Categories
Child & Teen Development

Acquittal Principle versus Maquital Principle

A recent study was carried out across various schools and communities by Workman Teachers Volunteers on the effect of words on child development. Two psychological principles determined the academic performance of the children: The Acquittal Principle and Maquital Principle.

THE ACQUITTAL PRINCIPLE

The Acquittal Principle states that when the mind of a child is directed by high expectations, it leads to improved performance. Thus, when words like:

You are a good child;

You are brilliant;

You are not lazy;

You like to study;

You can improve;

You can do better;

You neither steal nor lie;

You are going to be great;

are constantly spoken to a child, the mind of that child doubles in intellectual reception and the performance of the child improves.

THE MAQUITAL PRINCIPLE

On the other hand, the Maquital Principle states that when a child is directed by low expectations, the performance of the child drops in accordance with psychological trauma. Thus, when words like:

You are a bad child;

You lack parental care;

You lack home training;

You are not a bookworm;

You are dull;

are constantly spoken to a child, it hinders his or her potential intellectual growth. Apparently, shouting on children to teach them lessons is counterintuitive and counterproductive.

The Acquittal principle and Maquital principle evince that the self-perception and self-esteem of a child are built by words. Parents, guardians and teachers are advised to help improve the academic performance of their wards and students by directing their minds with influential words. This way, children, parents, guardians, teachers, the nation, everybody wins!

For more insights and solutions on managing the talents, personalities and development of children, contact Lead Resources here.

Reference: Talk2aCounselor

AUTHOR

Oyebola Simeon is an Associate Solutions Architect at LEAD Resources, a computer scientist and a tech enthusiast. He is interested in Child and Teen Development, and he has a goal of addressing the challenges in this area of interest via technology.

Categories
Human Resource Management

Strategic Self-Management: A Panacea for Organizational Growth

In this article, we shall discuss how self-management correlates with organizational growth.

According to Head & Heart (TransformEd & ANet), Self-management, also known as “Self-control” or “Self-regulation,” is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts and behaviours effectively in different situations. This includes setting and working toward personal and organizational goals, managing stress, delaying gratification, and motivating oneself.

It is important for organizations to pay keen attention to improving the self-management skills of their employees. This is because researches show that employees’ work input and effectiveness (which is in resonance with organizational growth) is often affected by their physical and mental wellness. 

Self-management skills allow you to improve your workplace performance, maximize your productivity and achieve your professional goals.  Hence, improving your self-management skills can help you increase your employability and manage your career path better. 

Examples of self-management skills include:

  • Organization 
  • Goal-setting 
  • Time-management 
  • Stress-management 
  • Accountability 
  • Self-motivation 

HOW TO IMPROVE SELF-MANAGEMENT SKILLS 

There is a need to focus on ways you can direct, evaluate and improve on your daily tasks. Here are a few ways to improve your self-management skills: 

  1. Assess Your Strengths: Determine what professional tasks you’re best at and focus on ways to maximize your abilities in these areas.  
  2. Prioritize Your Responsibilities: Clearly define which responsibilities are most important, focus on them and avoid distractions.
  3. Develop Organizational Systems: Find effective methods to help you streamline your daily activities and manage your time. Also, keep important items in easy-to-find places.  
  4. Create Strict Deadlines: Set deadlines for each stage of a project and maintain your schedule. Be accountable and sacrifice the hours needed to reach your self-designated checkpoints. 
  5. Perform One Task at a Time: Focus your time, energy and abilities on a single task at a given moment. Complete one task before moving on to another for efficiency. 
  6. Practise Patience: Maintain a sense of calm to help you think clearly and objectively. Be considerate of others, and try to empathize with their needs and experiences. 
  7. Take Care of Your Health and Wellness: Have a healthy diet, exercise regularly, maintain good personal hygiene and actively focus on lowering your stress levels.  
  8. Evaluate Your Progress: Objectively assess the progress you’ve made toward your goals by setting checkpoints along the way and tracking your accomplishments.  

With reference to the paragraphs above, the importance of strategic self-management as proportionate to organizational growth cannot be overemphasized. As individuals, we must strive towards personal development as it makes us better in our personal lives and at our workplaces. No doubt, stable employees make a stable organization. 

For more insights on strategic self-management, subscribe for Lead Resources’ Personal Talent Management course here.

Categories
Nation-Building and Active Citizenship

#EndSARS Protests: A Call for Nigeria Police Reform

THE BEGINNING OF SARS

SARS, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, was a sub-unit of Nigeria Police Force under the State Criminal and Anti-Robbery Squad. The purpose of this squad was to investigate, apprehend and detain criminals who bore illegal firearms, robbed the masses, and kidnapped children and adults in the nation. For a fluid operation, they were allowed to serve as undercover agents.

However, over the years, various individuals and groups accused SARS operatives of violation of human rights, illegal arrests and detentions, manhandling of Nigerian youths, sexual harassment and rape, and extra-judicial killings. So far, Amnesty International has documented 82 cases of police brutality between 2017 and 2020. Yet, the bad eggs within the squad seemed to be beyond control.

CITIZEN’S OUTCRY

In 2017, the government responded to the public as regards SARS by stating that the unit would be reformed however the killings continued. On 8th October 2020, Nigerian celebrities such as Falz and Runtown took to the streets to protest against police brutality in solidarity with victims of the same. Following this, organized protests began all over the nation for the disbandment of SARS. The protests were called #EndSARS (End Special Anti-Robbery Squad) protests; this name was culled from the online protests which began in 2017 on Twitter to end the squad.

According to Wikipedia, about 28 million #EndSARS tweets were made on Twitter. For about two weeks, Nigerian youths protested against police brutality with no pronounced leadership. They marched in every state in the nation chanting, “Enough is Enough! Sorosoke! (Speak out!)”

On 11th October 2020, SARS was dissolved! DCP Frank Mba, Force PRO, stated 5 things for the general public to know about the dissolution of SARS:

  1. The Inspector-General of Police has dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across all the 36 state commands and the FCT with immediate effect.
  2. All officers and men serving in the unit will be redeployed to other police commands, formations and units.
  3. A new policing arrangement for tackling the offences of armed robbery and other violent crimes will be unveiled to the public soon.
  4. A Citizens’ and Strategic Shareholders’ Forum will be launched to provide an avenue for citizens to regularly interface and advise the Police Authority on issues touching on the general public.
  5. To deal with the report of crimes committed against citizens, an Investigative Team will be constituted which will include Civil Society Organisations and culprits will be punished.

In response to the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Youths made 5 demands – #5for5. They are as follows:

  1. Immediate release of all arrested protesters.
  2. Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
  3. Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct (within 10 days).
  4. In line with the new Police Act, psychological evaluation and retraining (to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed.
  5. Increase police salary so that they are adequately compensated for protecting the lives and property of citizens.

On 13th October 2020, the Presidential Panel on Police Reforms met and okayed the 5 demands made by the Nigerian Youths. The protests did not stop as the Nigerian Youths determined not to give in until their demands were implemented.

Later, the protests were not just about #EndSARS or #EndPoliceBrutality; they were about something bigger – #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria.

LEKKI MASSACRE

I raised my hand, clenched my fist and started walking back shortly. They were shooting at me.

Aisha Yesufu
#EndSARS
Aisha Yesufu

Unfortunately, the #EndSARS protests degenerated into a bloodbath on October 20th 2020 at Lekki tollgate as the Nigeria Army allegedly shot at unarmed protesters. In an Instagram live video of the shooting by a Nigerian celebrity, DJ Switch, protesters sat on the floor and lifted their flags in a bid to call for peace. The protesters sang the Nigerian National Anthem in agony and solidarity. The picture of a man who was shot during the massacre went viral as he was being helped by DJ Switch. His wounded legs were wrapped with the Nigerian flag.

According to Amnesty International, before the massacre, cameras at the scene – Lekki tollgate – were removed and billboards were switched off. Till date, the one who gave the order to massacre the unarmed protesters has not been apprehended. However, human rights activists like Femi Falana have set up private investigative panels to look into the killings of the protesters.

GOVERNMENT REACTION

After several days, the Nigerian President delivered a 10-minute speech to the nation. However, the speech did not address the matter of the Lekki massacre, rather, it focused on youth empowerment and the termination of the #EndSARS protests. The speech was widely condemned due to its apparent lack of empathy.

Initially, the Lagos State Governor denied that casualties were recorded at the Lekki massacre while the Army denied their presence at Lekki toll gate on October 20th 2020 and stated that the live videos were “photoshopped”.

DJ Switch openly testified that the Nigeria Army arrived the scene of the massacre without any warning and shot at unarmed protesters. Thereafter, a CNN journalist held an interview with the Lagos State Governor where he exposed the Nigeria Army and admitted that casualties were recorded. This sparked an outcry for the exposure of the one who ordered the shooting. The Army reacted by saying that they were at the venue of the incident to ensure that the curfew placed by the Lagos State Governor a few hours earlier that day was obeyed.

INTERNATIONAL REACTION

Joe Biden (The US President-Elect), Hilary Clinton (The former US Secretary of State), Africa Union Commission, etc. all condemned the killings, called for an end to violence and urged the Nigeria Government to negotiate with the protesters. Many international celebrities voiced their displeasure about the turn of events.

Although the protests were halted abruptly and the hearts of Nigerians were broken, there is still hope for the nation. The #EndSARS protests can be seen as a stepping stone towards the liberation of the nation from bad governance. Now, people must be educated on becoming and choosing leaders that can effect positive changes in the nation. Lead Resources trains people with hearts and track records of leadership for a national takeover in a programme called Mainstream Successor Generation. At no other point in history has this solution been more useful to the nation. Those interested may simply contact Lead Resources here.

2023 is near. In a jiffy, your vote will either be a life-jacket or a bullet. Vote wisely!  

AUTHOR

Osatohanmwen Osadiaye Osabuohien is the Executive Director of Nerve Empowerment Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of Benin, Faculty of Arts, Department of Religion. He is a research analyst by profession and he has a strong interest in analyzing societal challenges.

Categories
Technology and Innovation

TAMS: EdTech Reimagined

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Over the years, the Nigerian Educational System has suffered much lag and retrogression in its processes and operations. Although some have tried to change the status quo, most of us have abandoned the system to rot. There are over 85,000 private basic schools in Nigeria with a pressing need to adopt technology to drive their educational processes and operations especially in the “new normal,” the post-COVID-19 Nigeria.

With an average of 500 schools being served by the 10 leading School Management Solution Providers in Nigeria, the market space is underserved by approximately 99.4%. Now, most leading Education Solution Providers consolidate their efforts and sell their solutions to states where there are competitive and comparative advantages while they lack presence in other states.

Ademola Adenubi
Ademola Adenubi (CEO, CrownBirth)

Ogun state, although a leading state in education with over 5,000 private basic schools and 10 tertiary institutions, is unserved by any major School Management Solution Provider. Therefore, there is a need for a school management solution which provides a user experience that changes stakeholders’ perception to technology adoption in schools, penetrates other markets and gains competitive and comparative advantages while offering the transformation the educational system needs. For this cause, Crownbirth Ltd. designed and developed TAMS.

WHAT IS TAMS?

TAMS (Technology-Assisted Academic Management System) is a multi-tenant, cloud-based school management system which provides a personalised platform and user-friendly interface for schools and stakeholders in education to interact, manage information and coordinate school processes and operations. It is uniquely developed on a well-researched framework and models the generic information, requirements and processes of the Nigerian Education System. Crownbirth Ltd. designed, developed and offers TAMS on https://edutams.net.

FEATURES OF TAMS

Some basic features of TAMS include self-service set-up, admissions management, registration management, attendance management, digital classes and live chat sessions, internal messaging channels, e-resources, e-assessment, hostel management, subscription management and bursary management.

BENEFITS OF TAMS

TAMS offers benefits to all stakeholders. For the government, TAMS provides a seamless education revenue report and supports the cashless policy. For school administrators, TAMS enables efficient monitoring of all activities within their school from student management to oversight of financial transactions. For teachers, TAMS eases the management of class schedules, students’ attendance, lesson notes, students’ results and communication with the guardians of their students. For parents, TAMS provides efficient updates on all school activities and academic performance of their wards. For students, TAMS keeps them abreast of all school activities and academic progress. For agents, TAMS provides an avenue for a recurrent commission per term for life on every school registered.

TAMS PRODUCT LAUNCH

The product launch of TAMS is scheduled for Wednesday, 25th November 2020 by 9 am (WAT) at Ball Room, Conference Hotel, Presidential Boulevard, 1 Golf Resort Drive, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta. Visit bit.ly/TamsLaunch to register for the launch.

The distinguished speakers for the product launch include Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu (Hon. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Ogun State), Dr Adefunke Ekine (Deputy Director, Research and External Relations, Tai Solarin University), Mr Ajibade Laolu Adewale (Head of Partnership, Digital Solutions in Fintech, Wema Bank) and Mr Bosun Tijani (Founder and CEO of Co-Creation Hub). The special guest of honour is His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (Former Governor, Ogun state).

Please note that seats are limited, registration is compulsory and physical attendance is strictly by invitation. However, the product launch can be watched via Livestream. When you register via the aforementioned link, you will be notified when the live stream begins. For more information on TAMS, visit www.edutams.net

REVIEWS OF TAMS

TAMS makes teaching and learning easy. The e-learning solution relieves teachers of the stress of teaching on-site. The students can learn at home and attempt class activities as well. In a nutshell, TAMS is a relevant tool for the educational sector.

Michael Sangotope
Transatlantic International school

TAMS has a robust approach to digitalizing all aspects of school management. I find the learning management system for lesson notes, schemes of work, quizzes and assignments second to none.

Akano Afeez
Portal Admin, Transatlantic international school

With TAMS, engaging my students has become more interesting especially in taking their attendance, sharing my lesson content, using the e-assessment tool to evaluate their performance, and applying the results processing module (the very best) to generate results. Kudos to Crownbirth!

Adewale Kayode Abayomi
Best Senior Secondary School Teacher, Ogun state 2020

TAMS provides solutions to the needs of all education stakeholders such as easy registration, attendance management, real-time learning and feedback, access of parents to students’ continuous performance, and effective communication amongst stakeholders. Also, all of the schools’ information is secure. As a private school teacher who is exposed to different academic solutions, I boldly state that TAMS is the most relevant Academic Management System for Basic Schools.

Adesanya Ademola Joseph
Mathematics Teacher, Christ The King Catholic College, Odolewu-Ijebu

TAMS has taken my school to A NEW LEVEL, A HIGHER ONE. It was loudly applauded during our PTA meeting by the parents. It has eased the management and administration of my school. Students now have access to learning materials online (videos, texts, etc.) Parents are now abreast of the school activities of their children/wards. There is also effective reporting for each student in terms of academic performance, behaviour and punctuality.

Pastor Okusanya O. A. (NCE, B.ED, FCPILHM)
Proprietor, Love Foundation group of schools
Categories
Human Capital Development

Freedom

People desire freedom.

Freedom is the ability to act based on your convictions without external restrictions or retribution, and represent yourself as you see yourself to be without having to disguise in order to pursue happiness, fulfillment and growth. It is the power of free self-expression.

Different cultures define freedom in different ways thus people of different societies enjoy it in ways that they consider to be appropriate. Being free does not imply that we should infringe on the rights of others and live by our feelings. It involves considering the rights and the feelings of the people around us while living freely.

On the other hand, a free person does not need to fear when expressing his opinion. Societies that encourage freedom of opinion, belief, expression, choice, etc. are the ones where creative minds flourish.

Freedom also involves appreciating the enchanting beauty of nature and our environments. A person who is worried and anxious is not truly free. Hence, being free is a function of the state of your mind. It implies that your mind is under no fear or compulsion of safety in life.

Social recognition and being safe do not mean freedom. The fulfilment of our aspirations and ambitions do not equate to being free. Education and religion do not make us free. Freedom is the absence of pressure from our social, political and religious environments. It is within the social customs and laws of the country.

No society can guarantee absolute freedom to all social creatures. This is because our societies will become chaotic when we all do what we want when we want. Hence, freedom is not an absolute right as it has some constraints. If it poses a threat to society and the nation, it is false. One cannot kill people, violate laws, smuggle drugs, etc. in the guise of being truly free.

We must respect the human rights of every member of our societies. It is only by doing this that we can truly be free.

AUTHOR

Folakemi Oyeyemi is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources, a strategic human capital development social enterprise that helps organizations become the best they can be using world-class tools and practices. She is a Mathematician and is also passionate about entrepreneurship.

Categories
Nation-Building and Active Citizenship

En Route the New Nigeria

But from the beginning, it was not so…

In the year 1960, all eyes were upon Nigeria – the most populous nation of Blacks in the world. Nigeria – which seemed to churn out high-flyers in education, business, leadership, etc. – just got her independence! In Africa, only Ghana rivalled Nigeria in leadership but after Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah was deposed in a coup, the gaze of the world shifted to Nigeria’s Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, etc. Considering the encompassing growth of Nigeria, it was unwise not to be her ally.

It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.

Richard Whately

Very quickly, Nigeria lost her glory due to  the succession of failed administrations, the military misadventure up to 1993, the annulment of the 1993 presidential elections, the structural adjustment programme that destroyed the local economy, endemic corruption in the nation, ceaseless looting of the national treasury, lack of public accountability, overdependence on oil revenue, religious and ethnic bigotry, insecurity, amongst others! Unfortunately, Nigeria, the giant of Africa, became the world’s poverty capital. Till date, the nation has not been able to recover.

Yeee! Birthpangs…

And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:13-14

Over time, attempts have been made to solve the foundational issues of the nation. Yet, most have failed grossly. In October 2020, 60 years after Nigeria’s independence, the war for the soul of Nigeria intensified such that the “lazy Nigerian youths” who never bothered to vote for good leaders arose to fight police brutality on a grand scale. You need to google how organized and productive these protests – #EndSARS protests – were. The crazy thing is that these protests had no apparent leaders!

I didn’t go to OAU to be on the wrong side of history. It can’t happen.

Fatimah Oyelami

Fast forward…On Friday, 20th October 2020, while Nigerian youths gathered for the #EndSARS protests, many of them were massacred at Lekki toll gate, Lagos, by Nigerian soldiers on assignment. It is appalling that these youths were killed for the very cause that they were protesting against – police brutality! Although the massacre of these youths was streamed by certain courageous patriots and watched by millions of Nigerians, till date, no one has confessed to giving the order to kill the peaceful protesters. In fact, the Nigerian President has never mentioned this in public.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

A few days ago, an acquaintance gave me a historical account of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  He explained that when baby Jesus was born, it was prophesied that Jesus of Nazareth would become the king of the Jews. When the king in power heard of it, he ordered the massacre of all male babies within the age range of the baby Jesus. However, the biological parents of the baby Jesus received intel about the plan of the king and escaped. My acquaintance believes that history repeated itself in Nigeria. In order to kill the saviour king, all who were in the age range of the saviour king were massacred. Selah.

Sorosoke to Japa

Well, the protests were hijacked by thugs. Curfews were declared all over the nation. Families wailed for the loss of their beloved. The President addressed the nation some days after the massacre, however, he did not expressly address the Lekki massacre. Like a wave, after the Presidential address, the generation which mustered themselves and chanted “Sorosoke” (Speak out loud) began to chant “Japa” (Disappear). Each man feared for his life, and jokes about traveling out of Nigeria to Canada began to trend.

We cannot afford to keep sinful silence when the youth of our nation are being oppressed by a Nigerian state that is supposed to protect them.

Tunde Bakare

Furthermore, a number of peaceful protesters were incarcerated during and after the #EndSARS protests. Also, the bank accounts of people who supposedly sponsored the protests were frozen. Recently, deliberations about the restrictions of the use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have been ongoing. This stems from the supposed spread of false information by Nigerian youths about governance, police brutality and the Lekki massacre to other nations and continental unions in the world.

Engagement is the breeding ground for idea fermentation.

Kehinde Sogunle (Paraphrased)

Social media has proven to be the most potent tool for citizen engagement in the 21st century. With this tool, people of various cadres express themselves freely. Apparently, government officials cannot hide from the public comments of the common man. Although this tool has its flaws, no great nation is built without conversations – heated ones. In fact, the better place to find solutions is on the negotiation table not the streets.

Over the course of various interactions, I have outlined eight segments of our national life that I describe as constituting Nigeria’s political power blocs…namely: The council of state and the thirty-six state governors; retired generals; traditional institutions; political dynasties; the private sector (including the media); religious leaders; the Nigerian Labour Congress/Trade Union Congress; and foreign partners. My position has been that any individual or group that seeks to be reckoned with politically in Nigeria must not take any of these for granted. I would like to state, at this juncture, that there is a ninth power bloc that must not be taken for granted; it is the Nigerian youth with the power of social media.

Tunde Bakare

As opposed to the steps which the government are attempting to make towards infringing the basic human right to freedom of expression, measures could be taken to curtail its abuse, such as the provision of incentives for appropriate dissemination of information such that it discourages dishonourable use. Youths can also spearhead productive conversations on a grand scale – with local and international civil society organizations – and collaborate with social media platforms to flag dangerous content.

The youth of a nation are the trustees of posterity.

Benjamin Disraeli

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant.

Job 14:7-9

Alas, our time has come, and nothing can stop a nation whose time has come.

Quickly and thoroughly, Nigeria must restructure her administrative systems. Our problems began with autocratic leadership, succession of failed governments and ill-suited administrative systems. The rot began from the head and spread to the entire body. Nigeria needs to create administrative systems where her fundamental values determine her laws. The local, state and federal administrative setups must be structured such that no man (including the president) is above the law.

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Ecclesiastes 8:11

Unfortunately, autonomy has not been given to our law enforcement agencies. Anyone who exposes the bitter truth suddenly disappears. If bad leaders can be exposed by the press, arraigned by the police and incarcerated promptly, excesses will be curbed. Scapegoats should be made of those who engage in corrupt acts in the pursuit of power.

Prospective leaders should be put forward on the basis of track-records and merit not popularity. The men with the best hearts and minds – not location – should be given the chance to lead. This rotational leadership thing is good but inefficient.

As deep-rooted as our problems are, our freedom will begin with conversations and negotiations among the best and brightest. This is why we must allow for freedom of expression. It is in the heat of engagements that golden ideas are fermented. This is how we find the best. Hence, the inability to air our views will only keep us in bondage.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Let’s focus on the people now. Yes, it is true that most of us sell our votes in the agony of poverty. However, like Esau, we sell our birthrights for a meal, and suffer for years…

Note that there will be an attempt through hidden wisdoms to bring banished ones back. Political figures who have been rejected will be attempted to be forced on the people again through subtle means. They will be reintroduced in a way that it would seem as though we have no choice but to accept them. If we accept them back, days of uncertainty are upon us.

Kuti Olusola

The people must be willing to vote and vote wisely! Voter education – especially for the unlearned – is one of the most strategic steps we can take towards the new Nigeria. We must be made to understand that when we do not vote, we are part of the problem, and when we choose one of two devils, we have collaborated with murderers.

New Nigeria
Vote Wisely

Now, if it is wisdom we seek, the youths must be careful not to despise the tutelage of the elders. Leadership is a continuum and wisdom is deep. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Ironically, our youths must be groomed by wise elders for sustainable development. We cannot make progress without the input of the aged.

The #EndSARS protests have proven that there is a time for aluta and another for negotiations at the table. The impact of men like Sam Adeyemi upon the forward-thinking youths of the nation evince the need for tutelage in the matters of Nigeria’s destiny. LEAD Resources runs a programme called Mainstream Successor Generation which provides mentorship and support for grassroot organizers, potential executive council leaders, potential legislators, policy makers, party functionaries, etc. Now that 2023 elections are loading, we must be intentional about training and creating our options. We must also be willing to use our bullets – our votes – to choose the best!

Nigeria and Nigerians will be known all over the world for corruption. Your name – Nigeria – will stink of corruption but after a while, a new phase will come – a phase of righteousness. People from the nations of the earth will hold a Nigerian and say, “We want to follow you to your nation to go and learn righteousness.”

Pa Elton, 1986

What is the New Nigeria? The New Nigeria is:

  1. A Nigeria where life is sacred.
  2. A Nigeria where the streets are safe.
  3. A Nigeria where no one is marginalized.
  4. A Nigeria where no one goes to bed hungry.
  5. A Nigeria where each man is his brothers’ keeper.
  6. A Nigeria where there is quality health care for all.
  7. A Nigeria where there is uninterrupted power supply.
  8. A Nigeria where every child can access quality education.
  9. A Nigeria where every youth is employed or self-employed.
  10. A Nigeria where innovative ideas are fermented and birthed.
  11. A Nigeria where our leaders are chosen wisely and votes count.
  12. A Nigeria that is exalted by righteousness according to God’s will.

The dreams of the new Nigeria are the realities of other nations made up of humans just like us. If we can keep hope alive and infiltrate the source of our rot – poor leadership – we will get there. Dubai did it. Ghana did it. We can do it. We must do it!

REFERENCES

The Youth of a Nation are the Trustees of Posterity by Dr. Tunde Bakare

Nigeria is Still Struggling at 60 but Hope is Still Alive by Prof. Sheff Folarin

The Only Way Forward for Nigeria by Dr. M. M. Wokili

AUTHOR

Tomiwa Babajide is an Associate Solutions Architect at LEAD Resources, a charismatic administrator, an SDGs advocate, a creative writer and a graduate of Microbiology. She is adept in transdisciplinarity, novel and adaptive thinking and virtual collaboration. She is zealous to provide real-time solutions to challenges in the polity. She loves to eat crackers and drink yoghurt, and she can pray and go on road-trips for Africa.

Categories
Technology and Innovation

The Importance of Video Marketing

Marketing evolves. It changes to make for easier communication, better conversion rates, deeper trust between producer and consumer, and a myriad of other reasons. Consumers and investors are like babies; new ways to attract and please them need to be devised from time-to-time in order to communicate with them effectively and sustain their attention. A modern means to achieve this is by video marketing.

Now, what is video marketing? As the name suggests, it is simply the use of videos to engage your audience and market solutions to them. Videos are used to promote your brand, keep your audience in the know of what’s going on in your organization, promote goods sold or services rendered, explain the application of goods sold or services rendered, etc. There are many types of videos that companies and brands use such as explainer videos, interviews and “talking head” videos. 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF VIDEO MARKETING?

Any organization that seeks to attain high Search Engine Optimization would do well to invest in video production as the two biggest search engines, Google and YouTube, are now linked; what this means is that a well-tagged video could increase an organization’s search engine ranking and conversion rates.

Research has shown that information retention can be as high as 80% in a case where information is seen and heard. This is very high compared to the 20% and 10% retention rates of information just seen and information just heard respectively.  

Videos help to build trust. It helps customers attach faces and/or voices to an organization and her services thereby creating human connection. Often, it positively impacts their decision on subscribing to a promoted service or product.

It is relatively easy to get your videos out there. In this era of smartphones and laptops, customers can access your videos anywhere and at any time. Currently, there are multiple online platforms that organizations use to share video content for promoting their brands such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. These platforms have millions of users, therefore, with an efficient marketing strategy, your products can gain the attention of many potential clients, partners and even investors. 

Now, a lot of brands and organizations are heavily into video marketing but many others are not utilizing videos for marketing purposes. In this digital age, if you want to maintain relevance, it is imperative to incorporate video marketing as a marketing strategy. Although quality video production can be tedious and expensive, it is always worth it.

For more marketing insights, contact Lead Resources’ Digital Marketing experts here. Let’s help take your business to the next level.

AUTHOR

Ugochukwu Nnamani is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources. He is a graduate of Political Science. He is a versatile guy with interests in videography, cinematography, social trends and politics. His hobbies include watching movies and anime, learning new things and meeting new people.

Categories
Finance and Accounting

An Introduction to Financial Literacy

According to Wikipedia, financial literacy is the possession of the set of skills and knowledge that allow an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.

Most of us believe that having more money or getting a bigger pay at work will reduce our financial stress and solve half of our problems. However, we fail to realize that one’s financial wellbeing is considerably more determined by how they manage and spend their money rather than how much money they make. Your beliefs about money and your spending patterns greatly influence your potential to create wealth. 

Financial literacy covers topics such as budgeting, expense tracking, investing, debt, taxes, emergency funds, retirement savings and estate planning.

WHY IS FINANCIAL LITERACY NECESSARY?

Financial literacy is necessary because it equips people with the knowledge and skills needed to manage money effectively. What do I mean? Financial literacy ensures that every financial decision you make is backed by a rationale that empowers you to be confident and secure in your choice. 

Statistics from a study in 2019 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in America showed that lack of financial literacy cost Americans a total of $295 billion in 2018. Some of the households which participated in the study reported annual losses of up to $2500 due to poor financial decisions. Furthermore, it was stated that 63% of Americans could be categorized as “financially illiterate.” This buttresses the fact that financial literates make better money decisions than those who are not. Imagine how much you will be able to do if you can track your expenses, seal the loopholes in your purse and save more money?

Also, we must intentionally seek financial literacy because it is a subject that is rarely taught in our conventional education system even when much of what happens outside the four walls of school revolves around money management. Without financial literacy, even a well-educated and gainfully employed graduate can slide into bad debt and poverty. 

FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE AS A PRODUCT OF FINANCIAL LITERACY

In my words, financial intelligence (FINTEL) is the basic knowledge of how money works and the application of this knowledge in making financial decisions that make life better. It is the knowledge and skills gained from understanding finance and accounting principles in the business world. This understanding, financial intelligence, can only be gained through financial literacy. 

There are three types of education: academic, professional and financial education. The primary school system places much emphasis on basic literacy skills such as reading, writing, speaking and solving arithmetic. Students are graded based on their ability to develop these skills and apply them in solving real-life problems. Very little or nothing is taught about financial education and money management in higher institutions. Hence, you must be deliberate about educating yourself on money. As you strive to build your intelligence quotient, also work on your financial intelligence. 
 
Interestingly, the skills gained in FINTEL are NOT innate; rather, they are learned and can be developed at all levels. So, you don’t have to worry about having a low grade in this. You can improve no matter the level you are. Contrary to popular beliefs, financial intelligence is NOT the state of having a lot of money. It is neither a goal nor a course that you are graded for. Rather, it is the means to the goal of financial freedom!

QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU GAUGE YOUR FINANCIAL LITERACY

It is easy to assume that you are financially literate because you “know yourself.” However, your personal finances need extra attention if you want to live well. The only way to get a better handle on your personal finances is by identifying what you don’t know and putting in the effort to get educated.  

Here are a few questions identified by Bayportsa to help you identify your financial literacy gaps: 

  1. Budget: Do you have a monthly budget that includes all of your basic expenses, debts and savings?  
  2. Expenditures: Are you tracking your expenses and do you know about how much money you spend to cover living expenses over a period of three to six months? 
  3. Debt: Are you in debt? Are you taking active steps to reduce your debts? 
  4. Emergency Funds: Do you have emergency funds that can help you to get through an event like losing your job or crashing your car without having to borrow money? 
  5. Savings: Do you pay yourself first? What percentage of your income goes into savings? How do you manage your savings? 
  6. Investing: Are you investing and growing your money? Do you understand how compound interest grows invested money? 
  7. Insurance: Do you understand the importance of insurance? Do you have insurance to protect you in the event of a major life emergency? 

If you answer “No” to two or more questions, you have some learning to do. 

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR FINANCIAL LITERACY

  1. Read self-help books on financial education. Follow authors like Robert Kiyosaki, Dave Ramsey, T. Harv Eker, Brian Tracy, etc. 
  2. Read blog posts and articles on personal finance in newspapers and magazines. Some popular blogs include investopedia.com, entrepreneur.com, forbes.com, Business Insider, Bloomberg and fintelcoach.com. For a steady supply of information, you may subscribe to their email newsletters. 
  3. Watch YouTube videos on money management.
  4. Attend financial literacy seminars online and/or offline and take notes. 
  5. Take an online course on any aspect of financial literacy that you want to master.
  6.  Listen to podcasts and radio programmes on financial management. 
  7. Get a competent financial intelligence coach or personal finance expert to give you financial advice. 
  8. Join a community of people who learn about financial intelligence. This allows you to ask questions and learn faster from other people. 
  9. Practice and share your knowledge. Put your newfound literacy into practice. Draw up and stick to a budget. Save. Invest. Don’t just learn and keep the knowledge you acquire to yourself. Teach others whenever you have the chance. This is the best way to consolidate your knowledge. 

BENEFITS OF FINANCIAL LITERACY

In an article by Georgiasown.org, it was stated that financial literacy is important because it helps people become self-sufficient and achieve financial stability. Financial literacy enables people to save money, distinguish between wants and needs, manage a budget, pay bills, buy homes, pay for college and plan for retirement. In a nutshell, it helps you create a realistic roadmap for making financial decisions all through your life.

Financial literacy empowers people. Although I am not trying to imply that you need to become a financial guru or accounting expert, however, knowing how interest rates work, the difference between stocks and bonds and the factors that impact your financial wellbeing will give you a sense of financial security and control over your life. 

Need I say that financial literacy decreases your stress level? When you lack financial education, anything that resembles credit, interest rates or investments seems intimidating and leaves you feeling at a disadvantage. When people are well versed in the state of their finances, they have the information needed to take action, modify their investment portfolio or continue with their current strategy. 

Furthermore, understanding your finances helps reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud. Some tactics are easy to believe especially when they come from someone who seems to be knowledgeable and well-intended. A basic level of financial education will help you recognize red flags and, at the very least, talk with a trusted advisor before making financial commitments. 

In conclusion, financial literacy is an essential life skill that every person, whether employee or entrepreneur, should deliberately learn and hone. If you stay committed to personal development and investment in financial intelligence, you are on the pathway to achieving financial freedom. 

If you would like to take an in-depth course on financial literacy and how to manage your personal finance, I recommend that you enrol for LEAD Resources’ Digital Economy Emerging Managers’ (DEEM) programme as more practical measures of attaining financial freedom in the digital economy have been distilled therein.

Obot Essiet Jr.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Obot Essiet Jr. is an Associate Solutions Architect at LEAD Resources, a Financial Intelligence (FINTEL) Coach and a Co-founder/COO of Naiyuan Mart, a Chinese-Nigerian procurement and manufacturing company. He runs a blog and a community on financial intelligence. He is passionate about helping people journey towards financial freedom through practical financial literacy solutions. Obot Jr. loves writing, gardening, watching adventurous movies, cycling and playing chess. 

Categories
Technology and Innovation

The Future of Digital Marketing

Statistics show that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of digital services peaked all over the world. Because human contact became grossly restricted, digital services proved to be essential as they allowed individuals, small businesses and organizations to explore new ways of offering value to their customers remotely. This led to the compulsory incorporation of digital marketing as a strategy to acquire new customers and harness existing ones.

As the use of digital services increased, so did the search for digital marketing experts. Microsoft carried out research on the skills in high-demand by organizations in the “new normal.” Just as expected, digital marketing emerged as one of them! As a result, Microsoft invested $25 million in crafting out LinkedIn Learning Pathways – playlists of courses on those high-demand skills including Digital Marketing. Lead Resources, the first innovation hub in Ogun state, Nigeria, also created an internship programme for youths who seek mastery in these skills.

This proves that Digital Marketing can and will evolve. The aim of this article is to create an awareness of the changes that are possible in and through digital marketing, and why you should harness it now.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE FUTURE CHANGES OF DIGITAL MARKETING?

  1. AI and Automation
  2. Micro-Influencer Marketing
  3. Vlogging
  4. Voice Search and Visual Search
AI AND AUTOMATION

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming dominant in business. It is taking over the execution of many simple jobs such as communication, product recommendation, email personalization, etc. This will persist till it becomes the norm. Therefore, it is important for all persons, particularly digital marketers, and organizations to become familiar with AI by engaging it in their everyday tasks. Integrating AI will accelerate growth, reduce staffing costs and give one’s business the edge to stay atop.

Automation is not new in digital technology however it has become germane in running digital campaigns. In the long-term, it will be beneficial for digital marketers who embrace it now.

MICRO-INFLUENCER MARKETING

Influencer marketing is not a new concept and it remains a great way to market your product to customers through someone that you trust. However, due to its high success-rate, influencer marketers charge much more for their services such that it has become very expensive for small and medium-sized businesses to hire them. As a result, micro-influencer marketing was born. Micro-influencer marketing refers to brands partnering with medium-sized influencers (influencers who have 7,000 – 30,000 followers in their niche) to promote their products to their followers using organic advertisements. Medium-sized influencers are popular but are not loaded with sponsorships hence, they offer more affordable services.

VLOGGING

Vlogging is more popular than ever. It has a personal feel and gives room to empathize with one’s audience on a deeper level. However, vlogging can also be a practical marketing strategy. For example, vlogs can be used to live-stream special business events, share posts of business conferences, etc. Vlogging can assist in creating a strong brand image, making solid business-to-customer relationships and getting better engagement from your target audience.

VOICE SEARCH AND VISUAL SEARCH

With individuals owning voice-enabled devices and virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, optimizing your digital marketing content for voice search is one of the best things you can do.  

As regards visual search, Google has taken things to a whole new level. Google has introduced LENS, a visual tool that allows users to take a picture of an object or landmark to discover things such as where to find the object or landmark.

Things that can be recognized by Google LENS include:

  1. Books
  2. Plants
  3. Animals
  4. Apparels
  5. Barcodes
  6. Home goods
  7. Business cards
  8. Landmarks or building
  9. Event flyers or billboards

This will ultimately revolutionize the way we search. Do you agree to the list above? Drop in the comment section what other changes we may see in Digital Marketing.

REFERENCE

Bizsites, The Future of Digital Marketing, 2020.

AUTHOR

Itua Emmanuel is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources and a Digital Marketer and Product Manager at Lanepact Ecosystems, a tech solutions organization that aids individuals and organizations to build sustainable solutions. Itua Emmanuel is also a business enthusiast and during his free time, he watches anime or reads a book.

Categories
Entrepreneurship

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Nigeria: Roles, Challenges and Solutions

There is no universal definition for SMEs (Mutula and Brakel 2006, p. 403). Across countries, SMEs are defined on the basis of employment, assets or a combination of the two (Ongori and Lutham 2009, p. 94). According to the European Union (EU), SMEs are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and have an annual turnover of 50 million euros or less. The Central Bank of Nigeria, in her Monetary Policy Circular No. 22 of 1988, defined SMEs as enterprises which have an annual turnover of five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000) or less.

ROLES OF SMEs IN NIGERIA

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises form the bulk of businesses in Nigeria. According to a survey conducted by PWC, SMEs contribute 48% of the national GDP, account for 96% of Nigerian businesses and create 84% of employment in Nigeria. Since SMEs drive the economic growth, industrial transformation and export growth of the nation, it is safe to conclude that they form the backbone of Nigeria’s economy. Some advantages of SMEs include:

  1. They serve as the breeding ground for domestic, entrepreneurial capabilities (SMEDAN, 2005; Aina, 2007). They provide employment and income for most citizens.
  2. They facilitate the industrial development of the nation in accordance with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. They help to reduce the urban-rural income gap.

CHALLENGES FACED BY SMEs IN NIGERIA

SMEs are often faced with challenges that are peculiar to individual businesses. Certain challenges which stall their growth include:

  1. High-interest rates and maintenance costs of credit facilities as well as demands for duly registered collateral obligations.
  2. Inconsistent government policies and bureaucratic holdups in the administration of incentives and support facilities from all levels of government.
  3. Multiple taxes from both the State Government and Local Government.
  4. Poor infrastructure such as poor power supply, bad roads and poor transportation systems.
  5. Unavailability of local raw materials.
  6. High cost of procuring machinery.
  7. Import liberalization.
  8. Export constraints, amongst others.

SOLUTIONS FOR SMEs IN NIGERIA

  1. Provision of adequate infrastructure i.e. good road networks, adequate power supply, good communication and health care system.
  2. Elimination of the multiple taxation system.
  3. Tax holidays and rebates for startups which show initiative by sourcing for local raw materials.
  4. Provision of accessible and well-priced credit facilities.
  5. Effective marketing and distribution channels for SMEs through government agencies like SMEDAN.
  6. Loan availability and attainable payback mechanisms.

Seeing as SMEs are the backbone of the economy, it is expedient to devise means to increase their productivity, with or without the help of the government. Lead Resources offers programmes which educate entrepreneurs on how to access finance as well as manoeuvre the challenges that are peculiar to the Nigerian business climate. For more information, click here.

AUTHOR

Adetoyese Oyedunmade is an Associate Solutions Architect of Lead Resources. She is an Agriculturist by profession and is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship.