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Naija Woman Hero: 10 Nigerian Women Win Wig in 618 Bees Competition

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Technology startup 618 Bees on Thursday announced the winners of its month long NaijaWomanHero competition.

Efe Ugboro, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, 618 Bees, said that winners were chosen after extensive voting on social media platform Instagram, and on the 618Bees website.

“We have over 400 entries from female entrepreneurs across the country.

“And after following the really remarkable conversations around outstanding Nigerian women heroes, we have arrived at a final list of 10 women entrepreneurs who will get their business registered for free, as the first step in what promises to be a string of benefits.”

The 618 Bees contest asked young women in business to talk about the Nigerian women they find most influential, remarkable, and impactful, and stand a chance to get their businesses registered for free.

In a country where women don’t get enough credit, and where they are often held to stiffer standards compared to men, Ugboro, whose company currently employs only women, says the contest was designed to draw attention to great Nigerian women many may be forgetting; as well as give a much-needed opportunity to social media vendors to formalize their businesses.

She stated that they received names like Stella Adedavoh (whose personal sacrifice, costing her her life curbed a wider spread of the Ebola virus in Nigeria), Dora Akunyili (who used her time as director general of NAFDAC to drastically reduce the sale of fake drugs), Ola Orekunrin (founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, West Africa’s leading air ambulance service), Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (the matriarch of the Kuti family and the first woman to drive a car in Nigeria) and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (world bank veteran and the first female Minister of Finance of Nigeria) dominated the list, with hundreds of thousands of Nigerian men and women paying tributes across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

She further stated that the campaign reached nearly two million people in 28 days across Nigeria.

According to her, at the end, 10 winners emerged and they are Anyantola Elizabeth, Ifeoma Udeaja, Jennifer Ifeoma, Nasa Judith and Emmanuella Giwa emerged winners.

Other winners are Millicent Anugwom, Abina Zainab, Wasolati Sani, Odo Stephanie and Okoyeocha Olivia Ginikanwa.

The 10 winners will each receive about N250,000 worth of business incorporation support, investment pitch opportunities, business trainings, mentorship, and legal advice.

Ugboro added that her dream is to help female entrepreneurs succeed; by helping them structure their businesses to attract investments, and become sustainable.

In her words, “618Bees.com is set up to be the quickest way to get a company started in Nigeria.

“The company is launching with a focus on Nigeria for now, but plans to open up to other African cities where aspiring entrepreneurs are facing similar challenges”.

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CRD Revokes Licences of 30 Courier Operators

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The Courier Regulatory Department of the Nigerian Postal Service has revoked licences of 30 courier companies in the country.

Dr. Ishaya Diwa, General Manager, CRD, made the disclosure at a media briefing in Lagos yesterday.

Diwa said that the licences of the companies were revoked because the operators were not complying with the rules and regulations governing courier services.

“For the past two years, the CRD of NIPOST has consistently been trying to sanitise the courier industry with its continuous events, such as clamping down on companies.

“We need our courier operators in the country to work with the best standards, as courier business is a worldwide business and any form of infringement will tell bad for the country.

“This revocation is also a means of making the environment conducive and worthwhile for operators to thrive,’’ he said.

He said that the revoked courier operators were spread across the country, but the majority of them were in Lagos.

Diwa said that the criteria for revoking the licences were based on lack of renewal of licence upward to three years and activities done not in tandem with rules and regulations of NIPOST.

He cautioned the public to be aware of the revoked operators and desist from working with them.

Diwa said that revoking an operator’s licence was not a death sentence, noting that if an operator changed the mode of operations, it would have to meet certain criteria, pay the backlog of the penalty; before it would be restored to service.

Diwa said that the biggest challenge facing the CRD was that the smaller operators did not have fixed addresses where they could be seen physically.

He said that economic hardship were not good reasons for the operators to be cutting corners.

“The department has always been relaxed in enforcing rules, but, unfortunately, Nigerians like to take advantage of things with impunity.

“It is good to have a small and neat courier business in the country than having the proliferation of services.

“Presently, we have 108 courier companies that are healthy and financially stable, unlike when they were 300.

“The operators’ renewal fees in the country is about the cheapest in the world at N350,000 per annum. It is just that our people like cutting corners and that is not good for business,’’ Diwa said.

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Nigerian Study Wins WhatsApp Misinformation Award Grant

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WhatsApp has announced the recipients of its $1 million research grants to academics from around the world for the purpose of studying misinformation and its impact on society. Fake news, calls for violence, election-related propaganda and other topics come under the different proposals for which the grants were given.

The goal of the research award is to facilitate high quality, external research on a wide range of topics by academics and experts who are in the countries where WhatsApp is frequently used and where there is limited research on the topic.

Tagged ‘WhatsApp Misinformation and Social Science Research Awards’, approximately 600 proposals were submitted and reviewed with the awardees representing the highest quality projects across several relevant research areas.  WhatsApp awarded 20 grants up to $50,000 each to researchers in several countries including Nigeria, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.

Among the winning projects is the research topic; ‘The use and abuse of WhatsApp in an African election: Nigeria 2019’, an international collaboration put together by Jonathan Fisher (University of Birmingham), Idayat Hassan (Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja), Jamie Hitchen (AREA Consulting) as well as Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham).

The study employs multi-method social science research instruments including in-country interviews, focus groups and surveys to explore how WhatsApp is used by political candidates, and their campaigns and supporters to tailor messages to key audiences during elections.

The research will focus on two gubernatorial elections in the upcoming 2019 Nigerian polls – those of Kano (northern Nigeria) and Oyo (southern Nigeria).

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FIIRO Seeks for More Government Support on Infrastructure Upgrade, Cutting Edge Research

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Mrs Gloria Elemo, Director-General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), on Monday called for more support from the Federal Government to remodel, re-equip and re-tool its laboratories and workshops.

 

Elemo revealed that due to the age of the institute, most of its infrastructure had become obsolete and needs upgrading with state-of-the-art equipment.

 

She said this would enable the institute undertake cutting edge research and evolve the appropriate technology to make Nigerian youths and the economy more competitive globally.

 

“I want to commend the Federal Government, they have been very supportive. However, the institute still needs more funds for more inventions for the betterment of the institute and Nigerian youths.

 

“Science and Technology does not come cheap at all, a lot of funding is needed to create the best of technologies and also to come up with meaningful researches.

 

“Having enough fund will also enable the Institute to do more in terms of job creation for Nigerian youths,” said Elemo.

 

The FIIRO boss said the country could only survive through industrialisation, adding that investing in it would be beneficial and provide rapid results for economic growth.

 

Elemo said more support from the government would go a long way in making the plans of the institute for the development of youths and the country at large possible.

 

The FIIRO boss disclosed that, in order to rightly position the youth to contribute to the economy, the institute was collaborating with Lashone Links Communications Limited on an Industrial Reality Television show, targeted at the youth.

 

“The reality show is targeted at youths because they are the main drivers of the economy and the future of the country.

 

“The availability of more funds will help us replicate programmes like this from time to time for the benefit of Nigerian youths.

 

“We are also out to show that industrialization is not only the biggest employer of labour, but also results in huge economic prosperity,” Elemo said.

 

 

 

 

 

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