Categories
Lifestyle

Black Friday at Shoprite Novare Mall

Today, 25th November was Black Friday, possibly, the world over.

It was no different here in Nigeria where retailers fell over themselves trying to woo customers with what they touted as fantastic promotional offers.

Ever since the culture of online shopping became entrench in our psyche as Nigerians, there have been a surge in the popularity of the concept of Black Friday. And over the years too, even the brick and mortal stores have picked up on this fad, perhaps after noticing the big haul made by the online stores during this period.

Unfortunately, Nigeria’s adaptation of Black Friday has been seen largely as a scam. Major online retail stores have been accused of giving fictitious and non-existent discounts on their products after manipulating their listed prices. There have been a growing apathy by Nigerians to to this alien concept of Black Friday.

It was with this reservation at the back of my mind that i took a drive to Shoprite in Novare mall to see what they have on offer for Black Friday. It was a short drive from my home, so i felt i did not have much to lose anyway. At worst, i will just window shop if the prices were not right.

On reaching there, i got a very big shock.

Those who had witnessed the thick human traffic in Oshodi (Lagos) back in the 1990s would probably understand what i saw as i entered the store.  The crowd in the store was unbelievable. A quick glance at the in-store flyer and, suddenly, I knew why. The store was offering large discounts on a not so long list of groceries; Noodles, Pepsi et al, Kellogs cereal, vegetable oil, Colgate toothpaste, and a bunch of other items. It didnt help that it was month end and a lot of women were also doing their monthly grocery shopping for December.

Nigerians and awoof!

Indeed, it was a struggle getting round the aisles. “Excuse me … sorry … ” was my sing-song as i tried to weave my shopping cart through the human traffic, sometimes intentionally – “innocently” – using my cart to brush past some shoppers who chose to stand still in the middle of aisles.

I was not very surprised that most of the items with large discounts were fast running out. Some had actually run out. The time was just about 10am.
It was all too much effort and after about 30 minutes of weaving through the crowd, i was getting tired and could not wait to leave the store.

If only i knew.

On an average day, queues at Shoprite tills can be long and rowdy. Today was not an average day. The queue was very long, windy and of course, unruly. Worst still, there were no store officials in sight to organize the queues and make the process faster.

At a point, i was tempted to abandon my cart and walk away. Then i remembered the effort i put into making my selections and decided to wait it out. It ended up being a 2 hour wait.

The cashier at Till Point 2 spent about 30 minutes on a single customer, a lady two steps ahead of me on the queue, who had problems with her Diamond bank ATM. I was livid but kept quiet. Anyway, I didn’t need to talk. They were 3 women at the sidelines who were doing a better job than i could ever do.

Finally, it was my turn.

Thankfully it was uneventful, and i was out of the door about 10 minutes later, with a sigh of relief, whistling to Craig David’s 2000 hit “Walking Away” wafting through the in-store speakers, not sure how soon i will be visiting that store again, if at all;

I’m walking away from the troubles in my life
I’m walking away oh to find a better day
I’m walking away from the troubles in my life
I’m walking away oh to find a better day
I’m walking away

Categories
Technology

Demystifying Nigerian ATM Experience

The ATM in Nigeria has gone from a mysterious machine of very high distrust to a basic essential. Understandably, being at the perceived epicentre of online fraud and Internet scams has made Nigerians exceedingly weary of this machine which spits cash at the punch of just four digits. My personal take though, is that there exist more advanced hacking centres outside of Nigeria. Common knowledge seems to suggest that parts of Eastern Europe and Asia top Nigeria by a country mile.

My wife and many others like her, who have vowed never to test the efficacy of the banks’ assurances on the safety and security of their ATM systems against the increasing ingenuity of fraudsters have now become unwilling converts due to the higher risk of being unceremoniously shut out of modern day transactions. Regulatory pressures a-la the Cashless Nigeria initiative by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also played their part in this conspiracy against the conservatives. Hefty penalties have now being instituted on cash transactions beyond a certain threshold. Thankfully, she has broken ranks and acquired an ATM card just only last year.

The CBN has tried to allay the fears of Nigerians by enforcing on the banks additional security measures such as the installation of anti-skimming devices, and two camera systems on all ATMs. The rational being that a fraudster who covers both cameras with his hands to avoid detection will have no spare to conduct his nefarious activities.

The average customer experience of the ATM user in Nigeria is still a tale of woes, mostly self-inflicted, and inadvertently by the same banks in whose major interest it should be to drive adoption to cut the relatively high cost of serving customers within the branch.

austin okere1Two very glaring examples; it is reported that on the eve of Christmas last year, customers looking for ATMs to withdraw cash for their festivities in the Gbagada area found to their dismay after visiting many ATMs and being greeted with the now familiar ‘temporary out of service’or’Unable to dispense Cash’messages, that the only ATMs that seemed to be working on the whole axis were the UBA ATMs at the Charlie Boy Bus stop.

Of course the queue had built up to the extent that faint hearted customers rather opted to go without cash than risk the possible consequences of a stampede. Similarly, on December 14, 2013 there were reports that virtually no ATM was working in the Badagry area.

These experiences are exacerbated majorly by the following factors; firstly, stagnation in the ATM population in spite of significant adoption rate by Nigerians. The ATM population in Nigeria has been stuck at the 11,000 mark for the past six years, resulting in an average of 11.39 ATMs per 100k adult population (adult population in Nigeria being about 56% or 95.2m according to a World Bank report on population).

This is not unconnected to the Central Bank’s misadventure with the Independent ATM Deployers (IAD) experiment of 2008 that barred banks from deploying ATMs outside their branches. This resulted in the abrupt halt in the momentum of ATM deployment by Banks. This was largely due to the hasty conduct of the CBN in trying to swallow an elephant at one go. Noble as the intention was, a pilot scheme would have uncovered the soft underbelly of the strategy, the major shortcoming being the fact that the cash in the offsite ATMs would have been too expensive for the IADs to carry, and therefore compel them to charge customers very exorbitant rates or render them totally unprofitable at the flat rate of N100 per withdrawal,then allowed by the CBN.

Six years later we have less than the 11,800 achieved at the highpoint, because many banks had to abandon the long term rents secured for their offsite ATMs and wheeled the ATMs into warehouses and parking lots because the IADs could not afford the book value to take on the sites and ATMs. The operational lives of those ATMs, about a third of the total volume were cut short, as they were subsequently unusable two years later when the CBN rescinded her decision.

Comparatively, Indonesia with an adult population of about 90m, more than doubled their ATM installed base from 16.7k in 2011 to 36.5k in 2012, resulting in 37 ATMs per 100k adult population, about three time the ATM per adult capita in Nigeria. South Africa has 60 ATMs per 100k adult population, while the UK has 124 ATMs per 100k adult population. Nigeria clearly has a lot to do as the largest economy in Africa.

Secondly, the quality of notes in the ATM are a far cry from standard. In the early days, the ATM was where to go if you wanted crisp notes. Today, the notes in the ATM are sometimes worse that the change you receive at the flea market. This is underscored by the fact that the security features and the general quality of the naira could do with some enhancements. Dirty notes generally cause paper dirt to be lodged in sensitive parts of the ATM when it is dispensing cash, therefore resulting in more frequent system faults or currency jams.

A telling revelation when we compare the work rate of the ATM in Nigeria to say the UK is that the Nigerian ATM has to dispense on the average five notes to one in the UK, if it is dispensing N1,000 notes and the UK one is dispensing 20 pound notes (20 pounds is approximately N5,000). This coupled with the low ATM density and challenged note quality contributes a lot to the frequent breakdowns and ‘unable to dispense cash’ notices.

Thirdly and very importantly, most ATMs in Nigeria are not under any guaranteed service level supportprogram. This is very shocking, and a serious anomaly by any stretch of the imagination. Banks inadvertently encourage this malaise. There is a notion that appraisal and compensation for ATM support heads in the E-banking departments seem to be heavily skewed on how much they can save in the ATM support costs. So they devise all means necessary to achieve this, even at the detriment of customer experience and the banks’ brand erosion. There is a blatant refusal to sign any Service Level Agreements (SLA) support for the ATMs in the first year of purchase under the illusion that warranty on the systems equates to SLA support. This results in fallacious claims of reduction in support costs.

This alluded cost efficiency cannot be further from the truth. Warranty and SLA support are quite different from each other as any owner of a car under warranty well knows. While SLA defines the time within which an ATM should be fixed or replaced in the event of a fault (usually two hours within urban areas and six hours in remote areas), warranty relies on a best effort basis for the replacement of factory defective parts.

Parts that are rendered unusable due to wear and tear, or as a result of exogenous effects such as power surges cannot be claimed under warranty (as sometimes the bank officials are wont to ferociously argue). For simplicity, warranty on ATMs is very similar to that on automobiles. If you drive your new car which carries a three year or 100,000km warranty to the dealer for a part replacement.

Firstly they check that it is not normal wear and tear, and that it is not due to abnormal circumstances such as the wrong type of fuel or an accident. Then they take in the car and order the part. They call you when the part arrives, which takes an average of three months, and then slap you with a labour bill. This is the type of service that the Bank is hoodwinked to render to their hapless customers. It is worthy to note that warranty does not cover periodic maintenance of the machines. Imagine driving your warranty car for three years straight or 100,000km without any service or Oil change! Not opting even for the bare bones labour-only quarterlypreventive maintenance service does drastically shorten the lifespan of the ATMs. It is therefore not surprising that some relatively new ATMs needlessly break down and cause customers to spend eternity looking for a working one, or in an endless queue.

The average annual support spend on an ATM in Nigeria is $2,500, about half of what obtains in Indonesia and South Africa, both spending about $4,500 per ATM per annum. By investing the right amount to keep their systems properly maintained, they prolong the lives of their ATMs and ensure better customer experiences, which we readily testify to when we visit those countries.

Thirdly, we now know that most ATMs work with the windows operating system. Many are currently on the Windows XP platform which has recently been announced by Microsoft as de-supported, and a new operating system, windows 7, announced to replace it. This means that any ATM that is not upgraded to the windows 7 operating system shall be vulnerable to viruses and fraud attacks, since the new security patches shall not work on them. Worldwide, 2.2m ATMs are vulnerable.

In Nigeria, a significant number of the installed base shall be affected. The solution is a simple upgrade of the operating system if the ATM is upgradable. This is free if the bank has been paying their software maintenance fee. They will otherwise have to incur huge capital costs to repurchase the new software licenses. Available data suggests that many banks have not kept up with the software support fees. A further complication is that certain category of ATMs cannot be upgraded because of non USB Interfaces. These have to be replaced, and will further deplete the already stretched ATM density.

Lastly, there are serious challenges in stable and consistent power supply, and network connectivity, both of which the ATM cannot operate without. There are also infrastructure challenges in access roads to ATMs in rural areas which cause support engineers to spend significantly more ‘travel time’ than ‘dwell time’ to fix machines. A possible solution will be for service providers to have enough support offices across the country than depend on engineers being dispatched only from the three commercial centers of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. Cross training support engineers on ATMs, inverters and network connectivity will ensure that the first engineer to arrive at the ATM can fix the fault and does not have to call another specialist. A monitoring system if installed by the provider would ensure that the ATM correctly diagnoses itself and advices on the correct spare part to be carried to site. A monitoring system will however, require client licenses on the ATMs for which maintenance fees are due to be paid, and which many banks shy away from.

Banks are by no means the only clog in the wheel of good ATM customer experience. Some of the blame lie squarely on the shoulders of the service providers. In a bid to win business at all costs they are ready to accept terms that tempt them to cut corners in quality of products and service delivery. For example, there is a need to install monitoring systems and a call centre to aid support efficacy. There is also a need to ensure that the custodians are sufficiently trained to provide the crucial first level support. The negligence of these will make the support process expensive, unwieldy and ineffective. This drives the proverbial ‘race to the bottom’ for all stakeholders. A decimation in the number of service providers or their replacement by uncertified operators willing to collect the cutthroat rates offered by the banks will not bode any good tidings for the banks nor their customers.

Another emerging class in the clog of ATM availability is the gang of Marauders who attempt to blow-up the ATMs to gain access to the cash in the safes. For this group, Banknote staining could be an effective prevention technique, in which the anticipated reward of the crime is removed by denying the benefits, by marking the cash stolen with special security ink. Of course the ink should be machine detectable to ensure that deposit machines reject stained notes.

Surprisingly, some customers are also culpable. Furiously banging the ATM when ‘it swallows your card’ or does not dispense the money on your transaction will not solve any problem. If anything at all, it will only compound the problem by taking that ATM out of service. In the rare instance of this anomaly, the right thing to do is to call the number on the ATM body or visit the bank. There are usually journal entries and time stamps that will prove that you were not paid what you have been inadvertently debited, and a routine for redress and refund instituted.

While acknowledging the significant progress that we have recorded in payment systems, underpinned by the opportunity for the average Nigerian to be availed of having access to the global installed base of ATMs, courtesy of his local bank ATM card, and without recourse to a foreign bank account and ATM card, there is still the need to ensure that charity truly begins at home.

The above is not intended as an exercise in ATM service indictments, but rather a discourse that will help in the appreciation, and management of the root cause of the below average ATM customer experience in Nigeria from which we are all groaning.

 

Austin Okere, Group CEO, Computer Warehouse Group PLC

Categories
Lifestyle

The African Version of Amazon Will Emerge From Nigeria

w575.jpg When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company’s plans for 30-minute delivery drones with Amazon Prime Air in December, it became clear that ecommerce has exciting days ahead.

But Amazon isn’t the only company ramping up digital business, nor is the U.S. the only region in the game. In fact, Africa may have already stolen a march on personal delivery from the air, and Nigeria — specifically the rapidly growing city of Lagos — may produce the next great ecommerce company.

See also: 20 Important African Startups to Watch

Africa’s tech space, which has been defined and accelerated by the mobile phone, is undoubtedly growing as investors scramble toward the continent. Various African countries have leapfrogged fixed-line Internet because of the ubiquity of cellphones and their networks, and entrepreneurs will likely tackle transportation in a similar way. Why build roads to inaccessible places when the air is a better and increasingly cheaper option?

A current initiative that addresses African drone delivery is the Flying Donkey Challenge, a 24-hour race around Mount Kenya where African companies have to deliver and collect 20-kilo payloads as they go. The winner receives a prize of more than $1 million.

But while these companies face huge challenges in circumnavigating Mount Kenya in East Africa, it’s actually in Nigeria, West Africa, where today’s challenges are almost unfathomable in scope — and, yet, also where future “African Amazons” are likely to emerge.

Lagos isn’t Nigeria’s capital city, but it is by far the biggest in the country. Depending on which statistics you believe, the city’s population is between 17 and 21 million, with 30,000 people arriving every week from across Africa.

Delivery in Lagos is utter chaos. There isn’t a viable postal service in the city — or the country, for that matter — and by all standards the city just shouldn’t work. But it does, and ecommerce companies are proliferating. Some even guarantee delivery of products across the city within 24 hours.

“By 2030, one in every six Africans will be Nigerians, and its economy will have the largest GDP on the continent,” says Betty Enyonam Kumahor, managing director of Africa for global IT consulting firm ThoughtWorks. “But understanding how to launch an ecommerce business in Nigeria requires an understanding of the ecosystem and country, and other aspects such as the cost of generators and the relative dearth of the talent pool.”
But ecommerce startups in Lagos, such as online grocery business Gloo.ng, are facing logistic problems beyond buying generators. There’s also the problems of trying to get through Lagos’ terrible traffic and finding addresses that often cannot be found on a map, for example.

Gloo.ng’s founder, Dr. Olumide Olusanya, is positioning the company as Nigeria’s equivalent of Ocado, the very successful UK delivery arm of Waitrose supermarket. Olusanya gave up practicing medicine to become an entrepreneur, and Gloo.ng has expanded rapidly in its short history. It has quadrupled in size in the past year, and in January moved to a 20,000 square feet fulfillment center in the city.

“We believe the timing of starting our company has been God-sent,” he says. “Brick-and-mortar supermarket shopping, which is exceedingly painful on this side of the world, is not yet culturally ingrained, and we will leapfrog the curve of building supermarket brick-and-mortar, as you have in the developed climes where this is an embedded culture.”

According to Olusanya, the two biggest brick-and-mortar players have a combined market share of 0.9%, with fewer than 13 outlets in a nation of 170 million people — a significant portion of whom are migrating to the middle class.

“The fact that 65% of first-time users become repeat shoppers with us is proof that we are on to something huge,” Olusanya says.

Ecommerce innovation isn’t limited to Nigeria, but entrepreneurs around the world are closely watching what is happening there. One such UK entrepreneur is Ivan Mazour, CEO of Ometria, a software company providing an ecommerce intelligence platform to retailers.

“Ecommerce is the next frontier for emerging markets — an unstoppable wave in the evolution of retail,” he says. “The MINT countries [Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey] are the future, and Nigeria is the most interesting of this new group. As an economy, it’s projected to go from the 39th largest GDP to 13th in the next two decades.”

More importantly, Mazour adds, Nigeria is already home to many successful ecommerce giants, including Konga and Jumia, two Nigerian ecommerce companies that have raised $63.5 million and $61 million respectively from global investors. These two companies provide the inspiration for African entrepreneurs, such as Gloo.ng’s Olusanya, as well as other more niche ecommerce companies to create Africa’s first retail hub or cluster in Lagos.

“[Ometria was] founded with a focus on bridging the gap between the knowledge that exists in developed markets. As we continue to expand globally, we are looking to Nigeria as a future ecommerce leader in the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] region,” Mazour says.

There’s also a wealth of exciting startups such as QSR Consult, a company that is developing three new “quick service” restaurants Grubs, Spice Bowl and Kobis in Nigeria. Tunde Ogunrinde, the company’s CEO, spent 17 years at Burger King UK and returned to Nigeria in 2009.

“There is a greater comfort with shopping online with many Nigerians nowadays due to pricing and non-payment until goods are delivered at the door of client,” Ogunrinde says. “It seems that Jumia [and] Konga are leading the market in terms of brand awareness and potential volumes. As confidence grows, this form of buying and selling will increase, but for many of these ecommerce companies, the biggest challenge is logistics and getting products to clients on time.”

So, while Bezos dreams of drones and talks hot air, and while some African companies clamber to join the race to Mount Kenya for the Flying Donkey Challenge, it’s Nigerian ecommerce startups that are doing it right now.

Moreover, they are finding quick success in one of the most competitive cities in the world. We’ll see drones over Lagos sooner than we think, and probably a lot sooner than the cities in the West.

 

Source

Categories
Controversies Lifestyle Religion

We Do Not Need God!

I got a call from my tailor asking for a point of clarification on the length of a skirt I had asked him to make for me. In parting, as I reiterated the length; he said “if God allows, the length will be as you want it.” This response can only be interpreted in one way as it relates to this situation. I laughed; he had taken the measurement, he had a sample, he has sewn for me before in that length; why would God create a misstep in the sewing of this skirt?? How did God get into the length of my shirt??

I have really grown puzzled about how Nigerians call God in everything; the ‘Resignation and Situation game’; whatever happens we are resigned to the treacherous will of God. However, what became even more puzzling to me is this; with a country that calls the name of God at the drop of a hat, where prayers are offered, contracted out and paid for; God seems either not to be listening, answering or just taking His time! because we are in grave trouble.

christJapan is an Island nation. 73% of Japan is forested, mountainous and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial or residential use. It has a population estimated at 130m inhabitants. As a result, the habitable zones have extremely high population densities. Japan does not have any natural resource. Religion does not play a big role in the everyday life of most Japanese people today. The average person typically follows the religious rituals at ceremonies like birth, weddings and funerals; may visit a shrine or temple on New Year and participates at local festivals most of which have a religious background.

Against this backdrop, Japan is located in the pathway of natural disasters; the most recent being the devastating earthquake of 2011 that caused the nuclear plant in Fukashimi to leak causing deaths and other long term effects. Let’s not forget the 1945 nuclear bomb drop. Despite all this Japan is the fourth largest economy in the world with equal export and import activities. It built the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge; the longest suspension bridge in the world referred to as a world engineering feat. In the pipeline; a Japanese construction company plans to build an elevator that can lift tourists in space, up to a quarter the distance between Earth and the moon.

Nigeria has a population of approximately 170m people of which more than half are in the ‘youth/working age group of 16-45years’; it has a varied landscape that makes our soil fantastic for agricultural, it has practically all the mineral deposits in its soil with lots of unexplored land, it is the sixth largest oil producer, and most populous black nation that houses the most religious people on earth!

We pride ourselves as hard workers (of what?), Yet when Cameroon warned us months before it released its dam into the path of the Rivers Benue and Niger, we did nothing to prepare for this MAN-MADE disaster. In light of the devastation of the 2011 tsunami and the anticipation of a future occurrence, Japan is planning to build an alternate city to Tokyo. The city, which has been given the functional name IRTBBC (Integrated Resort, Tourism, Business and Backup City) will house up to 50,000 people with provision for 200,000 workers. *clears throat* what plans do we have for anything???

The Scandinavian economies are the healthiest in the world and while they have precious little time for God, they are at the top of the ladder in providing a ‘life’ for their citizenry.

The major religions of the world assent to the fact that God created man and everything else, and gave us creative license over His creation. We are the physical inhabitants; it made perfect sense. Everything we need to make this world a place for us to live in; God has given us. It is all within us. We are all living witnesses to the feats and creations that MAN has accomplished and is still accomplishing. Nature honours creativity. God honours his Word. We have seen people totally devoid of the knowledge of God exhibiting and using their creative juices; did that stop their end product? NO!

Nigeria is so blessed and endowed with natural and human resource that it is an absolute, absolute shame that we are nowhere on any scale competing favourably with other nations. We have not even taped into our resources to make life heavenly for us talk more of impacting the nations. It is not up to God; it is up to us. The world around us has shown us that.

So where are we? We still use hoes to till the ground; mechanised farming is a thing of admiration when we see it; whereas in near and far away lands they are thinking of how to farm on the moon!! It is time we get off our behinds and stop blaming Government for everything!

The amount of time our youth spend in the social media basically doing nothing would have been used to brainstorm on how to acquire a piece of Agric land and start something, how to build upon the pre-existing social media platforms, build a network of volunteers tackling specific issues (like BEACONS_ng); we need more of such groups, being a change agent not in words only but action, tapping our creativity; even if do not invent something, let’s add value. There is so, so much to do, that we have no one to blame but ourselves if we live mediocre lives. That was not the intention.

A parting shot; money is everything and not; so be clear about why you are doing what you are doing. The Laws of Nature respect ‘what you sow, you reap’.

*UPDATE: My tailor brought back the skirt and he had absolutely butchered it!!!!!!

Categories
Controversies Lifestyle Religion

“In The Name Of The Father …”

0510LD1The influence of technology on religion has long been a subject of discourse on this blog and it is definitely an issue that will continue to generate a lot of controversies.

You can read my earlier posts on the influence of technology on religion here.

Apart from the “End of the World” proponents who are very convinced about the very negative role technology would play in the end times, even those who are less believing would have to admit that there is an increasing influence technology is having on World religions.

And with the increasing affordability of tablets and higher end smartphones, it is now very common place to see a lot of Nigerians toting at least one of these mobile devices at anytime.

For a while now, i have paid very little attention to this new age phenomenon. However, my visit to the church last Sunday created a reawakening. It was a bit of a shock to me when it was time for Bible reading and about one-third of the congregation flashed out their tablets and fancy smartphones. Even the presiding Pastor had to comment about this. This is indeed the new face of churches in Nigeria, especially for the churches that cater for the middle and high income earners in the Lekki axis of Lagos, Nigeria.

Even the low income earners have refused to be left behind, thanks to the cheap android knock off tablets that have flooded the country from China. It will indeed be research-worthy to compile the number of these devices now available in Nigeria.

The appropriateness of these devices in the church is still generating a lot of divergent views, even among the church leaders. While some Nigerian Pastors welcome this development as a portrayal of prosperity among its parishioners, however in the world over, some religious leaders worry that the inherently isolating and attention-diverting nature of smart phones has created a generation of worshippers unable to fully engage with the sublimation of self and quiet meditation that underlie both the Eastern and Western religious traditions.

The fact can not be ruled out that for the church to shore up shrinking congregations with new devotees,  those younger worshipers expect activities to include smart phone and tablet use. Device multitasking has become such a pervasive part of their life that quiet, paper-text based religious ceremonies seem even stranger and more off-putting.

However, some religious leaders who have already tried to conduct services over a mobile device to a geographically scattered audience, and those who have tried to integrate smart phones into a physically unified congregation, say they have noticed a significant difference in how worshippers process the experience. Unfortunately, they have found that most people tend to disengage from the experience of communal worship with this mode.

I no longer read a bible from a printed paper based format and i honestly do not know where i have placed mine. Reading my bible from mobiles is a habit that i took on right from the days of my trusty Nokia 3650 back in the mid 2000s. For me, though, I must admit that there is indeed something about digital bibles that does not give you the same experience that you get from the paper based ones but the convenience and the excitement the digital ones give you has made this form of bible the only option for me and many out there.

Categories
Gadgets Mobile

Check out “Diary of a Geek” on Google Play!

The “Diary of a Geek” blog finally has its android app listed on Google Play, Android’s digital application distribution platform.

Diary of a Geek is the definitive source and final word for news as it affects Nigerians with especial focus on gadgets and technology news. The blog attracts readers with both business and consumer focus from Nigeria, India, Pakistan, USA and the UK.

The features of the app include;

  • Build-in HTML 5 support for web and articles
  • Sliding left menu with grouping
  • Modularized design approaches to support unlimited any potential future functionality. Current supported modules include: Feed (RSS/Atom)/ Feed Query /Online or Offline Web Content. More modules to come in future releases
  • In-App Podcast streaming or download to play offline
  • In-App Image Viewer (support pinch zoom)
  • Integrated YouTube with in-app YouTube Player
  • Integrated mini web browser for viewing web content without leaving the app
  • Intuitive and clear interface

Follow this link to download the app on Google Play, it’s free!

Geek

Categories
Lifestyle

Femi Fani-Kayode: The Woolwich killing and the Illuminati – More questions than answers

Some things just don’t add up when it comes to the Woolwich killings. There are certainly more questions than answers. Let us examine the facts. An off-duty British soldier by the name of Lee Rigby was walking down the street in the charming and peaceful London suburb of Woolwich. All of a sudden, and out of the blue, he was randomly selected and run over by a car which was being driven by two young black men. After they hit him to the ground with the car the two young men jumped out of it, armed with matchetes, knives, a rusty old pistol and a meat cleaver, and in a deep and uncontrollable frenzy amidst shouts of ”Allahu Akbar”, proceeded to take his precious life by carving him up, mutilating him, butchering him and beheading him in full public glare. This all happened barely 100 metres away from Rigby’s Army Barracks home. The attack began at 2.30 pm whilst the soldier gave up the ghost at approximately 3.00pm on a four-point inter-section roundabout and crossroads.

ffImmediately after finishing their gruesome act the killers then conducted their own impromptu press conference, brandishing knives and meat cleavers in blood-soaked hands, with random members of the public asking to be filmed and qouted whilst their clothes were soaked, drenched and dripping in human blood. After their ”presss conference” ended they moved to the other side of the road and calmly waited for the police to arrive. They had all the time in the world to do so but they plainly refused to run and attempt to avoid arrest or the imminent arrival of the police. According to eye-witnesses (and I watched the footage on CNN) the police took no less than 30 minutes to get to the scene and confront the two killers. They did NOT get there in the 9 minutes that they are claiming.

When the police eventually arrived instead of surrendering peacefully to them or attempting to run away, the two young men charged at them brandishing their knives and meat cleaver in a menacing way and attempting to shoot their old and rusty pistol. Unfortunately for them the pistol exploded in the hand of the individual that tried to use it. They were both promptly shot, wounded and disarmed. Yet before the police arrived another rather curious incident took place. A strange yet very courageous Scandinavian woman, who just happened to be sitting on a bus that was driving past, told the bus driver to stop when she saw the carnage that was being inflicted on the dying soldier, got off the bus and calmly walked over to the killers even as they were still killing him. She then proceeeded to have a detailed conversation with them asking them why they were doing what they were doing and assuring them that in the end they would lose the fight because it was ”just them against many”.

Is this not a rather curious encounter? Who really was that Scandinavian lady and who does she really work for? Is she a genuine hero or is she what, in security and intelligence circles, is known as a controller? Is she part of the system because to do what she did took immense courage? So many questions still need to be asked and answered. For example why did the police take so long before responding? Why were the killers given all the time in the world to conduct a graphic, loud and unofficial press conference in the streets with members of the public after beheading and carving up the young soldier?

Even more curiously the police and intelligence agencies have now admitted that these two young men were “known to them”. If that were the case how come they were never put under close surveillance, monitored, questioned or arrested? Why did all this have to take place at approximately 3.00pm in the afternoon, at that location (a crossroads of four junctions) and on that date? Why did the assailants have to cut off their victims head, hang around there for thirty minutes whilst ranting and whilst soaked and covered in their victims blood? Why did the killers insist that only women could come near the dying body of their victim? Why was this whole thing allowed to happen and to drag on like it did for 30 uninterrupted minutes by the authorities? Why did the police refuse to move in even though numerous members of the public were having detailed conversations with the assailants?

Was this whole thing some kind of state-sponsored Illuminati-style human sacrifice? Was it designed and orchestrated by the authorities to create more terror in the land and to give them the opportunity to introduce more draconian laws, curb immigration and do away with even more civil liberties on the grounds that they wish to fight the very terror that they themselves created. Are we not being fooled again by the ”powers that be” and the state just as we were over ”9-11” and over the murder of Princess Diana, both of which were clearly inside jobs with strong Illuminatti connections. If anyone doubts this assertion they ought to do themselves a favour and find the time to watch David Icke’s revealing documentary titled ”9/11-It Was An Inside Job”. It is on Youtube. They can also find his numerous books and watch his numerous documentries on the murder of Princess Diana. Their world view will change dramatically after that. Back to Woolwich.

Are there not clear parallels between the Woolwich incident and the Boston bombings which took place just a few weeks ago. Are there not similarities in the profiles of the two sets of killers in both incidents. Both operations were conducted in full public glare and in the afternoon. Both operations were carried out by two Americans and two British citizens respectively each of them with a foreign heritage and family ties with nations that are rife with and that are being torn apart by Islamist terror. In the case of the Boston bombers the two perpetrators had strong links and family ties with Dagestan and Checnya and in the case of the Woolwich incident both perpetrators had equally strong links and family ties with Nigeria. Both sets of killers were muslim fundamentalists and both sets were ”known to the intelligence agencies” of their respective countries. Both countries in which the murders took place, i.e. Great Britain and the United States of America, are the greatest allies and leaders in the war against terror and they are both committed to standing ”shoulder to shoulder” with one another in that fight. Is it not strange that similar acts of terror will take place in the two just a few weeks apart and that those acts of terror were all carried out by people with similar profiles and virtually the same age. The coincidences are just too many and things just don’t add up. The performance of the British police particularly has opened up the door for a lot of speculation. They made so many mistakes. Yet I can assure you that the British police and intelligence agencies are NOT that sloppy. They are amongst the best, if not the best, in the world and they just don’t make mistakes. There is far more to this whole thing than meets the eye and there is also a sinister purpose and agenda to it. The full picture has not yet been shown to us and perhaps it never will but little by little those that are well-versed in these matters will work it out and the truth will be exposed.

Yet the questions just keep coming. Is it possible that those two British boys of Nigerian descent were under some kind of ”Peter Powers”-type hypnosis and mind-control system which was triggered off by something or someone. In many of his books and videos David Icke has alluded to the usage and existence of such capabilities by the more advanced intelligence agencies in the world for the last ten years and he has cited many examples of such usage. Initially I was skeptical about his assertions until I listened and read carefully and I cross-checked the examples and the events that he cited. After that I was convinced that he was right and ever since then I have acknowledged the fact that we live in an exceptionally dangerous world where only the dullard would rule anything out. Back to the two young men that killed in Woolwich. Were they cultivated, ”programmed” and used by agents of the illuminati in the British establishment to carry out this gruesome operation and this monstrous sacrifice? It is relevant and interesting to note that the two suspects were not just British citizens of Nigerian descent but that they were both muslim converts. That is to say they were both brought up as Christians and then somewhere along the line they converted not just to islam but to it’s most extreme and radical brand. They became dangerous Islamists that were prepared to kill for their faith. Who cultivated them and took them to this point and how did it get so bad? More importantly will this whole episode not give the western powers and the British people another reason to demonise Islam and target mosques and Muslim clerics? Is that part of the plan and the wider picture? Is the whole idea to create the atmosphere for vicious reprisal attacks against Muslims and Nigerians in the U.K.?

Is all that I have written here far-fetched? You may believe so but I don’t. And neither have I gone mad. The devil is real and the Illuminati is it’s tool for world control and domination. It has been around for years and those that are part of it operate in the deepest secrecy. Yet even if you do not agree with me on anyything that I have said here, the questions that I have raised are legitimate and they are indeed food for thought. In this game there are no coincidences and everything happens for a reason and has its own symbolism and purpose. As far as I am concerned only David Icke can crack this Woolwich nut and unravel it’s secrets and I look forward to the day that he does.

Meanwhile I pray that the soul of Officer Rigby rests in perfect peace and I urge every Nigerian that is resident in or that is visiting the UK, especially if they are muslims, to be exceptionally careful in their movements and in their dealings with the British people and authorities. There is FAR more to this whole thing than meets the eye and whether anyone likes to admit it or not, sadly, there will be some kind of backlash against our people at some point.

As for the two British men of Nigerian descent (whose names I refuse to mention) that cut short the life of this brave young and heroic British soldier in the prime of his life for doing absolutely nothing wrong, may they both die a slow and terrible death and may they rot in hell.

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Uncategorized

A Case Study of e-Commerce In Nigeria: Why It Pays To Own A Shop Online!

I have previously written about the rise of e-Commerce in Nigeria and how you can profitably take part, so in case you missed out, you can read it here.

Consider this a follow-up article as I will be sharing with you first hand my own experience of how I made close to a million naira within 3 months of owning a shop online!

How It All Began…

My first experience with e-Commerce was selling my business consulting and internet marketing services through my blog naijapreneur.com

Then in January 2013, I came across Kaymu while it was still in its early stages trying to break her way into the Nigerian eCommerce terrain. It didn’t take me long to see the market potentials of such a platform where sellers can be connected to over 60 million Nigerians online. I instantly became a kaymu evangelist. This is partly due to my passion for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and my successful experience with e-Marketing.

My 1st Month Selling Online

I own a boutique business where I sell both male and female clothing and shoes. So I decided to create my own shop online to test run kaymu and listed the shoes on the platform, this was in February. Oh and if you are wondering why I listed only shoes and left out the clothes? Well, shoes are far easier to snap than clothes. Before the month ended, I was able to sell one shoe despite 5 orders, only one buyer followed through to pickup and paid cash –N3000. This wasn’t so bad since Kaymu opened to the public in February.

 My 2nd Month Selling Online

Towards the end of February, I decided to expand my shop on kaymu to sell in another promising category other than fashion –phones and tablets. Since I didn’t sell phones and tablets, this was made possible by one of my e-Marketing clients who proposed a partnership. I help sell their phones and tablets online through kaymu and earn commissions on every sale.

So because of this collaboration, in March I sold one Blackberry Z10, an iPad4 and a Tommy Hilfiger shoe for a total of N223,000. Not bad huh?

My 3rd Month Selling Online

April was the best month ever, all of the marketing initiatives where falling into place and people were becoming more confident in the brand due to the number of successful deliveries and safe transactions recorded. So in April, I sold 7 Smart phones and 5 male shoes for a total of N613,547!

The total?

February – N3000

March – N223,000

April – N613,547

Total = N839,547

 

Why It Pays To Sell Online

  • ecommerceBesides the number one obvious fact that you get to reach a whole lot more people through an online shop, the most significant reason for me is the 24hrs 7days a week operational nature of an online shop. There’s practically no closing time online, you can be making sales while you sleep!
  • Reducing overhead costs is one other reason why selling online is so super smart. You don’t have to bother about shop space, on the internet there’s unlimited shelf space. The amount of items you can sell is unlimited. As you just saw me explain, I expanded from just selling male shoes to selling smart phones and tablets and it didn’t cost me additional rent!
  • And my personal favorite, growing your brand has never been easier. Online you connect with millions of people you would never have been able to sell to offline. And the bonus part, they become your customers as well not just kaymu’s customers because they buy from you directly not from kaymu.
  •  Safe transactions is another advantage you get by selling on kaymu. Unlike other free classified sites, kaymu is much more than a free classified site. It is an actual e-Shopping mall where you can buy from so many trusted retailers who have physical shops offline. On Kaymu, you are buying from real businesses not just some random individual who has something to dispose.

Over to you

You’ve read my story and as many naijapreneurs have come to know me for, I hardly share what I haven’t personally applied. My own approach to marketing is simple; “don’t tell people what you will do, show them what you’ve done. Why? Because results sell faster than words!”

If this isn’t sufficient proof that Nigeria is in the early days of a heavy e-Commerce boom, then you can choose to ignore this article. But if you are among the few wise ones, you will get in now while many are still contemplating and begin to reap the rewards of selling online. Here’s an invitation, click here to start!

Categories
Hosting

Nigeria slashes second level .ng registration cost by 97%

According to an article on This Day Live, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the registry for .ng domain names, has reduced the price of registering a second level .ng domain name by 97% to NGN 15,000. That is equivalent to about $95 USD.

Updated List of NiRA Accredited RegistarsPreviously, the group had been charging NGN 500,000, or $3,165 per year, for a second level .ng registration.

But it actually used to cost a lot more than that. When NIRA started offering second level domains, it offered to sell a five year registration outright for NGN 7.5M, or $47,450. It offered reduced pricing of NGN 3.0M for domains that matched trademarks.

Some companies took NIRA up on the offer. Google registered four domains while Microsoft picked up Bi.ng.

But the This Day article says that only 32 second level .ng domains were registered, and only two of those were registered by companies in Nigeria.

The Chief Operating Officer of NIRA, Mr. Ope Odusan, who gave the information, told THISDAY that NIRA later discovered that most Nigerians preferred the .ng top-level domain name directly, instead of the .com.ng domain name. He added that they however complained that the N500, 000 per year, which amounted to N6 million in five years, was exorbitant for them.

Gee, really?

Third level .ng domains, such as name.com.ng, are available for around $15 per year.

However, since the price reduction took effect on April 16th, 2013,  there have been a spike in registrations, even at a price that is relatively high for a second level domain registration.

About 1,700 second .ng domains have been registered till date.

Judging by the 85 .ng listings on Sedo, a lot of these registrations are probably domain hacks ending in .ng. Some of the domain hacks listed for sale include sla.ng, roofi.ng, and uploadi.ng.

Some people listing domains on Sedo are asking prices in the 10,000 EUR range.

Categories
Articles

Write For Us And Earn N500 Per Article!

“Diary of a Geek” is a blog aimed at showcasing technology news as it affects Nigerians, locally and in diaspora.

We are inviting guest bloggers to write for Diary of a Geek and earn N500 for each article published on the blog.

The following should act as a guideline for every article sent in:

Guidelines

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