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Arla Foods Restates Commitment to Safe, Affordable food …Launches Arla Foods Global Innovation Centre

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 No comments

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

L-R: Minister of Environment and Food for Denmark, Mr. Esben Lunde Larsen; Chief Executive Officer, Arla, Mr. Peder Tuborgh and Nigeria’s Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon. Heineken Lokpobiri at the official opening of the Arla Global Innovation Centre in Aarhus, Denmark recently


Leading global dairy company, Arla Foods has restated its commitment to addressing the growing need of people around the world, including Nigerians, for nutritious, tasty, safe and affordable food products. The company also pledged to continuously participate in finding solutions for the global challenges related to obesity, under-nutrition, environment and climate. 

The company made the pledge during a recent visit by the Nigerian Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon. Heineken Lokpobiri and other officials of the ministry to its headquarters in Denmark for the official opening of the Arla Foods Global Innovation Centre. 

The centre is located in Skejby, the heart of the Danish food cluster and the cluster of innovation excellence across Denmark. It was created and designed to facilitate cutting-edge innovation in food processing by bringing all the key players into play: consumers, customers, small and medium-sized enterprises, universities and their students, suppliers, technical institutions, professional associations, among others. 

Giving reasons for the setting up of the centre, the Chief Executive Officer, Arla Foods, Peder Tuborgh said the centre was conceived as part of the company’s vision to create the future of dairy to bring health and inspiration to the world, naturally. 

“To be at the very forefront of the industry, it will require investments in research and innovation and our new Arla Foods Global Innovation Centre aims to bring not only innovation in Arla, but to bring the global dairy industry into a new era,” he said. 

He pointed out that with the population estimated to hit the nine billion mark in 2050, there should be concerns over food security. “When you think about the growing world population, you can either worry about it – or you can start acting to respond to the expected increase, and that is what we are doing at Arla Foods with our new Global Innovation Centre,” he added. 

The centre is expected to function through proactive partnerships with universities, private partners and research institutions and supported by public funding, with its research supporting the development of healthy, tasty, and safe dairy products. 

Such research, the company said, will in the long term focus on major scientific and technical challenges faced by the dairy industry like health and nutrition, improving the nutritional profile of dairy products, increasing the shelf life of products to enable them to travel across geographies, securing the food safety to ensure top quality products despite long distances, high temperatures and various types of transportation. 

The centre will be a major contributor to making advancement in science and technology around health and nutrition of dairy products, and will also ensure the short term application and technology transfer of knowledge to enable new products to be introduced in markets and resolving problems in its manufacturing sites. 

The Arla Foods Global Innovation Centre, Tuborgh disclosed, will be open to the public and will enable new ways of cooperating and bringing expertise together for win-win partnerships. Students will be trained to use first-rate equipment and facilities to develop and grow their skills and expertise before entering the job market. Arla staff will also benefit from continuous training programmes provided through collaboration with the best researchers and professors in the country. 

“There is still a lot more to understand about milk’s role in fighting global challenges such as lifestyle diseases and under-nourishment – and we aim to gain and promote this knowledge. Also there is still more to learn about sustainable production and packaging of dairy. Despite an increased production, we have been able to continuously reduce our impact on climate. Arla’s dairy products can therefore form an important part of a sustainable diet, as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO),” he said. 

The Nigerian delegation included the Director, Animal Husbandry, Mr John Taiwo; Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin and the Technical Assistant on Quality Control & Standardization to the Minister, Mrs. Heather R. Akanni. 

TAMS Nigeria Supports CFAtech.ng to Host CFA's Startups Hangout

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Just less than two weeks for the June edition of CFA's Startup Hangout to kick off, TAMS Nigeria has already ventured into a partnership with CFAtech.ng as part of its support to add value to startups.

The leading global provider of biometric, RFID readers for access control and time and attendance applications will offer free access to its software exclusively to startups SMEs that will attend the June edition of CFA's Startups Hangout.

Added to this, startups at the end of the year, stand the chance of becoming TAMS Ambassadors, usually celebrated at the annual TAMS Summit.

Speaking about the partnership, Founder of TAMS Nigeria, Biodun Afolabi eulogized the efforts by the CFA Team to have a well thought out initiative like the CFA'S Startups Hangout.

"As part of our efforts too, to support this effort we will offer our application to startup SMEs that will attend the hangout and also offer a free training on how to use this application," Afolabi said via a telephone call.

He explained that the TAMS application was borne out of the need to solve particular problems ranging from human resources to time management.

"As an entrepreneur, I knew about all these problems which lots of startup SMEs faces today. However, if an initiative like the CFA's Startups Hangout were known during our time, most of the problems would have been averted then," he added.

"The free software will help startups to manage their employees from recruitment to retirement," says Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, (CFA), the Founder of CFAtech.ng.

"Besides, the TAMS modules include; Payroll for Salaries and Tax Remittance, Staff Database Appraisal, Loan Manager, Attendance, etc.

He explained that CFAtech.ng is looking forward to the active support of more brands for subsequent monthly editions of this selfless mission to help many Nigerian Startups to learn, grow and sustain their businesses for the development of the Nigerian Entrepreneurial ecosystem and the Nigerian economy in general.

Nadu Denloye Ph.D. and Deepankar Rustagi will feature as key speakers for the June Edition of CFA's Startups Hangout.

CFA said the hangout would have in attendance, two of the most successful serial Entrepreneurs in Nigeria to provide insights to startup entrepreneurs.

Nadu, is the Co-Founder of Telnet and Director, CDNet, Deepankar, the Co-founder, VConnect.com, a company he founded in 2010.

Past editions of the hangout had featured prominent Nigerian successful Entrepreneurs, such as Adeoye Abodunrin, ED, Xpos Technologies, Simeon Ononobi, Co-Founder, MyAdsGlobal, Helen Anatogu, CEO and Founder, iDea Nigeria, and Yele Okeremi Founder of Precise Financial Systems and others.

The CFA's Startups Hangout serves as a strategic avenue for Startups to meet and learn from successful Entrepreneurs that grace each edition of the Startups Hangout, through divulging nuggets that will assist them to grow their various Startups as well as network and synergize among one another.

The media partners for the CFA's Startups Hangout are Guardian Tech, CommunicationsWeek, and CFAtech.ng.

The June Edition of CFA's Startups Hangout holds on June 23, 2017, at Adna Hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, and registration is compulsory anybody,

Please, visit https://startups.cfatech.ng/ to register for the event.

iDea Nigeria and CFAtech.ng to Host a Product Development Workshop

Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2017 No comments

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bouyed by the alarming rate at which most Startups fail in Nigeria, especially, in this tough economic climate, Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator, iDea Nigeria, in partnership with CFAtech.ng, will host a “Product Development Workshop” on Monday, June 12, 2017, at Adna Hotel, GRA, Ikeja between 3:00pm and 6:00pm.

The workshop themed “Create a Product that Customers Love” will provide among others, practical insights on how to stop scaling before finding product-market fit and problem-solution fit.

It is germane for Startups and entrepreneurs in the ecosystem to understand the process of developing products and services which the customers need.

Speaking about the workshop in partnership with CFAtech.ng, Helen Anatogu, CEO, iDea Nigeria said that the workshop will provide participants with the framework, tools, techniques and perspectives to craft customer value proposition and effectiveness in the development of products.

She added that, the workshop will also provide insights, such as, understanding the importance of problem-solution fit; developing your customer value proposition; product roadmap and planning; developing the minimum viable product; as well as tips and resources to build quick prototypes.

One of the most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria and beyond, Adekunle Ajiboye, who is based in Canada, will feature as the facilitator at the workshop, which is already attracting many registrants.

Adekunle Ajiboye is an expert in embedded systems, the entire eHealthsphere, ICT tools and applications for commerce and entrepreneurial consulting.

He is heavily involved in the entrepreneurship landscape in North America and Nigeria with experiential success.

In his view, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. CFA), Founder of CFAtech.ng expressed confidence and elation over the partnership with iDea Nigeria to host Adekunle Ajiboye who will share his expertise with Nigerian Startups.

“Adekunle Ajiboye will be on hand to share his expertise and wealth of knowledge with Startups and for us at CFAtech, it is another opportunity for our Startups to access important resources to enable them up the ante in their entrepreneurial quest” CFA said.

He explained that partnership is all about adding value and hosting a product development workshop for Nigerian Startups is one of them.

To participate at the workshop, click here to register

About iDea Nigeria

iDea Nigeria supports a new generation of Nigerian digital entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions and business models that make businesses and commerce more efficient, provide new ways to deliver government and social services and help reduce poverty and unemployment.

About CFAtech.ng

CFAtech.ng is a leading technology blog in Nigeria that discovers and shares interesting stories of how African Startups and everyday people are using technology smartly. It is home to tons of inspiring Startups stories, tech tips, gadget reviews, updates, plus lots more.

Did NCC Relent on the Fight Against Forex Challenge? By Justice Godfrey Okamgba

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2017 No comments

Monday, June 5, 2017

Truthfully, before the recent visit of broadband companies to the Nigeria Communications Office in Abuja, there had been countless questions on what the regulator had done to salvage the situation of inability to have access to forex by telecom operators.

The challenge posed by the inaccessibility of forex is one of the troubling issues, but the visit by these industry big players to Executive Vice Chairman's (EVC) office seem to be a timed bomb that is on the verge of exploding, and the perceived imminent explosion means a huge loss to the telecom industry.

For the past decade, the NCC had put extraordinary and glittering efforts in making sure that the present Nigerian telecom industry which values at over $60bn continues to grow both in revenue and teledensity.

But the industry could be from hindered from hitting it bigger this time if the lingering forex challenge is not significantly nipped in the bud.

"The industry is in a situation where all operators are finding it difficult to justify the required investment case for additional Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for network capacity expansion to improve the quality of service to customers," big industry players said at the visit.

During discussions with the EVC, Professor Umar Danbatta, the big industry players noted that the network Operating Expenditure (OPEX) of operations have skyrocketed in the last 15 months by over 85 percent of revenues remaining relatively flat.

Further, they lamented that they are currently struggling with meeting obligations to their suppliers particularly network vendors, tower firms and servicing loan obligations.

Besides the complaints put forth, telecom operators in Nigeria were already gnashing their teeth considering the stringent conditions attached to accessing funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The situation has not only crippled the network expansion process which many telecom operators had embarked on, but it has also affected revenue models of businesses and quality of service.

Most of the infrastructure needed to drive the expansion of networks is dependent on how fast operators can import them from overseas. Alas! Nobody can import anything into Nigeria without having access to dollars.

According to Airtel Nigeria, more investments is needed toward laying of more inter-city fiber, metro fiber optic cables in building more base stations but the fact that we are in a fix when it comes to accessing forex is a major challenge we are facing as operators,"

"The issue is not even that the naira-to-dollar exchange has gone up, the problem is that of accessibility.

However, an analytical look at the current administration directly or indirectly foretells disaster for the Nigerian telecom industry. It's quite unimaginable to see how ICT was exempted from the 36 items that are granted direct forex access by the CBN.

Unfortunately, this is a total play down on the significances and roles of technology in Nigeria, but then, telecom operators are paying the wrong price, including the average telecom consumer.

Meanwhile, the clamor in the telecom industry to lay more fibers and expand network is no longer news, because operators for long had shown willingness to do so but plagued by forex inaccessibility.

As a result of this ugly situation, some industry stakeholders have called on the federal government to prevail on the CBN to make access to foreign exchange more flexible for players in the nation's telecoms industry.

"We are proud that we have used predominantly Nigerian labor and personnel but our equipment all come from abroad, and this entails spending tens of millions of dollars," Managing Director, ntel, Mr. Kamar Abass told the New Telegraph in an interview.

We, as a telecom company, are not on the list of those who can access forex, so it is a real struggle to pay for these items. We need some flexibility on the part of CBN," he added.

What has NCC done?

This is a serious question, but the truth remains that NCC did not relent in the fight against the inaccessibility of forex by telecom operators in Nigeria

"NCC is mindful of the forex challenge faced by the telcos. We have intervened with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)," Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, said during the launch of the Nigerian Telecom Consumers campaign in Lagos.

He said: "already this intervention is beginning to yield some results. We are sure that in the not too distant future, the forex challenge will be addressed to the benefit of both the consumer and the operators."

When the year is ended, the NCC should be able to measure the success and impact of this initiative by the level of awareness created among consumers and the number of consumers that have activated the 2442 facility.

It is my hope that the Nigerian telecom consumer would consistently get the right quality experience and value for money," the EVC concluded.

Conclusion

We are all involved in this industry directly or indirectly, which makes it sacrosanct for relevant stakeholders to join hands together and ensure that some of the issues are nipped in the bud, especially the issue associated with forex.

Maritime: Africa ready to engage the world on equal terms – Dakuku

Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2017 No comments

Thursday, June 1, 2017

...Charges Foreign Investors to Tap into African Maritime Industry For Mutual Benefits.
Executive Director, Operations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Dauda Danjuma, Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Head, Protocol NIMASA, Kehinde Bolaji, Chairman, House Committee, Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Honourable Mohammed Umaru Bago, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways (NIWA), Mr. Boss Mustapha and the Assistant Director, Protocol, NIMASA Mr. Buba Umar at the Nor-Shipping 2017 in Lillstrome, Norway.

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that Africa is ready to engage on equal terms with the rest of the world in the area of maritime businesses.

Dakuku who made this known at the Nor-Shipping 2017 event holding at Lillstrome, Norway from May 29 till June 2, 2017, further stated that it is high time Africa stopped others from engaging us on their own terms, whether they bring vessels to us or just taking our cargoes; rather all we want is a mutually beneficial relationship where we can give and also receive.

"What we are trying to do is to change the terms of engagement for the rest of the world in terms of maritime businesses. We want to operate on equal terms not lopsided terms against our own interest, thereby creating room for a mutually beneficial relationship," the DG averred.

Dr. Dakuku further stated that Nigeria's participation at Nor-Shipping is to say to the world that we have a lot to offer. "There are lots of opportunities in the maritime administration of Nigeria; we are diversifying our economy, we are the biggest economy in Africa with a vast population, vast coastline of over 800 kilometers, endowed with many natural resources and a good Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amongst others. So if you have to do business in Africa, you must talk about Nigeria", he said.  

Meanwhile, the NIMASA DG who was recently appointed the Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations stated that part of the initiative to grow the African maritime industry is to rapidly build capacity amongst nations within the continent.

"If you look at the number of seafarers we have globally, it appears things are lopsided against Africa and the challenge appears to be sea time training, so we are talking about sea time and building capacity," he said.

He also noted that there are no African fleets; hence the need for nations to develop their own fleets has become inevitable while the terms of trade is being looked into.

In his words, "what is going on is that many other countries of the world just come to Africa to take our cargoes and off they go; please, how can we all operate on the same footage? Africa has something to give hence, they are coming to us, therefore they must engage us on equally beneficial terms".

He equally added that the African continent is working together to see how to benefit from one another's experiences, which will help in the running of the affairs of their maritime administrations.

Other areas are, enhancing the continent's fleets, human capacity development, peer review in terms of maritime administration, ports state control, coastal control and infrastructural growth, all geared towards a virile maritime administration in Africa.

Nor-Shipping is a bi-annual event that brings together Stakeholders in the maritime sector from various continents aimed at improving the global maritime sector. The event also features exhibitions amongst others. The main theme for this year's event is "Catalyst for Change".

PenCom: Reject Osinbajo’s Appointee, Apartheid Against Igbos - Group Tells Senate

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A pro-South East civil society organisation, the South East Advocacy Group (SEAG), has urged the Senate not to confirm the appointment of Mr. Funsho Doherty as the Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).

It described the appointment as fraught with breaches of the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 and calculated apartheid against the South-East geopolitical zone.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, SEAG said the contraventions of Section 20 and Section 21 (a)-(j) of the Act in the removal of the former Director-General (DG) of PENCOM, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, and flagrant breach of Section 21 (2) of the Act for a second consecutive time in the appointment of her successor was an affront on rule of law.

They said the actions have confirmed a deliberate apartheid policy against the South East by the Federal Government, noting that such actions were responsible for the resurgence of Biafra in the South East.

The statement signed by a legal practitioner and the Deputy National Coordinator of SEAG, Mr. Francis Nwodo, said: “Section 21 (2) of the Pension Act, 2014 clearly provides that ‘In the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint a replacement from the geo-political zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure’.

“But the Presidency first appointed Alhaji Aliyu Dikko from Kaduna State in the North West as replacement for the removed DG, who hails from the South East. This resulted in outcry among pension industry stakeholders and the South East since that appointment was in breach of Section 21(2) of the Pension Act and Section 19 (5) (a).

“We feel more disappointed that whereas Nigerians expected the Acting President to uphold the rule to protect the pension industry as a Professor of Law, what he did after his sweet sermon at the colloquium to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of Biafra War on the need to build a country that does not ‘discriminate or marginalize in any way’ was to appoint his brother from the South West, Funsho Doherty, as the DG of PenCom in clear and continued contravention of the law and exclusion of South East”.

The group wondered why it is so difficult for the government to appoint a qualified person from the South East to complete the tenure of Mrs. Anohu-Amazu.

“If this is Prof. Osinbajo’s way of building a nation that ‘does not discriminate or marginalize in any way’ and sustaining the gains made by the disbanded PenCom leadership, which raised pension assets from N2.9 trillion to N6.5 and won the African Pension Award for three consecutive years, then there is little hope for the Igbos, the pension industry and our progress as a nation”, SEAG emphasised.
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