BrandArena: August 2014

Saturday 30 August 2014

The impact of Movitel on ICT in Mozambique

Arriving in Mozambique when the telecom infrastructure was very limited and only 35% of the population was accessible to the telecommunication services, Viettel – the Vietnamese leading telecommunications - has endorsed an initiative to popularize telecom services in rural and under-served areas in Mozambique. This initiative regards telecom provision as a commodity, which should be accessible regardless of geographical location or financial capacity.

The company has invested in a network, service support and introduction of social programs to enable telecom services accessible to rural Mozambicans, as part of improving their overall lives and become its customers. Viettel aims at a sustainable social development and benefit both customers and the company by bringing mobile phones to every Mozambican and broadband Internet to every Mozambican family.

Two years after the initiative was implemented, Movitel – the joint venture between Viettel and Mozambique’s SPI Company has built 2,800 2G/3G base stations and 25,000 km of fiber optical cables covering 100% of districts and highways, serving nearly 80% of the Mozambican population. In rural areas, by the end of 2013the company has increased its coverage area from 60% to 85% and doubled the number of covered people from 35% to 75%.

In addition, to address the difficulties incurred due to limited transportation infrastructure, Movitel developed a diversified distribution channels comprising of 153 shops, 12,600 agents and points of sales and nearly 4,000 direct sales staffs to deliver door-to-door services in every village. Nearly 600,000 people in at least 5rural districts have been covered and served telecom services for the first time in life. Tariff plans have been tailored to be affordable and flexible for different groups. For instance, farmers were offered zero entrant fee with top up denomination of any value in addition to subsidizing handsets while the youth could enjoy services such as i-Muzik, Missed call alerts, Call me back, daily news, horoscopes, etc. Never before is it easier for Mozambican to use telecommunications services than it is now with Movitel.

Twitter Offers Analytics Dashboard to all Users

Web blog site, Twitter, has announced it is giving Twitter Analytics access to all users. The feature — previously only available to advertisers, Twitter Card publishers and verified users — provides detailed information about how tweets are performing, showing impressions, clicks, retweets and replies for each tweet as well as monthly engagement and engagement rates for an account.

In July 2014, Twitter revealed that advertisers will obtain access to a Google Analytics style dashboard within the social media platform. The dashboard was created to help brands, restaurants and corporate entities gauge and keep track of the performance of each Tweet sent out.

The analytics section has been closed to the public for some time now; however, the social media platform has opened the analytics section for all users to utilise.

Nigeria to launch first digital radio station

Nigeria’s minister of information, Labaran Maku has revealed that the country's first digital radio station is to be launched soon.

In a report by the Punch, Maku said the digital station will be world class and able to compete with global radio stations.

He urged members of the Federal Radio Corporation  of Nigeria (FRCN) to go beyond the traditional functions of the media, – such as providing information, education and entertainment -, and asked that they focus on playing a role in solving the numerous problems confronting the country. 

“Nigeria is going through a very challenging period in its history and the role of the broadcast media, especially FRCN becomes even more crucial,” Maku said.

“The public therefore, expects some ideas that will improve on the contents and programmes of the broadcast media and help to stabilise the polity,” he said.

DigitasLBi acquires African agency, Liquorice

Global marketing and technology agency Digitas LBi, part of Publicis Groupe has acquired Liquorice, African digital marketing agency.

The acquisition of Liquorice will reportedly strengthen DigitasLBi's global footprint, providing it with marketing and technology expertise in fast-growing South African markets, as well as the ability to help both local and global clients transform themselves for digital.

DigitasLBi acquisition of the African agency, Liquorice which was established about 10 years ago by Chief Executive Miles Murphy, Liquorice will form part of DigitasLBi's Middle East & Africa region under the leadership of Anil Pillai, who takes on the newly created role of Chief Executive, UK, Middle East & Africa.

"We are tremendously excited about this opportunity to take our already successful South Africa business onto the global stage with DigitasLBi. Several potential partners approached us, but DigitasLBi stood out head and shoulders above the rest. We believe DigitasLBi with its 6,700 digital experts working across 40 offices in 26 countries is the most progressive marketing and technology agency in the world and we look forward to working together to grow our presence throughout Africa and beyond", says Miles Murphy.

Microsoft, Mansard Insurance Partner to Unveil Lumia 930 in Nigeria

Microsoft has announced that its latest addition to the Lumia range of smartphones, the Lumia 930, running Windows Phone 8.1 is now available in Nigeria.

The Lumia 930 smartphone comes with the best of Microsoft built in work and play features such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, XBOX, Skype and One Note to ensure customers are able to work hard and play hard whenever and wherever, whilst keeping content like photos, videos and documents in sync across their Windows Phone, Personal Computers, tablets and XBox devices.

With the use of OneDrive and its 15GB of free storage in the cloud, customers can access their documents, files and even games anywhere and anytime. The device features one of the brightest screens seen on a smartphone with a 5 inch Full HD 1080p screen with sunlight readability and curved Gorilla Glass 3.0 for better viewing angles and an outdoor reading experience unmatched in the industry.

The Lumia 930 comes with 2.2GHz Quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor as well as the Lumia Cyan update of Windows Phone 8.1 to give customers the most out of the latest Windows Phone 8.1, whilst enjoying a superfast experience. The Lumia 930 also comes with in-built Wireless charging as well as a 20 mega pixel PureView ZEISS camera with Optical Image Stabilization and 4 ultra high performance digital microphones that record Dolby Digital for an unparalleled imaging and rich recording and audio capture experience.

UBA Launches One Stop E-Payment Portal

E-commerce in Africa is set to receive a boost as United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has introduced an online payments and collections platform tagged U-bills. The online payment platform has been enabled in all the 19 countries where UBA has operations.

U-bills, is a collection and bill payments platform that allows sellers to collect payments online or on their mobile devices like tablets and smart phones.

It also provides a one-stop platform for customers to make payments for goods and services on their mobile phones, tablets or personal computers as long as they have an internet connection on the devices.

“The uniqueness of the U-Bills platform is that it is a single payment gateway where all forms of payments to different merchants can be made. It is not a single-merchant platform. All merchants can register on U-Bills to receive payments for goods and services. Also, anyone can go online and register to make payments for goods and services bought” explained Yinka Adedeji, Divisional Head, e-banking.

With U-bills, customers have the flexibility to make online payments anytime of the day or night or week to sellers for goods bought or services rendered. Inks Partnership Deal With Sasha P & Ajebutter 22

Jovago, – Africa’s largest online hotel booking platform has partnered with Nigeria’s foremost female rap superstar, Yetunde Alabi popularly known as Sasha P and Afro Pop superstar Akintoye Balogun aka Ajebutter 22.

International award winning rapper, Sasha P and the famous Omo Pastor crooner, Ajebutter 22 have gone into a mutually beneficial partnership with This partnership which was announced at an event held at the’s Lagos office would have the superstars use and recommend Jovago’s services to their fans.

In working with Sasha P and Ajebutter 22, will maintain a global focus promoting its exceptional hotel booking service. Having been nominated for the Hip Hop World Awards in 2013, Ajebutter 22 provides the perfect blend of local and international expertise, which Jovago also prides herself on. Sasha P has also been nominated for multiple awards around the world including the coveted Channel O and MTV Africa Music Awards. She has also won multiple awards including emerging the Most Promising West African Artist at the Kora Awards making her the ideal partner for

“I love to travel and staying at the right hotel is a big part of the entire experience”, said Sasha P. “I’m glad that I don't ever have to worry about getting it right and with amazing deals to offer as well. I am very excited to identify with the Jovago brand.”

Dell, VMware Collaborate to Deliver VMware NSX Solutions for the Software-Defined Data Center

Dell and VMware, Inc. have announced the companies are extending a longstanding relationship to deliver solutions that will accelerate adoption of network virtualization and open networking in the software-defined data center.

The expanded relationship includes a range of new networking solutions for midmarket, large enterprise and service provider customers, backed by a joint go-to-market initiative, validated reference architecture and a global reseller agreement.

Dell and VMware are working with Cumulus Networks® to deliver the VMware NSX network virtualization platform with Cumulus® Linux® on Dell Networking switches.  Additionally, Dell is delivering a fully-tested and validated converged infrastructure solution for midmarket customers that include VMware NSX.

Global organizations are adopting the software-defined data center as an open, agile, secure and efficient architecture to simplify IT and transition to the hybrid cloud,” said Raghu Raghuram, Executive Vice President, SDDC Division, VMware. “The software-defined data center enables open innovation at speeds that cannot be matched in the hardware-defined world. As partners, VMware and Dell are committed to advancing networking in the SDDC, and are collaborating to make the next-generation of advanced network virtualization available to our mutual customers.”

MTN Nigeria celebrates 13th anniversary with free data

Nigerian mobile operator MTN is celebrating 13 years of operations in Nigeria, offering users of its data services 100 per cent extra data.

Under the offer, a subscriber that buys a data bundle will receive the same amount for free; for example, a user purchasing the network’s 3 gigabyte (GB) data bundle will receive a total of 6 GB.

While subscribers can only use the bundle purchased between 9pm and 6am, the extra data can be used anytime of day; and will be valid for a 30-day period.

The latest offer was communicated to subscribers via SMS.

Launched in 2001, MTN now has over 55 million subscribers in Nigeria, providing voice, data and business solutions to Nigerians.

Chain Reactions Nigeria refreshes website

In an aim to strengthen its online presence and gain increased mind share in the business community, specialised African strategy company Chain Reactions Nigeria, has re-launched its corporate website.

The website is said to provide improved functionality and benefits to visitors, which include a simplified main menu with links to various enriched content pages and social networking services for users to interact with the organisation directly. It also offers faster and quicker real time access to users and prospective clients who desire to experience the company's bouquet of services.

Commenting on the new website, the Chief Strategist of Chain Reactions Nigeria, Israel Jaiye Opayemi said the re-conceptualisation of the website was an integral part of a holistic effort aimed at repositioning the company to play bigger and better in the new frontier of marketing communications which is being fast-paced by the digital media. "It is a conscious effort in the direction of our vision to become a leading player in the continent of Africa. This new website is a significant milestone on that journey to build an inter-African PR and Reputation Management company whose sphere of influence will be Africa.

Opayemi added that the website has been enhanced with added features such as mobile optimisation, a feature that enables efficiency on different mobile platforms such as tablets, iPhones and other smart mobile devices. With search engine optimisation, integrated graphics and social media integration, the new website will enable users to interact with the company in a friendlier online ambience.

Nigeria launches e-ID cards with electronic payment functionality

Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan has launched the country’s national e-ID card programme, which sees citizens issued with MasterCard-branded biometric identity cards which have electronic payment functionality included.

In the initial pilot phase of the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) project, 13 million Nigerians will be given the card, making it the largest rollout of a biometric-based verification card with an electronic payment solution in Nigeria, as well as being the broadest financial inclusion programme in Africa.

The card comes with 13 applications including Cryptovision’s biometric identification technology, and MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology through which millions of so far unbanked Nigerians will gain access to electronic payments. The e-ID card programme forms part of NIMC’s effort to create, maintain and operate Nigeria’s first central National Identity Database and provide proof of identity to Nigerians 16 years and older.

Speaking at the event in Abuja, His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan said: “I am happy that this important milestone of the rollout of the National Identity Management System has been realized today. I am impressed with the quality of the eID card and the work of the corporate partners that made it possible. I commend especially MasterCard, and Access Bank Plc, as well as the Commission (NIMC) for achieving a world-class product.”

Garlico Herbal International Spurs Distributors Through Traveling Award

In show its appreciation and encouragement to its key distributors, Garlico Herbal International Limited has announced its first travelling award to Dubai in Nigeria.

While addressing the media at Orchid Hotel, Asaba Delta State, the Chairman of the company, Elder Omeni Aruoture Sobotie said the award is in line with the company’s global marketing plan to further penetrate its African market.

“Today, Garlico Herbal International Ltd has the following products: Immuno – K, Immuno – M, Immuno – G, Immuno – KG, and Immuno – P. Unlike other known synthetic drugs with their numerous side effects, our products have no known side effect. In less than two years these products have been remarkably well known in the market with a lot of outstanding testimonies too numerous to mention in this gathering”, he said.

Today, Garlico Herbal products are consumed by the people in the Republic Benin, Togo, Cameroun, Ghana, Kenya, United Kingdom, America, and UAE.

Digital migration to cost Nigeria US$370m, says NBC

The migration from analogue to digital television signal in Nigeria will cost the country NGN60 billion (US$370 million), the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said, revealing it expects to achieve 90 per cent digital coverage by the June 2015 international digital migration deadline.

According to director general of the NBC Emeka Mba, the estimated cost of the migration will be incurred largely by the government and television stations, with a large part of the cost to be related to ensuring set-top boxes are available to everyone in Nigeira, reports the Guardian.

“It is matter of National Strategic importance that people have access to formal means of broadcasting given the health and security challenges we face and in order for them not to rely on rumours they need access to formal information channels,” said Mba.

“We have done an aggregate budget based on not only what NBC will spend but what broadcasters will spend and how much it will cost the whole industry,” he said.

“NBC is a regulator and not an operator, but we have taken an analysis of how much television stations, government will spend and how much will be spent on Set Up Boxes and we are looking at something over N60 billion which will be the cost of digital switch over in Nigeria compared to what other countries spent. UK spent over £1billion, USA spent over $40 billion.”

Skye Bank Introduces Electronic Payment Solution in Nigeria

Skye Bank Plc has launched an electronic point of payment solution that will enhance more revenue for development for Ikorodu North Local Council Development Authority.

The solution is coming on the heels of dwindling allocations to all tiers of government in the country.

Unveiling the solution at Ikorodu, where it has been adopted for revenue collection, Group Head, Revenue Collection and Franchise, Skye Bank Plc, Mrs. Bola Allison, said the product will check leakages and corruption in the collection process.

The product known as point of payment (PoP) solution, ensures that citizens pay their taxes, levies and other statutory payments through customised point of payment terminals, which are administered by the council staff.

Allison explained that the solution would make payment convenient as eligible tax and levy payers would not have to leave their shops or go to the banks to effect payments. She said tax payers would be protected as the PoP system generates receipts as evidence of payment.

LG launches G3 smartphone in Nigeria

LG has unveiled its G3 smartphone in Nigeria, saying the device was developed under the company’s ‘Simple is the New Smart’ initiative.

The device has a Quad HD display, screen ratio of 76.4 per cent and a 3,000mAh removable battery, while the metal in the battery cathode is replaced with graphite thus extending the battery’s lifespan.

It is backed with OIS technology first seen in the G2. The camera in “selfie mode” has gesture controls which allow the device would recognise a clenched fist gesture in order to start a three-second countdown before taking a photo.

Steve Seungeui Lee, general manager of the Mobile Communication division at LG Electronics West Africa, said: “This is the best innovation in a fast evolving smartphone market.”

DHL Express strengthens Africa's links with major developed economies

Charles Brewer
Despite a challenging global economic environment, import and export trade volumes for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa remain strong and are forecast to grow. This is according to Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, who adds, “The first half of 2014, revealed strong continuing growth for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa’s top three import trade lanes: the United States, France and China while the top three Sub Saharan Africa’s export trade lanes were to Great Britain, the United States and France.”

Deutsche Post DHL recently released their second quarter results, which saw the company achieve an increase in operating profit globally of almost 11%, thanks, in part, to increased profitability within its DHL Express business unit.

“Trade in Africa continues to present huge opportunities for both established and emerging markets and as stronger connections and trade relations are forged between SSA and the rest of the world, supported by innovative logistics supply chains, the faster Africa’s economic development will accelerate.”

Even with the accelerated growth that the continent has experienced, Africa is the world’s least connected continent, when considering the ease of moving people, trade, information and finance, according DHL’s Global Connectedness Index.

Nigerian University team emerges winner in the Google Online Marketing Challenge

A façade of LAUTECH Senate Building, Ogbomoso
A team from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Nigeria, under Professor Arulogun Oladiran Tayo has emerged as the Middle East & Africa regional winner in the 2014 Google Online Marketing Challenge (Adwords Business category).

The team of Adedoyin Jelil Opeyemi, Akadiri Olawale Olugboyega, Adesina Jamiu Olawale, Olayanju Abiodun Ibraheem, Salami Ismail Tunde, and Adeosun Oluwole Titus worked with Automedics Limited, an automobile maintenance workshop offering free advisory car care tips.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to experience and create online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords and Google+. Over 65,000 students and professors from almost 100 countries have participated in the past 6 years.

With a $250 AdWords advertising budget provided by Google, students develop and run an online advertising campaign for a business or non-profit organization over a three week period. The teams that develop and communicate the most successful campaigns win awesome prizes, including trips to Google offices. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the optional Google+ Social Media Marketing category by creating and managing a Google+ Page for their clients over a five week period.

Apple to hold special event Sept. 9: 'Wish we could say more'

Apple on Thursday confirmed that it will hold a media event on Sept. 9, with a teaser sent to members of the media showcasing the date and a teasing tagline that reads: "Wish we could say more."

A single, tantalizing tagline, “Wish we could say more,” plays up to the mountain of speculation over what new devices Apple will finally unveil.

The event will take place at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, Calif., the same venue where Steve Jobs introduced the world to the Mac 30 years ago.

Apple is widely expected to unveil two versions of the new iPhone 6, one with a 4.7-inch screen and the other with a 5.5-inch screen, to compete with larger-screened phones from the likes of Samsung, HTC and Huawei.

Less is known about the iWatch.

The iWatch may come in multiple screen sizes, according to a June report from the Wall Street Journal, and pack 10 sensors that measure a range of activity levels including heart rate.

British Airways Unveils Bumper Reward for Travel Consultants

British mega carrier, British Airways and its sister Airline Iberia has announced plans to give its Travel Consultants in Nigeria a special Yuletide with bumper rewards of elite shopping experience. The company will be rewarding travel consultants at their travel agencies across Nigeria with gifts up to one million naira from October through December 2014.

According to the airline, the offer is in partnership with Shoprite in Nigeria and it is a way of encouraging and saying a big thank you to the highly valued travel consultants because they are the ones that actually book customers in the different Travel Agencies in Nigeria.

British Airways Regional General Manager, West Africa, Mr Kola Olayinka, disclosed that the travel consultants are encouraged to book British Airways and win the shopping vouchers which are available in three major cities in Nigeria, namely Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

According to Mr. Olayinka “This offer is our way of saying thank you to our partners. We thought of a better way to show our appreciation to these valuable consultants, so we went into a strong partnership with one of the national biggest outlets, Shoprite who have outlets all over Nigeria and stock a good range of household items. With this, we are giving our partners the opportunity of early preparations for the yuletide season.”

Western Union launches outbound remittances for Nigeria

Western Union has launched an outbound remittance service in Nigeria, allowing people to send – not only receive – money around the world.

Although Western Union was launched in Nigeria in 1995, consumers were only able to receive funds, and the outbound remittance service means that for the first time they will be able to send money anywhere in the world.

To launch the service in Nigeria, Western Union is partnering with First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) to enable Western Union and FirstBank customers to use the new ‘outbound send’ offering.

“We are delighted that Western Union has taken the lead in providing outbound remittance services to Nigerians,” said Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, launching the service in Abuja.

Iconway introduces Online Shopping Service with launch of

Nigerian consumer internet company, Iconway today announces the launch of, a new online shopping service that allows customers to search for and discover products available from different sources in Nigeria along with their current prices. features over 10,000 product items under categories of mobiles devices, electronics, computers and appliances from hundreds of leading brands.

Its wide selection of products can easily be navigated using its search and recommendation technology making it easy for customers to find what they need faster and view the available product offers online.
Speaking on the launch, Iconway Founder, Oduntan Odubanjo said, “We have built a solution, which though far from perfect provides a great user experience for Nigerian shoppers to research items before they purchase. Our goal is to allow Nigerians make informed purchasing choices and we will be investing over the next couple of years to take this to the next level”.

Odubanjo went further to highlight the recent growth of e-commerce in Nigeria as he explained that this growth created the need for consumers to have access to the kind of information to make it easier for them to not only make informed decisions about related goods and services but to also discover where to get them online.

Afriwise Consult Unlocks Value of Local Expertise in Africa

Olivier Binyingo
Two well-known lawyers on the African scene, Steven De Backer and Olivier Binyingo, recently launched Afriwise consult to offer clients a more holistic consulting approach and access to genuine on-the-ground expertise in Sub Saharan Africa, with procedures for quality assurance and a strong underlying ethical culture. Having worked together for a number of years, both as local and regional counsel on the African continent, they recognized the opportunity for a different kind of professional services firm.

Afriwise is launching a groundbreaking consulting model for Africa, designed to assist clients with advice that is genuinely tailored to situations and local environments in African countries, through collaboration between the best African experts.

Afriwise consult provides one point of contact for private and public organizations that need legal, tax, transaction, risk and management consulting services in Sub Saharan Africa and teams up with the right professionals to deliver solutions that work.

Africa’s rapid growth has captured the world’s attention, triggering unprecedented business interest and investment. Sub Saharan Africa is now perceived to be one of the world’s greatest opportunities for corporate expansion. At the same time not all the countries are moving at the same pace and Africa remains a diverse and complex continent, with different countries presenting different challenges and obstacles.

Jumia launches in Cameroon

In line with its plans to expand across central Africa, e-commerce platform Jumia has launched in Cameroon - increasing interest in consumer goods, and the growth in mobile internet penetration in the country.

Having launched its firstly online retail in Nigeria in 2012, the expansion to Cameroon brings the number of countries in which Jumia operates to nine, with the company saying the launch was prompted by the success of recent berth in Ghana and Uganda.

Commenting on the launch, the Managing Director for new countries at Jumia, Christina Hawley said: “This is another exciting step for Jumia. We are confident that Cameroonians will embrace the opportunity to shop easily and conveniently online, and are committed to maintaining our high standards of security, great value and fantastic service as we continue to expand across the continent.”

8 Best Affordable Wedding Venues For Your Big Day

Everybody loves weddings; the glamour, the colors, the music, the food, and the palpable tension in the air everyone tries to ignore. But a wedding wouldn’t really be as glamorous or colorful or awesome without the right venue, don’t you agree? The venue is what brings the whole event together, and I know how hard it is to find the perfect one.

Some people know from a young age where it is they want to have their wedding and plan every detail, save the groom, until the day itself. However, majority are really just clueless and only start from scratch when the question is popped. 

Renting a hall doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, or any other body parts for that matter. There are actually some pretty affordable places that would be perfect for you that you don’t know about. This is why Africa’s Number 1 Hotel Booking Portal has put together this list of venue options with pretty neat packages you should consider while planning your wedding.

  1. Lagos Oriental Hotel
In addition to being a beautiful hotel, The Lagos Oriental Hotel has a ballroom that would be perfect for your wedding reception. You can rent the ballroom which can hold up to 800 guests for N1,500,000. There is no specific wedding package per say, but there are buffet menus you can choose from, at an extra cost, and a reservation grants you access to staff that can help with decorations and such. Also, equipment like microphones and lighting are free of charge.

Maltina Dance All 8 Academy kicks off, as 13 Families Arrive Lagos

Williams Family from Port-Harcourt at the Muritala Muhammed Local Airport Lagos when they arrive for the Maltina Dance All season eight (MDA8) academy
Maltina Dance All (MDA), the consumer engagement platform of Maltina, the leading non-alcoholic malt brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries plc has entered a crucial stage following the arrival of the successful families that made it to the final screening of the competition and entry into the MDA academy. Of the 28 families that participated in the highly competitive screening process, only 13 made it to the final stage. Tagged “Rhythm of Happiness,” MDA 8 is expected to feature the new dance style “Rhythm of Happiness Dance”(RODH).

The families, who came from different locations across the country, were in high spirits as they touched down at the domestic wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja Lagos for the academy. A breakdown of the families that made it as released by the brand  showed that, Unaka, Odigie, Ezekiel, Maisamari, Williams, Utere, Dide, Uzodinma, Leornard, Nwaeze, Oladapo, Abunwa and Awokoya families having passed the necessary medical and other screening procedures made it into the academy and were deemed fit to compete.
Utere Family from Port-Harcourt at the Muritala Muhammed Local Airport Lagos when they arrive for the Maltina Dance All season eight (MDA8) academy
A further screening will reduce the number from 13 families to 10, who will eventually qualify for the entry into the academy after going through the rigours of another screening at the ‘’Pre Ground Audition Evaluation’’. The academy commences on September 7 2014.

It would be recalled that the MDA auditions were held in three regions; Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt where 28 regional family representatives emerged defeating other contestants during the regional auditions. The family representatives performed as individual contestants and were later visited by the Maltina team at home where they performed alongside their families to see how well they can perform as united families.

Sunday 24 August 2014

Manchester United expands social media presence with Line launch

Manchester United has expanded its global network coverage through social media after LINE Corporation, the owner and operator of the free call and messaging app LINE, confirmed the launch of an official account for the world famous football club.

LINE is now offering an official account for Manchester United, through which users can receive latest news, video and imagery from the club.

This latest expansion into social messaging platforms comes after the club recently exceeded 55 million fans on Facebook, the fastest of any sport organisation to do so, and celebrated a year on Twitter, amassing nearly three million followers in the process.

United’s Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold, said: "I am delighted that the club has launched a presence on LINE. With a potential audience of nearly five hundred million users, it’s the latest innovative and fun way for our fans in Asia and beyond to engage and deepen their ties with the club they love."

Hazard joins Messi on cover os EA Sports' FIFA 15

EA Sports has announced that last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year, Eden Hazard, will make his debut on the cover of FIFA 15 alongside Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

The deal coincides with EA Sports long term partnership with Chelsea Football Club as the Official Video Gaming Partner, which will bring new digital and social content for the fans, alongside experiential activation at Stamford Bridge throughout the upcoming seasons.

The announcement comes ahead of the bestselling game’s launch on 26th September in the UK and Ireland.

The midfielder secured the accolade after scoring 14 goals with seven assists from his 35 appearances for Chelsea in the 2013/14 campaign.

Commenting on the partnership, Dan Holman, Head of UK Product Marketing EA Sports said: ‘We’re delighted to have Eden on the cover of FIFA 15 and to be working with him and Chelsea in showcasing the Barclays Premier League to the amazing level of detail that the game will deliver this year. Eden’s quick, direct and skilful approach is a joy to watch on the pitch, and a dream come true for FIFA Ultimate Team fans, and it shows why he is often one of the first names in their concept squads.’

Eden added: ‘I have played FIFA all of my life and it’s a huge honour to be asked to be on the cover of FIFA 15. Now I have played the game I can say it’s the most realistic football game I have seen, so I cannot wait to challenge my friends and team-mates with FIFA 15 and show off the new moves.

This year will see the whole of the Barclays Premier League recreated on the platform with all 20 stadiums included and over 200 new players ‘head scanned’, as well as the inclusion of goaline technology. 

Luzomedia Launches mobile LED board in Lagos

A Lagos-based outdoor agency, Luzomedia has unveiled a ‘Mobile Light-Emitting Diode (LED)’ to create a new experience for brand owners who explore the out-of-home market.

During the launching of the board in Lagos, the company affirmed that it was in response to the call made by the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA) that outdoor media owners should set aside a particular time to run campaigns on their board.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Luzomedia Limited, Mr. Okere Bidwell, said the 360 degree rotational movement enables the board to follow traffic and attract the public. He said it can also print out Certificate of Transmission (COT) of up to 5m height from ground level, after relay with an elevation.

“Its screen divide ability (SDA) also supports compatible and friendly brand campaign simultaneously on a single slot,” he said.

Bidwell also said the mobile LED board can be deployed to any part of Nigeria including Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt. On its features, he stated that it comes with a flexible rate to accommodate both big and small brands’ advertising campaign.

Samsung’s S5 takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge; Nominates Apple, Nokia and HTC Phones

The Ice Bucket Challenge is one initiative that has gone viral with so many celebrities taking part in it. Everyone from George Bush to David Beckham, Bill Gates to Dave Grohl has undertaken the challenge.

Samsung seems to have joined the Challenge in an unusual way  as it has chosen the S5 to do the Ice Bucket Challenge on its behalf.

It has also nominated Apple, HTC and Nokia phones to do the same.

Today, Sunday, August 24, the ALS Association announced that it has received $70.2 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 24).

In the video you can watch below, the Samsung Galaxy S5 undertakes the challenge and shows off the waterproofing capabilities of the flagship handset. It then nominates the Apple iPhone 5s, HTC’s One M8 and Nokia’s Lumia 930 to undergo the challenge as well.

Spinlet, Omawumi, 9ice, others launch campaign against free music downloads & piracy – #RealFansBuyMusic

Spinlet has joined forces with the Nigerian Music Industry officials and a couple of musicians to launch a campaign – #RealFansBuyMusic – against free music downloads and piracy.

The artistes include Illbliss, Waje, 9ice, Omawumi amongst others. Here is a video shot by renowned music video director Clarence Peters with various artistes talking about the negative impact of piracy and illegal downloads on the music industry and to them as individuals.

The artistes also ask their fans all around the world to support their favourite artistes by buying their music and saying “NO TO ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS”. The video was produced by Joke Jaiyesimi.

Saturday 23 August 2014

AAAN, APCON Strengthen Ties To Boost Industry’s Gains

As part of efforts to deepen its relevance in the Nigerian advertising climate, the new President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Kelechi Nwosu, has paid a courtesy visit to the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

Nwosu led a delegation of his executive to APCON house, National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos, to strengthen ties with the apex body of advertising in Nigeria, in a strategic bid to sell its ideas to APCON.

Speaking during the visit, the President of AAAN expressed their desire to raise AAAN’s profile to be one of the foremost trade groups in the creative communication industry.

“Nollywood is seen as the only creative industry; they forget that everything we do as advertising people is creativity. Communication is only a part of the creative effort. We know that we cannot do that without the support of APCON. Government should also realise that the reform is to their advantage in terms of taxes, revenues and employment. We need to see the industry data base and see how we can build it strongly,’’ Nwosu said.

M.I Unveils Photo Exhibition In Support Of Jos Victims

On Friday, August 22, Popular Nigerian Hip-Hop artiste Jude ‘M.I’ Abaga held a photo exhibition in Lagos themed ‘King James’.

The photo exhibition was held at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, with several photo artworks exhibited; the photos were earlier unveiled via M.I’s Instagram page.

A number of popular personalities were called on to speak about certain topics including Courage, Victory, Family, Respect, and Solitude. Speakers included Chocolate City’s CEO Audu Maikori, Toyosi Akelere, Japheth Omojuwa, Adebola Williams and others.

Speaking on why he decided to hold the exhibition, M.I stated,‘I did this for to let you all understand where I’m coming from and how it’s taken me to get here’,

He also revealed that proceedings from the sales of the different photo exhibitions will be given to charity, specifically to a certain family in Jos who caters to over 70 orphans.

Brand South Africa Identifies Nigeria As Key Market

From L-R: Ambassador Sonni Yusuf, Nigeria High Commissioner to South Africa; Mzwandile Masina, South Africa Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry; Ambassador Mokgethi Monaisa, South Africa Consular General in Lagos and Miller Matola, Brand South Africa Chief Executive Officer at the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce August 2014 breakfast meeting in Lagos.
South Africa, the agency responsible for creating positive and compelling brand image for South Africa has identified Nigeria market as a key focus for its African programme.

Brand South Africa Chief Executive Officer; Miller Matola disclosed this at the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) breakfast meeting in Lagos.

The Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting is a monthly event, which brings together individuals and corporates with vested business interest in both Nigeria and the South African economies.

The theme for the August 2014 NSACC event which is sponsored by Brand South Africa is Africa’s Competitiveness – Nigeria/South Africa, Cooperation or Competition’.

According to Matola, the choice of Nigeria along-with Angola, DRC, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal as key markets is informed by South Africa’s foreign policy, both political and economic diplomacy as well as trade and investment imperatives.

UAC introduces new gala

UAC Foods Limited (UFL) has introduced Gala Chicken Sausage Roll into the market.

At the launch, the Managing Director of UAC Foods Limited, Dr. Tawanda Mushuku, said the new Gala Chicken Sausage Roll is an innovative extension to the Gala brand. Mushuku explained that the Sausage Roll is a response to the yearnings of  the teeming consumers Gala obtained through a dedicated consumer research/feedback mechanism and relentless efforts of UFL’s Research and Product Development Department.

“UAC Foods Limited is a consumer-centric company that believes in manufacturing products to satisfy identified needs of our consumers. The new Gala Sausage Roll that we unveiled today is another innovative product developed to satisfy our consumers’ desires for a chicken-filled sausage roll,” he said.

Also, the General Manager, Marketing, UAC Foods Limited, Mrs. Joan Ihekwaba, said Gala Chicken Sausage is the first in the market with 100 per cent pure chicken garnished with vitamins and minerals.

Nigeria's IMC Industry Mourns Another Gifted Creative Mind, Adebola Babatunde

The management and staff of Noah’s Ark have announced the painful departure of their colleague and one the most gifted creative minds in the marketing communications industry, Adebola Babatunde.

Babatunde, 30, reportedly passed on after a two-day battle with crisis associated with sickle cell anemia at a hospital in Lagos.
Adebola Babatunde

The late Associate Creative Director started his advertising career as a creative intern with LTC/JWT and later Bates Cosse as Creative Executive working on Virgin Nigeria and UBA accounts.

He left Cosse for DDB Lagos where he was part of the MTN team. He has the credit for the MTN epic Fisherman corporate tv campaign amongst others.

While working at DDB, he won the Young Lions Film contest in Nigeria which qualified him to represent Nigeria at the 2009 Cannes Festival of Creativity.

Fired by the quest to improve himself, Babatunde sought and got a recommendation letter from ‘Adolf
Hilter’ for a scholarship at the Miami Ad School. His letter went viral and earned him the Lurzer’s Archive’s scholarship plus a Miami Ad School Grant at the Miami Ad School Europe under the mentorship of Sir Niklass Frings-Rupp, Director & Ad tutor of the year 2010.

Lagos NIPR plans 25th AGM

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Lagos State Chapter has unveiled plans to mark its 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM/Public Lecture.

The event will hold at the Media Centre, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos on September 4, 2014 at 10 am.

The speaker is Alhaji Attahiru Jega, chairman, and Independent National Electoral Commission.

Okonmah said: “The theme of the lecture aims to provide a platform for discussing and drawing insights of vital election issues and management, proffering solutions on critical areas threatening the unity and co-existence of Nigeria, arising from fallouts, usually after national elections. It is also aimed at bridging the communication gap between government, corporate organisation, professionals and other stakeholders, thereby rendering positive mindset towards a more favourable perception of Nigeria. Nigerians yearn for a wholesome transformation of the country that would guarantee sustainable and efficient infrastructural development, good governance, peace and security. The lecture will also provide answers to the role public relations professionals can play to achieve them.”

MINI turns 55: A Small Car With A Great History

When the first classic Mini, made in Birmingham, went on the market on August 18th 1959, none of the people involved at the time are likely to have imagined that the concept of a revolutionary small car would turn into one of the automotive industry’s most impressive success stories stretching over a period of five and half decades.

55 years ago, two models were presented to the public which differed solely in their radiator grille, hub caps and paint finishes: the Morris Mini Minor and the Austin Seven. Designer Alec Issigonis’ concept was both simple and ingenious: lots of interior space combined with minimum exterior dimensions, four seats, perfect driving properties, low fuel consumption and a reasonable price. These brilliant ideas had an impact that was to extend into the 21st century.

The brand’s underlying principle was confirmed once more when it was restarted with the market launch of the MINI in 2001: a superior concept gained popularity in a range of different forms and eventually became firmly established. Since then MINI has combined the classic values of the early generations with the demands of a modern automobile. Very few vehicle concepts have survived for such a long period of time or gained a comparable level of popularity – and no other concept has been applied to such a wide variety of versions as is the case with MINI.

Today the range comprises a large number of models: starting with the classic body variant of the MINI, it includes the MINI Clubman, the MINI Convertible, the MINI Coupé and the MINI Roadster, going right through to the MINI Countryman and the MINI Paceman. The brand began another fresh chapter of its success story in spring 2014 when the new MINI went on the market. An entirely new variant in the model program follows in autumn 2014 – the MINI 5 door.

Red Star Express records impressive growth, declares dividends

L-R: The Chairman Red Star Express Plc, Dr. Mohammed H. Koguna; the Managing Director/CEO of Red Star, Mr. Sule Umar Bichi and the Director, Mazi Sonny Allison during the company’s AGM at Welcome Centre Hotel, International Airport Road, Lagos, on Thursday, August 14, 2014.
Foremost logistics firm, Red Star Express Plc has announced that it recorded 21 per cent increase in business revenue at the end of its current business year, an impressive result compared to its last financial year.

Speaking at its 21st Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Welcome Centre Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos on Thursday, the Chairman of Red Star Express Plc, Dr. Mohammed Koguna, said the company recorded a turnover of N6.4 billion in its last financial year as against N5.3bn achieved in the previous year. He noted that apart from the growth recorded in revenue, the company’s profit after tax also grew by 33 per cent from N331.77m to N403.63m in the year under review.

Koguna attributed the growth in profit and success of the company to the bravery of its workers and management.

According to him, their efforts and the support of the shareholders helped the company to remain in business in spite of the economic challenges the company encounter during the financial year.

The chairman explained that although the economic challenges in the country impacted the company slightly, it was able to achieve growth.

Coke Studio Takes Fun To Campuses

Coke Studio season 2 is set to begin at the main auditorium of the Lagos State University (LASU) on August 29. The concert will feature some upcoming and A-list artistes including Olamide, Seyi Shay, Iyanya, Phyno, Burna Boy and Chidinma.

Apart from Lagos where the concert will begin, music fans will experience the Coke Studio thrill in nine other cities of Benin (UNIBEN), Calabar (UNICAL), Ibadan (University of Ibadan), Ife (University of Osun), Port Harcourt (River State University), Enugu (Enugu State University) Abia (Abia State University), Owerri (Federal University of Technology).

According the Brand Manager at Coca-Cola Nigeria, Femi Asipa said: "Our decision these artistes was spurred by our consumers request. Theses artistes are currently the rave of the moment in the Nigeria entertainment in industry."

Ashipa said the concert and the dream opportunity for aspiring music artistes are among the new elements that have been introduced in Coke Studio season 2 to dial up the experience for Coke's consumers and other music fans.

Minister commends Etisalat for promoting entrepreneurship drive

Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Oluseguin Aganga has commended Etisalat Nigeria, Pan Atlantic University and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) for consistently promoting initiatives aimed at the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. This commendation was made in a keynote address delivered at the Abuja leg of the Etisalat sponsored Market Access recently held at Ibeto Hotel.

He noted that the one-day business networking and knowledge sharing session will afford small and growing businesses the opportunity to key into the value chain of large enterprises and help drive entrepreneurship spirit in Nigeria. According to him, Small and Medium Size Enterprises remain the backbone of the development for most economies around the world adding that the sector is currently has abundant growth opportunities.

“I must commend the partnership of Etisalat Nigeria, Pan African University and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN) for being consistent with the initiative. SMEs are the most economic sector in the country and it is my day to day goal to bring massive growth to this sector of the country. I am always inspired to attend events like this where stakeholders in the SME sector converge.” He said.

Addressing participants at the seminar, Head, Business Segment Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Bidemi Ladipo, expressed delight at the turnout of participants at the session, noting that the attendance and testimonies of the impact of the seminar is encouraging.

Microsoft introduces another addition to the X family: The New Nokia X2

Microsoft Devices Group announced that the Nokia X2, the newest addition to the Nokia X family of affordable smartphones, is now available for purchase in Nigeria. The Nokia X2 delivers upgraded specifications, more popular Microsoft services and a smoother, easier user experience at an affordable price. 

“The Nokia X2 is designed to help the next billion people connect to the mobile Internet and cloud services, affordably,” said Head of Marketing, Nokia West and Central Africa, Deborah Shepard. “Following on the fantastic reception to the Nokia X family in Nigeria, we’re pleased to offer the next, evolutionary step in the line-up with the stunningly designed and affordable Nokia X2.”

The Nokia X2 boasts enhanced features, including a larger 4.3” ClearBlack display, a 5MP rear-facing, autofocus camera with flash, as well as a front-facing VGA camera which allows users take pictures even when the phone screen is locked. The smartphone also benefits from a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 200 processor featuring a dual core 1.2Ghz CPU and 1GB of RAM, to make switching between favourite apps even more fluid.

Out of the box, people can enjoy Microsoft services like, Skype and up to 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage, while new apps like OneNote and Yammer are now available to download for free from the Nokia Store.

Forbes Africa named top magazine amongst Africa's richest

The IPSOS EMS Affluent Survey in Africa, has confirmed Forbes Africa as the number one monthly print magazine in Africa, reportedly reaching a larger audience than all its direct competitors.

Forbes Africa named top magazine amongst Africa's richest. The magazine reaches 153,000 of the 3.4 million qualifying adults, aged between 25 and 64, across seven markets and that comprise the EMS African affluent.

Says Sid Wahi, Director, ABN Publishing, the entity that owns the Forbes franchise in Africa: "This is only the beginning. With another two fast-growing print titles and a number of multi-platform business media offerings within our stable, we are seeing an increase in appetite for actionable and credible business content from sub-Saharan Africa,"

"This is great news. Our talented young team of African journalists work hard to bring solid and serious journalism to the people who want to know about entrepreneurs. This survey shows we are getting through to those for whom business is life," says Chris Bishop, the Managing Editor of Forbes Africa.

The magazine has won top spot over established titles: National Geographic; Bloomberg Markets; Harvard Business Review and the New African; in less than three years of publication.

2013 Advertising Spend: Print Media Bounces Back

The Nigerian print media attracted a total of N18.5 billion revenue from advertising in 2013 more than doubling the N9 billion it recorded in 2012.

This information is contained in the just-released 2013 Mediafacts, a key media resource for marketing professionals in West and Central Africa produced annually by MediareachOMD, a specialist media company that provides media planning, buying, control and inventory management services.

According to Mediafacts, “due to new publication launches and increased brand activities in print media, the spends in the print media increased more than 100 percent and thereby set a new record for the sector. In the past 10 years, the highest revenue the print media had from advertisers before now was in 2010 when advertising spend was N16.5 billion.

However, “Print medium was largely used only in Lagos and a marginal 1% spend in the Northern region.” the report said.

Encomium as Bolaji Rosiji Clock 49

It was a standing ovation in the entertainment industry for the former President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) Bolaji Rosiji as he mark his 49th birthday anniversary.

The big and mighty in the industry including Tee Mac, Daddy Showkey, Stella Monye, Ras Kimono, Weird MC, among other came together to celebrate with Rosiji who has also contrinued to the association.

Musics from Oritz Wiliki, Weird MC and Prince Wadada also gag the colourful gathering.

The celebrant saluted all the musicians that joined him in celebration.

Glasgow to Host the 2018 European Championships

It’s been announced that Glasgow, Scotland will play host to the world once more as they’ve been chosen to hold the European Championships for the very first time in 2018.

The bid was won by Glasgow during this year’s LEN European Championships in Berlin, Germany.

Glasgow emerged as the winner of the bidding procedure for the 2018 European Championships. President Paolo Barelli announced the result after the LEN Bureau meeting held in Berlin during the 32nd Europeans. The continental showcase will visit Scotland for the very first time in its history.

“The new policy of LEN is to choose major European cities in order to ensure the best possible conditions to the continent’s elite swimmers, divers, synchro swimmers and open water swimmers and to all representatives of our national federations” Paolo Barelli said. “The LEN Bureau acted in this sense while choosing Glasgow. Everyone had the chance to watch the outstanding success of the Commonwealth Games, recently held in the city. Organising that event at such a high level is a kind of guarantee for us for 2018.”

The LEN President added: “We are very much looking forward to see our European Championships being hosted in wonderful venues in 2018 and our great athletes of the four disciplines enjoying the warm hospitality of the people of Scotland.”

Photo: Intel Supports E-Class Room Teams With Access Bank, Chips, Bits & Bytes

L-R: Country Manager, Intel Corporation, Olubunmi Ekundare, Chief Executive Officer, Chips,bits & Bytes Limited, Tunji Ola, Executive Director, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, Major General Sunday Adebayo, An Barracks,   Executive Director, Access Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna  at a partnership alliance meeting to launch  an education solution in support of Yaba Command Children school yesterday.

Schneider Electric trains 50,000 in energy management

Schneider Electric has announced that it has trained more than 50,000 people from new economies in energy management as part of BipBop, its energy access program for communities at the base of the pyramid.

Schneider Electric has far exceeded its initial objective to train 40,000 people by the end of 2014, set as part of the Planet and Society Barometer, the company’s dashboard to monitor its sustainable development performance.

"We are delighted with these excellent results in training people at the bottom of the pyramid, and they encourage us to step up our efforts. Training is the key to success of all the actions we take through BipBop”, said Gilles Vermot Desroches, Sustainability Senior Vice-President at Schneider Electric. “It allows local communities to obtain the long-term skills required to maintain and sell energy access solutions. Through the diffusion of this know-how, the social business initiative launched by Schneider Electric many years ago is gradually bearing fruit.”

The aim of the Schneider Electric BipBop program, launched in 2009, is to help resolve the issue of energy access by implementing a virtuous circle based on three pillars: social investments (Business), the creation of specific products (Innovation) and training (People). Thanks to these three initiative types which run simultaneously, BipBop strives to create an ecosystem favourable to energy access and the emergence of an economic and social dynamic.

Etisalat Pledges Improved Customer Experience at Port Harcourt Customer Forum

L-R: Head, Regional Sales (South), Etisalat Nigeria, Taiwo Embassey; Etisalat customers, Mrs. Divine Aidelokhai and Mr. Revelation Aidelokhai; and Head, Customer Experience and Retention, Etisalat Nigeria, Biola Edun at the Port Harcourt edition of Etisalat Customer Forum 2014, held at The Atrium, Port Harcourt recently.
Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat has assured that it would continue to sustain its quality of service and on-going investment in network infrastructure to consistently deliver excellent all-round experience to its customers.

The Head, Customer Experience and Retention at Etisalat Nigeria, Biola Edun, gave the assurance while speaking at the recent Customer Forum organised by the telecoms company in Port Harcourt recently.

“At Etisalat, we are determined to satisfy our customers because they are our greatest assets. This is why we organise the Customer Forum to create an opportunity for our customers to talk to us directly about any challenges they may be facing on our network.” Edun said.

She added that the feedback generated at the customer forum programs is critical to enhancing the network’s service delivery.

A customer, Mrs. Ngozi Gina Okolie, a business owner based in Port Harcourt, applauded Etisalat for standing tall to their promise of consistency in the Quality of Service offered. According to her, the telecommunications company has consistently remained at the fore front in terms of service delivery and innovative standards.

Digital Television: NBC says ITU June deadline is sacrosanct

(L-R) Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya, President, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIRAN); Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, President, Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN); Mr. Emeka Mba, Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC); Mr. Femi Ayeni, Managing Director, Ultima Productions; and Alhaji Bello Kankarofi, Registrar/CEO, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; at the joint breakfast session organised by ADVAN and MIRAN in Lagos on Friday
With 10 months left for the deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for television stations in Africa to migrate from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (DTT), the regulatory body, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has said the June 2015 deadline is sacrosanct.

Addressing operators at the Breakfast Session jointly organized by Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) and Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIRAN) in Lagos on Friday, Mr. Emeka Mba, the Director General (DG) of NBC said after the ITU deadline, there would be no more international support for analogue spectrum as any operator still operating on the platform would be technically hedged out.

The ITU Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Toure, recently said that the June 2015 deadline was agreed on by all the 193 members of the organizations, which consists of governments as well as 70 private sector members. His words: “We knew it was doable when we set the migration deadline in 2005. The benefits of the migration exercise to both consumers as well as broadcasters are also enormous.” According to him, the migration exercise will lead to freeing up of about one-third of frequencies which can then be used for the provision of other services.

On the steps taken by the Federal Government so far to actualise the ITU vision, Mr. Mba disclosed that the government had finalized and harmonized discussions over the transmission network parameters with all ECOWAS member states. He said specifications for the Basic Set Top Box and Digital Television Receivers had been finalized with other countries in the sub-region.