boundless-volume-1

seuntaylor

Federal Trade Commission

(FTC). For an item to be

labelled as “Made in USA”,

it must be made within the

United States’ borders from

“all or virtually all” American

parts, that is with parts

also made in the US. FTC’s

website provides further

clarification by stating that,

“all or virtually all” means

that “all significant parts

and processing that go into

the product must be of US

origin. That is, the product

should contain no or negligible

foreign content. “Assembled”

or “Built” in America

is said to technically not

be the same as “Made” in

America.

The FTC provides additional

requirements for

automobiles and textiles,

and items made from fur

and wool. Clothing and

other textiles are permitted

to have a “Made in USA”

label as long as the item was

cut and sewn in the US and

the fabric was created in the

US, regardless of where the

fibre was originated or where

the yarn was spun. For cars

anything containing 70%

US/Canadian parts or more

can be rounded up and called

100% US/Canadian.

On the other hand and

given that the ultimate aim

of this drive is that “Made

in Nigeria” products are fit

for export where competitive

advantage exists, it is pertinent

that we evaluate what

is being done in this regard.

The Nigerian Export Promotion

Council (NEPC), on its

website, provides detailed

information and guidance

for would-be exporters. In

addition, the NEPC and The

Commonwealth Secretariat

have jointly set out “A

Framework of Export Strategy

for the Federal Republic

of Nigeria (2005-2010)”.

This document prepared by

Theodore Markham is available

on the NEPC website.

The categories of institutions

that have a part to play were

identified as:

i. those engaged in

direct export promotion

as their core function; e.g.

NEPC, Association of Nigerian

Exporters (ANE),

Manufacturers Association

of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian

Association of Chambers of

Commerce, Industries, Mining

& Agriculture) NACCI-

6

MA and the city chambers of

commerce;

ii. those whose core

functions impact directly

on the performance of the

export sector e.g. the Federal

Ministry of Commerce,

Standards Organisation of

Nigeria (SON), Nigeria

Agency for Food & Drugs

Administration and Control

(NAFDAC), Nigerian Customs

Service, Nigerian Plant

Quarantine Service, etc.

iii. Institutions that engage

in direct export training

such as MULTIMIC Export

Academy, Institute of Export

of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute

of Marketing, Overseas Export

Training Institute, etc.

There is however no further

information regarding

the progress which has been

made towards the finalisation

and implementation

of this framework which

is referred to as an initial

stage of a national consensus


uilding process on how to

prosecute the non-oil national

export development and

promotion effort. One might

therefore not be wrong to

conclude that the inability

to convincingly assert that

the nation continues to make

steady progress towards the

realisation of its objective

is due to the need for point

responsibility, clarity regarding

the roles and responsibilities

of each institution

involved in the process, definition

of timelines and key

milestones and continued

focus on set objectives.

Presently, globalisation is

being confronted by protectionism

and economic fragmentation

as world leaders

are beginning to question;

individually and jointly, the

benefits which globalisation

has accrued for their

nations. Examples are rife

in the United States (US),

European Union (EU) and

Australia. Top on President

Trump’s agenda is the drive

for local manufacturers to be

incentivised while manufacturers

that venture outside

the US are dis-incentivised

and/or penalised. The trend

is the same in the European

Union and Australia as

discussions now centre on

re-evaluating free trade in a

bid to assess the overall impact

and promote the re-balancing

of economies.

With examples drawn

from countries with well-developed

industries, one can

only begin to understand

the import for a nation like

Nigeria with pre-dominantly

infant industries. Survival

and ultimate growth of the

nation’s infant industries

Survival and ultimate growth

of the nation’s infant industries

is largely dependent on the ability

to adopt a protectionism approach

in the short to medium

term.

locally but meet set quality

standards that enable export.

Given the unfolding

global economic landscape,

understanding what?, when?,

how? and who? to promote

“Made In Nigeria” products

will deliver a critical path

to promoting sustainable

and steady growth for Nigerian

industries and the

much-needed alternative

to non-oil earnings for the

economy. This should definitely

be considered within

the context that if the backlash

against globalisation

results in continuous anti-free

international trade and

investment measures, there

will be a clear and present

danger most especially for a

nation such as ours. There is

therefore no better time than

now to re-validate our overall

objective and strategically

focus on the realisation

of the “Made in Nigeria”

vision.

is largely dependent on the

ability to adopt a protectionism

approach in the short to

medium term. While it has

also been proven that trade

protectionism is disadvantageous

in the long run, we

must encourage all to “Buy

Nigeria to Grow the Naira”,

“Promote Local Content”,

and other such targeted

initiatives aimed at ensuring

that “Made in Nigeria”

products are not just utilised

7

Ebunoluwa Bolodeoku is

a Strategy and Operations

expert.

ebolodeoku@gmail.com


introduced similar initiatives including the

Indigenization Policy of 1972 which was

effected through the Nigerian Enterprises

Promotion Act, measures by the Obasanjo

led government in 1978 requiring patronage

of made in Nigeria goods. The Indigenization

Policy required at least 40% ownership

by Nigerian citizens and associations

in foreign owned companies. Although the

legislation is no longer in force, it brought

about the establishment of some indigenous

companies which exist to date including the

famous UAC of Nigeria PLC which became

100% Nigerian owned by 1994. The survival

of the company is a testament to the sustainability

of locally owned companies and

gives a glimpse of what we can expect when

local industries are promoted.

The “Buy Nigeria to grow Nigeria” mantra,

albeit an age-long vision of the Nigerian

government, has been given renewed stimulus

by the current administration. In June

2016, the Senate passed the Public Procurement

Act (amendment) bill 2016 into law.

Similar to the defunct Nigerian Enterprises

Promotion Act, the amendment seeks to

steer government expenditure towards Nigerian

made goods, except in situations where

the local equivalent is not available.

While the above measures are considered

laudable, government needs to consider

a different approach to

achieving its objectives.

Perhaps a more self-driven

measure which naturally

creates the desire

to consume Made in

Nigeria goods rather

than a coercive measure

which achieves performance

driven by fear for

non-compliance. While

the latter can be truncated

by change in policy

direction by another government as we have

seen in the past, the former ensures a culture

where Nigerians are proud consumers

of “homemade” products. Hence, government

can introduce incentives that promote

considerable local participation and one

way to achieve this will be to develop fiscal

incentives that are beneficial to the Nigerian

owned companies. An example from China,

was the promotion of an “export culture”:

geographic targeting, sectorial targeting, a

liberal foreign investment regime, liberal

provision of financing and tax incentives,

which include:

• Longer tax holiday from corporate

income tax

• Extra tax benefits from tax profits

reinvested in export oriented or tech

nologically advanced projects; and

• Further reduced land-use fees, priori

ty in obtaining utilities, transportation

and communication facilities.

While examining the effectiveness of

tax incentives that have been introduced in

Nigeria over the years, it has been observed

that most of Nigeria’s tax incentives have

been packaged to attract investors who

display a willingness to invest huge capital

sums. Some of these incentives include increased

investment deductions, exemption of

certain profits, suspension of tax for certain

9


Hence, government can introduce

incentives that promote considerable

local participation and one way to

achieve this will be to develop fiscal

incentives that are beneficial to the

Nigerian owned companies.

periods, grant of tax credits,

amongst others.

The issue with some

of these incentives is that

the long lasting effects are

usually not well-thoughtout

which eventually lead

to abuse and discrimination.

For example, the Companies

Income Tax Act includes a

provision which exempts

companies with over 25%

foreign equity participation

from paying minimum tax.

When closely examined,

this incentive discriminates

against indigenous companies

and somewhat puts foreign

companies at an undue

advantage.

A tax incentive program

should be pursued only if it

ultimately leads to economic

growth and expansion of

the overall tax base. While

government has experienced

reasonable success in attracting

investors and growing

the nation’s tax base,the

effectiveness of tax incentives

should be carefully

weighed. In the last 3 years,

government has become

somewhat disturbed at the

various activities employed

by new and existing investors

to maximize benefits derivable

from tax incentives

and the supposed benefit to

the economy.Government is

now displaying an attitude

that connotes a shift from

the traditional approach

of granting incentives to

companies. This change in

approach is evident in the

proposed petroleum industry

reform bill where the

government has proposed

an outright replacement of

investment based model for

granting incentives in the oil

and gas industry with a production

based model. Also,

the proposed review of the

entire pioneer relief scheme

by the National Assembly

are further indicators of the

mood of the Nigerian government

towards granting

fiscal incentives to companies,

most especially those

that are foreign owned.

Amongst the various

approaches explored by the

government to grow local

production and reduce import

dependency, a fiscal

approach that incentivizes

the local industry has the potential

of encouraging local

businesses. Granting local

manufacturers benefits in the

form of tax incentives will

encourage local businesses

to expand capacity which

will consequently result in

the employment of Nigerians

and increased investment in

research and development

for better quality products

and cutting edge technology.

Furthermore, local manufacturers

performing at improved

capacity, will result

in increased request for local

services, potentially growing

the service industry.

For local industries to

perform at a level that is

comparable to other developed

nations, a massive

increase in the spending

power of local industries is

to be encouraged. Tax incentive

schemes strategically

developed to give increasing

tax relief to companies as

investments increases, will

go a long way to encourage

companies to expand further

and spend more. While the

current tax laws provides

some form of investment

allowance to companies who

invest in capital items, this

has seemingly not encouraged

local companies to take

on capital intensive projects

as these incentive packages

10


are oftentimes viewed as unattractive

and unattainable.

The ability of government

to meet its economic goals

through tax incentives is

dependent on the parameter

on which such incentives are

based.

Government can develop

tax incentives in any one

of the following ways or a

combination of all three in

increasing local patronage:

Investment-based incentives:

This tax incentive

approach is common in

Nigeria’s legislation. Here,

tax reliefs are tied to volume

of investments undertaken

by companies. Investment

allowance, rural investment

allowance, petroleum investment

allowance, investment

tax allowances and investment

tax credits are all types

of investment-based incentives.

The challenge with

investment-based incentives

is that they usually envisage

huge capital investment

which local industries may

not have and may not be

able to compete with their

foreign counterparts. They

also do not guarantee a winwin

situation for investors

i.e. an investor may invest

huge capital outlay in order

to benefit from an incentive

but may not be able to recoup

its investments.

Production-based incentives:Under

this approach,

tax incentives are

tied to production levels

achieved by companies.The

outcome of incentives of this

nature is that they are aimed

at improving the volume of

Made in Nigeria goods in

the market but lack emphasis

on actual patronage of these

products. So while a producer

or manufacturer of locally

made goods may embrace a

production-based incentive,

he or she is not guaranteed

to make sales where there

is no increased patronage.

Again, the investor ramps up

11

costs and does not achieve

the much needed advantage.

Supply-based incentives:

Under this approach,

the level of tax relief available

to a company is dependent

on the volume of

supply made.Supply-based

incentives have the potential

to create a win-win situation

for both government and

investors, due to the fact that

the incentive is based on

how well a company is able

to encourage the consumption

of its products. This

way, investors are motivated

to provide high quality

goods which are capable

of competing with foreign

equivalents and government

is able to tax the increased

revenue from more supplies.

While there have been studies

linking tax incentives

to increased foreign direct

investments, it may be difficult

to establish a direct link

between tax incentives and

supply since patronage of

goods are significantly decided

by customer behavior

which are outside the government’s

control.

If government succeeds

in getting the needed investments

and is able to boost

production to a level that locally

made goods are available

for purchase, customers

still need to patronize these

companies by purchasing

the products. Hence, a stra-


could not survive the harsh

economic environment,

orchestrated by many factors,

which led to their to

collapse.

Component builders,

including Dunlop and Michellin

also left, though

they had established Rubber

plantations across the country

to source raw materials

locally. While the plantations

are still in existence,

they only produce raw

materials to service factories

outside the country.

Under the new policy,

the National Automotive

Design and Development

Council (NADDC) expects

the sector to generate 70,000

direct jobs, as well as employ

about 210,000 indirectly,

but experts believe that

it is currently not feasible

as the sector cannot present

evidence of local content.

Should Nigerians support

a vibrant local auto

industry, experts expect the

sector to boost manufacturing

activities in the country,

contribute to the GDP and

create jobs, conserve scarce

forex (foreign exchange),

develop local skills and

competency for production

and after sales, accelerate

technological development

and technology acquisition,

establish integrated Automotive

Industry (provision

of clusters), standardize and

rationalize the Nigerian automotive

industry, increase

private sector participation

in the establishment of the

auto industry and create

a conducive operational

environment through the

introduction of appropriate

fiscal policies and monetary

incentives.

With the emergence of

the General Motors’ Senior

Creative Designer, Jelani

Aliyu, as the new Director

General of NADDC, most

Nigerians anticipate the

full operation of the local

assemblage of vehicles and

the eventual emergence of

Nigeria as a vehicle manufacturing

country.

By Kingsley Uyojo.

Kingsley operates in Nigeria as a

business journalist. He is interested

in data journalism and has

a passion for cars.

uyojokingsley@yahoo.com

16


PEOPLE/ORGANIZATIONS

Portrait of a

NIGERIAN COMPANY

I

began my career in

a Nigerian company.

What mental image

does that give you

about the nature of the organisation?

What are your

immediate expectations

about the quality of the

leadership, the environment,

the brand management of

the firm and its perception in

the market? How about your

expectations of the quality

of the firm’s work and

its people, their attitude to

customer service and client

engagement? Without giving

you much information about

any specific company, based

on your personal experiences

or beliefs, you painted

an image in your mind of

a company and people you

have never met based on the

descriptor: Nigerian. My

guess is that your thoughts

of the said company were

not complimentary.

Made in Nigeria is having

a moment right now,

experiencing a renaissance

on the product shelves in

store and online like we have

not seen in at least a decade.

These are exciting times for

national pride and patriotism

as a consumer with appealing

Nigerian products from

packaged food to high fashion

and beyond. It is also a

good time to think about the

Nigerian company, what it

has been and what it could

be in future.

There is a good reason

for your decision to form

that perspective about the

unknown company in my

opener based on the fact that

it is, to use the term “Made

in Nigeria”. Organisations

tend to be heavily influenced

by the culture within which

they are domiciled. If you

have ever worked in the Nigerian

arm of an international

company that encourages

all employees to address

each other by their first name

up and down the hierarchy,

you understand this. Many

of those companies find a

way around it to bake in the

culture of seniority in many

Nigerian tribes where an elder

must never be addressed

by first name.

And so you hear all sorts

of nicknames born not out

of endearment but necessity:

“Aunty J” though of no relation,

“Mr. T” who is not a

wrestler, “Sir Richard” who

was never knighted by the

Queen; and all sorts of acronyms

– YA, LB, DOA and so

on. Both the addresserw and

addressed know what is being

done, the first name basis

policy has been Nigerianised.

At its worst the attitude

of respecting elders can lead

to a situation where leaders

are not questioned or challenged

in the face of mediocre

or wrong decisions. This

particular attribute is what

is called power distance;

the degree to which junior

members of a society accept

that power belongs to the

higher-ups and they should

not be challenged. It is one

of the dimensions of national

culture in Geert Hofstede’s

famous cultural dimensions

theory in organisational behaviour.

National cultures affect

17


18


organisational culture. This

is very obvious if you have

spent any amount of time

working across cultures or

with people from various

cellence, a critical requirement

for every organisation

is arguably culture-neutral.

It is hardly imaginable, for

example, that any specific

culture is more inclined to

provide excellent customer

service where client facing

employees learn to smile,

treat the customer with

respect and take a solutions-driven

approach when

clients complain. The leader

must incorporate this into

the vision, and the organisation

must deliberately build

it into its recruitment, training

and appraisal processes

among others. In other

words, the leader can make a

difference in how the organisation

turns out and is influenced

by the culture of its

environment. While choosing

to address ourselves on

a first-name basis may be

irrelevant, the successful

cultures in the same organisation.

The impact is well

documented in literature

about organisational behaviour

and leadership. The

impact may be good or bad

depending on how well the

national culture fits with the

specific objectives of the

company in question. Experts

who study such issues

have found national culture

to have major influence on

the culture, practices and

performance of organisations

including their communication,

leadership styles and

staff motivation.

However if you are intent

on building a good firm

that achieves its aims, the

impacts of environmental

culture on the internal organizational

culture must

be deliberately filtered and

managed to avoid it becoming

a negative influence. Ex-

19

made-in-Nigeria companies

of today must imbibe certain

attitudes as part of the DNA

of their organisations.

1. A Compelling Vision:

This is the main tool

we can use in defining who

we are in a way that is not

constrained by our environment,

current realities

or cultural limitations. The

vision should be bold and

ambitious, suited for the

future and able to galvanise

the hearts and minds of all

the organisation’s stakeholders.

In the book Built

to Last, the authors call this

the Big Hairy Audacious

Goal (BHAG). It may seem

intangible but it is critical


that will create an enabling

environment for the Leather

Industry to thrive. By enabling

and enhancing existing

tanneries and making

them to also supply the local

industry. We need policies

for skill enhancement initiatives

and collaborations

with other governments.

And of course, addressing

the power sector challenges.

How do you tackle your

manpower needs in terms

of attracting skilled workers?

What kind of training

do you have for them?

It’s an ongoing task

even though challenging

in this country as the work

ethic, mindset and skill

set for the industry is low.

However we have employed

creative ways and private

initiatives to give exposure

to our artisans. We have in

place specialized training

from experts in Nigeria and

planned collaboration with

the leather research Institute.

Plans are also underway

for trainings for them

outside the country or better

still inviting trainers to

come and transfer required

skills. We are also upgrading

our machinery for better

and faster production processes.

Are there prospects

for Morin. O becoming a

sought after item globally

and have you attracted

global attention?

There are immense prospects

for Morin.O becoming

a sought after item globally

judging from the interests,

requests, and orders placed

and the exposure we have

received especially during

our several participation at

the Magic Fair in Las Vegas,

an initiative sponsored

by the Nigerian Export Promotion

Council. We were

featured in an article in the

Huffington Post that likened

our brand to a growing

25

Phillip Lim. We were also

approached last year by a

showroom in California that

wanted to stock and promote

our brand which led

to our bags being featured

in international publications

featuring international actresses

and models.

How would you describe

yourself?

Maureen (Morin)

Obaweya is a passionate,

creatively driven Designer

and Serial Entrepreneur.

Passionate about God,

people, and her country

Nigeria. A Pharmacist by

training, a lover of art from

a very young age. A Wife to

a supporting husband and

mother of two loving teenagers.

What role does your family

play and how do you relax?

My husband plays a supportive

role. I’m not sure

I would have come this far

without his support in many

ways, My children share

their ideas, and sacrifice for

my not being around sometimes.

Their admiration and

support is invaluable. I relax

a lot in solitude watching

movies and reading inspirational

books and I love

meditation.


how has the industry

evolved?

I have been in the business

for 8 years and I have

seen handmade products

grow from mass production

to being bespoke tailored to

one’s need. From people

saying “I’d rather buy from

international top brands’ to

now saying, “I’d rather buy

our local brands.”

The government is talking

about “Made in Nigeria”

What does it mean to you?

Do you see it working?

The government’s interest

in Made in Nigeria is one

of the best decisions that

will help grow the country.

Leather is a very interesting

piece for the growth of the

economy. We are beginning

to see a high turn around

in the exportation of local

leather goods. To me personally

it has opened the eyes of

Nigerians to see how much

our quality and precision

can be. I see the initiative

going beyond words. We just

concluded our first leather

fair where 50 artesians

showcased fantastic leather

products. In attendance were

senior government officials

who were shocked at the

quality of the products locally

made on display.

What support systems do

you want to see to ensure

that the concept works and

is not just a slogan?

We need to have support

from some banks to empower

youths and support

29

from government institutions

(though that is rare).

We would like to see more

people and organizatiosn rising

up to support the leather

industry. More exhibitions

should be sponsored by corporate

bodies to encourage

craftmen /women. I believe

personally we will grow

beyond our imagination and

I believe also that leather is

the new oil.


Where do you see this

industry going and how

much income do you project

the country can make

from the industry?

Like I said before, with

the new focus of leather in

Nigeria, Leather is the new

OIL. We are estimating hitting

close to $1billion if we

keep up the focus and provide

incentives to the industry.

As a leatherpreneur I will

proudly say there is money

in the leather industry .

How do you relax and

decompress and how does

your family life fit into

your business life?

I hardly relax. I find my

relaxation in my creativity .

When I am stressed, I simply

research for inspiration

and go straight to prototyping.

Mixing family life and

business is not really easy

but we try to blend everything

as best as we can . To

get quality and as one of the

top accessory brands in the

country, we put in almost

16 hours a day in creating

bespoke pieces .

30

By Marie-Therese Phido,

Sales & Marketing Strategist

and Business Coach.

mphido@elevato.com.ng


quality films like “Living In

Bondage” to the production

of digital block buster award

winning movies by African

standards such as “October

1”; “76”, “Wedding Party”

(among several others)

which broke Box Office

record to gross in N400m

within one month of launch.

Despite many criticisms

that continue to trail films

produced by Nollywood,

most watchers agree there

has been significant improvement

in storyline,

content and delivery, which

is largely attributed to increased

government and

private sector support and

funding. The coming of

Nollywood, significantly

reduced the import and consumption

of foreign movies

in Nigeria and currently

in Cinemas nationwide,

Nollywood films are said

to constitute about 40% of

movies watched and contributes

about 1.3% to GDP.

The same can be said of the

music industry, to the extent

that Naija music now

dominates functions, parties

and events across Africa and

globally.

Beyond the entertainment

industry, the incursion of

“Made in Nigeria” or “Made

In Naija” concept into our

national consciousness was

catalyzed by the economic

recession which culminated

after the significant fall in

oil prices in 2015. It was

clear that for the economy

to make head way, we must

stop our penchant for “Everything

Foreign” and learn

to consume “Naija” As they

say; It was an opportunity

many interpreted as a

“Blessing In Disguise” because

Nigerians were forced

to look inwards as foreign

exchange scarcity bit harder.

Even if people were to do

otherwise, a policy action by

the Central Bank of Nigeria

(CBN), was the master

32

stroke that changed the cause

of events!

Dateline was June 23,

2015 in the heat of the foreign

exchange scarcity and

amidst the escalating demand

for same. CBN had

just released a list of hitherto

imported 41 Items not valid

for forex with the two prong

objective of reducing the

demand pressure for foreign

exchange in the official window,

while targeting to boost

the patronage for “Made in

Nigeria” products and local

production. The response

was a huge backlash. For a

nation whose constituents

had developed a huge taste

for foreign products and became

accustomed to imported

products; that was considered

far left. The challenge

presented opportunities for

people to think creatively on

ways and means to develop

and produce local alternatives

or redesign existing

products to meet the demand

gap. In one of my blogs on

Facebook I had written that

the ban on the 41 items can

either represent a source of

innovation or source of frustration

for different people

depending on how they perceive

and interpret the challenge.

I was not surprised

to see positive responses by

ever enterprising Nigerians.

One notion stood out as

people scampered to identify

viable opportunity options;


Aba made products which had hitherto attracted negative brand perception

became an attraction as demand increased leading to an improvement

in designs and quality to the extent that we now have the “Made In

Aba” clothes, shoes and sandals being promoted and purchased by senior

government officials.

that at a time of economic

down turn one can never get

it wrong with investing in

two basic needs which are

Food and Clothing. The cost

of quality imported clothes

had tripled in price leaving

many Nigerians to resort to

locally produced clothes.

The good thing was that

local designers and tailors

got quite innovative with

designs. As African Fashion

brand gained stronger awareness,

African prints took the

center stage and the ingenuity

of Nigerian designers and

tailors were reflected in the

exotic and trendy Ankara designs

with lace combos that

can compete with foreign

ones at Red Carpet events.

Aba made products

which had hitherto attracted

negative brand perception

became an attraction as

demand increased leading to

an improvement in designs

and quality to the extent that

we now have the “Made

In Aba” clothes, shoes and

sandals being promoted and

purchased by senior government

officials. Despite

the primitive production

process adopted by the Shoe

makers, evidence has shown

there has been an improvement

as more demand for

the products have increased

the source of funding that

can be utilized for further

innovation in the design and

production processes.

What lessons can we

deduce from these? That

innovation follows through a

cycle that is rooted in societal

pain points and gaping

needs that create opportunity

for development and commercialization

of new ideas

into products, services and

methods. All these point to

the fact that with the right

enabling environment and a

structured eco-system that

comprises Innovators, Investors/Financiers,

Researchers

& Developers and Government

support, Nigeria can

leapfrog from an agrarian

economy to an industrial

and, finally, innovative economy.

By Genevieve Mbama. Genevieve

is an Innovative Strategist,

Finance & Assurance

expert, Writer, Blogger and

Economic Inclusion Advocate

passionate about Youth Entrepreneurship

and Development

through Voice, Empowerment

& Accountability (VEA) of

Constituents.

genevieve@gmail.com

33


HEALTH & FITNESS

YOUR MEDIC ABROAD

IS A NIGERIAN!

While on a

family vacation

in New

York, my then

4 year old daughter Odinaka

developed a mild fever. My

husband against my advice

insisted that we take Odinaka

to the Emergency Room

(E.R). We arrived at the

E.R of one of Manhattan’s

biggest hospitals. After the

usual hospital routine and

checks, a Nurse Practitioner

(NP) told us to take the child

home, administer Tylenol,

give her lots of fluid and

allow her to rest. We were

asked to observe her and if

the fever lingered on after 24

hours, we should bring her

back. “When do we get to

see a pediatrician?’’, my husband

asked “you don’t need

to see one yet’’ was the very

firm but polite answer. ‘’The

NP has assessed your child

and has made her decision’’.

I being a medic understood

perfectly, but my husband

didn’t. We tried convincing

the NP to let us see a pediatrician

for all it was worth.

While this back and forth

was going on, a door opened

and I heard a familiar

voice. “Clara, you haven’t

changed a bit. What brings

you here?” Emblazoned on

her clinical coat, was the

inscription: Chinyere Uli-

Attending Child Physician.

Dr. Chinyere Uli was my

classmate in medical school

in Nigeria. We lost contact

after graduating from medical

school several years ago.

The world is indeed a small

place. Dr. Uli several years

ago had joined the horde of

medical personnel leaving

our shores for better or exciting

opportunities outside.

Over the years Nigeria

has become a destination

for poaching professionals

especially medicals. We train

highly intelligent, hardworking

and motivated doctors.

Unfortunately they leave our

shores for greener pastures.

Every year thousands of

Nigerians leave for medical

treatment to UAE, India,

USA and Europe only to get

there and to their chagrin

34


e attended to by “Home

grown” Nigerian doctors or

nurses. Dr. Osagie Ehanire,

Nigeria’s Minister of State

for Health stated recently

that Nigeria spends over a

billion dollars annually on

medical treatment abroad.

You can imagine the difference

this humongous

amount of money would

make if it was committed to

the local healthcare space in

Nigeria.

Recently a recruitment

agency from the UAE arrived

Lagos Nigeria. Their

mission was to recruit medical/dental

officers below

the age of 35 years who

had experience working in

public hospitals. They interviewed

and negotiated

wages or remuneration with

the best and the brightest

from our government owned

hospitals. At the end of the

exercise, about forty doctors

were UAE bound! What we

have now is a case of exporting

a commodity only to be

in scarcity of same. Nigeria

falls way below the W.H.O

recommended doctor–patient

ratio. Worse hit are the

rural areas.

Many would argue that

the reason medical tourism

is thriving is due to the otiose

state of our health facilities

especially those owned

by government at the various

strata. Let me not talk of

the body language of our top

government officials including

our dear President which

speaks volumes about their

aversion for receiving medical

attention in the country.

Even when Specialists from

countries like India and Israel

set up practice in Nigeria

in different fields of medicine,

patronage is abysmal.

In 2014 a hospital in Abuja

presented their efforts at improving

the modalities of the

management of renal stones

known in medical parlance

as nephrolithiasis with the

launch of hospital equipment

aimed at delivering minimally

invasive procedures to

the large number of patients

that have this condition in

Nigeria. The management of

the hospital was to lament

Recently a recruitment agency from the UAE arrived Lagos Nigeria.

Their mission was to recruit medical/dental officers below the

age of 35years who had experience working in public hospitals.

35


SPORTS

Gabriel Inyang

Marylove Edward

Nduka Odizor

NIGERIA TENNIS ON

THE RISE AGAIN

When the Nigeria

boys’

team surprisingly

failed to

pick one of the two tickets

reserved for West and Central

Africa to the African

Junior Championship billed

for September in Casablanca,

Morocco, Nigeria’s best

performer at the team event,

Gabriel Inyang knew he was

not going to be able to show

his skills to the rest of the

continent when most of his

peers were dazzling in the

North African nation.

It was the first time that

the tournament would be

holding on its own and Nigeria

was specifically given the

hosting right by the International

Tennis Federation

( ITF) due to the constant

progress it had been making

at the junior level despite

the fact that as many as five

other nations were in line for

the same privilege.

Inyang had waited for

the opportunity to show his

skills to the continent having

gone on a month-long

training tour to the United

States towards the end of last

year just to make sure that

all expectations were met

as Nigeria is the unrivalled

superpower of the region – a

claim that is attested to by

the country’s winning of the

last six editions of the regional

championships.

Gabriel Inyang played

two junior tournaments

in Florida and beat all his

opponents to be crowned

champion. But, on April 27,

2016 when the boys from

Ghana and Benin Republic

were being decorated with

gold and silver medals at the

end of an exciting tournament,

the 11-year-old was

wearing a dejected look.

However, less than five

minutes later he was soon

beaming with smiles as ITF

Referee, Amine Ben Makhlouf

announced that one of

37


ylove Edward, one of the

country’s precocious tennis

talent got a corporate

sponsorship that will see

the 12-year-old compete at

various circuits and futures

in the next few years before

graduating to become one

of the top 500 players in the

world which would see her

featuring at WTA events

before she clocks 17.

The off-court commitment

of Nigeria is also indicating

that success awaits the

country in the game in the

coming years.

ITF Head of Operations

for Africa and Middle East,

Iain Smith submitted that

Nigeria stands a good chance

to make great impact in the

sport with the overall commitment

that the game is

currently enjoying.

Smith was the instructor

at a three-day ITF/CAT

Workshop and Refresher

Course for White Badge

officials in West and Central

Africa in April in Abuja. He

admitted that the world tennis

governing body acknowledges

Nigeria’s steady progress

in the last few years.

The South African goldbadge

referee Smith added

that the world governing

body is impressed with Nigeria’s

growing commitment

to tennis.

The ITF is aware of the

commitment to tennis development

in Nigeria. Gradually,

Nigeria is getting more

international tournaments

in addition to the Lagos

Governor’s Cup which has

the highest prize-money in

Africa for ITF Futures men

and women. This is good for

Nigeria and the game and

“we are very impressed,” he

said, urging the country not

to hold back in the drive to

reach very high standards.

In spite of the harsh

economy, the sponsors of the

ITF Futures in the country’s

capital, Abuja pressed on

with three Pro Circuit tournaments

from May 1st to

May 20th gulping $75,000

plus hospitality, and this has

given a fresh breath of optimism

to tennis in the country.

The constant increase of

ITF Futures for two years

has heightened the wave of

optimism for Nigerian tennis.

Edmond Ajoge, who

started the Futures in Abuja

with the Tombim Open in

2015, said the competition

is borne out of a desire to

provide opportunities for Nigerian

Players to collect vital

ATP points, and to attract

some of the best up-andcoming

players in the world

to play in Nigeria. “It is our

desire to organize at least 5

to 10 of these events every

year in Nigeria and hopefully,

one day, catch up with the

over 40 tournaments organised

by Egypt each year,” To

40

Ajoge, an ardent tennis fan,

the Futures is the first step of

a project that will bring out

the best of what Nigeria has

got to offer in terms of talent

for tennis as well as the

promotion of tennis on an

international scale.

He added,“The organizers

of the competition are

well aware of the difficulties

faced by Nigerian players.

Most Nigerian players do not

have sponsors and can hardly

travel out of Nigeria to

compete. This is one of the

reasons why there are few

Nigerian players with ATP

points. We hope that this

competition will provide that

opportunity, and that by the

end of it, some of our players

will pick up points that

will help their career.”

Part of the dream is

already being materialized

as a number of local players

now have ITF ranking points

by playing at the tournament

which has been complemented

with the Dayak Championship

and GSL Open.

By Lookmon Ologunro, a

sports writer in Lagos


Events

by Iroyin Koko

KPMG hosts experts at the

KPMG Cybersecurity Conference 2017

On the 4th of May 2017, KPMG

held a Pan African Cyber Security

Conference at the Eko Hotel

Convention Centre, with the theme:

“Security and Resilience in a Digital

World” as an effort to help organizations

and individuals build a more

resilient cyber ecosystem, and tackle

cyber risks.

Issues discussed at the conference

were aimed at cyber security and resilience

as it affects financial institutions,

government, private bodies and individuals.

T

he event had presentations,

panel discussions and demonstration

sessions, attracting

a variety of top level participants

across various sectors including:

financial services institutions, energy,

telecommunications, manufacturing

and other stakeholders with interests

in the cyber security space.

41


45

Some of the leather

goods on display


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