7 months ago

BusinessDay 13 April 2018


12 BUSINESS DAY C002D5556 Friday 13 April 2018 Editorial PUBLISHER/CEO Frank Aigbogun EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Prof. Onwuchekwa Jemie EDITOR Anthony Osae-Brown DEPUTY EDITORS John Osadolor, Abuja Bill Okonedo NEWS EDITOR Patrick Atuanya EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SALES AND MARKETING Kola Garuba EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS Fabian Akagha EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL SERVICES Oghenevwoke Ighure ADVERT MANAGER Adeola Ajewole MANAGER, SYSTEMS & CONTROL Emeka Ifeanyi HEAD OF SALES, CONFERENCES Rerhe Idonije SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Patrick Ijegbai CIRCULATION MANAGER John Okpaire GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (North) Bashir Ibrahim Hassan GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (South) Ignatius Chukwu HEAD, HUMAN RESOURCES Adeola Obisesan $Ibn to fight insurgency: National Assembly must stand firm against Late December last year, the government announced that the National Economic Council has approved $1 billion to be spent by the federal government from the Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast region – the same Boko Haram the government and the army repeatedly assured it had defeated technically, had been dislodged from their stronghold of Sambisa forest and which no longer controls an inch of Nigeria’s territory but whose remnant and fleeing members could only attack soft targets. For added measure, the Chairman of the governor’s forum, Abdulaziz Yari, told the media the governors of the 36 states of Nigeria approved the withdrawal even though Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose denied ever agreeing to such plan. We queried the decision on the following grounds: First, the money in the Excess Crude Account belong to the three tiers of government (the federal, state and local governments) and by extension the entire citizenry. The federal and state governments or more appropriately, their executives alone cannot decide on what to do with it to the exclusion of the local governments and especially the representatives of the people. It is not some personal money; therefore the governors have no right to grant permission to the federal government to use it for whatever purpose without due process. Secondly, when have the National Economic Council and the Governor’s forum become a legislative institution with the power of the purse when there is a legitimate National Assembly in place and constitutionally assigned to perform that function? Three, the government has already proposed to spend another N422 billion (the second highest in the proposed budget) for Defence in the 2018 budget. Why another $1 billion for fighting an already defeated enemy? Fourth, if the government’s decision is to rebuild the region affected by the insurgency, there already exist several interventions being undertaken in the Northeast both by government and the private sector including the Presidential Initiative in the North East (PINE), whose money the sacked Secretary to the Federal Government helped himself and his associates generously to, the Northeast Development Agency, private sector led Northeast fund, interventions by national and international Non-Governmental Organisations, the dedicated focus by the World Bank as requested by the president; all targeted at rebuilding the region. We concluded that the decision was fraught with many irregularities and impunity and the National Assembly must not allow it to pass. We were therefore taken aback when, last week, the Minister of Defence informed the nation at the end of a meeting the president had with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa that the president has approved the release of $1 billion for the procurement of security equipment to fight insurgency in the country without recourse to the National Assembly. That unilateral action would have meant officially, Nigeria is no longer a democracy. Thankfully, the gravity of the situation was brought to the notice of the president who, through his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, denounced the news insisting that the president could not have unilaterally approved the sum, for spending, without appropriation by the National Assembly. Senator Enang said “the President said his administration was also conscious of the provision of Sections 4 and 5 of the 2017 Appropriation Act (relating to Excess Crude Account). Therefore, the matter of the security fund is still undergoing standard processes for laying before the National Assembly for appropriation.” We are relieved that the presidency has retracted the story or has been forced to backtrack from the illegal action. Like we have argued before, the lack of clarity and accountability in the release and utilisation of funds to prosecute the war on insurgency is beginning to expose the farce that is the war on terror. It appears, like many informed analysts and watchers of events in Nigeria have been insinuating, that there’s a huge industry sustaining the war on Boko Haram and ensuring the war never ends. We still demand that the National Assembly should refuse and insist on the government not touching any funds from the Excess Crude Account without its approval. Before such approval is granted, the government must come clean on the state of the war on terror, the particular items and programmes it needs funds for and also exhaustively account for all previous funds approved for the war. Just like the government has been regaling us with tales of how the previous administration used the funds meant for buying weapons to prosecute the 2015 elections, we may not be surprise to learn, after the tenure of this administration, that similar or worse practices were perpetrated under this administration. It is time the National Assembly act to prevent a few individuals from continually looting of the commonwealth in the name of fighting a non-existent war on terror. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Dick Kramer - Chairman Imo Itsueli Mohammed Hayatudeen Albert Alos Funke Osibodu Afolabi Oladele Dayo Lawuyi Vincent Maduka Wole Obayomi Maneesh Garg Keith Richards Opeyemi Agbaje Amina Oyagbola Bolanle Onagoruwa Fola Laoye Chuka Mordi Sim Shagaya Mezuo Nwuneli Emeka Emuwa Charles Anudu Tunji Adegbesan Eyo Ekpo ENQUIRIES NEWS ROOM 08022238495 08034009034}Lagos 08033160837 Abuja ADVERTISING 01-2799110 08116759801 08082496194 SUBSCRIPTIONS 01-2799101 07032496069 07054563299 The Brook, 6 Point Road, GRA, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. 01-2799100 LEGAL ADVISERS The Law Union MISSION STATEMENT To be a diversified provider of superior business, financial and management intelligence across platforms accessible to our customers anywhere in the world. 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Friday 13 April 2018 BUSINESS DAY MoneyInsight C002D5556 13 Personal Finance: Investing Retirement Taxes Credit Cards Home Buying Small Business Shopping Financing Facebook wants users to earn money exposing data abuses FRANK ELEANYA Users on Facebook can now earn a reward when they identify and report malicious platform apps collecting data and another person abusing it. Facebook is calling it the Data Abuse Bounty. “We want to protect our users’ data from malicious abuse of trust,” the company wrote in a blog post. “This means protecting it via finding and fixing security vulnerabilities, but also from third party companies or apps buying or collecting their data through other means barred by our terms. This program is to encourage and reward people for helping Facebook identify and stop anyone involved in this practice.” On Monday, Facebook revealed that about 271,469 data belonging to Nigerians on Facebook, whose friends would have installed the ‘This is Your Digital Life’ app, were exposed to the Cambridge Analytica data breach. Meanwhile, 78 Facebook users in Nigeria installed the app on their phone. In a statement Business- Day received, Facebook said the disclosure is to encourage people to manage the apps they use. “We already show people what apps their accounts are connected to and control what data they have permitted those apps to use through app settings,” a spokesperson for Facebook said. “We are putting a link at the top of people’s News Stakeholders advocate single digit franchise funding Franchise Business Development Services (FBDS) has made case for the creation of access to single digit franchise funding to enable the development and expansion of the critical sub-sector of the economy. This was a crucial takeaway from the recent Franchise Matchmaking Investment forum recently held in Lagos, the second of its kind by FBDS –the pioneer franchise consulting company in Nigeria. The event highlighted the nitty-gritty of franchise investment procedures, pointing to the fact, if properly harnessed; franchise businesses have the potentials to create Feeds to make sure that everyone sees it. Furthermore, it is important for us to tell people if and how their data may have been accessed via This is Your Digital Life.” Last week, the company had revealed that the data of about 87 million users on its platform were harvested without authorisation by Cambridge Analytica (CA). Users in the United States accounted for over 70 million (about 97 percent) of the data breach while 16 million of the total number of users affected came from countries outside the United States. The countries listed were Philippines, UK, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil, Vietnam and Australia. The press release from Facebook does not say whether Nigeria is part of the remaining 16 million users outside the United States or that more than 87 million could have been affected. The company however said it is taking numerous measures. “One of those being that everyone globally on their Facebook page will see an alert leading them to the apps setting where they can review the apps they have allowed to access their data. Additionally, those potentially impacted by CA will also see the alert which will then take them to see what data might have been shared,” Facebook noted. Nigerians, who want to find out whether their data were shared by with Cambridge Analytica, can look out for a link named ‘protecting your information’ link at the top of their news Tundun Adreribigbe, COO, House of Tara speaking at the event, held in Lagos, recently. over 500,000 new jobs in the next four years in Nigeria. The event featured sessions by experts from the industry who discussed exhaustively on how to manage a franchise and drive profit in feed. Following that link, users will be directed to a section where they can see which apps and websites they have used Facebook to log into, and remove any they no longer want connected to their account. Above the link, users who may have been affected by the data scandal will see the message: “We have banned the website ‘This is Your Digital Life,’ which one of your friends used Facebook to log into. We did this because the website may have misused some of your Facebook information by sharing it with a company called Cambridge Analytica.” In addition, Facebook has committed to inform ever user on the platform from 5pm on Monday, whether they are among the 87 million potential users whose data was shared with Cambridge Analytica. The company also suspended a data analytics firm called Cubeyou ahead of an investigation. Facebook plans to look into whether Cubeyou collected data for academic purposes and then used it commercially, following a very competitive business economy. Prospective corporate and individual investors were taken through the curriculum by both the organizers and the franchisors pitching for a partnership with Cambridge University in the UK. “We will review all legitimate reports and respond as quickly as possible when we identify a credible threat to people’s information,” Collin Greene, head of Product Security, Facebook. “If we confirm data abuse, we will shut down the offending app and take legal action against the company selling or buying the data, if necessary. We will pay the person who reported the issue, and we will also alert those we believe to be affected.” The company also said it will reward people with first-hand knowledge and proof of cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers people’s data to another party to be sold, stolen or used for scams or political influence. “Just like the bug bounty program, Facebook will reward based on the impact of each report. While there is no maximum, high impact bug reports have garnered as much as $40,000 for people who bring them to Facebook’s attention,” prospective investors, on how they can own their franchised businesses at virtually no business failure risks, while gaining sufficient education through the sessions, on losses rather associated with venturing into new business. They pointed to such facts as that franchises have only 5% failure rate in South Africa, while start-up businesses record 80% failure rate within few years in Nigeria. Chiagozie Nwizu, the forum’s convener, said it was part of FBDS’ measure, to facilitate risk free venturing, business sustainability, growth of the enterprise sector and attraction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Only 17% customers intend buying from ecommerce site on first visit FRANK ELEANYA Every customer that visits an ecommerce website for the first time did not have buying as their primary purpose, says the 2018 Reimagining Commerce study from Episerver. The purpose of the first visit always varies. The report showed that only 17 percent of customers say they planned to buy something the first time they visited the ecommerce website. Half of shoppers (50%) see a product they want to buy and immediately do so. The rest of the half start by browsing sections including sales items (19%), shipping information (payment information) (8%), payment information (6%), and featured product recommendations (5%). Ed Kennedy, director of Digital Commerce Strategy, Episerver explained that majority of consumers come for something other than buying a product. “They come to browse, look at prices and compare. There is all these other journeys that, as retailers, we have sort of forgotten about,” Kennedy said. Most people (95%) abandon an ecommerce website without completing their purchase because of weak product, store or brand information. Expensive shipping turned the economy, through the franchise business model. “Franchise Matchmaking Forum is a quarterly franchise investor’s forum creating opportunities where the franchisor finds qualified potential franchisees who meet his brand’s criteria, and the potential franchisee meets the franchisor with a suitable proposition for his investment interest,” he said. The forum also created a platform for participating investors to meet and interact with CEOs of successful franchise brands, with the CEOs and Executive representatives of over 40 local and foreign franchise brands in off as much as 60 percent customers while being unable to find the exact product on the online store put off 54 percent. Price concerns dissuaded 46 percent of customers. Ed Kennedy also noted the strong correlation between the total amount of traffic to a site and the amount of traffic that gets to a product page. “If you are a retailer with a large product assortment, search is going to be key. How you set up search and how you set up navigation is going to be a very critical part of the buying journey,” Kennedy said. The report recommended that ecommerce owners need to focus more on personalisation. For instance, as many as 22 percent of shoppers have received ads for products they would never purchase, while 16 percent have received similarly misguided product recommendations. “We are at the point where optimised recommendations are standard across most ecommerce websites, so those automated product recommendations are usually where the problem comes in. The algorithms are set up in a very rudimentary way, showing me what I recently viewed or what I recently purchased. Those are very basic algorithms that make a very poor customer experience,” Kennedy said. attendance. Some of the participating brands included: Meadow Foods, Chicken Republic, Rockin Jump, Bakaria, Avis, Studio24, Sweet Factory, Coffeeshop Company Tantalizers PLC; House Of Tara; Five Senses Schools, Best Choice, Tolaram Group, The Toy Store, Yogurt Frenzy and Innova Pharmacies to mention a few. While some of the supporting organizations included Lagos State Employment Trust Fund; Ciuci Consulting, Enterprise Development Center; Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission and Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce.