Friday, 31 October 2014

Pitbull, Carlos Santana To Share The Latin Grammy Stage At Milestone 15th Anniversary Telecast

In a show stopping performance, current nominee Carlos Santana will perform for the first time with Latin GRAMMY® winner Pitbull as they help The Latin Recording Academy® celebrate its milestone 15th anniversary.

In a special performance, current nominee Pepe Aguilar and 2013 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Miguel Bosé are also set take the stage together at the 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards (#LatinGRAMMY).

Additionally, actress Jacqueline Bracamontes will join Eugenio Derbez as co-host of the Latin music industry's premier event. First confirmed presenters are actor Kuno Becker, actress Angelique Boyer, GRAMMY winner Ne-Yo, and actor Sebastian Rulli. The Biggest Night in Latin Music® will take place Nov. 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will air live on the Univision Network from 8 – 11 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central).

A limited number of tickets are available for purchase through www.ticketmaster.com or www.mgmgrand.com. For updates and breaking news, please visit LatinGRAMMY.com as well as The Latin Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter (@LatinGRAMMYs) and Facebook.

DHL’s Shop the World! survey reveals emerging markets offer highest growth for e-Commerce

This is according to Sumesh Rahavendra, head of marketing for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), who says the recently released ‘Shop the World!’ report reveals that emerging markets offer the highest growth potential for the eCommerce industry.

“Although global e-retailer Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary in July, eCommerce companies in Africa are only now beginning to mark and/or accelerate their presence in the marketplace. An example is Nigeria online retailer, Jumia, which despite being founded only two years ago, is quickly gaining market share within the country which reiterates the region’s potential.

A recent report by McKinsey & Company(1) also revealed that, eCommerce could account for 10% of retail sales in the African continent’s largest economies by 2025. In comparison, online retail in the U.S. already accounts for around 9% of total retail sales(2).

“Globally, it took over 2 000 years for a formal monetary system to evolve and over 600 years for a formal banking system to be implemented. It’s taken over 50 years for credit and debit cards to be introduced and still not every person has a bank account. With all these milestones that have taken place in the evolution of commerce, it goes to show that how we shop (e-commerce), is still in its infancy,” says Rahavendra

You Can Now Chat Anonymously! Thanks To Facebook's New App 'Rooms'

Facebook, Inc has launched its new app, "Rooms" across iOS devices in the US, with an eventual roll-out to more devices and areas.

The new Facebook app is a place where you can chat with other like-minded people about most anything, from the World Series to 18th century playwrights, and because you needn’t use your real name when joining one of its chat rooms, you have a freedom to express yourself that you wouldn’t have on, say, the main Facebook app.

At this stage, the app is only receiving a small rollout in the US App Store.

According to Facebook's Josh Miller, the man behind the app's development, the plan is for a larger scale rollout worldwide within the next few weeks. Plans are also underway to iron out small details and work on releasing a few more core facilities.

Etisalat Prize for Literature: Call for Entries for 2014 Flash Fiction Prize Category Announced

Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat, has announced the 2014 Flash Fiction Prize category of the Etisalat Prize for literature. This award category which is in line with the company’s goal of inspiring and encouraging creativity is designed to celebrate the short form of storytelling.

According to the Director, Brands and Communication of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Enitan Denloye, ‘In today’s fast paced world, communication is right at our finger tips through the use of smart devices; phones, tablets and the likes and people prefer to consume information on-the-go and in small bits. The flash fiction category therefore seeks to marry these concepts thus providing added value to mobile device users across Africa.’ Entry is open to the public, who would also be responsible for reviewing entries and ultimately voting the winner’

The flash fiction prize is awarded to the top three writers in this category. The winning author receives a cash prize of £1,000, a high-end device, with his or her published e-book promoted online and via digital media platforms. The category will also produce two runners up, with each receiving a cash sum of £500 and a smart device for their literary efforts.

Interested writers are encouraged to enter works of not more than 300 words at the Etisalat Prize for Literature Flash Fiction webpage: http://goo.gl/sS2klO. Entries will close on November 4th, 2014 while review and voting will commence from November 5th, 2014 through November 25th, 2014. The top 20 entries would be announced after moderations on December 7, 2014 while the shortlist will be announced in January 2014.

Affordable Lumia 530 Launched in Nigeria with #PowerPromo

Microsoft Devices Group has announced that customers, who purchase its latest and most affordable smartphone, Lumia 530, running on the latest Windows Phone 8.1 OS are in for a big win in the #PowerPromo which kicks off on Friday, October 24th.

Business Manager, Gear, Microsoft Mobile Devices, West and Central Africa, Mario Okonya disclosed that customers who purchase the new Lumia 530 smartphone from key retail outlets and online stores will stand a chance to win Bang by Coloud mini speakers.

The outlets and online stores include Slot, Park N Shop, Everyday Emporium, DealDey, Jumia.com, Konga.com, and Ringo Telecomms Ltd.

The newly launched Lumia 530 smartphone features include the one swipe notifications from Action Center and the award winning Word Flow keyboard. It is built with a powerful quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that delivers fast user experience which makes navigation on the device seamless. The Lumia 530 will also help users enjoy their favourite apps, gaming and internet browsing session on the 4 inch LCD display with no interruptions.

Manchester City claims EPL first with second screen service

Manchester City has become the first English Premier League football team to launch a dedicated matchday second screen service through its CityMatchDay app.

Initially available as a free iPhone and Android download, the app has been launched ahead of the defending champions’ first derby meeting of the 2014-15 season against rival Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Users at the ground will be able to utilise the club’s in-stadium WiFi to stream a highlights channel that allows them to watch multi-camera angle replays of key moments in matches, along with a “rewind 30 second function” allowing them to instantly rewatch all coverage from in-stadium video channels.

Commenting on the launch of CityMatchday, Manchester City’s director of media and fan relationship Diego Gigliani said: “Football is much more than just the 90 minutes on the pitch. The matchday ritual begins for many fans the moment they wake up in the morning. This is what we wanted to try and capture and share with our fans, wherever they’re supporting us from.

And The Winner of GUS 11 Is... Ubachuckwu Chinedu!

Ubachuckwu Chinedu
The GUS The Mission Season 11 has finally come to an end. Ubachuckwu Chinedu has emerged as its winner.

The native of Anambra State beat the two other finalists Cosy Joe and Afolabi Emmanuel to the ultimate prize by being the only person to complete the final task of retrieving the General’s War Helmet.

This victory came after the 24-year-old graduate of Petroleum & Gas at University of Port Harcourt successfully navigated his way through the forest and managed to row his canoe across the heavy currents of Aguleri River.

The other two warriors failed in their quest to get to the mysterious destination across the waters.

World's first independent national sperm bank launches in Birmingham

image source: www.msdemeanour.co.uk
The world's first independent national sperm bank has been launched in Birmingham to alleviate the shortage of donors in the UK, Sky News reports.

According to Sky News, The centre is a collaboration between the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) and Birmingham Women's Hospital.

"At present some patients needing donor sperm are faced with few safe options and find themselves on waiting lists of up to five years, or having to stop treatment altogether.

"Not only is the National Sperm Bank going to revolutionise access to donor sperm in this country, its founders are also on a mission to change the face of sperm donation", Sue Avery, Director of Birmingham Women's Fertility Centre, was quoted as saying in the report.

British Airways Excites Customers with Free Upgrades to First

Mega carrier, British Airways, is causing a stir among international travellers in Nigeria, with the announcement of an amazing offer featuring a free upgrade to First for Club World customers.

The offer covers outbound travel from Lagos or Abuja in Nigeria, to destinations in London, Europe and North America from October to December 31, 2014.

According to the Regional Commercial Manager, West Africa at British Airways, Mr. Kola Olayinka, the new offer was created to reward the airline’s customers by providing access to its most exclusive products in the first class check-in areas and lounges, including a selection of the finest wines and a concierge service.   

"This is a great opportunity to thank and reward our customers this season. During the period of the offer, our Club World customers can experience the unparalleled luxury of our exclusive and prestigious First cabin service both on board and at the airport." He said.

Kaymu Rewards Customers With Free Delivery

Top sellers on Nigeria’s leading online marketplace Kaymu.com.ng  are increasing buyers satisfaction by rewarding customers with free delivery within Lagos from October 28th 2014.

The products which attracts free delivery from sellers ranges from fashion to beauty and electronic products.

According to Kaymu MD Evangeline Wiles, "as an online marketplace we have a hub of sellers on our platforms and naturally some are more outstanding than others. As a way to increase customer satisfaction, a select number of sellers have decided to offer free shipping in Lagos through the end of October.

"This is a great opportunity for our buyers in Lagos to get great products at a lower cost", Wiles added.

The online marketplace provides a platform for buyers and sellers to conduct secure business transaction. This comes a week after it successfully held its SME Saturday, an initiative driven to boost small scale businesses who do not have the capacity to market themselves independently, by exposing them to both online and offline buyers.

Heineken’s @Wherenext twitter service Excite Consumers

Sequel to the successful unveiling of Heineken’s “Open Your City” campaign, Nigerian consumers’ have commended the brand for its @wherenext twitter service which has afforded them the opportunity to discover fun spots within their location.

The @wherenext app is a revolutionary digital experience which is part of the fully-integrated global campaign, ‘Cities of the World’ which the world’s leading international premium lager beer is undertaking to allow the “Man of the World” to continue with his fun filled and fast paced life.

The Twitter-based @wherenext service which works across the country, aims to help consumers explore new experiences of their cities, using a brand new and innovative social tool. The digital experience of the ‘Cities of the World’ campaign marks a milestone in the evolution of Heineken’s digital marketing strategy.

Bosun Olanrewaju, a staff of one of the new generation banks in Victoria Island, Lagos, who has leveraged the @wherenext app on twitter, reveals that he has made it a point of call every weekend to consult the service in order to discover exciting spots around him before he steps out. “Ever since I discovered Heineken @wherenext on Twitter, making a choice as to where to hangout has been very easy for me. I have, through this service, discovered some really cool spots which I wasn’t aware of initially. I commend the initiators.”
 

2014 ADVAN: Nigerian Breweries Wins Seven Awards

Nigerian Breweries Plc on October 4, 2014, won a total of seven awards at the 2014 Advertising Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) awards for Marketing Excellence held at the Muson Centre.

The Star Lager Beer won the Gold Award in the Experiential Marketing Category and third position in the Campaign of The Year category courtesy of its nationwide music concert, Star Trek and the Shine on Nigeria campaign. Star Lite was also awarded the New Brand of the Year and came second in the Innovation of the Year category.

The duo of Gulder Lager Beer, Fayrouz and Amstel Malta didn’t do badly winning Consumer Promotion of the Year with the Gulder Ultimate Search ConsumerChallenge, the second position in the Experiential Marketing Category with the Fayrouz L’Original Expression Show respectively while Amstel Malta won third position in the Digital Marketing of the Year Category with its Act the Part online contest.

Nicolaas Vervelde, the MD/CEO of the company said the success is a major improvement over the 2013 records and further described it as a testimony to the company’s professional approach in marketing.

Media Perspectives Kicks Off Media Academy

 Nigeria’s leading media planning and buying agency, Media Perspectives, has announced the launch of its training academy tagged Media Perspectives School of Media. The academy is a technology-enable platform set up to increase the agency’s capacity to deliver world class media planning and implementation to its client.

The Media Perspectives School of Media kicked off with the agency’s staff member on Wednesday, October 29th 2014. It incorporates a blended learning approach to on-the-job training, where participants access the training content via specially designed android tablets while attending lectures, discussion forums and online/offline interaction sessions.
Training section
According to the Managing Director of the company, Dr. Tayo Oyedeji, the objective of the academy is to further consolidate the agency's leadership position in the media advertising industry. According to Dr. Oyedeji, "Media Perspectives' goal is to remain Nigeria’s No. 1 media advertising agencies in billings and reputation for excellence by deploying the nation's best trained media advertising specialists to develop consumer-focused media strategies for our clients. The only way to achieve this vision is to empower our people with the best training materials available anywhere in the world. We believe that if we take care of our people and consistently do good work, then success will follow”.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to be released into the Nigeria market

Core Group Africa, the sole and exclusive distributer for Apple in Nigeria, has today announced it will offer iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, at leading retail outlets across Nigeria beginning 14th November 2014. 


Customers can pre-order both models beginning 7th November 2014 at www.isocietynigeria.com

For more information on availability, pricing and retail location, please visit www.isocietynigeria.com. For more information on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, please visit www.apple.com/iphone.

Apple Inc CEO, Tim Cook comes out as Gay

Apple Inc CEO, Tim Cook, 53, revealed yesterday, October 30th that he is gay. Tim, who became CEO when he succeeded Steve Jobs on August 24th 2011, has never discussed his sexual preference in public before today but said that many of his colleagues knew he was gay.

His declaration makes Mr Cook the highest-profile business CEO to come out.

Tim, who is worth an estimated $500million, came out as gay in an editorial for Bloomberg Business Week, stating: “Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me”.

Tim Cook writes for Business Week:

Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.

At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.

Terragon Group MD, Umeh, to speak at GSMA Mobile 360 Africa 2014

Mr. Elo Umeh
Terragon Group’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Elo Umeh, will be a speaker at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa event which will hold on November 5-7 2014 at The Clock Tower Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Conference which brings together Stand-out Industry Leaders from all over Africa and beyond is themed ‘Advancing Economic Inclusion, Empowerment & Growth Through Digital Channels’, and will explore the possibilities of mobile in financial inclusion, digital media growth and its intending benefits on the social and economic development of many African countries, and collaborations that are necessary to overcome critical roadblocks in technology, governance, business models and investment.

The sessions at the Conference will surround Enabling a digital economy, Increasing Digital and Financial Inclusion, Empowering and Protecting the Digital Citizen and State, as well as the need to Accelerate Inclusive Economic Growth in Africa.

Umeh who will be speaking at the session ‘Delivering Affordable Access to the People of Africa’, will do so alongside other contributors including Nicola D’Elia, Head of Growth – Africa, Facebook; Gerard Brandjes, Vice President, South and East Africa, Microsoft Mobile Devices; George Ferreira, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Samsung Electronics Africa; Peter Panait Løjmand, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Opera Software; among others.

Spooktacular Nigerian Halloween Festivals

Today marks the celebration of Halloween - a popular western celebration where people dress up in creepy, scary, ghoulish, holy and often creative costumes and let go of their inhibitions. Even though Halloween is more popular in the west, there are quite a number of Nigerian festivals where people dress up in scary costumes to celebrate a particular festival. Different forms of masks, colors and original pieces mark the occasion and excitement in the crowds. Africa's Number One Hotel Booking Portal, Jovago.com has listed a number of Nigerian festivals where we throw it down like Halloween.

The Eyo festival was held to escort the soul of a departed Lagos King or Chief and to usher in a new king.  The parade happens right in the heart of Lagos with music and traditional displays along major market roads and then to the Iga Idunganran palace. The white-clad Eyo masquerades represent the spirits of the dead and their dance routines will do more than excite you.

At Ekpe festivals masked dancers perform wearing hand-crafted masks with scary horns and filed teeth. Best to arrive well before the event because it is preceded by a free-for-all night of dancing and rehearsals for drummers, dancers, chorus leaders and their choric groups. The day of the festival is welcomed with many choral group performances from elderly men and women to children of all ages. The Ekpe Festival is a must-see for the whole family.

Over 2,000 masqueraders come out and show off their stunts at the Iriji Festival. The festival involves people offering yams to the deities and ancestors before giving to the villages to make spicy yam delicacies. If that doesn’t thrill you, gymnastic performances from the masqueraders (believed to be incarnated dead ancestors) are bound to steal your heart away.  The Iriji festival is an epitome of the beauty of Igbo culture and should be seen by anyone visiting Eastern Nigeria.

Jumia Partners with the Ivorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

In order to inaugurate their partnership, Jumia and the Ivorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry are organizing a symbolic ceremony at the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Côte d’Ivoire on Thursday 30th October. Amongst the guest speakers: Fatoumata Ba, Managing Director of Jumia Côte d’Ivoire, and Lucas Dossetto, Head of Marketplace, who spoke about e-commerce and the benefits of the “marketplace”.


Having already won the trust of prominent international brands and acquired several big-name investors, Jumia, Ivory Coast’s number one online shopping destination, has transformed the Ivorian economy, bringing a new dimension to business: the marketplace.

Thanks to its marketplace, Jumia has given Ivorian brands, distributors and craftsmen the necessary means to develop and extend their selling network. All they need to do is to open an online shop on Jumia—the so-called “shop-in-shop”—and Jumia takes care of everything! From the order to shipping to customer aftercare, JUMIA brings Ivorian entrepreneurs the marketing and logistics expertise they need to conquer new markets

The marketplace also allows sellers to benefit from exposure to hundreds of thousands of unique visitors every month, as well as a multichannel online and offline presence, in order to increase brand awareness and boost their sales. The marketplace platform is simple and easy to use, offering complete control and convenience for sellers: they can develop it in line with their brand strategy, define sales promotions and put forward products of their own choice. “The marketplace represents a unique opportunity and an extraordinary business accelerator, making your offer available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Ivory Coast. At Jumia, we put everything in practice to allow our marketplace partners to increase their sales day by day.  In addition to our marketing and logistics expertise, our partners benefit from exposure to a great user number and an unequaled, international-standard quality of service”, stated Lucas Dossetto, Head of Marketplace.

10 Questions to Ask When Managing Your Company's Online Reputation

Have you Googled your company lately? If not, you probably should. What people are saying online about your brand -- the good, the bad and the oftentimes inaccurate -- makes all the difference when it comes to winning or losing customers, says Michael Fertik, founder and chief executive of Redwood City, Calif.-based online reputation management agency Reputation.com and co-author of Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier (AMACOM, 2010).

If you're not vigilantly monitoring and constantly improving your company's online reputation, you could be sending potential customers to competitors who are. You can't control what others say about your brand online, but you can manage how your business generally comes across on the internet with a few helpful tools, tips and tricks.

Here are 10 vital questions to ask when managing your company's online reputation:

1. How can I find out what people are saying about my brand online?
Start by simply searching for your company's name -- and the names of your products and services -- on Google, Yahoo and Bing, and see what types of information come up. Search using the exact title of your business, along with common misspellings of it. You'll also want to run an image search using your company's name.


In an ideal world, your business's actual website, hopefully along with some favorable, accurate news and reviews, should dominate the majority of the first page of search engine results, says Michael Zammuto, president of Brand.com, a Philadelphia-based online reputation management firm.

NIMN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION MANIFESTO

Let the Sleeping Giant Arise - An Agenda For Restoration

Dear Colleagues in The Marketing Profession,

A few months ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria set up the National Conference made up of 492 delegates representing various interests groups in the Nigerian Project.  14 Professional bodies were invited and represented at the Conference. The following were the professional bodies:

-       Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
-       Nigerian Society of Engineers(NSE)
-       Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB)
-       Nigerian Medical Association (NBA)
-       Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA)
-       Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
-       Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)
-       Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR)
-       Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAPN)
-       Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV)
-       Nigerian Environmental Society (NES)
-       Nigerian Economic Society (NES)
-       Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN)
-       Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) were

Sadly, our National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), chartered by an Act of Parliament, and arguably the mother of all professions, was not seen as worthy to be represented at the conference. 

In a way, this summarises the sorry state of affairs of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, today.  It could be so easy to start listing the reasons why we have found ourselves where we are.  We can continue to bemoan our fate as an institute, but this is where we find ourselves at this moment.  We can continue to trade blames about who “done it”, but it does not change the situation and we remain where sadly, we are.  We can even re-brand, but as great marketing professionals, we all know that re-branding a bad product changes nothing, so we remain where we are.  To recap, this is where we are and this is where we find ourselves.  I am not at this time confident that many of us can stand tall in the public place today and proudly claim to be members of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria.

AIF announces 30-day extension for the US$ 150 000 IPA 2015 award

AIF announces 30-day extension for the US$ 150 000 IPA 2015 award – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for African innovators to take their innovation to the next level and benefit Africans across the continent

With a total prize share of US$150 000, African innovators stand to gain much more, such as recognition through our unique IPA brand, increased opportunities to attract investments, continental and international media attention, and the chance to positively transform the African innovation landscape.

Make your innovation count – submit your application now!

IPA targets innovators in 5 key sectors (http://innovationprizeforafrica.org/priority-areas) that include agriculture and agri-business; environment energy and water; manufacturing and service industry; health and wellbeing; and ICTs. The competition is open to all Africans including those in the diaspora, irrespective of socio-economic status, gender, demographics or profession. Says IPA Director, Pauline Mujawamariya: “We want to take the ecosystem of innovation to a new level across the continent, and are therefore encouraging applications from all 54 African countries to be a part of this unique initiative. We particularly encourage women and young people from all sectors to submit their applications”.

Everyone is a potential winner!

As one of the top 10 finalists, you will receive media exposure and IPA will invest up to US$5 000 to further spotlight your innovation. Our rules are simple: if your innovation can be categorised as Original, Marketable, and Scalable, you are already half way there! If your innovation can create Social Impact, address existing development challenges faced by the community, or clearly demonstrate Technological or Scientific significance in its field and beyond, you stand a chance to win – BIG! We are looking for smart, innovative solutions that can drive tangible change on the ground and better the lives of Africans.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Etisalat Celebrates 20 million Customers in Six Years

Nigeria's most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat Nigeria, has confirmed its billing as the fastest growing telecommunications network in the country, as it marks six years of operations with a rise in its active subscriber base from 17 million as at December 2013 to 20 million.

Noting that this represents an 18% growth rate, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher, described the growth as a significant milestone, attributable to the loyalty of Nigerians to Etisalat’s innovative products and services..

“I must emphasize that the remarkable growth we have recorded is a direct result of two factors - the loyalty and warmth of our millions of customers and the commitment of our staff, who serve as a vital link in the chain which drives our operations. We remain committed to constantly improving our products and service delivery,” an elated Willsher noted.

In just six years of operations, Etisalat has become a major industry player despite the highly competitive nature of the Nigerian telecoms market. The company has introduced a wide variety of innovative and unparalleled products and services such as the first-of-its-kind educational tool in the youth market, Cliqlite; the first loyalty proposition in the Nigerian telecommunication industry, Etisalat GEM and the new state of the art Gold Series and Flagship Experience Centres.

UK's New Call Telecom buys 70% stake in chat app Nimbuzz for around $175M

UK-based privately held communication services provider New Call Telecom has acquired a 70 percent stake in the business for $175 million, valuing the full company at $250 million according to reports.

The UK-based provider of low-cost fixed line and broadband services has taken Nimbuzz was a breakeven business, and expects to be profitable in Q4 with voice services, mobile ads and stickers driving revenues.

The move is part of a bigger strategy at New Call to invest in India, with Nimbuzz keeping its focus mainly on that country. We understand that the full staff of Nimbuzz, including CEO Vikas Saxena, will be coming over as part of the deal.

New Call says that it will make Nimbuzz the latest brand in its portfolio, covering entertainment, “basic connectivity” and WiFi while on the move. Other brands include the recently-launched Fuel broadband service in the UK, a mid-tier provider.

Nimbuzz was founded way back in 2006 in the Netherlands, but it found a lot of traction in the India, South East Asian and Middle East/North Africa markets. These form a significant part of its user base today — the vast majority of them, in fact, considering that in 2013 it already counted 150 million users in those regions.

Microsoft signs three-year partnership deal with Special Olympics

Computer software company Microsoft has signed a three-year partnership with the Special Olympics, according to reports by sportbusiness.com

The deal will reportedly begin from 2014-15 to 2016-17. The partnership enable Microsoft to modernise the non-profit organisation’s software and games management system.

“The Special Olympics’ goal of creating a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people is something we believe in here at Microsoft,” Lisa Brummel, Microsoft’s executive vice-president of human resources, was quoted as saying in the report.

The next Special Olympics World Games will be the summer edition held in the US city of Los Angeles from July 25 to August 2, 2015. The Korean city of PyeongChang hosted the winter World Games last year.

SLOT opens another outlet in Lagos

In bid to further ease the stress of its customers, SLOT Nigeria has opened another outlet in the country's commercial hub, Lagos.

The newly launched outfit is located at Plot 1296 Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The company also announced slit reduction on some of its Nokia Lumia range.

Guinness Record Fight: Nexim Bank Frustrates my Ambition, says Bash Ali

Official Rejoinder: Guinness Record Fight: Nexim Bank Frustrates my Ambition, says Bash Ali

The above refers.


The attention of the Board, Management and staff of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) have been drawn to recent publications in some national dailies, notably Leadership Newspaper of Tuesday 21st October, 2014 at page 54; Nigerian Pilot Newspaper of Monday 20th October, 2014 at page 55 and The Nation Newspaper of Monday 20th October 2014 at page 53, Leadership Newspaper of Wednesday 23rd October, 2014 at page 52 respectively.

1.         The said publications came under different captions as ‘’Bash Ali to Jonathan: save my vision’’; ‘’Why my Guinness World Record fight is stalled’’; and the loudest being ‘’Guinness Record Fight: Nexim Bank Frustrates my Ambition, says Bash Ali.’’ Ordinarily, NEXIM Bank would have ignored the content of the said publications considering the source of the news, Bash Ali, but for the need to set the records straight and correct the negative and misleading impressions.

2.         It is recalled that a letter dated 19th December 2013, titled, “APPOINTMENT INTO THE LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF BASH ALI’S WORLD GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORD FIGHT PROJECT”, purportedly signed by Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Ojoba for the then Chairman of the National Sports Commission and Minister of Sports was sent to NEXIM Bank requesting its membership in a Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the boxing tournament. Under Paragraph 2 of the letter, it was categorically and specifically stated that, “The Commission has fully identified with this course (sic) and felt that it should be a private organisation driven project with Government providing enabling environment.

Carniriv 2014 will be the best Carnival ever’ - Dr Sam Dede, DG, RSTDA

L-R, Deinbofa Era, Dr. Sam Dede & Deacon Vincent Erinwo all of RSTDA
The Director General and CEO of the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, Dr. Sam Dede has said that the 2014 edition of Carniriv, the Port Harcourt Carnival is set to go down in history as the most colourful and memorable carnival event ever witnessed on the African continent.

In recent times, Dr. Dede, an award winning actor and lecturer, gave the hint at a media interactive forum held in Port Harcourt to announce the 2014 edition of the carnival which is scheduled to hold from the 14th – 20th of December in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

According to him, an estimated number of over five hundred thousand participants made of residents, tourists, fun lovers and representatives of corporate bodies will converge in Port Harcourt during the one week period of the carnival with estimated daily business exchanges running into several millions. He also revealed that the carnival is repackaged to deliver value and cement Port Harcourt’s reputation as a foremost tourist city in Africa.

‘Because of the traditional high influx of carnival lovers to our city during our annual showpiece event, we have put in place adequate security measures to ensure the protection of lives and property during the entire duration of the carnival. We are also working with other stakeholders in the health and other key sectors to ensure that we create a conducive environment for our visitors,’ he said.

Etisalat sponsored LagosPhoto VIP Preview Session

From Left, Chief Human Resource Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Abigail Isokpan;  Brand Director Lagos Photo Foundation, Wunika Mukan; Director, Lagos Photo Foundation, Azu Nwabogu and Head, Events & Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Modupe Thani, at the Etisalat sponsored LagosPhoto VIP Preview Session, held at Eko Hotel & Suites over the weekend.

Stakeholders Brainstorm At L’oreal Central West Africa Disability Initiative

 L’Oreal Central West Africa - a leading beauty brand, held an interactive forum for people with disability (PwD) and corporate organizations to promote inclusion of people with disability in the workplace. This is part of the cardinal tripod and business policy for the company which was unveiled at a forum in Lagos.

The forum witnessed presentation of different papers and thoughts on the rights of people with disability. The papers were presented by different professionals that have been in the fore front of promoting and protecting the interest of people with disability in Nigeria, they include Dr. Adeola Majiyagbe of Total Health Trust who spoke on disability from the medical angle, types of disability, both visible and invisible disability.

Founder of Advocacy for Women with Disability Initiative, Mrs. Patience Ogolo-Dickson, who gave her account on the inclusion of PwDs in the workplace and the stigma/challenges faced by people with disability urging government and corporate entities to create enabling environment for PwDsin order to showcase their talent and allow them contribute meaningfully to development of the economy.

Chief Executive officer, Theseabilities Limited, Mr.Adeboye Abioye, spoke on the business case for inclusion of the PwDs, x-rayed the different models of engaging the PwDs, which included Employment, Social and CSR models. He revealed that there is a lot the business environment can benefit from PwDs because study had shown that they are more committed to details.

New Fanta Apple Flavour Hits Nigerian Market

Nigeria’s vibrant soft-drinks market got sparked-up this week with the launch of the new Fanta Apple flavor by beverage giant, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited.


According to the company's Marketing Director, Patricia Jemibewon, the new apple flavoured drink has been specifically formulated for the youthful consumer segment with a great fruity apple taste that Nigerians would love.

“The apple-flavoured drink is targeted particularly at the youth and has been developed for Nigerian taste buds.We have had an excellent response on our other variants and with the national launch of Fanta Apple, we are extending our market leadership in the fruit-flavoured sparkling drink segment,” Jemibewon said.

She disclosed that the new Fanta Apple flavor is the result of extensive market research in the beverage sector which confirms that current offerings in that segment did not completely meet expectations of discerning young consumers who constantly desire unique refreshment.”

Senior Brand Manager, Flavours at Coca-Cola Nigeria, Toyin Nnodi spoke on the brand essence of the sparkling drink. “The Fanta Apple Flavour variant has been specially formulated with a focus on the young, active, daring and unconventional young adults who desire and yearn for a change from the conventional soft drinks. It comes at a time when Fanta Orange has established itself; the new product complements the company's sparkling portfolio.”

Nigerian Breweries Signs MOU With Federal Ministry of Agriculture On Hybrid Sorghum Development

Nigerian Breweries Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to collaborate on the development and commercialization of sorghum as part of its sustainability programme.

Speaking at the ceremony, which took place at the Minister’s conference room in Abuja, the Chairman of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Chief Kola Jamodu said that the company has invested heavily over the years in the research and development of hybrid sorghum aimed at improving sorghum productivity through breeding and selection programme.

He expressed optimism that the partnership with the ministry signified by the signing of the MOU will further expand and strengthens the company’s efforts in developing the sorghum value chain in Nigeria.
(L-R) Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, Chairman of the company, Chief Kola Jamodu, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry,Mrs. Ibikun Odusote at the signing of MOU between Ministry of Agriculture and Nigerian Breweries Plc on Hybrid Soghum Development in Abuja on Friday.

Chief Jamodu pledged the commitment of Nigerian Breweries to deploy the high yield hybrid sorghum seeds for large scale commercial production to support the agriculture transformation agenda of the federal government. He commended the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina for his focus and commitment in driving the agriculture transformation agenda, pointing out that the initiative has recorded commendable success so far.

He pointed out that Nigeria has no business dependent on food importation hence the need for backward integration. He stated that the ban on barley importation in the 1980s and 1990s made the company to seek for local alternatives; this was what formed the basis for the research into local alternatives. Even after the ban was lifted, the chairman said the company maintained its stand on sourcing local substitute for barley.

Coke Studio Takes May D, Teckno, Solebobo, Others to CRUTECH

Lovers of good music and dance are in for a time of their lives as the Coke Studio Concert hits the campus community of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) on Friday, October 31st with performances from May D, Tekno, Solebobo amongst others.

CRUTECH will mark the seventh campus visited by Coke Studio Concerts since it kicked off in September after touring the Lagos State Polytechnic, University of Benin, Abia State University, University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Port-Harcourt campuses with some of Nigeria’s biggest music artistes.

The Brand Manager, Colas, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Olufemi Ashipa, explains that the concerts were inspired by the need to take the experience of the Coke Studio TV broadcast directly to the target audience.  “Through these concerts, we are giving our consumers the opportunity to enjoy the music experience Coke Studio brings”, Ashipa said.

He also noted that selection of the artistes was based on the preferences of the consumers in each location. “These artistes are big among our target consumers and also the Nigerian music scene. The big idea with these concerts is that not only do they get to watch the artistes perform; their local acts get to perform alongside these established acts”, Ashipa said.

Germany confirms 2024 Olympics bid

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) has confirmed that it will bid to host the 2024 summer Olympic Games.

Berlin and Hamburg are the two cities considered to host the Games with a decision on who the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) will put forward set to be decided on March 21, 2015.

Both cities outlined concept proposals for a bid last month. Berlin has previously put a figure of €2.4 billion (£1.9 billion/ $3.1 billion) on hosting the Games.

The German capital would spend €250 million (£197 million/ $318 million) on upgrading 15 existing sports facilities and €1 billion (£790 million/$1.3 billion) building temporary ones for the Games.

Broll Nigeria appoints new CEO

Broll Property Services Nigeria, the country’s leading Property Services Company, has appointed Mr. Bolaji Edu as its new Chief Executive Officer. The appointment takes effect from October 2014.

Mr. Edu takes over from erstwhile CEO, Mrs. Erejuwa Gbadebo, and will have overall responsibility for Broll’s operations in Nigeria.
Mr. Bolaji Edu, CEO Broll

Bolaji Edu brings a wealth of international industry experience to the company. Prior to joining Broll, he worked at Aviva Investors as part of the European Real Estate team as an Assistant Fund Manager advising corporate and public sector pension funds on their real estate portfolio.

He has a degree in Economics and Business Economics from the University of Hull, UK and is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Commenting on the appointment, Leonard Michau – Director and Head of West Africa Operations for Broll said: “We welcome Bolaji to our team. His over 18 years experience in the real estate market is invaluable and we are confident he will make a significant contribution in continuing to build our presence in Nigeria. Our ability to attract a real estate executive with his record and knowledge reflects Broll’s potential for continued strong growth. We look forward to his leadership in driving and executing on the strategies that will allow Broll to further enhance its position in the industry.”

Mission To STOP Ebola! IBM, Airtel, Echo Mobile join forces in West Africa

Airtel, IBM Research Africa and Kenya's Echo Mobile have partnered to launch several initiatives in an aim to help curb the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

The initiatives include a citizen engagement and analytics system in Sierra Leone that enables communities affected by Ebola to communicate their issues and concerns directly to the government; a donation of IBM Connections technology in Nigeria to strengthen the Lagos State government's preparedness for future disease outbreaks; and a global platform for sharing Ebola-related open data.

The efforts combine expertise from IBM's global network of research labs with the company's years of experience in humanitarian disaster response by applying mobile technology, data analytics and cloud computing to help governments and relief agencies as they seek to contain the deadly disease.

The work benefits from contributions from a number of partners including Sierra Leone's Open Government Initiative, Cambridge University's Africa's Voices project, Airtel and Kenya's Echo Mobile.

No petition to us by court over half-empty cans – NBC, Coca-Cola

Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC and Coca Cola Nigeria Limited said, yesterday, they had not received any petition by the court against them by the Consumer Protection Council, CPC, over half-empty Sprite cans.

In a co-signed statement by the Head, Public Affairs & Communications of NBC, Uzo Odenigbo and Head, Public Affairs & Communications of CCNL, Clem Ugorji, the companies said they had only noted from media reports that criminal charges had been instituted against both companies as a result of the Consumer Protection Council’s CPC’s reaction to February 2014 complaint by a consumer involving two short–filled cans of Sprite.

The statement said NBC and CCNL had the utmost respect for the CPC as a regulator and an agency of government and would continue to co-operate with the council on the matter.

According to the statement, “we filed applications for a judicial review of these orders in February 2014, which review is pending in the courts. We do not believe that our submission to judicial review is in violation of the council’s orders. We have full trust in the Nigerian judicial system.

MasterCard cardholders to enjoy priceless offers from 28 of Lagos’ best restaurants in November

(L–R) Sarvenaz Etebarian, V & B Place; Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President & Area Business Head, MasterCard West Africa; Tannaz Etebarian Bahnam, Founder of “Lost in Lagos”; during a dinner held at Spice Route Restaurant to launch the MasterCard Restaurant Week in Lagos yesterday
Food-lovers are in for a priceless treat as MasterCard Restaurant Week presented by Lost in Lagos debuts in Lagos. From 1 November - 21 November 2014, MasterCard cardholders will be able to enjoy the best dining experiences that Lagos has to offer at exceptional prices.

Famous the world over, Restaurant Week is a culinary event that celebrates all the qualities that define a great restaurant:  high standards in food and presentation, ambiance and service. Held in several cities including Amsterdam, New York, Singapore, Beijing and now Lagos, Restaurant Week gives food-lovers the opportunity to dine at top restaurants at discounted set-menu prices.

MasterCard Restaurant Week will include special menus from 28 of the city’s top restaurants including Spice Route, Fusion, Bistro 7, Oje, Viceroy and Bar Campione as well as a handful of exclusive, fine dining establishments like Izanagi, Rooftop and Medici Restaurant among others.
(L–R) Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President & Area Business Head, MasterCard West Africa; Tannaz Etebarian Bahnam, Founder of “Lost in Lagos”; Bolanle Olatunji, Marketing Manager, Uber; Sarvenaz Etebarian, V & B Place; and Alastair Curtis, International Launcher, Uber, during a dinner held at Spice Route Restaurant to launch the MasterCard Restaurant Week in Lagos Recently
“MasterCard Restaurant Week will change the way people look at dining out in Lagos as it will give food-lovers the opportunity to experience new restaurants that they may have been unable  to try before,” says Tannaz Bahnam, Founder of Lost in Lagos. “Each of the participating restaurants is known for their excellent cuisine and service, ensuring that restaurant-goers will enjoy an unforgettable dining experience,” she says.

Micky Lawler becomes WTA president as body considers new team event

Tennis executive Micky Lawler has been appointed as the new president of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

With over two decades of experience at sports marketing agency Octagon, Lawler will be responsible for driving the organisation’s international growth strategy and business development. She will start her new role on January 1, 2015 and report to WTA chairman and chief executive Stacey Allaster.

According to Allaster, Lawler has been instrumental in shaping and contributing to WTA strategy for growth, importantly including opening new markets for the sport.

Also, WTA is reportedly considering a plan to establish its own team event.

The International Tennis Federation already hosts the Fed Cup national team tournament for women.

Datsun returns! Plans market expansion in Africa, Middle East

Datsun, a brand of Nissan Motor Corporation is finally back to global market. The brand has become a reality for many customers across India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.

BrandArena learnt that plans are in top gear by the legendary brand to return and launch some new products in a 'big and better way' to regain its weight as a global giant.

The company is taking a bold step into more high-growth markets where there are increasing numbers of upwardly-mobile people in nearest future - beginning with an extension in Africa and Middle East.

South Africa is the fourth global market for Datsun. The Datsun GO launched heralds the brand’s entry for accessible motoring in the country and designed to meet the needs and aspirations of today’s customers and is destined to carve a distinctive niche as a lifestyle vehicle for first time new car buyers.

WIMBIZ Set To Hold 13th Annual Conference

The Women in Management, Business and Public Service, WIMBIZ, is set to hold its 13th annual conference in Lagos. The two-day conference is themed ‘Nigeria Rising … Accelerating Transformation’, and it's expected to be attended by over 800 women.

WIMBIZ is aimed at examining the possibilities and opportunities in Nigeria while providing insights on the roles of citizens, particularly women, in achieving the identified prospects.

According to the organizers, the conference will touch on education and agriculture, would seek new ways of creating jobs and wealth for women and young people and fast-forward their thinking to grow the nation.

The keynote speaker at the conference is the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, while the chairperson is Mrs. Leila Fowler, founder, Top Grade Secondary School and Proprietress, Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls.

Speakers include Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, MD, Bank of Industry, Mrs. Alero Otobo, CEO, Incubator Africa Ltd; Ms Yewande Sadiku, Executive Producer, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Mr. Mezuo Nwuneli, MD, Sahel Capital among others.

NSE Becomes Full Member of WFE

The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) yesterday unanimously voted to admit The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as full member of the global trade association for the operators of regulated securities exchanges.

Elected as a Federation member during the 54th General Assembly and Annual Meeting of the WFE Seoul South Korea, the NSE becomes the first West African stock exchange to be granted full Federation membership status.

With 60 members from around the globe and its exchanges exchanges home to over 45,000 listed companies, the WFE develops and promotes standards in markets, international cooperation, and coordination among regulators.

The WFE’s vote for full membership came through a series of assessments. On September 15-16, the NSE was visited by a WFE inspection team in Lagos. The inspection team consisted of the Federation and member exchanges.

MTN bleeding subscribers in Nigeria

MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile telecoms operator, slashed its full-year forecast for Nigerian subscriber growth by nearly a third on Thursday, raising concern about its ability to fight off competition in its top market and sending its shares sliding.

The company has been fighting to stay in the lead in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, ahead of competitors such as the UAE’s Etisalat, India’s Bharti Airtel and privately-owned local firm, Globacom. It now expects to add 3.5 million users in Africa’s biggest economy this year, from its previous forecast of five million. In total, it has 58.4 million customers in Nigeria, a slight decrease from three months ago.

“That comes as a bit of a surprise. Many participants in the market were looking for a correction in Nigeria,” said Nadim Mohammed, a telecoms industry analyst at First Avenue Investment Management, referring to MTN’s revision to its subscribers forecast.

“You’ve got a very capable regulator in the country now and they are doing the right things to promote competition, better costs to communicate and a better experience for the consumer. I am actually worried,” he added.

Proposed Ebola Parties In The UK Draws Criticism

The proposed Saturday Night Ebola Fever for Halloween weekend at Scotch of St James, a music venue in Mayfair in London, has continued to draw criticism from charities attempting to deal with the outbreak.

Recently, flyers and a Facebook invite, complete with a banner with Halloween-themed writing, was released.

Tom Dannatt, chief executive and founder of Street Child, a charity running an Ebola crisis appeal, told the Telegraph that anyone trying to make light of the crisis or a profit out of it is reprehensible.

A medical doctor, Dr. Susan Nelson said such awareness which not be view from a marketing perspective. "Some people always look forward to caught in on any public challenge and us it to get the attention of their targeted audience all in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility or Brand Affiliation. The issue of Ebola shouldn't be taken with levity."

Jovago Supports BrandArena, Gives 25% Discount On Nigerian Hotel Booking To Its Readers

With the support of Africa’s largest online hotel booking platform jovago.com , local audience of BrandArena (http://brandarena.blogspot.com/), a brand and marketing blog in Nigeria, can now enjoy 25% discount off their first hotel booking.

To enjoy these benefits, the blog readers are to send the code 'BRANDARENA' to discount@jovago.com for their unique code when making their booking.

According to Miss Chinelo Ngene, Head of Marketing and Public Relations at jovago.com , the blog readers will get a 25% discount off their first Nigerian hotel booking and subsequent 5% when they use the code.

"This is part of our little way of showing our appreciation to our teeming readers who have always been with us since we started this weblog in 2011", says Mr. Oloyede Lukmon Moyosore, the founder of BrandArena.

He pledged that the platform will continue to feed all brand savvy readers with news update from product launch to events, product review, digital and multicultural marketing, sports branding, art, agency rankings, and also give exclusive reports on arising marketing communications matters.

Liverpool’s LFCTV to launch new HD channel, moves to subscription model

English Premier League football club Liverpool's LFCTV will be launching a brand new HD channel, providing bigger and better content for fans 24 hours a day.

It will also alter its in-house television channel LFCTV from a free-to-air to subscription-based model when it re-launches next month.

The new-look channel will launch on Tuesday 4 November with live feeds from Spain’s capital city as the team take on Real Madrid.

The club says the first day will include live broadcasts from the Spanish capital. In return for the £84 a year service fans will get to see “a new-look interactive studio, regular live news bulletins from Melwood training ground every day, more behind the scenes access, exclusive interviews, features and documentaries.”

The club also claim: “Match days will be like never before, with extended pre-match build up and post- match analysis with Anfield legends, extensive coverage from every European Liverpool game and full match replays of every First Team game. Fans will also get exclusive, live coverage of all U21s and U18s home fixtures as well as coverage of the Liverpool Ladies’ season.”

O'Keeffe To Become New MD at Guinness as Adetu Bows Out

Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, has announced that Mr. Seni Adetu will be bow out as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company in November.

After two and half years in the position, Mr. Adetu will be replaced by Mr. John O’Keeffe.

Mr. John O’Keefe has been in Diageo for over 20 years, and has had a very strong career. He started his career as a graduate trainee for Guinness Ireland, holding many marketing roles in Ireland before moving to Jamaica as Marketing Director.

“Having completed his assignment, Adetu will report to Nick Blazquez, President, Diageo Africa and Asia, starting January 2015. The details of Seni’s next role will be the subject of a further announcement,” a statement from the company says.

"During his time in the role, he creditably led the business and successfully completed the expansion project and commenced a major transformation in the company’s Route-to-Consumer," it went on.

Airtel introduces free mobile access to Twitter

Bharti Airtel’s prepaid customers in Kenya will now be able to access Twitter on their mobile phones for free till 15th January 2015, enabling them to enjoy posting Tweets, keeping up with news and what’s happening across the world.

This limited period Twitter offer by Airtel will allow customers to enjoy free access to Twitter through web browsers by visiting http://mobile.twitter.com and official Twitter Android app and This offer is only available for android users and subscribers using BlackBerry handset will not be able to avail this offer.

With over a hundred million of active users worldwide, Twitter is an information network that connects people everywhere to what’s most meaningful to them. People can share and read Tweets of up to 140 characters, which can also include photos, videos or links to websites and news stories.

While announcing the new offer, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said, “Customers are increasingly relying on the mobile devices for accessing everything from emails to music to social networks. In conjunction with this trend, we are pleased to introduce 3 months of free access to Twitter to our prepaid customers. Our customers will now be able to enjoy Twitter’s rich interface on their mobile web browsers free of charge. This initiative will introduce new users to an exciting world of possibilities that mobile internet enables, thus providing an impetus to data services market”.

President Jonathan Appoints Bernard Otti as First Deputy GMD of NNPC

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the creation of a new office of Deputy Group Managing Director in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to a statement obtained by our correspondent which was issued by the Presidential Spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati,  he said that in furtherance of ongoing efforts to transform the NNPC into a commercially-driven entity, President  Jonathan has approved the creation of a new office of Deputy Group Managing Director of the corporation.

Otti is currently the NNPC’s  Group Executive Director (Finance and Accounts). He will still retain the Group Executive Director (Finance and Accounts) of the corporation. Mr Otti hails from Anambra State.

He has held senior positions in some of the largest financial institutions in Nigeria and internationally, and has also served on the boards of numerous public and private institutions.

The new office of Deputy Group Managing Director is expected to strengthen the corporate governance structure of the NNPC and help ensure that value for money and return on investment increasingly become key factors in all operational decisions.