Apologize to Kano Emir, Airpeace

Enugu Metro calls on Airpeace Airlines to reach out and apologize to the Emir of Kano for delayed flights and aggravations.

Dear Airpeace, it does not matter which party is right and which party is wrong in the ongoing spat. What matters is that a customer is complaining about your service. Do not forget customer service excellence. The goal of customer excellence is for a business to keep ringing in the change while leaving customers satisfied.

Get it?

If the management of Airpeace does not get it, let us remind them that Airpeace is a business. It’s not a political organisation. Therefore, join other businesses that routinely apologize to customers, even when the customer is wrong.

In every business, the customer is king. Thus, businesses that fail to heed this axiom live to regret the consequence of poor services. Additionally, when a business deals with a customer with social capital, public sympathy blesses the customer. And this may lead to a backlash in many unanticipated ways.

Is it right to apologize to the Emir? This is however not the issue at the moment as full details of what happened are hoarded.

Did the Emir make an international booking either online or through an agency? If he did, his trip qualifies as an overseas flight to Kano with a Lagos stopover. If this were the case, Airpeace will have three options to appease any customer in that situation, regardless of his or her social status.

Apologize to the Emir

One is to put the customer on the next available airline flight to the destination. The second is to check them into a hotel at no charge to wait for the airlines’ evening flight. The third is to delay the flight to accommodate the passengers from abroad, since Airpeace was responsible for their lateness. It’s not a good excuse to say that the local jet was already in motion. That flight shouldnt have taken off without the international passengers if this was a connecting flight from a stopover.

It is our suspicion that the Emir booked separate international and local flights for his return to Kano. He consequently hoped to cover the Lagos time lag with an overseas initiating flight that leaves on time. This explains why the Emir and his team allegedly suffered no-show penalties.

Howbeit, we encourage Airpeace to err on the side of caution and do the right thing for their business. Kindly call up the Emir and ask for an audience to explain the situation. When he grants the audience, offer an apology for the inconvenience that he and his entourage suffered. And offer a compensation; a bonus business class ticket for the Emir will not be a bad idea. A number of upgrades to business class on subsequent trips may also serve as a good alternative.

Local airlines keep dealing unfairly with their Nigerian passengers. Those goading the airline to stand up to the Emir fail to recognize that they themselves suffer serious aggravations. Does the Emir not have the right as everyone else to complain and seek redress? Every international passenger has recourse to the NCAA and the courts to seek redress, and they chose the former. And their complaint is valid. Their originating overseas flight left late and made them miss a second scheduled flight. They suffered the inconvenience of waiting a whole day in Lagos for a connecting flight.

It is good customer service to pacify aggrieved customers, whether VIP or not.

Apologize to Kano Emir Airpeace

Rangers share points with Pillars FC at Nnewi

Enugu Rangers International FC share points with Kano Pillars from their Matchday 15 clash of Nigeria Professional Football League. Rangers played the match on Saturday, 26 February, 2022 at the FC Ifeanyi Uba Stadium Nnewi.

Rangers Technical Adviser Abdul Maikaba, introduced only Charles Tiesso, from the team that played in Port-Harcourt against Rivers United. He benched Christian Madu.

The defense and the midfield understood each other. They created lots of chances, but could not convert any to goal. Kano Pillar’s Goalkeeper, Idris Ibrahim, was on duty throughout the 90 minutes.

Rangers lost a couple of regrettable clear opportunities. In the 46th minute of play, Chidiebere Nwobodo broke into the defense line of Kano Pillars. In the scramble, he collided with Goalkeeper Ibrahim. The goalie immediately called for the attention of the Medical team and was attended to.

Also, in the 57th minute, Elijah Ani missed another glaring opportunity when he connected a Kenechukwu Agu’s long pass. He ran across the defense and dribbled past the Goalkeeper. Before he could control the ball to put it inside the net, Pillars defender, Abdullahi Musa, cleared the ball.

It’s our fault, says coach Mangut

“In a post match interview, Rangers Chief Coach, Mbwas Mangut said they learn valuable lessons to improve on their game.

“Every team that comes to Nnewi, come with their own plan, some even play at home more than us. Some come more motivated and all that….

“We are not saying that Referees should help us. But they want to stop any dangerous attack we initiate because they know what it will result to. Today was the first time this boys were able to circulate the ball and look for penetration

“But from the midfield and the attacking third, we know it is our fault. We are going to work on it but we want to play our football and we want fair officiating. We want to win with our strength and don’t want people to frustrate our efforts”.

This result places Rangers 4th on the league table with 24 points. The Club trail Rivers United 32, Plateau United 28 and Remo Stars 26.

Next Rangers match is on Wednesday at Ibadan against Shooting Stars by 7pm.

Rangers International FC share points with Kano Pillars

Taste and appeal of Flavour beyond N’abania

There is more to flavour beyond the N’Abania – and it is in his taste and appeal, as Chido Nwakanma discovers in this Sunday’s exposition. Enjoy.

By Chido Nwakanma

Taste and appeal of Flavour

Flavour is a commercial and business success. He has tapped into two emotional chords of women and religion. He combines well with other artists to deliver studio albums or live performances. He understands stagecraft.

Flavour as Mr. Macho

Music by a cohort of young Nigerian artists has become a cultural export across Africa and the Black world and recently became a global phenomenon. Nigerian music is the rave winning international awards. Flavour N’abania is one of the young men contributing to Nigeria’s cultural diplomacy with a trove of hits.

The mix of English and Igbo in his songs draws audiences. I felt the flavour in Freetown, Sierra Leone, a city with a vast mix of people who speak or answer to Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa names and thus dance to our music. Videos show the immense crowds that welcomed him to Yaounde, Cameroon and other African capitals.

Chinedu Izuchukwu Okoli is the given name of the outstanding musician born on 23 November 1983. He is an 042 (Enugu) boy with origins in Umunze, Orumba North LGA, Anambra State. Flavour is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist. Chinedu began his career as a drummer for a church in Enugu.

He became known for his compositions and old favourite tunes to create contemporary hits. He gained fame and notoriety for his Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix) hit. That track defines his trajectory of skirting the borderline of decency and provocation yet gaining the affection and passion of those concerned.  

Flavour is one of the few current musicians trained in his craft, and it shows. He learned instrumentation and can play the drums, piano, and guitar. For years, he was a session man for other artists, honing his playing, singing, and dancing craft.

Flavour came to his own in 2005 with his debut album N’Abania. His second album, Uplifted, announced his presence. That album contained Nwa Baby, Oyi na tum, and Adamma. “The album’s success made Flavour one of the most sought artists”, his Wikipedia entry proclaims. People booked him to perform at numerous concerts and social events.

His next album, Blessed, established that a true artist with highlife as his base has indeed arrived.

Flavour released Blessed in 2012. The album had 18 songs. It featured guest appearances by Wizboy and Fally Pupa while Masterkraft, Wizzboy, Selebobo, MJay, DelB, J Stunt and Dekunzy handled production. Outstanding entries were Ikworikwo, Baby Oku, Shake, Chinny Baby and Ada Ada. I will add To Be A Man.

Flavour released seven albums by 2020. He has been at the peak of his youthfulness in his 20s and 30s in the last 17 years. His age reflects in his themes as issues of concern to that demographic. However, he manages to cut across to an older generation who relive their youth vicariously through his music, thus guaranteeing a cross-generational appeal.

The themes of Flavour’s music came out clearly in Blessed. His themes are relationships, appreciation of women, gender wars, and appeal to patriarchy.  Over the years he added praise and worship songs.

Significantly, his music scores highly in tonality or the overall sound of the music as pleasant or unpleasant. Music pundits will then rate him on rhythm, dynamics, melody, harmony, texture, and form. There is also the timbre of the sound from his instruments. The melody of most of his tunes is conjunct, meaning smooth and easy to sing or play.

Fans hail Chinedu Okoli with the cognomens Mr Flavour, Ijele, and instructively, Palliative Umu Ashawo.

The Hit Songs

Here is a look at some of his songs.

Ada Ada: The official wedding song of the country and probably even the whole of Africa. Through the lyrics, even male listeners can feel the excitement of a new bride about to head out to her waiting husband and an audience of hundreds, to whom she is the centre of attention. Good videography embellished the song.

Virtuous Woman extols the virtues of a good/Godly woman. It is the banner for women who picture themselves in its image. Notable lyrics include “Imamma ya bu agwa ya. (Her beauty is in her character). Ngozi Chukwu bu nke ya (God’s blessings are hers). She is a virtuous woman. Maka na ezi nwanyi di uko, oh, yeah (Because good women are scarce).

Ololufe (with Chidinma), Nwa Baby, Oyi (remixed with Tiwa Savage), and Shake add to the list. In Shake,  as well as Uru Dia (Shake2), he encourages women to wiggle skilfully on their backsides.

The mid-tempo Chinny Baby speaks to love. Knowing your music, Chinny Baby reminds of Waiting in Vain that Bob Marley wrote supposedly for Miss Jamaica. It is poetic as he asks, “Are you coming in June or July, Or Do I have to wait till November or December? Chinny Baby, when are you coming?” The song tells of a man eager for the love of his woman who is either far away or is not ready yet for a deeper connection. He pleads for certainty and reassurance.

Other hits include Baby Oku, Ife m neri, Sweet Tomatoes, Ikwokrikwo and Pant no niro. Many tracks are religious. They include Most High, No One Like You, Chimamanda, Keneya. His tribute to motherhood, in collaboration with Chidinma, is in Mama. There are explicit party/fun tracks. He collaborates in Ijele with Zoro and Phyno and in Awele with Umu Obiligbo.

Men readily relate with To Be a Man that humorously recounts and celebrates the journey to becoming. He sings that the man carries many burdens: he must marry, take care of his wife and children, his parents, in-laws, and his girlfriend. The inclusion of his girlfriend is a sociological commentary that asserts extra-marital affairs as matter-of-fact. To Be a Man speaks to the struggles of the men of his ethnic stock who travel to Ghana, Togo, Congo, London, Europe, China, USA, Malaysia, Brazil, wherever, to make headway and meet their obligations. Despite these struggles, the artist requests the Creator to send him back as a man when he reincarnates! To be a man is not a day’s job, indeed.

Classic FM 97.3 in Lagos deploys To Be a Man as the signature tune for its male magazine programme.

Taste and appeal of Flavour
..with Chidinma

Women are the calling card of Flavour’s music. He celebrates women, praises them and uses figurative expressions that speak to their sense of self. His metaphor for the female gender revolves around edibles. Nka bu ifem n’eri (what I consume) appears in “Ifem Neri”. Common words are jollof rice or Tomato Jos. Then he speaks to the physical attributes of his women, emphasising their backsides.

Women love Flavour and endorse his use of those terms as an endearment. Nature and nurture combined to make Flavour the kind of specimen women love. He is tall, handsome, muscular yet lithe and sexy with his movement. I posed questions about it, and seven of ten women felt he was on the right path, with only a few quarrelling with his objectification.

Flavour is a commercial and business success. He has tapped into two emotional chords of women and religion. He combines well with other artists to deliver studio albums or live performances. He understands stagecraft.

Different tastes for his musical oeuvre

Clara Chinwe Okoro, president of the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria: “I believe in art. The objectification argument is lost. It’s merely an artistic sense of comparison that may even pass off as complimentary”

Nkechi Ali-Balogun, a Fellow and Council member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, responded, “My brother, I am not into Flavour. One of the reasons is that I can’t seem to place him. At one point, he wants to be a gospel singer; he is highly worldly at other times.

“The only thing I know and admire is his humanity. There are many succulent parts to a woman. He uses tomato as a metaphor to show that the woman is juicy and beautiful. I felt it is one of the best things you can use to describe a woman”.

Atim Nkpubre, Lead Consultant, David & Destiny Consulting, says, “I’m not that much into Flavour, but I do know and enjoy watching Ada-Ada. I wouldn’t say he denigrates women.  The comparison to tomato 🍅 appears like a compliment to me. I consider it a metaphor that pays tribute to the beauty, allure, and delicate essence of women. Through the ages, women have been compared to a countless number of things such as a rose 🌹, Ruby, jewel and such likes.”

Akunna Chisim: “I am not particularly a fan of Flavour, but I can understand why the many women who love him do.  Flavour is easy to love, despite his blatant objectification and description of women as food items. He always finds a way to fit in other things in his lyrics. He has a song titled “Virtuous Woman”. He also has several pieces used by brides to step out during their traditional wedding appearance. It creates an emotional connection with the artiste – Flavour- and the women overlook the would-have-been annoying parts of his songs.”

Taste and appeal of Flavour beyond N’abania

Flavour is unmarried at 38. He has two daughters from two relationships and the blind Liberian boy that he adopted. The lad sings with him.

Flavour is a commercial and business success. He has tapped into two emotional chords of women and religion. He combines well with other artists to deliver studio albums or live performances. He understands stagecraft.

His sing-along tracks with Semah evinces humanity and compassion. Their tracks include Most High, No One Like You and Mercy.

Taste and appeal of Flavour

His recent appearances include the upbeat Doings and the follow-up Levels collabo featuring similarly successful stars such as Kcee, Larry Gaaga, Phyno, Onyenze, Umu Obiligbo and Zoro. The Levels track celebrates lavish even obscene displays of wealth of no known provenance. Accomplishment is part of the Igbo DNA but in what manner?  Success invests Flavour with a voice and influence. What values will he promote?

Friend, what is your Flavour of choice?

Taste and appeal of Flavour

Join the Conversation on this feature

Copyright @ Mulltia Limited 2021. All rights reserved . Ozubulu Street, Independence Layout, Enugu 400271

INEC adjusts 2023 Election dates to conform with law

INEC, the Independent National Electoral Commission, adjusts its 2023 election dates to conform with new electoral act.

INEC announced today that the Presidential and National Assembly election will hold on February 25, 2023.

Two years ago, the Commission scheduled 18 February 2023 for both elections.

Enugu Metro predicted yesterday that INEC might amend the timetable to conform with the law signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Specifically, Section 3(3) of the Act mandates the Commission to release funds for general elections at least one year before the election.

As we speculated, “Going by this law, the Presidency has already defaulted by eight days to give INEC the funds it needs to conduct Elections 2023.

“Alternatively, INEC could shift its announced election date backwards to accommodate the law,” we said yesterday.

INEC’s action presupposes that it has received funding for the elections as well.

INEC adjusts 2023 Election dates to conform with law

Highlights of new Electoral Act signed into law today

There are 10 highlights of the new Nigerian Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 signed today in Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhamnadu Buhari today in Abuja signed a new electoral act that governs the conduct of 2023 elections.

He described the amended legislation as “revolutionary” and a legacy that he is proud to leave behind.

He specifically mentioned some of the sections he was happy with.

” Worthy of note include the democratic efficacy of … Sections 3, 9(2), 34, 41, 47, 84(9), (10) and (11)…”

Leaders of the legislature joined the President, his Vice and Cabinet members to witness the signing ceremony at Aso Villa.

Top on the list of highlights is electronic transmission of election results. Consequently, INEC is legally empowered to deploy smart card readers and other voter accreditation technology to capture and transmit votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) already fixed the elections to hold on Saturday 18th February 2023, exactly 358 days from today 25 February.

10 top highlights of the Act

Here are the highlights of the new electoral act signed into law today by the President:

  1. The President must release funds for general elections must be released at least one year before the election (Clause 3(3). Going by this law, the Presidency has already defaulted by eight days to give INEC the funds it needs to conduct Ekections 2023. Alternatively, INEC could shift its announced election date backwards to accommodate the law
  2. The law mandates parties to conduct primaries and submit list of candidates at least 180 days before the general elections (Clause 29(1). For 2023 elections, this means primaries must be completed by 23 August 2022.
  3. Political parties are now empowered to conduct a primary election to replace a candidate who dies during an election (Clause 34). The law aims to remove the confusion and uncertainty that attended the death of one-time APC Kogi State candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Audu.
  4. INEC now has legal backing to deploy smart card readers and any other voter accreditation technology for elections (Clause 47).
  5. INEC now has the legal backing to electronically transmit election results (Clause 50). This was the plank of the challenge mounted by Vice President Atiku Abubakar on the 2019 election results.
  6. Election Tribunals will use the total number of accredited voters to determe whether there is over-voting at an election (Clause 51). The law will make it difficult to have another Imo scenario where votes can be manufactured from the air and be accepted by the courts.
  7. INEC is mandated to provide for people with disabilities and special needs to vote (Clause 54(2))
  8. INEC will not automatically accept results if it was obtained under duress (Clause 65). Thie law empowers INEC to review results declared under duress.
  9. Public officers who want to contest an election must resign their offices before they are eligible to do so (Clause 84). Those affected include ministers, commissioners, special advisers and others. By participation, this means aspiring to become either a delegate or a candidate
  10. The campaign season is now fixed at 149 days (Clause 94). This allows for early commencement of electioneering. The law mandates the campaign season to start 150 days to election day and end 24 hours before the election.

What Buhari didn’t like

President Buhari took exception to the provision in Section 84(2) of the Bill and said he signed it on the condition that the National Assembly will ammend it.

The section reads thusly:

“No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.

He reminded the lawmakers that this is contrary to what the Constitution provides.

Thus, public and civil servants wanting to participate in the process only need to retire, withdraw or resign their appointments 30 days to when they want to stand for elections.

The provision therefore import “blanket restriction and disqualification to serving political office holders” which is unconstitutional.

Its progressive, says Ekweremadu

Highlights of new electoral act
Sen Ekweremadu

Former Deputy President of the Senate, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu counted two important breakthroughs from the act.

He said Nigerian elections will never be the same again with electronic transmission of votes and other additions to the Act.

He also expressed confidence that “more Nigerians will be encouraged to exercise their franchise, knowing that their votes will count.”

Here’s the statement he released and personally signed today:

“I commended the signing into law of the Electoral Act Repeal and Re-enactment Bill by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari .

“I’ve been part of the nation’s electoral reform for over the past 10 years, but I must confess that the journey to the new Electoral Act was by far the most frustrating.

“After the major electoral reform of 2010 that also involved amendments to the 1999 Constitution to, among others, open the doors to technology in our electoral system, check some executive excesses, manipulations by political parties, and strengten the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through financial and administrative autonomy, our expectation after amendments to the Electoral Act in 2015 was that the new administration would support the National Assembly to further straighten our electoral laws and system.

“Unfortunately, four times, the amendments were turned down in the 8th National Assembly, apparently thwarted by narrow, partisan interests and ambitions.

“The efforts in the current National Assembly also faced similar challenges, but it is heart-warming that it has finally materialised with the presidential assent.

“Certainly, we didn’t get all we pushed for in the new law, but it is nevertheless a quantum leap for our electoral system and I congratulate all, who played a part in it, notably the civil society, media, and all Nigerians, who stood up for the nation’s democracy.

“With the electronic transmission of election results, early primary elections, and adequate time for INEC to prepare for elections, among other breakthroughs, our elections will never be the same again and more Nigerians will be encouraged to exercise their franchise, knowing that their votes will count.”

Highlights of new electoral act

Enugu has no zoning agreement, says Gov Sullivan Chime

Former Governor granted an interview to The Sun and clearly stated that Enugu never had a zoning agreement ever. This is an extract from an interview granted to The Sun newspaper in 2018.

In this installment, former Gov Sullivan Chime discloses why he has always been against Sen Ike Ekweremadu. He also confirmed that Enugu has not been practising zoning of governorship office since 1999.

Extracts

What would you say was your greatest challenge in your eight years as governor?

Before we came in, security in Enugu was nothing to write home about; people left Enugu; they were so scared and Enugu being home to all as capital of old Anambra State; East Central State, Eastern Nigeria and even Southern Nigeria at a time; the home to all the Igbo became unsafe.

So, it was a major challenge that we had then. My experience as Attorney General helped me to at least know what the issues were. We were able to handle it very well; moving from that low and very disturbing situation, we became the best, not one of the best. We became the state with the least crime rate in the country.

When the issue of succession came; the current governor, Chief Ugwuanyi was not your preferred candidate, was he?

Who told you? I had no candidate (and) I allowed the people to make their choice and they came up with him. I made the people of Enugu North a promise that whoever they chose, I will support. Whatever exercise that they went through that threw him up was not the issue; we supported him.

Question: Why couldn’t you go to the senate when you attempted doing so?

I didn’t attempt going to the senate, there was no such aspiration. In 2013, when we were holding a town hall meeting in Nike Lake Hotel, one journalist asked that since I was leaving office, which zone will succeed me as governor.

When Chimaroke Nnamani became governor, it wasn’t zoned to Nkanu. He won against somebody from the West, even in his re-election bid. When I contested, it was free for everybody, people from the North, from the East, from the West, the same thing during my re-election.

Then I said fate had made it that the East had done their two terms, myself in second term at the time, I said it will only be fair that we take it to the North to reduce tensions and I promised to work towards it.

That was how it happened. We zoned it to the North, not that there was any agreement; it was common sense to reduce problems. I was the leader and I took that decision.

So the people of Enugu never sat down at any time to agree on zoning of positions?

Which people? I was the leader and I took a decision, which was very easy to sell. Everybody that heard it supported that decision. Incidentally, I didn’t know my senator was actually warming up to be governor and when he heard that pronouncement, everywhere; every paper was full of attacks from him, attacking me, saying when did they reach such decision? Of course, I ignored him.

In 2015, he wanted to go back to the senate and wanted a situation where I will be asked to either allow him to be governor or choose the governor and allow him to go back to the senate. I called his bluff. I had a good understanding with the president, with the then National Chairman of the party, Adamu Mu’azu, so he hadn’t access to those people and he became frustrated and he ganged up with members of the National Assembly to cause trouble in Enugu State.

They had few friends with members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. That was when PDP was really having problem. You take decision in the state and one clown at the NWC will change it; cause confusion.

It wasn’t easy for him. So, that was when that idea came up that I was going to the senate, but I didn’t buy any form; I didn’t do any of that. They floated that just to bring him backto his senses. So, he came to me and he pleaded and I gave it up, I told him it was not a do-or-die affair, but for him to go to the senate he must abandon his colleagues and immediately he did it, all the people he had planned with to cause trouble, that was how he was able to go back, so I never aspired to go to the senate. What am I doing with it?

Was it true that Ekweremadu made you leave PDP because you were afraid of his towering image in the party?

Next year (2019) we will know how towering his image is. What towering image? I am not aware of any towering image, he has always been a senator, comparing himself with the governor was ridiculous, he is a senator.

Are you saying you would have stopped Ekweremadu if you wanted to?

Precisely! If he hadn’t come to beg, that would have been the end of his (whatever ambition) completely. He can say anything now, but if he succeeds next year, then we look forward to 2023.

Editors Note: Ekweremadu succeeded in 2019 against Chime’s prediction and we are now in the 2023 cycle. It does look as if everyone anticipated what is going on now. Read the original interview here.

Enugu has no zoning agreement, says Gov Sullivan Chime

How to borrow without interest using latest app

African workers can now borrow money during the month without worrying about interest. Earnipay makes it easy for workers to borrow from their salaries on demand rather than wait until month-end. Thus, the app makes nonsense of an adage which says that “he who goes aborrowing goes asorrowing.”

The salary problem

Consequently, on-demand salary access comes as a huge opportunity in Africa. Over 70% of Africa’s workforce (500 million people) receive salaries every 30 days. Unfortunately, they live paycheck to paycheck. This 30-days pay structure therefore forces 40% of the continent’s workforce to live in a debt cycle. Employees struggle to match their income to their daily expenses and are often short of cash for emergencies.

Thus, African employees know what it means to wait for month-end to receive their paycheck. No matter how urgent their needs are, they have no easy way to access their earnings mid-month. Such situations lead many African employees to patronise loaning platforms. The practice breeds discontent in the workforce as payday approaches. Debt laden workers simply donate their entire package to loan companies and embark on another round of borrowing.

The Earnipay Solution

Earnipay gives employees access to their monthly salary in order to draw from it to meet personal expenses. They do not have to go out to borrow at exorbitant interest rates. This solution is simply on-demand salary access. 

How does it work? Earnipay partners with employers and seamlessly integrates with their payroll systems to offer its services.  Once connected company employees subsequently track and withdraw their accrued salaries via the Earnipay app.

Earnipay has served outsourcing firms and HR solution providers in Nigeria including Eden Life and Thrive Agric. So far, their employees used the app to access their salary over 1,000 times, since it’s beta operations began in September, 2021.

The future is bright

How to borrow without interest

Earnipay recently closed a Seed round of a hefty $4million. It was led by Canaan with participation from XYZ Ventures, Village Global, Musha Ventures, Ventures Platform, Voltron Capital and Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade.

With the Seed funding round complete, Earnipay expects to accelerate the development of its technology platform to serve large enterprise employers. 

Earnipay officially launched its operations at the start of this year and plans to offer its on-demand salary solution to 200,000 employees by the end of 2022. 

Earnipay founder and CEO, Nonso Onwuzulike, sounded very optimistic about the future while speaking on the funding round and the recent launch.

“Financial worries are the leading cause of distractions in the workplace. The monthly pay cycle means employees are often unable to afford daily expenses, cover emergencies or take advantage of immediate financial opportunities. 

“As a result, they become exposed to predatory payday loans and get stuck in unending debt cycles with unrealistic payback periods and expensive interest rates. 

“Earnipay exists to address this problem and offer an ethical alternative to instant salary access while helping employers improve employee engagement and retention at zero cost to their business. 
The future of salary is on-demand, and we’re excited to be pioneering this amazing solution in Africa.”

About the company

Earnipay is a Nigerian financial technology startup. It is providing a way out for African employees and their employers.  Thus, Earnipay provides flexible and on-demand salary access to income-earners to improve their financial well-being.

The company does this by leveraging its technology to offer employees the opportunity to access their earned salaries into their personal bank accounts. Interestingly, it does this in real-time and at interest-free rates. Employers are therefore able to have complete oversight and set limits for the percentage of salaries employees can withdraw monthly.

About the Author

FinTechs drive profit for SMEs

Jachimma Anikwe

Jachimma is a final year student of Marketing and is also affiliated as a Media and Content Creator/Writer with a FinTech startup.

How to borrow without interest using latest app

Nigerians stranded in Ukraine as Russia invades

Government plans to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Ukraine barely 24 hours before Russia attacked parts of the country this morning.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced this morning that he authorised a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

This United Nations Security Council went into a second emergency meeting to avert a disaster in the region.

The Russian operation began from the Donbas Region of Ukraine. However, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry reported attacks in cities of the country including Kyiv, Kharkiv and Kramatorsk.

Mr. Putin said the Donbas Region asked Russia for help and warned Western nations to keep off or face the consequence.

“Whoever would stop us, and further create threats to our country, to our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and lead to such consequences that you have never faced in your history.

“We are ready for any outcome,” Putin said in a televised broadcast.

Nigeria has over 4,000 students resident in Ukraine whose fate hangs in the balance.

Most Western countries have evacuated their citizens as the crises escalated.

Nigerian Embassy officials failed to take a cue from those evacuation in hopes that Russia won’t invade Ukraine.

Nigerians stranded in Ukraine to be evacuated.

How we deal with ASUU strikes challenge

A reflection on how we deal with ASUU strikes problem – and free our children and institutions from the stranglehold

There are two reasons why Nigerian parents shouldn’t be at the mercy of Association of Senior Staff of Universities (ASSU). One is our tendency to glamorize university certificates. The other is failure to properly implement the 6-3-3-4 education system which Nigerian launched almost 40 years ago.

The glamorization of tertiary certificates elevated university degrees into some kind of elite turbanning or chieftaincy titles for our children.

Failure to implement the Basic Education programme opened the floodgate for every child to go to university. Consequently, exploding population of young people weighed down government capacity to adequately fund public tertiary institutions. This, in turn, has created a union of overworked and underpaid teachers who lash out in frustration every now and then.

The World Bank summarized the consequence of what our universities have become in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Bank concluded that our students “do not graduate with locally relevant skills for a successful integration into the labor market.”

Locally relevant skills

So, there we have it. Parents assume wrongly that children graduate from our universities with locally relevant skills. And that tertiary education is the only avenue to acquire lucrative, locally relevant skills. Because of these assumptions, every child must therefore go to a university. And because government also promotes tertiary education as a social service, every child must see university as continuation of the failed Basic Education programme.

I confess that, as a parent, I lived with this mindset. But you can excuse the likes of me who can scratch out moderately priced education for their children. One of my daughters, a final year university student, brought the issue home in an article she wrote. What she wrote was however already playing in my mind since June 2021 when I came across the current West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) timetable. Nigerian students write about 30 vocational and technical subjects in that examination.

Allow me to list the subjects.

Air-conditioning & Refrigeration, Auto Body Repairs & Spray Painting, Auto Electrical Works, and Auto & Mechanical Work. There are also Animal Husbandry, Block Laying, Bricklaying & Concrete Works, Bookkeeping, Carpentry & Joinery, Catering Craft, and Cosmetology. The calendar also lists Data Processing, Dyeing & Bleaching, Electrical Installation & Maintenance Work, Fisheries, Furniture Making, and Garment Making. Also listed are GSM Phone Maintenance & Repair, Leather Goods Manufacturing & Repairs, Machine Woodworking, Mining, and Painting & Decorating. The rest include Plumbing & Pipe Fitting, Photography, Printing Craft, Radio, Television & Electronic Works, Salesmanship, Store Keeping, Store Management, Upholstery, and Welding & Fabrication Engineering.

Here’s something to think about. Artisans without formal education in the building and construction industry who do some of the physically demanding jobs above earn daily wages of between N2,500 and N3,500. This works out at a monthly average of N65,000 – which is twice the minimum wage and the equivalence of entry level pay for most Nigerian graduates.

The fact that our children learn these skills in school gives them a good opportunity to become specialists who can trade their skills internationally. And the opportunity to be equipped with vocational skills that can deliver extra income. The 6-3-3-4 plan is for students and pupils to learn these skills at the foundational education level, not at the university.

Obasanjo Assist

But do they? My wife, a teacher, says students are taught less than 60 percent of these skill subjects. They haven’t been able to learn because the 6-3-3-4 scheme, as usual, failed at implementation stage.

President Olusegun Obasanjo rejuvenated the scheme in 2006. He merged six years of primary to three years of junior high to form Basic Education, aka 9-3-4 system. His was a grand vision and plan designed to achieve 100 percent literacy rate in the country among other benefits. The first nine years of basic education are free and compulsory. It still is. Nigerian parents, no matter how poor or indigent, have no excuse for not enrolling their children and wards in school.

To ensure that states and local government councils do not complain of funds to implement the scheme, the federal government decided to pay 66 percent of the cost of infrastructure, facilities and training of teachers for the scheme.

Again, we failed at the point of implementation.

There’s something good to say about the Basic Education Programme. It is an excellent scheme. School teachers use it to identify innate skills and career interests of children before they get to the 9th grade. Students with high scholastic aptitudes progress to senior high schools (including technical schools) to prepare for tertiary education. Those with other non-academic skills choose vocational schools and apprentice schemes. There, they will specialize in some of the less intellectually demanding skills among which we listed above.

If faithfully implemented, made-in-Nigeria products and services will cross our borders and become export earners. Ghana showed this during her years of the locust. Highly educated Ghanaians earned reasonable and sustaining income through “mundane” tasks that they e expertly performed. We see it today with skilled labour from our neighboring countries that we increasingly prefer to our own.

But we didn’t faithfully implement.

Root of the problem

There are three impediments to the implementation of the Basic Education Programme. One is socio-cultural practices, such as street children (almajiri) and itinerant pastoralism. Ignorance and peer-group pressure is the other. A third is the will to use the massive funding available for this scheme to implement the programme, rather than massive pilfering of the funds by our officials.

Many poor parents do not know that education in Nigeria is free up until the 9th grade. Many of those who know are also unaware of their rights and responsibilities under the scheme. Which is why we groan without protest when unscrupulous administrators force children to pay levies that make nonsense of the free education programme.

By far the bigger challenge is that parents ignorantly look down on the “lower level” skills we listed above. They think that this translates to lower level earnings or possession of lower social capital for their children. This is wrong. It’s silly because all around us are evidences that tertiary education is not the only or even the best entry to high paying careers.

We see young people who developed their innate vocational or athletic skills travel abroad to work. Or admitted to good schools with fully funded scholarships. Those who work abroad as sportspersons or skilled labour earn monthly incomes the equivalent of millions of Naira. Their counterparts in Nigeria live on a basic monthly wage of $60. Again, those of us who live in cities prefer to engage skilled labour from Benin Republic and Togo rather than our unlettered cousins who failed to go to school. The key is getting basic education, followed by vocational and internship opportunities that create the difference in skillsets. Finally, a skilled worker who earns N3,500 per day (standard wage) will out-earn a graduate in monthly wages.

How we deal with the ASUU challenge

So, how do all of this solve the ASUU problem in Nigeria?

The day Nigeria faithfully implements the 9-3-4 education system is the day that ASUU strikes will gradually begin to die a natural death. To do this requires massive reorientation and mind change, especially for parents. Students, especially those whose parents cannot afford it, will no longer hanker after tertiary education. Identifying and nurturing of skills happen outside the ivory towers. When this happens, educational policies will shift to identifying and training only geniuses among the poor by giving them scholarships. Rich people who can afford it will fund the universities through appropriate tuition for their children.

With cost-reflective tuition, university managers will no longer go cap in hand to government. Or intermittently hold poor Nigerian parents to ransom with incessant strikes. And government can invest the billions they waste on university infrastructure to give scholarships to the exceptionally brilliant from rich and poor parents alike. If ASUU chooses, they can continue with their union but face the Vice Chancellors who mess up their system. And government regulates teaching to maintain teaching and learning standards.

The Ghana Example

I noticed two things about Ghana when I visited Kumasi where one of my children initially enrolled. Ghana has three public universities that are prime foreign exchange earners. For international students, average tuition at Kumasi and Accra is higher than what 80 percent of private universities charge. Nigerians are classified as international students. I saw white and Asian students who enrolled at Kumasi. The attractions were cheap tuition and quality of teaching. The fees in those three public universities are higher than what private universities charge in Ghana. Nigeria is the opposite.

Let’s deemphasize university certificates as a basis for fixing and standardizing work compensation. As my daughter wrote in her article, “there is some truth that having a bachelor’s degree increases jobs earning potential. Yet it is also important to note that not all jobs require you to have sat in a classroom for 4+ years. Sometimes it just requires you to be creative, skilled or in good standing with the right people.”

After the judicial recognition for Ishi-Agu

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has paid a back-handed compliment with a judicial recognition of Ishi-Agu. Ishi-agu is national attire with an Igbo ethnic trademark. So, when are you wearing yours and stocking up on the national dress? I wore mine again on Sunday, 20 February 2022. I need to add varieties of the design.

The honourable Justice Binta Nyako and the Department of State Security paid the Isi Agu dress a compliment as President Muhammadu Buhari did with his dot in the circle statement. Ndi Dot took up the lemons and made lemonade. It lost its sting.

After the judicial recognition of Ishi agu
President Buhari adorning Ishiagu

The background is that the DSS claimed in Justice Binta Nyako’s court that they had not allowed Mazi Nnamdi Kanu a dress change since they renditioned him from Kenya for one reason. He appears in court in the same dress as his first appearance. Asked why the DSS claimed Kanu insisted on wearing an Ishi Agu. DSS said the Isi Agu dress motif did not go down well with them.

The Igbo response

How should the Igbo respond to the back-handed judicial recognition of Isi Agu?

Ndigbo should look to their philosophy and sociology. The Igbo philosophical worldview is Egbe bere ma ugo bere, nke si ibeya eberela nku kwaaya. Let the kite perch and the eagle perch; let the wing of whoever says the other should not perch break.

With such a philosophy, the Igbo believe in striving to be the best they can be in any setting, living, and letting others live. Ndigbo should continue to seek harmonious relationships with all the people in the Nigerian space despite apparent provocations. We do not know that any court has made a similar pronouncement on any fashion item of another ethnicity in Nigeria.

The upside of the DSS and Court pronouncement is to draw attention to Isi Agu. It will promote it. Here is a call to fashion designers, from Aba to Abuja: do exciting things with Isi Agu so we can wear it even more often.

The first thing is to repay the compliment to Justice Binta Nyako. People should wear Isi Agu in various designs to attend the case’s next hearing and others in her court. It will be a deserved fashion statement of appreciation to the Justice.

Enemies hiding in plain site

No one should engage in the Lamentations of Ndigbo over this judicial pronouncement. Instead, concerned parties should celebrate it and the judge who mustered the courage to express hidden thoughts. Blessed are those whose enemies hide in plain sight and express their dislike openly.

Secondly, note that the attack on the Isi Agu directly impugns the culture of its wearers. It says that those vilifying it consider the dress and its wearers unacceptable. Please note the apologia by some folks to state that the DSS only meant their disapproval regarding Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. That may be so, but the statement resonates beyond the courtroom.

The vilification of Isi Agu attacks the cultural essence of the people. The Nigerian state furthers the cause of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB with such inexplicable statements and actions.

Why do officials do such dumb things?

The Igbo today live amidst paradoxes. Here are people worried that their travelling tribe readily acculturate and bring home languages, fashion and sundry mannerisms so much that they fear a decline of the Igbo language and customs. Amidst that, Igbo hymns and songs appeal across the oceans. Then comes a priest in the Christian denomination foremost in Igboland so vexed by Igbo songs he changes faith to declare a fatwa against them.

The undisguised hatred creates conflicts for the middle class and educated elite who do not buy into the need to renew the Biafra movement at this time. Rather than handle the matter with decency and circumspection, the Nigerian state at every step confirms the bulk of the assertions and allegations of Mazi Kanu.

A pivotal moment

What next after this judicial recognition of ishi-agu? Once again, the Igbo stand at a pivotal moment. Snide remarks and attacks come simultaneously as the people are making significant progress across the globe. Igbo music attracts followers across genres, from the religious where their American relative Don Moen lustily sings in Igbo to culture matters with Theresa Onuoha and her egedege music. Music from Igboland is part of the narrative of the Nigerian explosion on the global stage. Ndigbo rejoices with all persons of every ethnicity, winning awards on the international stage. Why should some single our music out for accusations of domination? Some groups pretend not to recognise the imperative of a candidate from the South-East becoming president.

What should the Igbo do? Refer to your philosophy—Egbe bere. Remain humble, cautious, and persistent in pursuing the good of all the peoples and communities of Nigeria.
Remember that Ndigbo are the dot people of many dimensions. You are circumpunct: obere ntupo nwere ebube.

Before the trumpet sounds

Circumpunct is the other word for a circled dot, a circle with a point at its centre. The circumpunct applies in several areas, from the solar system to mathematics, geometry, physics and more. Among other groups and representations, Freemasons regard it “as a symbol of the phallus or nature’s generative principle” while it represents the city centre in European road signs.

For the Igbo, hear the words of the prophet Bob Marley, “There is a natural mystic blowing through the air. If you listen carefully now, you will hear. This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last.”

Tread carefully along the lines of another pillar of Igbo philosophy being udo na ifunanya: peace and love. There are more pressing existential concerns for the Igbo concerning the security of lives and property in Ala Igbo. Our land suffers from both the Army and the IPOB-imposed security force. The guidance in Igboland now is ama ndi ana eze. Our people are between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Let peace reign as you wear your Isi Agu.

judicial recognition for Ishi-Agu