The application deadline for Ola Ndi Igbo 2017 has been extended by a month!

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If you know anyone who has always dreamed of showcasing their innovations and inventions to potential investors and the public, they are in luck as the application deadline for the 2017 Ola Ndi Igbo Inventors and Innovators Fair has just been extended!

Entries were supposed to come to a halt today but the organisers has announced that there are now a month more to get your application in the running.

The Inventors and Innovators to participate in this event will be drawn from South East indigenes and residents. Indigenes of the South East must not be resident in the South East to participate, but non-indigenes must be resident in the South East to participate.

The new closing date is Saturday, November 18th. Log on to http://www.olandiigbo.net to apply.

It’s pretty exciting!

Ola ndi Igbo is a biennial convention of Ndi Igbos with the vision of celebrating our global best. The theme for the 2017 Summit is: ‘Revitalizing the Can-do Igbo Spirit: Showcasing Innovations and Inventions from the South East.’

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Despite the legacy of the Igbo people in education, science, technology and innovation, and the pivotal role that they have played in technology, innovation and inventions in Nigeria, the South East continues to struggle with high rates of unemployment, especially among youth and limited internally generated income to drive social and economic development in its five states – Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.

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In addition, the large and accomplished Diaspora populations in the United States and the United Kingdom are relatively disconnected, and the most successful citizens are not engaged in philanthropic and community development initiatives in the South East. As a result, the region continues to struggle with a relatively weak civil society and a non-profit sector that is unable to raise funds to scale high impact initiatives.

Hence Ola Ndi Igbo has provided a platform to foster a community of individuals of Igbo descent who are proud of their heritage and are committed to working collaboratively to promote the social and economic development of Ndigbo.

The event is slated for the 18th of December 2017 in Enugu State. For adverts and sponsorship, contact Rita on 09092403119 or rita@southsaharan.org

 

 

Continue reading The application deadline for Ola Ndi Igbo 2017 has been extended by a month!

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INTERVIEW: “Have a passion for service and to exceed guests expectations” – Ubutu

In this exclusive interview with Mr. Peter Ubutu, Operations Manager for Citiheight Hotel, he sheds light on the hotel and tourism landscape in Nigeria, exceeding customers (guests) expectations and qualities/skills needed to excel in the industry. Enjoy.

What is unique about CitiHeight Hotel?

As a Hotel Operations Manager, Mr Peter Ubutu generally overseas the entire operations of the hotel, which include the sales and finance operations, food and beverages department, public relations and the creation and supervision of employee roasters and work schedules, amongst other functions. A mixture of guests from different parts of the country and even overseas, grace the Citiheight hotel, and as the operations manager, he ensures that all within the hotel works efficiently to meet the needs of each guest. The hotel itself is equipped with top-of-the-line and state-of-the-art facilities, some of which include cozy and well air-conditioned rooms, 24/7 internet access, reliable power supply, a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, a gym and even a spa. These facilities provide exciting activities for guests to engage in at their leisure times, and to top is all, the hotel offers a complementary buffet breakfast for guests to savour and enjoy, either before, after or as they engage in these exciting and fun activities.

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Tips on Giving Customers a Memorable Experience

“As a hotel administrator, in your service to clients, you cannot leave anything to chance,” says Mr Peter when asked about what makes Citiheight hotel’s service unique, and in that statement is a very useful tip for students and upcoming hotel administrators to take note of. “It is important to try to give a very memorable experience to guests by way of quality service”, he continued and gave an example of how he went above and beyond to service the need of a guest one fateful night.

The guest desperately needed his medication, and because it was night time, there was no pharmacy open to provide the needed medicine. Mr Peter went beyond the call of duty and leveraged on his relationship with one of the major pharmacy operators in Nigeria to get the pharmacy open at night and purchase the needed medication for the guest. To paraphrase his exact words, from that night, that guest became a loyal patron of the hotel. This willingness to not leave anything to chance, to go above and beyond to meet the needs of guests with exceptional friendliness, and to provide superb luxury facilities to guests is what Mr Peter believes makes Citiheight hotel unique compared to other hotels.

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Qualities of a Good Hotel Administrator

Additionally, Mr. Peter Ubutu advised students and upcoming hotel administrators to work on having excellent human relations and to ensure they remain truthful to guests and employees at all times. He added that an impeccable dress sense is also necessary to make a good impression because ‘you dress the way you want to be addressed’. For him, it is also important to be humble, regardless of your age, so you will be able to relate with people well and properly understand their needs.

Conclusively

Moving on to what his opinion on the Lagos experience is, Mr Peter describes it as fantastic, exciting and dynamic with a great nightlife and very good food. It is an experience he believes guests to Lagos will fully enjoy.

Finally for fun, Mr Peter likes to meet and greet. This manifests in how he is always eager to meet guests, talk to them to gauge their needs, understand them and effectively meet these needs. He also likes to read in his spare time and is currently taking courses on LinkedIn to enhance his organizational and managerial skills. The top tourist destinations in Lagos that he recommends for visitation include the beach, Onikan Museum, the Oba’s Palace, Nike Art Gallery, Kalakuta House and the Mall.

Safety Education: Brand concludes Training in schools across Nigeria

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Pupils of Goshen Montessori School, Kubwa listening with rapt attention.

As part of its objective to intentionally groom a safety conscious generation, the Safety Chic project – an arm of Ulomka Multi solutions Ltd responsible for raising safety consciousness in people has concluded their East, West, North (EWN) nationwide safety tour, which began on the 28th September and ended on October 12, 2017.

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Students of St. Luke’s College, Nsukka

The tour is in line with their Corporate Social Responsibility programme – Train Them Young Initiative (2TYI) which entails school visitation to teach young people about Health and Safety, to boost Health Safety Environment (HSE) advocacy and increase awareness.

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Book reading session for pupils of Immaculate Conception Primary School, Abakpa Nike

Following the successful launch of The Adventures of Muna, a book designed to introduce and teach kids safety tips through stories and relatable characters authored by Ugochi Obidiegwu, the organisation believes that the best way to safeguard the future is to take this safety education to children.

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Students of Pro Labore Dei, Ibadan

The training kicked off in Lagos at the Topflight College, Ifako, and continued at the Pro Labore Dei, Ibadan.

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Topflight College, Ifako

The Northern tour birthed in Abuja with the book reading at Christ Chosen Group of schools, Beth Zatha Academy (Both in Gwarinpa) and Goshen Montessori School, Kubwa.

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Kids of Beth Zatha Academy Gwarinpa during the book reading session.

Next up was the Eastern tour which happened in three LGAs in Enugu – Enugu East, Enugu North and Nsukka. Book readings were held at Immaculate Conception Primary School, Abakpa-Nike and New Haven Primary School 2, while the safety trainings took place at St Luke’s College and St Cyprian’s Girls Secondary School (both in Nsukka), Government Secondary School, Abakaliki road, and Abakpa Girls Secondary School.

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At St. Cyprian’s Girls Secondary School, Nsukka

A special session was held for street kids in Enugu, in collaboration with the Straight Street Initiative.

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The Managing Partner of Ulomka Multi Solutions, Ugochi Obidiegwu, is satisfied with the outcome of the tour.

Speaking on the inspiration behind this move, the Managing Partner of Ulomka Multi Solutions Ltd, Ugochi Obidiegwu said:

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“I have been teaching children safety skills mostly in Lagos. However I wanted other children in other states to benefit because this knowledge is necessary for all kids irrespective of their locations, hence the plan to visit a few states representing different zones. There’s still so much work to be done but this is a start.”

2017: Tourism’s Direct Contribution to Nigeria’s GDP Yet to Rise in 4th Quarter as Forecast Indicated

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At the beginning of this year (2017), Nigeria was deeply soaked in the dirty waters of recession occasioned by the fall in Naira value, dwindling prices of petroleum products and of course, corruption. The country’s economy was held hostage as it were. Everyone felt the pang of distress – including the unborn babies, as many mothers stayed on pregnancy prevention pills to prevent delivering newborns into such a pathetic state of distress.

Eventually, the pains eased out but not without teaching us a vital lesson: complete reliance on oil as our only export will continue to plunge the economy and everything else that hinges on it into destruction; hence, the need to diversify. The recession continued to tiptoe into the 4th quarter of the year before we were dimly bailed out of the unfriendly situation. And gradually, things started picking up, albeit slowly.

Meanwhile, you’d recall that experts across a plethora of disciplines offered suggestions on how the government can pull the economy out of recession through diversification. Many of these recommendations tilted towards developing other sectors that have potential for growth – sectors that had long been abandoned or relegated because they were perceived to lack the capacity to be as buoyant as the oil sector. Such sectors included Agriculture, Hospitality & Tourism, SMEs, etc. So the government started adopting some of these recommendations.

The Ministry of Information and Culture, led by Alh. Lai Mohammed swung into action by developing a blueprint on how government can invest in the tourism sector to boost its growth. The minister was pregnant with many viable ideas. Consequently, be orchestrated several partnerships with independent tourism bodies with the aim of turning the sector into a revenue generating business. One of those partnerships included the world apex tourism body, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) providing capacity development for Nigerian tourism personnel on how to grow the sector into something viable.

While the world is waiting for these laudable efforts to yield bountiful results which of course would take some time, it is important to take a retrospective look at some of the interesting predictions of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in 2016 about what the direct & total contributions of Travel & Tourism to the country’s GDP would be by end of 2017. But first, let us attempt to explain the difference between Direct and Total contributions as used in the report.

Direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP reflects the ‘internal’ spending on Travel & Tourism (total spending within a particular country on Travel & Tourism by residents and non-residents for business and leisure purposes) as well as government ‘individual’ spending – spending by government on Travel & Tourism services directly linked to visitors, such as cultural (e.g. museums) or recreational (e.g. national parks). The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP is calculated to be consistent with the output, as expressed in National Accounting of tourism-characteristic sectors such as hotels, airlines, airports, travel agents and leisure and recreation services that deal directly with tourists. The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP is calculated from total internal spending by ‘netting out’ the purchases made by the different tourism sectors.

On the other hand, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism includes its ‘wider impacts’ (i.e. the indirect and induced impacts) on the economy. The ‘indirect’ contribution includes the GDP and jobs supported by: Travel & Tourism investment spending – an important aspect of both current and future activity that includes investment activity such as the purchase of new aircraft and construction of new hotels; government ‘collective’ spending, which helps Travel & Tourism activity in many different ways as it is made on behalf of the ‘community at large’ – e.g. tourism marketing and promotion, aviation, administration, security services, resort area security services, resort area sanitation services, etc; domestic purchases of goods and services by the sectors dealing directly with tourists – including, for example, purchases of food and cleaning services by hotels, of fuel and catering services by airlines, and IT services by travel agents.

As at 2016, direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was NGN1,861.4bn (1.7% of GDP) but this was forecast to rise by 1.1% to NGN1,881.1bn in 2017. But the figures presented in the WTTC 2017 report are proof that not so much contribution from the sector has reflected on the economy. In the last 10 months, no significant direct contribution from Travel & Tourism to the country’s GDP. For instance, its contribution to the whole economy GDP still remains at 1.7%, same as it was in 2016. A review of tourism’s impact on the country’s GDP in the last 10 years (2007 – 2017) shows that its impact was at all time high in 2008, having contributed 2.4% to the GDP. Since 2008, its impact has been fluctuating between 1.8% and 1.5%.

 

Meet Malik Ado-Ibrahim – He is set to Introduce Electric cars into Nigerian market by 2018

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Malik Ado-Ibrahim is the chairman of Nigus Enfinity, an indigenous firm which is set to introduce electric vehicles into the Nigerian automobile market in 2018 and a local assembly plant for electric vehicles in 2020.

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Ado-Ibrahim said several countries across the world have set targets for the ban of petrol-fuelled vehicles with India targeting 2030, and the United Kingdom, 2040.

He said Nigeria and Africa need to look inward to be at the fore of the automotive revolution or risk becoming waste bin for banned vehicles from other countries.

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Ado-Ibrahim, who was the first African to lead the Formula 1 Team global race car competition in 1999, said his firm is already building a 100 megawatts (mw) solar power plant in Katsina and another in Adamawa state.

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According to him, the company has also partnered with Build Your Dreams, a Chinese firm, to import electric vehicles at affordable costs from 2018.

“We are also working with BYD to get a local brand and start an electric vehicle assembly plant for Nigeria from 2020. Gradually we will move to an EV with the African DNA starting in Nigeria,” he said.

In June, Elon Musk had unveiled the world’s cheapest electric car, which was priced at N11 million.

5 Key Things Investors Are Looking For In A Startup

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It is a known fact that entrepreneurs bootstrap when starting out because of limited finance. This is one of the main reasons why less than 50% of them survive the first five years in the market. To take your startup to the next level, entrepreneurs are regularly searching for venture capitalist and investors to invest in their businesses. Of course, startup investors desire innovative companies to invest their monies. However, they won’t drop a dime if they do not see the following things highlighted in your startup.

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1.Strong leadership teams

To secure startup investor funding, show that you have smart, strategic, and successful leaders. You must show the competency of both your company founders and leadership team. So, endeavour to leverage your leadership team’s professional experience for increased investor interest in your startup.

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2.Clear ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is the time needed to recoup the initial expenses invested in a business. Most startups aim to achieve this within the first one year of operations, but in certain sectors, it takes considerably longer due to high entry costs and low-profit margins. Would-be investors are aware that quite a number of startups that receive venture funding are unable to immediately make returns. As such, they want to see some real evidence that within a particular period, they will begin to get these returns.

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3.Consumer interest in your product

Investors want to know that your product has a future in the marketplace. So, the onus is on you to show them proof that it has a market niche of its own and consumers are interested in your product.

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4.Transparency

Transparency is important to increase investor trust in your business. No startup investor wants to enter a deal when they do not feel like they have all the facts. Be open and honest about the state of your business, the challenges you are facing and how you plan to surmount them.

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5.Growth potentials

Investors do not want a company that will be stagnant. They want to invest in startups that will thrive and eventually provide a return on their investment. Therefore, your business should be built with scalability and growth in mind.

6 Interesting Aviation Facts You Probably Didn’t Know Infographic

Jumia Travel, The African No.1 Online Travel Agency has released an interesting aviation infographic for 2016.
Find it below:

 

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