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2019

CONTENTS 06. BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU, THE MAN OUT OF THE BLUE

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14. THE RISE & RISE OF JIMI AGBAJE 18. THE BULLY MODE OF 2019 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AN IN DEPTH ANALYSIS OF HOW EVENTS MIGHT PLAY OUT IN THE SIX GEOPOLITICAL ZONES 24. OSAZUWA ASEMOTA, CHANGING THE FACE OF ARTSANSHIP IN NIGERIA 30. BUSINESS: IBEJU LEKKI: THE EMERGING COMMERCIAL HUB OF LAGOS 32. BANKING: THE LITTLES GIANT CALLED “ACCESS BANK” 34. ENTERTAINMENT: VISION BOY, I AM A LOVER OF LIFE AND GOOD THINGS 38. HEALTH: UNDERSTANDING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND THE POWER IT HOLDS

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40. TRAVEL: MY KENYAN CHRONICLES 42. FASHION TRENDS FOR 2019 44-63 EVENT: BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU AT THE AJEGUNLE MOCK NATIONS CUP 64. LIFESTYLE: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF 2019 66. TRENDING: MOST TALKED ABOUT 2018 FILMS STILL IN 2019

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68. THE CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF THE 21 CENTURY WOMAN IN LEADERSHIP AND WORKPLACES 69. FOOD FACTOR: YAM AND FRESH FISH PEPPER SOUP

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Publishers Note

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Abiodun Fawumi CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mary IGWE AD DESIGN/GRAPHICS Afeez Adebanke

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ith each New Year that comes our way, we learn even more that the choices we make today will

determine the path that lies ahead. Happy 2019 everyone! Oh my, how time flies! Depending on when you are reading my notes this month, we may already be half-way through January. As the publisher of Ekocity Magazine, I am always working ahead on up-coming issues. This often makes it seem like my weeks are passing by much more quickly than they do for most people. By no means am I complaining; I really enjoy my profession, mostly because of all the interesting and inspiring people I cross paths with daily. It amazes me how many times people come up to me and comment about their appreciation for what we do at Ekocity Media and what we are bringing to our community. I am truly grateful for the support and encouragement of all our readers. Thank you! At the beginning of this month’s notes, I mentioned “choices”. All of us, young and not-so-young, will make many choices most excepcially during the 2019 election slated for 16th February and 2nd march 2019 throughout each day. Hopefully, most of these will be good Ones. But truth be told, not all our choices will be the right ones. It is important to remember that how we react to our own choices or the choices of others will indeed determine our way so let us all make the right choices when casting our voting right. A Big Thank You to those of you who visited our improved website. We are very proud and excited to bring you even more quality articles and advertisements with our online presence. We are also hoping to build up our numbers on Facebook and Instagram as well, so please be sure to “friend” us! You can easily access our Facebook@ekocitymedia, our Instagram @ekocitytv, Twitter @ ekocitymedia page and Youtube@ekocitytv May the lord bless you, and keep you well!

Abiodun Fawumi

ONLINE CONTENT WRITER Iyke-Okwuma Kosisochukwu CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Obumneme Joseph, Popos Law, Daniels Okpaise Margadi Kashiraahdami , Samuel uwaifo EDITORIAL ADVISER Rotimi Akinbobola, Demola Davies EDITORIAL BOARD Olaleye Olusegun, Alaba Fuluso, Ike Okonkwo CORRESPONDENT Agada Mercy (Lagos), Ademola Aderonke (Ikorodu), Chinwe John (UK) LEGAL ADVISER Lawrence Ogunkeye & co MARKETING DIRECTOR/SALES Tolbim Marketing Agency Company PHOTOGRAPHER Adegboyega Moses & Tiza Joseph BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Abosede Ikotun, Adeyinka, Nkechi Olunwa, Bolanle Oladipo PROUD MEMBER OF Nigeria Association of Entrepreneur Copyright © 2014 by Ekocity Media Co. Ltd. LAGOS ADDRESS: Capital Squre 2nd Floor Garnat Plaza, Km 14, Lekki/Epe Express way by Igboefo, Lekki Lagos. US ADDRESS: 112610 Rustic Rock Lane, Beltsville MD, 20705 ENQUIRIES:

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Publisher, Ekocity Magazine Ekocity Magazine does not knowingly accept fraudulent or misleading advertising. Liability for the contents of all advertising and for any claims that may arise therefrom is the sole responsibility of the entity placing the advertisement. Publication of an advertisement does not constitute endorsement by Ekocity, nor is publication of a specific advertisement ever promised. All advertisers are responsible for proofing their own ad and giving consent to print. The publisher has the right to refuse advertising. Please Note, Ekocity requires that all contractors be registered or certified. All Real Estate advertising in Spotlight is subject to the Nigeria Federal Fair Housing Laws. Ekocity will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of these laws. ALL ADS AND ARTICLES IN THIS PUBLICATION, ARE COPYRIGHTED. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED OR USED IN ANY FORM WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE PUBLISHER. NOTES FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK Fawumi Abiodun EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 04


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POLITICS

BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU The Man Out of The Blue

In Lagos State presently, one does not need to be an internet savvy or an avid reader to be conversant with the name ‘Sanwo-olu’ as there is barely any route in the city of Lagos void of billboards and posters with the name appended nor any social media timeline that have not been awashed with stories with the name palpable as the subject of discussion. Undeniably and indubitably, the appellation swiftly and accurately resonates to be that of a man who has got leadership skills up His’ sleeves with the willingness to govern the State in the next political tenure. EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 07


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hen Sanwo-olu contested and won the guber ticket of All-Progressive Congress in Lagos State, curiosity sank into the hearts of residents to quest the quiddity of the man who has been preferred over the incumbent governor by the party’s stakeholders and members. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu who is in the bid to win the hearts of Lagosians and become the next governor of the state, officially announced his political ambition at the City Hall of Victoria Island on Sunday 16th September, 2018 which was barely two weeks to the party’s primaries. Lagos State since its inception in May 1967, has been led by plethora of leaders, most of whom served two terms with exceptions including that of Alhaji Lateef Jakande whose second term was truncated by the military junta in 1983 and the incumbent governor who lost the All-Progressive Congress primary election to the current flag bearer. No doubt, the chart of Lagos state progress has been on ascendency since the nascence of democracy rule in 1999 when the brainchild Lagos was birthed by Bola Ahmed Asiwaju Tinubu who was then the incumbent Governor of the state and the architect that labored earnestly to sketch the superb design plan for the developmental blueprint of Lagos who also had a successor ‘Babatunde Raji Fashola’ with a high level of competency who discharged his duty tirelessly on that path to enhance the state as well as the incumbent Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who has done his part. His Persona and Charisma Sanwo-olu as many other political aspirant did not just wake up on the wee of one pleasant day to find himself having such a huge support from the State’s ruling party which he belong to. But his credibility while he served the pubic in several viable offices must have spoken for him and made his endorsement as he has been moving along with the party and its developmental programmes with his evident inclusiveness over the years in the decision making process in the group as a member or administrator in government.

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The locally trained personage who attained his bachelor and masters’ degree in Surveying from the prestigious University of Lagos and further enrolled in the Lagos Business School and London Business School due to his unflinching knack for business did not at this point scribble a fullstop on the page of his formal education but notwithstanding, his staunch desire to know the pinches and bites of government activities ensued his racked up knowledge in government administration and civil responsibilities which he later got from the United States’ John F. Kennedy School of Government He however started off his career in the bank in the early 90’s where he began to carve a niche for himself and thus was entrusted into viable offices until 2003 when he was appointed to be a special adviser to the then deputy governor, Femi Pedro. The tortuous but true adage that says that “the reward for hardwork is more work” became the lots of Sanwo-olu who was later made the acting commissioner for economic planning and budget till 2007 when he was eventually appointed the commissioner for commerce and industry by the State Governor, Bola Tinubu before he left the office. The end in the political term of Bola Ahmed Asiwaju Tinubu as the Governor of Lagos in May 2007 did not linger the bereavement of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu Public Services as he was still appointed commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions and made Managing Director which doubles as the Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola in 2007 and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2016 respectively The services he rendered was not void of Achievements as the supervision of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) privatization projects, setting up the Lagos Security Trust Fund where he was the Pioneer Board Chairman and The consequential establishment of LAGBUS System and the Control & Command Centre in Alausa as well as a wholesome number of awards have been credited to him. Nothing really incredible could be spoken of his critics who are unaware of how he emerged and have frequently centered their narrative on the inquisitorial; where is this Sanwo-olu coming from?, Because they have done no harm but have only expressed their utmost concern due to their right as the people to be led, as his name might have not stroke a chord to them before now. Nevertheless, this is not an indication that rounds of applause is deserved as those who are properly inclined in the government of Lagos state affairs can rightly say that the chap did not appear from the thin air but has spent about one and half decades serving the people of the state in various capacities. The endorsement of Sanwo-olu by the Party’s Stakeholders and prominent members is currently overwhelming as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 09


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last month assured his full-fledged support and the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) recently pledged their support for the Lagos chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) after years of their misunderstanding without the full backing of the party’s National leader who was the first state governor under the democracy rule lagging and that of the renowned business magnate, Femi Odetola who pronounced the candidate to be his childhood friend. The man; Sanwo-olu, being a corporate guru who has gathered experiences in both the corporate world and political hemisphere has certainly proven not to be a cur in preparation for the task ahead if he eventually wins the election and assumes office in May this year. Apparently, the happenings this season is not different from those of previous campaign periods before the Nation’s general elections as never will a party and candidate fold their arms and watch an opponent assume their aspirated position on a platter of gold. Hence, the hustling and bustling between candidates of political offices equates that of a combat. The seat of Lagos state gubernatorial is really an exquisite one to have driven Sanwo-olu and his fellow contenders to improvise different strategies that would give each of them an edge in the forthcoming election. His Proposed Plans for Eko Every medium possible have been useful to Sanwo-olu and his campaign team to spell out his projected plans to the State’s residents. ‘The Centre of excellence will attain a high notch of excellence like other great cities in the world including Dubai and Paris which are able to attain and maintain their mega status through transition of quality and visionary leadership which Sanwo-olu has in abundance’ Moyosore Adebanjo, the team EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 03


leader of JStricker Campaign/Volunteer Movement said during the leauching of the team in Lagos on Sunday 13th October, 2018 JStriker Movement, the group that received the campaign baton from Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO) immediately after he succeeded in the APC primaries. His promises to run an inclusive government and cherish the mandate bestowed on him have been symbolically crested on signboards, posters and even electronic billboards which subsequently projects an image of him with an inscription which reads “When Lagos Speaks, Sanwo-olu Listens” Residents saw him as a fellow who would bridge the gap created by tribalists and will foster unity among the people when the interest of the Igbos was mentioned in his manifesto expressing that he would enable the Ndigbo community to wax stronger in Lagos; in business and commerce and also enhance an atmosphere conducive for business whereas critics saw this a mere lip service so as to win the hearts of the Igbos in the State The APC candidate who hails from Lagos Island, Lagos also highlighted his apprehension of the private sector as the engine of economic growth and would thereby continue to create an environment for the private sector to thrive in the state. “As a former Commissioner for Commerce & Industry in Lagos, I know that proper collaboration with the private sector leads to more job creation, improved industrial harmony and boosts investment,” He said. Sanwo-olu also saw the need to have a refurbished environment in order to relief

residents of the constant anxiety caused by the terrific environments, so he has declared that there will be an absolute road construction and repair without abandoning those begun by the present government and to open more means of transportation through waterways to rail as well as to engage professionals to effectively train and empower traffic officials if he assumes office as the state governor.

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Being a technologically inclined fellow, plans to solve problems cowering social issues such as creation of employment opportunities, mentoring, entrepreneurship, education, health and others through provision of institutional and infrastructural support for the growth of technological sector was also unveiled He publicly stated that the government focal point shall be centered on providing the greatest good for the greatest number of people of the state and he and his government shall establish a transparent system of running Lagos as a Smart city with loyalty to the people being his code of conduct. ‘Innovations will also be made so as to create avenue for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) with exerting pressures on the residents’-Sanwo-olu added. Educational Agenda Education is one major aspect that can’t be forgone as the elimination of plans for this sector will throw every other in a shamble. Any team aspiring to head a government without putting to heart the future of tomorrow’s leaders is nothing different from a government that has failed even before its inception and will definitely spur drastic decline in the educational system if positioned into governance. Sanwo-olu and His running EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 12

mate, Babafemi Hamzat has therefore included this pertinent area in their plans to batten the City of Lagos. As a means to improve the reading habits in the state’s resident and to batten academic activities in the state. The aspirants have said that they will make available and

accessible information resources in both print and electronic formats, they have stressed that they will open Lagos Government books and provide free WIFI in the Lagos State University and Adeniran Ogunsunya College of Education. With or without flaws? Despite being a highly trusted cerebral administrator whose calmness, easygoing nature and resilience is indubitable to many and one who is seen to mean so well for the people and the State, there are things that have been pin pointed as minus for him.

Governor Ambode who was an opponent in the primary election accused him to have once been arrested for spending fake dollars in a night club, has suffered from mental and that he lacks credibility before now that he has endorsed him.

H i s proposed plan providing health facilities in the state could be seen as another means of posing more tax on the people which is detrimental because an average resident is on a continuous strive to survive and thrive. Realistically, the key to the office of Lagos state governor for the next political term is in the hands of citizens and only time can tell if Sanwo-olu will be entrusted with it. By Anulika Akpunonu Anulika Akpunonu is a prolific writer and proficient researcher and a technocrat who loves reading and expressing her views though viable mediums.


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POLITICS

The Rise & Rise of

JIMI AGBAJE

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lujimi Kolawole A g b a j e , popularly known as Jimi Agbaje, is entering the Lagos political ring once again. This is the third consecutive time the successful pharmacist is aspiring for the position of Lagos state Governor. He is ready to fight the battle for the Alausa Government House with Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the candidate of All Progressives Congress. This piece examines the personality of Jimi Agbaje and his political aspirations. JK’s Educational Background Agbaje attended the famous St Gregory College, Lagos, and he also attended the prestigious University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife) where he studied Pharmacy and distinguished himself as a brilliant chap. His foray into business Jimi Agbaje founded his company, JAYKAY Pharmaceutical and Company Limited in 1982. He is an accomplished and successful Pharmacist in the country, who has recorded distinctions. He was the Chairman of Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria, Lagos Branch from 1994 -1997. He has once served as a Member of Lagos state Taskforce on Fake and

Adulterated Drugs from 1989 -1993; and he even served as Member of Lagos Hospitals Management Board from 1994 -1997. Agbaje’s Political Career In the build-up to the 2007 Lagos Governorship Election, he joined the defunct Action Congress (AC) but was later denied the governorship ticket as the then Lagos state Governor, Bola Tinubu, supported his Chief of Staff, Babatunde Raji Fashola, for the coveted seat. The political decision made Jimi Agbaje to defect to the Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA), and later bagged the ticket of party for the Gubernatorial Poll. The 2007 Governorship Election was tightly contested among the quartet: Babatunde Raji Fashola of the Action Congress; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro of People’s Democratic Party (PDP); Jimi Agbaje of the DPA; and the estranged former Deputy Governor under Bola Tinubu, Femi Pedro contested under the platform of Labour Party. Jimi Agbaje was unsuccessful in his ambition to unseat the Action Congress government, as Fashola clinched the seat. Meanwhile, in October 2014, the 61-year old Phaemacist decamped to the People’s Democratic Party after the

electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deregistered Democratic People’s Alliance. The December 2014 hotlycontested Lagos state PDP Governorship Primaries was between Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the Minister of State for Defense under Goodluck Jonathan administration, and the primary produced Jimi Agbaje as the PDP Governorship Candidate. His emergence as the party’s flagbearer was his second time contesting for the position of the country’s economic capital Governor. The 2015 Governorship Poll was contested between the former Accountant General of Lagos state, Akinwumi Ambode who was ordained by the suzerain of Lagos state politics, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Jimi Agbaje recorded his second defeat by losing in the Governorship race, and it was a huge blow to his political career. Unfortunately, after the defeat, JK, as he is fondly called, went into political hibernation and was uninterested in the governance of the commercial nerve centre of West Africa. Lagosians yearned for an intellectual-driven opposition in order to checkmate the government of the day, EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 15


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but rather the state’s main opposition party, PDP and Jimi Agbaje kept mum and was silent to provide the needed opposition for a robust democracy. Strangely, Jimi Agbaja adorn the political hat again in 2018 announcing his decision to contest for the position of Lagos state Governor. His aspiration was greeted with uproar, criticisms and also applause. Vituperation because he left the political scene after the terrible defeat he suffered in the hands of APC in 2015 Governorship Poll; and commendation because some Lagosians see his aspiration as an attempt to deliver Lagos state from the stranglehold of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, The Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom. Tinubu has been controlling the affairs of Lagos state for twenty years, and his successors have only been lackeys and errand boys to him. EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 16

Jimi Agbaje picked the ticket of Lagos PDP, and he won the primary against Adedeji Doherty. The election will be the third consecutive time Agbaje is gunning for the coveted Lagos seat. His major challenger in the race is Babajide Olusola SanwoOlu, former Commissioner in Lagos state, of All Progressives Congress. The circumstances that brought him, in the race, is also strange as the incumbent Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, recorded humiliating defeat in the Direct Primaries conducted by the party. Meanwhile, there are lots of condemnation as regards the poor running of Jimi Agbaje’s campaign. The visibility of his campaign is at the lowest ebb. Some analysts opine that it is because he has no financial muscle to fight hard with the APC and Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his party is no longer in control of the centre. But his

brother, Segun Agbaje, is still the Chairman of the elitist bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, so the argument cannot be concurred totally. Jimi Agbaje has promised to embark on people-oriented developments if he wins the March 2nd Governorship Election, and to ensure that the land of aquatic splendor fully actualize his ambitions in relative to the bogus revenue that accrues to the Lagos purse. Can JK emerge as the Governor of Lagos state? Can he fight the powerful Tinubu’s highlyinfluential political dynasty in Lagos? Can Jimi Agbaje free Lagosians from the shackles of bondange and oppression as he always says? If he wins then People’s Democratic Party will occupy the Alausa Government House. The election will be interesting, and there will be a lot of intrigues and political horse-trading.


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POLITICS

THE BULLY MODE OF 2019 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AN IN DEPTH ANALYSIS OF HOW EVENTS MIGHT PLAY OUT IN THE SIX GEOPOLITICAL ZONES The February 16, 2019 Presidential Election is fast approaching, and the recent political drama and events have proven that the election is clearly between the two dominant parties in the country, People's Democratic Party (PDP), and the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC). The candidate for PDP is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the APC's Presidential Candidate is incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 18


POLITICS

ATIKU ABUBUKAR

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PDP Presidential Candidate

tiku is a former Deputy ComptrollerGeneral of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). He has been pulling the shot for presidency since 1992, and contested against MKO Abiola for Social Democratic Party ticket in the third republic before he was implored to step down for MKO Abiola by Shehu Musa Yar'adua, the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters under Olusegun Obasanjo's 1976 - 1979 military government. Atiku was Nigeria's Vice President from 1999 - 2007. He contested in the 2007 Presidential Election under Action Congress (AC) but was unsuccessful in his attempt to be the occupant of the palatial palace, Aso Rock Presidential Villa. He has struggled to clinch several parties' presidential ticket since then but has been unsuccessful in his attempts. Providence dawned on him to clinch PDP Presidential ticket in the party's last convention held in Garden City, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

MUHAMMADU BUHARI President

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uhammadu Buhari is the incumbent President of the country. He was Nigeria's Military Head of State from 1983 - 1985. His reelection bid has been greeted with mixed feelings. Some opine that his administration has been disastrous and he is a colossal failure as it is evident with the state of the country's economy and security plights bedeviling the nation. While some believe Buhari is the man to lead Nigeria to the enviable heights as he has started well, so Nigerians must reward him with another four years to complete the landmark achievements.

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POLITICS

THE THIRD FORCE CANDIDATES

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mazingly, in the 2019 Presidential Contest, a lot of young outstanding and intellectual minds decided to throw their hat in the ring by contesting for the country's highest political office. Kingsley Moghalu of Young Progressive Party (YPP), Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress (AAC), Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Tope Fasua of (ANRP) are already changing the trends and

Kingsley Moghalu, YPP

Omoyele Sowore, ACC EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 20

dynamics of election in this current dispensation. Their message has been to retire the old political guards from the political scene.

two major parties still leads - Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The entry of intellectual minds into the contest is a good development to further Their manifestoes, develop our young and nascent programmes and agenda for democracy but such cannot be the country are mind-boggling, actualized in this election. but do the political rookies have the legendary political The intrigues, horse trading and networks, financial clouts, and serious political calculations political weight to rival the have all shown that the race two dominant parties in the will not be an easy ride. This countries? In America, where is an in depth analysis of how Nigeria copied the Presidential events might play out in the six System of government from, geopolitical zones;

Fela Durotoye, ANN

Politics Tope Fasua, ANRP


POLITICS

NORTH-WEST

In the Northwestern part of the country, where President Muhammadu Buhari hails from, Katsina state, will also deliver huge chunk of votes to him because he has built his political strength across the geopolitical zone. Buhari has huge followership in North-West and, therefore, will still win the region. Meanwhile, the votes he brought out from the zone in 2015 will be different in this Presidential Election because of the insecurity bewildering some parts of the region. Many voters, who have been affected with the security challenges will surely consider the second option.

For instance, Katsina, the home state of Buhari is being plagued with insecurity, and even the Governor, Aminu Masari has called on the Federal Governor to stem the tide. In Zamfara, the state is being confronted with armed bandits and hundreds of the citizens have been killed by the bloodsucking bandits. In utter frustration, Governor Abdulaziz Yari blatantly stated that he is no longer the Chief Security Officer. Also, in Kaduna state, the state has been engulfed in ethnoreligious crisis and normalcy is just returning to the Southern part of the state, where many of the inhabitants are Christians.

In 2015, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was the Governor of Kano state, the commercial nerve centre of the Northern Nigeria and he played pivotal role in giving Buhari bloc of votes in the state. It is undisputable that he has cultlike followership in the state. Their insignia of red cap is adorned by thousands of Northerners. RMK, as he is sometimes called, has now defected back to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and his Kwankwasiya Movement, that has Northern appeal, will contribute in giving his party’s presidential candidate solid votes. This notion can be confirmed with the style of him travelling across the nooks and

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crannies of the state preaching the Get Nigeria Working Again message. Buhari will win Jigawa state as he did in 2015 even when Sule Lamido was Governor. It is expected that the nation’s main opposition party will also turn the state to a battleground. Sokoto will also be a battleground for the two dominant parties. The Governor of the state, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, is of PDP and the Seat of Caliphate will also play tremendous role in who will emerge the President. Sokoto votes will be keenly-contested as the former Governor, Aliyu Wammako, who is in APC is also determined to ensure President Muhammadu Buhari. There is also insecurity in the state, so it will also influence the decision of the Sokoto indigenes.

NORTH-EAST

The Northeastern region of the country has not produced the President of the country, and they may see the coming election to vote their own as the President of Nigeria as Abubakar Atiku is from the region. The North-East only produced Prime Minister from 1960 – 1966. The North East is the epicenter of terrorism in the country, particularly Borno state. Muhammadu Buhari aggressively campaigned in 2015 to address the insurgency challenges in the region, but insecurity in the geopolitical zone still persists. But despite the insecurity in Borno state, even Governor Kashim Shettima wept in his last visit to Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Buhari will still record huge number of votes because Borno state has

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always been his stronghold since his days in defunct All Nigeria’s Peoples Party (ANPP). Taraba state will be tough as the security challenges will also determine the election in the state. Taraba was also engulfed in the farmer’s/ Fulani herdsmen crisis. Taraba is a PDPcontrolled state but there are doubts if Abubakar Atiku can record resounding victory from the state. The former Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, who defected from All Progressives Congress (APC) to join UDP for the Governorship Contest will probably work for PDP’s Presidential Candidate as she had even declared her unwavering loyalty to the business mogul when she was a member of Buhari’s cabinet. Ceteris paribus, the state may be of PDP in the Presidential Poll. Adamawa is the home state of Abubakar Atiku and there is no gainsaying that he will win the state. He has strong political base there and this might be the time the citizens of the state will reward the candidate of PDP with votes. Atiku has enormous private investments, like Faro Water, American University of Nigeria (AUN), Radio and TV Gotel, Riko Gado Animal Feeds, Adama Beverages and many others. Yobe state will likely go in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari, but the margin will be stiff. Gombe state will be a battle ground between the two main candidates.

SOUTH WEST

In the 2015 Presidential Election, South-West geopolitical zone

determined winner of the race as incumbent Goodluck Jonathan swept the South-South and South-West, while Muhammadu Buhari swept the core north in the election. Therefore, the South-West played a tremendous role in determining the winner of the Presidential Poll. Meanwhile, much has changed in the region today. The last concluded Osun Governorship Poll is a strong indication. Only few thought that PDP could garner such votes against the APC-led government in the state. The APC at the centre had to resort to broad daylight electoral robbery few days after the Saturday Poll in the re-run poll which gave Mr. Gboyega Oyetola of APC a narrow victory in the contest. This event will still occur in the February 16, 2019 Presidential Election. If the Bola Ahmed Tinubu's political dynasty is not careful, People's Democratic Party will win in the cradle of Yoruba race. Atiku has visibility across the nooks and crannies of the state, and it seems the rivalry between Senator Ademola Adeleke, the PDP Governorship Candidate and Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, the runnerup of Osun PDP Governorship Primaries, will contribute greatly to the victory of PDP in the state. The two political juggernauts are working assiduously to control the state political structure, and so the rivalry has birthed competition to determine who will contribute to the resounding victory of the party in the state. One of Atiku's wives, Mrs. Titi Abubakar, is from Ilesa in Osun state, the traditional stronghold of APC. Even though APC lost


POLITICS

some local government areas to PDP in the Gubernatorial Poll, Titi Abubakar can still appeal to the masses there. In Oyo state, the contest will be tight between Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari will win the Pace Setter state, as he did in 2015 Presidetial Poll but the margin wil be very narrow. South-West have enlightened voters, and they easily not be swayed. The Vice Presidential ticket slot given to the South West by the ruling party, APC, will not even determine whether the zone will be voted in or not. With the shape of the economy and increasing hardship in the land, they might tick another box. Lagos will be for President Muhammadu Buhari, but we should not forget that there are many Igbos living in the city of aquatic splendour, Lagos, and Igbos have been compensated with VP slot. The last time Igbos were compensated with such office was in 1983 when Alex Ekweueme won as running mate to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in the second republic. They will also vote for a man from their ethnic extraction. If we want to disregard this fact, then we should kindly remember the 2015 Lagos Gubernatorial Poll. There is an information that over one million people registered in Epe Local Government area of Lagos state in the last Continuous Voter's Registration [CVR] exercise, and more than 70 percent of them Igbos.

SOUTH-EAST

The he nation's main opposition party, PDP, and Atiku Abubakar

made a good decision for picking Peter Obi as the party's Vice Presidential Candidate. Choosing VP Candidate from South East is a not an electoral mistake. In fact, the decision is very strategic. South East is a major stronghold of the party compared to the South West. In 2011, the South East gave PDP 4,985,246 votes. And in 2015, they delivered 2,464,906 votes, that is a difference of 2,520,340 votes within four years. If they had voted massively as they did in 2011, that would have slightly cancelled the winning margin of Muhammadu Buhari which was 2,571,759. However, in 2015, the South West gave Goodluck Jonathan 1,821,416 votes. The margin between Muhammadu Buhari, and Goodluck Jonathan, in the zone, was 500,000 + votes. We always want to belittle the electoral value of South East, but they always contribute immensely. Since they have been given a VP slot, Igbos will vote massively in 2019. Many Igbos view President Muhammadu Buhari as an ethnic irrendetist and anti-Igbo. They believe their marginalization in this government is also because the President is an ethnic bigot, and they will see this election to take their pound of flesh on him.

SOUTH SOUTH

South South is not entirely different from South-East, and similar political game should be expected. Buhari will not win any state in the geopolitical zone. Therefore, Atiku will sweep the votes in the zone. Meanwhile, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state,

Goodwill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state, Great Ogboru and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state, Adams Oshiomole of Edo state will ensure that Buhari get 25% of the votes as part of INEC electoral requirements.

NORTH-CENTRAL

The political dynamics of NorthCentral in this election will be surprising. Kwara was delivered to Muhammadu Buhari courtesy of Senator Bukola Saraki in 2015 but he is now in PDP and he is still the strongman of Kwara politics. Kwara will be for PDP but it will not be an easy win for Atiku Abubakar. The farmers/ herdsmen conflict in the North Central region will affect Buhari's chances in the zone. He won the zone in 2015 but that cannot easily be predicted in the coming election. Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, FCT Abuja, Benue and Niger state may be shared by the two leading candidates but Abubakar Atiku will win the region. All hands are on desk to see who will be victorious in the Poll. This is the period when politicians are working tremendously towards ensuring that their party's candidate emerge as the winner of the race. It will be a tightly-contested poll and the two parties must buckle up and roll up their sleeves. It is imperative for members of political class to ensure that the interests of the masses must be of paramount interest to them during the political process. May Nigerians win!

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WHAT EXACTLY IS HUSTLE SQUARE? Hustle Square is an app for artisans. It is a real-time and location-based app that enables clients get the services of hardware artisans (such as plumbers, electricians, etc) and soft-skilled artisans (such as makeup artists, tailors, etc). For instance, if you seek the services of a generator repair man or woman, as the case may be, all you have to do is open the app (already installed on the phone) and check the map to see if there are any repair guys within your location. Next you simply pick whose services you desire after you must have checked out their profiles, previous jobs and ratings. WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT THIS IDEA? This idea was developed by three young Nigerians. I think the idea came in 2016. It was conceived when one was the cofounders needed a barber here in Lagos but couldn’t find a suitable one and it became a necessity for him to fill this gap. He eventually reached out to some other Nigerians in Canada and next thing, an app development was in the works. It took us about two years to finally get the end product and that is what it is today. HOW DO YOU GET ARTISANS TO COME ON THIS PLATFORM? Well, what we did is to partner with some vocational schools and government empowerment agencies. For instance, we are working with Lagos State Empowerment Trust Fund (LSETF), a government empowerment agency that trains artisans and skilled workers and then sets them up afterwards. So, what we did is to work with them (most graduates from that agency) by on-boarding them unto our platform. It makes it easier for us, in terms of vetting and certification. So most of the artisans you see on our platform are already vetted; they are certified by a government agency and also vocational schools that are well known Artisans are skilled workers who work with their hands. Some argue in the industry. What we are doing is offer a platform to make these guys visible. You that special God-given talents are required to effectively do what some of can go through a vocational school or an these people do. That is arguable but the fact still remains: Not everyone agency and at the end of the day the client can do what they do and do them so well. They do not dress or speak as won’t be there for you. So, our platform delectable as those in the formal sector and this affects the way they are being addressed in our society. Some members of society do not take them puts you on the map and makes you visible, seriously; but here is another fact: Without these artisans, society would not so that your job or the service that you have function properly. One man, however, understands this and is taking the learnt over time would be put to grater use bold step in switching up things for artisans by creating a platform for them. and bring in larger income.

OSAZUWA

ASEMOTA CHANGING THE FACE OF ARTISANSHIP IN NIGERIA

We had a conversation with Mr. Osazuwa Asemota, one of the founders of Hustle Square, an app that is about to revolutionise artisanship.

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INTERVIEW IS THIS REALLY A WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR BOTH SIDES, ESPECIALLY FOR THE CLIENTS? Yes, it is a win-win for both parties – for the artisans and the clients as well. The thing is, what us clients get everyday are referrals for services we want rendered and getting to meet or work with these referred persons can be stressing. However, with Hustle Square you know you have vetted artisans on the app and it’s just on your phone for you to search for the ones around you. You have options to choose from as a customer instead of been restricted to one particular person. HERE’S THE THING – I HAVE SOMEONE THAT MAKES MY HAIR; I AM NOT WILLING TO CHANGE HER JUST LIKE THAT. HOW DO YOU CONVINCE PEOPLE TO BUY INTO THIS IDEA BECAUSE EVERYONE TEND TO PREFER WHO THEY KNOW? PLUS, I WOULD RATHER USE SOMEONE THAT I HAVE SEEN THEIR WORK. HOW DO YOU GET PEOPLE TO BUY INTO THIS THING ESPESCIALLY WHEN THEY DON’T KNOW THE PERSON AND IT’S ONLINE? If you remember when uber started, we all didn’t believe that uber and the likes would come this far because we were used to the typical hailing of taxis; but today I don’t need to tell you about the successes of these hailing apps. Change is always difficult especially for us Africans. One might use one artisan and even if he/she is doing your job wrongly, you still try to manage him or her. It is mostly harder if you don’t have options to choose from; you keep saying to yourself “oh, this is the only person that can make my hair”. We are trying to make people understand that Hustle Square offers you varieties – you can choose whomever you want in terms of cost or professionalism. So, for us it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. We are going to gradually imbibe into the

culture of Nigerians telling them that “look you have varieties, you have options”; so if your hairstylist is not feeling well and you have a wedding or impromptu event, you do not need to go the hospital and stay with him or her to fix your hair when you could get similar services from Hustle Square. You see, we need to encourage change amongst ourselves. I mean, you cannot be tied to one skilled worker forever. You should also see other options; you need to explore. IF I GET TO SEEK OUT A SERVICE OFF THE APP, DO I PAY DIRECTLY TO THE ARTISAN OR I HAVE TO LINK MY ACCOUNTS OR SOMETHING? WALK US THROUGH THE PAYMENT PLAN? What we have created is a platform that gives seamless interaction between the artisans and customers without interference from us. In the app, you will see a message section where clients can chat freely with artisans. What we are doing is bringing everyone together on one platform, so we are not going to be a part of your negotiation. A time will come when we take a certain percentage off whatever is been paid or negotiated and we have a base fee that we take. For now, we have not set up that payment gateway. What we have for now is the artisans paying a subscription fee every month when they are on the platform. For us right now, we are just happy providing ease of services for people that need them and helping artisans get the income they require.

THIS APP OFFERS HOME SERVICES OBVIOUSLY. I AND MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT COMFORTABLE LETTING STRANGERS COME INTO OUR PRIVATE SPACES. HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOUR CLIENTS’ SECURITY AND ALSO PROTECT THESE ARTISANS TOO? Like I said earlier, we don’t just get artisans off the streets or put up people we are not sure of on the platform. We do some level of verification. We are taking artisans from government agencies like the LSETF. These guys have already gotten guarantors from these artisans. They have taken the extra mile to guarantee these artisans before they graduate from their institutions. For us, it’s like we are taking from the pool of people that have been verified by the government and their agencies and vocational schools. A further step we have taken is to consult with the police on how to secure the clients around the people coming into the house. So, what we have done is to have

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INTERVIEW a 24 hours customer direct line where you can reach a security personnel (a police officer) in Hustle Square. I mean, there’s going to be a CSO of the platform where if there’s an incident around a location, the CSO can quickly reach to the divisional police officers for that locational and we can quickly come and curtail the situation. The truth is, we cannot say this covers security on a hundred percent level – even in advanced countries, we still issue once in a while; what we have done, however, is give ninety percent security to our clients. We have taken a step further to create an awareness where we always tell clients to check the pictures on the profiles of the artisans, whose services they have requested, to see if they match with who they are meeting. ALRIGHT THEN. YOU HAVE PROTECTED THE CLIENTS; HOW DO YOU PROTECT THESE ARTISANS GOING INTO UNKNOWN HOUSES? As for artisans going into clients’ houses, we already have the details of the clients (which are protected, of course) and if there is a problem in a particular location, all the artisans have a number to call to reach out to the CSO of the platform. Here’s another thing – if we keep receiving complaints from different artisans concerning a particular client, we don’t have any other choice but to simply blacklist that client. Yes, we blacklist clients and artisans too. It is not a must to take on people just because we want customers. DO THESE ARTISANS HAVE NUMBER TAGS, JUST IN CASE THERE IS AN INCIDENT AND CLIENTS ARE UNABLE TO GIVE A PROPER PICTURE DESCRIPTION? Oh yes! Once an artisan is coming in, we have a certain reference number they are given during registration. These numbers enable us to track the activities of these artisans. EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 26

WHAT SORT OF GUARANTORS DO THESE ARTISANS HAVE? CAN THEY BE HELD ON TO SHOULD ANYTHING GO WRONG? You see, these agencies that we take these artisans from, they not only empower them in terms of knowledge, they also give them loans to start up; so, for a man to give you a loan that big, he already has a guarantor of worth to hold on to. These agencies have done most of the work for us in a very secured way, which is why we are partnering with them. We just don’t want to go out there and seek from people from the streets. We would prefer that the agencies that are empowering youths work with us. We are also trying to seek UN, Africa economic commission and likes because we know the level of verification these agencies and commissions do before and after empowering youths. FROM EXPERIENCE, SOME OF THESE ARTISANS TEND TO BE DIFFICULT TO WORK WITH IN RELATION TO SERVICES RENDERED ESPECIALLY THOSE IN THE HARDWARE DEPARTMENT (LIKE THE PLUMBER, GENERATOR REPAIRMAN). SOME TEND TO TAKE FOREVER TO COME BY THE HOUSE ESPECIALLY AFTER YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THE WORK DONE AND NEED HAVE IT CHECKED OUT AGAIN. HOW DO YOU AVERT SOME OF THESE DIFFICULT SITUATIONS? We have complaint numbers that one could call or chat with If you encounter these issues as a client. These numbers are different from the security numbers. Once a client complains about a particular artisan, a plumber for instance, all the client has to do is give us the plumber’s reference number and we take it up from there. If the plumber is still trying to act funny or is difficult, we simply take him off the app.

YOU MENTIONED WORKING WITH PRIVATE VOCATIONAL HOUSES. HOW SURE ARE YOU THAT THEY CARRY OUT DUE PROCESSES AS WELL AS THE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES? These private vocational schools we are working with are being used by International Oil Companies (like the Chevrons and the Mobil) that have youth empowerment for communities (CSRs). We don’t just go about taking any vocational school; you have to also show us that you have met the criteria. So, if an IOC is using a vocational school, you would know that that vocational school has met the international standard. We have done our checks; we are just like tapping from the pool of different sources that would come on-board the app. IS HUSTLE SQUARE JUST FOR LAGOS ALONE? DO YOU INTEND TO TAKE IT TO OTHER STATES? Lagos is just our starting point. Once we have conquered Lagos, we go to Abuja; once we have gotten the market in Abuja, we


INTERVIEW move to Benin. We are looking at these strategic regions before we can move to other parts. Our plan is to let these regions we have covered speak for us when we begin to move to other regions. ANY PLANS OF EXPANDING TO THE REST OF AFRICA AND THE WORLD? Yes. Our focus right now is launching in Lagos simultaneously putting our paper works together in Canada. Anytime soon, we would also launch in Canada, then we would go to Abuja, then to Benin. We want to be a success first in our own country, Nigeria before we gradually launch out to the African market. For us it’s a marathon; we are not just going to conclude in one day. We are going to go step by step until we are fully over Africa. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENTS SINCE STARTING UP HUSTLE SQUARE? My best moments were when we carried out our initial awareness campaigns. The most memorable for me was the one we did in Computer Village Ikeja, if I am correct, November 15th last year. For me, when we started, I was skeptical because this was something very new and, with all due respect, the people there had a level of education. It was really frightening for us; we didn’t know if and how they would accept what we were trying to sell to them. But the feedback we got that day was so encouraging. A lot of people we met were already willing to register; they kept telling us that they have been looking for something like this. There were artisans begging to come on-board. That day was one of my happiest seeing that this was what these people

had always wanted but there was nobody to bring it to them and now we have reached out to them. It was a good feeling for me. You see, these awareness campaigns we embark on are not really just for marketing as far as Hustle Square is concerned. We do these things to get feedback – we want to know people’s perception and how we could improve. HOW IS THE TURNOUT ON THE APP SO FAR? HAVE CLIENTS STARTED USING THE APP? For now, we are putting that on a pause. This is an incubation period for us. Like I said earlier, we are on-boarding the artisans; we don’t want customers to come in and not find artisans available at the moment they want them. We Nigerians can be impatient; once someone comes online and find that there are no artisans available, they might even delete the app altogether. Right now, we are taking this one step at a time. We want to make sure the artisans are above par. We just concluded a 3-day training for most of the artisans that we got from LSETF. We did a 3-day business ethics training for them on how to relate with customers, to manage their income, how to talk to

customers and prepare sites, etc. This is because most of them know their services but they don’t know how to communicate so we did a thorough job with them and they (artisans) were really impressed with the results. After these thorough trainings, then we launch out fully. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU ARE FACING SO FAR ESPECIALLY WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND PRIVATE VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS? HOW RECEPTIVE ARE THEY WITH GIVING YOU THEIR ARTISANS? To be honest, they responded quiet well especially for the LSETF. Apparently, some others had come with similar ideas to them but were not really ready yet. When we came to them, they showed that they had heard these stories before without any results. Then we showed them the app and they realised immediately that we meant business. So far, we have been given over four hundred trained and graduated artisans. These people are all about entrepreneurship and this made Hustle Square a welcomed initiative. They just don’t want to train, they want to make sure that these artisans get jobs and are working. IF YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN OVER 400 HUNDRED ARTISANS, WHY NOT JUST OPEN UP THE APP COMPLETELY TO THE PUBLIC? WHAT ARE YOU REALLY WAITING FOR? These 400 that are ready are mostly hardware artisans. You know, they are the carpenters, the plumbers, mechanics, etc. We also have to bring on soft-skilled artisans like the hair dressers, makeup artists and the likes; after thoroughly training them in terms EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 27


INTERVIEW of business and customer service, we can now fully open shop. WHAT OTHER CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED SO FAR? Educating these artisans that come on board can be very challenging. We know how artisans are in Nigeria. We live in a society where mediocrity is part of the norm. For instance, a carpenter might come in to do a job for you and mess up your space in the process and then tells you “Oga, I am done with the work oo. I am going, pay me” and then you, due to what you are used to, thanks and pays him and then go ahead to clean up the mess yourself. Now, what you don’t know is that this artisan rendered a service to you and ought to clean up his mess. This is a culture we are trying to imbibe into these artisans and it’s quite challenging. Luckily, there are few that understand what we are teaching and are happy about it, understanding that it’s all about the customer. HOW DOES THE PLATFORM HANDLE PROXIMITY ISSUES BETWEEN A CLIENT AND AN ARTISAN AND ALSO THE ARRIVAL TIME OF THESE ARTISAN? FOR INSTANCE, IF I WANT AN ARTISAN TO COME DO SOMETHING FOR ME IN THE NEXT 30 MINUTES OR AN HOUR AND NONE IS AVAILABLE AT THE MOMENT, WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

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This is one of the reasons we make sure they go through training. These trainings are to make them understand that these services are not like the regular services they render and time consciousness is important for us. However, if, for instance, you need an artisan urgently and you make an appointment with the one you have chosen, he or she would tell you what time they can get to you taking into cognizance the distance from which he or she is coming, if he or she is with another client at the time of request and the traffic situation. You can see all artisans and their exact location on the map. What you can do is to fix a suitable time with this person and if the time does not work for you, you simply go back on the map and look for another artisan in the same category. This is why we have made the platform a very interactive one. It’s like chatting on WhatsApp. And as for the proximity issue, we are making very sure to populate the app with good, certified and verified artisans, so that it would be nearly impossible not to find an artisan of your choice within your axis. WHAT ARE THE VALUES HUSTLE SQUARE STAND FOR? Our value, first of all, is empowerment and outreach – we want to empower as much as we can. Also, we want to put the

informal sector out there. We have done a study of the informal sector in Africa as whole and we discovered that so much money is lost in this sector. The government lacks data on this sector and this can be challenging for businesses. We, as a platform, intend to fill this gap. Information such as these is needed to accurately judge the GDP of the economy. HOW DOES THE GOVERNMENT BENEFIT FROM THIS ARRANGEMENT? DO THE ARTISANS PAY TAXES? First of all, the benefit for the government is job creation – we are helping them get the youths off the streets. As for tax payment, once the artisans register their companies and are working, they begin to get charged on their personal income.as we know, the government is deep into accounts now. We really have no business with this. For us, we are more interested in taking the youths off the streets and doing so helps the government tackle security challenges. To be a part of this initiative, go to www.hustle-square.com. You can check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the handle - @HustleSquare Go download the app – Hustle Square from the Apple and Google Play Store.


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BUSINESS

Ibeju Lekki: The Emerging Commercial Hub of Lagos

W

hat makes investing in Ibeju Lekki Irresistible? Ibeju Lekki is a wide expanse of land that hosts choice developmental projects such as the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lekki Deep Seaport, Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Industry, Dangote Fertilizer Plant, International (Cargo) Airport, Lekki International Golf Course, Pan Atlantic University, Eleganza Industries and many others. It is really a hot investment spot.The area also attracts massive amount of tourism as it is endowed with beautiful lagoon and gorgeous ocean fronts. The development in the area is rapid and ongoing as some even refer to the area as the New Lagos. In fact the area is the emerging commercial hub of Lagos state with many investments being done to develop industries

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and infrastructures. Communities in the axis offer the cheapest plots of land, although this axis looks relatively undeveloped, the many proposed key developmental projects coming will open it up to rapid development. This is responsible for the growing interest by property investors. Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos has more investment prospects than the most expensive and popular Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki Phase 1 all in Lagos, Nigeria. For example, In the 70’s, plot of land in Ikoyi sold for less than #2 Million Naira, but today prices range from #300 Million & above. In the 80’s plot of land in Victoria Island sold for less than #4 Million, but today prices range from #250 Million & above. In the 90’s plot of land in Lekki Phase 1 sold for less than #2 Million, but today prices range

from #150 Million & above. Smart investors took the advantage and invested even though there weren’t any international projects within the aforementioned locations and yet they made over 500% pure profits on their investments after a few years. Now, think of Ibeju Lekki Lagos the "hottest investment zone" in Africa, sitting on multi-billion Dollar international projects that will skyrocket your investments within the next 36 months. Some of the projects include: The Lekki International Airport: The proposed Lekki International Airport is a $450million project located off Lekki-Epe Expressway towards Epe. The Airport is planned to cover 3, 000 hectares of land. 4th Mainland Bridge: When completed in 2019 as promised by Governor AkinwunmiAmbode, the 37.9 kilometres 4th Mainland


BUSINESS

Bridge is principally meant to link Ikorodu and Ajah/Badore, traversing to North-West direction towards the Lagoon shoreline to Lagos Ibadan Expressway. This is another reason Ibeju-Lekki is gradually becoming a choice location. Free Trade Zone: At present, it may be hard to establish the possibility of Elerangbe benefitting hugely from the much talked about Lekki Free Trade Zone considering that it would take 50 minutes to drive to the zone from Elerangbe. However, a direct link road between the two locations is being proposed. This will reduce the distance to about 15 minutes’ drive. Dangote Refinery: After decades of failure by the government to build modern refineries as solution to the incessant fuel scarcity in the country, a new dawn is breaking with the Dangote Lekki Refinery, a private sector investment by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Nigeria’s foremost business tycoon, adjudged by Forbes as the richest man in Africa. Dangote represents a beacon of hope and inspiration in Nigeria. The refinery is coming as a big relief to Nigerians, who have borne the brunt of the mismanagement of the country’s abundant oil resources. That Nigeria, until recently, the sixth largest oil producer in the world, has no

functional refineries is confounding. By embarking on the refinery project, Dangote has defied the lame argument that there is no profit in refinery business and that government cannot run a profitable refinery business. Sadly enough, successive administrations in the country bought into the falsehood and held down any move in that direction. His vision for business development in Africa and Nigeria in particular is incomparable and unprecedented. Nigeria is indeed blessed to have him as one of her eminent citizens. His impacts on the socio-economic development of the country resonate in different sectors of the economy. Dangote’s refinery is therefore coming as a light at the end of a dark tunnel. There is no doubt that government is thrilled and in full support of the project. Against that backdrop, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who recently, went on an assessment tour of the project, accompanied by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Minister of Power, Works and Housing and former Lagos State Governor,

Babatunde Fashola. Being that the refinery is integrated with a petrochemical plant, a fertilizer plant and a subsea pipeline project, it is the largest in the world. Aliko Dangote disclosed that the $12 billion project would be completed in the first quarter of 2019 and that the Federal Government would earn over N145 billion as income as the refinery hasa capacity to refine 650,000 barrels per day. Besides the economic gain of the refinery, which is of great importance, will put Nigeria in the league of countries with such facilities, thereby removing the shame and embarrassment the country and its people have suffered all these years as a result of recurrent fuel scarcity. Alhaji Dangote further said the target is that in five years-time, half of Nigeria’s crude oil will be refined and exported rather than exporting crude that creates jobs elsewhere. What a wonderful prospect for Nigeria to join the league of countries exporting refined petroleum products. The project has been described as an incredible industrial undertaking, possi bly, the largest and most ambitious on the continent; truly inspiring. It is yet to be seen if the 2019 completion date is feasible looking at the pace of work in the project.


BANKING

The Littles Giant Called “Access Bank”

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(Access Bank Takes Over Diamond Bank)

t is no longer news that Diamond bank has been taken over by the little giant “Access Bank” However, the big question still asked is its implication to its customers and its shareholders. According to the CEO of Diamond Bank “The proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger” By implication, the name Diamond bank seizes to exist under the Nigerian regulation. Its details further stated that the merger will create Africa’s largest retail bank as Mr. Dozie sees this as a “morphine into something bigger” which will help strengthen its capital position. Furthermore, the CEO of Access bank Mr. Herbert Wigwe said

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By Maigadi Kashiraahdemi the transaction would include the allotment of two new Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation date. Of which a cash consolidation of N1.00 (Naira) per Diamond Bank share valuing Diamond bank at NGN 72.5bn (US $ 200m) and a 6.61 billion new Access Bank ordinary shares, which represents the 2 new Access Bank ordinary shares for every 7 Diamond Bank shares. According to the statement, the offer represents a premium of 260% to the closing market price of N0.87 per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as at December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer. According to Mr. Herbert this is an opportunity for its bank to become “a Leading player in African Banking resulting

to 29 million customers, 3,100 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), over 32,000 Point of sale (POS) terminals as well as more than 13million Mobile Customers” as both banks share identical platforms and technologies. During the town Hall meeting held in Lagos, a customer raised a compelling question as to customers who have Accounts with both banks. The question was centered on the implication of having both account and how it was going to be treated by the Bank. Both CEOs went further to assure the clients that such account will eventually be merged should the customer choose that option. However, such separate account can be maintained by the customer. The CEO of Access Bank further assured its stakeholders that such transitional process will be achieved seamlessly as its bank


BANKING

has a history of a smooth take over and Merger. Reason Behind The merger A big question has been asked as to why there is a merger between both banks. Many speculations have carried that Diamond bank wasn’t properly managed by its Management, which was headed by Mr. Uzoma Dozie. However, it is an open secret that Diamond bank has recorded a lower capitalization ratio over its previous years as well as a drop in its market share value. Which is a mere reflection of under performance by its Bank. Coupled to these were its Loans which were yet to be paid and those yet to be recovered. However, Mr. Dozie CEO of Diamond Bank claims these were not the major reasons to foster the merger. He went further to say “Consolidation in the Nigerian banking industry is an inevitable, natural progression in a sector where the gap between Tier1 and Tier-2 banks has been widening and scale has become critical; where technology will disrupt the traditional business model which enabling broader financial inclusion." To him “The merger is positive for all of Diamond Bank stakeholders, including customers, employees and shareholders. In particular, customers will benefit significantly through the unrivalled combination of the best of Diamond Bank’s retail and digital leadership with the size of Access Bank’s balance sheet, corporate names and geographical reach. These are the highlights of the merger between both banks

• The Boards of Access Bank and Diamond Bank have approved the entry into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) as announced on 17 December, 2018. • Access Bank and Diamond Bank to effect a merger via a SEC, CBN and PenCom(1) approved, and FHC(2) sanctioned Scheme of Merger. • All assets, liabilities and undertaking of Diamond Bank will be consolidated by Access Bank • Scheme becomes effective subject to 75% majority of shareholders present and voting in person or by proxy at a Court Ordered Meeting • No objection from CBN received on 18 December 2018 In light of the Interview conducted by the Rise News, on “the Morning show” The CEO of Access Bank Mr. Herbert Wigwe Presented these Facts in relation to the Proposed Merger:

December 2018 • SEC Clearance of Scheme of Merger January 2019 • Access Bank and Diamond Bank’s Court Ordered Meetings March 2019 • Court Sanction March 2019 • SEC and CBN Final Approval April/May 2019 • Deal Completion August 2019 The Proposed merger would have been completed by August 2019 as affirmed by Mr. Herbert during his Interview. Customers have also been assured of better services and Products. Furthermore, Mr. Herbert Will be leading the Combined Banks and He went further to assure the workers of Diamond bank that there will be no Retrenchment of its staff, but an environment will be created that will help harness Talents from workers of both banks as they share similar ideals.

The transaction structure implies the following pro-forma ownership structure in the combined entity: –~81% for Access Bank’s shareholders –~19% for Diamond Bank’s shareholders Time Breakdown for the Merger • Filing for CBN Approval in Principle EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 33


ENTERTAINMENT

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Vision Boy

ENTERTAINMENT

I AM A LOVER OF LIFE AND GOOD THINGS By Mary Igwe

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF? I am Seye Fawumi with the stage name ‘Vision Boy’. I am from Ilesha, Osun state. I grew up and schooled in Ilesha as well. I am a lover of life and good things. WHAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND YOUR STAGE NAME “VISION BOY”? The name came from the fact that before you can do anything one needs a dream, a vision of some sorts before you can start anything. That made me take up the name ‘Vision Boy’, maybe it can help me execute my dreams and

ARE YOUR PARENTS IN SUPPORT OF YOUR MUSIC WHAT KIND OF MUSIC CAREER? DO YOU DO? *LAUGHS* My family I do afro pop. I did like is accepting my music to think I am versatile with mixed feelings. They because I actually started kinda prefer professional out doing rap songs. I can careers. Anyways, they see still do that too. However, that I love music so much I just want to sing more for and have decided that no now. matter what, I have to bag ARE YOU SIGNED TO a degree. ANY RECORD LABEL? No, I am not signed to any WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS record label. TO BREAK INTO THE EVER-CONGESTED IT IS SOMETIMES E N T E R T A I N M E N T HARD FOR PARENTS INDUSTRY? TO SUPPORT THEIR I can’t really say much CHILDREN WHO CHOOSE about that for now. All I MUSIC AS A CAREER can say is I am trying to PATH. NEEDLESS TO SAY, discipline myself to be make it a reality.

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other artistes is my being able to be me. I am not trying to sound like some of my role models or any other artiste. I sound like myself and I think that sets me apart. DO YOU ENVISAGE CHALLENGES ON YOUR WAY TO STARDOM? Yes, I do. I think the biggest for me is writing good lyrics that would blend with what’s actually happening in the world. For me, it’s not just about writing random stuff but writing about what’s happening around me and writing what people can relate to. The ability to do that can be challenging sometimes.

more creative, listen to more music from around the world. I see some mistakes that some other artistes are making and I am trying not to make such mistakes. I want to make sure I have my own style and stick to it. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS? To be very honest, I see myself in a very high place. I know things would not go exactly as I have envisaged because absolutely nothing comes EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 36

ELECTIONS ARE AROUND THE CORNER; DO YOU INTEND TO VOTE, THAT’S IF YOU HAVE A VOTER’S CARD? DO YOU HAVE A VOTER’S CARD? Yes, I have my voter’s card and I think I would vote. I am not just sure of who I would be voting for yet.

without challenges. But I know I would definitely overcome. WHY’S THAT? ELECTION IS In the next five years, I will be ALMOST HERE. remarkable. Well, I am just watching till the last week to the elections. WHO ARE YOUR MUSICAL ROLE MODELS? WHAT ADVICE DO YOU Oh, I love Drake, Rick Ross, HAVE FOR UPCOMING Reekado Banks, Davido, ARTISTES? Wizkid and Burna Boy. Let’s I am telling upcoming artistes not forget Vanessa Mdee and out there to keep their heads Stefflon Don. I love these guys up high and love what they do. because they make good music. They should get an education and discipline themselves. And WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT they should not forget to pray FROM OTHER ARTISTES? to God always. What makes me different from


HEALTH

UNDERSTANDING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND THE POWER IT HOLDS By Daniel Orkpaise

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”-William Arthur Ward

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he above quote was the average motivational speaker’s go-to phrase; it got so many an audience pumped up and ready to make so many lofty changes from changing their financial status, to growing a brand and self-discovery. Your ability to imagine, dream and mentally visualize are the basic foundation stones of your ability to grow in all areas of life. On hearing the phrase “mental health” your mind flashes to the mad man on the street or the most recent news of another Nigerian taking his/her life; these instances are just a tip of the iceberg called mental health. Mental health is the daily state of our

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mental well-being and like our physical health it also is influenced by a variety of factors and experiences. It is easy to lose sight of the state of our mental health due to the huge focus on the burden of mental illnesses and disorders with depression and anxiety being the most common culprits. We have to understand that mental illnesses or disorders are destinations we arrive based on the steps we take during the journey which is mental health. “A journey of a 1000miles starts with a step’, so picture your mental health as each step and depression or other illnesses as a result of several wrong steps going unnoticed, while growth either positive or negative as

the destination. It requires an ability to imagine it and dream it to achieve or become it in line with William Ward’s words; your mental health is your daily ability to imagine it and dream it consistently, and it is therefore a no-brainer that mental health is a major part of every growth process be it personal, careerwise or community-based. Little wonder some (please note this) of the best economies in the world possess a happy/ satisfied populace exhibiting a constant state of good mental wellbeing. A poor mental state is a recipe for slower uptake of knowledge, inefficient processing of emotions and an inability to pick up skills which in sum leads to a drop in productivity; a loss of interest added to low productivity would lead to stagnation in all spheres of the individual’s life be it personal, career or community-based. On the other hand, a healthy mental state is great for productivity and growth as it allows the expression of a happy/satisfied state of mind, sustained interest in daily activities and uptake of new skills or knowledge; most importantly it brings about a sense of deliberateness in activities therefore leading to an improvement on previous levels. Therefore mental health is the dividing line which separates stagnation from actual growth,


HEALTH

with every human constantly walking this line. We find ourselves on a particular side of the line based on the influences on our mental health; such influences could range from people around us to events happening in our lives and daily life choices. John Muir once said the power of our imagination makes us infinite; thus the ability of our mind to function adequately makes growth limitless but an inability to function makes us finite in a world fuelled by the infinite. As important as the state of our mental health is, it is also subject to influences which can either alter it negatively or keep it in a positive state. Some of these influences which affect our mental health are isolation, grief, loneliness, alcohol and drug use, toxic relationships, bullying, emotional and psychological abuse just to

name a few. These influences are so dominant in shaping our mental health in the wrong mold; as they cause behavioral changes, affect decision making, reduce self-esteem and self-worth, cause depression/ anxiety and other mental disorders. These negative influences on our mental health downgrade us from being functional beings to dysfunctional ones thereby hampering our growth. While we can’t always avoid some of these influences, there are ways or processes we can adopt to ensure our mental state of being remains healthy. This can be achieved by improved interactions with friends, family, loved ones and being more involved in activities that create warmth and happiness in us; this helps with issues such as isolation and loneliness. Interactions with family and

friends help us stay in touch with a group that understands us well enough to always seek the best for us; they are our support systems and the best gifts they give us are a listening ear and non-judgmental hearts. For individuals going through abuse, toxic relationships, grief, alcohol and drug use issues, the most important form of help to seek is professional help. Never imagine you can do it alone and it is never a sign of weakness to seek help but rather immense strength. Your mental health is the axis on which everything in our world revolves around and thus we must always keep a close eye on our mental state of being at all times; shun negative influences as they affect your mental health which in turn damages your chances of growth.


TRAVEL

My Kenyan

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Chronicles

he night before I barely slept all I could think of was not getting to the airport late and miss flight. I had packed and re- packed my box trying to make sure all the plantain chips, Egusi (Melon Seed Soup) and even Suya Meat (Cow beef) I bought fitted properly inside my box, Nigerians sha we dey pack things... My friend and her friends wanted everything, in short one of them didn’t warned us not to travel without her Suya Meat. But honestly why can’t we just adjust when we live outside Nigeria? or simply find a local market that sells our delicacies.

throughout the year and we needed a break, for us this girl trip to restrategize, relax, bond and of course do what we know to do best shop. With one of friends now living in Kenya, we felt Kenya/Dubai was top amongst our many options, the thought of a home away from home accommodation, ok let me be truthful free accommodation, made picking the destination much easier.

Those where my thoughts before I boarded the plane for my Kenya/ Dubai holiday in October 2018. My friends and I had come up with the idea, we had worked so hard

The people were genuinely friendly and warm, everyone seemed so simple and content with whatever they had. One could tell they were very proud of their country and

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Kenya is such a beautiful country, we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it, and wow Africa is truly blessed. The weather is awesome, for a moment I didn’t feel like coming back to the Nigerian heat.

at the slightest given they would talk and sing the praise about every tourist attraction we visited. I found that annoying sometimes lol, because I was secretly jealous I didn’t feel that way about Nigeria even as a travel consultant. Don’t get it all wrong I love Nigeria and I am so passionate about our country but in those moments all that ran through my mind was how our government had failed us. We enjoyed ourselves so much, ate good food not Kenyan food oh! In as much as I enjoyed Kenya, I didn’t enjoy their food. Our mouthwatering delicacies were the only thing that made me miss home on that trip.

One of the restaurants I would definitely the visit next time I am in Kenya” The Carnivore”. If you love all kinds of meat like me just visit


TRAVEL

this restaurant and thank me later. I enjoyed most of the tourist attractions we visited, Nairobi safari, The Giraffe Centre, Elephant Orphanage, but the highlight of my Kenyan trip was the Great Rift Valley on our way to Naivasha and the beautiful lake Naivasha. We stopped

to make videos at the Valley, take pictures and even shop, you know women we must always find something to buy, I think it makes our trip more interesting. Naivsha gave me memories of Kenya I will not forget in a hurry. We dined at the tree house, saw so many beautiful animals in their natural habitat, especially the 7 feet tall Giraffe Strutting in front of our car, that episode made us giggle like children and last the ride on a boat with hippopotamus inside the lake. I must confess the Nigerian girl in me showed up again, I was casting and binding every spirit of Hippopotamus coming near me lol. The local guides had already warned us that no trying to jump out and swim, as he was speaking, I said to myself Oga no need we Africans are not that adventurous or let me speak for myself. He rode far away from the hippopotamus but not too far for us to get a beautiful view of one God’s most amazing creatures. Something interesting happened while my friends and I where filling ourselves, dining on a tree house,

there was this naughty Monkey, It just kept terrorizing us or better still me, because my friends where so calm. Whilst it was jumping around trying to grab a meal, all my mind was thinking about was” what if the Monkey had Ebola” yes you read right I am still not over the Ebola episode in 2014. Now I think of it the monkey was harmless and hungry, it just wanted to eat some of our sumptuous looking meal lol. It succeeded in getting away with some of our bread lol. Am sure you already imagined what happened afterwards, I never ate out of the bread again, even if every claimed the monkey didn’t touch the bread in the basket. Naivasha, such a beautiful city that I encourage everyone who visits Kenya to visit especially the lake but be careful not to walk into the middle of the Buffalo gathering. Kenya wasn’t the end of my trip but I hope you enjoyed reading my Kenyan Chronicles while you look forward to my Dubai part of the trip.

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FASHION

Fashion Trends For 2019 By Mary Igwe

Yes, we know it’s too early to start proclaiming trends for 2019. But did you observe all fashion weeks and events from last year?! Well, we can predict from all of that, as well as common street style fashion so far. To break this down, we would be talking male and female trends separately.

Men’s Fashion Trends CROPPED TROUSERS

Cropped trousers are headed for our MCMs’ closets with no intentions of leaving. Might as well welcome them because they offer the perfect opportunity to fashionably show off beautiful pairs of socks (and skin *winks), especially in a formal setting.

MULES

SHORTS

I remember when it used to be a ‘sin’ for guys to come out of their BERETS & HATS houses wearing This is the new way to shorts. Now, finish off a dapper look it’s all the rave. and it is gender-neutral. And we love the toned calves that come with them. EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 42

These were the buzz of 2018 and do not look like they are ready to leave in 2019. It is the new ‘it’ for men what don’t want to be bothered with the stress that comes with Oxford shoes. Mules can be worn casually and formally – but trust our men to wear mules with mostly traditionally outfits.

SLING BAGS

Wallets were just the thing for the male folk while purses and bags were perceived as feminine accessories. However, 2017 saw an influx of men carrying bags, purses as larger wallets and the last quarter of 2018. Not only are sling bags fashionable, they are hands-free and practical.


Women’s Fashion Trends

FASCINATORS & HATS

Fascinators are back and this time the ‘90s accessory is extra catchy and not just for church and weddings. This trend is not alone – women are donning other stylish hats and head accessories as well.

SHRUNKEN/MINI BAGS

Oversized bags are so last season. Mini bags are a metamorphosed version of a clutch and a handbag and are so stylish. Almost everyone is sporting these small bags – you can wrap your hand around them or simply hang them on your arms. Talk about the ultimate arm candy.

PUFFY SLEEVES

Not a conservative look, puff sleeves added a fun ‘80s twist to modern outfits. Equally striking and stylish, these sleeves give off a powerful vibe. Be sure to tone down the rest of your look so as not to appear over-the-top.

MISMATCHED PRINTS

We guess minimalism is on break because mixing totally different prints is the new trendy. However, one has to be careful to be able to pull this look off – we don’t want you looking like you came out wearing all your ‘Christmas clothes’ at once.

ANIMAL PRINTS

It’s time to let the animal instincts take over your style with bold and wild prints. The most common amongst fashionistas is the leopard prints.

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EVENT

Babajide Sanwo-olu at the Ajegunle Mock Nations Cup

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At the Ajegunle Mock Nations Cup

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APC Flag Off Campaine

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APC Flag Off Campaine

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APC women leader, Enabling,Empowering and promoting women


Platform Debate


The Unveiling for Greater Lagos


Flag Off at Ajelogo


Try my Job at Mechanic Village and Computer Village


Try my Job at Mechanic Village and Computer Village


Try My Job Hairdresser


LIFESTYLE

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF 2019

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ost of us might have had a productive 2018; but no matter how productive or effective the year went by, we could probably give our work habits a tune-up for the year with our best interest at heart. It could be a change in our morning routines or a totally different productive approach in our lifestyle. One thing that dominates our entire being as a person is the state of one’s mental health. Statistically proven, every year, roughly one in five adults or more than 40 million Americans and more than 20 million Nigerians experience a diagnosable mental health condition like depression or anxiety. It is known that the workplace represents a large domain of one's life which can affect one’s psychological state on a regular basis and lessen one’s ability to be productive. I found out most times, we unnecessarily over-stretch ourselves beyond our very own capacity which can affect our wellbeing. A wise man once said, “If you can successfully outline your chapters, the bulk of the mental work is done. You will have a guideline which you

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By Kosi Melvina Iyke can easily adjust as you go”. So as there is every solution to every problem, I will share my own tips, hacks and habits on how to make your year productive and efficient from your morning routine down to making right decisions influencing both your mental health and your productivity level. So, get your seatbelt tightened up because it is going to be a long ride. • Say no to an unsexy body: Being sexy is almost everybody’s goal. You know, having a body and skin that leaves us feeling on top of the world. Most of us have these really crazy body images in our heads of being the next Khloe Kardashian or Ashley Graham or Toolz or David Beckham or even one of the Kupe Boys. I am sure just thinking about them right now is giving you some body chills and having you all pumped up to pen down your #2019BodyGoals. Just take a chill pill and relax because to be truthful, there’s a high probability that you might not achieve all those. What I am trying to say is: Love your body well enough to feed it right and treat it well. Do not be fake woke and let your body go. You can be big and still look amazing. You can be skinny and still toned.

• Eating Happy Meals for Breakfast: My go-to meal is oats and lemon grass juice. It doesn’t really have to be the same for you but the point is to get something that will give you joy in the morning and properly give your day the bright start it needs. It could be coffee and a piece of cookie, it could be noodles, fruits, wheat bread and honey; whatever it is that can give you that early morning glow needed to run your day. Remember to have breakfast without using your


LIFESTYLE love is that it will always stand the test of time. This year let it in; don’t overthink things. Be open to it but be smart; trust but with caution. No one is perfect and no one can ever meet those detailed outlined requirements or criteria we have in our diaries or our hearts or wherever we might have penned it. Do not put too much effort in pushing people away; it won’t hurt to get to know them.

phone or thinking about work and responsibility but just enjoying the moment and thinking about all the positives that are going on in your life. Having your go-to meal will help you feel focused and energized. By the way, you should try oats with a glass of lemon grass juice. You will be thanking me later. • Having a Relationship with God: We might think our relationship with God has nothing to do with our mental health but trust me it does. Has life ever hit you to rock bottom where everything you seem to do, every drug or weed you get addicted to, can’t even save you a day of grief? Well, I got nothing else to say here. • Opening Up Ourselves to Love: Most of us are victims of not letting ourselves fall in love or not letting someone love us how they can to their best ability, either because we are scared that they won’t meet our requirements, or due to past experience, while some of us are basically just scared of the unknown. Back in the years, I was found guilty of the fear of the unknown when it came to love but one thing about

• Being More Forgiving: Most times, we tend to cut people off at the slightest hint of betrayal or disappointment which could either cost us lot of friends or be for the better or it could be both and that does not necessarily mean we have forgiven them, sometimes we cut people off from our lives but yet still carry unhealthy grudge weeks to weeks, months and even years which is really unhealthy for our mental health which could lead to depression if not taken care of can affect your productivity level. Let’s try to be more forgiving. Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart • Letting go of criticism: No negative vibes this year. Let’s be more welcoming to constructive criticism towards people around us and even towards ourselves. Listen more before speaking; do not listen to pick up argument points but listen to understand.

love yourself, the greater your level of self-confidence. Self-confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. And don’t forget, self-love and confidence are the middle fingers of all time. • S.M.A.R.T To-Do List: One of the things that have really helped me structure, strategize and make right decisions in my life will be a smart to-do list. S.M.A.R.T means Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. The essence of a To-Do list is to specifically outline your activities for the day, prioritize them based on top most important as well as help with time management, which could be of great help in being intentional and productive. The S.M.A.R.T formula should not just stop at your To-Do list; it can and should be applied when setting goals in every area of life. I hope all these helps with making the most of this new year. You don’t have to rush into things; remember to start small. Do not be too serious with life; enjoy it. As someone would say: Chop life before life chop you. Have a beautiful 2019!!!

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• Self-Love More: Just in case you have forgotten today: You matter. You are loved. You are worthy. You are magical. Do not let anyone tell or make you feel otherwise. The more you EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 65


TRENDING

MOST TALKED ABOUT 2018 FILMS STILL IN 2019 Nollywood is not what it used to be. New faces are emerging with new styles of filmmaking and acting. The mode of distribution and viewership is not behind in the ice age either. It is safe to say that we can now rub shoulders with our friends in Hollywood. Needless to say, 2018 was a year that gave us amazing movies that will not be forgotten in a hurry. Below are the movies that were premiered last year and still got us talking in 2019.

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2 GOD CALLING

UP NORTH

This is one did a number on all who watched it. This BB Sasore directed film is a story of redemption that looks at the life of Sade (Zainab Balogun), her family and her faith through the lens of an unconventional encounter with God. This faith-based film explores modern day spirituality and the self-discovery of God’s purpose for us on earth. The film grossed a domestic total of N35,498,547.

Almost everyone was enthusiastic to see this full film when the trailers for this showed up. Plus, it had Nollywood favourite couple starring in it. The drama which was directed by Tope Oshin explores a journey to self-discovery, love, friendship and family politics. This film showed the beautiful aspect of Northern Nigeria and their values. The film which was said to have had 25,000 background actors and a crew of 160, grossed a total N80,454,149.

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CHIEF DADDY

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This was another noise-making film. According to the Guardian, “Nollywood gathered for Chief Daddy”. It was packed with too many stars, some of whom were unnecessary, according to reviews. The comedy drama told the story of a billionaire industrialist Chief Beacroft, a flamboyant benefactor to a large extended family of relatives, household staff and assorted mistresses. Chief dies suddenly and all hell broke loose for his benefactors. The Niyi Akinmolayan directed film grossed a total N355,931,631 making it the third Nollywood film in history of Nigerian cinema to break the elusive N300 million barrier.

KING OF BOYS

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Oh my! Everyone is going to be talking about this movie for a long time. This drama and political thriller tell the story of Alhaja Eniola Salami, a businesswoman and philanthropist with a chequered past and a promising political future. Drawn into a power struggle that threaten everything she holds dear, she uses every ounce of cunning, ruthlessness and strategy that took her to the top, as well as loyalty of those closest to her. The political thriller portrayed the Nigerian politics and the dangers of powers. This Kemi Adetiba film is the fifth highest domestic grossing Nigerian film with a total of N228,239,753. These movies sure changed the Nigerians perception of “Nigerian film” and we can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us cinema-wise. While we are still on movies on everyone lips, here is a comedy that was released this year, January 4th. LIONHEART

6 THE CALL The call is a fictional story of a stubborn young man, Arole, who is fond of playing pranks but was blessed with a spiritual ability to see visions. His whole life changed when he prophesied into people’s lives and they began to come true. The film is about finding your purpose and getting it right. It is an exciting story, that is not wholly a Christian film. The film, which was directed by James Abinbi, is comedian and actor, OluwaToyin Bayegun better known as Woli Arole debut as a producer.

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This film is Genevieve N n a j i ’ s directorial debut and Netflix’s first original Nigerian film. In other words, it made history. *drops mic*. The films tell the story of Adaeze (Nnaji) who steps up to run the family business, a big Nigerian company, alongside her quirky Uncle Godswill (Nkem Owoh) – and to prove herself in a male dominated world. The film deals with the everyday sexism found in workplaces and honouring family values. Although laced with cinema controversy, the film grossed N21,319,102.

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Chiamaka Chinero Godlyn

The Challenges and Prospects of the 21 Century Woman in Leadership and Workplaces

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he role of the African woman in the society is changing dramatically, compared to a few centuries ago. The proportion of women attending college, graduating from tertiary institutions and obtaining doctorate degrees has increased gradually. No longer are women associated with low expectations both in education and the workforce. Women now seek and obtain the highest leadership roles in professions and business. For example, according to Laff (2006), in the banking industry the ranks of women in senior level management positions increased from 19% to 31% between 2003 to 2006. This is an extraordinary 63% increase in a mere three years. Even more importantly, the percentage of women at the corporate executive level in the banking industry increased 37% (from 27% to 37%) in this same three-year period. • Stereotypic tendencies: The society associates masculine characteristics with success and

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achievement. Assertiveness, aggressiveness, speed, decisiveness, and flexibility associated with leadership are usually perceived to be lacking in women. However, this perception has appeared to be baseless as the society has being privileged to have • The Glass-ceiling Factor: I belong to the school of thought that proposes that corporate culture and organizational barriers affect the differential biases in hiring and promotion between men and women. There is usually no motivation to the top as there are hardly any women there. While these barriers vary significantly from organization to another, they create a huge roadblock preventing women from advancing to top management in their workplaces. • Workplace Relationship: The relationships between many women and their mentors, senior colleagues, and bosses are another barrier that bechances women in the society. Women by their nature are quite emotional and possess negative emotional toxins easily that lead to strife, jealousy and

undue competition. • Life-style Conflicts. One of the challenges that plagues women and prevents them from working in the fullness of their leadership capacities and potential is the uniqueness of their lifestyle. For many women, in addition to the roles they hold in an organizations, they remain the primary caretakers for their families. As work demands go up, they are left to choose between their careers and family. Very few women CEOs and women executives have children due to the affect it would have on their career,(Jack and Suzy Welch (2007). Conversely, many women have voluntarily left their jobs due to family decisions (Baxter, 2000; Wallace, 2008). However women are great leaders. It is quite unfair to ask a woman to choose between her career and her family. The female folks have never been as sensitized and politically enlightened as they are now. Women deserve to be employed; they deserve to have good jobs like any other man does.


Food Factor Their emotional nature has proven to be a strength and not a weakness as they proven their ability to lead from a point of emotional intelligence, understanding and empathy. Their conscientiousness, compassion and humane are unequaled as they relate with and take significant decisions that affect people, humans. Women in leadership and as well politics as a matter of fact is of great significance in the society and cannot be overemphasized to say the least. Women are unrelenting and have the incredible ability to nurture a vision, with selflessness and a great sense of focus and direction. Lawrence H Summers has said ” a society that does not establish pathways to leadership for all of its citizens is a society that is denying itself a possibility of excellence. Women need to participate actively in decision making in their workplaces and society. We must learn to develop a thick skin to any stereotype around and about us in work places. Women must learn to encourage one another, to walk the narrow path of success and significance. Above all, there is need to build a formidable network of focused women who will facilitate a new chapter of experience in the workplace and across various societies. Time abounds, the time is now. Let the walk begin.

YAM AND FISH PEPPER SOUP

By Oluwatoni Adebanke

Pepper soup is one popular Nigerian soup recipe. It is a versatile recipe and has become a prefered one in all parts of the country. Pepper Soup can be prepared with different types of meat and fish. Thus, there is the Chicken Pepper Soup, the Catfish Pepper Soup (popularly known as Point & Kill), the Goat Meat Pepper Soup, the Cow tail Pepper Soup and the Assorted Beef Pepper Soup. So popular is it that people usually go to exclusive bars or restaurants to eat just Pepper Soup. This is because this Nigerian soup recipe is believed to be prepared with ‘secret’ ingredients that only the restaurant Madams know about and is said is be good for the body. Yes, the Pepper Soup ingredient which gives this recipe its unique aroma and taste is truly the best kept secret all across the country. But we are here to expose some Pepper soup recipes and cooking secrets, so that you can prepare them right inside your own kitchen.

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am and Fish Pepper Soup is one of the easiest Nigerian food to prepare. It is a bit spicy but undeniably, a delicious meal for any time of the day. This delicious meal is also regarded by many, as a remedy for common cold and flu.

- 500 grams Fresh Fish (You can use Catfish, Conger eel, Tilapia or any tasty fish of choice) - 1 tablespoonful Ground Crayfish - 1 medium onion (chopped) - 1/2 Scotch bonnet Pepper (atarodo) (chopped)(use ground chili peppers as substitute) Below is an easy to follow recipe. Hope - 1 tablespoonful pepper soup spice mix you Enjoy! - 1 tablespoonful chopped uziza leaves Ingredients for Igbo Yam and Fresh Fish (Basil leaves) or Scent leaves (locally Pepper Soup known as efirin or Nchanwu). - 150grams Yam (you can use the hard - 1 seasoning/stock or Bouillon cube sweet potato as a substitute) - Salt to taste. Cooking Directions

1. Slice the yams, peel 2. Now wash and cut the skin, cut into cubes and wash thoroughly. Place the yams into a pot, add enough water to cover the yams, add a level teaspoon of salt and leave to boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then strain out the water and set aside.

the fish (if you have whole fish), then place in another pot, add water to almost the level of the fish. Add diced onions, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Leave to boil for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the fish

3. After 5 minutes, add the precooked yams, chopped peppers, ground crayfish, pepper soup spice and the chopped uziza leaves or Scent leaves.

4. Leave to simmer for 5 more minutes and your Yam and Fresh Fish Pepper Soup is ready. Tip: Dried uziza leaves were used and it came out nice. So feel free to use it if that's what you have. EKOCITYMAGAZINE.COM.NG | 69


Profile for Fawumi K Abiodun

Ekocity Magazine 2019 ISSUE 1  

Ekocity Magazine 2019 ISSUE 1  

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