BrandArena: April 2014

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Ice Prince, Terry G, DJ Caise, Others Rock Nigerian Idol Eviction Party for Obed and Nex2

The ongoing Etisalat-sponsored Nigerian Idol Season IV is getting more exciting and competition more fierce!

Last week’s result show, witnessed the eviction of Obed and Nex2 while Antwon was saved by the Judges’ lifeline. So on Saturday, April 26th at Ember Creek, Awolowo road, Ikoyi, an eviction party was organized for the duo to celebrate them and bid them farewell from the competition.

The star studded party was ‘turned up’ by stars including Ice Prince, DJ Caise, Terry G, 9ice, Jesse Jags, Chuddy K, and Yung L, all made possible by Etisalat.

The show continues with Beebee Bassey, Eye-D, Elvis Jay, Lisa, Nyro Love, Miss Oge, Xolani, Evelle, Jesse Raey, and Antwon, as the top 10 contestants. Remember you get to decide who stays on the show. To vote, simply dial the contestants’ number from an Etisalat line or send it via SMS to 33680. Voting lines open every Sunday and close midnight the following Wednesday.

To catch all the action on TV, click here for the stations and viewing times.

Nokia Names New CEO, plans for a EUR 5 billion capital structure

Just days after signing over its handset business to Microsoft, Nokia revealed poor first quarter earnings, appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, revealed strategic plans for the future.

New CEO of Nokia Corporation, Rajeev Suri
Nokia Board of Directors appointed Rajeev Suri as President and CEO of Nokia Corporation, effective May 1, 2014. Suri joined Nokia in 1995 and has held a wide range of leadership positions in the company. Since October of 2009, he has served as CEO of NSN, the former joint venture between Nokia and Siemens that is now fully owned by Nokia. During his tenure as CEO, that business went through a radical transformation to become one of the leaders in the telecommunications infrastructure industry.

"As Nokia opens this new chapter, the Nokia Board and I are confident that Rajeev is the right person to lead the company forward," said Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors. "He has a proven ability to create strategic clarity, drive innovation and growth, ensure disciplined execution, and deliver results. We believe that his passion for technology will help ensure that Nokia continues to deliver innovations that have a positive impact on people's lives."

Siilasmaa, who has also been serving as an interim CEO, will return to focusing exclusively on his role as Chairman of Nokia's Board of Directors as of May 1, 2014.

Forex Time Announces 30% Exclusive Bonus To Boost Online Trading In Nigeria

International forex broker, Forex Time (FXTM), has announced a 30 per cent bonus exclusively for Nigerian clients to motivate traders to benefit from the world’s most liquid financial market.

FXTM created this exciting bonus as it recognizes that Nigeria has become a regional forex hub with around 400,000 investors trading on the market every day.

The bonus offer is available to both new clients registering with Forex Time and existing clients that make a new deposit. The maximum bonus per trader is US$300.

When asked about the new bonus, Abiola Akinyele, Administrative Director at Forex Time Nigeria, commented: "We have created this 30% bonus offer exclusively for our Nigerian clients as forex is becoming more and more popular in Nigeria and we wanted to give clients there a little extra to trade with to encourage their growing interest in the forex market."

Kofi Annan and other Panel Members to launch 2014 Africa Progress Report

On Thursday, May 8th 2014, the Africa Progress Panel will release its annual Africa Progress Report - Grain, Fish, Money – Financing Africa’s Green and Blue revolutions, at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Abuja, Nigeria.
UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

Chaired by former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, last year’s report Equity in Extractives – Stewarding Africa’s Natural Resources for all, made headlines with its analysis of the oil, gas, and minerals industries in Africa.

This year’s report will argue that Africa can and must unleash green and blue revolutions in its agriculture and fisheries. It will highlight the opportunities for Africa of the world’s growing demand for food and the critical importance of agriculture and fisheries for two thirds of people in Africa engaged in these sectors. The report will also recommend related policies, including policies to scale-up Africa’s infrastructure and extend its financial services. The report will also outline the urgent need to stop the plunder of Africa’s timber and fisheries.

The following Panel Members and Members of the Secretariat will be attending WEF on Africa to outline findings shared in the report. They include: Kofi Annan, Chair, Africa Progress Panel, and former UN Secretary-General;  Olusegun Obasanjo, Member, Africa Progress Panel, and former President of Nigeria; Peter Eigen, Member, Africa Progress Panel, Founder of Transparency International, and Founding Chair and Special Representative of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI); Bob Geldof, Member, Africa Progress Panel, Musician, Businessman, Founder and Chair of Band Aid, Live Aid and live8, Co-Founder of DATA and ONE Advisor and Advocate; Caroline Kende-Robb, Executive Director, Africa Progress Panel, and Max Bankole Jarrett, Deputy Executive Director, Africa Progress Panel.

Older computer systems are not able to satisfy the demands of the "new" customer - Oracle

Businesses and governments can service the new generation of consumers only if they update their information technology systems. Speaking at the IDC Francophone Summit today, According to Alain Ozan, vice president, technology at Oracle, a dramatic transition is facing organizations as people are shopping, paying their bills and communicating with each other in a very different way to ten years ago Oracle, but old information technology cannot cope with the new business needs.

“The average age of enterprise software is 20 years old, built in the early 1990’s before even the Internet came into common use,” he said.

Ozan says that mobile technology, social media, and sensor technology all present opportunities to understand their customers better, but they also make companies more vulnerable to negative customer experiences. “Not so long ago in the buyer/seller relationship, the balance of power was with the seller. Companies were able to dictate to the world: ‘This is who we are, here’s what you know about us, here’s how you do business with us.’  Now the balance of power has shifted to the buyer. Ten years ago it was okay to have a 95% customer satisfaction rate. Today, that 5% of dissatisfied customers can bring a business to its knees.”

He maintains that older technologies are too slow, too complex and too expensive to perform this task.  “The budget just to maintain these systems needs to increase by 4% every year. To cope with the enormous amounts of data generated through doing business online, analyse it quickly and respond to these needs, businesses need to have a powerful, flexible and above all affordable IT system.”

Portland Paints Vs Berger Paints: Competition Gets Stiffer As Both Extend Brand Equity

Barely a week after one of its major competitors, Berger paints launched a Colour Centre in Lagos, Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of UAC, also launched another colour boutique customer service and sales outlet in Ajah, Lagos.

According to both companies, the aim of unveiling the new outlets is to give their existing and prospective customers opportunity to have easier access to their products.

The competition between both paints brands have been for many years and many customers believes the launching of the new outlets is a marketing approach that would instigate development in the painting industry and also improve the brands equity.

In a statement on Thursday, Portland Paints said part of the exercise was aimed at increasing the number of retail outlets across the country to reach more customers. It added that the new Ajah outlet had extended the number of Sandtex Paints outlets to 27 in Nigeria.

GE Global Vice-Chairman, John Rice, Others Co-Chair World Economic Forum in Abuja

The Global Vice-Chairman of General Electric (GE), John Rice is expected to c-chair the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Abuja on April 7-9, 2014.

Rice who is also the President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Growth and Operations, General Electric will co-chair the economic summit alongside Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, of McKinsey & Company, United Kingdom, Jean-François van Boxmeer, the Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer of Heineken, Netherlands and Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Nigeria.
GE Global Vice-Chairman, John Rice

Others include Mineta Diop, Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, African Union and President, Femmes Africa Solidarité, Switzerland, Jabu A. Mabuza, Chairman, Telkom Group, South Africa and Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, India.

The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. Nigeria is hosting the Forum in Abuja, the seat of Nigerian government with the theme: “Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs”.

The Forum will be declared open by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is aimed at beaming the searchlight on developmental issues in Africa and to create meeting grounds for both public and private partnership towards the development of the continent.

Can OPSSON Stretch Smartphones Market Competition In Nigeria?

Nigeria is Africa’s largest mobile market with more than 125 million subscribers and a market penetration of around 75% in early 2014.

Asian smartphone brand, OPSSON, was recently launched into the Nigerian market, thereby increasing the number of smartphones in the country.

In a statement by the company, the firm noted that it was aware of the many smartphone brands in the country, adding that it was offering professional smartphones to create more choices.

While demands for smartphone by customers in Nigeria has continued to grow rapidly, global brand players such as Samsung, Apple, Sony, Nokia, Blackberry, TECNO and even Lenovo, have all unleashed different models of their devices targeted at virtually all market segment. The use of aggressive marketing strategy to drive sales has also made the scramble for the market a tight one.

Having registered presence in more than 50 countries, covering Africa, Middle East, South and South-East Asia, Europe, North and South America, the brand is expected to also penetrate the Nigerian market.

Malaria, reduced prevalence but still priority concern in Africa - Sanofi

According to latest estimates, released in December 2013 by the World Health Organization (WHO), there were about 207 million cases of malaria in 2012, with an uncertainty range of 135 million to 287 million and an estimated 627 000 deaths, with an uncertainty range of 473 000 to 789 000.
Estelle Dogbo, Product Manager of Malaria Portfolio at Sanofi, giving a presentation on the impact of malaria in Africa and Sanofi's strides in fighting the disease

These figures were revealed by healthcare company in Nigeria, Sanofi, when it restated commitment to the fight against malaria, during a press conference held in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, on 24th April, to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day.

The Conference, under this year’s theme ‘Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria’ and attended by officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, focused on impact of Malaria especially on children, its prevalence in Africa and initiatives being implemented by the healthcare company to raise awareness and prevention in communities.

Sanofi noted that according to latest estimates, released in December 2013 by the World Health Organization (WHO), there were about 207 million cases of malaria in 2012, with an uncertainty range of 135 million to 287 million and an estimated 627 000 deaths, with an uncertainty range of 473 000 to 789 000.

Awujale @ 80: Oba Rekindles Hope on Ijebu State Creation

A world press conference organized by Ijebu Renaissance Group held on Tuesday 22nd April, 2014, this is part of the activities scheduled to celebrate the longest-reigning monarch, His Royal Highness, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba II, the Awujale of Ijebu land.
Awujale of Ijebu and members of the Ijebu Renaissance Group

The event was specifically designed to honour the monarch’s 80th birthday as well as his 54th year anniversary of accession to the throne. The octogenarian, Oba Adetona used the occasion on Tuesday during the question and answer session with media practitioners to commemorate his 80th birthday celebration in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. He reassured all Ijebu indigenes both at home and in diaspora that Ijebu State will be created in his life time. Narrating the history of Ijebu land, he pointed that it was one of the provinces of the old Western Region in those days. “I’m optimistic that Ijebu State will be created in my life time.”

“Ijebu State is a viable vision and we would surely achieve it. Our demands are historical, justiceable and overdue. These demands are simply hinged on the need for equity, justice and speedy development for our hardworking and productive people.”  He stated.

On the issue of corruption which is seemingly the bane of Nigeria’s development and growth, Oba Adetona said, ‘‘corruption has become part of our life in this country, from our leaders and even the Obas are not left out, there is corruption everywhere. It is the greatest problem facing us as a country, and we have to overcome it to move forward. People should refrain from being corrupt. If we as the people change, our leaders or anybody coming to corrupt us will also change,” he said.

Nigeria, others Benefit from P&G’s 7 Billion Litres of Clean Drinking Water

Nigeria has been listed as one of the several countries that benefited from  Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) 7 billion litres of clean drinking water delivered through the company’s global non-profit Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) programme.
President Bill Clinton and daughter, Chelsea join P&G's Allison Tummon Kamphuis in purifying water using P&G water purification packets in Rwanda

According a statement signed and released by Lisa Popyk of P&G Global Sustainability Communications from the global headquarters of global fast moving consumer goods giant in Cincinnati, United States, Procter and Gamble (P&G) through its CSDW has delivered over 7 billion litres of clean drinking water to families in about 75 countries across the world since its establishment nine years ago.

P&G runs the Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) programme in collaboration with Population Services International (PSI), CARE, Save the Children, World Vision, the U.S. government, and others. The programme continues to save lives in Nigeria and several other African states including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda and in several other countries.

The programme has yielded great results since its commencement nine years ago. According to the statement, “During the last 9 years, working with a wide range of more than 140 partners, the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water programme has provided clean drinking water in more than 75 countries. More than 7 billion litres of purified drinking water have been provided which have helped avert more than 293 million days of illness and helped save an estimated 39,000 lives.”

Working with many partners across the world, the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water programme has also provided water purification packets for emergency relief in many major natural disasters in the last 9 years, including: the Southeast Asia tsunami; hurricanes in the Caribbean and Philippians; floods in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, Cambodia, Thailand, and Pakistan; earthquakes in Pakistan, China, Haiti, Chile, and Indonesia; cholera outbreaks in much of Africa; and the West Africa/Sahel famine.

Friday 25 April 2014

AC Milan debunks foreign takeover talk

AC Milan has debunked speculations that the club is about to be sold, rejecting reports that Singapore-based businessman Peter Lim has made a €500m ($690m) bid for the Serie A football team.

The prospect of a full takeover by Lim, who has also been linked with Spanish Liga club Valencia in recent months, has been discounted by Fininvest, the Milan-based holding company of club owner Silvio Berlusconi. A statement read: “In reference to the rumours reported by the press, Fininvest once again denies any possibility of the control of Milan being relinquished.”

Earlier this month, the Reuters news agency said Berlusconi is considering selling a stake of between 20 and 30 per cent in Milan. Barbara Berlusconi, daughter of the media magnate and the club’s co-chief executive, told a news conference that the family was seeking partners and she would travel to the Middle East and the US as part of this process.

Umberto Gandini has also stressed that there is no deal in place to sell AC Milan to foreign owners, following a wave of rumours suggesting the Rossoneri were set for a big-money takeover.

When Ford Celebrates 50th anniversary for Mustang

Mustang cars
Fifty years ago, Ford debuted the first-ever Mustang at the New York World's Fair. And to celebrate, the Blue Oval is offering up this special, 50th Anniversary Edition 2015 Mustang, which makes its debut at the New York Auto Show.

The popular pony car serves as the inspiration for a line of OPI limited-edition nail lacquers that will launch internationally in July.

“OPI is thrilled to partner with one of the world’s top automotive companies in celebrating 50 years of Ford Mustang,” said Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI co-founder and executive vice president. “For women, cars and nail lacquer offer a way to express personality. This new collection will deliver elements of sophistication, luxury, power and style fitting for both OPI and Mustang consumers.”
The collection’s hero shade, Race Red, is a tribute to one of Mustang’s most iconic colors.

“Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car, and we are excited to be working with OPI on an exclusive collection that captures the spirit of our iconic car,” said Melanie Banker, Mustang marketing manager. “There is no better way to express Mustang’s bold personality and the excitement it creates than through color.”

Indigo Publications 2013 results: Strong profitability driven by digital development

In 2013, Indigo Publications registered its 11th consecutive year of growth and profit. Its turnover increased 7.4% to €3.4 million and its operating result rose 25% to €535,000.

These good results confirm the group’s excellent health and the durability of its economic model, based on exclusive paid-for information for professional subscribers.

They also show the positive impact of the digital development strategy it has been pursuing since 1995. Since April 2013, Intelligence Online and all the group’s Africa publications, which are now grouped together on the Africa Intelligence website, have been 100% digital.

The digital products have shown remarkable growth. The Web accounted for 84% of the group’s growth last year across all publications. Electronic wallets, which offer the opportunity to buy single articles on Indigo Publications’ six web sites, increased strongly in number and the number of transactions carried out rose 24%.

Ije Nwokorie Becomes New Design Jury President

Ije Nwokorie has been appointed as the new Global CEO of Wolff Olins as the Design Lions jury president, replacing Karl Heiselman who recently departed from Wolff Olins to Apple.

In his new position, Ije Nwokorie will lead Wolff Olins' global business forward into an exciting new chapter; to inspire, as well as drive, facilitate and deliver strategy and innovation for big corporations. Increasingly his role is as much about creating, as it is about bringing great people together to make things, and make things happen. Wolff Olins is responsible for brands such as (RED), Orange, GE, Mercedes-Benz, New York City, London 2012, Tate, Unilever, Target, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Docomo and AOL.
Ije Nwokorie
Born in America, Nwokorie spent his early years in Nigeria, an experience he credits with underpinning his creative outlook, as it is a world where commerce, culture and creativity are necessarily intertwined with everyday life. He completed his architecture training at Columbia University and has worked on urban regeneration projects in Africa, special effects in New York and computer gaming in London.

Nwokorie joined the Wolff Olins team in 2006 as a senior strategist, was appointed managing director of Wolff Olins' London office in 2010 and became global CEO in 2014.

SuperSport to broadcast 2014 Soccer World Cup in Africa

SuperSport has acquired 2014 Soccer World Cup broadcast rights in Africa, according to ScreenAfrica reports. The 64 soccer matches, taking place from 12 June to 13 July in Brazil, will all be broadcast on DStv's SuperSport channel, with live matches available on the SuperSport HD channels.

MultiChoice Nigeria has announced that they will be offering Nigerians who do not yet subscribe to the pay TV channels, a discount on the price of their decoders, in order for them to be able to watch games and support Super Eagles, Nigeria’s participating soccer team. The offer comes with two-month subscription on the Access bouquet.

"In addition to the world-class broadcast quality that is our trademark and which our subscribers will enjoy, they will also have access to insightful football analysis and thrilling magazine programmes which will showcase the stories outside the field of play", Felix Awogu, General Manager of SuperSport was quoted in the reported.

Lagos acquires 1,084 hectares of land for farming

According to Lagos State Commissioner for Agricultural and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, the state has acquired 1,084 hectares of land for farming across the nation.

Prince Lawal said the state had renewed its interest in investment in Agriculture with consideration for areas where it has advantages over others which are in rice production, poultry farming and aquaculture to make up its contribution to food security in the state by year 2020.

He revealed that the state had acquired 1,084 hectares of land in Osun State for oil palm processing, Agric-YES and other agricultural purposes while 500 hectares of land was acquired in Eggua, Ogun State for rice production adding that the state had received the titles on these lands, as bought lands by the state.

APO, IMImobile in strategic partnership to provide exclusive feed of Africa-related news

African Press Organization (APO), the sole press release newswire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, yesterday announced a multi-year strategic partnership with IMImobile, a leading global provider of end-to-end mobile engagement software and solutions to telecom operators, enterprises and media companies, to provide mobile content to MTN Group, Airtel, Orange, Vodafone Group and Tigo in over 30 countries, with a total reach of 250 million users in Africa.

The partnership with IMImobile and their connection to mobile network operators across the continent, will allow APO to deliver an exclusive feed of Africa-related news releases issued by governments, institutions, NGOs, companies, and United Nations agencies to over 250 million mobile subscribers, free of charge.

Thanks to IMImobile, APO content, which includes text, images, video, audio and documents, will be integrated into IMImobile’s award-winning DaVinci Evolved Service Platform (ESP) to guarantee multi-channel delivery and superior customer experience to mobile devices in Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, DRC, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

"According to the latest GSMA Intelligence data from the World Bank and UN, total mobile connections in the Sub Sahara region alone passed the 500 million mark in Q1 2013, increasing by about 20% year-on-year. Connections are expected to grow by a further 50% (250 million connections) over the next five years. The continent's smartphone market is expected to double in the next four years.

Etisalat Reiterates Commitment to Customer Satisfaction

Fastest growing and most innovative telecommunications company in Nigeria, Etisalat has restated its commitment to customer satisfaction through its customer feedback initiative tagged the Etisalat Customer Forum, which held in Akure recently.

The event, held at Ruby’s Court Event Centre, Oke Ijebu, Akure, Ondo State, was aimed at measuring the company’s performance on promise to customers while at the same time eliciting direct feedback from customers on the company’s products and service offerings.
(L-R): Manager, Pricing & Tariff, Etisalat Nigeria, Monisola Alabi; Head Mass Market, Etisalat Nigeria , Idowu Adesokan; Head Customer Experience & Retention, Etisalat Nigeria, Biola Edun; Etisalat customer, Moshood Ismael and Director, Network Engineering, Etisalat Nigeria, Temi Ogunbambi, at the Akure edition of Etisalat Customer Forum 2014, held at Ruby’s Court Event Centre, Oke Ijebu, Akure, recently.

Head Customer Experience and Retention, Etisalat Nigeria, Biola Edun, said customers are the greatest asset of the Etisalat business and catering for their communications needs remains paramount. “Caring and satisfying our customers is central to our business strategy. Customer Forum gives us an opportunity to listen to our customers, interact with them directly on issues and fashion out mutually beneficial ways to address their challenges. With this forum, we want to hear our customers speak, while we listen and respond, because we care more about them,” Biola said.

One of the customers, Mr. Abiodun Olayinka, an Akura based businessman, described Etisalat as a company with “matchless customer care service.” According to him, Etisalat’s Customer Care service is the best in the telecommunications sector. I must confess that I and my family are enjoying the Etisalat network. With today’s session, it is very clear that there is a connection between Etisalat and its customers.”

CBN Confirms Dikko as Chariman of Unity Bank

The Central Bank of Nigeria has confirmed the appointment of Alhaji Lamis Dikko as the Chairman and Mr. Thomas Etuh as the pioneer Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Unity Bank Plc.

A statement from the bank showed that the approval was contained in a letter from the central bank dated April 22, 2014. The letter was signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins.

The CBN also approved the appointment of Mr. Thomas Etuh as the pioneer vice chairman of Unity Bank.

“Collectively, Dikko and Etuh will be bringing in over 40 years of collective experience to the board of Unity Bank,” it added.

The board of directors of the bank had on March 27, 2014 forwarded the names of Dikko and Etuh to the CBN, following the resignation of the former chairman of the financial institution, Alhaji Numan Barau Danbatta. While awaiting the approval, Etuh had been serving as interim chairman.

Alhaji Dikko is a seasoned banker who has extensive banking experience and a strong background in the financial services sector. He was also an intricate part in the consolidation process that led to the establishment of the Bank in 2006 and will bring to bear his many years of experience and wide contacts to the current re-organization and rejuvenation of Unity Bank. He holds a B.Sc. Economics from Queen Mary’s College, University of London and also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School for Management Development.

Thuraya teams up with Western Union

Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a leading Mobile Satellite Services operator and The Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, today announced their agreement to offer top-up services for Thuraya prepaid SIMs for voice and data services using the Western Union Quick PaySM service.

The service is available at participating Western Union agent locations in the majority of the 200+ countries and territories in which the company provides services. This new and convenient method of payment enables Thuraya customers to recharge their pre-paid SIMS with no fee.

Michel Foricher, Vice President, Service Delivery, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & CIS, Western Union said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with Thuraya. The Western Union QuickPay service will provide Thuraya customers the convenience of topping up their prepaid SIM cards at participating Western Union agent locations in our network, a quick and convenient facility for Thuraya customers, particularly those who may be in remote locations.”

“Our agreement with Western Union marks the first time in the world that a satellite telecoms operator is providing such a service. The service is a great convenience for customers who may be located in remote areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Thuraya customers can now top up their prepaid SIM cards easily and efficiently through Western Union’s global network of agent locations that offer the Western Union Quick Pay service. This is yet another example of Thuraya’s commitment to developing innovative solutions and enhancing our services for our growing customer base in emerging markets, with special focus of this deployment in Sub-Saharan Africa and CIS countries,” said Bilal El Hamoui, Vice President of Distribution at Thuraya.

Pictures: Official Signing of Partnership Between Etisalat Nigeria and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System

From Left, Director, Business Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Lucas Dada; Executive Director, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, Christabel Onyejekwe;  and SM Systems Integration officer, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, Segun Ajibade, during the official signing of partnership between Etisalat Nigeria and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System held in Lagos on Thursday 24th of April 2014

From Left, Manager, Mobile Financial Services, Etisalat Nigeria, Seun Omotosho; Director, Business Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Lucas Dada; Executive Director, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, Christabel Onyejekwe;  and SM Systems Integration officer, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, Segun Ajibade, during the official signing

MultiChoice launches BoxOffice in Nigeria

 MultiChoice has officially launched BoxOffice in Nigeria, in what is yet another move to provide DStv subscribers with the ultimate in home television entertainment.

BoxOffice is a service that allows subscribers to conveniently rent and watch the latest blockbuster movies in the comfort of their homes, right on their DStv Explora decoders.
Mr. Akinola Salu, General Manager, Sales and Distribution; Mrs. Chioma Afe, Marketing Manager, DStv; Mr. Martin Mabutho, General Manager, Marketing and Retention, MultiChoice Nigeria; Mrs. Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, Regional Manager, Mnet Africa and Ms. Caroline Oghuma, Public Relations, MultiChoice Nigeria during the Media launch of DStv Boxoffice and Catchup held at Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos today Thursday 24th April, 2014.

With BoxOffice, DStv subscribers can now rent and keep movies for up to 48 hours, for N400 per movie, and your first movie is courtesy of DStv Nigeria. Thereafter customers using the service may choose to use any of the flexible payment options to rent and make anytime movie time with BoxOffice.

Box Office will give subscribers access to a wide variety of movies from comedy, drama and family movies, to horror, fantasy and a whole lot more, including a selection of great Nollywood titles such as “Plantain Girl” and “In Her Shoes” to start with.

Facebook partners Tigo to give customers free access

It’s thumps up by Tigo Tanzania General Manager, Diego Gutierrez (L), and Facebook representative, Nicola D’Elia, during the launch of a historic partnership between their two companies today in Dar es Salaam
Tigo Tanzania has announced a partnership with Facebook in which all its customers in the country will get free access to Facebook services in English and a new Kiswahili version through their mobile handsets.

It is the first time that Facebook will be free on any mobile network in East Africa, according to Tigo General Manager Diego Gutierrez.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership in Dar es Salaam, Gutierrez said: “What this partnership means is that Tigo customers can, for the first time, access Facebook through their handsets without incurring any data charges and connect with the social media network’s two millions of users in Tanzania and its 1.2 billion users worldwide.

Gutierrez added: “It is the first time any major social media company has made a version in Kiswahili the national language spoken by Tanzanians and majority of the people in East, Central and Southern African region.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Samsung calls global advertising and media review

The Korean electronics company has notified agencies on its roster of its decision.

The global ad account is split between Cheil, CHI & Partners and Leo Burnett.

CHI & Partners was responsible for creating last year’s global "charge" spot for Samsung’s range of smart televisions. The ad featured American footballers, Roman centurions and other characters charging across a beach towards a man sitting in an armchair, who halts the action with his hand.

Starcom has handled the global media planning and buying account since 2007, when it won the business from Mindshare.

Nokia launches Lumia 1320 in South Africa

Lumia 1320
Nokia has announced the introduction of the six-inch Lumia 1320 in South Africa, just months after the launch of the Lumia 1520 and affordable Asha models.

The Lumia 1320 sports a 6" 720x1280 pixels supersensitive IPS-LCD panel with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, a 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal memory plus microSD slot, and 5 MP camera with flash on the back.

The Nokia Lumia 1320 will be available from May, 2014 on contracts starting at R199 per month on all major operators, with an estimated cash price of R4,499, Nokia said.

“Like the Lumia 520, we believe the 1320 has a brilliant combination of hardware features and software experiences at a very compelling price,” said Shaun Durandt, general manager of Nokia South Africa in a press release issued today (Wednesday, 23 April 2014).

Apple releases iOS 7.1.1 update for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

Apple on Tuesday issued a new update for its wildly popular mobile operating system. Apple'S latest minor mobile OS update, iOS 7.1.1 labeled as build 11D201, was unveiled to the public with bug fixes and improvements for the TouchID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S. iOS 7.1.1 is available for download through Software Update in the iPhone and iPad Settings app, packing “improvements, bug fixes and security updates.”

The update is expected to show up soon as a download through iTunes.

In addition to the tweaks made to improve TouchID, Apple addressed an issue with Bluetooth keyboard responsiveness when VoiceOver is enabled.  The update is compatible with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s and iPhone 4, as well as recent iPad and iPod touch models.

iOS 7.1.1 comes about a month after the release of iOS 7.1, which packed some interface refinements and stability and accessibility improvements, along with CarPlay and tweaks to the personal assistant, Siri and iTunes Radio. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor was also a focus area for iOS 7.1.1; the update aims to address complaints that the sensor was inaccurate or that it “faded” over time.

The next major iOS update is expected to be introduced at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. iOS 8 is expected to include less interface design changes, but updated features including an overhauled Apple Maps, a simplified Notification Centre, and the highly-anticipated ”Healthbook” app.

FC Barcelona appeal granted suspensive effect

FC Barcelona has responded positively to the decision announced today by FIFA’s Appeal Committee to provisionally grant suspensive effect to the appeal made by the Club against the sanction imposed by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee.

The sanction was announced by the FIFA Disciplinary Commission last April 2 and prevented the Club from signing players during the next two transfer windows. FC Barcelona presented an appeal against the measure within the required period.

In this respect, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee, Larry Mussenden, took into consideration the sanctions imposed against the club, the complexity of the matter, the start date of the next registration period – 1 July 2014 – and the fact that the FIFA Appeal Committee does not seem in a position to take a decision on the main issue early enough so that an eventual appeal of the club against its decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport would still be decided before the beginning of the next registration period. Consequently, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect.

In view of the foregoing, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee assures that proper and adequate appeal proceedings will take place and, at the same time, that all rights of the club will be respected.

A guide to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil tickets

In the eyes of many football fans, FIFA World Cup™ tickets are prized possessions that become genuine collectors’ items at end of the tournament. The design of tickets and the language they are printed in conjure up memories of the host nation and the game in question, made memorable by the atmosphere in the stadium and surrounding the competition as a whole.

It is not until the champions have been crowned, however, that tickets become valuable souvenirs, which makes it important, therefore, that the people purchasing tickets for Brazil 2014 know how to identify and understand all the information and features it contains.

Each ticket bears a total of ten key pieces of information designed to make life easier for spectators from the moment they arrive at the stadium and to help them find their seat. In revealing how, we are going to use a ticket for Brazil’s group match with Mexico as an example. Let’s begin with some general information:

1. The match number is highlighted in the left-hand corner. In the example above, the Brazil-Mexico game is Match 17. You can find the numbers of all the games in the match schedule.

Etisalat Sponsored Nigerian Idol 4: The Heat is on with Top 12 contestants unveiled

Dare Art-Alade, Manager, Public Relations, Etisalat; Chineze Amanfo, Director, Brands and Communication, Etisalat, Enitan Denloye and Olisa Adibua
After auditions in 5 cities across Nigeria and down to top-30 Nigerian youths giving their best to be Nigeria’s next big super star, the Etisalat sponsored Nigerian Idol season 4 has finally announced its Top 12 contestants.

The 12 contestants, who were unveiled at an event in Lagos last  weekend, will be housed for another eight weeks to show their musical prowess and mastery in front of the judges and audience as they battle for the top prize of N7.5 million, a Galaxy Tab, a Blackberry, an iPod and a brand new SUV car.

This year’s top 12 contestants are; Zibili Evelyn, Lisa Omoregebe, Elvis Ejiro, Paul Enoma, Odugbemi Idown Sarah, Ogechukwu Okafor, Obed Emmanuel Ogbonna, Ese Idowu, Ese Nyerhovoo, Anthony Akpan, Beebee Bassey and Jesse Okonkwo.

Speaking at the event, Director, Brands & Communication, Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye said, The concept of unveiling the Top 12 contestants is to formally showcase the talents that the viewers have selected to move to the gala show. In his Words: “We are happy to witness another high point in this season. As we have promised, this season will be more interesting and it will once again empower another set of Nigerian youths, in line with our brand commitment of youth empowerment and development.”

Nigerian Students Charged on Entrepreneurship at BrandiQ Club Launch

A call has gone out to Nigerian undergraduates - particularly students and practitioners of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) - to endeavour to develop their intellect and creative minds during their formative years in the higher institution in a bid to acquire the entrepreneurship drive needed for the job market as a way of tackling unemployment and its attendant socio-economic problems.

This charge was given by some key figures in the IMC industry as well as entrepreneurs, notably seasoned broadcaster and publisher of Today’s Woman magazine, Mrs Adesuwa Onyenokwe; and marketing guru and CEO of Trends Insight Intelligence Network, Mr Franklin Ozekhome during the inaugural launch of the BrandiQ Campus Club at Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), Lekki, Lagos.

In a welcome address delivered by the Dean, School of Media and Communication, PAU, Professor Emevwo Biakolo, he described the gathering as a forum for cultivating imaginative ideas for the good of the society. “You can’t put values to small ideas; with time they blow to become institutions. The small ideas of yesterday have become the great institutions of today.” Referring to the motto of BrandiQ – ‘Vision Powered by Intellect,’ he said that the occasion provided a platform to “create a chain of learning,” noting that the time has come for BrandiQ to move on to higher goals.

Setting the tone for the dominant subject of discussion, the Editor-in-Chief, BrandiQ Magazine, Mr Desmond Ekeh, described the occasion as a “watershed.” Mr Ekeh, who stated that he conceived the idea of a brand-focused magazine right from his days as student of journalism, announced the intention to move the BrandiQ Campus Club train to other major campuses across the federation. “We have spoken to industry experts who are poised to mentor students in the area of their endeavour. This will involve the use of conferences, workshops, seminars, symposiums and other professional windows and mediums of supporting the academic world,” he said.

Hellofood App Now Available On All Samsung Galaxy S5

Online food ordering service, has announced a partnership with Samsung at the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S5 in Lagos. As part of the Galaxy Gift Package, Hellofood has been selected as one of six apps that will be pre-installed on all Galaxy S5 devices for its users.

Emmanouil Revmatas, Samsung West Africa Director, endorsed Hellofood as “the fastest way to order food online from your favourite restaurants” and praised the simplicity of the service.

Hellofood has enjoyed tremendous development in Africa to become the most popular food delivery app on the continent and this latest partnership demonstrates the huge consumer demand for high-quality and easy-to-use apps. Having been operational in Nigeria for just under 18 months, Hellofood is already working with over 300 restaurants across several cities, including Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

“Your order will be delivered to your doorstep and you can pay cash on delivery to make the process even quicker and simpler”, he added. Hellofood has enjoyed tremendous development in Africa to become the most popular food delivery app on the continent and this latest partnership demonstrates the huge consumer demand for high-quality and easy-to-use apps. Having been operational in Nigeria for just under 18 months, Hellofood is already working with over 300 restaurants across several cities, including Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. “This latest partnership with Samsung is very exciting for us”, said James Gibson, managing director of Hellofood Nigeria.

Konga Takes Ecommerce Education to Radio, Partners with Lenovo for exclusive phone launch

2014 is a year that has seen confidence in online shopping grow among Nigerians with more Nigerians shopping online, but to sustain this trend, there is a need for more education on the benefits and ease of shopping online.

This is why Nigeria’s Largest Online Mall and Marketplace, is partnering with the producers of dusnumberries, a show on Cool Fm radio station every Monday and Friday mornings for a special section called “the Konga Marketplace”. Every week, Nigerians will have the opportunity to win shopping vouchers in fun and informational games like tongue twisters while also getting online shopping tips and exclusive discounts available on Konga.

Konga has also entered into a partnership with global computer makers, Lenovo, to launch a new range of mobile phones and tablets all running on the android platform. The Lenovo S650 phone and Lenovo A516 phone all come in great colours and friendly prices for the Nigerian market.

Gabriel Gab-Umoden, Head of Marketing, had this to say about the partnership and the launch: “We are excited about the different partnerships we have lined up this year. Every new step we take is part of our goal to create happy experiences for every one of our customers.  A big part of our mission this year is educate more Nigerians about the joys and benefits of shopping online and we believe this new partnership with Dusnumberries will help achieve this. Lenovo is a recognized device maker and we are happy they have chosen Konga as the platform to exclusively launch their new devices”

More opportunities are also available with the newly launched Konga daily deals with deals on the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S5, air conditioners, laptops and others as part of the Konga ‘Quality Products, Low Prices’ vision.

Umbro boosts Premier League presence with Hull deal

Manchester-based sportswear brand Umbro has agreed a four-year partnership to supply kit for English Premier League football team Hull City.

The brand had previously been the official kit supplier to Hull between 2007 and 2010 and will replace adidas when the new agreement takes effect from the beginning of the 2014-2015 season.

The deal includes all training wear for the Hull City’s men’s, women’s and academy teams. Umbro will also sponsor Everton in 2014-2015 and had previously supplied the Manchester City kit prior to their switch to Nike.

Hull was promoted back to the Premier League last season and is currently 14th in the standings with four games left to play this term. The team has also progressed to the FA Cup final, where it will meet Arsenal at Wembley on May 17.

Hull City wore Umbro kits from 2007 to 2010, a period which included their finest hour to date when club legend Dean Windass scored the winning goal to clinch promotion to the top English league for the first time in the Club’s history. 

Qatar downsize 2022 World Cup stadia

Amid rising costs and delays in its infrastructure projects, Qatar reduced the number of stadia it plans to build for the 2022 soccer World Cup stadia from 12 to eight.

The country, which won the right to host the world’s most-watched sporting event in 2010, plans to build eight stadiums for the event, Ghanim Al Kuwari, the organising committee’s senior manager for projects, said at a conference in Doha on Sunday.

The country originally announced plans for 12 stadia, including nine new playing fields and three refurbishments. Al Kuwari didn’t give a reason for the cut.

Qatar, which holds the world’s third-largest natural-gas reserves, plans to spend more than $200bn (€144.9bn) on new infrastructure before hosting the World Cup, including $34bn on a rail and metro system, $7bn on a port and $17bn on an airport. Stadia for the World Cup are set to cost $4bn alone.

“As is the case with any Fifa World Cup, once a country is chosen as host, a review of the bid plans is made with the organisers to propose the final host cities and stadia projects, which then need to be approved by the Fifa Executive Committee,” Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said in a statement. “The requirement is a minimum of eight and a maximum of 12 stadia.”

Soup Lounge opens in Lagos

(L-R)Chief Executive Officer Ofada Boy Incorporation, Tobi Fletcher, Partner ,Ogunupebi Feyisayo, and the Partner , Akinlade Temitayo  at the opening of Soup Lounge a subsidiary of Ofada Boy Incorporation in Lagos recently.
Fast rising Nigerian local food company, Soup Lounge, a subsidiary of Ofada Boy Incorporation has thrown its best foot forward by promising to deliver unequalled and unique services of assorted Nigerian soup delicacies. This strategic move was stated during a well-attended unveiling ceremony of Soup Lounge at Adeniran Ogunsanya in Lagos which afforded consumers to relish the delicious goodness of a wide array of Nigerian indigenous soup.

In view of the fast-paced business environment and the ever changing life style evident today, Nigerians have resorted to patronizing fast food restaurants which offer quick fixes for consumers across the country. Hence, Soup Lounge is poised to re-awaken the availability of Nigerian soup variety to the working class and other lovers of Nigerian indigenous soup delicacies such as Eforiro, Edikiakong, Gbegiri, Ofensala and others.

Addressing the audience at the unveiling , the CEO of Ofada Boy Food Incorporation, Tobi Fletcher affirmed that Soup Lounge will rekindle the love for Nigerian dishes which has been eroded with meals that are alien to early Nigerian society.

In his words, ‘‘Ofada Boy is a local content food company which provides local meals from all areas of Nigeria. Also, Soup Lounge is a one-stop soup shop. We provide any type of soup from any part of Nigeria. We have client that we supply all kinds of variety of soup dish. Also, our palm wine is served in the Yoruba keregbe format because we are trying to reactivate golden age when our fore-fathers drank from locally made calabash. We do not serve carbonated drinks, pasties but fresh and juicy edibles’’.

Havas Sports & Entertainment Appoints Tove Okunniwa As CEO

Tove Okunniwa (image credit: Twitter)
Havas Sports & Entertainment, the brand engagement network of the Havas Group, has appointed Tove Okunniwa as the new CEO of Havas Sports & Entertainment UK.

The role will see Okunniwa take charge of daily business operations, client and partner relationships, strategy, and new business development for HS&E UK.

She will be overseeing 30 sports & entertainment professionals who work with a number of brands and organisations including The Coca-Cola Company, The Football Association, The Lawn Tennis Association, Sport England, AEG, and Yahoo!

Tove will report into the President & Global CEO of HS&E, Lucien Boyer, who moved to London in January this year, as well as Dominique Delport, Chairman of Havas Media UK, and Global MD of Havas Media Group.

Tove takes on the role of CEO from former Managing Director Gordon Lott, who left HS&E UK to pursue an entrepreneurial project in sustainability. She joins HS&E after seven years at MEC Access UK, where she held the role of Managing Director, tripling the size of the division and delivering effective communication campaigns for clients such as Danone, Wrigley, Specsavers, Morrisons, and Sony Ericsson, amongst others, around their sport & entertainment partnerships.

Before going agency-side, Tove had a career at the BBC as Head of Marketing for BBC Sport and Head of Digital Marketing, as well as other marketing roles for Radio 3, Radio 2, and BBC TV.

Pictures: Maltina Share Happiness At Lagos Crarnival

(L-R) Marketing Manager Non- Alcoholic Drinks Nigerian Breweries Plc, Sampson Oloche, Winners at Vending Machine, Toheeb Jenyo, Muiz Dauda and the Senior Brand Manager Maltina, Wole Adedeji  presenting gift during Lagos Carnival Sponsored by Maltina.

(L-R) Marketing Manager Non- Alcoholic Drinks Nigerian Breweries Plc, Sampson Oloche, Winners at Vending Machine, Toheeb Jenyo, Muiz Dauda and the Senior Brand Manager Maltina, Wole Adedeji  presenting gift during Lagos Carnival Sponsored by Maltina.

(L-R) Marketing Manager Non- Alcoholic Drinks Nigerian Breweries Plc, Sampson Oloche, Senior Brand Manager Maltina, Wole Adedeji and the Assistant Brand Manager, Dekoye Oyeyinka at the Lagos Carnival  Sponsored by Maltina.

Huawei begins Zambian base station project

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has officially kicked off a project to build 169 mobile towers in under-serviced rural areas in Zambia.

The first tower was officially launched by Zambia’s Vice President Dr Guy Scott (pictured) and other government and Huawei officials at Matanda in Zambia’s Luapula Province on Thursday.

Huawei is constructing base stations as part of a Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) ‘Universal Access Project’ to build 169 towers in all rural areas of the country’s ten provinces.

Vice president Dr Guy Scott said the coming of the communication towers willprovide business opportunities for people in rural areas, and urged women andyouths in particular to seize those opportunities to engage in business.

“Through our dedicated effort and commitment to the Zambian market, we endeavour to workwith local partners towards improved network quality, affordable rates and morevalue-added services for the benefit of the people of Zambia,” HuaweiTechnologies Zambia managing director Spawn Fan Wen said.

Microsoft Close In On Acquisition of Nokia Devices This Week

Microsoft has confirmed the acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone business will complete on Friday although the US technology group also revealed a few changes to the original terms of the €5.4bn deal agreed last year.

Plans for the acquisition were first announced in September 2013, and with the exception of some Asian regulatory authorities, the deal passed through other regulators in North America and Europe without issue. Microsoft said on Monday it had completed the “steps necessary to finalise” the acquisition of the Nokia’s devices and services business.

The deal is now almost four weeks behind the original timetable set out in September, when Microsoft announced its intention to buy Nokia’s mobile phone business and license its patents for €5.4bn in cash.

BrandArena reported last year Nokia’s announcement it was to sell its Devices & Services section to Microsoft, describing it as the best path forward for Nokia and its shareholders, with the deal expected to go through this month.

Xbox One To Launch In South Africa, 26 Other Markets In September

Microsoft has given an official date for the launch of the Xbox One, in Japan. However, it appears it might also be the date for the other 26 markets which include: Argentina, Belgium,  Korea, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, and UAE - getting the new console that month.

The Xbox One will finally go on sale in Japan on 4th September, around 10 months after its launch in the UK, North America and Australia.

In Dublin, Republic of Ireland Football Captain Robbie Keane met with media to launch the Xbox One (image credit: Xbox)

Microsoft has also unveiled a partial list of confirmed games in the latest issue of Famitsu, via Gematsu - it includes Halo for Xbox One and Insomniac's Sunset Overdrive, though it's not clear whether these will be available at launch.

Xbox One includes an 8-core x86 processor and an HDMI pass-thru, which allows you to watch TV through your Xbox. It also comes with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.

New Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has admitted to feeling disappointment about the Xbox One's staggered worldwide release. "It never feels good to stand on stage and talk about 21 markets and ship in 13," he told OXM earlier in the year. "But it's a journey, and it's not won or lost the day after launch. It will be something that plays out, so making sure the quality of each market when we ship is the important part."

Hakeem Bello-Osagie, Genevieve Nnaji, OC Ukeje, Others at the Etisalat Private Screeing of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ in Lagos

(L-R) Enitan Denloye (Director, Brands & Communications, Etisalat Nigeria); Genevieve Nnaji; Hakeem Bello-Osagie (Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria); and Matthew Willsher (Acting CEO, Etisalat Nigeria)
Following the official premiere of the film adaptation of Chimamanda’s Adichie’s novel ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, Telecom Partner of the film, Etisalat Nigeria, on Tuesday, April 15th organized a private screening of the movie at the Silverbird Cinemas in Lagos for its high value customers and select guests.

The event which was graced by the Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria, Hakeem Bello-Osagie, also had in attendance Nollywood screen diva and Etisalat Easyflex Ambassador, Genevieve Nnaji, and OC Ukeje who also starred in the movie.

According to Matthew Willsher, acting Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, “Etisalat is pleased to be identified with this unique work of art that places Nigeria proudly on the world map and promotes the country’s movie industry. At Etisalat, we believe in pushing boundaries and expanding the frontiers in our product and service delivery to our customers. This movie with its stellar cast, all round quality in production and poignant story shares this same attribute”, he said.

See more pictures from the event:

Etisalat Half of A Yellow Sun Premiere - BellaNaija - April2014024
Genevieve Nnaji
Etisalat Half of A Yellow Sun Premiere - BellaNaija - April2014010
OC Ukeje
Etisalat Half of A Yellow Sun Premiere - BellaNaija - April2014003
Deborah Willsher
Etisalat Half of A Yellow Sun Premiere - BellaNaija - April2014008
Matthew Willsher (Acting CEO, Etisalat Nigeria)

Nokia X: A Review Of First Nokia Android

Nokia launched its first 'Android' phone, Nokia X, in Nigeria to lure buyers with the prospect of Android app support. The smartphone maker believes it will act as a 'feeder' for its Lumia phone range and make the first time smartphone users feel at home before they graduate to high-end alternatives.

As a concept, the Nokia X is something we have long been waiting for. It was quite worrying that such an established brand like Nokia had their hands tied when it came to choosing a winning OS for their smartphones. It’s no secret that Windows Phone had been weighing the giant mobilephone player down for quite sometime. While all those teething issues might be a thing of the past soon with Windows Phone 8.1 and Universal Windows apps, their budget segment has been completely chaotic.

The Nokia X was not made to compete with the best out there. It is the exact opposite of a flagship - low-cost hardware delivering reasonable performance at a bargain price. No Google services but Nokia's and Microsoft's instead. No Google Play Store but plenty of Android apps in the Nokia and other stores. No Android level of customization but a blend of Lumia and Asha simplicity. It's Android like you never seen it before. Intrigued?

Design and Build
The Nokia X resembles the Asha 501 a lot in terms of its design language and aesthetics - it is a typical rectangular slab with sharper-than-average corners and excellent build quality and it feels a lot cheaper than its current pricing. The rear flap also tries to protect the camera bump. But the one big difference in comparison to Android phones is that there is just one back button under the screen, like in the Asha series. And this is not exactly a Home button and that has a considerable impact on the way you use this phone.

Awujale of Ijebu Commences 80th Birthday In Style

From Left, Chairman Sub-planning Committee and Chairman Troyka Holding, Mr Biodun Shobanjo, His Majesty, Oba (Dr) Sikiru Kayode Adetona and Vice Chairman, Sub-planning Committee, Chief Fassy Yusuf, at the World Press Conference in Commemoration of the beginning of His Majesty, Oba (Dr) Sikiru Kayode Adetona's 80th birthday held in Ijebu Ode on Tuesday 22nd of April 2014.
Nigeria's longest ruining first class monarch and paramount ruler of Ijebu land, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona Ogbagba II kicked off his 80th birthday yesterday as he host journalists at his palace in Ijebu Ode.

Oba Adetona who was recalled from his studies in the United Kingdom formally ascended the throne of his forefathers on April 2, 1960 at a little under 26 years of age - will be 80 year old on Saturday, May 10, 2014.

"I have had lot of happy moment in life and I cannot but thank God for his grace", the enthusiastic monarch said during the question and answer session the journalists.

The Awujale shared some remarkable memories of his 54 years on throne and also expressed optimism that Ijebu State will be created in his life time. Giving the history of Ijebu land, Oba Sikiru Adetona said that it was one of the provinces of the old Western Region. “I’m optimistic that Ijebu State will be created in my life time.” “Ijebu is a viable land and would achieve it,” he said.

Why Tunde Kelani May Not Release Movies in Nigeria Again

Veteran cinematographer and film producer, Tunde Kelani has threatened not to release movies in Nigeria again as pirates hijack his new film, Maami.

The movie, Maami was recently released in DVD after been screened in many cinemas within and outside the country.

In a statement released by Kelani's Mainframe Production last Thursday, he said he was alerted by fans to the activities of pirates who recreated the imprints and the jackets of the film, dubbed on cheap DVD for sales. The original copy of Maami, marketed by Ajimson Integrated Services Limited, as mastered on DVD, is contained in a jewel box and limited.

"In the last 10 years, I have tried everything to survive the attacks. I have relied on donors and well-wishers to continue to make films but each time I loose all the investments, therefore I cannot continue to live the rest of my life in this dangerous place called Nigeria", he said.