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Thursday, July 20, 2017

15,000 Temporary Seasonal workers needed in US this year


Department of Homeland Land Security said on Monday that the United States of America would need the services of 15,000 temporary seasonal workers this year under the new H-2B Visa.
Congress gave me the discretionary authority to provide temporary relief to American businesses at risk of significant harm due to a lack of available seasonal workers,” said DHS Secretary John Kelly in a statement Monday. “As a demonstration of the administration’s commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap.”
 Kelly said there are not enough qualified workers available to American businesses for fiscal year 2017.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Massive exportation of yams expected out of Nigeria




Exporters of yam from Nigeria has been given guidelines by the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services(NAQS)for those exporting yams to US and UK to enable them meet international standards.
This is coming from the backdrop from The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe stated that the country will begin massive exportation of yams very soon.
The guidelines are as follows:
1.The yam should be of uniform size and should not have a growth on the head.
2.The head should be cut off and waxed with candle to prevent infection
3.The yam should not have nematode infection
4.The yam should be of uniform species and put in the carton in a particular way
5.The yam should be properly labelled and weighed
6.If it is going to a particular country,the import conditions of that country should be stated
7.If it is going to be fumigated,the chemical for fumigation should be stated
8.The location of the farm the yam where it was harvested should be stated

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lagos now 2nd cheapest city to live in




The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently released its Worldwide Cost of Living 2017 survey, a ranking of the most expensive cities.
To compile the list, the EIU collected prices for over 160 consumer items in each city. The prices were then converted to US dollars and weighted to achieve comparative indices.
 Lagos is ranked as the world’s second-cheapest. It fell 16 places to 132nd this year, as the value of the Nigerian naira collapsed.
 The cost of living in Lagos has more than halved since 2008.This portends hope for the economy with foreign investors eager to venture where costs are good.The country is still reeling under the pressure of the recession caused by low oil prices and decimated Naira.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Affordable Pay As you go Solar Energy company,Lumos comes to Nigeria




culled from howwemadeitinafrica.com
Pay-as-you-go off-grid solar energy solutions are on the rise in Africa. Introduced as a means to reach last-mile informal settlements, the industry has since evolved into a multitude of offerings, aimed at both urban and rural populations. With increasing demand for electricity, coupled with unreliable grid power supply, penetration of off-grid solar is estimated to grow by more than 70% a year, reaching over eight million households by 2020. Around 550,000 households in sub-Saharan Africa used off-grid solar solutions in 2015, rising to nearly one million by 2017.

How pay-as-you-go solar works, specifically in the case of Lumos Global (an off-grid solar provider operating in Nigeria), is customers buy a ‘solar kit’ – which usually comprises a solar panel, a battery, a phone charger and LED lights – from their local mobile operator store for a one-time commitment fee. Customers then pay small instalments, with their mobile airtime credit, to be able to use the system and power their home.

Lumos, which recently partnered with telecommunication operator MTN, is Nigeria’s biggest pay-as-you-go solar player, having installed close to 40,000 systems. Last year it attracted a US$90m investment from The Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund, which it plans to use to grow its service in Nigeria and expand to other African nations.
How we made it in Africa spoke to Nir Marom, co-founder of Lumos, about the company’s activities in Nigeria and some of the challenges it faces.

Take us back to how the company was started.
In 2007, before Lumos, I launched a company that did large on-grid solar projects. During that time the cost of producing solar power came down dramatically. I then read an article about people living off grid and spending almost $0.50 per day on energy from sources such as kerosene. I said, “That’s ridiculous, for $0.50 I can give them 4kWh, which is much more than they need.”
We launched as two entrepreneurs – today we are almost 100 people in corporate and over 400 people in Nigeria.

Basically hundreds of millions of people live without access to the grid in Africa. And the grid will most likely never reach them – it is too expensive to put up. So the alternative is what we call off-grid. At the same time, people on the grid sometimes have very unreliable electricity supply and require solutions for the many hours that the grid is not functioning. So this group needs a system that doesn’t rely on the grid, and solar is perfect for that.

But because solar works only during the day, you also need batteries. Unfortunately a high-quality solar panel and battery is a very expensive system – many people cannot afford the upfront payment. And that’s where pay-as-you-go comes in – instead of making people pay hundreds of dollars to buy the equipment, they instead pay for the service.
Our systems are large enough to power several lights, several rooms, a fan, a TV, a radio, and charge several mobile phones – all this, every day, 365 days of the year, for about $0.50 a day.
Who are your main customers – is it mostly urban or rural people?

We sell in all areas of Nigeria. We have customers who are very rural who are replacing kerosene and flashlights with our system. Then we also have customers who are not that rural replacing generators with our systems, because they are 10 times cheaper. In addition we have people complementing their grid access with our systems. So these are the residential customers, but we also have many small businesses and community organisations – like churches, mosques, hospitals and schools – using our technology. I know one hospital is using three of our systems to light up 20 rooms. Our system allows businesses to expand their hours of operation – if they had done this with a generator, the cost would have erased their profit margins.

Describe some of the challenges the company faces.
I think we are challenged on different aspects. One challenge is the fact that the market is huge – and is always increasing in demand. We need huge amounts of money to finance these systems. It is always a big challenge to bring so much money to the table, and the market is demanding much more.
In Nigeria, specifically, the devaluation of the naira and the scarcity of US dollars have been major challenges – if we can’t get dollars out of the country, it is going to be very difficult to deploy more systems.

Also, I think the general perception about solar is very bad, and not rightfully so. It is because of sub-standard systems that were sold in these markets, and this reputation has affected some of the customers, making it challenging to sell.
Are you facing challenges related to distributing the systems to rural areas?
That is the advantage of working with a mobile operator that already has logistics infrastructure in place. Distribution is done with the mobile operators, and in Nigeria specifically with MTN. Our systems are sold in their stores and the customers go to the closest store, buy a system, and then install it by themselves or go to third-party installers who offer their services.
In East Africa off-grid solar operators such as M-Kopa have already connected over 500,000 households. Why do you think the industry has grown faster in East Africa compared to West Africa?


Counting number of systems is not the right metric, as one cannot compare systems of different sizes and the Lumos system is up to 20 times larger than some of the small systems sold in East Africa. Another thing that helped the industry focus in East Africa is the presence of mobile money, which is much more widely used there. Although mobile money is available in Nigeria, penetration is much lower compared to a country such as Kenya. It is more difficult to integrate a system such as ours with mobile airtime, which is how we currently accept payments, compared to integrating it with mobile money.
What will it take to boost growth in off-grid power?
What is holding back off-grid is that we are proving ourselves in a new industry, and trying to find more sources of financing at the same time. When you’re a gas-fired power plant or coal-fired power plant it is very natural to be raising billions of dollars and no one will question that. With an industry like ours, which is still relatively young, you are not able to attract that kind of money. But the funding is really needed – many billions of dollars. Slowly but surely we will get there, but we are not there yet.
Tell us about some of the lessons you’ve learnt since starting the company.
On a positive side I have learnt in a very good way that the market is available and the product is a good fit with the market. On the negative side, I have learnt that things take longer than you want them to take.
Looking back, if I could change one thing, it would be being courageous enough to start even bigger than we did, asking for money and deploying more swiftly.



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

LAN Start-Up DealDay 2017 Now Open for Applications


 culled from Techcabal

The Lagos Angel Network (LAN) announces that applications are now open for the 2nd DealDay event for 2017.
The Lagos StartUp DealDay is a thrice-a-year Angel investment round run by the Lagos Angel Network. The first DealDay pitch event for 2017 took place on Friday, March 24th, and brought together LAN members, other angel investors and Lagos start-up ecosystem players in a process where the most worthy startup ventures (in target sectors) pitched. As an investment vehicle, in 2016, Lagos StartUp DealDay raised over N100 million from LAN members and the early stage investment community through which it invested in some of the fastest growing start-ups in Nigeria including Café Neo and Big Cabal Media.

Lagos Angel network has this year increased the funding available to ventures through the DealDay to N25-N50m per venture and restricted participation to only ventures that have been in business for at least two and no more than five years, incorporated with CAC in Nigeria, and have a track record of financial performance and paying customers for their products or services.

Shortlisted ventures will pitch to a closed group of angels and syndicates on the 28th of July, 2017. The subsequent process of due diligence, agreement and fund disbursement is expected to be concluded by end of August 2017. Investment will be through LANs five syndicates, TechnoVision, Sasware, RODS, RisingTide and Links.

Interested start-ups are invited to visit here, or the Lagos StartUp DealDay page on the VC4Africa platform for additional information.
The Lagos StartUp DealDay is a partnership between the Lagos Angel Network, VC4Africa, TechCabal, Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN) and Lagos, Nigeria based hubs and accelerators.

Global Innovation Summit 2017



Post the thumping success of the Global Innovation Summit in 2014, 2015 & 2016 and the recently concluded SME World summit 2016,
We are proud to announce the 5th edition of Global Innovation Summit 2017. With over 2000+ high profile delegates including entrepreneurs,C-level executives, government dignitaries and influencers, the event offers a perfect platform to showcase Etisalat Innovations .
Why Global Innovation Summit?
There are several reasons why the generation of new ideas can be critical to your business's success. Although every organisation will have its own priorities and sector-specific issues to balance, businesses that fail to innovate run the risk of losing ground to competitors, losing key staff, or simply operating inefficiently. Innovation can be a key differentiator between market leaders and their rivals.
Global Innovation Summit is an ultimate thought leadership platform for fostering innovation in the region. Held at a 5-star venue, its the biggest congregation of global thinkers and futurists, who will be provide solutions to emerging challenges , forecast trends, simplify the impact of disruptive technologies and unveil opportunities. They will discuss, engage and interact, deliver insights on market developments, review progressive products and uncover the answers of tomorrow. This event simplifies complex innovation issues and empowers decision makers to change and stay ahead of the curve. This is a must attend event for decision makers.

Apart from the powerful agenda, the summit boasts of many attractions. It includes an amazing expo, disruptive innovator awards, workshops, keynotes etc. Sponsoring this prestigious event will enhance your brand equity as being positioned as a Innovative brand aligned with the UAE's vision.

The world has set its sights on this amazing event, it's your turn now!

Date and Time

Wed, September 27, 2017
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM Gulf Standard Time United Arab Emirates Time.

Location

Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Dubai, Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Moving from Excel to Power BI

 

Description

Power BI is a revolution in Business Intelligence, Analytics and Reporting. Microsoft has made BI accessible to billions by smartly making it so easy for the 1 billion + Excel users worldwide to easily pick up the skills needed to make Modern Excel & Power BI transform the way you work.
Come and hear from speakers who are at the forefront of the Modern Excel and Power BI transformation. Learn their tricks and methodologies for getting results and get a sneak peak at the new developments in Power BI & Excel.

Date and Time

Sat, June 24, 2017
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM WAT


Location

Microsoft Corporation Civic Center Lagos
The Octagon
13A, A.J Marinho Drive
Victoria Island, Lagos 0234

Boost Your Business:Learn the fundamentals of digital marketing and More!



.
Facebook presents Boost Your Business, a seminar for small enterprises/businesses, entrepreneurs and digital marketing professionals interested in learning more about social media strategies to grow their business. This three-hour training is sure to help you build your brand, learn your customers and increase your profits.
This event is being facilitated by She Leads Africa (SLA).

Is Your Business Really a Business?
This 30-minute module describes the multiple facets a business needs to grow and be profitable. Identifying a solution to a problem, the right customers and knowing how to market this product or service to generate revenue are essential parts to creating a lasting business strategy. The module contains several exercises and assignments to ensure attendees have a good grasp of how their business needs to work to get it to the next level.

Content Rules
How do you identify business goals and objectives and the audience for whom you create content. This 45-minute module provides a deep-dive into how to create effective and engaging content for your target audience on Facebook and Instagram

Grow your Business with Facebook
A 40-minute workshop that gives an introduction to Facebook ads along with 5 easy steps to create an ad and measure success.
  
Testing and Experimenting
This 30-minute module walks you through the 5 steps of acquiring and retaining customers. The importance of using data to make decisions about what your customers need and want to see can not be overstated. This module will help explain the various accessible tools and methods that can be used to help you test and experiment with what works with your client base and what doesn’t.

Date, Time and Venue 


Workstation Bar Beach
No. 7 Ibiyinka Olorunbe
Victoria Island
Lagos
Nigeria


Saturday, July 15, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM (WAT)



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nigerians Can Now Own Houses With N30,000 -Osinbanjo






Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says under the N100 billion social housing scheme of the present administration, anyone who can afford N30,000 will be able to own a house.


He said this at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Monday at an event tagged "A Smile for Every Nigerian" organised to commemorate the administration's second anniversary.

The acting president explained that the housing scheme was part of the administration's social intervention programme that had not been mentioned.


He said: "This is 100bn set aside for the Family Home Fund our Social Housing Project. The 100b is a yearly contribution to our N1trn Social Housing Fund, the largest in the history of the country. The World Bank and the African Development Bank are contributors to the Fund. From this Fund, developers will borrow 80% of the cost of project and counter fund with their own 20%.

"The same fund will enable us to provide inexpensive mortgages for hundreds of thousands across the country who want to own homes. Anyone who can afford N30,000 will be able to buy a home under our new social housing fund scheme. Already, the project has started in 11 states. We expect that this family housing fund will jump start and expand construction exponentially across the country."

Speaking further, the acting president maintained that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth should translate to jobs.

"First the trickle down model has proved far too slow to stem the tide of poverty in one of the fastest growing populations in the world. Secondly, most of the growth was on account of the oil sector which is capital intensive but not labour intensive. 



"So, while we were recording growth levels of 7% because of the high oil prices, unemployment figures grew, the acting president stated.

He sad in developing the APC manifesto and the economic development plans, the administration knew it had to directly intervene with a massive social investment programme that would tackle poverty and exclusion across the various spectra.
 
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