Twitter Thread: Systems thinking – Addressing complex development problems through inter sectoral collaboration. Why is it so hard? By @Agbata77

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In a meeting today chaired by the Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Development to “mobilize” additional investments for addressing the needs of Orphans and Vulnerable children, it’s become obvious that there’s very little inter-sectoral collaboration was happening in Nigeria.

The Minister’s representative bemoaned the very merge budgetary allocation to the Ministry & the lack of capacity to engage private to invest in the same agenda, it surprisingly failed to recognise the potential to collaborate with other MDAs with aligned interests.

While appreciating that the biggest vulnerability facing the so called “OVCs” is the unfortunate circumstance of being born into a poor family, very likely by parents who were either also born into similar circumstances or had suffered a major catastrophe in their lifetime.

The challenges facing children in these circumstances are often a many – educational, health, nutritional, various forms violence including physical, psychological & sexual abuse, child labour etc. Surprisingly however, the response efforts are often fragmented & uncoordinated.

Responders mostly support one or two distinct challenges at a time hoping that it would catalyze action to address the others issues. E.g. The school feeding program- addressing nutrition & education challenges but not necessarily health or other issues the kids may be facing.

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More wholistic interventions are few & rarely ever operate at a scale to make a significant impact on the crises. That’s frustration expressed by the Ministry of Women Affairs – the fact that their budget was too scale to have the desired impact.

Missing however in the early dialogue was the idea that it was not feasible for the Ministry to expect to address these multifaceted issues on their own & the need for coordinated inter- sectoral action across multiple MDAs to address these issues.

For example the @natpopcom (National Population Commission) to register and enumerate children with vulnerabilities, @Fmohnigeria (Federal Ministry of Health) to ensure they were fully immunized/healthy and other actors to guarantee their rights legal/social protection, economic access etc.

It would seem that we need to have a sort of “minimum quality of life standards assessment” which should trigger emergency action from all stakeholders in a coordinated manner to address the needs of the vulnerable in society. Why this isn’t a deliberate action so far is unclear.

I believe that this not due to a lack of knowledge but instead a lack of action. So why do we not have more inter sectoral collaborative response action to mitigate the impact of poverty in our setting? How do we facilitate this type of integrated thinking in response agenda?

CREDITS: This thread was developed by Oyi of Oyi – APublic health enthusiast and Systems thinker. He talks sustainable development and inequalities via @Agbata77

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5 Gas Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

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Do you use a gas cooker or keep a gas cylinder at home?

No doubt, you are one of those who have found great benefit in using gas cookers and have experienced how efficient and convenient it is to use. This is most especially true after graduating from the usage of kerosene stoves and fire woods.
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However, one of the biggest problems associated with using a gas cooker which is now affordable is the issue of safety. If you are careless about using it, it can lead to a catastrophe. As such, we share gas safety hacks you must know.

1.Keep your appliances well maintained

Gas appliances should be safety checked and serviced at least once every year, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. A thorough service on your boiler and gas supply will include a range of tests and checks to ensure that the appliance is operating safely.

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2. Have a carbon monoxide (CO2) alarm installed

Carbon monoxide is not only a potentially dangerous gas. It’s also incredibly hard to detect as it is both odourless and colourless. Carbon monoxide alarms detect and alert you to the presence of the poisonous gas, and should be fitted in your home.

3. Ventilation

Store gas cylinders upright in a well-ventilated area that is situated away from open flames, power outlets and electrical appliances. Also, if the ventilation of your room is hot, endeavour to open your windows.

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4. Be careful when cooking

Today, gas cookers and cookers are found in almost every home because it is now inexpensive. So, when cooking with it, don’t sit or stand too close to the gas heater or cooker when it is in use, as this can be hazardous or result in gas burns.

5. Never light a naked flame if you smell CO2

Ensure you refrain from lighting a match, cigarette lighter, or any other source of flame or spark whenever you smell or perceive carbon monoxide. If you do, you are at risk of burning down your home as a result of an explosion.

Ramadan: 5 Fasting Tips For Long distance Travel

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Ramadan is best spent at home with family, reflect and become closer to God, but different situations may require you to travel and those travel timings may coincide with your fast.

We share some tips to help you make it easy for yourself and not to miss out on fasting while traveling especially long distance, this Ramadan.
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1.Have healthy food for breaking fast

A lot of things may occur during your long distance trip. Whether it’s dealing with delayed flights, getting stuck in heavy traffic, or lost baggage, endeavour to keep a small packet of dates in your bag or a protein bar as well as a bottle of water to maintain your energy levels in the event of a delay and you need to break the fast.

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2. Get smart with fasting apps

Download all the right apps, to keep track of prayer times, to help you locate mosques, as well as restaurants. A good example of a fasting app you can download is HalalTrip to find mosques, restaurants, and hotels in your new location. iOS and Android users can also download Muslim Pro for an entire copy of the Qu’ran.
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3. Plan your trip wisely

One of the first things to consider before traveling is the times for iftar (morning meal) and suhour (breaking fast). It is best to inquire at your hotel for any nearby mosques or search online for Muslim communities based on the where you’re visiting. Upon booking, inform your hotel in advance if you have special requests or needs and get recommendations on where it is best to pray and eat.
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4. Break the fast where and when the sun sets

Always break your fast when the sun sets in your destination no matter how short the trip is or wherever you are. The time zone of the country where you left and began fasting does not really matter.

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5. Skip the fast for later

In Islam, it is not only children, elderly, the sick and women with periods who are exempted from fast. Travelers are also exempted from fasting. However, if you skip fasting, it must be made up once travel is complete. Or to make up for days you didn’t fast, fast later in the year. If you really don’t want to miss out on fasting, then make sure your flight is scheduled after Iftar.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AGREEMENTS IN NIGERIA

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In the last few decades technology has greatly disrupted the way humans live and the export of technology remains a key revenue earner  in developed countries e.g. in 2016, India generated about $100 billion from the export of software to other countries. The reverse is the case in Nigeria which has lagged in the development of home grown technological solutions that can empower its citizenry and generate foreign exchange.

This scenario is however changing and there are indications that our tech entrepreneurs are now looking inwards in coming up with solutions that would reduce consumption of foreign technology. A common way of regulating commercialization of technology is Technology Transfer Agreements which basically documents the movement of technology from the inventor/owner to the recipient.

This week we examine some elements of this type of agreement and the safeguards put in place by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) to encourage technological development in Nigeria.

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A Technology Transfer Agreement may be defined as a legally binding document that contains the terms and conditions under which technical skills, specialized knowledge, technical know-how and other proprietary rights for the manufacturing of goods and services are transferred from one individual, enterprise or organization to another person, enterprise or organization through licensing and other contractual arrangements that are mutually beneficial to both parties.

It is important that a Technological Transfer Agreements indicate the ownership of the Technology and the rights being granted to the Recipient. It should also indicate the intellectual property rights associated with the technology and limitations of use by the Recipient as well as provisions for support services by the Inventor/Owner.

In a bid to help Nigeria achieve technological growth and to correct trade imbalances, the Federal Government set up the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP)which has the mandate to encourage the adoption of the best contractual terms and conditions in Technology Transfer Agreements. The body is also saddled with the responsibility of promoting locally generated technologies. Section 4(d) of the NOTAP Act gives the body the right to register all Technology Transfer Agreements and issue a certificate in respect to such registration. In other to enforce the registration of transfer agreements, section 7 goes further to forbid the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria and other Financial Institutions from paying any form of licensing fees to a body outside Nigeria without the certificate of registration being tendered.  In registering the agreements NOTAP ensures that they are in conformity with Nigerian Laws, and the fees charged are not excessive. In the case of imported technology, the body also ensures that the agreement reflects local content development.
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PROCESS OF REGISTRATION WITH NOTAP.

  • Submission of the Application Form and accompanying documents at the Director General’s Office;
  • Assessment and evaluation of the Technology Transfer Agreement;
  • Communication of observations/ Approval Letter to Applicants;
  • Response by the Applicants/Payment of Applicable Registration Fees;
  • Issuance of Certificate of Registration along with Certified Copies of the Registered Agreement

CONCLUSION

Technology Transfer Agreements regulate the relationship between Inventors and end users of technology and it is pertinent to note that the technology transfer need not be from a foreign company into Nigeria, it could also be from a local inventor who intends to commercialize his product by granting licenses to others to reproduce the invention on a larger scale.

CREDITS: This opinion is brought to you by the Iyiola Oyedepo & Company

info@ioclaw.com

JUMIA UNVEILS BEST PRICING CAMPAIGN

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Lagos, Nigeria, 15 May 2018: Nigeria’s no. 1 online shopping platform, Jumia has unveiled a new campaign to position itself as the online platform with the cheapest merchandise in the country. Tagged ‘Last Price Campaign’, its objective is to offer customers the very best prices on over 1,000 iconic products across all categories on its platform.

The campaign kicked off yesterday (May 14th, 2018) nationwide with a promise: “if you buy it cheaper on other platforms, we will refund you 10 times the difference in price within the next 3 months.” The campaign is scheduled to end on May 25th, 2018.

“The objective of the campaign is simple: show our customers Jumia has the cheapest or best pricing compared to our competitors, both offline and online. And to drive this claim, we are offering the last price on over 1,000 items to our new and old customers between May 14th & 25th across all our product categories, such as fashion, electronics, home appliances, groceries, baby products etc. With this campaign, we want to reaffirm our claim as the only eCommerce platform that offers the best value and the last price on all products,” said Olamide Amosu, Head of Engagement, Jumia Nigeria.

“Similar to what happens in offline stores where buyers haggle over the price of products & services until they find a satisfactory price – usually called the last price – for the item, Jumia is, therefore, giving its customers the opportunity to find the last price on all items on its platform”, Amosu added.

The Last Price campaign is a week-long sales event that guarantees shoppers cheaper products compared to both offline and online stores. Jumia offers free delivery via Jumia Express when customers shop a minimum basket size of N15,000 in Lagos.

Customers can also win free gift vouchers via social media by guessing the last prices on products on Jumia. Follow @JumiaNigeria to join the conversation using the #CelebrateDgame in anticipation of celebrating Nigeria in Russia next month.

INTERVIEW: Why #BBNaija House is located in South Africa — Multichoice MD, John Ugbe

John Ugbe

On the sidelines of the just-concluded Digital Dialogue Conference held in Dubai, the Managing Director of Multichoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, fielded questions from a group of Nigerian editors on his company’s operations in Nigeria.

He spoke about the recent BBNaija show, why the pay-as-you-go pay-TV model can’t work and the social responsibility projects being undertaken by his company. Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times Musikilu Mojeed was at the session.

Read excerpts below.

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What is your reaction to the assertion that 170million votes from the recently concluded BBN, came exclusively from SMS, thereby yielding profit in the billions?

There has been a lot of focus on the figure 170million, but to set the record straight; 170million votes came from 49 African countries, and more than 90% came from online voting.

Under 2% of the entire votes came from SMS voting. Nigeria is the only country that was enabled to vote via SMS. The actual revenue generated from SMS voting could not be further from the much touted purported figure. Over and above the administration and platform set up costs, the majority of the profit went directly to the GSM and data service providers.

Is there a way that you can review the location of Big Brother Naija to ensure it is domiciled in Nigeria, so that all economics of the hosting and its associated benefits come to Nigeria?

Tinsel is domiciled in Nigeria and shown all over Africa. We just premiered a new epic series in Lagos. For this we built an entire village from scratch to portray the realities of a village setting. Our group of channels are called Africa Magic to reflect our African Heritage. Nigeria has the biggest movie industry that is why our productions are domiciled in Nigeria. For Hotel Majestic we had to take over a hotel in Nigeria for 2 years as a set. It’s a lot of investment. Big Brother demands a lot of complexities and outfitting a house.

For the Big Brother shows, we set up one facility for the Nigeria, Angolan and other editions. It makes sense from a production perspective. It is impractical to replicate sets across our operations in 49 African countries. We choose the best location for each specific production. Big Brother Naija’s production team is made up of 90% Nigerians even though it wasn’t set in Nigeria – so a good deal of skills transfer occurs. Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) comes to Nigeria every year. Speaking as a Nigerian and an advocate of Nigeria – we keep looking at what it will entail to run it locally.
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Have you considered implementing a Pay as you consume model considering that work and life schedules make it difficult to catch shows without steady power?

From a producer’s perspective – we have to buy the movie in full and we have to buy enough content to fill the channel and put it on air. That’s what the pay-TV model prescribes anywhere in the world. We have to aggregate content for our different packages, this means ensuring there is something for everyone on the package depending on your interest and pocket strength. But there is a good spread of a variety of content across all packages. Everyone thinks of today. From Day one, you have to buy enough movies to make up the channel and sell that package to one person. It’s a risk as you cannot determine if after buying content, only one or ten people will subscribe. If only one person does, you cut your losses and move on, but you continue to invest in content with the hope that more people will be interested in watching.

Regarding breaking off viewing according to your availability, the challenge is in the model of the business. We don’t know when your decoder is on or off. That makes it impossible to say I want to start billing because this customer has started viewing.

Pay as you go is a mobile network term. The mobile operators have the technical resources to measure what is being used. For pay-Tv on the other hand,it is not the same thing. Last August, the Mayweather vs. McGregor Boxing match was delayed for close to 3 hours. The reason it was delayed is because of the technicalities of pay-per-view in the US.

Pay-per-view for a fight like that would be $99 – that is more than your one-month subscription on Premium – about double. However, we buy the fight and aggregate it for our Premium subscribers, who were able to record it, even when the live event did not happen on schedule. What we encourage our subscribers to do is download DStv Now, and you can watch all the content on your current subscription on the go, on your phone or tablet. You do not have to be bound by availability of power.

Catch Up is there… Get it before the World Cup so it’s right there on your phone and your ipad and your laptop. Those are the innovations we’ll continue to make.

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What Social responsibility programs do you invest in as an organization?

We focus on Education, Health and Youth and Economic Empowerment. Our MultiChoice Resource Centre project is our Education initiative that we have been active with for over 14 years. What we do here is work with the governments in each state to select beneficiary schools. We then provide audio-visual equipment (which include a dish, decoder with educational channels, TV, generating set, tables, chairs, UPS), to bring learning and the school’s curriculum to life.

We set up our Education package in the chosen schools, train the teachers on how to select relevant programs intended to illuminate and animate information that would otherwise have remained theoretical or textbook based. The MRCs are present in over 400 schools across 33 states in Nigeria, tens of thousands of students have benefitted from these centres since inception. The feedback has been astounding. The rate of passing school leaving exams has improved. Several beneficiary students have gone on to become medical doctors, lawyers, and a good number are working in several other professions, as a result of this foundation that changed how they learn and retain information. I have experienced how this centre is used, and saw how students responded when they saw how a tsunami actually happens. They saw it happen on our platform and this made it easier for them to imagine how destructive a tsunami could be.

Also in terms of Education we have partnered with Eutelsat for many years to roll out DStv-Eutelsat Star Awards, a satellite based competition for secondary school students across Africa. The students are required to answer questions on how satellites can be used to improve processes, the advantages of satellite and so on. These questions need to be answered through an essay or a poster. Last year, a Nigerian; Emmanuel Ochenjele emerged overall winner from the poster category. He met a real life Astronaut – Claudie Haignere, right here in Nigeria, and not long ago, he returned from Paris, as part of his winning prize, where he went to the Eutelsat headquarters to witness how rockets are assembled. This has changed his perspective forever.

We implement our health responsibility by supporting the Sickle Cell Foundation. We have been partners for many years. We support them because the statistics of how Sickle Cell Anaemia affects Nigerians paints a dire picture. The Foundation seeks funds to carry out research, treat and inform sufferers. Their key objective is creating awareness on how to minimize its effects, research on how to avoid and ultimately cure the ailment. On our part we offer support through creating awareness, which we do on an ongoing basis through educational videos, community outreach programs, fund raising and other initiatives to support them in what they do.

Our GOtv Boxing Next Gen clinics support the growth of Boxing, which we brought out of near extinction in Nigeria. Over and above the boxing matches which provide an avenue for the boxers to earn a living, the clinics provide tips on welfare, training and psychological support to these young ones. Some of the young boxers were picked from our Next Generation Search (for talented and passionate amateurs), they have now proven themselves in mainstream boxing and have won millions over the years. Ultimately, we train them to go professional, so that one of our boxers can proudly fly the Nigerian flag internationally.

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Is it possible to put my subscription on hold when I travel for a month?

Yes we have made it possible for you to do that. You can put your subscription on hold when you travel for up to two weeks each time, twice a year.

One of the things we thrive on is technology. The dual view decoder was first introduced in the world by MultiChoice. Digital Satellite TV (DStv) was only second after the US. When we build the DTT network we had

Russians coming to study it. We look to the future for what is possible to do.

Recently, MultiChoice ran a promo asking subscribers to pay for two months and get one month free, but there were complaints from customers who didn’t get the promised month. What is your response to this?

It is true that we ran a retention offer late last year. When we received feedback that some customers did not get the free month on schedule, we identified those customers that were affected and we fixed it. We introduced a new process which helps to identify those who received the offer, and ensure that get the benefit immediately.

Additionally in terms of improving on technology, we upgrade our decoder software from time to time to improve customer viewing experience. We ran a free swop campaign where we asked customers to bring in obsolete decoders for a free swop. It’s all in line with always striving to improve our offers to our customers. We also introduced tollfree lines a few years ago. These numbers are available on our website and social media care platforms. On twitter, the address is @DStvNgCare.

I hope the call centre is 24 hours. DStv should have a 24 hour call centre.

This is good feedback and something we tested in December. However, there are a few challenges with labour laws. So we’ve been looking at how best our customers can reach us at any time of the day.

We will communicate changes and updates in due course.

 

Your payment operations is 24 hours. As soon as the payment drops the thing comes up immediately.

Payment is automated, and we encourage our customers to use our payment platforms such as eazy.dstv.com. This way, the customer can troubleshoot and resolve reconnection issues directly from their mobile phones without having to call into our call centre to be reconnected.

I know this is a question you’ve been looking at for a while. The strength of signals is still a problem. For instance if you watch a match and it rains you lose signal.

To shed some light on that, it is called rainfade. Satellite signal from the KU Band is susceptible to weather. I have taken pictures of my tv screen when I’ve been in New York or other parts of the world and I experienced interruption as a result of bad weather. It’s not a Nigerian problem. Your DSTV will work even with 40% signal. There is a need to boost the signal to have less interruption. We also make available quality cables to reduce interference. If rain comes in it will affect the quality.

We recommend getting a certified installer to conduct regular checks to verify signal strength. Also, some dishes have not been checked in up to 5 years. Regular checks ensure that your dish works optimally, thereby reducing rainfade.

Star Trek inspired a lot of Americans to go into science and go into the moon. What does Big Brother inspire among Nigerians?

We are in pay TV, we are in entertainment. Entertainment is a mix of fun, inspiration and education. Remember, Reality TV is reality. This is what happens. The fact that they are on TV doesn’t change it.

Entertainment can inspire in a variety of ways. A lot of people have come out of Big Brother and have grown into entertainment powerhouses. It’s a platform for exposure and advancement.

Furthermore, we have a lot of educational and kids content. We ask our viewers to set up parental guidance so you can control what your child views. The parents have and have always had the control. Kids these days have smartphones and can download anything, but the blame is often put on TV. You can opt out of a channel or block it completely at any time. We put the power into your hands. And back to Big Brother, we can learn from their interaction in the house. They have tasks that promote nationalism, patriotism. You see those contestants singing the National Anthem proudly. When they talk about malaria day – we use it as an opportunity to educate. A lot of the tasks are subtle but meant to inspire and lead.

CREDITS: This interview was conducted by Musikilu Mojeed, and was first published on Premium Times – https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/268205-interview-why-bbnaija-house-is-located-in-south-africa-multichoice-md-john-ugbe.html

DESPITE ALL ODDS, eCOMMERCE IN NIGERIA IS HERE TO STAY

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In spite of the volatility of the Nigerian economy, eCommerce companies have continued to sail through troubled waters and taken on the daunting task of upsetting the odds of infrastructural deficiency. The same challenges troubling traditional enterprises – such as, inadequate infrastructure, arbitrary levies, low access to cheap funding – have continued to hamper the growth of eCommerce firms. All of these remain high up on the list. Even though, some eCommerce firm such as Jumia Nigeria are swimming through the dirty waters of infrastructural challenges, survivorship bias won’t distract us from the frequent occurrence of failure.

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Reliable internet and efficient logistic systems are two additional issues: the logistic nightmare of negotiating deliveries during fuel scarcity and the misleading statistics that give an adulterated representation of Nigeria’s low internet penetration. To illustrate, the Nigerian Postal Service is not up to full capacity to provide efficient delivery services, and has forced many eCommerce firms to develop in-house logistic solutions – Jumia Express by Jumia, for instance. These in-house logistic solutions increase operating cost and erode the competitiveness of eCommerce players who cannot enjoy the same economies of scale available to their global rivals.

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According to a report in Vanguard newspaper, there’s an estimated poverty rate of 67.1% which is in contrast with a population of over 190 million people in Nigeria. The report further hinted that as a result of the extreme poverty level, many cannot consistently afford a data bundle. Even the middle class who can afford data are usually unsatisfied with the level of service because of the networks unreliability and frustratingly slow speed. A quick win will be to increase internet bandwidth, currently at 11.3 kb/s per user compared to 126.5 kb/s in the United States according to a report on Stearsng.com. Although, MTN customers have the luxury of using zero data to browse on the Jumia website but that is not enough to cater to Nigeria’s vast internet subscribers.

 

Nigeria’s trust deficit proved to be a unique challenge. Having witnessed how the likes of Amazon surpass traditional retail behemoths in developed countries, brave entrepreneurs decided to replicate such a successful model in some developing countries. Surprisingly,  they met with a formidable obstacle to running a profitable online business: trust issues. The rise of mobile payments and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s sensitisation on “cashless society” have helped to put this challenge to a temporary rest, but not enough to remove the “pay with cash” feature on the checkout pages of most eCommerce sites.

 

Typically, Nigerians do not trust one another in person and of course, trust one another less online. A generation of internet fraudsters will do that to a society. A Nigerian man will typically count the money he withdraws from the ATM before leaving a bank’s premises. That’s how much trust issues Nigerians have.

 

One of the ways to turn around the trust deficit is for payment providers to indemnify Nigerians with psychological insurance, such as guaranteed payback for transactions. Moreover, eCommerce firms in Nigeria have sometimes perpetuated the trust deficit by showing a brazen disregard for product quality and customer service. Although, Jumia for example, has tried to recover the trust with the launch of Jumia Pay & also guarantee payback. Yet, the scars from previous experiences are still yet to heal.

 

All hope is not lost. As simple as it may sound, Nigeria’s combination of aspirational capitalism, population growth, and increased mobile adoption has created a fertile ground for eCommerce. The industry may just have to succeed on its own, while waiting for the government.

 

Mobile payments are growing, and FinTech platforms continue to carve niches out for themselves, helping to build a more sustainable ecosystem for eCommerce firms to thrive. Moreover, the lessons learned by the operators of eCommerce such as Jumia will serve another generation of firms; although Jumia’s continued tenacity is still to be admired, the future eCommerce is still a mirage and it’s high time the Government turned its attention to it.

 

OPINION SUNDAY: Nkem Says: Every Rich Man Is Handsome (Or Not?)

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Before you join me in psycho-analyzing the issue of a man’s “beauty” being subject to the weight of his pocket, let’s get one thing straight: Money is sexy as hell. Yes, I said so. A while ago, if someone made the same statement and I heard it, I would look at them with disdain, while thinking to myself: “what a shallow somebody” …and naturally, I would roll my eyes… very heavily too.

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But, yeah…I see the light now.

Believe it or not, having money is a game changer for anyone: man or woman. But I guess for men, it’s a more dramatic change. No? Have you ever seen the throw back pictures of some Nigerian celebrities who are kind of sex symbols now? Tu face? Flavour? They looked dried up, hungry and excruciatingly unpleasant to the eyes… compared to the way they look now. What is the difference between then and now? Did their facial features change? Did they take some magical pill that made them look hotter than they used to? No. they didn’t. Their “beauty” came with the money they acquired when they “blew”! I mean…except for maybe Bobrisky who went on to bleach and now wears fabulous weaves and wigs, most of these celebrities did not really do anything extra to their looks. They just became handsome and sexy because they gained wealth.

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Agreed, there are some who even with the wealth, they still look ugly AF…they know it, we know it… but nobody ever mentions it. In fact, they are used as yardsticks for “handsomeness” and “being dapper”. Why? They have the money!

Yesterday, a close friend asked: “Nkem, be honest, would you rather an ugly man with an annual income of 500 million Naira or a handsome man who is unemployed or undecided at his career path?” It was a tricky one, so I asked further questions for clarification: “when you say ugly, do you mean repulsive or just not good-looking?” “hmmm…not good-looking” he said. “Hmmnnn…and both are the same age?” I continued, and he says “Yes, both 32”. With the extra questions answered, I did not hesitate. I straightaway said: “I’d go for the Ugly one.”. My friend (clearly shocked since I’m a huge champion of equal love for “struggling” men) yelled: “Liar! Even if he looks like ‘a certain president Nigeria once had’?” and I said: “YES! What do you mean? That dude is super intelligent and sexy! Have you read any of his books?” Of course, that was me trying to be funny, but my “yes” was a certain yes.

Before you judge me any further (because I know you are already doing that), let me walk you through my thought process and how it was easy to pick the ugly rich man. The way I see it, being wealthy or having a huge income is a product of extreme hard work, huge efforts, and sacrifices made in the past by themselves or their families. The man who makes the annual income of 500 million Naira is rich not just because he has money, he is rich because he did something in the past to grow, to maintain money. He has was intelligent, focused, purposeful and tenacious. The handsome man, on the other hand, what did he do to earn his looks? What effort did he put in? Genetics? Proper grooming? Is that it?

Again, “handsomeness” is a depreciating value while wealth is appreciating value. Looks and unnecessary charm in a man will give butterflies, sweet heartburn and all that goofy nonsense that makes life seem enjoyable…but that handsomeness fades with time and circumstances…and along with it the heady feelings and emotions. That is a certainty.

A man who has successfully earned a considerable amount of money is likely to be more financially smart and plan futuristically. His value usually will appreciate with time, and even if he fails or experiences difficulties at some point, there is the high probability that he has what it takes to rise back up again. Considering these remote implication makes it easy to see pick the ugly man.

Basically, the amount of money a man has kind of determines how valuable and how “handsome” he appears. Even Jay Z, who is generally considered ugly, said in Family Feud, one of the songs on 4.44, his new album: “Ain’t no such thing as an ugly billionaire, I’m cute.” Perhaps he was being petty, but he hit the nail on the head. Do you think Beyonce, the epitome of beauty, would have married him and stuck with him despite the lies and cheating, should he have been the regular boy from across the streets? Do you think she would have thought him handsome enough to combine her genes with and birth children? If you asked her now, she would say to you that he is the most handsome man in the world. Why? His financial worth is handsome, ergo, he is handsome.

Don’t get me wrong, this in no way means I no longer have an unabashed soft spot for beautiful people, I still do. But at the same time, I also have a deep respect for financial stability and economic vigor. Like I always say, women (feminist or not) are naturally wired to seek a man who is capable of protecting and taking care of them financially…even when they can take care of themselves already. It is innate, they would prefer a person with whom they can have a secure future with, ugly or not. A man stops being ugly to any woman the moment he is able to make something for himself and can offer her an above-average future.

We need to stop being pretentious about things like this and look past the erroneous idea that a woman who picks an ugly man with money is shallow, does not see him for more than his worth and is only managing him for his money.

Nkem Ndem

About Nkem Ndem

Nkem Ndem is a dynamic freelance writer and editor who can be reached for online writing(web content and blog) and editing, screenwriting, ghost writing, copy proofreading and reviews. She has since worked with Jumia, SpiceTV Africa, and Bella Naija. Check out her Instagram: @kem_dem, twitter: @ndemv and snapchat:@ndemv. Email: nkemndemv@gmail.com.

6 Fascinating Reasons You Should Drink Cucumber Water Everyday

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For those who find water boring and scarcely drink it, you can drink Cucumber water. This is because it gives you additional nutritional and health benefits compared with water. Hence, there is no need to down soft drinks daily anymore.

Here are 6 reasons you should drink Cucumber water daily.

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1.Keeps you hydrated

Cucumber water will satisfy your desire for water and keep you hydrated round-the-clock. It regulates your body temperature as well as kills toxins that have infested your body. You will barely experience dehydration if you take Cucumber water very often.

2. Regulates your blood pressure

Balancing and controlling your blood pressure is essential for the proper performance of your body. This due to the fact that it will protect you from stroke, heart attack, and kidney diseases.

3. Check  your appetite

Cucumber water can come to your rescue when you are hungry. You only need to drink a cup and it will suppress your hunger until to eat another meal. This does not mean you should not eat at all. For example, when you waiting for your food to get ready, you can take Cucumber water so that you do not get too hungry.

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4. It’s good for your skin

The silica and antioxidants in the Cucumber drink can clear and smoothen your skin. Interestingly, you can also wash your face with the water to make it more shiny and attractive.

5. Deal body fat

This natural drink will help you deal with the fat that gathers around your stomach and thighs. It’s as a result of its many cleansing and purifying features. So, you do not need to run along the pavement every morning before you cut body fat. Just drink Cucumber water daily.

6. Strengthens your gum

If your gum is always bloodied when you brush your teeth, Cucumber water can help you stop the blood and strengthen your gum. Simply use the water to rinse your mouth.

Interesting Reasons To Still Buy A Tablet

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Many people would have you believe that you don’t need a tablet anymore, that everything you use a tablet for can be done just as well or better with another device. So, if you have a tablet and have stopped using it, or you never bought one, we highlight some reasons why you may want to reconsider and/or start using one.

Perfect for movies and music

Sure your laptop can play your music and movies; however, tablets just do it better.  There’s nothing better than entertaining yourself on a long trip than with a tablet loaded with your favourite music and movies and it is easy to take with you.

Longer battery life

Laptop batteries are improving, but how many people really get 8 to 10 hours of life out of your laptop?  Not very many. Tablets, however, will last much longer than many laptops without needing a charge. This gives you much more time to use them before they will have to stop and plug them in.

Good for meetings and classes

Tablets make the perfect piece of technology to take to a meeting and classes. Today’s tablets make it easy for you to take notes while you are listening to the presenter and, if you happen to be presenting, you can even run your presentation straight from your tablet instead of having to carry with you a laptop.

Better internet browsing

Internet browsing on a tablet is a mixed experience; it draws the line between mobile and desktop web pages. As websites vary from different publications, having the middle ground is wonderful. The text is more readable and browsing is as smooth as you’d expect from a mobile-optimized site.

Tablets are cheaper than a new laptop

A tablet works as well as a laptop. However, many persons do not use it even though it is cheaper and affordable than a laptop.