BrandArena: June 2016

Thursday 30 June 2016

Why Working Nigerians Need To Consider Will Service - Binta Max-Gbinije

Demand for will services in Africa has picked up in recent years, spurred largely by the emerging middle class on the continent which has tripled over the past 30 years to 355 million or more than 34% of the continent’s population.

To this end, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited has restated its commitment to help working Nigerians prepare a will that ensures that their assets are distributed to their beneficiaries according to their wishes when they pass on.

Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, Mrs Binta Max-Gbinije, during a press conference organised by the company in Lagos, urged workers to be prudent and to avoid subjecting their beneficiaries to the rigours of going through the process of obtaining letter of administration from the probate court to authenticate their identity.

Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, Mrs Binta Max-Gbinije
Mrs Max-Gbinije said trustees would ensure that families do not suffer while they are waiting for letters of administration which could take up to five years to process.

“We advise people to get a will because if you don’t have a will and you die intestate, your beneficiary will be required to get a letter of administration. Where a person dies intestate, the process takes up to between one and five years for your beneficiary to get paid. The processing of getting a will is far better than going through the rigours of getting letter of administration and many families suffer as a result of this”.

Rolex ranks highest on the list of World's most reputable companies

Rolex has topped the RepTrak list for the World’s most reputable company for 2016.
According to the Reputation Institute, This exercise is conducted annually to measure the reputation of the world’s 100 most highly regarded and familiar companies in 15 countries. Rolex this year topped the first 100 on the list as the only watch brand.

The Reputation Institute conducts an yearly survey across industries and in 15 countries to come up with a ranking which they call the RepTrak Pulse. The process measures a company’s ability to deliver on stakeholder expectations on 7 key dimensions of reputation which includes Products and Services, Innovation, Workplace, Governance, Citizenship, Leadership and Performance.

Each which will earn the company support from its stakeholders
  •     Purchase
  •     Recommend
  •     Crisis proof
  •     Verbal Support
  •     Invest
  •     Work

Shoprite launches “Usave” format in Nigeria

The Shoprite Group yesterday opened its 19th store in Maryland, Lagos where it introduced its first Usave brand.

The mall was identified as the best location to introduce the Usave concept to rejuvenate the retail shopping experience in the area.

Usave, the firm said, combines the convenience of location with low prices to attract customers, who are serious about saving and for those who do not need the expensive frills and spills of regular supermarkets.

“The success of this Shoprite Usave Store is expected to herald the establishment of more across the states of the federation.”

Addressing reporters concerning the format, the Manager of Shoprite Usave Maryland Mall, Olaniyi Ajiteru, said: “Through bulk buying directly from the manufacturers, Usave has managed to drop its prices even more. This saving is passed directly on to the customer and as a result, they are able to get bulk value without necessarily having to buy in bulk.”

Consider Merger And Acquisition, Biodun Shobanjo Advises Outdoor Ad Agencies In Nigeria

The Chairman of Troyka Holdings, Chief Biodun Shobanjo has advised Out-of-Home agencies in Nigeria to begin to consider merger and acquisition in a bid to survive the current economic challenging bedeviling in the industry.

Speaking at the 10th Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) Poster Awards 2016 held on Thursday at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Shobanjo, stressed that its time for agency owners to begin to seriously consider merger and acquisition that will enable fewer but vibrant agencies.

He cited the United Kingdom, France and South Africa as examples of countries with few but effect outdoor agencies. “In United Kingdom there are only about five outdoor agencies, same for France and South Africa and many other countries. This business is a very serious one and it is high time, we started taking it serious in this country”, he said.

Heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua Becomes Lucozade Ambassador

Sports energy drink Lucozade has revealed IBF world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua as its latest brand ambassador.

Joushua, 26, will work with Lucozade Sport throughout its campaigns encouraging the nation to become more active.

Discussing the announcement the 26 year-old boxer said: “Everything I have achieved originates from a strong foundation of fitness and I pride myself on working hard in and out of the ring. There’s so much more to it than boxing training and I’m excited to have the opportunity to share with others how to get the most out of their bodies. Lucozade Sport have some brilliant plans for the future and I’m really looking forward to helping them inspire and improve the nation.”


The 8th edition of the Nigerian Breweries’ Golden Pen Awards has opened with the promise to celebrate and reward winners.

Kufre Ekanem, Nigerian Breweries Corporate Affairs Adviser, who explained to newsmen at the media parley to announce this year’s edition of the awards said  it will reward journalists in three categories - the Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Reporter of the Year, Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Photo Journalist of the Year and  the Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Report of the Year.

He noted that the Golden Pen award was introduced to promote professionalism and objective reportage of events in Nigeria. It is also meant to reward such journalists who abide by the ethics of the journalism profession. Like the previous two editions, Ekanem disclosed that the theme of this year’s award remains Education, Youth Empowerment and Talent Development to help draw attention to critical issues of development in these areas.

“In March 2014, we gathered here to announce plans for the 6th Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Award. That 2014 edition was the beginning of the expanded platform that draws attention to critical development areas by rewarding journalists who excel in reporting in themed areas,” he said.

Kirusa Launches myGenie, a Novel Free Airtime APP and AD Platform For Android

Kirusa, a global leader in providing telecom and social media solutions, today launched myGenie, a revolutionary free airtime App for prepaid Android users in Nigeria.

The myGenie app lets Android users explore and download new and popular Android apps. myGenie users are rewarded with free airtime credits for downloading, installing, and using these Android apps. They can use the free credits to recharge their mobile numbers, or gift the airtime credits to their friends and family. What’s more, myGenie also provides free airtime credits when a user invites their friends to the app, and when their friends start downloading apps via myGenie.

The apps that can be downloaded through myGenie range from games to dating to local utility apps. Some of the apps available on myGenie at the time of launch include InstaVoice, 474Recharge, Zamba Caller, APUS Launcher, Super B Clearer, BBM, UC Browser, and more.

L – R: David Kruyt, App Owner, 474Recharge App, Dr. Inderpal Mumick, Chief Executive Officer, Kirusa Incorporated, Charles BillyFrank, Head of Enterprise Business, Kirusa; Vishavjit Soni, Product Manager, MyGenie App and Oluseyi Akinnibosun, Country Manager Kirusa Nigeria at a press conference to announce the launch of MyGenie App in Lagos, June 30,2016.
Speaking on the occasion, Robert Masumbuko, Head Financial Inclusion of African Development Bank said, “We are excited about myGenie App being launched in Nigeria.  African mobile app developers will now have the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience and get assured usage of their apps. It will also influence app usage market, thereby opening doors for fresh investments in this sector.”

Brexit: Vodafone Joins List of Companies Considering Moving HQ outside the UK

Vodafone has disclosed that it is considering moving its current HQ out of London, dependant on the decisions made following the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

The company, which currently employs 13,000 people in the UK, emailed a statement to several media outlets saying it felt that it was important for its business to have access to the EU’s free “movement of people, capital and goods.”

“It remains unclear at this point how many of those positive attributes will remain in place once the process of the UK’s exit from the European Union has been completed. It is therefore not yet possible to draw any firm conclusions regarding the long-term location for the headquarters of the group,” the statement added.

Wednesday 29 June 2016

APCON, BSP Explore Marketing Communication Trends in Nigeria

The rapid changes in technology have revolutionized the way that global citizens receive, interpret and react to information. With the proliferation of the Internet at the turn of the twenty-first century, and the rapid evolution of devices that allow quick and easy access to its millions of portals, consumers are finding new ways to interact with companies and with products.

Succinctly put, today consumers spend more time on mobiles phones, tablets and laptops. “The Internet has become more and more a part of the communications community in the past seven to eight years, more dramatically in the last three or four,” remarks Richard Gillespie, president of Gillespie Advertising in Princeton, NJ, USA.

As a result of this development, a transformation of marketing is underway. In response to this switch, which demands that brands connect with customers through all these devices in real time, creating campaigns that work across social media; display advertising and e-commerce, stakeholders including advertisers, content publishers, media owners, agencies, regulators and other stakeholders are required to make informed decisions to address these challenges whilst taking full advantage of the opportunities.

Loeries 2016 Jury Panel Announced

Advertising veteran and CEO of Amusement Park Entertainment, Jimmy Smith; Global Chief Creative officer of FCB, Susan Credle; digital icon and Creative Director of London based Mr. President, Laura Jordan-Bambach as well as Bridget Jung a seasoned Creative Director with more than 20 years’ experience in the industry have been announced as members of the Loeries 2016 Jury Panel.

This year's event will takes place from Monday 15 August to Sunday 21 August, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. The event is expected to attract top practitioners in the in the brand communications industry across Africa and the Middle East.

The highlight of the festival is the DStv Seminar of Creativity, which takes place on the Friday of Creative Week (August 19 2016). The seminar includes Jury Presidents and global thought leaders. Jury Presidents this year include some of the most iconic and creatively talented individuals in the field.

Smith will bring his unique insight to the judging panel, having previously demonstrated his creative prowess in  variety of roles as a copywriter, creative director, author, TV writer, video game creator, and film and record producer in Los Angeles.

Major New Features Coming to WhatsApp

Whatsapp, the social messaging platform is working on tonnes of new features. According to German site Macerkopf which has got access to latest beta notes the new feature to share music with your contacts.

The website notes the new feature will allow users to share music stored locally as well as from Apple Music. It is unclear if WhatsApp will bring support for other music streaming services like Spotify, Saavn, etc.

When users share a track, the recipient sees a small player with album art. Tapping on the icon will allow the recipient to listen to it.

WhatsApp currently allows users to share pictures, videos, location, contacts and even documents. With music sharing, WhatsApp could win another major share among file transfer services.

Stars grace the first LIVE episode of Airtel The Voice Nigeria!

The first live episode of Africa’s biggest singing reality show sponsored by Airtel, The Voice Nigeria, aired on Sunday, the 26th of June, and some of Nigeria’s biggest names in entertainment gathered at the Landmark Event Centre in Lagos to share in the excitement.

OC Ukeje, Linda Ejiofor, Muna Abii, Sarah Ofili, Akpororo and Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju were just a few of the known faces in attendance, as popular television personality Sika Ossei hosted the on-ground event which coincided with the live show being broadcast.

L-R, Regional Operations Director, Lagos Region, Airtel Nigeria, Oladokun Oye; Regional Director, M-Net Africa/Africa Magic, Nwangi Mba-Uzoukwu and Vice President, Brands and Advertising, Airtel Nigeria, Enitan Denloye at the screening of Airtel The Voice Nigeria in Lagos recently.
The live shows involve four members of each team performing, with the coach choosing to save one contestant and the three remaining contestants put up for public voting. One lucky contestant who amasses the most votes ends up being saved.

The Director, M-Net West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said: “We are excited to bring the live editions of The Voice Nigeria to our fans across the country and indeed the continent. As we can expect, the live shows are uncut, unedited and we get to see the coaches and contestants in their element. The shows are spontaneous, raw and emotional and I would like to thank our sponsors Airtel, Coca-Cola and Unilever for supporting us in bringing this amazing show to Africa.”

The red carpet kicked off at 5:00 p.m local time, and guests were seated by 7:00 p.m as the live show began.

OMG shines at Cannes Festival with 15 medals

For the fourth time in five years, Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. has won a total of 15 awards at the annual Cannes Festival of Creativity held in Cannes, France.

The organisers said the media agency holding company coasted home the medals through its agencies, OMD and PHD. Specifically, they said OMD won 11 Media Lions, which was the highest number of awards - one gold, three silver and seven bronze medals. PHD also smiled home with 4 medals.

According to the organisers, OMD from Dominican Republic won the Gold Lion for OMG for its campaign tagged: “Ending the Silence”; while the Silver medals went to OMD UK and OMD Dominican Republic. OMD was also the credited partner for the Grand Prix winners in the PR, Creative Effectiveness and Mobile categories.

The combined performance of OMD and PHD, therefore propelled Omnicom Media Group to the top of the category, winning more than twice as many Media Lions as the next most awarded media holding company.  

adidas and Kanye West Make History with Transformative New Partnership

On Wednesday (June 29, 2016), adidas announced the cementing of its long-term relationship with creative pioneer Kanye West in the launch of adidas + KANYE WEST, a YEEZY branded entity creating footwear, apparel and accessories for all genders across street and sport.

Recognizing the influence, success and global brand power that began almost two years ago with YEEZY for adidas Originals, the unprecedented new alliance makes history as the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand. It will redefine the future, uniting adidas’ technical, innovative expertise and capabilities with the visionary imagination of West.

Together with Kanye West, a dedicated adidas team will lead the development and creation of all YEEZY products. Led from adidas’ Portland headquarters the team will manage and oversee the collaboration to assure its continued success globally. The expansion plan includes retail stores that will serve as distinct hubs for adidas and West developed YEEZY product. Further, adidas + KANYE WEST will extend beyond its current lifestyle focus, with the introduction of performance-intended designs, consequently offering options for both sport and street.

Africa’s economy offers huge potential for cashless payment - MasterCard

African countries share some of the world’s highest speeds of digital growth with people now constantly in pursuit of faster and more convenient ways of paying for goods and services. With the advances in technology, it is now possible to satisfy this demand at reasonable costs.

Speaking at the recent 16th edition of the CBN Cashless Card Expo held in Lagos on Retail payment in the emerging eCommerce Revolution in Africa, according to Omokehinde Adebanjo, Vice President & Area Business Head West Africa, MasterCard, noted that whilst the progress has been slow, electronic payment systems are superseding cash, bank notes, payment orders and cheques with a huge demand for faster and more convenient ways to pay for goods and services.

 “In Africa, financial inclusion is crucial in order to ensure sustained economic progress and electronic payment growth across the region and other emerging markets, considering that several areas in the continent still do not have banking systems, whilst those that do are slowly transitioning from a cash-based society to electronic payment methods,” she said.

Financial exclusion is a major challenge with almost two thirds of the African population falling outside of the financial mainstream. In order to address this challenge, it has become more important than ever to make financial services more easily available to the millions of low-income, undeserved and unbanked individuals. Furthermore, financially excluded markets are huge unserved populations looking for a solution, and lower income does not mean that electronic payments are out of reach.

APC Leader, Bola Tinubu wins 'Champion of Democracy' Award in America

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been declared the winner of the much publicized Global Village Extra 'Champion of Democracy' awards.

The APC national leader popularly know as the 'Jagaban of Borgu' was chosen ahead of former president Goodluck Jonathan, and Chief Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria's minister of Transportation.

Tinubu will be presented with the award in a lavish ceremony during the Global Village Extra Seminar and Awards night slated for October 28-30, 2016, in the United States.

Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu
The organizers of the three-day event had informed earlier that the Champion of Democracy award category intended for the main actors at the last general elections in Nigeria, will be contended for by the three people listed, because they played significant roles in determining the winner of the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria.

The former Lagos State governor, respected all over the world for his strategic prowess and political know-how, according to the organizers, won the award because of his ability to sell President Muhammadu Buhari to the south westerners.

Paris 2024 takes flight with Air France

The official logo of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid is set to adorn the body of Air France jets serving up to 10,000 flights across the globe for the next 14 months after an official supplier agreement was announced Tuesday.

Air France has pledged support for the Paris 2024 campaign, also agreeing to run a marketing campaign to endorse the values and culture of French sport and to provide promotions in in-flight magazines and in airport lounges worldwide.

The Paris 2024 logo will appear on various Air France scheduled flights including long-haul Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 flights to Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania and medium-haul A320 Airbus flights to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The announcement comes as labour disputes have been impacting air travel across France during the nation’s hosting of the European Football Championships.  Air France announced that all flights would occur as scheduled during the period but warned of “delays and disruptions.”

MTN Nigeria confirms N18.96 billion payment for new broadband spectrum

MTN Nigeria as affirmed the payment of N18.96 billion license fee after winning in a national broadband spectrum auction where the mobile phone company was sole bidder.

In a statement by the telecom giant today, MTN Nigeria also confirmed that another N30 billion has been paid to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as part of the renegotiated N330 billion punitive fine imposed on the telecoms company for 5.1 million unregistered phone subscribers.

The payment of the latest N30 billion increases fines so far paid by MTN Nigeria to N80 billion, after the Federal Government struck a deal with the mobile phone company to reduce the N1.04 trillion fine to N330 billion.

“After complying with all the requirements for the 2.6GHz auction and making the licence payment of N18.96 billion to the NCC, MTN has been issued a letter of award. With the 2.6 GHz band, we expect to roll out and provide the full range of LTE services to Nigerians, empowering Nigeria with the latest mobile broadband technology,” says Ferdi Moolman, CEO of MTN Nigeria.

Over 10,000 Delegates To Attend #TechPlus2016 In July

With global focus shifting increasingly towards innovative ideas that drive business, Nigerians are looking with great expectations as respected technology brands and players gather at the 2016 TechPlus. The event is scheduled to hold at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos from 22nd to 23rd July 2016.

TechPlus, rated one of the biggest gatherings of ideas-driven minds will witness the convergence of  top brands likeMTN, Samsung, Jumia, Stanbic IBTC, IBST, Megalectrics - operators of Beat, Classic and Naija FM, Teragon, LASAA, Lenovo and Coscharis.

With the theme ‘A Connected World’, #TechPlus2016 will have over 10,000 delegates, 60 conference speakers, 100 exhibitors, 3,000 gamers and hackers, and a vast array of tech-savvy, insight-driven delegates across diverse sectors. It will feature: Conference, Exhibition, Gaming, High-level networking GALA and many partner events including The Government Technology Forum, Women In Technology, Marketing Technology Summit and many more. The event will also provide an avenue for advanced technological discourse, innovation, top level networking for business players in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.

According to a statement issued by the organizer, Managing Director, Connect Marketing; TunjiAdeyinka, “TechPlus Conference and Expo is a place where new technology comes to life, new products are launched and innovations converge to provide manufacturers, concept generators, software and hardware companies, content developers a unique platform to bring their products and services to life.”

DHL Delivers Black Rhino Eliska to Africa

DHL, the world’s leading international express delivery provider, has completed another landmark transportation project with the delivery of a black rhino from its birthplace in the Czech Republic to its natural homeland in Tanzania.

Three-year-old female Eliska was moved to a natural park in Tanzania as part of an ongoing conservation project run by the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust, aimed at helping endangered animal populations to grow and prosper in their natural habitat.

Ken Allen, CEO, DHL Express
“The delivery of Eliska to Tanzania continues a proud tradition at DHL Express of supporting international animal conservation efforts,” said Ken Allen, CEO, DHL Express. “We were very excited to have the opportunity to transport this beautiful animal home to Africa and to play our part in these critical efforts to help revive endangered Eastern black rhino populations. Complex projects like this, where failure is simply not an option, also allow us to showcase the power of the DHL global network and the expertise of our certified international specialists.”

Olashore Alumnus Wins 2016 BET Awards

An Olashore International School Alumnus, Mr Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz, has just won the 2016 Best New International Act for BET Awards under the Viewers’ Choice category. This was presented at the weekend ahead of the main event which is to take place at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles in the United States of America.

Falz had been nominated earlier in the month of June, amongst peers in South-Africa, France, Australia, and UK. The Nigerian Comic Rapper and fast rising entertainer slugged it out with other talented up and coming artists around the world to emerge the best. He was nominated at award shows winning Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/Series at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards for his role as ‘Segun’ in Funke Akindele’s TV series ‘Jenifa’s Diary’. The 2016 BETS Award was hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. 

The BET Awards recognizes artists, entertainers, and athletes across 20 categories. The nominations are selected by BET’s Voting Academy, which is comprised of fans and an esteemed group of entertainment professionals in the fields of television, film, music, social media, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, and the creative arts.

While at Olashore International School, he started out with a music group by friends and released a compilation mixtape titled ‘Shakara’ in 2009. By 2011, he released another album titled ‘Waz Up Guy’, ‘High Class’ and ‘Currency’ which gained him grounds in the Nigerian Music Industry. Later in 2015 he released ‘Stories that touch’.

World’s Six Largest Ad Firms Unite to Support U.N. Sustainable Development Program

The world’s largest advertising companies are setting aside their rivalries and joining forces to help spread the word about the United Nations’ ambitious sustainable development goals with global ad campaigns.

The United Nations’ ambitious development goals range from controlling climate change to wiping out poverty.

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General at the Lions Festival of Creativity, Cannes

“Today, the communications industry is taking a historic, first-of-its-kind step to beat poverty, injustice and inequality,” said Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General while speaking at the Lions Festival of Creativity, Cannes. “The six biggest communications businesses in the world have risen to what some may have said was an impossible test: they have agreed to put their differences aside in support of a joint unique and exciting initiative to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.”

The Secretary-General emphasized that success required a serious, 15-year partnership for humanity. He called the new initiative “both an example and a challenge to all of us to find our own common ground for the common good.”

Common Ground was developed among Dentsu, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP.

Nestle To Create 3,000 Apprenticeships And Traineeship Opportunities In Africa

In line with its young empowerment initiative in Africa, Nestle has announced plans to introduce its apprenticeships and training programmes in the continent.

According to the company, "more than 3,000 apprenticeships and traineeship opportunities will be created in Africa by the end of 2018. We will provide readiness-for-work training for more than 300,000 young people over the same period.”

Africa has a population of around 700 million people of which about 70% are youths under 30 years of age. However unemployment among youths is a serious problem and so is underemployment.

Nestle said the scheme will now be rolled out across Africa, with particular focus in countries where the company has operations, such as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Angola, Ghana and the Cote D’Ivoire.

Maryland Mall Officially Opens

The Maryland Mall, a redevelopment of the popular Maryland Business Plaza mall on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 officially open it's doors to members of the public, after a formal opening event which was attended by media and leaders from Nigeria’s business, government, civil society and academic sectors..

The mall seating on a 7,700 sqm piece of land located on Ikorodu Road in the Maryland area of Lagos State will cater to the busy vicinities of Mende, Anthony, Ilupeju, Ojota, GRA Ikeja, Oshodi, Gbagada Phase 1 and 2 to mention a few.

The mall officially launch with over 40 local and international retail brands such as Barcelos, Sweet Kiwi, Euphoria Smoothies, Shuttles, Playzone, Cupyd Patisserie and 3 Zees Restaurant and Bar. Complementary Entertainment at the mall alongside Genesis Cinemas includes Playzone and the first ever purpose built skating rink in Nigeria, Skate City.

Monday 27 June 2016

Lionel Messi bow out of international football

Having lost four finals with Argentina and losing out the 2016 Copa America cup to Chile, Lionel Messi has now put an end to his international football.

La Roja held Lionel Messi’s Argentina to a goalless draw for 120 minutes and after extra-time, penalties decided the game with Lucas Biglia and Lionel Messi missing for Argentina. In the penalty shoot-out, Arturo Vidal missed the first spot-kick and the Argentina captain followed suit.

Messi and Lucas Biglia missed his side’s fourth penalty leaving Francisco Silva to score the winner as Chile celebrated only their second ever senior international title.

Samsung To Launch Galaxy S7 Edge 'Olympic Edition' For Rio 2016?

Three months ago it was remoured that Samsung could be working on an Olympic Edition version of the Galaxy S7 Edge. Turns out the rumours were right, or at least close to being right as American blogger, Evan Blass via his Twitter handle @evleaks tweeted out an image of the alleged smartphone.

The Korea-based company is known for its special edition flagship phones. For instance, this year, a Batman edition of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was unveiled, in 2015, it made the Iron Man edition for its Samsung Galaxy S6 and it also made a limited edition of the Samsung Galaxy S III to celebrate the Olympic Games in London back in 2012. So it’s kind of no surprise that the Korea-based company has plans to release a Special Edition S7 Edge this year.

Many international websites are reporting that Samsung will soon release Olympic-themed apps for the Gear VR virtual reality headset, which uses the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge as its screen.

eBay to enter African market with MallforAfrica partnership

From July this year, sellers on U.S. e-commerce giant eBay will be able to access African market especially those markets taking the lead in tech space.

According to media report, eBay has entered a new partnership with online shopping startup Under the agreement, a new “eBay Powered by MallforAfrica dedicated platform” will be launched as confirmed by eBay Business Development Director Fernando Saiz.

“The platform will enable inventory from all eBay U.S. individual and business sellers with a 300+ star rating to be purchased by buyers in Nigeria and Kenya,” said Saiz.

Confirming the deal, MallforAfrica CEO Chris Folayan, said sales on the site begin first in Nigeria, then Kenya, followed by Ghana, all in 2016.

MTN Appoints First Nigerian CFO

MTN has appointed Adekunle Awobodu as the new chief financial officer (CFO) of MTN Nigeria. Awobodu is the first Nigerian to occupy that position, taking over from Ferdi Moolman, who became the CEO of the company in December 2015.

Announcing the appointment, Moolman said as Chief Financial Officer, Awobodu will serve as MTNN’s strategic Financial Business Partner and lead the organisation in facilitating decision-making through sound business insights and analysis that drives business improvement and performance.

Awobodu is noted as eminently qualified to do just that. With over 22 years, professional experience and international exposure in Finance, Awobodu holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance & Banking from the University of Lagos and a Masters’ degree in Finance from the University of Leicester.

He holds several professional certifications such as ACCA UK; CIA (Certified Internal Auditor); CMA (Certified Management Accountant); CertIFR (ACCA’s Certificate in International Financial Reporting) and Associateship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB).

Njideka Akunyili Crosby wins 2016 Prix Canson art competition

Daughter of Nigeria’s former information minister, Late Dr. Mrs Dora Akunyili - Njideka Akunyili Crosby has emerged winner of the sixth edition of the Prix Canson Prize in a ceremony held at New York’s Drawing Center.

The Prix Canson Prize is an award which recognizes achievements of international artists who work with paper as their principal medium.

Njideka will receive over $11,000 of Canson paper and an invitation to be part of a residency that was established by artist and former president of the jury, Tunga, who recently passed, according to

The Los Angeles–based artist is known for making intimate paintings on paper by intricately collaging together photographs transferred to paper with patches acrylic, charcoal, and other materials.

Friday 24 June 2016

Goldberg Fuji t’o Bam: 40 artistes qualify for quarter final

In its continued determination to raise the bar for Fuji music, Goldberg Lager Beer, a product from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc has through its Fuji t’o Bam talent hunt competition screened over 400 aspiring Fuji artistes out of which 40 have scaled the preliminary hurdles in the ongoing competition.

The lucky contestants emerged from the auditions and selection parties held in the eight selected cities in the western part of Nigeria. The cities are: Sango-Ota, Egbeda, Oyo, Ilesha, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Ibadan, and Sagamu. Twenty contestants were picked at the audition held in each of those cities; the figure was eventually reduced to five at the selection party for each zone. The budding artistes are now qualified for the quarter final of the competition, which holds at Durbar Stadium in Oyo town next month.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager & Stout Brands, Nigerian Breweries, expressed satisfaction with the quality of renditions by all participants in this year’s competition.  He said all the contenders showed “very high level of determination to proceed to the next stage of the contest.” According to him, it is impossible that all participants will qualify in competitions like this. Agu therefore advised those who did not qualify for the quarter final to go back and improve on the areas identified by the judges.

Report: Governments and Telecoms Top Targeted Sectors for Cyber Attacks in East Africa

In East Africa, governments are the top target sector for cyber attacks (33%). Telecommunications (22%) and financial services (17%) follow in close succession. Contrary to the perception that cyber breaches are a problem unique to the large multinational companies based in developed markets, East African organisations are fast becoming a target for attacks with local subsidiaries particularly attractive as the ‘cyber’ route into these multinationals.

According to Control Risks’ cyber threat intelligence team, attacks are increasing rapidly and in severity: Globally there has been a 42% increase in the number of targeted attacks reported between 2015 and Q1-Q2 2016.

The reported also states that Advanced Persistent Threat and Criminal Targeted Attacks For East Africa are the most impactful cyber attack techniques in 2016. Noting that in Kenya alone, the estimated costs for the country due to cyber crime costs sums up to 2 billion Kenyan shillings ($23m).

BlackBerry Revenue Plunges in First Quarter Report

...Announces the Launch of BlackBerry Radar
It will be mixed feelings for the executives of BlackBerry as they reported a 35% drop in their first quarter revenue and at the same time announced the launch of BlackBerry Radar; its new end-to-end asset tracking system.

The Canadian telecommunication and wireless firm formerly-known-as Research In Motion Limited said it posted a net loss of $670 million which is at odds with the declaration it made barely a year ago when it reported a profit of $68 million. BlackBerry which disclosed this information during an investor conference call also revealed that it sold approximately 500,000 smartphones in the last quarter report.

John Chen, the CEO of BlackBerry, said, “BlackBerry is differentiated by cross-platform market leadership in software, an end-to-end secure mobility platform, and a strong financial foundation. Our Q1 results highlight these attributes. Excluding IP licensing, we have more than doubled our software revenue on a year-over-year basis for the second consecutive quarter, driven by our EMM, secure messaging and QNX embedded software businesses. In our Mobility Solutions business, our objective is to achieve operating profitability in the short term. We also expect to generate positive free cash flow for the full year.”

Guinness Hires Sponge As Digital Account Handler

Guinness Nigeria Plc has hired the service of digital marketing agency, Sponge Group to handle the digital activities of its Spirits and RTD brands which include Orijin, Orijin Zero and Snapp.

According to the Ikeja-based firm, it vision has always been to lead brand innovations through digital marketing and ensure that Sponge makes maximum impact in Africa.

The agency believe winning the Guinness account is an opportunity to step-change and champion innovative digital technologies.

Sponge is a mobile-first full service digital marketing agency that delivers outstanding mobile and digital campaigns for some of the biggest brands across West Africa.

Pepsodent Nigeria emerges First in the World Oral Health Day 2016 challenge

Pepsodent Nigeria has emerged first in the World Oral Health Day 2016 challenge both at the continental level, first ahead of 9 countries, and at the global level, first ahead of 31 countries. This win was measured by the delivery of over 1 million pledges from a fully integrated campaign across multiple touchpoints with best-in-class in-market/store and digital activation executed by the Terragon Group.

Speaking about this feat, Brand Manager, Pepsodent Nigeria, Umoh George, stated that this win is a major milestone for Nigeria as it is the first time ever that an African country emerges first in the global Oral Care Social Mission’s challenge with corresponding growth in market share and sales during the same period.

“This win has demonstrated that our social mission equals business mission. In line with Unilever mission to improve the oral health of ten million Nigerian children by 2020 through the Pepsodent Brush Day & Night schools programme. We are encouraging people to adopt the habit of brushing twice daily (morning and night) as a global best practice to healthy (oral-care) living” He said.

Abey Tau: Corporate Citizens Need to Make a Real Impact on Africa’s Sustainable Development Goals

Prepared to follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unveiled with the aim of taking steps towards building a better world in the next 15 years.

This is no easy target. The UN has spent significant time analysing the successes and failings of the MDGs in order to apply the learnings to the SDGs. The MDGs did produce some good outcomes, such as contributing to decreasing the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 from 47% in 1990 to 14% in 2015. However, it is also acknowledged that progress has been limited, with many being left behind.

According to reports, the SDG strategy will require an annual outlay of $2.5 trillion for it to be implemented successfully, which will need to come from private investment. It’s certainly something the private sector wants to get involved with in an effort to show support for sustainable development.

Brexit Reaction: Ad Industry Rocked By UK Vote to Leave EU

Senior figures from across the UK’s advertising industry have reacted with shock and dismay after the country voted to leave the European Union.

Martin Sorrell: Chief Executive of WPP

Very disappointed, but the electorate has spoken. The resulting uncertainty, which will be considerable, will obviously slow decision-making and deter activity. This is not good news, to say the least. However, we must deploy that stiff upper lip and make the best of it.

Four of WPP’s top ten markets are in Western Continental Europe and we must build our presence there even further. It just underlines the importance of implementing our strategy: fast-growth markets (BRICs and Next 11), digital, data – and horizontality, which ironically means getting our people to work together, not apart!

Michael Roth: Chief executive of Interpublic Group

The decision will lead to market volatility in the short term, no question. But the UK is a key market to our clients and our own company and together we’ll find footing in this new world.

Longer-term, as long as open trade remains a priority, markets should normalise and that’s the timeline we’re focused on.”

Cilla Snowball: Group Chairman and Chief Executive of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

A seismic decision like this calls for calm response not hysterical reaction. And we have to respond seriously and collaboratively, not fuel the hysteria, anger and hatred any further. We are a strong industry operating within a vibrant creative economy. No matter what the economic instability, volatility and uncertainty ahead – and it will be very bumpy – we will fight to protect and develop our leadership as an industry, as networks and in our own agencies. The deep divisions of age and geography within the UK that the Referendum has uncovered will need to be heeded carefully but the unity of purpose within the industry and within our organisations will be undiminished.

OPINION: Flying On The Wings Of Nigeria - Yomi Badejo-Okusanya

Recently I had to take a trip to the United Kingdom and was faced with the challenge of which airline to fly based on my schedule and pricing. Eventually, largely swayed by the renewed sentiment of ‘Buy Nigeria, I settled for Arik Airlines, the the self-professed ‘Wings of Nigeria’.

I looked forward to the flight experience even though I had once flown the airline on the same route many years ago. But at that time I was unable to critically assess it as it had just launched its UK route and in a group that distracted me severely. But on this occasion,  I was thankfully alone . My friends who believe I know everyone will have been shocked to find out that I only recognised two people in my cabin of choice. This is in contrast to what happens on my regular airline where I often know the larger portion of the cabin, plus ground and cabin crew for good measure.
Yomi Badejo-Okusanya

Our outward journey started late due to fact that the flight had to be combined with that of another indigenous airline that had been cancelled for operational reasons. Despite that, the flight was uneventful. I found the cabin space rather generous, the staff courteous and a wide choice of entertainment options both local and international. The cuisine was not very appealing to me even though I am not a big fan of airline food. This is however not to say it cannot be significantly improved upon.

The return leg left dead on time. This time I checked in online which I was unable to do on my outward journey. Not only that, the flight landed in Lagos at 3.40 am, a forty good minutes ahead of schedule. Quite unbelievable for Arik that had gained notoriety for being abysmally  late on its local flights. This advantage was however masked by the lack of on-board entertainment and vanity kits for those in business class. Barring the these hitches, it was a good experience for me, the biggest plus being that I was able to avoid the Murtala Mohammed International Airport during the highly riotous hours of 6-10pm.

Thursday 23 June 2016


In order to curb the proliferation of counterfeit Cummins fleetguard products in the country, Cummins has launched an anti-counterfeit campaign tagged “Be sure. Be secure. Buy with confidence”.

A new shop front in ASPAMDA – (The Auto parts and Machinery Dealers Association) will be driving the companies’ anti-counterfeit campaign by providing consumers with original Cummins products and educating them on how to spot original products.

L-R Mr. Kwame Gyan-Tawiah; Managing Director Cummins West Africa,Chief Anthony Oforma; one of the pioneers of  ASPAMDA, Mr. Feroze Chowdary; Director Components Cummins filtration and Hon. Luke Ojukwu; Deputy CSO of ASPAMDA during Cummins shop front opening in ASPAMDA, Lagos
In attendance at the event were key executives of Cummins, ASPAMDA market leaders, consumers and the media.

Speaking at the event, Kwame Gyan-Tawiah, Managing Director Cummins West Africa said that; “we have opened the ASPAMDA shop front in order to make our products available in the local market while educating customers on how to identify original products. Our business concerns goes beyond manufacturing of engines, we also support our trade partners so as to provide suitable solutions to consumers’ needs. Our aim is not to compete with local merchants; we intend to be a part of the ASPAMDA association to share ideas and collaborate with them to contribute our quota to its growth”.

MTN granted license for 2.6GHz band frequency by NCC

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted provisional 2x30MHz in the 2.6gigahertz (GHz) frequency licence to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTN), as the sole approved bidder and was required to pay a total $96m (N19.2bn) for the licence – a cumulative 30MHz in the 2.6GHz Frequency.

Tony Ojobo, director, Public Affairs at NCC, disclosed in an advertorial that at the close of submission of applications and the subsequent evaluation thereof, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTN) emerged the sole approved bidder with an expressed interest to bid for 2x30MHz of the available frequency.

“Consequence upon the above, and in accordance with clause 6.5.3 of the IM which mandates the Commission to provisionally award licence(s) to the approved bidder(s) if the aggregate demand is less than or equal to the number of Lots on offer, the Commission is pleased to announce that MTN has been provisionally awarded 2x30MHz frequency in the 2.6GHz Band,” he said.

Jumia becomes the one stop online destination in Africa

Africa Internet Group has connected its companies into Jumia’s ecosystem with a new vision, "Expand your horizons". The new Jumia ecosystem will give access to products and services from its 9 leading platforms.

After 4 years of successfully establishing and growing its online services as leaders in their markets, Africa Internet Group, now Jumia, has become the N°1 E-commerce platform in Africa.

“We founded our companies with a very strong belief: Internet can improve people’s lives in Africa. Uniting all services allows us to better help our customers fulfill their daily aspirations. This is all possible because people connect to our platform to access those services and products in an environment that we have designed for them, addressing their needs and expectations on quality, choice, price, trust and convenience.” said Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, founders and co-CEOs of Jumia.

Customers can now find on Jumia all their needs ; branded products with Jumia , local sellers with Jumia Market (prev. Kaymu), hotel booking with Jumia Travel (Jovago), food delivery with Jumia Food (Hellofood), classifieds with Jumia Deals (Vendito), Jumia House (Lamudi), Jumia Jobs (Everjobs) and Jumia Car (Carmudi), and lastly logistics services with Jumia Services (AIGX).

Eskimi is now accepting Naira

Due to dollar scarcity and fluctuating Naira rate, Eskimi has introduced Naira rates for Eskimi programmatic DSP platform.

“We see that clients struggle to obtain dollar currency due to forex limitations and new CBN policies. We have introduced Naira rates for our social product some time ago. Now we prepared and fully localised our programmatic DSP platform, so our clients can now buy mobile media in more than 17,000 sites and apps in Nigeria and reach more than 37 million users”, Vytas Paukstys, Eskimi CEO commented on the change.

Eskimi DSP is the first African mobile programmatic platform was launched in 2015 and currently reaches more than 300M mobile consumers worldwide. Eskimi DSP reaches 160M people in Sub-Saharan Africa and more than 37M active users per month in Nigeria.

AFC receives US$150 million from KfW Development Bank

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has announced its acceptance of a US$150 million 15 year loan facility from KfW [Development Bank] (KfW). The loan agreement was signed today in London by Andrew Alli, CEO of AFC, and Jan Martin Witte, Head of Division for Infrastructure, of KfW.

The funds will be used to refinance projects across the corporation's current and prospective member states in several of AFC's priority investment sectors: power, telecommunications, transport and heavy industries.

KfW conducted a positive due diligence exercise and credit appraisal prior to offering the loan facility to AFC. The team's positive response was based on AFC's successful track record of project financing and development throughout its relatively short history.

Andrew Alli, President and Chief Executive Officer of AFC, commented on the announcement: "Not only will this loan facility from KfW add valuable capital to our finance reserves but the 15-year tenor period is particularly suited to funding the long-term, large-scale infrastructure projects that are so needed across Africa.

Africa's average rate of productivity growth falls to 1.7%

The report notes that from 2000 to 2015, the average GDP growth across the continent was 4.8% per annum, a full 2.3 percentage points faster than the global average during the 1990s. This is only marginally slower than the ASEAN region, which grew by an average 5.6% per annum and around 0.2 percentage points faster than the Middle East region.

Michael Armstrong, Regional Director, ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia said "Matching the performance of some other emerging market regions might, at face value, seem respectable enough. But the truth is that Africa is starting from a much lower level of economic development than these economies."
Lack of relevant data makes it impossible to disaggregate investment spending in more detail in the vast majority of countries. However the lack of relationship between investment and productivity performance might be explained by the type of capital in which funds have been invested.
Michael Armstrong, Regional Director,
ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia

For example, high-end property development in Africa's most expensive cities - four of which feature in Mercer's 2015 Global Cost of Living survey - could have a substantial impact on investment relative to GDP. But it is less likely to boost wider productivity. That being said, growth in manufacturing has been particularly encouraging in Ethiopia, Republic of Congo and Tanzania, as have productivity improvements in agricultural sectors in Rwanda, Botswana and Ghana.

MainOne, Intel collaborate with Whogohost to deliver Cloud-hosted Services to small businesses

As part of its efforts in deepening Cloud penetration in Nigeria, West Africa’s leading connectivity and data center solutions company, MainOne has entered into a strategic partnership with Nigeria’s premier hosting domain provider, Whogohost and Intel, the world’s leading technology company (known for its innovation in processors), to provide Cloud hosted Servers for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Nigeria.

This service is delivered through the cloud platform of MainOne’s data center subsidiary, MDX-i, which is powered by the Intel Cloud Processors and is aimed at bringing the advantages of in-country cloud services to Nigerian businesses.

​L-R: ​Product Specialist, Cloud Services, MainOne, Adewale Adeyemi; Chief Executive Officer, Whogohost, Oluwatoba Obaniyi;  Enterprise Technology Specialist, Intel Corporation, Oluwatobi Shada and Senior Marketing Manager, MainOne, Tayo Ashiru at the press conference to announce local cloud hosting services for Nigerian small scale businesses on Tuesday, June 21 at Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos.
Speaking during the press launch of the service, Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Funke Opeke, represented by the Senior Marketing Manager, Tayo Ashiru highlighted the revolutionary impact of cloud solutions on businesses in terms of efficiency, cost savings and flexibility. According to him, the service provided by this partnership is a welcome development for Nigeria’s start-ups and small businesses.

Instagram Surpasses 500M Users

Instagram recently reported a record 500 million Instagrammers use the platform monthly. The platform is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app, as well as through a variety of other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

An infographic produced by the company reveals that, on an average day, the platform sees over 95 million photos and videos shared, and 4.2 billion likes. Instagram also claims that 30 million of the half a billion Instagrammers use their account daily.

The maximum duration for Instagram videos is 15 seconds, in a blog link, the platform said, “Today, we’re excited to announce our community has grown to more than 500 million Instagrammers — more than 300 million of whom use Instagram every single day. Our community also continues to become even more global, with more than 80 percent living outside of the United States.

Orange completes Airtel acquisition in Burkina Faso

Telecom giant Orange has announced the complete acquisition of mobile operator Airtel in Burkina Faso. Since the signature of an agreement with Bharti Airtel International (Airtel) in January 2016, Orange has obtained all the official approbations necessary to complete this transaction.

Airtel is the 2nd largest mobile operator in Burkina Faso, with close to 4.6 million customers (on the basis of active customers within a 30-day period). On the mobile financial services market, Airtel is the uncontested leader and is already interoperable with Orange Money in neighbouring countries allowing international transfers to be made. Airtel is also positioned as the country’s leading Internet provider thanks to its extensive 3.75G network, which has been rolled out in over 100 towns.

With 18 million inhabitants and a relatively high mobile penetration rate for the region (80% of the population), Burkina Faso becomes the 20th country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange group.


As the National Examination Council, NECO released the results of the 2016 Cowbellpedia Mathematics Qualifying Examination, conducted on Saturday, 19th March, 2016, the Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olivier Thiry, has explained that the company has significantly increased the prize money for the finals for both students and teachers.

This year, he said, the top prize student winner in each category will go home with One Million Naira in addition to other prizes, while the teacher will be awarded Four Hundred Thousand Naira.

The first and the second runners-up will go home with N750, 000 and N500, 000 respectively. There will also be plaques, mathematics textbooks and a desktop computer for the winners.

Thiry also acknowledged the support given by the NECO, state Ministries of Education, school principals, teachers, the press and other Partner agencies for their support for the initiative over the years.
Meanwhile, the qualifying exam has produced a stunning dimension asThe State of Osun has produced four out of the eight students that got the 100 percent perfect score in both categories.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Facebook investors approve new share class to keep Zuckerberg at helm

Facebook Inc shareholders have approved a proposal to form a new class of non-voting shares, a move targeted at letting chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg give away his wealth without relinquishing control of the social media company he founded.

According reports by Reuters, the company's plan to issue two "Class C" shares for each Class A and Class B share held by shareholders, in what is effectively a 3-for-1 stock split, was approved by Facebook shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on Monday.

Reuters reported that "The Class C shares will be publicly traded under a new symbol".

Shareholders have reported "approved the continued tenure of all the eight board members, including billionaire investor Peter Thiel, who were up for re-election".