Thursday, 30 April 2015

Registration For Fayrouz L’Original Season 2 Extended

According to the organizers of the premium fashion and lifestyle competition, Fayrouz L’Original, registration has been extended to Saturday May 9, 2015; terms and conditions apply.

Amidst thousands of entries received in the past month and multiple requests on social media, the competition is not only open to undergraduates but fresh graduates and youth Corps members as well. 

Speaking on the new developments, Senior Brand manager, Fayrouz Nnenna Ifebigh-Hemeson explained that the reason behind the extension is to accommodate other interested participants. 

‘The decision to extend the closure of entry is so we can allow more creative young individuals, who are at that stage in their life where they need to become independent; take charge of this opportunity. So far the response has been phenomenal and we are excited about it. We hope that the extra days will give the new applicants, graduates and Youth Corps members alike, enough time to be a part of the competition’, she said.

Registration is currently running on www.fayrouzloriginal.com/competition/. Auditions will kick off in May 2015 in different universities across the country including University of Lagos, the University of Ibadan, the University of Port Harcourt and the University of Nigeria, Enugu.

Guinness Nigeria establishes N10billion commercial paper programme

Guinness Nigeria Plc, the nation’s leading brewer, has today announced that it will be establishing a 10 Billion Commercial Paper (“CP”) programme today, 29th April 2015, with the view to launching its inaugural CP issue under the programme on or before Friday, 8th May 2015. 

The announcement was made at the signing ceremony which held at the company’s headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos.
MD/CEO Guinness Nigeria Plc. John O’Keeffe, , MD/CEO FMDQ OTC Plc. Bola Onadele; Finance and Strategy Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc. Mr. Ron Plumridge; and, Sumbo Akintola, Partner, Aluko and Oyebode at the N10billion Commercial Paper signing ceremony held at Guinness Nigeria Headquarters on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
 “We are very pleased with the successful launch of this Commercial Paper programme for Guinness Nigeria Plc and the support received from our advisors to get us to this point. This will be the first corporate CP programme to be established in recent times, following the new CBN guidelines coming into effect, and we are pleased to be the first company to take advantage of this opportunity. We look forward to a robust uptake of this inaugural issuance imminently, whilst retaining the flexibility offered by the programme to tap into the CP market again in the nearest future”, said Mr. John O’Keeffe, the Managing Director/CEO of Guinness Nigeria while speaking at the signing ceremony.

Witnessing the signing ceremony were representatives of the transaction advisors which include Stanbic-IBTC Capital Limited and Standard Chartered Securities Nigeria Limited as Joint Arrangers, Aluko & Oyebode as Legal Counsel, KPMG as Auditors to the Issuer, and Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited as Issuing Calculation and Paying Agent. Also in attendance were officials of FMDQ OTC, a Securities and Exchange Commission licensed over-the-counter market operator for fixed income securities.

Platinum Equity Acquires Chinese Manufacturer Ying Shing

Los Angeles-headquartered Platinum Equity has acquired Chinese manufacturer Ying Shing Enterprises Limited, in the private equity firm's first acquisition in Asia, according to a company announcement.

Platinum acquired its stake from the Ying Shing's founder and president, Chen Jianying, who will retain a minority stake and stay on to lead the business.

"This is an important milestone for our firm and a natural step in the growth of our business," says Platinum Equity chairman and CEO, Tom Gores.

Platinum Equity will begin immediately working with Chen and Ying Shing’s executive team to support the company’s growth.

Unilever repackages Close-up

Leading multinational brand, Unilever, has repackaged and rebranded its long distance running toothpaste, Close Up. The repackaged brand now comes across in three different flavoured variants namely; Deep Action Red Hot, Naija Herbal Gel, and Herbal Paste.

According to the company’s statement, “The Close Up brand is well poised to carter to the oral care of Nigerians with a formulation that contains micro-shine crystals to clean up the deep corners of the mouth and active zinc mouth wash that kills up 99.9 per cent of germs to give a longer lasting fresh breath for 12 hours non-stop.”

Also, at the unveiling of the repackaged product, the fast moving consumer goods maker disclosed that they had signed the award winning artiste, David Adeleke, otherwise known as Davido, as the brand ambassador of their flagship brand, Close Up toothpaste.

Identifying the 40 year old brand with the multi-talented young Davido is geared towards engaging the brand’s core target who is the Nigerian youths.

Buzzeff Launches Maiden Edition of Kaymu TV Commercials

Buzzeff, an international advertising company has launched its first online video advertising campaign in Nigeria for leading online shopping community, Kaymu.

On April 22, Kaymu released its first video advertising campaign for Nigeria. The commercial was distributed through a premium publishing network that ensured that it reached a targeted audience in Nigeria - which is one of the most important markets in Africa.

This advertising campaign roll out by Buzzeff demonstrates its operational capabilities to support brands in terms of their communication strategies with actions that ensure effectiveness, measurability and cost optimization. The Nigerian market online publishing strategy was executed via InSocial™ and InRead ™, products for enhancing community building and brand viewability respectively.

The President of Buzzeff MEA, Jerome Mouthon said, "The advertising campaign was discussed with Kaymu’s central team a few months ago. Meetings were held in Paris and Casablanca to align our operational action plans with Kaymu’s communication objectives and to deliver successful campaign KPIs.

Etisalat Partners Uber To Keep Customers On The Move

Etisalat Nigeria has announced a partnership with global taxi service provider, Uber to deliver premium Uber access to all Etisalat customers on the go. Etisalat will be the main data provider for Uber’s services, supporting the company’s growth in Nigeria

The partnership which is predicated on the launch of the Uber app available on smartphones in Nigeria highlights Etisalat’s commitment to advance technological development in Nigeria while providing fast, effective and affordable services thorough the Uber App for all smartphones users across the country.

Speaking on the partnership, Chief Marketing Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Francesco Angelone, reiterated that Etisalat is committed to sustainable advancement of innovation and technology-oriented initiatives that bring cutting edge solutions to customers through a speedy, reliable network and exceptional customer service.

Angelone said, “At Etisalat Nigeria, we believe that technological advancement is imminent and we are passionate about equipping our customers with innovative products and services, a passion which we share with Uber.’’

Swiss watch, Breitling sponsor Aviation Africa 2015 Summit

Organisers of the event, which brings together the aviation industry from the Middle East and the fast developing African market, have secured a sponsorship deal with luxury Swiss watch brand and aviation chronograph specialists, Breitling.

One of the last remaining, independent family owned and COSC certified brands, Breitling will be giving two attending delegates the opportunity to win a model from their Aerospace collection over the two days of the conference.

Taking place at Le Meridien Hotel and Conference Centre in Dubai, Aviation Africa 2015 will be attracting attendees from Africa and the Middle East with two days of panel sessions discussing the growth potential for the aviation industry in Africa. Participants will debate the opportunities, issues and lessons learnt to find real solutions and progress for this important growth market. All attendees will be able to enter the prize draw each day to win one of the two Breitling Aerospace chronographs.

Aed Adwan, Breitling Middle East, said, “Breitling’s heritage lies firmly in aviation and providing the most precise and highly functional chronographs to aviation professionals and enthusiasts. In 1952, Breitling launched its legendary Navitimer wrist chronograph featuring a circular slide rule serving to perform all navigation-related calculations. A cult object for pilots and aviation enthusiasts, it has been continuously manufactured for almost 60 years – making it the world’s oldest mechanical chronograph still in production. We continue to introduce collections of the most stylish, innovative and functional watches in the world while breaking ground across the exciting world of aviation.”

Nigeria: FG sacks FAAN Director

The federal government has sacked the director of finance of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Tochukwu Bede Uchendu, over allegations of irregularities associated with his appointment into office as well as granting unapproved waivers worth 1 billion naira.

The Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) had last week, petitioned the head of service of the federation calling for the sack of two directors in the FAAN – the directors of finance and commercial.

In a letter dated April 27, 2015, which was signed by the director of Human Resources, A. A. Tsafe, for the Minister of Aviation, Uchendu was directed to vacate the office until a due process initiated for his appointment was concluded and formal letter of appointment issued to him.

One Africa Media Raises $10m from SEEK

Australian-based SEEK, one of the world's largest online employment marketplace by market capitalisation, has announced the investment of USD$10m for an additional six per cent equity ownership in One Africa Media.

One Africa Media owns, operates and invests in a portfolio of online marketplaces in the employment, auto, property and travel sectors. 

With this raise, OAM has acquired 100% of Jobberman and BrighterMonday, the two job businesses it acquired earlier in Kenya and Nigeria. OAM owned part of Jobberman but now has 100% of the jobs markertplace present in Nigeria and Ghana. OAM will also be using this cash to expand its property, jobs and cars marketplaces to new markets, and last year it acquired part of BuyRentKenya and a general classifieds in Zimbabwe.

This funds will help One Africa Media expand its marketplaces across Africa and up its operations in markets such as Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe where it is already operational and a market leader.

How Former Barclays Chief Executive Is Building Africa’s Largest Bank

Having resigned in July 2012 over the Libor scandal, former Barclays chief executive Mr Bob Diamond has since ventured into the opportunities in Africa. His mission is to build the leading pan-African bank and shake up the continent’s existing banks. This statement reflects on his eagle eyes for great investment and his style of management that he is here for real business.

Mr Diamond set up an investment firm Atlas Mara in 2013 in partnership with Dubai-based African billionaire businessman Ashish Thakkar, which reportedly raised $325m to invest in African banks.

In just three years, it appears Atlas Mara is on its way to build Africa's largest bank having bought three banks.

“When I think about Africa, I think about the opportunities,” says Mr Diamond in an interview with The Herald at the FT Banking Summit in London held early this year. “The demographics are phenomenal. The average age in sub-Saharan Africa is 18; the average age in the US is 38. There will be more babies born this year in Nigeria than in all of western Europe. There are 52 cities in Africa with more than 1 million people; that’s the same as in western Europe. Over the next 20 years we will see more than 50 percent of sub-Saharan Africans living in cities.

“So the opportunity in Africa is great, but when you pair that with the opportunity in financial services it changes [even more] dramatically. China is a great economy as well but financial services in China are consolidated, they trade at very high multiples and, quite frankly, they are closed to foreign investment. In Africa financial services are disaggregated, they trade at reasonable valuations and they are looking for foreign investment. In fact, majority positions are welcomed. So it is a very different environment in Africa for financial services than it is in virtually any other of the emerging economies”, he said.

Malawi takes key step to advance digital payments and drive inclusive growth

Today, Malawi took a significant step towards creating a digital payment ecosystem in order to address poverty and drive inclusive growth. An event organized by the Government of Malawi with the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Better Than Cash Alliance and Mobile Money for the Poor initiatives brought together digital payments players to accelerate the progress of digital finance in Malawi. 

The convening also marks the release of an in-depth analysis of the country’s readiness to transition from a nearly cash-only economy to one where digital payments are widely available through an ecosystem approach.
The Pafupi savings account is designed for low-income people in rural areas, especially women with no previous access to a bank account. Here, a client accesses her mobile savings account through an agent at her local market - Credit: Women's World Banking
Honorable Goodall Gondwe, MP, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development stated that the transition to digital payments is part of the Government’s commitment to achieving social and economic goals within the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy. “This is part of our mandate to realize balanced and sustainable economic growth and to reduce poverty,” said Gondwe. “We believe creating an economy where digital payments are widely available is the right path for us to embark on and we are doing so based on sound economic and fiscal policies.”

The research was conducted through a partnership between the Malawian Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, and the Better Than Cash Alliance, and is entitled The Opportunities for Malawi’s Transition Away from Cash. The report detailed the current state of Malawian digital payments, providing an important baseline to track progress. The study also identified four potential opportunities for Malawi, including the Government advancing on digitizing its centralized payment system with support from banks, and merchants accelerating digital payment acceptance via mobile money and debit card at the point of sale.

2022 FIFA World Cup: Qatar unveils design of fifth proposed venue

Qatar‘s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has unveiled the fifth proposed venue planned for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this time designed by London-based Pattern Architects.

Titled ”Al Rayyan Stadium,” the 40,000-seat Qatari-inspired structure will be built on the site of the former Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, of which 90 percent of its materials generated from demolition are expected to be re-used for either public art projects or on the new stadium.
Al Rayyan Stadium. Image credit: sc.qa
After the tournament the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 21,000 in legacy mode, with the upper tier of seats being removed and sent to developing nations in need of sports infrastructure.

Speaking at the design launch, Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “Unveiling the design of Al Rayyan stadium is another important step forward in our preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We will continue to work tirelessly as our vision for the tournament takes shape on the ground.

“As one of the most successful and widely-supported clubs in Qatar, Al Rayyan has always played an important part in our hosting plans. We are very confident that this impressively designed stadium and precinct will become a landmark for the Al Rayyan area and benefit the entire community.”

Delivery is critical in e-tail transactions, says DHL

As e-commerce continues to gain popularity across the African continent, more effort needs to be paid towards facilitating flawless delivery to customers. This is further supported by the Global e-Commerce Logistics 2015 report which reveals that e-commerce logistics is rapidly changing to keep pace with this quickly evolving market.

This is according to Sumesh Rahavendra, Head of Sales for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, who says that the delivery of goods purchased online is one of the most important elements to a customer’s e-tailing experience, and yet is often overlooked by retailers.


A recent report by McKinsey & Company revealed that e-commerce could account for 10% of retail sales in the African continent’s largest economies by 2025.The birth of e-commerce is revolutionizing local logistics practices and physical distribution networks.

“Consumers are now able to access and purchase a range of products at a click of button, and are increasingly expecting immediate delivery, which makes logistics increasingly important. This in turn is driving retailers and logistics providers to seek new initiatives to provide better delivery offerings and competitive advantages, such as same-day delivery and flexible returns.”

DHL’s own Global E-Tailing 2025 study(3) analyzed the role which e-commerce will play in consumers’ lives in the year 2025 and how it will influence consumerism, retail and logistics. The study found that as online retail continues to gain popularity in both developed and emerging markets, logistics companies are set to play a key role in providing vital supply chain management solutions that are able to evolve with consumers’ changing shopping habits.

Microsoft Reveals New Approach To Woo Consumers In Mobile Market

No doubt, Microsoft  has been a dominant players in the PC with Windows but yet it's still far away from combating Google, Samsung and Apple on their Android and iOS in the mobile arena. Currently, the company is focusing on growing markets like mobile and the cloud, and is being more open-minded about competing platforms.

At Microsoft’s developer conference yesterday in San Francisco, the company announced new features in Windows 10 and unveiled a set of software development kits (SDKs) to help developers bring their code for the Web, .NET, Win32, Android and iOS to Windows 10.

To tap into an opportunity to reach a Windows audience that Microsoft hopes will extend to 1 billion devices in the next two to three years, the company made a proposition that mobile app makers might find hard to refuse: Reuse your existing code written for other platforms—Android, iOS, and the web—to create Windows apps. (With some modifications, these can run on Windows phones, tablets, and PCs, as well as the Xbox One and HoloLens goggles.)

Microsoft showcased several new features in Windows 10, from new capabilities to scale applications across devices to new ways for developers to build code for Windows 10.

African Cristal Festival Kicks Off Poster Contest

Ahead of its 3rd edition, the Cristal Festival is inviting all designers to showcase their creativity by designing a poster to promote the event. The winning artwork will be used in an international communication campaign as a poster, a catalogue cover, a website banner, on invitations, newsletters, and press insertions.

According to the organizers, contestants are to illustrate the African Cristal Festival that will hold from September 30 to October 2, 2015, Marrakech (MOROCCO).

The poster, according to ACF, should be designed around a simple and symbolic visual associating the advertising world via the various competitions: films, outdoor campaigns, print, and radio to the conviviality of meetings in warm surroundings.

All entries are expected to be submitted on or before Wednesday May 6th 2015.

Eligible contestants are either single or two member teams’ max. Several entries per team can also be submitted.

A jury of creative will meet on May 2015 in Lagos, Nigeria to select the winning poster.

Airtel's CEO predicts strong growth for Nigerian telecoms industry

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has said the Nigerian telecoms market offers multiple growth opportunities, stating that with 78% mobile penetration as at December 2014, there is massive untapped market potential just as he also opined that broadband adoption is set to rise as demand for more stable Internet grows from the residential and business segments.
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya presenting gifts to the Global CEO, TNS, Richard Ingleton and Renowned Economist and Keynote Speaker, BusinessDay CEO Forum, Prof. Paul Collier at Businessday CEO Forum in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Ogunsanya who was speaking Wednesday, April 29th at the Businessday CEO’s Forum held at the Wheatbaker in Ikoyi, Lagos, disclosed that 47 million subscriptions are expected between December 2014 and December, 2019, saying that this demonstrates massive untapped market potential and continued strong total telecoms revenue growth driven essentially by mobile data.

Providing insight on the theme, Nigerian Telecoms Industry: Five Years Ahead, he noted that strong growth is expected from mobile financial services over the forecasting period and operators should ensure they are able to offer products to the large unbanked population of Nigeria, whilst growing demand for mobile apps and e-commerce will have a positive knock-on effect on mobile operators.

According to the Airtel CEO, Nigeria offers exciting opportunities for telecoms investors as a large population with rising incomes positions the country as one of the most attractive destinations for investment on the African continent. 

Spectre 007: Daniel Craig earned $5 million to hold Sony phone

According to WikiLeaks leaked emails, James Bond star Daniel Craig was paid $5 million just to hold a Sony mobile phone in his upcoming Bond flick ‘Spectre 007’.

More than 17,000 emails and 30,000 confidential documents, which were stolen from the Sony Pictures computer network last year, were published on the WikiLeaks website last week.

According to one of the email exchanges, the star received a $5 million fee from the movie giant's electronics department for using a Sony phone while acting as 007 in an onscreen outing as the superspy.

In an email to colleagues including former Sony Pictures CEO Amy Pascal, Sony marketing boss George Leon details plans to secure a new endorsement deal with the phone brand for upcoming Bond movie Spectre, writing: "Here's a quick update and a suggestion about asking for a placement fee.

Goldberg Fuji T’o Bam: Contestants applaud Osogbo audition

Ejire Performer, one of the finalists at the second edition of Goldberg Fuji T’o Bamand other contestants have applauded Nigeria’s number oneFuji music talent show, Goldberg Fuji T’o Bam for providing the platform that has led to thediscovery of budding talents and alsofor puttingFuji music on the spotlight in Nigeria and beyond. The show is currently in its third season.

Speaking at the Osogbo audition, an elated contestant, Ejire Performer stated that Fuji T’o Bam contest is different from othersbecause of its in-depth nature where apart from competing; contestants are exposed to mentorship from established Fuji icons. He pointed out that the contest has come a long way and now enjoys the stamp of credibility at every stage of the contest.

He further revealed that, Nigerian Breweries Plc, makers of Goldberg beer brand, is a responsible organization having designed the Fuji T’o Bam platform to identify, build and set a career path for the contestants and for Fuji music in its entirety. He enjoined other brands to follow the step of Goldberg as it has helped promote the rich traditional music.

In his own comments, one of the contestants, Prince Adeyemo Jelili, who started his Fuji music career while he was in JSS 1, described his experience and feeling at the end of the audition as “the height of my career so far. He said, this show has given me the platform to showcase my Fuji talent, a music genre that is very dear to my heart and I thank Goldberg for providing it. I promised to get better at every stage of the competition as it progresses and hopefully win the grand prize and the crown.”

Top 4 Apps For Every Lagosian

The hustle and bustle of Lagos can be daunting for some. And if you're going to survive — if you can make it in Lagos, you can make it anywhere, right? — you’ll need to adapt to your surroundings. After all, they don't call it the sleepless town for nothing. Here we provide 4 apps every Lagosian would find useful. Just make sure not to leave home without them.

Hellofood

It's a horrible feeling being stuck in the office and you’re too busy to go out for lunch. A busy schedule only means one thing: It's time to bust out the Hellofood app, enter your location and search for nearby delivery options. 

Take a pick from over 200 different restaurants and place an order that suits. It's that simple. Users will receive a text notification when a restaurant confirms the order and how long it will take for the food to be delivered. Get your freshly made food delivered to your doorstep. Receive your order and ENJOY YOUR MEAL. Keep this app on hand you never know when your will feel peckish.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Toyota Corolla Becomes the Most Sold Car In the World

The Toyota Corolla, often referred to as the world’s most popular car, is sold on average once every 40 seconds, and that trend has continued over the last 40 years.

Carmudi, Nigeria’s number one vehicle marketplace, created a Toyota Corolla Index based on listing data in order to investigate the costs of purchasing this standard car in twenty emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Latin America, in which Carmudi is established.

A note about our data source: We analyzed our data over the last six months which included over 17,000 Toyota Corolla listings. The most frequently listed used Corolla worldwide was from 2010; however several countries in which Carmudi operates have older cars; for instance, Tanzania’s newest Corolla model was from 2008. In fact, the mean year of production was 2005, which makes sense as Carmudi is known for its used cars. 

To compare the prices across borders, Carmudi examined the average prices of select used Corollas for each country. The criteria for selection were cars built between 2005 and 2011 with between 45000 and 110000 km on the odometer. This criteria was chosen to provide a range of Corollas accessible in all countries, while reducing the disparities between older and newer used vehicles. Fun Fact: The global average of mileage for Corollas listed on Carmudi is 98500 km for the 2005 model, and 67000 km for the while for 2011 model. The average mileage in this study is about 75000 km.

New Dell SonicWALL TZ Series Firewalls Deliver Enterprise-Class Capabilities for Small Business Budgets

Dell has announced the release of the new SonicWALL TZ Series firewalls. Featuring a dramatic increase in network performance to support faster Internet speeds, the ability to analyse encrypted SSL traffic, and an integrated wireless controller, the new solutions deliver enterprise-class security at a price point that is attractive for small businesses and large, multi-site distributed organizations.

Today’s customers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of network traffic and need security solutions that scale to meet ever-increasing broadband speeds, while fitting within their limited budgets. The new SonicWALL TZ Series is built around state-of-the-art, multi-core security processors to create the highest performance, desktop form-factor Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewall on the market with intrusion prevention speeds reaching up to 1.1Gbps.

The 2015 Dell Security Annual Threat Report shows that 60 percent of internet connections at the end of 2014 were encrypted using SSL. Disturbingly, with the growth of legitimate SSL traffic, cyber-criminals also have begun to hide their attacks from legacy network security products within SSL traffic. To counter this trend, the new SonicWALL TZ Series has the ability and the processing power to inspect SSL connections against the latest threats, providing an even higher level of security for Dell customers.

To accommodate the rapidly increasing proliferation of wireless devices, the tightly integrated, secure wireless controller in the new TZ Series supports the high-speed 802.11ac wireless standard. Combined with the recently introduced 802.11ac-capable Dell SonicPoints, the new TZ Series provides an ideal wireless security solution for both small businesses and large distributed enterprises.

Manchester United sign up for WeChat

English Premier League Club Manchester United is now present on WeChat, the largest social messaging platform in China.

United joins fellow English sides Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on the platform, as well as the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Last year Liverpool topped the list as the most viewed club on WeChat, beating Arsenal and Bayern Munich by a small margin.

The Chinese-language social messaging service will allow users to access Manchester United news, videos and imagery direct to their mobile phones and share with friends.

“Manchester United is always striving to find new ways to engage with our fans around the world and the launch on WeChat in China is another exciting development in our social media offering", Manchester United’s group managing director, Richard Arnold said.

FirstBank celebrates Workers' Day, supports the 7-Star Worker Conference

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s Most Valuable Bank Brand, would join the rest of the globe to celebrate May Day and the contributions of workers to national and international polities.

The Bank is particularly encouraged by the commitment of Nigerian workers and their relentless contributions in building our budding economy. Therefore, as part of the activities to mark the May Day, FirstBank has thrown its weight behind the 7-Star Worker conference to build exceptional workers who will contribute to the growth of successful businesses and play their part in building a strong Nigerian economy.

The 2015 edition of the conference is themed  ‘Growing SMEs into Global Businesses’ and will hold on May 1, 2015 at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

The 7-Star Worker conference is focused on SMEs cognisant of their role in contributing to a higher proportion of Nigeria’s GDP. The conference provides an effective platform to equip workers with the requisite skills to excel in the workplace while it motivates aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own enterprises.

Bayern Munich sign 10-year kit deal with Adidas worth €900m

Recently crowned German Bundesliga football champion Bayern Munich has extended a long-term partnership deal with sportswear company Adidas, reported to be worth €900million ($990m).

The new deal will run for 10 years, from 2020-21 to 2029-30. The existing agreement between the two parties was due to run for another five seasons, until the end of the 2019-20 season.

“With this extension of the contract until 2030 Adidas will continue its long partnership with FC Bayern München,” Adidas spokesman Oliver Brüggen said.

The deal is one of the biggest in football, worth way more than Arsenal's £30m-a-year sponsorship with Puma and Chelsea's deal with adidas, also worth around £30m-a-year.

The announcement came shortly before Bayern was beaten by Borussia Dortmund last night on penalties in the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal, the German Cup.

World Immunization Week Aims to “Close the Immunization Gap” and Provide “a Gift for Life” in Africa

South-Africa, April 29, 2015/Africa-- The World Health Organization’s World Immunization Week (WIW) from 24th to 30th April this year aims to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination to people of all ages and increase rates of immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases around the world. 

This year WIW focuses on ‘closing the immunization gap.’ African Vaccination Week is being  celebrated under the theme “Vaccination, a gift for life”.

Did you know that:

•          Immunization can protect against 30 different infectious diseases, from infancy to old age; and

•          Immunization saves the lives of 2 to 3 million people worldwide each year?

Africa has made several gains beyond increasing reach of immunisation; some diseases have been eliminated through wide-scale immunisation programmes. Vaccines are available in public vaccination programmes in the vast majority of African countries, thanks to sustained political will, international support and innovative public/private partnerships.

Dell Introduces New Server Powerhouse to Accelerate Most Demanding Enterprise Applications

Dell has announced an expansion of its 13th generation PowerEdge servers including the PowerEdge R930, Dell’s most powerful server specifically designed for the most demanding enterprise applications such as in-memory databases, customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). 

Once the domain of UNIX systems, these enterprise applications are increasingly shifting to x86 platforms for increased innovation, additional capabilities and lower total cost of ownership.

The global x86 server market has grown more than 600 percent since Dell first introduced the PowerEdge portfolio roughly 20 years ago, while the non-x86 market has been on a constant decline – shrinking 70 percent between 2000 and 2013. Even with the declines, the non-x86 market presents a $9.1 billion (USD) addressable market in 2015(1). With the PowerEdge R930, along with Dell software and services, many of these non-x86 customers can migrate from UNIX to Linux with ease and move to a more innovative, future-ready data centre.

Gan Desheng, Manager Sub-Division, Information Management, Ameco Beijing said: “As our business continued to grow, our previous system was getting slow, hard to manage and unreliable,” “We were looking for a new system to keep up with our business needs and decided to migrate from RISC to x86 servers. By moving from IBM’s P-series UNIX systems to Dell’s PowerEdge R9-series servers we were able to reduce our total cost of ownership by nearly 50 percent, achieve 99.99 percent system availability and improve our SAP ERP performance by 3.5 times.”

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Red Star Express Holds Customers Forum

Red Star Express Plc, the foremost courier and logistics services solution provider in Nigeria, on Saturday, 25th April, held its 19th Customers Forum at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The event, which is organised annually and used as a platform to connect with customers and appreciate them, was attended by over 200 Red Star customers across Nigeria. The theme for this year’s event was “Managing Technology and Innovation: Social Media, a plus or minus for customer engagement.”

Mr. Sule Bichi
The Managing Director at Red Star, Mr. Sule Bichi, said that Red Star strategically chose the theme for this year’s Customers Forum, with the hope and intention to avail their esteemed customers, the opportunity to learn, share; and empower them adequately while adding value to their respective communities and businesses.

“What we are doing today is to re-assure you of our promise of continued service improvement and development of mutually beneficial relationship among all Red Star Express stakeholders. Our goal is to absolutely and positively make every experience with us outstanding by doing whatever it takes to satisfy our customers,” he stated.

He further revealed that, based on the growing needs of today’s business, Red Star Express has made major advances in its operations to enhance the ease of doing business. “In recognition of the ever changing needs of our customers, coupled with the wind of E-commerce that is fast blowing across the world and the recent landmark events in the power sector, we are making huge investments in the areas of technology, manpower, vehicle fleet and equipment,” Mr Bichi added.

Nike, Nigeria Football Federation Announce New Partnership Deal

Nike and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced a new partnership for designing and developing football kits for the country's men’s and women’s national football teams from April 1, 2015, until at least 2018.

The NFF has revealed that it would earn $3.75m (743m Naira) during its three-and-half-year partnership with Nike and a $500,000 (99m Naira) bonus if the Super Eagles qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia among other perks.

Nike is designing performance and training apparel, and equipment, including team kits and footballs, for the Nigerian national football team players at every level of the game. There will be an exclusive-edition team kit for all NFF teams until the 2016-17 kit launches in mid-2016. In addition, Nike will design an assortment of products for Nigerians to show their support for the national team, to be available from mid-2016.

The Nigeria under-20 men’s team will be the first team to don the new Nike kit at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup to be hosted in New Zealand from May 31.

AIT, All Media Can Cover Buhari's Events - APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that all accredited media organizations in the country, including the African Independent Television (AIT), are free to cover the activities of the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the incoming Buhari Administration will not discriminate against any media organization, irrespective of its role during the electioneering campaign leading up to the recent polls.

It however enjoined all media organizations to observe the highest level of professional standards in carrying out their duties.

”There is a Code of Ethics guiding the practice of journalism in Nigeria, and this demands every journalist to ensure a strict adherence to the highest levels of ethics and professionalism in carrying out their duties.

Photos From Kaymu Pop Up Store

It was a fun weekend as leading online shopping community, Kaymu.com.ng celebrated the launch of its TV commercials with a 3 day Pop-Up Store in Lagos!

The Kaymu Pop-Up store which was hosted at the E-centre in Yaba on Friday 24th 2015, wrapped up activities at the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday 26th 2015.

Shoppers had the opportunity to shop on the set of Kaymu’s new and exciting TV commercials currently airing on all major TV stations in Nigeria.
Items on the set were sold at highly discounted prices.

See MORE photos from the Pop-Up Store after the cut...

African Leaders Need to “Leapfrog the Shackles of Convention”, Say Experts

International experts will call for African leaders to “leapfrog the shackles of convention” at a major education conference next month, in order to ensure that African economic growth is sustained by adequately trained young people.

The programme for this year’s eLearning Africa, which is being co-organised by the African Union and co-hosted by the Government of Ethiopia, reflects the extraordinary breadth and pace of change underway in African education – and the challenge for new technology-based solutions to meet Africa’s growing demand for high quality education and training.

Africa’s leading conference on technology and learning, eLearning Africa, will celebrate its tenth anniversary next month in Addis Ababa with a typically diverse and challenging agenda.

A major focus of the conference will be on the role technology-assisted learning can play in helping to develop the skills vital for the future of Africa, by equipping young Africans with entrepreneurial expertise, supporting capacity development in key sectors such as health, and assisting a new generation of entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions in the education technology sector.

Other key themes for the conference will include the development and promotion of African research, boosting international cooperation in the education sector between African countries and the rest of the world, and the expansion of open education resources and tools.

FMC Technologies, Local University to Develop Next Generation of Subsea Engineers

FMC Technologies, Inc. announced today a collaboration with one of Nigeria’s premiere academic institutions, the University of Port Harcourt, with the intent to create the first Master of Science degree in Subsea Engineering offered in Nigeria.
Vice-Chancellor of Uniport, Professor Joseph Ajienka (left) and Michael Hunt (right), Country Manager, FMC Technologies shake hands at the signing ceremony
Program curriculum will be developed in collaboration with industry experts to ensure students are prepared for work in the offshore oil and gas industry. The University will be accepting enrollment applications for this new program starting in 2015.

“FMC Technologies is dedicated to developing its Nigerian workforce so that an ever-increasing number of technical, leadership and management roles in Nigeria can be performed by Nigerians,” said Michael Hunt, Country Manager, FMC Technologies. “This collaboration represents a major milestone in furthering the development of a highly skilled Nigerian workforce. These students will play a key role in the future of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, expressed his gratitude and described the event as a major milestone, not only for the University of Port Harcourt, but also for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. “We are very pleased to cooperate with FMC Technologies in this effort.  Given the facilities and experience of FMC Technologies, we are confident that a Master of Science degree in Subsea Engineering will add tremendous value to our services,” he added.

GTBank Principals Cup Semi Finals All Set

The semi-final matches of the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup competition holds on Wednesday and Thursday 30th April at Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island.

This is the first time Birrel Avenue Senior High School, Sabo will be playing at the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup semi-final and it has not been easy.

Like every other team, they have strived hard to remain in the competition.

According to the games master, Mr. Akinyele the major challenge has been getting the right team selection that meet  the stipulated requirements and team’s training schedule.  After their victory in the quarterfinals, the team is excited to be playing at the semi-finals and they are hopeful that they will be victorious.

Looking forward to the semi-final fixture, he said special provision is being put in place for the players and proper psychology is needed for the team to give their all on the field of play.

Glo moves to boost access to health care with NMHIP

Total telecommunications service provider, Globacom, has moved to boost access to quality health care among the Nigerian population with the unveiling of a National Mobile Health Insurance Product (NMHIP).

Officials of the company and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) unveiled the product in Abuja on Monday.  Ashok Israni, Globacom’s Regional Chief Marketing Officer, said the package was developed in partnership with NHIS to take quality health care to millions of Nigerians through their telephone handsets.

On how to access the service, Israni explained that Glo subscribers are required to dial *616# on their mobile phones after which they will be instantly admitted to the Glo Health platform, where they can follow a simple registration process. “Once they subscribe, Globacom customers will be able to use their mobile phones for pre-defined medical treatment for which affordable premiums are remitted through the subscribers’ mobile phone,” he said.

He added that the platform guarantees Globacom customers and other Nigerians free medical consultation and medication in over 8,000 hospitals in the country. The package comes with supply of drugs free of charge from NHIS accredited operators across the country for subscribers who are consistent in the payment of their premiums.

Meet The Top 12 Of Nigerian Idol Season 5

Franchise owners of Nigerian Idol TV Reality Show, Optima Media Group (OMG), has announced the last 12 contestants in the on-going season 5 of the show.

The unveiling which took place at the Dream Studios, Ojodu-Omole at the weekend was in association with Show sponsor, Etisalat Nigeria and partners, Payporte, Cool Fm, Tantalizers, Tom Tom, Zaron, Dabur Toothpaste, So-Klin, ORS and Ellen Suites.

The top 12 most outstanding acts will be squaring up against one another from the week of April 26 for the N7.5 million top spot cash reward as well as other multi-million naira juicy offers chief among which include a recording deal with South Africa-based Universal Music label and a brand new SUV car.

They had beaten 20 others to make the cut.

The contestants include Ogunmoyero Modolowamu (Dolu), Oyinkepreye Deborah Toun (Preye), Janet Ebiwari Ayoka (Ayoka), Godson Goodluck (Classic Tunez), Ogunrombi Kunle (K-Peace), Esther Aritheshoma Monday (Sther), Adigwe Brenda Ada (Brenda), Ekeoma Victor Chibuzor (Prime), Paul Manuwa (P.Scholes), Okemiri Uloma Margaret (Uloma), Omodele Diana Fatoki (Modele) and Ese-Amadasun Imuetiyan (Nex2).

Google teams up with European media to boost online journalism

Google will on Tuesday launch a 150 million euro programme to support innovative online journalism in partnership with eight European publications, AFP reports.

In a statement, the Internet giant said the Digital News Initiative would “support quality journalism (through) technology and innovation.”

The initiative brings together Les Echos in France, Germany’s FAZ, the Financial Times, The Guardian, NRC Media in The Netherlands, El Pais in Spain, La Stampa in Italy and Die Zeit in Germany as well as European media organisations.

The partners will focus on product development, supporting innovation as well as training and research.

Winners Emerge in Microsoft #PassionToEmpire Campaign

The five-week Microsoft Mobile Devices and Services (MMDS) “From Passion to Empire” campaign which recorded over 4,000 entries came to an end yesterday as five new millionaires emerged.

Having convinced the judges with their brilliant business ideas among the last 15 selected for the final pitching duel, Jessica Yahaya, Daniel Isa, Emmanuel Ugwueke, Emmanuel Okena and Godwin Benson smiled home with N3.5miilion each.

The winners will be mentored by the likes of Nigerian top beauty entrepreneur, Tara Fela-Durotoye, entertainment mogul, the founder and CEO of Chocolate City, AuduMaikori and techpreneur and founding partner of leading careers and jobs website, Jobberman, Opeyemi Awoyemi.

They will also undergo three days of training at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic, sponsored by MMDS.
The five winners and judges of the #MakeItHappen# Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM ‘Passion to Empire’ activation campaign, which took place on Monday 27th April, 2015 at Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos.
According to the Senior Marketing Manager, Microsoft Devices and Services, Olumide Balogun, “Lumia is for inspired people who do not recognize boundaries in the quest to reaching for their goals. We know that such people abound in Nigeria and we are happy to work with established entrepreneurs and the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University to offer them the opportunity to soar through the ‘From Passion to Empire’ initiative.”

Key Steps For Surmounting Startup Challenges

Starting a business could be an uphill task especially in a hostile business terrain like Africa where there are handful of challenges to overcome. On this premise, young and aspiring entrepreneurs recently gathered at Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) Yabato discuss how they can overcome the challenges unique to African entrepreneurs with Marek Zmyslowski, the Managing Director of Jovago.com, Africa’s Number 1 Online Hotel Booking Portal.  
Marek Zmyslowski
Marek, who arrived Nigeria two years earlier to establish Jovago.com said clearly that starting a company from infantry is not a child’s play as a result of the quantum investment challenges the entrepreneur have to put-in to cement the foundation of the business. Some of these challenges include adapting to Nigeria as a first time visitor and the culture.

However, he added that his success with Jovago.com was based on the fact that ‘I didn’t pay attention to my emotions.’ He harped on this because listening to your emotions may just make some entrepreneurs abdicate their entrepreneurial pursuit. There would always be doubts and people would frustrate you he said. Just don’t listen to your emotions.

Furthermore, he stated that he wouldn’t allow anybody that doesn’t understand his line of business to invest in it. For Marek, it is better to source funds from people that have passion for your line of business because it would be easier to explain your ideas and ambitions to them. This was exactly what happened with Jovago.com whereby partners that recognise that the World Wide Web is a goldmine that is unexploited in Africa invested in the business.  They saw this and took advantage of it and that is why Jovago.com is where it is today.

EU-Africa B2B: UEMOA ready to present key investment opportunities

The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU, also known by its French acronym, UEMOA), is one of the strategic partners of the 1st edition of the EU-Africa B2B Forum to be held on 06 -08 May 2015 in Mons (Belgium), with Euronews as main media partner.

The UEMOA will present several investment projects, including projects on roads linking the most important West African cities, during a dedicated workshop. Other African Countries as Ghana, Rwanda, Madagascar, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco, and Senegal have also been invited to present investment opportunities.

The main focus of the EU-Africa B2B Forum is to provide a high level platform for Business-to-Business (B2B) and matchmaking meetings. The EU-Africa B2B Forum enables business contacts between professionals from African and European private sectors.

More than are already 500 participants registered from over 50 countries: http://bit.ly/1GmhQEO

Among high level participants invited to attend the EU-Africa B2B Forum 2015, is HEM John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, as well as Ministers from different African countries who confirmed their participation: HEM Narson Rafidimanana, Minister of Industry and Private Sector Development, Madagascar; HEM Frédéric Nikièma, Minister of Communication, Spokesman of the Government, Burkina Faso.

Samsung Unveils First Digital Village in Nigeria

Samsung Electronics West Africa is set to launch its first Digital Village in the Oban community in Nigeria, which is located in the Akamkpa Local Government Area of the Cross River State.

The project, which is part of the company’s strategic Corporate Citizenship program, will provide access to innovative healthcare and educational needs for the community, with the aim of improving health outcomes, strengthening education delivery and increasing the economic potential of Oban.

The launch is scheduled for May 7, 2015.

Highlighting the unique features of this solution, Brovo Kim, Managing Director of Samsung Electronics West Africa, said that the Samsung Digital Village is innovative in its design due to its use of alternative energy, which remains a major challenge in Nigeria and is often an obstacle in implementing such initiatives in rural communities. “The Digital Village demonstrates our innovative approach to investing in people and their communities. This initiative offers a complete educational infrastructure, comprehensive healthcare solution and power generation capabilities that will spur the growth of small businesses and harness the energy of the sun to minimise running costs, among others,” Kim said.

The Digital Village consists of five key integrated solutions that work together to benefit a community in the delivery of health care services, education and employment. They include: a Solar Powered Internet School, Solar Powered Tele-Medical Centre, Solar Powered Dental and Blood Analysis Clinic, a Solar Power Generator, as well as an Administrative Centre.

Emirates steps into the wild to sponsor ‘The Last Wilderness of the UAE’

...The three part documentary to premiere fall 2016

Emirates, a global connector of people, places and passions, has signed up to sponsor ‘The Last Wilderness of the UAE’, a documentary series that will feature the United Arab Emirates’ remarkably rich biodiversity. It will also provide insight into the natural adaptations that have enabled many species to survive in the Arabian Peninsula’s harsh and ever-changing habitats as well as showcase some of the most important conservation accomplishments over recent years.

The three part documentary will be divided to focus on the ecosystems of the mountains and wadis, the deserts, and the seas of the UAE.

Patrick Brannelly, Divisional Vice President Customer Experience for In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity, commented on Emirates’ support of the documentary: “As a global airline with our base in Dubai, Emirates is committed to providing support for innovative projects that highlight the unknown incredible stories within the vibrant UAE ecosystem. Through supporting the creation of this documentary and then letting our passengers view it onboard our flights, we hope to engage millions of our customers around the world and raise awareness about the abundant natural beauty found in the UAE’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems."

Jonathan Ali Khan, the Producer and Director of ‘The Last Wilderness of the UAE’ said: “As a natural history filmmaker, I have dived, filmed and explored all of the seas, deserts and mountains across the Arabian Peninsula over the last 27 years. After seeing so many changes to our natural world and the wildlife in this region, I wanted to turn our focus more specifically towards our own home here in the United Arab Emirates. Thanks to the support of Emirates, these films will feature the wildlife and ecology that is found in our mountains and wadis, the plains and deserts, as well as coastal wetlands and offshore islands, exploring the reefs and all the other underwater habitats, too.”

Financial planning is essential in the face of prevailing economic realities – Michael Oyebola

Michael Oyebola, the MD/CIO of FBN Capital Asset Management has underscored the importance of personal financial planning in the face of the prevailing economic realities arising.

He made this known as part of a presentation entitled “Beyond Editing: Investing For A Secure Future” during the 2015 edition of the Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, which took place at the Lagos Airport Hotel on the 25th of April 2015.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Oyebola stated, “In recent times a number of events have occurred both locally and globally that have reinforced the value of personal financial planning - from the drop in oil prices to the fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Naira. At every stage in life it is essential to remember the importance of financial planning as a means to a secure future during and after one’s career journey”. He went further to stress the importance of distinguishing between assets and liabilities while gauging spending habits with respect to income.

Mr. Oyebola also noted that while earning an income and saving have their place in building a healthy financial future, it is essential to invest. He highlighted the various classes of investments that people could commit their funds based on what their goals are, how long they are looking at achieving those financial goals, how much they can conveniently afford to put aside, and how much risk they are prepared to take in relation to the returns on their investment.