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Mentorship: You Can’t Develop Skills Without Giving Experience- Johnson

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By peter oluka

Start-ups in Nigeria require proper adequate mentoring to triumph in today’s business environment hence the establishment of Lighthouse Hub about nineteen months ago.

The Hub aims to mentor, train, encourage, guide and propel the upcoming entrepreneurs towards the right path in order to reach their potentials, Yetunde Johnson, founder of the Hub said in an interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.

Lighthouse Means

“LightHouse guides you to where you are going, safely. So, we are​ here to guide anybody that comes to us ​inspired to move to the next stage of achievement. We took a risk and we are still taking risks to make it happen. When we moved into the building, the core team took on the job of setting things right, from the electricity to decors and other works. We did this by ourselves and the funding had come from Slingshot’s consulting fees and money we have raised internally,” she said.

Why?

“We ​believe that if you give young people responsibility with the right training and mentoring, they will get to their destination. Imagine if you take an army of young people in technology or business and expose them to adequate training, the gains will be much.

“​My​ only worry is that young people​ tend to separate themselves from the older people. It is such a fundamental mistake. There should be a ‘marrying’ of the two; it takes the raw energy of the young people and the experience or exposure of the older people to move us to a different place, the right place’, Johnson said.

Lighthouse System of Grooming Young People

“It has been difficult in the country for organisations to take-on young people due to the cost required to groom them to a level where they are productive. Therefore, we are trying to give them (young people) hands-on experience in IT. They are here for real life tasks to develop their skills. We have six pioneer interns.

“One of the key things is that our interns follow us to meeting businesses. On one of such occasions, I spoke to a client and the company was willing to take four interns, train and pay them stipends. At the end of six month one will be selected, as a permanent staff. More employers need to do that.

“You can’t develop a skill if you don’t give experience. You can’t keep people unemployed because they don’t have the right skills or certification, yet you don’t provide the right environment for that. You can make it tax deductible whereby every business is involved in training​m the young people​. Businesses can​not just be sitting by the corner; not want to assist in job creation. They should train our youths to be employable”.

Lighthouse Hub, Johnson added, “We will show IT startups the avenues through which to limit business risks while giving those seeking career redirection the route to success.

“For this case we are partnering with organsiations like the Debbie Mishael Consulting and others. The fact is that IT needs a strategy. If you have a dream and lack where to seed it, there is not drive. We have given free courses before.

“Our costs are seemingly the lowest in Lagos and you can still get zero entrance. When we train somebody, we do it thoroughly. But people aren’t turning up. We did training on WordPress which anybody can take up and begin to make money. We had little or no turn out.

“However, we had some girls who showed serious enthusiasm that I rarely see in the young people and without any motivation from us they came for HTML and CSS training and have been coming for the last 10-12 weeks. They are inspiring. They see the opportunity learning coding skills can give them and they have jumped at it. We wish for more like them.

“Now, I know we don’t want brain drain, but if you have spent time here and there are opportunities calling for your skill​s elsewhere, then of course you would ​ go and grab it. Though, I strongly believe that when a Nigerian goes outside the country, they would want to return, because he would realize why home is so special.

“But you need an avenue or programme that should be showing our young people the pathway to success; rewards them commensurately. We worked with the Women In Tech on a project in the University of Lagos (Unilag). Out of thousands of young ladies in Unilag, less than 70 attended the training. We offered to train people free, but they aren’t showing up.

“There is something wrong with the present generation that must be addressed. Some of the best IT trainers are in Nigeria, but the young people are not paying attention. We did a programme for teachers in collaboration with Teachers Nigeria; they tend to train teachers on how to use Google related research tools. They were so disappointed.

“The turn out in Lagos was just low. How many teachers do we have. It was a free course. But the attitude of our people will now force them to start charging fees. We were invited to Ogun State, the turnout was incredible and we had a dynamic session.

Nigerian Youths Need to Believe In Themselves

“We need to give credit to ourselves and accept the little things we make here. I know a young man who makes shoes of extremely high quality. For him to make s​ale​s, he had to use ​an ​Italian label. Now, the shoes were made in Nigeria but Italy takes the credit. Now, Debbie Mishael Consulting is bringing ICITP training programme​s​ that will enable our young IT graduates have han​ds-on​ experience. Only the passionate will understand and grab the opportunities as they come.

“This is one reason we are partnering with lot of organizations do a lot of things that compliment the skills our startups would need. We are planning a six weeks intensive ‘You-Learn’ programme.

“If you are a programmer I don’t think you can succeed by mere ​reading books​, you need to practise what you have read​. Our young people need that practical approach to doing things. Also, it is difficult for interns to learn without ​​​financial support, even though they are not expecting to us to pay them we provide a stipend. They will struggle to have concentration if they are hungry or short of cash. Though, it is not easy to sustain such system. If we can’t continue to function as a business, we can’t sustain the Hub.

Why Obalende?

Johnson doubles as the managing director of Slingshot Technologies Limited. Lighthouse Hub is one of the consulting firm’s projects, located at 35 Moloney Street, Obalende-Lagos Island. She speaks on the location, thus:

“I really love Obalende; this is the place I want to be. People think I am crazy, but they are wrong. If you are going to tap into human capacity of Nigeria, you must know where they are. They too need to tap into us. We are willing to be here to share these skills we are bringing back. Among us, we share skills too because no body has​ a​ monopoly o​n​ knowledge. We need to borrow skills from others. I have always loved this building. To me, it is the most strategic place you can be.

“If you are headed to the Mainland- to the left; to the Island- to the right. If you are aiming at Ikoyi, go through under the bridge. ‘Besides that, it is one point where every w​ork ​of life crisscrosses. So, there was a day I was passing on the bridge, I felt this is a place we can tap in to the ​raw material of Nigeria which is the human resource. I fe​el, the Nigerian human resource is the most incredible resource if trained, mentored well and tapped into. Why do I say that? If you look around the world Nigerians are the ones leading. We are not hailing ourselves, unfortunately. If you look at the key developments in the US & UK, the key drivers are Nigerians.

“I am a staunch Nigerian and I love being here. As a child I grew up to know Nigerians are strong and dynamic. They don’t give excuses rather go for the results. So, I just wanted to come back to the country and tap into the ecosystem and contribute my quota to the development of the young people. If you are trained in Nigeria life is not that stressful when you travel out of the country, because you have already faced great challenges here.

What Happens At The First Floors?

The first floor is where the Hub is located. “In summary, the Hub has room to accommodate everybody no matter how large or small your business could be. We have inside the Hub the Co Working Area for those who can’t afford to rent offices. We made it flexible for networking beyond your own ‘kind’ of people- that is, those outside your immediate business field, but who you need to climb the ladder. That is the environment that allows the young and old meet. We also have the serviced office space that give clients opportunity to focus on their business while we handle all others issues for them.

“You have free access to the meeting and conference rooms for an allocated period of time which is also located on the first floor. Being a member of the hub guarantees you that platform. It is our way of making life comfortable for small businesses. You can actually conduct your training, seminars, meeting, conferences too. It is a small community with a great vision for businesses in the IT ecosystem”, she concluded.

 

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Google Reveals Top Searches in Nigeria in 2017

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By peter oluka

Google, Wednesday announced the results of its 2017 Year in Search, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major moments and top trends based on searches conducted in Nigeria.

In addition to showcasing what people, places, and things were trending around the globe this year, the 2017 Year in Search list also offers insights into what the top trending news moment for Nigerians was in the last 12 months, as well as the new music and movies that got their attention.

The most searched person on Google’s year-end list was Moji Olaiya, the sad news of her death two months after giving birth shook the Nigerian movie industry.

Coming in second place was notorious kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike – popularly known as Evans. Adesua Etomi was third on the list, likely because of the announcement of her engagement to Banky Wellington.

It’s no secret that people turn to Google for answers to questions they are embarrassed to ask their friends. This year’s top “What is…” queries included President Buhari’s state of health, JAMB and WAEC results, what a female Hyena is called, what Monkeypox is and Bitcoin.

This year’s most searched events and stories of interest by Nigerians include symptoms of Monkeypox, political news in other African countries, the IPhone 8 release and celebrity weddings.

Here’s the full list – Year in Search 2017:

Nigeria’s Most Searched People

  1. Moji Olaiya
  2. Evans the kidnapper
  3. Adesua Etomi
  4. Donald Trump
  5. Mr. Eazi
  6. Efe
  7. Jide Tinubu
  8. Olumide Bakare
  9. Dammy Krane
  10. Eric Arubayi

Nigeria’s Most Searched Stories and Events

  1. ASUU Strike
  2. Moji Olaiya dead
  3. Monkeypox outbreak
  4. IPhone 8 / IPhone X Launch
  5. New president in Gambia
  6. Adesua and Banky Wedding
  7. Anambra Elections
  8. MayweathervsMcgregor fight
  9. Zimbabwe Coup
  10. Catalonia Referendum

Nigeria’s Most Asked Questions: Ok Google? Who…How…What…

  1. Is Buhari dead?
  2. How to check JAMB results
  3. How to check WAEC results
  4. What is a female Hyena called?
  5. What is Monkeypox?
  6. What is bitcoin?
  7. What is MMM?
  8. Who is Bobrisky?
  9. How to check BVN
  10. Where is NnamdiKanu now?

Nigeria’s Most Searched-for Songs

  1. Olamide – Wo
  2. Davido – Fia
  3. Davido- Fall
  4. Patapaa Ft. RasCann – One Corner
  5. Davido – If
  6. Runtown – Mad over you
  7. Kiss Daniel – Yeba
  8. Tekno – Go
  9. Mayorkun – Mama
  10. Tekno Ft. Wizkid – Mama

Nigeria’s Most Searched for Movies/TV Series

  1. Fast and Furious 8
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Game of Thrones season 7
  4. Big Brother Naija 2017
  5. Justice League
  6. Thor Ragnarok
  7. Jenifa’s Diary Season 7
  8. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
  9. The Wedding Party
  10. Better call Saul

Nigeria’s Most Searched Sports People

  1. Philippe Coutinho
  2. RomeluLukaku
  3. TiémouéBakayoko
  4. Anthony Joshua
  5. OusmaneDembele
  6. Floyd Mayweather
  7. NemanjaMatic
  8. CheickIsmaëlTiote
  9. Ivan Perisic
  10. KylianSanmiMbappe

Nigeria’s Most Searched ‘Near Me’ quieres

  1. Restaurants near me
  2. Nail Salon near me
  3. Clubs near me
  4. Food near me
  5. Movies near me
  6. Jobs near me

To see more information about Google’s Year in Search across the globe and to watch our annual video, visit http://www.google.co.ng/2017

This information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what Nigerians have been searching for and asking Google this year.

Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

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Ojobo receives NIPR Presidential Award

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Tony Ojobo, Director Public Affairs at Nigerian Communications Commission will on Thursday, December 14, 2017 receive the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Presidential Award.

The conferment of this prestigious award was communicated to Ojobo by President and Chairman of Council of NIPR, Dr. Rotimi Oladele.

Dr.Oladele told Ojobo in a letter that “the prestigious award is given in recognition of your sterling leadership qualities, outstanding contributions towards the development of the Public Relations practice and support for industry advancement”.

The award ceremony will climax the yearly Presidential Dinner billed for Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

The iconic Director Public Affairs at the NCC has brought finesse and vitality to professionalism in his day to day handling of issues in Nigeria’s fastest growing sector, telecommunication and information technology.

Only recently, Ojobo was honoured by the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), his alma mater, with an award of Excellence at a ceremony tagged Alumni Home coming and 32nd Anniversary celebration of the Faculty of Management of the University.

The Faculty Board in its notification to Ojobo said that “we proudly took the decision to bestow the award on you in cognizance of your remarkable achievements in life, especially in your chosen career as a renowned technocrat and public servant, hence the award of excellence”.

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Group Calls for Collaborations to Decongest Prisons

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A group has called for more support from well-meaning Nigerians to help decongest the prisons.

The group, Justice Development and Peace Centre made the call recently when it visited the Kirikiri medium prisons to secure the release of some inmates.

Speaking after the release of the prisoners who were convicted for wandering and street trading, Mr. Onyema Onyenankeya the Festac Deanery Coordinator of the group, said, “The release of these 8 prisoners today is part of the centre’s efforts at decongesting our prisons. We would have loved to release more of them but we do not have the capacity to do that.”

“We try as much as possible to make sure they go back to their respective homes and then we empower them when we have any of our empowerment programmes. All these require funding”, he said.

“We were told that some people still come on their own to also help release some prisoners. This is what we’re talking about. The person there doesn’t have to be your relative or someone you know before you help such person(s) regain their freedom”.

Onyema added that with the state of the prison facilities and the fact that a facility built to cater for 1,700 inmates now has over 3,600 is cause for worry.

“As at when we visited the prisons, we were told that there were 3,603 inmates out of which 3,080 were awaiting trial and 523 already convicted. We do not know those we secured their release, they’re not related to any one of us but we believe that in doing this we’re helping them secure a better future because they have committed lesser crimes, though it is crime against the state,” he said.

In dismay he noted that even as some prisoners were being released, more were being brought in. “This shows there’s a serious problem that we need to deal with. We must have to continuously decongest these prisons and provide better lives for our teeming youth”.

He however asked that the government do well to upgrade its prison facilities, while also admonishing the released prisoners to desist from all forms of crimes and to at all-times obey the laws of the state.

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