Saturday, 28 December 2013

Brands Scorecard in 2013: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

It was not brands' best year. It was not the worst either. 2013 was a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly. Star, HoneyWell, Maltina, Emirate, TECNO, Konga, Diamond Bank, GE, Promasidor, MasterCard, and HP amongst others - all created remarkable experiences in the minds of Nigerian consumers this year as many companies continue to recover from the economic downturn.

Through strategic use of Integrated Marketing Communications mix, these brands bagged several domestic and international awards this year on their performance and outstanding quality.

In telecommunication sector, porting was the dominant word in 2013. While many subscribers are unhappy with the services being offered - the sector was nearly overshadowed by furore generated by comic-actor, Hafis Oyetoro popularly known as Saka when seen in an MTN advert campaign 'I don port oo'. Saka was a face known with the Etisalat brand before porting to the Y'ello Company. MTN however continued to wax stronger in 2013.

HoneyWell noodles from the stable of HoneyWell Nigeria took a centre stage in the market in the noodles category, giving Dufil Prima Foods product, Indomie noodles an interesting competition through its re-sound and memorable adverts in the media. The power of adverting to resonate a brand in the minds of consumers does it for HoneyWell this year.


As e-commerce continued to grow in Nigeria, Konga was able to offer online savvy customers a new experience by making shopping easier, fast and cost effective. The online shopping mall also launched the biggest shopping warehouse in Africa in Lagos; in order to service its customers better. All these and more fetched the company several awards in 2013. Although, Jumia still remains a major competitor in the e-commerce market.

Maltina Shares Happiness At CARNIRIV 2013

L-R: Overall winner Gbenga Awokoya, 3rd place winner, Mrs. Chika Brown and 2nd place winner, Stanley Eze, at the CARNIRIV Maltina Dance Competition  in Rivers State
Determined that its consumers have the best always, Nigeria’s leading Malt brand, Maltina, from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc, feted those that thronged the city of Port-Harcourt for the annual colourful CARNIRIV which took place recently. Noted for promoting dance and family bonding, its stand was a beehive of heightened activity as visitors had a feel of the recent dance steps in town.

Renowned for sharing happiness, the vivacious Maltina Pavilion - situated at the Liberation Stadium, Elekahia Port-Harcourt - was filled with fun and excitement. Consumers were treated to good music, free Maltina drinks and tasty barbeque much to their delight.

The high point of the carnival was the mini Maltina Dance Competition (MDA) which saw dancers from different age groups contest for amazing prizes. At the end of the contest, 17 years old Gbenga Awokoya who hails from Ogun state, emerged overall best dancer carting home a brand new generating set. Awokoya who has been dancing for 8 years said “Winning a brand new generator from Maltina today is just great. I did not know I would win. My parents will be so happy to see this.”
Speaking at the carnival, Assistant Brand Manager, Maltina, Diekoye Oyeyinka, said this is the brand’s way of sharing happiness with its consumers.

“The Carnival was really fun. It was exciting seeing people come out and dance and have a good time. Maltina decided to be part of the show so that we can share happiness with people in their comfort zone which is what the Maltina brand stands for. Maltina is a very family oriented brand. It is all about sharing happiness. Carnivals such as this are a very good way for Maltina to also share happiness with people. Maltina feels it is very important to connect with our consumers wherever they are.”

Event: Abraham Ogunlende’s First Solo Art Show “Culture Shock” To Hold Friday 3rd January 2014

Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday 3rd January 2014 is expected to have the presence of social and corporate personalities as Abraham Ogunlende set to hold first Solo Art Show “Culture Shock”.

The exhibition will hold from 5PM – 10PM.

For further details on Painter Abe please visit www.painterabe.com or www.bantucreativecollective.tumblr.com

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Wizkid, Sean Tizzle, Others to Perform at Koga One Night Stand

Koga Studio at Oregun Lagos will again play host to the annual event of Koga Entertainment which will be held on Saturday, December 28th.

Lots of fun seekers will witness the performance of leading A-list Nigerian acts at the leading Lagos mainland musical concert 'Koga One Night Stand' - aimed at celebrating rising talents and established musicians in Lagos.

The music fiesta is aimed at celebrating established and upcoming Nigerian musicians and will provide an opportunity for acts signed to Koga Entertainment to perform. It will play host to Koga Open House Winner Zayo alongside first & second runner up Dris and Skinny Tweed.

The star studded cast for this year's event include: Wizkid, Terry G, Wande Coal, Sean Tizzle and Reminisce.

Tickets Prices Regular: N2,000 VIP: N10,000 Premium Gold: N50,000 Platinum Reserve:  N500,000.

Make ‘Hello 2014’ with Emirates your New Year’s Resolution

Emirates airline customers who have made a New Year’s resolution to see more of the world can now say Hello to 2014 with some very attractive fares in both Business Class and Economy Class.

 Bookings to all destinations across Emirates’ network on six continents have to be made between 24th December 2013 to 6th January 2014, for travel between the 1st February and 14th July 2014.

 “What better way to begin 2014 by travelling to a destination that you have never been to, or making that much promised visit to a friend or family member,” said Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “We’ve combined the great flight connections offered by our global network with great special fares and by doing so we hope to help our customers fulfill their travel aspirations in 2014.”

 All inclusive Business Class fares from this region start at USD 3,600 (N572,040.00) to Europe, USD 4,080 (N652,800.00)to the Far East and Australasia and USD 4,358(N697,680.00)to Africa; with Economy Class fares starting at USD 974 (N154768.60) to Europe,  USD 1,001 (N160,160.00)to the Far East and Australasia and  USD 805 (N128,800.00)to Africa.

Nokia Unveils Christmas Promo for High End Customers

As part of efforts to gear up customers for a fun filled Christmas celebration, global phone manufacturer, Nokia, has partnered with leading telecommunications service provider, Etisalat, on a promo for its high end customers which would give five lucky customers the opportunity to win a trip to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi.

The promo is open to customers who purchase Nokia’s most innovative camera smartphone, the Lumia 1020 from any Etisalat store from December 19, 2013, through January 30, 2014. Participation is simple, as all who purchase the Nokia Lumia 1020 device from any Etisalat store nationwide are eligible and stand a chance to visit Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi.

Head of Marketing, Nokia West Africa, Debroah Shepard said the promo is designed to delight customers in Nigeria who patronize Nokia products especially high end devices. “The yuletide season gives us the opportunity to share with our customers in Nigeria and give them the opportunity to have a memorable Christmas holiday,” said Shepard.

“We are giving our customers the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful places in the world to have fun and most importantly capture beautiful and precious moments during their visit to Ferrari World. The Lumia 1020 smartphone is a classy and life style device for people who love to capture every moment and we know that the lucky customers who get to win this trip would have a memorable experience using their Lumia 1020 at Ferrari World” she added.

Commenting on the promotion, Director, Retail Sales at Etisalat Nigeria said, “Our partnership with Nokia to provide our customers with this promotion is part of our drive to provide the necessary opportunities to our customers in order to gain that competitive advantage in their business and also for leisure. Abu-Dhabi is the home country of Etisalat and a destination of choice for fun and pleasure. Our customers are at the centre of our business and we are happy to provide them with services and promotions that go beyond mobile telephony”.

To participate in the promo, customers who purchase the Lumia 1020 from any Etisalat store across the country, will be required to activate the easyflex 5000 2-for-1 offer. They only need to simply recharge with N10, 000 and dial *344*5000# three times and get N37, 500 worth of airtime on the easyflex 5000 for calls, Data and SMS.

The Lumia 1020 launched into the Nigerian market in September comes with a 41 megapixel using the Pureview technology and is the second device from Nokia with a 41 megapixel camera. The device is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 4.5-inch 1280x768 (334 ppi) AMOLED display, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage and a 2000MAh non-removable battery. It also supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and support for 4G LTE network.

Etisalat Announces Longlist for Prize for Literature

Nigeria’s most innovative and fastest growing telecommunications services company, Etisalat, has announced the long list for the inaugural edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

The Prize launched in June 2013 is the first pan-African prize that is open solely to debut fiction writers of African citizenship and poised to become one of Africa’s most prestigious literary prizes for African fiction.

The longlist in alphabetical order includes Bom boy by Yewande Omotoso, Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko, Finding Soutbek by Karen Jennings, Sarah House by Ifeanyi Ajaegbo, The Great Agony And Pure Laughter Of The Gods by Jamala Safari’s, The Spider King's Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo, The Spiral House by Claire Robertson, The Whispering Trees by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, and We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo,

The judges for the maiden edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature included Chair of Judges, Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola; Professor at the University of Witwaterstrand, South Africa; writer and academic Sarah Ladipo Manyika and Managing Editor of Kwani Trust, Billy Kahora. The judges received entries from across the continent and were faced with the daunting task of selecting the nine books to cross the first hurdle. “I have never been more in love with the range, depth and wonder that is literature, by writers in my continent. There are some writers that I feel really privileged to have discovered through this Prize." Said Pumla Dineo Gqola.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Osmi chooses NTA, Silverbird TV as lead broadcast partners for World Cup campaign

The Optima Sports Management International (OSMI) agency has appointed free-to-air broadcasters Nigerian Television Authority and Silverbird Television as the lead broadcast partners in Nigeria for the 2014 Fifa World Cup football tournament.

Osmi announced its acquisition of free-to-air rights in Nigeria to the 2014 World Cup earlier this month in a deal with Fifa, world football’s governing body.

“For the 2010 World Cup, Osmi’s partnership with BON network was ranked in the top-three in the global average audience per live match by channel rating,” Chief Executive of Osmi  Rotimi Pedro was quoted as saying on This Day website.

“With an average of 14.9 million (viewers) per each live match, Osmi network beat many popular European, Middle East and Asian television networks. We are planning to better this record during the 2014 World Cup coverage and we know discerning companies and brands would want to take advantage of this huge target market that we will deliver.”

Pedro also called on Nigerian corporate bodies to support the World Cup coverage, either through sponsorship or advertising, adding that such backing will yield a high return on investment based on the popularity of the event in the country.

Osmi has been Fifa’s partner for the World Cup since 2002.

Stan Ekeh Becomes Microsoft’s Only African Global Partner Advisor

Chairman of Nigeria’s Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh Ekeh has been appointed as a global partner advisor by software giant Microsoft, according to PMNews Nigeria reports.

Ekeh will serve for two years on Microsoft’s global partner advisor committee, which serves as a feedback channel for Microsoft and meet twice per year. He becomes the only African advisor.

“Part of my responsibility would be to advice Microsoft on how best to domesticate technology and catalyse development in Africa.

“I will work closely with ICT institutions, professionals, governments, and the trade unions to ensure that my contributions to the company are truly representative,’’ he said.

Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar, Others To Perform At 56th GRAMMY Awards

French electronic dance act, Daft Punk will perform at the 56th GRAMMY Awards next month, organisers said on Thursday. This will be Daft Punk's first television performance since they last performed on the 50th GRAMMY Awards telecast in 2008.

Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons will also take the stage at the Jan 26 show, music's version of the Oscars.

A special "GRAMMY Moment" featuring two-time GRAMMY winner Merle Haggard, three-time GRAMMY winner and 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Kris Kristofferson, seven-time GRAMMY winner Willie Nelson, and current nominee Blake Shelton. Two-time GRAMMY winner LL COOL J returns as host of Music's Biggest Night.

Merle Haggard will be performing on the GRAMMY stage for the first time, and this will be P!nk's and Nate Ruess' first time performing together on network television.

Kendrick Lamar has seven nominations: Best New Artist, Album Of The Year and Best Rap Album for Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Best R&B Performance for "How Many Drinks?" (with Miguel), Best Rap Performance for "Swimming Pools (Drank)," Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Now Or Never" (with Mary J. Blige), and Best Rap Song for "F***in' Problems" (with Tauheed Epps, Aubrey Graham, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib).


Kunle Olokesusi launches maiden gospel album, My Time

The ancient city of Ibadan was agog on Sunday as Kunle Olokesusi, aka, Gaslak unveiled his maiden gospel album, My Time, to signify the turning point in his music career.

The Ise Ekiti born Electrical and Electronics graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, had explained that the new album marked  his entrance into the league of Nigerian gospel singers, after his exploits as a HipHop musician for  many years.

‘The decision to go gospel was informed by the need to positively influence minds for God. And one thing is that you don’t have to be a pastor before preaching the message and drawing people to God, and this is exactly what I intend to do with my music,’ he said.

Interestingly one of the ways  the former Hip Hop singer intends to carve a niche for himself is by making his own brand of gospel music unique.

British Airways rolls out red carpet for outstanding Trade Partners

(L-R): British Airways Corporate Manager, Adetutu Otuyalo, British Airways Trade Manager, Ademola Sanya; British Airways Senior Ticketing Agent, Yetunde Philip-Owoeye; Chief Executive Officer, Quantum Travels, Mike Otubu; Deputy Head of Mission, British High Commission, Tony Hackett and British Airways Commercial Manager, West Africa, Kola Olayinka, at the British Airways Trade Partners Event, held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, last  weekend.
As part of its commitment to recognize and reward outstanding partners for their unflinching support and contribution to its growth in the outgoing year, leading global airline, British Airways & Iberia , recently rolled out the drums to celebrate its trade partners from around the country.

The event which took place at the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites featured awards to some of the outstanding trade partners, a performance by popular Nigerian R ‘n’ B star, Banky W, and raffle draws.

Speaking at the event, Commercial Manager, West Africa, British Airways, Mr. Kola Olayinka noted that year 2013 was a good year for the company’s business, as it witnessed impressive sales from its partners. This achievement, according to the CM, would not have been possible without the support of the trade partners who remain a critical player in British Airways business success since its operation in Nigeria and West Africa.

“At British Airways, we believe strongly in bonding system, where people are appreciated and celebrated for achieving success with renewed commitment for greater performance. I will like to thank our partners for their outstanding performance in 2013 and also encourage them to continue to do more. For us at British Airways, we will not relent in recognizing and appreciating our outstanding partners for their support across all regions. 2014 promises to be more rewarding for both our trade partners and our customers,” he added.

Optimum Exposures Goes Digital

The digital revolution in the out of home industry seems set to go full circle in Nigeria with the most prominent billboard, Optimum Exposures’ majestic hoarding at Adeniji Adele, Lagos set to go digital.

The Chief Operating Officer at Optimum Exposures Limited, Engr. Bayo Adio disclosed that his company has partnered with global leaders in digital billboard, Daktronics to digitalize the Mega billboard in Nigeria, so as to serve the market better.

In the words of Adio, “Standing majestically at the beginning of the third mainland bridge outward Lagos Island, this billboard is well located to deliver the greatest number of eyeballs in Nigeria. We are truly pleased to have it digitalized to meet the demands of our ever evolving market.”

To digitalise the billboard, senior officials of Daktronics flew into Nigeria from the United States of America for a pre-installation visit on December 10, 2013. General Manager, Ahmad Dahmash and Andrew Michael Gorder, Project Manager both of Daktronics made the visit. The Optimum and the Daktronics team also met with the management of Mediacom, Carat Media Perspective and Starcom Media.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Point extends Africa presence to Nigeria

Adding to its African presence, Strategic technology driven Marketing Materials Procurement Specialist, Point, has extended its offering into West African business hub Lagos, Nigeria.

Situated at Unilever in Lagos Nigeria, the recent implementation kicked off to a flying start with the team posted achieving the single biggest first month turnover of any account in Point's history.

Before moving to Nigeria, Point has a market in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Accra and Nairobi.

GE Africa Floats First Ever Africa Learning Advisory Board

GE Africa yesterday, December 17, launched the first Africa Learning Advisory Board targeted at providing a support and thought leadership structure for both GE Africa and the continents’ talent development. The Advisory Board is chaired by the Dean of The Faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, Professor Emmanuel Atoo Ajav.

The Board brings together approximately 20 members from business and academia across GE Africa, Europe and North America, with a primary focus on local technical and engineering skill development across Africa.

GE Africa President and CEO, Mr. Jay Ireland said, the Board is a testament to GE’s commitment to developing skilled talent for the company and Africa both in the immediate and distant future.

Ireland further reiterated GE’s focus on local innovation, partnerships and the move to solidify the company’s local presence across the power, healthcare, rail transportation and oil and gas sectors. “This is a partnership that leverages GE’s long history in training and skill development; homegrown knowledge and experience from African academia and the best in practice from across the globe.” He said.

Speaking during the launch, the Cabinet Secretary, Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Mr. Adan Mohammed, who also officiated at the launch in Nairobi, addressed the need for institutions to invest in skills development that are relevant to market needs.

According to Mohammed, “the ministry is fully aware of the vital role that technical skills will play in the future of this country especially as we venture into the world of extractive mining and gas exploration. This move by GE is a step in the right direction. As a government, we are committed to offer high quality education and technical training to our youth to enable us create more job opportunities and grow our economy,” he explained.

The Chairman of the Board, Professor Emmanuel Atoo Ajav, while describing the composition of the board, explained that the board largely comprises experts in Africa and according to him; this is a testimony that Africa is ready.

"What we are doing is not only planting a seed, but also watering the tree root and nurturing its fruits," He noted.

GE is a global leader in skills development spending $ 1 billion annually on training and education programs around the world.  GE’s roots in Africa are over 100 years old with the company recently opening its Africa Headquarters in Nairobi in 2011.  It has also set up new offices in Senegal, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Cote D’Ivoire.  The company has grown its Africa human capital base from 800 in 2010 to approximately in 1800 in 2013 with plans to grow even more significantly over the next three years.

Nigeria 2013 in Search: Heroes, Moments and Tragedies

Every day, around the world, we search. We want to find out more about our heroes, explore far-away destinations, or settle a dinner table dispute between friends. And sometimes we just search to find out if eating ‘suya’ is a good dieting decision.

Zeitgeist — German for “spirit of the times” — is Google’s yearly look at the billions of searches performed throughout the year. Google’s Year-End Zeitgeist uses data from multiple sources while filtering out spam and repeat queries, to build fascinating top-ten lists across pop culture, sports, music, politics, news, and more.

This year, we reflect on the people, places, moments and topics that sent Nigerians searching for answers.

Topping the list of top trending people in Nigeria is the late music diva Susan Oluwabimpe Filani Harvey popularly known as Goldie. The large amount of Goldie-related queries following her death on valentines day shows she was and will also continue to hold a golden place in the heart of Nigerians. Other notable individuals also on the list include 2013 Big Brother Africa contestant Beverly Osu, the Time 2013 Person of the year, Pope Francis, late musician Damilola Olaniyan, a.k.a. Damino Damoche, late ‘Fast & Furious’ star Paul Walker amongst others.

The top trending events list is one that possibly reflects Nigerians’ concern for the tertiary education system, with the #1 and #2 trending terms being ‘ASUU strike’ and ‘JAMB Exam’. Other high interest 2013 events in Nigeria are the high tensioned Anambra Elections, the death of former Ondo state governor Olusegun Agagu, the birth of the newest member of the british royal family, Prince George amongst others.

Blue Band Restates Commitment to Healthy Living

The curtain was drawn on the Blue Band National Growth Challenge amidst excitement on December 13, 2013 at Sheba Hall, Ikeja, Lagos. To add to the excitement, parents and guests voted to elect the winner of an art competition, which the brand ran as part of activities for the growth challenge.

At the ceremony, Tea and Spreads Category Manager at Unilever Nigeria, Ms. Vivian Ihaza said “We are so delighted at the success of this campaign, particularly with the fact that Blue Band has touched the lives of people through improved access to nutritional knowledge. The challenge was a learning and exciting platform for parents and children, who learnt about proper nutrition and its implication to their overall health. Unilever remains totally committed to healthy living.”

According to Ihaza “Experts agree that for children spreading margarine on bread provides essential vitamins needed for growth and proper development. Blue Band is nutritious with main meals as well as with snacks to enliven children’s lunch boxes.”

Similarly, the Enugu State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. Henrietta Ugwu passionately called on Nigerians to embrace healthy living right from childhood as it will form part of habits that will be passed on from one generation to another. “I encourage mothers on the significance of providing the right nutrition – healthy, varied and adequate diet – for their children and wards in order to help them grow optimally, and demonstrate that right nutrition promotes growth in children.”

Twitter for BlackBerry 10 Updated

Source Blackberry
Blackberry has announced new update for Twitter on your BlackBerry 10 device.

Designed to be the best way to stay connected to Twitter on BlackBerry 10 device, the Twitter app for BlackBerry 10 v10.2.2 comes packed with new features. Twitter version 10.2.2 is available globally for handsets running BlackBerry 10 version 10.0 or higher.

According to Donny Halliwell, Editor-in-Chief of Inside BlackBerry, the features include:

British Airways’ Christmas 2013 Getaways Revealed

Friday December 20, 2013 will see a peak of more than 115,000 customers getting away for the Christmas break across British Airways’ network.

The busiest day for people returning home is Friday, January 3 when nearly 102,000 people will be flying with the airline.

On Christmas day British Airways cabin crew will be hosting 30,000 festive travellers across its network and serving them thousands of turkey dinners and Christmas puddings. 175 British Airways planes will be taking off on December 25 and 955 pilots and 3,546 cabin crew will be working.

Just under two million people will fly between Monday December 16 and Sunday January 5, 2014 to and from the airline’s 166 destinations worldwide.

Most popular destinations include New York, Scotland and the Caribbean. Customers may also come across British Airways staff with Christmas themed surnames including two Christmases, one Claus, four Rudolphs, two Snowballs, five Yules and five Angels!

And looking to the new year, the airline is hailing Albuquerque (USA), Austin (USA), Johannesburg (South Africa), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Leeds (UK), Chengdu (China), Santorini (Greece), Glasgow (UK), Oporto (Portugal), Hong Kong (Greater China), Moscow (Russia), Mykonos (Greek Islands) and Malta as the places to be seen in 2014.

CNN International Strengthens Africa Commitment

CNN International today announced that it is further cementing its long-standing commitment to the African continent with the launch of a new programming strand.

‘African Start-Up’ joins ‘African Voices’, ‘CNN Marketplace Africa’ and ‘Inside Africa’ as the latest addition to the leading international news network’s programming output looking at the events that are shaping the African continent and the people defining the African story.

Deborah Rayner VP and Managing Editor Europe, Middle East & Africa, CNN International, said:  “As the leading brand on the continent we are proud to continue finding new ways to tell the African story, in all its many dimensions, to our international audiences. We look forward to this new strand resonating both with African viewers and with viewers around the world. Africa is an important region for us as a global network, and ‘African Start-Up’ joins a strong stable of great programming.”

The new series, airing as a weekly segment and then bi-monthly as a half hour special,  follows several SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) entrepreneurs in various African countries to see how they’re working to make their dreams become reality.  It explores how they generate their ideas, formulate business plans, raise capital and distribute their products. The entrepreneurs take viewers through their daily challenges, charting both the setbacks and the opportunities that exist for those with the vision and creativity to try something new.

Nokia Receives Award at the 2013 African Product Forum

L-R: Deputy Chairman-in-Council, Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology, Professor John Akanya OON, presenting the Most Innovative Smart Mobile Phone of the Year Award to Nokia representatives; Innovation Manager, Nokia Research Center, Nokia West Africa, Moses Acquah; Channel Marketing Manager, Nokia IMEA, Tushita Garga and Marketing Manager, Nokia Ghana, David Anku during the African Product Award 2013 held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja on Friday, December 13, 2013
Leading phone manufacturer, Nokia, has been awarded the Most Innovative Smart Mobile Phone of the Year at the 2013 African Product Forum organized by the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology (IGRLT) at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.

Country Director, Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology, Ambassador Moses Essien explains that in a research conducted amongst various mobile phones using the parameters of “product high quality, value creation, track record and efficacy; product availability, affordability, acceptability and reliability; conformity with global quality for a good smart mobile phone brand; compliance with government regulatory laws and guidelines” amongst others, Nokia outperformed its competitors.

Speaking on this, Managing Director, Nokia West and Central Africa, Nick Imudia, said “It is an honor receiving such award. We are happy to know that our customers appreciate our products and acknowledge the value that it brings to them. It has been an interesting year, winning awards, which show that we are living up to our promise of providing our customers with innovative mobile products that connect them to what matters most.

"Nokia is well known for its ability to produce cool, colorful, trendy, affordable and most importantly, reliable devices to its numerous customers in Nigeria and beyond, we thank Nigerians for their patronage of the Nokia brand.”

Emirates strengthens European Tour relationship

European Tour professional Paul McGinley, Nigel Hopkins, Executive Vice President, Service Departments of Emirates Group and George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, are flanked by Emirates Cabin Crew (Getty Images)
Emirates and the European Tour have signed an agreement for the Dubai-based airline to extend its investment across ten more tournaments until the end of the 2017 season, as well as assume the status of Official Airline of the European Tour.

The announcement was made yestetrday Tuesday, December 17 by Nigel Hopkins, Executive Vice President Service Departments, Emirates Group and George O’Grady CBE, Chief Executive of The European Tour, during a press conference in London.

Nigel Hopkins, executive vice-president of service departments at Emirates Group, said: “Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and as a global sponsorship platform it has been immensely successful for us. Emirates’ increased investment in the European Tour is a natural move which will expand our global reach to golf enthusiasts across Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.”

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady added: “Last month we were delighted to announce the extension of the Race to Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates through to the end of the 2017 and the commitment of Emirates was very much part of the reason we were able to make that announcement. This increased investment will give us the confidence to support our tournaments globally, enhancing not only our widespread geographical footprint but also the development of our business in new markets across the world – a strategy that we at the European Tour share with Emirates.”

Partners Team with The Academy for Music’s Biggest Night

The Recording Academy proudly announced its official marketing partners for this year's 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

Degree Women,  Delta Air Lines, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyundai, JBL, MasterCard, Microsoft Surface,  PEOPLE, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble (COVERGIRL, Gain, Herbal Essences, and Olay), and WestwoodOne are all supporters of this year's GRAMMY Awards and GRAMMY Week events.

The music industry's premier event will take place live on Sunday, Jan. 26, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network  from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The show also will be supported on radio worldwide via WestwoodOne, and covered online at GRAMMY.com and CBS.com, and on YouTube. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.

 "We take great pride in our extraordinary GRAMMY marketing partnerships," said Evan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer of The Recording Academy. "We are incredibly fortunate to work with so many passionate, category-leading brands that consistently seek to push the limits of creativity and innovation."

Ferguson receives BBC Diamond award

Sir Alex Ferguson
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson added another award to his shelve last Sunday as he received a special BBC Sports Personality Diamond Award during the show's 60th edition.

The Scot, 71, retired in May after more than 1,500 matches within his 26 years in charge at Old Trafford as manager. Ferguson won 38 trophies during his time at the club, including 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

"This is a wonderful honour for me. Thanks to the BBC and everyone for this award," said
Ferguson.

Ferguson stood down after helping United secure the 2012-13 Premier League title, with fellow Scot and Everton Manager, David Moyes taking over.

Monday, 16 December 2013

TENT 2014: Benson Idahosa University To Host Event


Organizers of the annual Techie Entrepreneurial Nigerian Talented (TENT) event, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) have announced that Benson Idahosa University, Edo state will host next year’s TENT event.

PIN Executive Director, ‘Gbenga Sesan at the 2013 edition

This year’s edition which was held from Tuesday 26th – Thursday 28th November at the Lagos eLearning Centre.

Keynote speakers at the TENT gathering 2013 event were Prof Pat Utomi, Mario Valle Reyes, Business Development Director (Emerging Markets), Electronic Arts and Simdul Shagaya, CEO of Konga.com. Other speakers at TENT were Tomi Davies (Chairman, Lagos Angel Network), Moji Rhodes (Lagos State Deputy Chief of Staff/Coordinator of Innovate Lagos), Adebola Williams (RED Media), Emeka Okoye (Vikanti), Oreoluwa Somolu (W.TEC), Osayi Alile Oruene (Chairman, WimBIz), Victor Asemota (Swifta) and Emmanuel Oluwatosin (Nokia).

TENT is a platform that showcases, connects, adds value and inspires. The platform fills an existing gap and will also provide a place where budding Nigerian technopreneurs can showcase their work, connect with resources, add value to market and inspire innovation, while building a sustainable business that they will run after graduation. TENT features an annual event, and also searches for unconnected tech enthusiasts who have the potential of building on globally accessible technology products or leading a new product development cycle for local companies.

Yahoo apologizes for Mail outage

Yahoo has issued an apology to users of its Mail service after an extended outage affected 1 percent of its users last week.

In a post on the company's Tumblr by its CEO Marissa Mayer, the issue was related to a hardware failure.

Mayer called the downtime, which began last Monday, 9th December, “unacceptable.” According to her, service is back for “almost everyone,” but the full restoration process is still ongoing.

“For many of us, Yahoo Mail is a lifeline to our friends, family members and customers,” reads Mayer’s apology. “This week, we experienced a major outage that not only interrupted that connection, but caused many of you a massive inconvenience — that’s unacceptable and it’s something we’re taking very seriously. “

“While our overall uptime is well above 99.9%, even accounting for this incident, we really let you down this week,” she said. “We can, and we will, do better in the future.”

However, in a survey carried out by BrandArena, some Yahoo account users call for further improvement on the mail, stating that accessing mails are sometimes 'frustrating' especially when attempting to download photos.

One of the respondents, Susan Uti, said: "Yahoo was quite easy to operate before and that was why I prefer it to every other email services but lately its been quite frustrating especially when trying to download photos and PDF".

"I think the internet service sometimes contribute to the problem but I prefer the old yahoo design and outlook to the current one - it looks heavy", said Ahmad Ibrahim, an ICT trainee.

TIN To Register Individuals In Their Offices By 2014

In an interview held in Lagos with National Project Manager for Tax Payers Identification Number (TIN), Mr. Oduba Oduba talked about the success of the project presently and its future plans.

What is Tax Identification Number (TIN) all about?

Oduba: The Tax Identification Number (TIN) is a project designed to capture and register electronically every taxable entity in Nigeria and issue a unique number to each entity. By taxable entity I am referring to individuals and corporate organizations i.e registered companies and enterprises. It is a nation-wide electronic database system for the registration and storage of data of taxpayers in Nigeria. The main purpose is to uniquely identify tax payers.

In the previous system, every number can only be used within a state; a company with multiple locations like banks with branches all over the country would require multiple numbers per state and have to keep track of each identification number. However, this new system is centralized. Whether you are doing business in Nigeria or a resident, once you are issued this number which is being anchored by Joint tax board JTB you don’t have to register again for the purposes of tax transaction even if you move from one state to another. You use the same number to transact taxation business. Essentially, this is designed to make life easier for both tax payers and tax authorities.


Question: What has been the compliance level since the commencement of TIN program and which sector of the economy has been most responsive to the new tax system?

Oduba:  I had earlier mentioned that purpose of project is to uniquely identify tax payer. Now, for corporate bodies the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS ordinarily register all corporate bodies and fortunately before this project the FIRS had already embarked on identifying corporate bodies and they have issued numbers to them. What we did was to convert the numbers to JTB numbers. Till date, we have captured database of about 500,000 corporate organizations and that to a large extent covers essentially most of the active businesses in Nigeria today.

Also, for the enterprises one of the factors that triggered that was that the Custom Service introduced electronic Form M as part of requirements for processing business at the port. This has encouraged many enterprises to register.  It is mandatory for businesses to process transactions at the Ports with a TIN and this has motivated active participation by companies in the new tax identification system. However, the scheme has not witnessed active participation from individuals, maybe because there’s nothing to use to drive that area for now. But we are putting strategy in place to encourage that group and scale up the reception and compliance. But for the corporate bodies and enterprises, it has been quite encouraging.

Nike Football Releases Flash Pack Footwear Collection

Nike Football has revealed its latest boot collection for Holiday '13.  The four-silo Flash Pack features some of Nike’s top boots including the Hypervenom, Mercurial, Tiempo and CTR360 in a bright white boot with distinct reflective design patterns over the back heel area.

Each of the four boots features a unique silver reflective blocking design that speaks to the boot’s silo and is inspired by some of nature’s most magnificent creatures.

The Hypervenom’s reflective area is reptilian-inspired, while the Mercurial’s leopard-like print pays homage to the boot’s speed heritage. The Tiempo’s lion-esque leadership qualities are apparent in it’s own reflective print, while the CTR360 takes its print inspiration from various birds of prey.

The sock liners feature skeletal graphics of the respective animal inspiration with a color cue to identify each silo even more distinctly.

Western Union campaign reaches 250,000 pass milestone

Sandro
The Western Union Company, a Global Partner of the UEFA Europa League, has revealed over 250,000 successful passes have been completed since the launch of its three-season PASS initiative in September 2012, which turns every completed pass in the European competition into funding for better education around the world.

With the PASS initiative, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation, in collaboration with UNICEF, are harnessing the power of football to support vulnerable children around the world.

At the end of last season, the PASS fund totaled 178,231, a figure which has now reached 282,568 since the 2013/14 season started on September 19, 2013.

The top 5 clubs/players for passing in the UEFA Europa League 2013/14 season to date are as follows:

Leading Passing Teams

1. Tottenham Hotspur FC (3,673)
2. Swansea City AFC (3,269)
3. AZ Alkmaar (2,663)
4. Valencia CF (2,651)
5. PSV Eindhoven (2,532)

Leading Passing Players

1. Mousa Dembélé, Tottenham Hotspur FC (451)
2. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, AZ Alkmaar (352)
3. Thanos Petsos, SK Rapid Wien (346)
4. Alexandros Tziolis, PAOK FC (340)
5. Jan Wuytens, AZ Alkmaar (337)

Kolo Toure Becomes a Warrior

Kolo Toure
Liverpool FC defender Kolo Toure has signed a new boot deal with Warrior Football that will see the Ivory Coast centre back wear the brand’s latest Skreamer range of football boots.

Toure, who has spent 11 years in England with Arsenal, Manchester City and now Liverpool, is one of the Premier League’s most decorated defenders with two Premiership and three FA Cup winners’ medals among his career honours - will join fellow Warrior players Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill as athletes likely to travel to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"Liverpool Football Club has the right mentality, and during my time here, it’s been easy to see why the club chose Warrior to enter this new era. I’ve chosen to wear Skreamer because it’s a boot that offers both power and accuracy – the perfect match for my game", Toure said.

‘We want players who do things the Warrior way, letting their football do the talking and leading by example on the pitch. Kolo epitomises this mentality, every time he crosses the white line he leaves nothing in the changing room and anything less than 100 percent is simply not acceptable. He is a leader, a role model and a true Warrior’, Warrior’s global sports marketing manager, Ben Haworth said.

Core Group Africa announces official availability of iPad Air in Nigeria

Core Group Africa is excited to announce the official launch of the iPad Air in Nigeria. Featuring a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display in a new thinner and lighter design, the iPad Air is precision-engineered to weigh just less than 500 grams which makes it 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth generation iPad.

iPad Air is now available from 13 December from all Apple Authorised Resellers for the starting price of 99 000 Naira.

“We are delighted to announce the official availability of iPad Air in Nigeria. iPad Air is unbelievably thin and light and we encourage customers to visit their nearest Apple Authorised Reseller to purchase or experience this life-changing product,” says Rutger-Jan van Spaandonk, Core Group Africa’s Director.

Core Group Africa has appointed Apple Authorised Resellers to sell iPad Air to ensure the product is available through official channel partners. This means that customers will have peace of mind that if repair issues arise during the warranty term, their product will be repaired or replaced by an Apple Authorised Repair Centre and that they will have access to the required level of support that is mandatory for Apple Authorised Resellers. A full list of Apple Authorised Resellers selling iPad Air is available from www.isocietynigeria.com.

Cristiano Ronaldo launches own social network for fans

Having introduced his own clothing,jewellery ranges and revealing plans to open a museum soon, Portugal and Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo released his own social network, this week.

The social network is to enable his global fans to share pictures, videos and host discussions about CR7. The app has been launched in English and can be downloaded either directly from the website, or via Google Play and the itunes App Store.

Ronaldo currently has a combination of around 90million fans on his Facebook and Twitter pages. He promises to engage fully with his fans, announcing via Twitter: “This is where my true fans belong.”

Photos: Blue Band National Growth Challenge Closing Ceremony

L-R: Tea and Spreads Category Manager, Unilever Nigeria, Ms. Vivian Ihaza   and Enugu State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. Henrietta Ugwu   with the winners of Art work competition (from left) David Imafidon -1st position, Ajike Adejire and Oyinkansola Bada, 2nd position at the grand closing ceremony of Blue Band Margarine Sponsored National Growth Challenge held in Lagos on Friday.

L-R: Tea and Spreads Category Manager, Unilever Nigeria, Ms. Vivian Ihaza   and Enugu State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. Henrietta Ugwu   with a cross section of 100,000 children reached during the National Growth Challenge programme at the grand closing ceremony.

L-R: Tea and Spreads Category Manager, Unilever Nigeria, Ms. Vivian Ihaza   and Enugu State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. Henrietta Ugwu  with a cross section of 100,000 children reached during the grand closing ceremony.

L-R, : Tea and Spreads  Assistant Category Manager, Unilever Nigeria, Ms. Ogechukwu.Anozie, Master of Ceremony,  Ajibola Adebayo-Holy Mallam and Tea and Spreads Category Manager, Unilever Nigeria, Ms. Vivian Ihaza   at the grand closing ceremony of Blue Band Margarine Sponsored National Growth Challenge held in Lagos.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Photo: British Airways Dinner for On Business Partners

L-R: Commercial Manager, West Africa, British Airways & Iberia, Mr. Kola Olayinka; Managing Director of Pinceto Nigeria, Mrs. Tolu Pinheiro; President Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce, Prince Adeyemi Adefulu (MFR), and Vice President, Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce, Prince Dapo Adelegan at a dinner for British Airways On Business partners held at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi on Sunday December 8

L-R: Commercial Manager, West Africa, British Airways & Iberia, Mr. Kola Olayinka; Managing Director of Pinceto Nigeria, Mrs. Tolu Pinheiro; President Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce, Prince Adeyemi Adefulu (MFR), and Corporate Sales Manager (Nigeria) British Airways & Iberia,  Mrs. Adetutu Otuyalo at a dinner for British Airways On Business partners held at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi on Sunday December 8

Starcom Media Bags Etisalat, Nestle Accounts

As the curtain draws on the year 2013, Starcom Media Nigeria is closing the year on a good note as reports making the round have it that the agency has just bag two blue chip businesses - innovative telecommunication company, Etisalat and Nestle, a leading FMCG company in Nigeria.

Lately, the Integrated Marketing Communications Industry is becoming much more competitive as every agency is improving on their strategy in a bid to win strong accounts.

Until recently, Etisalat business was managed by Media Reach OMD.

Congratulations to Starcom Media!!!

The Recording Academy Announces 2014 Special Merit Awards Recipients

The Recording Academy announced its Special Merit Awards recipients today, and this year's honorees are: the Beatles, Armando Manzanero, Clifton Chenier, the Isley Brothers, Kraftwerk, Kris Kristofferson, and Maud Powell as Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

Rick Hall, Jim Marshall and Ennio Morricone as Trustees Award honorees; and Emile Berliner and Lexicon as Technical GRAMMY Award recipients. A special invitation-only ceremony will be held during GRAMMY Week on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, which will be held at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

"It is a great privilege to recognize such an exceptional group of honorees and celebrate their accomplishments and contributions to the recording industry," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This astoundingly unique and gifted group have created some of the most distinguished and influential work in our musical history. Their legacies are timeless and legendary, and their creativity will continue to influence and inspire future generations." 

Spotify launches on mobile, deepen market penetration

Music streaming service, Spotify deepen its market penetration as it launch on mobiles and tablets.

While Spotify is yet to make its debut in Africa, the music stream service extended its service in 20 new markets, taking its total reach to 55 countries.

“Today we’re giving people the best free music experience in the history of the smartphone and the tablet,” said Daniel Ek, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder at Spotify. “Whether you’re going to the gym, or having a party with friends. Just sit back and let Spotify serve you great music for every moment of your life.”

The company yesterday released Android and iOS applications.

2013 Quill Award Winners Graduate from Pan-Atlantic University

Mrs. Ngozi Okpalakune, a Chief Correspondent, Consumer Affairs with Champion Newspapers; Mr. Daniel Obi of Business Day Newspapers, Mr. Tunbosun Ogundare of National Mirror Newspapers; Mr. Alexander Chiejina of BusinessDay Newspapers, Mr. Sodiq Adelakun of the Punch Newspapers and Mr. Andrew Enahoro, Head Legal and Public Relations of Promasidor.
Winners of the maiden edition of Promasidor Quill Awards for journalists have graduated from a three months training on Advanced Writing and Reporting Skills (AWARES) at the Pan Atlantic University (PAU).

The training was sponsored by Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk, as part of the rewards it promised the winners earlier in the year at the maiden edition of the awards in Lagos.
The company had promised the winners, an opportunity to do a professional course at Lagos Business School (LBS), a campus of PAU besides giving them high-end Laptops and for the winner of the Photo Story category, a high-end camera.

Those who graduated include the Brand Advocate of the year category, Mrs. Ngozi Okpalakune, a Chief Correspondent, Consumer Affairs with Champion Newspapers; Mr. Daniel Obi of Business Day Newspapers who emerged winner of Best CSR Reporter of the year and the Most Educative Report of the Year category, Mr. Tunbosun Ogundare of National Mirror Newspapers.

Others include Mr. Alexander Chiejina of BusinessDay Newspapers who clinched the Best Report on Nutrition and the Photo-journalist of the Year, Mr. Sodiq Adelakun of the Punch Newspapers.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, Mr. Andrew Enahoro, Head Legal and Public Relations, Promasidor, advised the graduands to take the additional skills they have learnt as a stepping stone to advance their careers.