried out on high-ranking public officials and politicians, statistics of people currently in self-isolation as well as the number of tests done on the generality of Nigerians.

The request was later followed by a lawsuit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, over failure to explain how the funds received were spent by the two government parastatals.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/616/2020, the Lagos-based rights group sought “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and compel Ehanire and the NCDC to publish details of the funds received from federal, state governments, private sector and details of how the funds have been spent.”

SERAP also sought an order of mandamus to direct and compel the Minister of Health and the NCDC to publish details of the funds and resources from federal and state governments as well as the private sector.

Mandamus is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a court to any government, subordinate court, corporation, or public authority, to do some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do, and which is in the nature of public duty, and in certain cases one of statutory duty.

Coca-Cola’s ‘Catalyst for Change’ berths at Magboro, empowers 1000 women

In what could be described as a feast of empowerment, Coca-Cola Foundation through its corporate social responsibility programme, Catalyst for Change, empowered one thousand women in an Ogun State suburb, Magboro Makogi community.

In over 4 weeks, the foundation trained these women on relevant skills with more than 200 empowered to start their own businesses.

It is not news that in Nigeria, there are twice as many women below the poverty line than men, and with the outbreak of COVID-19, it became even more pertinent to provide women with opportunities to become financially independent.

A Nigerian based NGO, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, recognised this gap and sought to fill it. The Foundation launched a capacity building programme tagged, “Catalyst for Change”, to help equip 5000 women with relevant vocational skills and business training across five locations in Lagos State.

 With funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the programme has seen a total of 1,048 trained in relevant skills with over 200 of them receiving kits to kickstart their own businesses.

In addition to providing vocational skills training, the women of the Magboro Makogi community were also schooled on how to access grants and loans for their businesses by The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

Coca-Cola Foundation empowered 1000 women in Magboro community

Over the next few months, Catalyst for Change will visit the Sangotedo, Iwaya, Oworonshoki, and Ogijo communities to continue this good work.

By the end of this community-wide outreach, the Foundation will have empowered 5,000 women with relevant skills while providing 1,000 of them with Start-up Kits to begin their own businesses.

Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation is a non-profit established in 2017, with a vision to empower women and girls across the rural demographic. The funding of the Catalyst for Change programme by The Coca-Cola Foundation will help Coca-Cola achieve its 5by20 initiative to empower 5 million women economically by the end of 2020.

OOH practitioner calls on APC to reconcile N500m Buhari/Osinbajo billboard campaign

The managing director/chief executive officer of Spread Out Media, Mr. Churchill Nwagwu, on social media, Twitter, called out the Lagos State All Progressive Congress leadership as well as Lagos State government to fulfill its promise by paying outdoor agencies over N500 million Buhari/Osinbajo campaign in 2015.

Nwagwu said, “I am calling on APC reconciliation committee to reconcile the Buhari/Osinbajo billboard campaign account of 2015 and pay off Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria members their outstanding bills.”

When our reporter called to inquire why the contract has not been honoured, Nwagwu said that “they have not agreed to pay anything. They keep passing the bug. Akinwunmi Ambode refused to pay because the contract was not issued by him.”

According to him, in all fairness, Babatunde Fashola has continued to wonder why his successors have refused to pay despite OAAN ability to present all documentations.

A member who pleaded anonymity said he is being owed N4.5million.  “Some members are being owed N8million and even more. Business is bad and we calling on government and the party to honour a simple gentleman agreement,” he said.

These companies ensured that President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode billboards took over 95% of the available billboards in Lagos have not been paid up to 5% of their payments for the job.

The outdoor advertisers lamented that they were invited by the former Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) managing director, George Noah during the election campaigns to do the jobs but only one or two who insisted on being paid were paid partially, with more than 70 companies remaining in limbo.

According to findings, the contract was facilitated by Mr. George Noah, the then managing director of Lagos Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) and Fashola as the governor of Lagos State.  Successive MDs of LASAA have continued to refuse to pay this outstanding fee that is estimated to be N500 million.

“We won’t take briefs from corporate until they pay N.5m pitch fee’

Tade Adekunle, EXMAN President

The members of Experiential Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) have maintained a hard stance over the issue of pitch free and said; members would no longer take briefs from organisations that refuse to pay them N.5 million as pitch fee.

 According to the association, this N.5million pitch fee should be paid to agencies that were unsuccessful at the pitch exercise. The position was taken at the 2020 Experiential Marketing Conference tagged innovation and collaboration in Lagos.

The association at its annual general meeting in a resolution said, rejection fee be paid to its members after attending a pitch, considering the level of research, creativity and funding that goes into the ideas presented to clients.

Some members believed that some organisations used some of the ideas presented at a pitch without giving them credit or paying for it.

EXMAN President, Tade Adekunle said “When you invite 17 or 18 agencies to come and pitch for a business they will only take one or two agencies and thereafter you will start seeing some of the ideas that some of the rejected agencies have given. Also, when agencies go for pitch they incur cost on research, creatives and others.

“So, the association has decided that clients can ask for the profile of the various agencies, and then they can say this agency is good enough to work for us instead of calling 20 agencies to come and pitch.”

Adekunle stated further that the association has come up with the resolution that “If you are inviting any EXMAN member to come and pitch be ready to pay rejection fee of N500, 000 for those not picked”

He explained further that if organisations write back that they can’t pay rejection fee, no EXMAN member would partake in such pitch, stating that “If corporate organisations champion corporate governance, then it will be unethical to ask agencies to wave rejection fee.”

He added that member must have informed the association secretariat that they are invited for a pitch and EXMAN would write the client who must have agreed to pay the fee before embarking in the pitch process.

However, he stated that members cannot say they don’t want the rejection fee from client, if such happens they would have to face disciplinary committee.  “For our members, the resolution taken here today, you can’t wave that right and say I would not collect rejection fee. The association is saying you cannot wave that right. If you don’t collect it you will face the disciplinary committee of EXMAN,” he revealed.

PR Report revealed Nigeria agencies are struggling

Jaiye Israel Opayemi, PRCAN President

Nigerian PR Report funded by Black House Media (BHM), has revealed in its fourth edition of its annual PR report that over 50% of PR agencies in Nigeria are reporting revenues of less than N5 million.

The Nigeria’s first-ever Public Relations annual report,  which is dedicated exclusively to chronicling data on trends, perceptions, challenges and prospects within the dynamic industry was unveiled in Lagos recently.

Since its debut five years ago, the PR Report has lived to its billing as the most authoritative voice in PR measurement and evaluation in Nigeria and has supported practitioners in navigating their careers and the PR space in general.

Replete with verified facts and statistics on the Public Relations industry, practitioners have deployed the resources and recommendations contained in these reports year on year to build better careers and business models, designed to enhance and deliver value to all stakeholders. And since 2015, there have been remarkable transformations in the PR field as evidenced findings in this year’s report.

A cursory look at some of the findings from the report shows that the insights presented are prognostic at the very least, creating a framework for practitioners to successfully manoeuvre these momentous times brought about by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Adun Okupe, Lead Researcher, Compass Insights, “The Nigeria PR Report does not come at a better time than this. The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world and now more than ever, PR agencies are having to prove their worth to their clients leaving consultancies with unanswered questions as to how to make sure that their businesses are providing the right services and the 2020 Nigeria PR Report helps to shape thoughts in this direction.”

Speaking on Nigeria PR Report 2020, the Founder and CEO of BHM, Ayeni Adekunle captured the volatile nature of the year for the PR industry.

“When we planned for the 2020 Nigeria PR Report, we had no idea of how the year would turn out. These are very unique and interesting times as our choice to have the report focus on sustainable growth has now come into focus with the adverse effects of Coronavirus.’’

“The importance of the report to the Public Relations industry in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. By modeling well-founded world reports such as the Holmes Report, World Development Report, Relevance Report, the Nigerian PR Report team continues to hope to create a standard global report that can easily be used for referencing details, instances and facts about the industry,” he said.

Insights from the report highlight the pedigree of some of the PR agencies in Nigeria. To be sure, 12% of Nigerian PR agencies have been in operation for five years, 19% have been in operations for more than 5 years and less than 10, whilst only 9% have been in operation for over 20 years.

In addressing the improvement made to counter gender imbalance and the need for improvement on the same, the report shows that the industry remains male-dominated with a record of 74 percent while women constitute just 26 percent of the industry. Younger agencies under 5 years old seem to have a higher proportion of men with women comprising only 21 percent of women PR professionals working in these agencies. Older agencies that have been practicing for 11 to 20 years parade 44percent of women professionals as their staff.

Most of the PR agencies are within the SME band, with the 64% of respondents qualifying by the number of employees as micro-enterprises based on the number of employees as defined by The Small and Medium Enterprises Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). 56 per cent of PR agencies in Nigeria are reporting revenues of less than N5 million (five million naira). Together with the new entrants into the industry corroborating this finding, it is reported that 64 per cent of the new agencies have fewer than ten employees, 14percent are small enterprises with 11- 20 employees and 22 per cent with more than 21 employees.

LASAA MD, Docemo seeks to collaborate with industry bodies, cautions ADVAN against debts

 The newly appointed Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, LASAA, Prince Adedamola Docemo, has extended hand of followership to industry practitioners, particularly those in out-of-home industry, a clear departure from previous occupants of the office.

Prince Docemo, who delivered a good will address at the recently concluded annual general meeting of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, OAAN in Lagos, said “Under my leadership, LASAA will explore all available benefits of this new virtual arrangement as a catalyst to accelerate the partnership between LASAA and OAAN and make it better.”

“One of such high point is the joint OAAN/LASAA Committee,” he said.

According to the LASAA boss, “All players in the value chain of the outdoor advertising business must live up to their commitments and responsibilities. This is because to whom much is given, much is expected,” he added.

Speaking on debt settlement, Prince Docemo stated that, this industry can only grow when debts are settled promptly rather than allow it becomes protracted. “I want to use this opportunity to appeal specially to the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) and the Media Buyers I.e. Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria to correct some of the anomalies associated with debt settlements.”

“This way, according to him, outdoor advertising practitioners can meet their several obligations to LASAA and other statutory bodies. A situation where debts are protracted and forcefully discounted after exposures are executed must stop as a model and practice for this industry to flourish, he cautioned.

On the COVID-19 pandemic, Docemo said, “You will agree with me that this pandemic has brought upon on us a “new normal”, which has altered our ways of living as well as mode of doing business. But as humans, we will surely navigate ourselves through this uncharted territories and surmount this many challenges.

LASAA Lgogo

Few years back , many of us would not have imagined that  meetings and especially Annual General Meetings of this status  will be conducted  virtually.

“Let me restate that as practitioners we must all brace up to adopt these new norms in our business practice,” he said.

Advertising body commends FG appointment of Fadolapo as APCON CEO

The Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) has commended the Federal Government on appointing, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo as Registrar /CEO of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). Dr. Fadolapo was part of the nine Chief Executive Officers appointed recently by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammad Buhari.

The President of the Association, Mr. Steve Babaeko in a statement described the appointment as the right move in the right direction based on Dr. Fadolapo’s experience and background as the Executive Director of the Association and as a member of the Immediate Past Governing Council of APCON.

The AAAN President particularly commended President Muhammad Buhari on this laudable appointment, saying “the appointment of Dr. Fadolapo could not have come at a more appropriate time as efforts are being made to reconstitute the APCON Council as well as reposition the Advertising Industry. As an experienced and competent advertising practitionerwith over two decades in the industry, we have utmost confidence that under his leadership, APCON will strive to much greater heights and achievements.”

The appointment, according to the Vice President/Chairman, Government Relations Committee of the Association, Mr. Jenkins Alumona, showed that the Federal Government is attentive to the needs of the industry and willing to collaborate with practitioners on making meaningful impact in the industry.

Dr. Fadolapo’s appointment has elicited support from all sectors of the Advertising industry based on his antecedents and wealth of experience.

A graduate of Economics from Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University), Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, holds three master’s degrees, and a PhD in Marketing Communications. He is a registered Advertising Practitioner, a Chartered Accountant, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

Dr. Fadolapo before his appointment was the Executive Director/CEO of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN). He has served the Association and APCON in various capacities, including:

Future Brand Idol holds second edition, gives scholarship to student creative

The Second edition of Future Brand Idol 2020 which was held on 5th September, 2020, recorded yet another milestone giving out another scholarship in partnership with 02 academy, Lagos.

The contest, which sought to discover and breed young creative talents in Nigerian Tertiary institutions, had six finalists pitch for the ultimate prize out of several entries from different institutions across the country.

At the final pitch, Oni Eniola Priscillia of University of Lagos, emerged the second Future Brand Idol, Emmanuel Dairo from

Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) came second while Faithful David from Nigerian Institute of Journalism emerged third.

In his speech, the team lead Abdullahi Ahmed applauded the stakeholders in the integrated marketing communication industry for their support in the sustainability of talents in the industry in order to groom students who will grow to be future brand solution providers.

He further reported that Future Brand idol is not an annual event and series of activities has been mapped out to afford students access to practical knowledge about their courses via interaction with professionals through trainings, seminars and workshops.

Future Brand Idol

The grand juror, Olalekan Akinyele lauded the efforts of the team for their effortd, while encouraging the participants to remain focused and learn the rudiment of skill acquisition and creative solutions to enable them thrive in the industry.

The jury member include: Olalekan Akinyele, Ademola Adeshola, Funke Adekola, Otega Ogra and Ozorbemem Uche.

The finalist include: Abdulrahman Toheeb. Fountain University Oshogbo, Faithful David (NIJ), Yakubu Joan Ifeoluwa (NIJ), Pelumi Naomi Ogunade (NIJ), Emmanuel Dairo (NIJ) and Oni Eniola Priscillia University of Lagos.

Graveyard of brand extension in Nigeria

  • How Harp Lime, Maggi Machop, Indomie Relish, others fared

Goddie Ofose,

Nigerian corporate organisations particularly the fast moving consumer goods segment of the manufacturing sector, has had a fairly infamy reputation towards brand extension marketing strategy. Most products given birth to, as result of this marketing exercise usually frequently experienced hiccup on the way hence their early exit from the market.

 Brand extension or brand stretching is a marketing strategy in which a firm marketing a product with a well-developed image uses the same brand name in a different product category. The new product is called a spin-off. Organizations use this strategy to increase and leverage brand equity.

This, in Nigeria, has been a more frequent marketing activity. Prominent brands are usually the first to jump at the idea of line extension, either to consolidate on the existing equity or wade off competition. Most often than not, the resurgence in competition mostly in pricing will give rise this effect.

Besides trying to consolidate on the existing marketing segment or wading off competition, line extension can also seek to recreate new market environment for the brand. For instance, a telecommunication company can branch out to financial segment with the same operating name such as MTN Bank, Airtel Bank and even Glo Bank or GTBank Telecom, Access Mobile aand so on.

For most brands, rather than consolidate their positions, most of them tend to lose their equity, market share and never recovered from the setback even for the mother brand.

Examples abound for brands that jumped into the murky waters of line/brand extension. Some of the brands that tried unsuccessfully to brand extend are Gulder for Gulder Max, Star Lager for Star Lite, Star Triple X, Coke for Coke Zero, Maggi for Maggi Signature- Jollof, Miya and Pottages, Maggi Machop, Pepsi for Pepsi Lite, Foreign Extra Stout for Extra Smooth, Harp Lager for Harp Lime, Classic Indomie for Relish, Pepper Soup, Heineken for Heineken Magnum and several other instances.

According to a book: Pitch: Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myths written by a foremost brands and marketing journalist, Ikem Okuhu, he said, “A line extension can be a way to make a brand more relevant, interesting and visible. In doing so, it can create a basis for differentiation, build audience for the advertising of a tired brand and stimulate sales.

In most cases, before the line extension takes place, the mother brand should have characteristics of a formidable and dominance brand in terms of market leadership, market share, equity, acceptability and strong enough to fund the activity of the extended brand.

Organizations that have felt prey to this attractive but slippery marketing exercise are Nigerian Breweries Plc with Gulder for Gulder Max, Star Lager for Star Lite and Star Triple X, Guinness Nigeria with Extra Smooth and Harp Lime, Maggi with several variants and Maggi Machop and Indomie with Indomie Pepper Soup and Relish.

Other very unsuccessful brands that jumped into the murky waters of line extension include Coke Zero, Pepsi Lite, and Heineken Magnum.

Gulder had done well in its segment particularly when it chose to bankroll a reality tv show property, Gulder Ultimate Search, (GUS), which had been rested. Maybe, because of how the show was viewed by consumers, the brand decided to introduce Gulder Max, a stronger version of the Gulder lager beer. Consumers however could not comprehend the concept behind Max since Gulder lager was already a “Man’s” beer.

Supported with huge marketing outlays, the new innovation, as it was called enjoyed 360 marketing communications introduction but could not make beyond few months because Gulder is already a masculine larger. The MAX however died and was buried.

Heineken Magnum was caught in the same web. A hugely successful line extension in other markets, Magnum could not excel in the Nigerian market because of our drinking culture. An average Nigerian beer consumer loves ‘body count’ that is bragging over numbers of bottles consumed but Magnum did not offer them such opportunity.

the company quickly saw the arithmetic and withdrew Magnum earlier than expected from the shelves.

Indomie has been a success story in the Nigeria new market development experiment. The brand enjoyed absolute monopoly until recently. To further protect its territory, Indomie began to get involved in a unnecessary brand extension and ended competing against itself.

Pepper Soup and Relish are yet the most unsuccessful in the venture. Today, these products are lying uninspiring in the shelves. It is, however, gathered that Indomie has concluded plans to finally withdraw these products from the market in order to pave way for new introduction in coming months.

Maggi made a terrible mistake with Machop. Machop is alien to the African market and it could not fly despite several marketing campaigns. Although, the brand was a massive success in American market, its introduction in the Nigerian market was seen as a miscalculation.

The launch of Machop was a funfair as well as a drainpipe for the Maggi brand. Nestle Nigeria could have used the outlays to push other Maggi variants but decided to introduce a Machop to proved to be a drainpipe on the already shoestring budget.

Guinness Extra Smooth currently enjoying Guinness Nigeria’s marketing communications attention through the brand’s sponsorship of English Premier League has been a ‘sick’ line extension for the dark beer brand.

Guinness Nigeria introduced extra smooth to wrestle the female segment of the market from Legend extra stout that was seen to be appealing to the younger female dark beer category.

Investigations have revealed that extra smooth is yet to generate income to embark on its on marketing campaign.

Several campaigns embarked upon by the brand has been bankrolled by the Guinness Extra Stout revenue hence the new campaign to sustain conversation and generate income from the brand.

Another misstep from the Guinness Nigeria family was the introduction of Harp Lime. From the stable of popular but struggling Harp larger beer, Harp Lime was introduced. Launch in 2012, Harp Lime struggled from the get go and was discontinued in 2013.

According to a beer consumer, Taiwo Alabi, Guinness didn’t think through the gains and consequences of introducing a lime beer. Nigerian beer drinking market is very sensitive to what they consume therefore, Harp Lime was not appealing to this segment at all.

Coca-Cola premium soft drink brand, Coke is very popular because of its taste. Like the saying goes, ‘If it’s not Panadol it can never be Panadol”. Coke wanted to appeal to the elderly segment by drastic reduction of sugar or sweetener in Coke.

This, according to experts, backfired with Coke Zero. Coke Zero ended up tasting like a different brand causing consumers to query the brand line extension strategy and development. Same goes for Pepsi Lite.

Apparently, Pepsi, a major Coke competition wanted to wrestle that segment with Coke Zero by introducing Pepsi Lite. Coke and Pepsi are unique in their own ways and that is the reason both brands are sitting atop the ladder, therefore diluting the sugar or sweetener in the normal Coke or Pepsi bottle or PET would end up diluting the market equity of both brands.

Many brands have failed to learn from the frequent failure in brand/line extension hence several grocery stores are adorn with brand extension brands and products.

Experts said, “Today, 9 in every 10 new grocery products are extensions. The reason why brand extensions are so popular is obvious: when a company has saturated a market with one product, it has two options for future growth.”

“Either it expands into a new market or a set of markets or it launches a new product. If the firm chooses the latter option, it is choosing to exploit, perhaps, the most important asset owned by a business- the brand,” Darlington Okere, a communications expert said.

Marketing experts, Jack Trout and Al Ries spent most of their writing careers arguing that line extensions cost market share and can devalue the identity of the brand in the long term. But the success of extensions like Diet coke, Gillette shaving cream and almost everything the virgin brand has done (except Virgin Cola, of course) has proven that brand extensions, if well executed can work.

Comercio Partners leverages ‘new normal’ to bring best experience to investors

Comercio Partners, a leading investment banking firm in Nigeria is poised to leverage the new business environment in the country, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic to bring the best investors’ experience through its depth of resources.

It has been observed that Nigerians have a lax propensity to saving. However, this is not necessarily true. What mostly is lacked is the ability to make the right investment decisions. Many Nigerians are either not aware of the financial asset products available to them or lack the knowledge to build a diversified investment portfolio for the rainy day.

Speaking to bringing new experience to investors in the new normal business environment, the Head Financial Advisory/Co-Managing Partner of Comercio Partners Limited, Steve Osho said, “We see a great future in Africa, occurrences such as the pandemic is a reminder of this assertion.”

“We like the dream of the future better than the history of the past, our words, messages, actions, services, businesses further confirm our belief in Africa’s business ecosystem,” Osho stated.

Osho said, “By leveraging on our wealth of experience, skills and knowledge of the market, we will continually explore opportunities to create significant value for our clients, Adding that “as portfolio managers, we design investment strategies based on our clients’ investment objectives, risk appetite and time horizon.”

According to the Head of Trading /Co-Managing Partner, Nnamdi Nwizu the World as we know it has changed over the last 6 months. Comercio Partners is ready to partner with you and lead you to the new tomorrow.

The dream of Comercio Partners has always been to be a unique investment bank in Africa committed to financial products trading and value creation hence its task to build an investment ecosystem of choice with the strategic intent of empowering minds in Africa while creating and delivering professional, and superior value across all asset classes to all our stakeholders.

Added to that is the Head of Investments/Co-Managing Partner, Tosin Osunkoya, who said, “Leveraging our depth of resources to provide stability to your growing wealth and the right partnership to the financing demands to support your strategic business growth we remain your anchor to the future.”

To bridge the knowledge gap of where to invest for returns, fear, distrust and access to capital – which has restricted many firms from gaining advantage and increasing their revenue – the services of an investment firm such as Comercio Partners Limited that focuses on trading fixed income securities, derivatives, alternative assets and equities, and provides financial advisory and asset management services are needed.

Nitro121 promises bespoke offerings to clients, celebrates 15th anniversary

Lampe Omoyele, MD, 141 Worldwide to speak on how marketing can help Nigeria reinvent herself

The leading brand-building and marketing communication company, Nitro 121 (formerly known as 141 Worldwide, turns fifteen on the 1st of September 2020 and promises to continue to deliver  bespoke marketing communications services to clients and other partners.

Founded in 2005, the Agency is known for creating cutting edge and engaging experiences across touchpoints that have helped to build brands in the marketplace to deliver profitable growth.

Managing Director, Lampe Omoyele said, “As we mark 15years of operation wherein we have gone through transitions and transformation, one thing remains constant: our unwavering commitment to serve clients with uncompromised professionalism in line with our act RIGHT values, Responsible, Integrity, Gusto, Harmony and Transparency, as well as a continuing drive to be innovative and impactful in the marketplace.”

Chairman, Lolu Akinwunmi added, “Nitro 121 has a heritage of excellence and integrity that continues to drive the Agency’s performance and the future is certainly bright”.

Nitro 121works with clients and brands such as British-American Tobacco (BAT),Multichoice, Bajaj, Honeywell, First Bank, FBN Insurance, Total, British Council, Cadbury and Bayer amongst others. It is noted as the agency that helped launch Etisalat (now 9mobile) into Nigeria and worked on the brand for ten years.

Nitro 121 has a strong team of highly skilled personnel with several years of experience across different industries and markets and offers a full bouquet of through-the-line marketing communication, which includes planning and strategy, creative development, brand management, digital services, media planning and buying, radio/TV production and experiential.

Loud whispers as GTBank chief executive, Segun Agbaje allegedly steps aside

Agbaje

There is unease whispering within the industry that the influential and daring chief executive officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc fondly called GTBank has retired. The central Bank of Nigeria guideline made it compulsory for every bank CEO to retire after 10 year tenure.

Agbaje, who assumed the leadership position of the bank in April 2011 after a prolonged sick leave granted to former late CEO, Tayo Aderinokun, had successfully settled in the running of the bank.

Agbaje alleged departure may not be unconnected to the apex bank guideline that requires every MD of a bank to serve a mandatory 10 years.

He exit may be a year of mandatory 10 years hence huff puff within the bank and the industry at large.  Agbaje, who used his 9 years at the helms to develop the bank digital ecosystem, has made GTBank one of the sought after in technology and digitalisation.

It is during Agbaje’s era that the bank experienced some revolutionary strides particularly, the USSSD code campaign 737.

GTBank that has commended in the industry for adopting a crisis free succession plan and management, seems to have plunged into the succession trap as the bank’s stakeholders are at the loss on you will replace Agbaje and match his stellar performances.

However, some frontrunners have emerged as 789marketing takes a look at 3 very serious contenders for the top job. Demola Odeyemi, Executive Director of the bank, who joined the board on October 19, 2011, is a chartered accountant.

Odeyemi joined the bank joined Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 1997 and later worked with First City Monument Bank as Head of Financial Control and Strategy, and Chief Operating Officer for four (4) companies in the FCMB Capital Markets Group in 2002.

The attraction of having an accountant chief executive officer is fast fading. Most organisations basically, financial institutions are keen to having a marketing focus CEO due to the realities of time, therefore, Odeyemi may be a remote contender as result of his career background.

Recently, Fidelity Bank plc broke the ice by appointing a female CEO and many experts have said that, that may be the beginning of female dominance in the financial sector.

It appears Miriam Chidiebele Olusanya; another executive director in the bank has thrown her hat into the ring for the top job at GTBank. Olusanya has over 20 years banking experience that cuts across Transaction Services, Asset and Liability Management, Financial Markets, Corporate Finance and Investor Relations.

Mrs. Olusanya is the Group Treasurer and Head, Wholesale Banking Division of the Bank had served as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia). Her chances however, looks brighter as many board members are keened to having a female MD.

Haruna Musa, Executive Director, who over twenty-three years experience, which spans through Retail & Commercial Banking and Public Sector looked a good fit for the position said, an insider in the bank.

He joined the Bank in 2001 and rose through the ranks to become an Assistant General Manager and Group Head Public Sector, North East Division in 2006. He left the Bank briefly in 2008 to pursue his Masters Degree in Finance and Management at Cranfield University, United Kingdom, after which he returned in 2009.

He holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Agriculture from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1991), a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Bayero University Kano (1998) and a Masters Degree in Finance and Management from Cranfield University, United Kingdom (2009).

Buhari appoints AAAN executive secretary, Fadolapo CEO, Registrar APCON, approves eight other agencies

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Olalekan Fadolapo, the executive secretary of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN as the new Registrar/CEO of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

According to the approval letter, which was conveyed to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President, on Tuesday, Mr. Fadolapo’s appointment takes effect from 1 Sept. 2020.

The federal government also approved the appointment of other Chief Executive Officers for eight other agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. The appointments will take effect from 1 Sept. 2020 as well.

Prior to Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi retirement in 2018, Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha was appointed the acting registrar/CEO to avoid a vacuum in leadership in the regulatory body.

The CEOs and their respective agencies are: Mr. Buki Ponle, Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria and Mr. Nura Sani Kangiwa who was named the Director General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism.

Mr. Francis Ndubuisi Nwosu was appointed the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council; Mr. Ebeten William Ivara, Director General, National Gallery of Arts and Prof. Sunday Enessi Ododo, General Manager/CEO, National Theatre.

Others are Mr. Ado Mohammed Yahuza, Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation; Prof. Aba Isa Tijjani, Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments and Mrs. Oluwabunmi Ayobami Amao, Director General, Centre For Black And African Arts And Civilisation.

Recall that for long, APCON has remained without a governing Council or board. Concerns had been raised in the past, with practitioners in the sub-sector raising alarm about the sensitive and pivotal role the Council plays in contributing to the peace and economy of the country.

An active APCON Council comprises of Advertising Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Association of Advertising Agencies in Nigeria (AAAN), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Federal Ministries of Information and Communication and Federal Ministry of Health as well as universities/polytechnics offering advertising-related courses.                     

Philips Consulting CEO Report predicts August 2021 normalcy for Nigerian businesses

Mr. Robert Taiwo, MD of pcl. being presented with an award

Following the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses globally and locally, the Philips Consulting CEO Report has forecasted August 2021 normalcy for business environment in the country to fully activate and operate optimally.

 Phillips Consulting Limited recently engaged 100 Nigeria business leaders on the current economic landscape and presented the insights in its “CEO Report”, which stated that 57 per cent of CEOs expect that the earliest possible time for the business environment in Nigeria to normalize will be August 2021.

According to the report, CEOs are increasingly taking responsibility for their companies, and are not necessarily looking up to the government for solutions to the problems occasioned by the pandemic.

For a greater awareness on political leadership in the country, the survey showed that as against the 79 per cent CEOs who voted in the 2019 general elections, only 67 per cent CEOs have reported that the pandemic would make them more interested in the outcome of the 2023 election.

Speaking on the CEO Report, Philips Consulting’s CEO. Rob Taiwo said, “Results from our survey showed that the Nigerian government and business leaders should pay close attention to the post-COVID19 policies and strategies of the United Kingdom, China, and the United States of America as these will have the most profound impact on the Nigerian business environment.”

He said, “At pcl., we are committed to working with our clients and partners to build and develop people’s capabilities, technology systems and processes, effective and robust strategies, and business continuity plans. Let us work with you to future proof your business in the next normal.”

On managing money matters, Taiwo said, “Our 2020 Mask in the Air report states that “the most significant impact of COVID-19 is the restriction in movement, having its direct and detrimental impact on the local and global aviation industry”.

 An already bleeding hospitality industry will experience slow recovery, as 68 per cent of CEOs identified travel and tourism as their number one cost-cutting area. 55 per cent of companies are considering reducing staff allowances and bonuses, while 40 per cent and 30per cent will cut rental costs and staff training respectively.

On the matter of fiscal adjustments, only 22 per cent of CEOs have laid off staff, as most of them found proactive ways to keep their workforce engaged and economically productive. However, due to reduced cash flow, 46 per cent of companies had to roll out pay cuts for their workers. The decision to employ pay cuts rather than termination as a cost reduction strategy is advisable to ensure that culture is not diluted, talent is retained, employees are not demotivated, and the company projects an excellent corporate image, the report highlighted.

The report also highlighted challenges facing the real estate industry in Nigeria and posited that the industry may be the worst hit among others.  In the report, 84 per cent of CEOs agree that the real estate industry, especially companies in the business of office rentals, will be badly hit by this disruption.

 About 83 per cent  and 55 pe cent of CEOs adopted a Work From Home Strategy and Standby Model Strategy respectively, and are beginning to question the need for large office spaces. Only 46 per cent of CEOs are considering retaining their current offices, while others will seek smaller and cheaper offices, shared offices, or adopt an entirely virtual working model.

 In commercial cities like Lagos where massive high-rise office complexes are commonplace, real estate players must be ready for a shift in demand. They might be forced to repurpose their buildings or provide new services to suit the new mode of work.

Speaking on which industries benefit from the crisis, Taiwo, a transformational leader said, “Globally, the IT sector experienced a surge in the wake of the pandemic, as a result of the shift to remote working. This resulted in a heavy reliance (or dependence) on IT products for both personal and business purposes. 

Nigeria is no exception, he stated, “From our survey, 86 per cent of CEOs reported that the pandemic led to them improving the IT infrastructure of their organizations. Our respondents predict that Nigeria’s healthcare, agribusiness, and manufacturing industries stand to benefit from the next normal.”

“They expect the professional services industry to experience comparatively minimal disruption. This is primarily due to their vast array of services, relatively low operational expense, lean and agile business model, and legacy clients.”

On the levels of preparedness for the pandemic, the Report said, only 6 per cent of CEOs reported that their organizations were prepared for the pandemic. Hence, it comes as no surprise that 55 per cent of Nigerian businesses are currently operating below 50 per cent of their operating capacity.

The 6 per cent mentioned above stated a strong leadership team as the most critical factor of their preparedness. Other important factors include having a robust business continuity plan, government support, and a well-articulated business strategy.

On forging ahead into the next normal, the CEOs Report revealed that 57 per cent of CEOs expect that the earliest possible time for the business environment in Nigeria to normalize will be August 2021.

CEOs are increasingly taking responsibility for their companies, and are not necessarily looking up to the government for solutions to the problems occasioned by the pandemic. As against the 79 per cent of CEOs that voted in the 2019 general elections, only 67 per cent of CEOs reported that the pandemic would make them more interested in the outcome of the 2023 election.

Taiwo said, “Results from our survey showed that the Nigerian government and business leaders should pay close attention to the post-COVID19 policies and strategies of the United Kingdom, China, and the United States of America as these will have the most profound impact on the Nigerian business environment.

Philips Consulting CEO Report exposes real estate industry’s worst fears

Managing Director, Robert Taiwo PCL

About 84 per cent of chief executive officers in Nigeria have agreed that real estate industry in Nigeria is plagued due to the pandemic, especially, companies in the business of office rentals. This revelation is contained in the recently published CEO Report, a Philips Consulting initiative for 100 Nigerian business leaders.

The pcl. CEO Report further stated that 83per cent and 55 per cent of CEOs have adopted a ‘Work From Home Strategy’ and ‘Standby Model Strategy’ respectively, and are beginning to question the need for large office spaces.

“Only 46 per cent CEOs are considering retaining their current offices, while others will seek smaller and cheaper offices, shared offices, or adopt an entirely virtual working model,” added the Report.

 In commercial cities like Lagos where massive high-rise office complexes are commonplace, real estate players must be ready for a shift in demand. They might be forced to repurpose their buildings or provide new services to suit the new mode of work, the Report recommended.

The pcl. survey that recently engaged 100 Nigeria business leaders on the current economic landscape and presented the insights in its “CEO Report” said, “One word that best describes today’s business environment is “uncertain”. The ‘new normal’ occasioned by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic is gradually fading away and being replaced by what is termed the ‘next normal’.

Amidst the frenzy of realigning strategies to better position businesses for recovery after the pandemic, the Philips Consulting’s CEO, Rob Taiwo mentioned that “We have been hit with the harsh reality that the Coronavirus might be here to stay. There is no going back to normal; instead, we have a next normal that is unpredictable.”

He said, the conversation to be had now is how to prepare for a future full of unknowns. 

Speaking on which industries benefit from the crisis, Taiwo, a transformational leader said, “Globally, the IT sector experienced a surge in the wake of the pandemic, as a result of the shift to remote working. This resulted in a heavy reliance (or dependence) on IT products for both personal and business purposes. 

Nigeria is no exception, he stated, “From our survey, 86 per cent of CEOs reported that the pandemic led to them improving the IT infrastructure of their organizations. Our respondents predict that Nigeria’s healthcare, agribusiness, and manufacturing industries stand to benefit from the next normal.”

“They expect the professional services industry to experience comparatively minimal disruption. This is primarily due to their vast array of services, relatively low operational expense, lean and agile business model, and legacy clients.”

On the levels of preparedness for the pandemic, the Report said, only 6 per cent of CEOs reported that their organizations were prepared for the pandemic. Hence, it comes as no surprise that 55 per cent of Nigerian businesses are currently operating below 50 per cent of their operating capacity.

The 6 per cent mentioned above stated a strong leadership team as the most critical factor of their preparedness. Other important factors include having a robust business continuity plan, government support, and a well-articulated business strategy.

On forging ahead into the next normal,  the CEOs Report revealed that 57 per cent of CEOs expect that the earliest possible time for the business environment in Nigeria to normalize will be August 2021.

CEOs are increasingly taking responsibility for their companies, and are not necessarily looking up to the government for solutions to the problems occasioned by the pandemic. As against the 79 per cent of CEOs that voted in the 2019 general elections, only 67 per cent of CEOs reported that the pandemic would make them more interested in the outcome of the 2023 election.

Taiwo said, “Results from our survey showed that the Nigerian government and business leaders should pay close attention to the post-COVID19 policies and strategies of the United Kingdom, China, and the United States of America as these will have the most profound impact on the Nigerian business environment.

“At pcl., we are committed to working with our clients and partners to build and develop people’s capabilities, technology systems and processes, effective and robust strategies, and business continuity plans. Let us work with you to future proof your business in the next normal.”

FirstBank leads other brands to bankroll ‘The Voice Nigeria’

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has keyed into the massive value proposition presented by The Voice Nigeria by announcing its lead sponsorship of the TV reality musical talent show Season 3.

The talent show which is organised by UN1TY Nigeria is created to discover, nurture and bring to the fore musical talents amongst the next generation of Nigerian youth.

The Voice Nigeria will be produced for the first time in Nigeria and will be aired on DSTV channel (Africa Magic) Startimes and terrestrial TV channel (AIT), amongst other leading television stations in the outside the country. Nigerians can expect to see the very best talents on stage in the course of the competition.

The musical talent hunt show would start with blind auditions to be submitted upon being shortlisted after a successful registration, then battle auditions which then move out of the rooms and straight into the arenas, with hopefuls having to perform in front of an arena audience from the start in the hope of making it through to the next stage.

The Voice Nigeria will be hosted by Denola Adepetun (aka Denola Grey), Nancy Isime, Toke Makinwa and the coaches are Dare Art Alade, Folarin Falana (aka Falz), Yemi Alade and Aituaje Iruobe (aka Waje).

Interested participants are to register via the link www.thevoicenigeria.com with their FirstBank account number as a requirement. Should one not have an account with the Bank, then dial the Bank’s USSD code, *894*0# to be a FirstBank account holder. The audition is open to individuals within the age of 18 -50 years who are have been residing in Nigeria for 12 consecutive months. The registration for audition is open from 25 August – 19 September 2020.

There are numerous awesome prizes up for grabs. The winner of the show will be go home with whooping ten million naira cash; a brand new car and an exciting one-year recording contract reward with Universal Music.

Speaking on the talent hunt show, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank, said “we are delighted to be the lead sponsor of The Voice Nigeria, this partnership is hinged on our Brand’s passion to empower and invest in our youths. FirstBank has given voice to the young and indeed all Nigerians for the past 126 years, and will continue to give voice to Nigerians by creating employment, economic empowerment in the country through our products, services and initiatives. We remain committed to strengthening the creative industry which is fast growing into a multibillion-dollar business, with potential to be a leading contributor to Nigeria’s GDP in the near future.”

We commend UN1TY Nigeria for The Voice Nigeria as our sponsorship is in recognition of the vast talents Nigeria is blessed with which we are delighted to promote, thereby having a positive impact the Nigerian entertainment industry. We enjoin everyone to follow our social media channels for more details on the programme, whilst also staying locked on their TV screen. More details would be provided in the course of the weeks through our social media channels.

“The show promises to be engaging, full of surprises and with fun-filled excitement to our viewers” he concluded.

According to research disclosed in PWC’s recent Entertainment & Media Outlook report, Nigeria’s entertainment is expected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to a $10.5 billion market by the end of 2023. In addition, with this initiative and other sponsored events targeted at the youth, the premier Bank in Nigeria, FirstBank, is committed to strengthening its contribution to the development of the entertainment industry in the country.

Stakeholders reiterate need for APCON Council at OAAN conference

Front row from left: Mrs Deola Odesanya, Dr. Charles Chijide, Mr. Kole Ademulegun, Mr. Emmanuel Ajufo, Mr. Tunde Adedoyin and Mrs Dupe Adewuyi. Back row from left: Mr Sola Akinsiku, Mr Akinola Dosu, Mr. Churchil Nwagwu, Mr. Babatunde Oyekan, Mr Babs Fagade, Barr. Rufai Akanbi, Mr George Onwujiariri, Mr Felix Ehinkweme, Mr Omo Abunene, Mr Olufemi Ogala and Mrs Chiddy Ibiam during the 35th AGM of OAAN held virtually on 28/07/2020.

In order to curb the challenges diminishing the growth of advertising in Nigeria, members of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, OAAN and other key stakeholders in the Nigerian marketing communications industry have reiterated the need for the Nigerian government to constitute a board for the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON.

This was part of the highlights at the OAAN’s 35th Annual General Meeting (AGM) themed, ‘’OOH Business and Emerging Realities” held virtually, thereby joining the league of other sectoral bodies that have embraced the new normal by holding their AGMs digitally.

The meeting, which had heads of key sectoral bodies in attendance, addressed both the protracted and Covid-19 pandemic-induced challenges bedeviling the industry, and proffered solutions capable of lifting the advertising sub-sector out of its present doldrums.

Addressing the meeting, Emma Ajufo, the OAAN President said that the association organised the virtual AGM in line with the new normal, adding that the webinar would welcome and apply all creative contributions and recommendations made by participating practitioners and stakeholders in the advertising sub-sector given the mounting challenges posed by the global coronavirus pandemic.

The OAAN boss also decried the rudderless state of the advertising industry, citing the prolonged absence of APCON Council as the bane of the sub-sector. He, however, wondered what a comparatively operational APCON without a Council would do if a Council were constituted.

“Our industry is like a flock of sheep without a shepherd. This is because APCON has no Council, and this had been going on even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Meanwhile, APCON without a Council is doing fairly well. One can only imagine what will happen if there were a Council,” Ajufo said.

The APCON Acting Registrar, Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, during her presentation, thanked the OAAN leadership and captains of other sectoral bodies who were present at the meeting for living up to the billing despite the daunting challenges presented by the pandemic.

“I must commend OAAN and all the sectoral bodies for meeting the challenges, posed by the global pandemic, head on. Let me mention that OAAN, through the current leadership, has been steering the ship of the association in the right direction,” she noted.

On his part, Jude Odia, the Managing Director of Starcom Media Perspectives, emphasised on audience measurement, stating that for Nigeria’s out-of-home to take pride of place in the advertising sub-sector, accurate measurement technology must be put in place. He noted that the days of competition among marketing communications practitioners were dead and urged OAAN to go beyond creating awareness to nurturing an environment that would encourage industry collaboration.

‘We must understand that the reason why we are in business is because of the consumer. So, collaboration is the new normal because at the end of the day, we have only one industry to build,” he said.

Corroborating Odia’s position on audience measurement, the President of Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Bunmi Adeniba called on the industry practitioners to embrace data-driven marketing, adding that accurate measurement, especially in the out-of-home, will help to drive growth in Nigeria’s SMEs sector.

During his presentation, the MD/CEO of Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), Prince Adedamola Docemo thanked OAAN for organising the digital AGM. In his passionate appeal for cooperation among industry practitioners and stakeholders, the LASAA boss said: “It is my belief that we can win together when we work together.”

Speaking in the same vein, Dr. Babagana Adams, Director, Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS), urged practitioners to be professional in their practice, while incorporating world best practices. He warned that the proliferation of boards and the presence of non-registered practitioners would no longer be tolerated, especially in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Steve Babaeko, the President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), in his concise presentation, denounced the non-constitution of an APCON Council, cataloguing the challenges such prolonged absence of authority poses to the entire ad industry. He, however, expressed optimism on the OAAN AGM webinar, saying that it was a sign of a great thing to come in terms of creative collaboration.

On his part, Femi Adelusi, the President of the Media Independents Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), noted that the global out-of-home industry, Nigeria inclusive, had been doing well up until the outbreak of the pandemic. He expressed confidence that the advertising sub-sector will emerge victorious out of the current crisis.

Adelusi hinged his confidence on the possible innovation that the pandemic-induced crises may foster among practitioners, while hoping that governments will do more in the areas of financial incentives and relaxing certain regulations.

Otunba Kole Ademulegun, the OAAN Chairman of the board of trustees, in his vote of thanks, advocated a level playing field for the industry practitioners, believing that such will create a vibrant out-of-home industry in Nigeria.

A bitter-sweet review of Azuh Arinze’s duology by Emeka Oparah

Emeka Oparah

An Encounter with Success

A Review of Azuh Arinze’s duology-“Encounters: Lesson from my journalism Career” and “Success is NOT served a la carte.”

By Emeka Oparah

Mr. Chairman,

The Author, Mr. Azuh Arinze and his lovely wife, Edith, and beautiful children, Nekene and Mesoma,

Please permit me to stand on already established protocols and say Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen including the Gentlemen of the Media

Let me begin, as is the tradition, by thanking my brother Azuh Arinze for finding me worthy to review his books. I consider that a privilege and I will not take the honour for granted. By the way, I have a combination of admiration and envy for Azuh. This double paroxysm of emotions is fuelled by the success he has made in his relatively young but rich journalism career. I speak particularly of the weblike network of lucrative contacts and useful friends. I could have been like him, but I took off after studying the same Mass Communication Azuh studied and now look at him and look at me! Azuh has done exceedingly well, by all journalistic and human standards, and deserves a resounding applause. He is tenacious, conscientious, committed, courageous, and industrious. I am truly proud of you, my brother.

As we say in my hometown, Mbaise, if the music changes, the dance step also changes. These are not normal times hence the paranormal setting of this book launch. I have, therefore, also taken the cue and settled for an abnormal approach to the book review. I will avoid the old school textbook chapter-by-chapter in-depth style which, ironically, has the tendency to discourage people from investing their own time in reading a new book. So, come with me as I serve you a la carte some of the lessons I learnt from my successful encounter with these two amazing books.

Where do I begin, ladies and gentlemen? Let me begin from Encounters. I read all of the 60 stories he told very well in this book, and I dare say all of them were unputdownable. From the opening shot, which was a highly edited version of how he (truly) met and wooed his wife, Edith, to the last, though not the least, which was about the irrepressible UK-based Dayo Olomu, the author poured his energy into torch-lighting the lessons we should learn from those encounters.

Azuh was generous to both himself and the people he used to spin his beautiful yarns. He was also generous to the reader by the way he plotted the stories to make them free-flowing and easy to grasp. In doing so, his personal authenticity and the integrity of the stories could, therefore, not be questioned. One particular virtue that stuck out in every single story was GRATITUDE. Without spelling it out, Azuh, by his Encounters, is saying to the reader, when you show gratitude to people, they will go the extra mile to do more for you. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a time-tested truism. Gratitude and reciprocity make the world go round.

Azuh Arinze, publisher Yes International Magazine and author, Encounter and Success is not served A La Carte

I am particularly touched by the story of Julius Agwu, “a genius slowed by ill-health”. Isn’t it remarkable their relationship grew from professional to family and Julius is the godfather of Azuh’s daughter? I personally know Julius. Like Azuh, he’s a wonderful human being. As kindred spirits, it was, therefore, easy for them to take their friendship to the next level (apologies to the APC). That is a great message right there. Look out for kindred spirits and bring them closer!

Another great story is that of the man we all call KB, Kunle Bakare, a very highly understated but eminently talented journalist and man of class and style. Hear Azuh: “Taking me under his wings, he offered and taught me practically everything-from journalism training to exposure, life lessons to guidance and even discipline, whenever I was beginning to derail. And for 17 unforgettable years, I humbly learnt at his feet.” You know how it is in these parts of the world, to break out and go into the same line of business as your boss and mentor. However, KB and Azuh’s case has been remarkably different. And we are talking about an Igbo and Yoruba. The stereotypical tales of betrayal and sabotage were rather supplanted by stories of love, appreciation and support as you would see, when you read Encounters.

By the way, I saw Azuh’s employment letter from National Encomium at an Annual Salary of N78,000 as Senior Staff Writer in 1997. He went on to become the Editor for 8 years, leaving in March 2011, according to his resignation letter, also published. If that is not hard work and commitment and recognition, then you may please tell me what is.

Another noteworthy story is that of KOK-Kanayo O. Kanayo, the legendary actor, who reputedly plays the don or godfather in every Nollywood movie with money rituals. Azuh and KOK could have ended up enemies because of an unfavourable story he (Azuh) wrote about him (KOK). But Azuh’s humility and act of contrition saved the day. Sorry is still a magic word. Azuh deployed it honorably and admirably and was able to save a friendship that would have hit the rocks. KOK, himself, did not show gracelessness. Two good men, who understand the amazing power of apology and forgiveness. I should quickly lay claim to KOK as my brother being himself an Mbaise man like me.

Azuh set out in this book to share lessons in building networks, self-confidence, tenacity, professionalism, having an attitude of gratitude, reciprocity, building and sustaining friendships, etc, etc. Whether you are reading about the Elegant Stallion, Onyeka Onwenu or Corporate Titan, Broadcaster, Teacher and Diplomat, Dr. Christopher Kolade, or renowned Sportscaster and Brila FM Founder, Larry Izamoje or the other eminent and accomplished men and women featured in this book, you will be richly blessed with the knowledge and wisdom creatively weaved into beautiful stories.

If you pay close attention, you may easily relate with some of the stories. They are simply magical.

Success is not served a la carte is as interesting as Encounters, if not more. Here, the 30 POWERFUL personalities he featured spoke for themselves. This is a sort of Who’s Who in Nigeria carefully selected from various spheres of life. And that’s the magic and essence of the book. The author not only introduces you to 30 absolutely successful Nigerian men and women, he guides you into their lives, their thoughts and their works without passing verdicts or giving his opinions. In a country that’s suffering from a scarcity of so many things including that of icons and mentors, this is indeed a great intervention meant to surface these rare gems amongst us.

I could not but read the opening interview over and over again-and I will tell you why, presently. I’m talking about the interview with Dr. Christopher Kolade who, by the way, also featured in Encounters. Dr. Kolade was my former boss. I can confidently make that claim. He was the Executive Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria, when I joined the company in 1994 as Media Relations Manager. I was in the team that organised the ceremonies for his first retirement from the company in 1998. I was also in the team that organised his send forth for his second retirement, when he relinquished the Chairmanship of the company to become Nigeria’s Representative at the Court of St. James otherwise known as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. By the way I was the one who delivered his letter of acceptance of that appointment to the then President Obasanjo at the Villa-unbeknownst to me.

Chief Olusegun Osoba, cahir the launch

I will not be saying anything new today, if I say Dr. Kolade is a LIVING LEGEND and a HUMAN ENCYCLOPEDIA, but I can assure you there is great knowledge and wisdom, management, leadership and diplomacy packed into the first chapter of this book dedicated, I should say strategically, to this sage. Listening to his many sagacious speeches at company events back nearly made me a Professor of Management! My father told me if I bought a book and managed to read only one chapter that I have achieved something major. Imagine if you bought 50 books and read one chapter of each. So, I want to tell you the same, ladies and gentlemen: if you buy or get gifted this book and you manage to read only Chapter One, the one on Dr. Kolade, you have achieved something truly major.

The book features two pastors-Anselm Madubuko of Revival Assembly and Wole Oladiyun of Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry)-one after the other-like the author was trying to compare them, but I know he was not. Same thing with Lolu Akinwunmi and Steve Babaeko-two advertising giants-present and past Presidents of AAAN-with Lolu ahead of his protege, Steve. There is a fascinating interview with my brother and good friend, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, right behind that of the Legal Amazon, Funke Aboyade, SAN. The story of Adegboruwa’s rise from nothing to something is one you must make the time to read.

The author took his time to extend his tentacles to the various professions with heavy bias for the media and entertainment and, to some extent, Law, business and sports. On a lighter note, I noticed he featured Evans Akere popularly known as Vanskere, a tailor, and Ayeni Adekunle, one of the rising stars in Public Relations in Nigeria, but he didn’t feature me-a Tailor and PR practitioner rolled into one. On a more serious note, he should have found a Medical Doctor, a banker, a creative Artist, a Musician, a FinTech person, a royal father, etc, just to expand and deepen the variety of knowledge and information in the otherwise wonderful compendium. Hopefully, the follow-up edition will take care of this obvious lacuna.

It was Andre Breton, , the French Poet, who wrote and I quote: “Of all the arts in which the wise excel, nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well”. Azuh Arinze by sheer hard work and dedication has so mastered the art of writing well that he does it effortlessly and passionately. Particularly Encounters, where he wrote from his heart and not what he recorded on his tape recorder, Azuh showed he has come of age in the business of storytelling. After all, 20-something years is NOT a joke!

According to Francis Bacon, the English Philosopher, “reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man”. If anyone was ever in doubt of his exactitude, Azuh has proven himself with these two books and the one before them, The CEO Bible 1&2.

But for a few typos and other minor snags here and there, which I believe will be corrected in future prints, the Author did a magnificent job. In Encounters, the author featured color and black and white photos. I didn’t like it. If he went black and white ostensibly to save costs, then he must stick with it, like he did in “Success is not served a la carte”. Even so, the photos could have been crispier on art paper than they do on the off-cut.

Finally, I don’t know exactly what the author meant by a la carte in the circumstance but let me guess. As a culinary terminology with a French etymology, a la carte means food which is priced and can be ordered as separate items rather than part of a set meal. The question now is this: can Success come as a whole or part of a whole? To me, the author is saying read the whole book to get the whole message. Or something like that.

Oba Adedokun Abolarin

Just before I end this review, I just remembered how hard I laughed at the cheeky headline the author used for the story of his encounter with Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity. He entitled it “Femi Adesina: A good man in Aso Rock”, like that place is NOT meant for good men. Azuh Arinze can be mischievous and sometimes diabolical with his sense of humour.

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I strongly recommend these two books to everyone, especially students and young graduates, who are looking for direction as well as the more experienced professionals who are looking for inspiration. Of course, everyone should have a copy of these books for there is something for everyone chapter after chapter.

Once again, I congratulate you, my brother, Azuh Arinze, and I thank you all for your time and attention.

God bless you immediately.

Emeka Oparah

Vice President Corporate Communications & CSR

Airtel Nigeria

Lagos

Nigeria

August 23, 2020.

Top dignitaries unveil Azuh Arinze’s 2 books via webinar

Chief Olusegun Osoba, cahir the launch

Following the unveiling of his two new books, Publisher and Editor in Chief, ‘Yes International’ Magazine, Azuh Arinze hosted media professionals, dignitaries and avid readers to an exclusive virtual book launch on Sunday, August 23, 2020.

At the event, Azuh Arinze announced the release of his books titled, Success Is Not Served A La Carte and Encounters – Lessons From My Journalism Career, to the general public.

Mr. Udeme Ufot

Compered by multi-award-winning Nigerian actor, comedian, radio and TV presenter, Gbenga Adeyinka the event had dignitaries like Former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba who also chaired the occasion, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Orangun of Oke-Ila, HRM Oba Adedokun Abolarin, Special Adviser, Media And Publicity to the President, Mr Femi Adesina; GMD SO&U Advertising, Mr Udeme Ufot; EVC, Verdant Zeal, Dr Tunji Olugbodi; and General Overseer, Revival Assembly, Apostle Anselm Madubuko present.

Apostle Anselm Madubuko

Other notable individuals at the event include; Vice President Corporate Communications and CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Mr Emeka Oparah – who reviewed the books and Chairman Bison Communications, Prince Bisi Olatilo – who was the Chief Host and Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Bashorun Dele Momodu – who presented the new books.

Azuh Arinze’s first book, Success Is Not Served A La Carte, is an enlightening collection of one on one interview sessions with 30 high-profiled individuals in the country including; Christopher Kolade of Cadbury/LBS, Tony Ezenna of Orange Drugs, Anselm Madubuko of Revival Assembly, Steve Babaeko of X3M Ideas, famous footballers Kanu Nwankwo, Footballer and Austin Okocha, Film director, Tade Ogidan, veteran actors, Olu Jacobs, Pete Edochie and Dele Odule, to name a few. The book explores the success stories of these individuals, and also provides critical insights into their lives.

Azuh Arinze, Publisher

The second book, Encounters – Lessons From My Journalism Career, chronicles the experiences of the author throughout his career. Through this book, Azuh Arinze allows readers to examine 20 years worth of journalistic experience in 60 captivating chapters. By flipping through the pages of this book, readers will see how the author earned his trademark and reputation as a quintessential interviewer and journalist with an eye for details.

Oba Adedokun Abolarin

Speaking at the book launch, the author, Azuh Arinze, expressed his appreciation to guests for gracing the occasion, saying, “I’ll like to express my gratitude to everyone here today and everyone that made this event a success. I do not take your contributions for granted. These new books are intriguing and captivating, and I am eager for everyone to experience them.”

Before founding  ‘Yes International!’ Azuh Arinze served as the Editor of Encomium Weekly from 2003 to 2011. Before that, he had edited Reel Stars Magazine. He is also the proud publisher of three other books which are, Tested and Trusted Success Secrets of the Rich and Famous, and The CEO’s Bible volumes 1 and 2.

Mr. Steve Babaeko

Fintech Africa Brands Awards debuts

The leading financial technology and brands marketing publication in Africa, Africa Brands Magazine, has concluded plans to hosts the continent biggest Fintech Brands Awards in Lagos Nigeria in August, 28, 2020.

The most innovative Fintech Brands Africa Awards is a celebration of Africa’s Fintech Innovators and Leaders in 2020. The award is an initiative founded on the idea that Fintech can unleash unprecedented economic growth in Africa as oil continues to a challenge.

The event is scheduled to hold 28th of August, 2020 at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja Lagos, Nigeria.

According to the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Mr Desmond Esorougwe, invited guest will be made to observe government protocols against COVID-19.

Speaking on the Awards, Esorougwe said, “The event is an initiative of The Africa Brands Magazine in collaboration with Fast Track Brand Communications & Strategy. A special feature of this event is the grand unveiling of a special edition of the magazine on the 50 Most Innovative Fintech Brands in Africa and an interview of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele on the impact of fintech brands in Africa.

He said, Africa Brand Magazine is as a bi-monthly publication has established itself as a leading publication on brand management and branding, adding that “As the premier Brand focused magazine, its mandate is to organize Brand information and make Brand News/Knowledge accessible to Africa while staring innovative ideas with Brand custodians”

“The Innovative Fintech Brands Africa 2020 research report is the most comprehensive fintech Brands study in Africa. It is a consumer-led survey that establishes innovative fintech Brands preference across the continent. The study is independent concluded by The Africa Brands Magazine, Geopoll and Fast Track Brand Communication & Strategy,” he stated.

 Conclusively, the list of the 50 Innovative Fintech Brands have been nominated as winner of this award. Overall, The 50 Innovative Fintech Brands is on the most region consumer-led methodology consistent with global best practices and comprehensive study and ranking of Fintech Brands in Africa

Mr Bigg’s takes delicious experience to Command area of Alimosho

Mr Bigg's Express in Ajasa-Command

Consumers within the Ajasa-Command area in Alimosho local government of Lagos were ecstatic following the arrival of Mr Bigg’s express in the area.

Few days after the outlet had opened for business, findings reveal that consumers were trooping in and purchasing the meal of the choice, particularly, the snacks.

According to a consumer who spoke to 789marketing on the condition of anonymity, he said, “The location of Mr Bigg’s outlet in this area has been long overdue, and we are very excited it has finally come to pass.”

Customers approaching Mr Bigg’s Express outlet in Ajasa-Command, Alimosho

A Mr Bigg’s lover, Mrs. Taiwo Abimbola, who was also at the outlet to make some purchase, stated that Mr Bigg’s being the first and most renowned in contemporary and local meals, the brand remained the best in terms of customer service.

“You can see how staffers are attending to customers with ease,” she pointed to outlet where customers were being served.

Mr Bigg’s and Debonair Pizza recently celebrated first anniversary of northwest store near Victoria garden city, Lekki amid COVID-19 lockdown, where Ikota Primary Health care and Ajah market  were supported through distribution of facial masks, meals, pizza and others.  

Mr Bigg’s Express Ajasa-Command Alimosho outlet

Felix King Foundation launches $1million ‘better life for rural African women’ relief fund

.As the world is smarting out from COVID-19 pandemic, the Felix King Foundation, has restrategised its rural community engagement programmes for African women by setting aside a new $1million fund for the better life for rural African women scheme.

This scheme is to ensure that the most vulnerable women are not left behind in this recovery process.

This program is the continuation of the ‘rural market moni’ scheme  but now rechristened “Better Life for Rural African Women”, in line with present objective of ensuring that women, mostly,  in rural communities have a platform to reset their lives.

According to the founder of the foundation, Dr. Felix King Eiremiokhae, “Rural communities are the most hit during this period with cases of malnutrition and malaria rising in numbers, and sources of income depilated.

In 2019, the foundation launched goal 36, 000 by 2029. This initiative is a target to reach and impact thirty-six thousand women in 10 years and despite the effect of the pandemic, the foundation still believe in the goal.

He said, “Much has been achieved through the rural women market moni and WIFARM schemes, but with COVID-19 pandemic, the need to re-access the programme with a strategy that works with present reality made it possible to this modification,” he stated.

To hit the ground running, the founder revealed that an initial $350,000 has been released for the Edo State phase, which is scheduled to kick-start in September, as approved by the governing board.

On how the balance will be raised, Dr. Eiremiokhae mentioned that the balance of the funds will be raised through a dollar for dollar match system.

Dr. Felix King Eiremiokhae, founder Felix King Foundation

Speaking on the empowerment of women, he said, “We believe that when you provide women with capital and convening opportunities to network, you have empowered voices that speak and make the communities peaceful, prosperous and great.”

“The programme will help secure a place for rural African women to thrive and lead their families, communities, and the continent into a new arena of hope and progress, as nations recover from COVID-19.”

He said that women will be supported through a cooperative based programme, which has been an old age tradition women use to support each other in the rural communities.. Registration of meeting groups   is starting the first week in September and Edo state will be the launching pad , Dr. Eiremiokhae revealed.

To achieve this, meeting groups will align women of common interests into a meeting group and pitch their group’s interest for the foundation to attain to their needs according to these groups’ interest.

 In the early days of the pandemic in Nigeria, the foundation had announced a N25million palliative emergency programme in Edo State that saw lots of women supported with 10,000 naira and 20,000 naira feeding money. In additional to a huge support given to Edo State Government covid-19 relief scheme”

Prior to the establishment of Felix King Foundation, Dr. Eiremiokhae, an industrialist and philanthropist of international repute had commenced philanthropic works early in life.  The CEO of Nigeria’s only 100 percent owned multi- billion naira biscuit company, MABISCO. 

In 2018, Eiremiokhae earned the Honorary Georgia Citizen, USA, and a recipient of President TRUMP’S lifetime achievement award, as well as Honorary Doctorate from Trinity University USA.

Felix King Foundation was set up in 2014 by Dr. Eiremiokhae and his wife , Aderonke  in his desire to see that no woman is left behind. The Foundation has been involved in several programmes such as the annual International Widow’s Day symposium to address the challenges of widowhood in Africa,  the Widows Market Moni, Rural Women Cooperative Scheme and The Startup Africa conference aborted by COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Dr. Eiremiokhae, a firm  believer  in the empowerment of rural African women, believed that Better life for rural African women will bring hope, progress , prosperity and development to the  hardworking but disadvantaged women and their communities as the world recovers from covid-19.

Westgate Technologies unveils 600 capacity  CBT centre in Asaba

L-R: Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Westgate Technologies , Casmir Ezeudu, Delta State governor representative/Commissioner for Science and Technology, Matthew Itsekiri and Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Fidelis Tilije commissioning Westgate ICT Centre in Asaba at the weekend.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has commissioned a Westgate ICT Centre in the state capital, Asaba and restated the desire of his administration to continue to provide the enabling environment for investment to thrive.

The Governor urged potential investors to take advantage of both human and natural resources of the state as well as its peaceful ambience to invest in several of human endeavour across the state.

He spoke at the inauguration of privately driven ICT center by Westgate Technologies Store with a 600 capacity Computer Based Test (CBT) centre, retail shop, training centre among others in Asaba.

Okowa who was represented by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Matthew Itsekiri described the Westgate ICT centre as inspirational while noting that the government is proud to be associated with the achievement of Westgate.

He said the presence of the hub in Asaba will save government the cost of going to Lagos and other parts of world for standard ICT products.

“We are pleased to have this here, it will save us cost of going to Lagos for ICT products which was not the case before now. As a government, we are ready to make Delta State a smart city in terms of ICT. I call on private entrepreneurs to support this drive in the development of ICT,” he said.

Chairman of Westgate Technologies Store, Casmir Ezeudu in a remark, said they will not just sell products but meaningfully contribute to the growth of the host community.

Ezeudu promised that the company will train 2,000 students drawn from public schools in ICT free of charge, and organise technology summit for youths within the host communities to develop their talents.

“Most of our employees will drawn from here. And for a start, there will be free computer training for 2,000 students drawn from public schools because we want to assist those who ordinarily cannot afford these facilities,” he said.

Partners like Intel, HP, Crown, APC, OMEN, Canon, among others pledged their continued partnership with Westgate Technology to move the State and ICT to a level where it will not only boast the economy of the state but the country at large

Apple & Pears store sealed over expired Laziz vegetable oil

A well known retail/storage store in Abuja, Apple & Pears Limited has been sealed for allegedly by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, (FCCPC) for selling expired and sub-standard Laziz vegetable oil to unsuspected consumers, 789marketing can authoritatively report.

 On August 11, 2020, FCCPC became aware of representations appearing to show that a consumer, (and presumably others) purchased Laziz vegetable oil in sachets produced by Apple & Pears Ltd from their retail/storage location in Abuja.

The representation suggested that the food products purchased were expired, even at the time of purchase.

According to the chief executive officer of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, “Upon further investigation and reconnaissance, FCCPC discovered the company’s primary facility on the Lagos-Ibadan Express Way.  Although locked, innocuous and without signage, the commission also identified the specific location in Abuja where the company had stored its products.”

In a press release signed by the chief executive officer, he said, having sufficient initial evidence to proceed on enforcement, the Commission conducted investigations at both the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and Abuja locations.

“The Commission discovered unreasonably large and inexplicable inventories of Laziz salad cream, Laziz mayonnaise, Laziz vegetable oil in sachets, and Laziz Thousand Island salad cream.  In addition, the Commission uncovered what appears to be unapproved and unsafe production, decanting, or repackaging of vegetable oil at the Abuja location,” Irukera stated.

According to the Commission, the location in Abuja is currently under seal by the Commission, and will remain so until the Commission and NAFDAC have confiscated the expired or unwholesome products, and are otherwise satisfied that Apples and Pears can, and will operate safely and legally.

 The Commission has commended the patriotism of those who bring these pieces of information to the Commission’s attention and encourages consumers to exercise their prerogatives and discretion to notify the Commission of conduct that is considered unsafe, illegal, or unsatisfactory.

Irukera urged consumers to take courage to report unwholesome products in the market. He said, “If you see something, say something. Our public access channels are at the bottom of this Release.”

Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA): Pursuant to Sections 17(g), (m), (s), (t), (x); 123(1)(c); 131 of the

Europa League Semi-Final: Man U, Inter Milan matches air live on StarTimes

Affordable pay-TV provider, StarTimes has lined up exciting top-flight soccer events to the delight of football fans.

In terms of European events, StarTimes, the exclusive broadcaster of the UEFA Europa League, will broadcast the semi-final matches between Sevilla and Manchester United on Sunday at 8 pm; while Inter Milan will battle Shakhtar Donetsk on Monday at 8 pm. The final will be played on August 21. At the same time, the 2020/21 Europa League season will kick off on August 20 with the Qualifying.

Manchester United’s pace is something Sevilla must be wary of heading into their Europa League semi-final, according to Sevilla captain, Jesus Navas. Navas spent four seasons playing for Manchester City in between spells at Sevilla and is no stranger to the Red Devils.

From September 3, StarTimes will air the UEFA Nations League. The second edition of UEFA’s newest national-team competition will begin with great clashes such as Germany vs. Spain, Sweden against France and titleholder Portugal vs. Croatia.

The digital TV operator recently acquired LaLiga broadcasting rights (French commentary). The exciting Spanish league will be shown on the StarTimes sports channels starting from the first 20120/21 season matchday on September 12.

StarTimes will also broadcast other European cups like the Coppa Italia, exclusive in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Spanish Copa del Rey and The Emirates FA Cup, among others.

Through ESPN, StarTimes also broadcasts The English Football League Championship (EFL), Major League Soccer (MLS), Belgian Pro League, Netherlands Eredivisie; Basketball tourneys – NBA and The EuroLeague.

“We are excited to bring more sports offering to our subscribers. Football lovers in Nigeria can now look forward to uninterrupted actions on their screens,” explained StarTimes PR Manager Lazarus Ibeabuchi.

“Active subscribers can watch on the go by downloading StarTimes ON mobile app and linking it to their decoders, at no extra cost, to access the same content they subscribe for on their decoders.

“Also, non-subscribers can also watch live sports for as low as N400 weekly, with an option to subscribe with their MTN airtime, via the StarTimes ON mobile app.”  

FCCPC battles Inner Steel Company over Unfair employment practices

Babatunde Irukera, DG FCCPC

  • Begins investigation in to the standard and quality of Inner Steel Company products

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, has locked a battle with an Abia State based steel company, Inner Steel Company Limited over the company’s alleged discriminatory employment practices against Nigerian workers.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, who explained what had transpired, he said, on Wednesday August 12, FCCPC became aware of credible reports of unfair treatment of Nigerian employees at Inner Steel Company Limited located at Obehie, Ukwa-West Local Government Area, Abia State.

He said, “The information received alleged unscrupulous and potentially illegal treatment and working conditions at Inner Steel’s factory. Although it was unclear how the subject conduct falls within the mandate of the FCCPC,” he wondered.

“Regardless, the Commission proceeded in an abundance of caution, considering treatment of citizens was implicated in the report, and the urgency required made it expedient to deploy anyway,” Irukera stated.

As at yesterday, August 13th, operatives of FCCPC from the South-East and South-South zonal offices conducted an investigatory stop at the company’s location in Abia State. Company executives and representatives were cooperative and provided requested information.

From initial findings, FCCPC established that employees are housed on work premises in less than ideal boarding conditions and some employees felt restrained on-site and unable to leave, even though going home has been their preference.

 Highlighting some of the findings established, the CEO of FCCPC said, “A workplace injury previously occurred and led to an amputation with respect to an employee. Employees were required to work non-stop shifts of 11 hours with inadequate breaks, and there are possible questions about the company’s compliance with prevailing standards for the steel/iron products it makes.”

Although the vast majority of the conducts discovered are labour relations and not consumer issues, FCCPC secured an express and urgent commitment from the company to immediately and forthwith, take steps to improve the living conditions of on-site employees including immediately purchasing foams/mattresses for their bunk beds, and cooling fans.

Other agreements reach include that the company should modify required working hours from 11 to 8 hours daily effective immediately. While immediately discontinue mandatory quarantine on-site for employees who desire to depart the facility as well as improved on-site medical access and responsiveness.

With respect to the work-related accident that led to serious injuries (amputation), considering the circumstances are currently subject of litigation, the company was disinclined to make statements.

Regarding the quality of the company’s products, FCCPC has opened an active investigation and is commencing materials testing to determine compliance with prevailing standards.

The company recognizes it is under monitoring and supervision pending the satisfactory resolution of all outstanding or open issues.  The Commission is making a fuller report and transmitting to the more relevant Ministry/Agency for follow up, monitoring and compliance.

The enforcement mechanisms including penalties (where applicable) under relevant laws and processes of the appropriate ministry, department or agency, for violations in these circumstances should take their course.

FCCPC commended the courage and commitment of the investigative journalist who followed this through, and welcomes credible intelligence that leads to robust enforcement of its competition and consumer protection mandate.

Dangote Cement is #9jaSuperbrandOfTheMonth for July – BrandEscort

Group Chief Commercial Officer, Dangote Industries Limited, Rabiu Abdullahi Umar; Group Managing Director/CEO, Dangote Cement Plc, Michel Puchercos; Marketing Director, Dangote Cement Plc, Funmi Sanni; and National Sales Director, Dangote Cement Plc, Adeyemi Fajobi, during the Dangote Cement Bag of Goodies 2 National Consumer Promotion press launch in Lagos, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The management of BrandEscort has nominated Dangote Cement Plc as its #9jaSuperbrandOfTheMonth for July.

Dangote Cement was nominated  for launching a campaign that promised to make 1,000 Nigerians millionaires, not minding the challenges faced by businesses globally, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dangote Cement Plc. on July 15, 2020 launched the Dangote Cement Bag of Goodies Season 2, targeted at making 1,000 Nigerians millionaires to cushion the economic hardship caused by COVID-19.

At the unveiling of the promo in Lagos, the company’s Group Managing Director,

Mr Michel Puchercos, said the promo was instituted to reward its loyal customers.

Puchercos gave the assurance that the company, through the promo, would change the standard of living of its consumers and end users during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that 1,000 lucky Nigerians would win a star prize of one million naira each, over a period of 16 weeks of the promo.

Puchercos, who observed that many families lost their sources of livelihood as a result of the pandemic, said that the company launched the promo to alleviate the pains.

He said that the company opted for cash prize to enable the beneficiaries to set up small businesses in the face of COVID-19.

Puchercos said that the Season 2 Promo, launched following a huge success recorded in the 2019 promotion, would run from July 15 to Nov. 15.

He said that the company was determined to reward the consumers and add value to their economic well being, with the promo.

According to him, other prizes to be won apart from one million naira cash, include tricycles, refrigerators, television sets, generators, goodies packs, smaller monetary prizes and airtime.

Other brands such as MTN Nigeria, First Bank, Amber Energy Drink Ltd etc. also made significant impact in the lives of the consumers in July.

For instance, MTN Nigeria on July 15 became the first telecommunications company to launch eSim technology for mobile phone users in the country.

FirstBank in July activated Free Fuel Promo in collaboration with Verve International and Oando Plc to reward its customers.

Stallion boss, Vaswani accuses Zenith Bank of malpractice

The Stallion Group boss, Sunil Vaswani has allegedly accused Zenith Bank Plc for unprofessional ism and malpractice, as the rift between both organisations continued to take twist.

In a new development, Vaswani said that the alleged indebtedness of over N23 billion owed by his organisation has been manipulated by bank to the tune of N18, 369, 960 billion in excess.

He said the alleged illegality and fraud were committed on Stallion Group accounts through unauthorized and unlawful interests charges, illegal management fees, COT-VAT fees, finance charges and LC charges.

Vaswani position was contained in the counter affidavit he filed in opposition to the originating summons filed by Zenith Bank Plc asking for an order of the court entering judgment against the defendant (Vaswani) in the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 49 billion, being his outstanding indebtedness on account of the guarantee given by Vaswani in respect of various sum advanced to Stallion Nigerian Limited which has remained unpaid as at 12th May 2020 in spite of repeated demands.

In the counter affidavit deposed to by Stallion Group’s Director of Administration, Mr. Tajudeen Olalere, filed and argued by his counsel, Mr. Uchenna Njoku, Vaswani denied any indebtedness  to Zenith Bank and urged the court to dismiss the suit instituted by the bank for been false, unfounded, unsubstantiated, unjust and unwarranted and an  abuse of court process.

Vaswani in the counter affidavit averred that haven noticed the inexplicable refusal of Zenith Bank to have account reconciliation exercise,  Stallion suspicious  that  Zenith Bank might have  been manipulating its accounts  decided to undertake the  audit of its accounts with the bank  beginning from the year 2012.

The defendant said  to Stallion’s utter chagrin, it was discovered through the audit  that the bank had charged illegal, unauthorised and unlawful interests, management fees, COT-VAT fees, finance charges and LC charges to the tune of N18, 369, 960 billion.

He further averred that  Zenith Bank’s allegations and contentions of being owed the sum of N23, 388, 188, 765.49 billion, as at May 12, 2020 by Stallion are false, adding that the entire false package of allegations of indebtedness put together by  the bank are part of a deliberate stratagy to humiliate Stallion and Mr. Vaswani and terrorise them into backing down from their legitimate demand  that there should be a reconciliation of all the accounts of Stallion in the bank or a third patty audit of the accounts of Stallion with the claimant.

Vaswani, who denied any indebtedness of Stallion Group  to Zenith Bank, said  that contrary to the false claims by the bank, Stallion has not only repaid its debt to the bank,  but has overpaid the bank by several billions of naira for which cause Stallion has been calling for account reconciliation or third party auditing of its accounts in Zenith Bank.

It would be recalled that Zenith Bank Plc has dragged the Chairman Chief Executive Officer of Stallion Groups of  Companies, Mr. Sunil Vaswani before an Igbosere High Court  Lagos,  over alleged unpaid N23, 388, 188, 756. 049 billion debt.

Zenith Bank in the suit marked LD/3945GCMW/2020, filed against Mr. Vaswani was filed due to his alleged failure or refusal to pay the alleged debt despite several and repeated demands.

The  Zenith Bank Plc through its lawyer, Mr. Kemi Balogun (SAN), who leads Chidozie Ndukwe, Babatunde Olanipekun and five others is asking for an order of the court entering judgment in the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 49 billion  against Vaswani, being his outstanding indebtedness  on account of the guarantee given in respect of various sum advanced to Stallion Nigerian Limited which has remained unpaid as at 12th May  2020 in spite of repeated demands.

The bank is also seeking for a declaration that having regard to the clear and unambiguous provisions of the Deeds of Personal Guarantee and the statement of net-worth executed by Vaswani in its favour over the facilities advanced to Stallion Nigeria Limited, who has failed together with the defendant upon several and repeated demands to liquidate the debt that has arisen there from, it is entitled to judgment against the defendant in the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 049 billion, being  Vaswani’s outstanding indebtedness to it, as at  May 12, 2020, and interest at the rate awarded by the court from the date of judgment until final liquidation of the said sum.

The bank further asked the court for an order vesting in it, all the rights attached to Vaswani’s assets, landed properties and all other forms of real estate wherever located within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, particularly and not limited to the properties known as L9, Lailak Street, Emirates Hills, Emirates Living, the United Kingdom, particularly and not limited to the property known as 40, Avenue Road, London, NWH 8 6H5, and all countries of the European Union (EU), and any other jurisdictions worldwide.

Peace, security remained focus of 7th Lagos NIPR conference, Lai Mohammed to speak

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture

 

The Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations has announced that national peace and security will be the thematic focus of the webinar edition of the seventh Lagos Public Relations Stakeholders’ Conference, holding on Thursday, August 27, 2020.

Distinguished speakers headlining the Conference, themed: Adopting Proper Communication Strategy, Channels and Technology for National Peace and Security, include the Minster of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Programme Specialist, Women, Peace and Security, United Nations Women, Peter Mancha. Other speakers expected include the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, RT. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Executive Secretary/CEO, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Dr. Abdurrazaq Balogun; President, African Public Relations Association, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, amongst others.

The Chairman, Lagos NIPR, Segun Mcmedal, said that the Conference is going virtual this year following government directives on social distancing to check the spread of the COVID-19 ravaging the globe. The virtual conference offers the opportunity to reach a wider audience in an online community before, during and post Conference.

The Project Coordinator and Lead Consultant, Addefort Limited, Olabamiji Adeleye, said that, “The Conference will identify dependable channels for public engagement towards achieving national peace and stability in Nigeria.”

The Conference will engage government, corporate organizations, national security agencies, women leaders, groups, media and communication professionals. It will discuss government policies, communication strategies, and technological applications that will help to achieve improved national peace and stability in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The annual Conference has evolved over the years to become a bridge-building talker-shop for stakeholders to interact, discuss and proffer solutions to the social, political and economic challenges plaguing our nation.

The Lagos Public Relations Stakeholders’ Conference is the creation of Addefort Limited – a public relations and concept development firm. This edition is coming in collaboration with Lagos NIPR and Peace and Conflict Resolution Resource Centre (PEACrEc).

National Broadcasting Commission hammer falls on Nigeria Info FM, gets N5m sanction

The National Broadcasting Commission hammer has felt heaving on a leading news radio station, Nigerian Info FM for falling to guide its guest during an interview session.

The Commission fines the radio station N5 million, for a comment made by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia during the show..

This was contained in a statement signed by the NBC management on Thursday titled, ‘The National Broadcasting Commission Fines Nigeria Info 99.3 For Unprofessional Broadcast’.

Mailaifa was interviewed on Monday during one of the station’s programmes, Morning Cross Fire. He had talked on the killings in Southern Kaduna, one of the parts of the North-West region worst hit by banditry.

“Some of us also have our intelligence networks. I have met with some of the bandits; we have met with some of their high commanders – one or two who have repented – they have sat down with us not once, not twice.

“They told us that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the bandits are one and the same. They have a sophisticated network. During this lockdown their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown.

“They were moving ammunition, moving money, and distributing them across different parts of the country,” the former Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress said during the programme.

He was later invited by the Department of State Services in Jos on Wednesday and was grilled for six hours.

Reacting on Thursday, the NBC said, “The National Broadcasting Commission has noted with grave concern, the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30am and 9.00am.

“The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr. Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.

“Dr. Mailafia Obadiah’s comments on the “Southern Kaduna Crisis”, were devoid of facts and by broadcasting same to the public, Nigeria Info 99.3FM, is in violation of the following sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code:

“3.1.1. No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain offensive reference to any person or organization, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity;

“3.1.2. Broadcasting shall promote human dignity, therefore, hate speech is prohibited;

“3.3.1 (a). The broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate;

“3.3.3.1(b). The Broadcaster shall ensure that all sides to any issue of public

interest are equitably presented for fairness and balance;

“3.11.1(a). The broadcaster shall ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast;

“3.11.1(b). No programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state;

“5.4.1(f). The Broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

“Consequent on these provisions and in line with the amendment of the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos, has been fined the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira), only.

“This is expected to serve as a deterrent to all other broadcast stations in Nigeria who are quick to provide platform for subversive rhetoric and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such.

“The Commission wishes to put it on record that it will not hesitate to suspend the Broadcast Licence of broadcast stations that continue to breach the Code.

“Stations are, by this statement, admonished to desist forthwith, from airing unwholesome content, or be ready to face appropriate sanctions.”

Group tackles MTN over alleged anti-labour antics

The Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) has expressed frustration over what it described as demoralising anti-labour activities by MTN Nigeria and issued a 14-day ultimatum for the company to address the concerns raised.

The President and Secretary of PTECSSAN, Opeyemi Tomori and Okonu Abdullahi, respectively in a joint media briefing on Wednesday said the Chief Executive Officer of the company whose priority should be organisational growth and sustainability, has abandoned this vital responsibility.

They also stated that the CEO has rebuffed several calls by the workers and their union to meet with him on critical issues facing workers in the company.

They further explained that all attempts to address the concerns with the CEO of the company had failed, noting that such actions portend great danger to the industrial relations within MTN Nigeria.

They remarked that issues relating to remuneration of workers, exit packages for long-term staff, employee relations practices, and abuse of expatriate quota, and others are the burning issues, adding “that the company should change its way towards the union and its members in the organisation.”

LG OLED: Creating reality of stadiums from the living room

The triumphant return of major sporting activities across countries, after several months of lockdown came as a big relief to all anxious sport lovers, who have had to face the unpleasant reality the cancellation caused.

Korean baseball was the first to return to action in June, followed by the English Premier League (EPL), Spain’s La Liga, Brazil and Mexico’s top football leagues, among others that followed suit.

Upon the return of the games, one thing that was so conspicuous was the emptiness of stadiums. Though the development was considered as part of the ‘new normal’ but it is strange and unreal, creating a huge gap that needs to be filled in the mind of the fans. So what better way to recapture the excitement of a match than upgrading one’s living room setup? As you know, not all televisions are designed with sports in mind but definitely not LG TVs.

Through its innovations, LG Electronics, a global leader in consumer electronics has come to fill the vacuum, to prove a point through the LG OLED’s self-emitting pixels that empty stands don’t mean games have to be silent.

LG Electronics has proved beyond reasonable doubt that a larger TV will always do the job of watching action played across giant fields better, by displaying zoomed-out footage in amazing details, as the sporting events slowly makes their returns to the TV. Bigger displays also deliver wider viewing angles so family and friends can watch the big game together without huddling on the sofa, says the General Manager, Home Entertainment Division at LG Electronics West Africa, Mr. Vanjamin Kim.

“OLED delivers the widest viewing angles in the game, the 88-inch LG SIGNATURE OLED 8K TV is the pinnacle of home spectating, while its smaller 48-inch sibling delivers the same wide viewing angle to smaller rooms.

With LG OLED’s self-emitting pixels in 4K and 8K, viewers have the prospect of seeing every feature, down to each blade of grass, while decreasing motion blur and flickering as every pixel illuminates independently.

The TVs possesses AI Sound Pro and up-mix game audio for realistic sport sounds, they are also Bluetooth Surround Ready for easy connection with LG’s powerful XBOOM speakers or wide selection of sound bars.

“For sports, gray uniformity is everything. Staring at the same color for hours means a TV must maintain a single block of color at a realistic brightness and without distracting dark patches. LG OLED TVs has continued to garner rave reviews for best-in-class uniformity,” Kim said.

It is interesting to note that sports lovers the world over were curiously awaiting the arrival of the 8K to the 2020 summer games before it was postponed. Even with the games delayed until 2021, LG OLED owners are assured of experiencing superior 8K via LG’s upscaling technology, which uses deep learning to deliver vivid and accurate 8K images to near perfection.

The 88-inch class LG SIGNATURE 8K OLED (model OLED88Z9)1 and 75-inch class LG 8K NanoCell (model 75SM9970)1, with suggested prices of $29,999 and $4,999 respectively, are available at select LG-authorized retailers starting today.

“It’s obvious a TV was designed with fans in mind. If it features Sports Alert notifications! New to LG TVs, users are updated on their team’s latest news and kick-off times, so not even a second of exciting play is missed. And with all the technology in today’s TVs, setting up a TV correctly for a big match would normally be a chore.

“However, with LG OLED TVs’ α9 Gen3 AI Processor, the TV does most of the hard work for you by cleverly detecting when you’re watching sports and then optimizing picture quality accordingly via Auto Genre Selection. Basketball and its fast-paced action can make motion blur and flickering more pronounced on a regular TV,” Kim said.

 LG’s new OLED Motion Pro and TruMotion, on top of light-speed 120Hz response time, was made to ensure heightened image accuracy and precision for viewers to easily follow small objects, catching every basket, goal and score.

From the testimonies of owners, with the TVs, empty stands don’t mean that games have to be silent, because the LG’s TVs not only boast AI Sound Pro and up-mix game audio for realistic sport sounds, they’re also Bluetooth Surround Ready for easy connection with LG’s powerful XBOOM speakers or wide selection of sound bars.

Interestingly, LG products can be found behind the scenes of sports as well. For instance, the enormous displays located in Spanish giant Atléticode Madrid’s expansive Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, which give fans perfect, crystal-clear replays of every tackle and goal.

The brand’s unique tech also found its way to North London where Tottenham Hotspur’s match against Burnley was filmed in glorious 8K to capture super high-quality football footage and captivate customers watching the content play out on LG’s range of OLED and NanoCell 8K televisions.

Mr. Kim explained that LG OLED is even taking some sports virtual, with an all-new take on competitive racing. “Pro racing drivers are using OLED-powered simulators to compete in Australia’s BP Supercars All Stars Eseries, LG partnering with Kelly Racing to give their drivers the best chance to claim its inaugural title. Using LG OLED TVs, the impressive racing simulator achieves realistic racing experiences that every racer can easily relate to.

“Esports’ incredible rise to mainstream has young and old alike searching for the best gaming arsenal to gain the competitive edge online. And with next-generation game consoles due by the end of the year, the epic battle between PlayStation and Xbox fans is set to hit new heights.

 “LG’s 4K Ultra HD OLED 48CX not only offers 4K resolution and 120 frames per second, it also features auto low latency mode (ALLM), enhanced audio return channel (eARC) and variable refresh rate (VRR) for the serious gamer.”

Being the first TV in the world to be NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible, graphics of these TVs are rendered perfectly, increasing players’ sense of immersion by adapting the TV’s refresh rate to the frame rate of the connected hardware. OLED preserves a game’s highest quality imagery with HDR settings; amazing black levels and superb contrast all without sacrificing crucial latency performance for games rewarding instant reactions like Call of Duty and Overwatch.

For esport professionals, there’s UltraGear. LG UltraGear 4K monitors feature technology engineered for the otherworldly experience of 4K gaming. With exceptional response times and 1ms Nano IPS screens that cover the professional film industry’s 98 percent of DCI-P3 color space standard, online battlefields have never been more vibrant and freer of unpleasant blur and ghosting that ruin the gaming experience.

Jobberman’s free webinar promises to be packed with new recruitment trends and secrets

The talent recruitment agency, Jobberman has announced plans to host a free webinar titled ‘Hiring the best fit for your company’ for employers and HR professionals on Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 12 Noon WAT via live video platform, Crowdcast.

For some businesses, COVID-19 has caused a complete recruitment freeze, for many – essential service providers in particular – it has resulted in fast, high-volume hiring. This virtual webinar promises to be power-packed with insights and secrets into recruitment trends and challenges since the advent of the pandemic.

Recruiting quality employees and filling certain types of jobs can be a challenging task in uncertain times like this. Jobberman Nigeria Head HR, Foluso Agbaje has teamed up with the Head of Human Capital, Letshego MFB, Emmanuel Micheal, to review the new tools needed for a perfect hiring process, latest trends in the world of recruitment, and the importance of using tests to shortlist.

Another major highlight of the webinar is the spotlight on the much talked about Jobberman Skills Assessment product, a much-needed tool for recruiting during a pandemic, considering the fact that remote work is on the rise – every recruiters hiring solution right now.

Participants will have the opportunity to get real-time feedback from talent experts who have solved complex talent management issues for multinational corporations.

Business leaders and HR professionals can join the stimulating session on Thursday, August 13 2020 by visiting www.jobberman.com/talking-talent to register.

StarTimes to broadcast Man U, Inter Milan Europa League Q-Final matches

Affordable pay-TV StarTimes will air the quarter-final matches of Europa League on its World Football and Sports Premium Channels.

On Monday, Odion Ighalo’s Manchester United will play against Copenhagen; while Victor Moses’ Inter Milan will face Bayer Leverkusen. On Tuesday, Shakhtar Donetsk will face Basel; while Wolves battle Sevilla. All matches will air at 8 pm.

Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping his side will be able to go the distance in the Europa League after booking a place in the quarter-finals.

The Reds completed an emphatic 7-1 aggregate victory over LASK in the round of 16 after Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial added their Old Trafford strikes to the five which had already been scored in the first leg in Austria back in March.

Now United head to Germany where FC Copenhagen will provide the last-eight opposition in Cologne on Monday night. The ultimate aim for the Red Devils is to replicate their 2017 success in the competition, albeit with a very different feel to the proceedings.

This is FC Copenhagen’s first-ever European quarter-final appearance, while they are the first Danish side to reach a major UEFA European quarter-final since Brondy IF in the 1996-97 UEFA Cup.

Not only will the remaining matches in the tournament be played without fans, of course, they will also have the same one-legged format and will all take place in less than a fortnight with the final falling on Friday 21 August.

Hopes are high amongst Manchester United’s fans for a trophy this season after failing to clinch any in their domestic leagues.

Manchester United are looking to reach only their second European semi-final since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, doing so in 2016 -17 when they went on to win the Europa League under Jose Mourinho.

COVID-19: MMF floats MedAssist Partner Line

The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MFF) has launched a telecommunication medical line to assist the NCDC in its drive to reach those with the Covid-19 virus who are unable to access the designated Isolation centres across the country.

The project named, the “MMF Medassist Covid Partner Line,” is part of the effort to provide access to relevant and necessary medical information and support for those who may have been exposed to the Covid 19 virus, across the 36 states of the country.

The CEO of the Foundation, Mrs Aisha Muhammed Oyebode noted that “this initiative offers virtual healthcare delivery in circumstances fast becoming our new normal, in collaboration with the NCDC helpline.

“This is a response to the NCDC’s request for additional call centre support during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support end-users, to prevent a health crisis. The helpline will allow callers to consult with medical professionals virtually, who will be able to prescribe necessary treatment to forestall an escalation of symptoms.”

Recently, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, stated that many patients who tested positive with the Corona Virus refuse to go to the isolation centres and prefer to self-medicate/treat, with some remaining untraceable having left incorrect contact information.

Mrs Oyebode noted that records show that about 75% of those infected refuse to present themselves for admission at Isolation Centres in Lagos State alone, “making it imperative for MMF to come up with this support.”

The dedicated Med Assist Telemedicine Hotline – 08180640000 – is poised to launch in the 36 states of the country,” Muhammed Oyebode stated.

The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) is a non-profit organization, founded on the ideals of the Late Gen. Murtala Muhammed, a former Head of State of Nigeria (1975-76).

MMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of Africans. The Foundation specifically focuses on engendering self-reliance and fulfilment by working tirelessly on policy and advocacy for issues that impact on ethics, equity, good governance and economic empowerment, encouraging business development, education and providing medium term disaster relief. It is for this reason the Foundation established a response plan to COVID-19 pandemic.

Union Bank begins search for the Next Robotics Legend

The Next Robotics Legend is an initiative designed by Edu360, Union Bank’s education platform, in collaboration with Awarri, a pan-African technology company, to infuse Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the education of the Nigerian child. This stems from the realisation that the solutions to some of our most complicated problems as a nation lie in the education of our children today.

This first-of-its-kind robotics training and competition for students aged 11 to 16 will focus on identifying and nurturing young potential inventors and creators who will receive necessary training to solve some of the challenges facing the Nigerian society with the aid of robotics and AI.

To enter, take a 30 second video of your child telling us what they like about robots. Upload on www.edu360.ng and fill the accompanying consent form. 25 of the most creative andpassionate entries will be selected to participate in the robotics training.

Awarri-X-Edu360-KV-2

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At the end of the free training programme, participants will be required to identify a need in their community, and apply the skills learnt to proffer a solution. The student with the best solution will be admitted for a mentorship program with Awarri, the advanced AI and robotics company owned by Silas Adekunle – top international robotics engineer renowned for creating the world’s first intelligent gaming robot.

Schools are not left out! To ensure the sustenance of the initiative, Edu360 will partner with four secondary schools by providing robotics toolkits and training for their teachers to enable them include robotics in their curriculum.

Entries will be received from August 7th to 21st, 2020.  Visit www.edu360.ngfor more information.

#NextRoboticsLegend

FIRSTBANK backs FINTECH development, to promote growth, reinvention of banking technology in Nigeria

  • Echeruo, HopStop founder to deliver keynote paper

 First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced that the 2020 edition of its annual FinTech Summit is scheduled to hold on Thursday, 6 August 2020 by 12.00 noon. The event will be virtually held via Zoom Meetings.

The 2020 edition of the summit, which is the fourth in its series is themed; “How Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence will Disrupt FinTech in Nigeria” and will be discussed by experts, key and leading players, policy influencers and regulatory officials in the Nigerian financial, banking and technological climate. To participate in the event, click the link https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/business-banking/smeconnect/fintech-summit/registration/ to register. 

Chinedu Echeruo, founder of HopStop which was sold to Apple for $1billion will be leading the discussion as the Keynote speaker alongside other panelists; Musa Itopa Jimoh, Director, Payments System Management Department and Aminu Maida, Executive Director, Technology & Operations, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS). 

Representing FirstBank in the panel of discussants are Callistus Obetta, Group Executive, Technology & Services and Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products 

Speaking on the event, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said; “at FirstBank, we have been at the forefront of employing technology in the delivery of financial services in the country exemplified by our various products and services such as FirstMobile, USSD Banking services, FirstMonie Wallet, FirstMonie Agent Banking, FirstAdvance loans provisions

FisrtBank hosts FinTech Summit 4.0

 The 2020 edition of our FINTECH summit will build on the successes achieved in the last three editions. We welcome the panelists as we look forward to the shared knowledge which will be integral to deepening the continued growth of banking technology, especially its impact on the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria and the continent at large.

 Technology continues to play a fundamental role in driving financial inclusion and strengthening the growth of SMEs that contribute significantly to the development of the country.

We encourage members of the public, players in the fintech and financial climate to register, as there is knowledge for everyone,” he concluded.

Life Lager lights Niger bridge as the brand preaches progress, self preservation

Following the launch of a new bottle and the ‘Nduka’ campaign, Life Lager Beer has continued to spread its strong message of hope and resilience to consumers, this time with decorative lighting on the popular Niger Bridge.

The groundbreaking lighting project which was unveiled recently, is a new initiative from Life Lager Beer as a climax to the brand’s relaunch activities.

As the novel Coronavirus spread across Nigeria, Life Lager Beer launched the ‘Nduka’ campaign as a means of encouraging its consumers to keep hope alive even as they stay safe at home. The campaign theme which translates to “Life is Greater” saw Life Lager engage in a number of communication activities to pass its message of choosing life in these uncertain times creatively.

With its new lighting initiative, Life Lager is now spreading the importance of resilience, and self-preservation as the words “Enjoy Life Responsibly” appear boldly on its new lighting construction along with other brand signages.

Life Lager liights the Niger Bridge

The unveiling of the lights display which was done at an evening event, had in attendance the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Willie Obiano, who referred to the initiative as a progressive one and used the opportunity to encourage everyone to keep following the right precautions to stay safe.

Sales Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc., Uche Unigwe, also expressed delight at the launch of the new project stating that it is very significant work. He added that; “this project couldn’t have come at a better time and hopefully the message resonates with the brand’s consumers and inspires them to keep living right.”

The choice of the Niger Bridge for this project was once again a testament to the brand’s attachment to its southeastern roots, as it remains unapologetic about demonstrating its belief in the industrious nature of the people and their steady drive for progress. Life Lager Beer was first produced in 1981 in Onitsha, Anambra State, as a regional Eastern beer and has since grown to become the biggest beer brand in Nigeria. Life Lager Beer is made from the choicest grains, hops and the purest waters, with the core brand belief that “Life is better when shared and when life is shared, there is progress”.

StarTimes, NBCUniversal International Networks launch DreamWorks in Sub-Saharan Africa

One of Africa’s pay-TV operator StarTimes and NBCUniversal International Networks (NBCUIN, has  announced the launch of DreamWorks – the 24-hour channel dedicated to kids and family entertainment – on StarTimes platform across Sub-Saharan Africa. The DreamWorks channel is available starting 3 August bringing the best in animated TV series to African viewers.

Speaking about the upcoming launch, Lee Raftery, Managing Director, NBCUniversal International Networks, EMEA commented: “Collaborating with StarTimes on bringing DreamWorks channel’s award-winning shows and beloved characters to Sub-Saharan Africa is a key milestone for our business. We look forward to bringing young viewers the DreamWorks experience, with its compelling slate of adventurous and imaginative animated series, all in one family destination.”

Lily Meng, head of StarTimes Media Division, said, “We are excited to bring DreamWorks to Africa. This launch demonstrates our continuous commitment to providing premium content to African families. And it comes at a very timely moment, while most kids and parents are staying home.”

DreamWorks offers quality animation and storytelling, taking viewers on fantastical adventures as they come face to face with more dragons than anyone has ever imagined in Dragons: Race To The Edge; whilst over in Madagascar, the party continues with the world famous dancing lemur, in All Hail King Julien.

Viewers can join adrenaline-fueled snail, Turbo, and his snail crew in Turbo FAST; and follow the world’s favorite feline hero, Puss, as he protects the hidden city of San Lorenzo in The Adventures Of Puss In Boots.

Meanwhile in Dawn of the Croods, the world’s first family navigate their way through modern-day life. And entertaining families across the country, The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show will see the world’s smartest dog and his boy, Sherman, host their zany late-night comedy program, jam-packed with great musical acts and very special historical guests. Younger viewers can look forward to a world of giant creatures that are ‘half dinosaur, half construction vehicle in Dinotrux and follow Noddy and his friends as they solve cases in in Toy Land, in Noddy Toyland Detective! Meanwhile, young viewers can get ready to roar with Raa Raa The Noisy Lion, cub and his friends in the Jingly Jangly Jungle.​

UBA provides $200m for Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry, timely financing for post COVID economic growth

  • Acts as Lead Arranger for $1.5 Billion Facility to Boost Nigerian Oil Production and Government Revenue

The United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), the leading pan-African financial services group, has acted as the lead arranger of a consortium of Nigerian commercial and international banks in a $1.5 Billion Pre-Export Finance Facility for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

UBA is providing $200 million (Naira equivalent) to support investment growth and liquidity requirements.  The facility will provide much needed capital for investment in NNPC’s production capacity, which is of strategic importance to the Nigerian economy and the country’s leading source of foreign exchange earnings.  UBA’s position as Lead Arranger recognises the Group’s strength in structuring and deploying financing to the oil and gas sector, and the depth and liquidity of the Group’s balance sheet.

The $1.5 billion facility is structured in two tranches.  The first tranche of $1 billion, to be repaid over a period of five years, will be provided in dollars, with UBA acting as the Facility Agent Bank. The second tranche of $500 million, will be provided in local currency, over seven years, with UBA acting as Lead Bank, providing $200 million in Naira equivalent.

Both facilities will be repaid from an allocation of 30,000 barrels per day of NPDC’s crude oil.  UBA has a strong track record in the resources sector across Africa, having facilitated oil prepayment deals with the NNPC, including its 2013 $100 million participation in the PXF Funding Limited transaction, and a further $60 million in the 2015 Phoenix Export Funding Limited transaction.  In Senegal, UBA was responsible for the EUR 240m revolving crude oil financing facility for the Société Africaine de Raffinage and in Congo Brazzaville co-funded the $250m crude oil prepayment facility for Orion Oil Limited.

Other participants in the NNPC deal include Standard Chartered Bank, Afrexim Bank, Union Bank and two oil trading companies, Vitol and Matrix.

Speaking on this most recent support for the Nigeria’s petroleum industry, UBA Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu stated ‘This has been one of the most economically challenging years that Nigeria has witnessed.  With the sharp drop in the price of oil and the ensuing hardship that followed the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the private sector must come together and contribute meaningfully to the economy.  This facility is clear evidence of this – UBA is providing investment that will significantly improve Nigeria’s production capacity and in doing so also demonstrating the strength, depth, and sophistication of our commercial banking capability.  I believe that together, working with governments, we can create more jobs and more wealth for people, not only in Nigeria, but across Africa’.

The United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with over 20,000 employees and serving over 20 million customers.  UBA operates in 20 African countries and globally in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France, providing retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

MultiChoice introduces Enhanced Decoder to keep customers informed

For its continuous effort at keeping its customers informed and updated with innovations from the company, DStv has launched of Enhanced Decoder Notification (ED) functionality, which aims to address communication issues for subscribers and take the admin out of viewing, so, consumers can get back to being entertained.

This new functionality will provide viewers with streamlined access to important subscription information, including rewards notifications, payable subscription amounts, methods to avoid late payment and disconnection.

This will be done by displaying icons that represent the different types of notifications on top of Live TV and will be available on the DStv decoders. The message will also be added to the Mail Messages screen. 

 “In the ever-advancing world of video entertainment, innovation is a key driver of the business. MultiChoice is always dedicated to delivering innovative resources to ensure continuous improvements in our products” said John Ugbe, Chief Executive Officer MultiChoice Nigeria.” 

Through a myriad of innovations that ensure customers satisfaction as well as guarantee a rewarding journey for all our subscribers – MultiChoice continues to position itself as one of Africa’s major entertainment sources, and now, with the introduction of the new EDN service ensures fewer interruptions during viewing.   

FCCPC investigates Health Plus, Ebus, H-Medix, other pharmacies over price gouging on Hydroxychloroquine

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) in furtherance of continuing oversight and in response to multiple social media posts about what appeared to be excessive and unconscionable pricing of potentially vital medication that is perceived or presented as efficacious therapy in addressing Covid-19 conducted enforcement activities today (August 4, 2020).

Specifically, there have been a rash of posts representing Hydroxychloroquine to costing between N50, 000.00 and N75,000.00.  One of the posts showed the medicine and a price tag of N50, 000.00 of Ebus Pharmacy in Port-Harcourt.  The Commission has also become aware of price display of N75, 000.00 by HealthPlus Limited.

Between 10.00A.M. and 6.00P.M. today, the Commission conducted simultaneous on-site investigations on Ebus and Avis Pharmacy, both in Port-Harcourt; multiple locations of Health Plus Limited in Lagos and Abuja, Tonia Pharmacy, H-Medix and New Health Pharmacies, all in Abuja.

Although investigations are progressing, preliminary findings show that HealthPlus Limited indeed has carried at least two brands of Hydroxychloroquine with internal control documents showing sale prices of N33,000.00 and N75,000.00. Ebus admits the veracity of the posts showing its price at N50,000.00. There is evidence that New Health Pharmacy has sold Hydroxychloroquine between N50,000.00 and N65,000.00.

In addition, in some of the targets of this investigation, the Commission discovered what appeared to be inconsistent pricing of other products that are considered relevant to managing Covid-19 with most being sold at margins between 66% and 89%.

According to Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC, the investigation is at early stages and the Commission has not made any final findings. However unreasonable, unjust and irrational prices or margins are a criminal offence under the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act and the Commission is currently prosecuting some pharmacies and supermarkets for this. 

Babatunde Irukera, DG FCCPC

It is unconscionable, exploitative and predatory to take opportunistic advantage of citizens on account of a pandemic and consumer apprehension.  The Commission again reiterates its previous advisories and admonitions while reinstating its commitment, desire and will to enforce the law.

Movie star, Sola Sobowale, attributes new lifestyle to regular use of Mouka foam

Top Nollywood celebrity, Sola Sobowale affirmed that her present physical fitness, which supports her active lifestyle is due to regular use of the Mouka brand, from her early days to date.

The screenwriter, producer and director, made this assertion in an interview. She said the Mouka Wellbeing brand which consists of the Wellbeing Regal Orthopaedic and Wellbeing Regina Semi Orthopaedic mattresses have also contributed to her enviable youthful looks and have been a source of ultimate sleep satisfaction.

She said the use of Mouka brands had been an endearing family tradition and that it has enhanced her sleep over the years, helping to support her lower back, hips, spine and other pressure points, thereby preventing aches and pains.

“At a very tender age, I met my parents using Mouka mattresses, even back in those days when my father was a school principal, and my mother was a headmistress.  They see Mouka as their choice brand and recommended them to students, and that was what I used in my school days to date. It enhances your posture, the next morning, you wake up very active and ready to perform your daily activities,” the screen goddess stated.

She added, “As an actress and producer when I am on a film location, l always rent an entire building, furnish it with Mouka mattresses for my shoots. We have been able to attain the much-desired comfort for all members of my crew, as well as deliver powerful performances.”

While rating Mouka brand as the best thing that has happened in Nigeria’s bedding and mattresses industry, the award-winning screen idol, who is also the Face of Mouka Wellbeing mattress expressed confidence about the product’s consistent high quality.

According to the Ondo State-born celebrity, Mouka mattresses have been in Nigeria for decades, and their products are of a very high standard, this, she said, had endeared the brand to her. “Ever since I have come of age until now, Mouka’s quality has not changed. I describe the brand as having a heritage of unrivalled quality.”

Narrating how she felt when called to be Mouka ambassador, the award-winning superstar, who had her big break in 2001, in the premiere of Nigeria’s popular TV Drama Series; Super Story had this to say.”I laughed because l have been using the company’s products over the years. Then l told them to visit my house, that I have over 100 pieces of Mouka mattresses, they didn’t believe until they came.”

Reflecting on her feeding routine, Sobowale points out that she only eats natural food that contains fibre and a lot of vegetables, as well as oats, and not processed food. A proper diet, coupled with sufficient rest on the right mattress, which is no other than Mouka, is her secret to total wellbeing.

Phillips Consulting to empower entrepreneurs, startups with new Micro Courses

Managing Director, Robert Taiwo PCL

The managing director of Philips Consulting, Rob Taiwo has stated that the democratization of learning is fast  merging with an increasingly globalised workforce, and  the future would belong to those who can learn at pace and deliver a unique set of skills, from anywhere and to anyone.

Mr. Taiwo stated this at the launch of the Virtual Instructor-Led Training (V.I.L.T) platform tagged Micro Courses launched in Lagos recently.

According to him, “With a mission to drive the future of work in corporate Nigeria by democratizing learning, Philips Consulting  has launched a bouquet of services designed to help individuals, teams, and corporates prepare for the necessary change.”

He said, “They include tools that motivate people to thrive in the workplace, whilst learning about emerging technologies of the future.  Our micro course platform was recently launched to cater to the different categories of learners in Nigeria to upskill the employed, create more employable youth, and drive national growth and business sustainability.”

Speaking at the launch, the managing director said that there is a huge window of opportunity to understand, manage and transition into this new future that will lead the fourth industrial revolution in Nigeria. Preparing for this requires a high level of agility and responsiveness, as well as timely and deliberate actions to drive businesses forward. You must adapt and continuously innovate. Here are a few pointers that will shape our new working realities, he stated.

People need to be inspired to work in the future of work, he added.  “This future is driven by a gig-economy where everyone can figure things out in a few clicks, posts, or tweets. This economy has radically reshaped the labour market, and because of this, talent is less inspired to remain committed to formal employment. The core areas of focus for employees should be the employee experience, flexible modes of work, innovative engagement, and a virtuous well-being cycle.”

According to him, people need to know “how to work” in the “future of work”. Working in a new revolution with a multigenerational workforce requires higher technical, social, cognitive, emotional, and adaptive skills. The most critical of them is the need to unlearn, learn and iterate on the fly.

“Hybrid leaders are in higher demand than ever to tackle new and undiscovered problems. The top skills needed for this New Normal must be accessible to anyone who seeks to thrive. Therefore, people from all backgrounds and demographic must take a new approach to continuous, bit-sized, scalable, and accessible virtual-enabled learning that equips them with these new skills,” he enthused.

Mr. Taiwo said, “Nigeria was 6th in the world for the highest number of internet users in Q1 of 2020, this clearly demonstrates that when provided with the opportunity, the ability of the average Nigerian to harness technology is beyond contestation, but such endeavour must be geared towards using digital learning to up-skill our workforce and empower entrepreneurs and startups”.

Speaking on the new innovation, Fikunayomi Aluko, Programme Lead, Innovation & Investment at Philips Consulting said,  “The mass equipping of young Nigerians with relevant and high-demand workplace skillsets will not only guarantee a bright future for the youth but a great future for the Nigerian economy.”

He said, “Businesses need to embrace accelerated digitalisation: Artificial intelligence, automation and the Internet of Things have powered the greatest changes in this new world of work. While the digital transformation has created a skill shift, made processes more seamless and redefined the expectations of employees towards work, it has also led to process complexities, cultural change, and corporate disruption,” he added.

However, the head of training at pcl. Nwaji Jibunoh said, “Given the complexities of the Nigerian environment, our services offer an opportunity for people from all walks of life to quickly develop themselves with skills that shall prepare them for the future. These services are affordable, easily accessible and delivered by highly experienced individuals.”

StanChart launches deposit products for business banking clients in Nigeria

  • Positioned to help SMEs grow through savings

Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria has launched new deposit product, through its Business Banking business, that gives small and medium scale businesses the advantage of saving cost and earning interest. Products offer Zero local transfer, Zero SMS, Zero Account Maintenance fee and Interest earnings on Business Accounts.

Speaking on the products, Head of Business Banking, Benjamin Dike said, “It is with much excitement that we launch our new deposit products. These deposit products are part of our commitment as a Bank to consistently anticipate and respond to the needs of our clients.”

The major benefit of the new offering is the opportunity for growing earnings as high as 2%, on a business’ current and savings account (CASA). These include the Business Hybrid Account that pays an interest earning of 2% without requiring no a minimum account opening or operative balance and the Business Premium account that pays 1% interest earning on average daily balances for clients that meet the minimum operative balance requirements.

These products have been built around cost savings, liquidity management and lifestyle benefits and help to reiterate our commitment to be Here for good as we continuously support the growth aspirations of our esteemed clients.”

According to the Head of Business Banking, the new deposit products are designed to help businesses during this time to focus on what is important to the development of their businesses while achieving cost savings. All sectors of the economy including education, manufacturing, retail services etc. can benefit from the new deposit product offerings as these also provide loan offering opportunities with very attractive interest rates available to all clients.

He said, “This solution builds on the Bank’s client obsession agenda to bring the best, fastest and most convenient services, solutions and products such as the Digital Bank that support overall transacting experience of clients.”

Standard Chartered Bank announced the launch of its Digital Bank in Nigeria in December 2019 with the SC Mobile 2.0 app.

 Mr. Dike stated that the Digital Bank offers savings accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits (with the option of joint accounts) along with Lending and Wealth Management solutions. For both existing and new to bank clients, various benefits to be enjoyed on the app include Zero charge on all interbank transfers; Zero charge on SMS Notification, Zero charge on ATM withdrawals, Performing funds transfer without adding beneficiaries and Generating a soft token for all transactions, Free bank card delivery nationwide and account management and service request.

APCON changes syllabus for professional diploma in advertising

The General Manager, Business Development, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mrs Francisca Sonaike with the Acting Registrar of APCON, Mrs Ijedi Iyoha during the former's courtesy visit to the Council recently
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