Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It’s already too late for A New Year’s Resolution…Sorry Goal

I know it’s about the time that everyone is beginning to put together some form of plan for the New Year or as some will call it a new year’s resolution. Let me start by saying that if you call it a resolution there is very high tendency that it will not go past January. So why not try calling in a goal. And once you get the goal don’t just think of it, write it down. Because it is a goal, it is easier for you to target it. So back to the initial point, your goals and missions are not just set some few days to the end of the year or even throughout December. New Year’s goals should be a continuous plan that we fine tune as we make progress all through the previous year. However, if you are yet to set a goal, finish reading this article, sit down for a moment and reflect on where you and prayerfully receive a direction for your life.

Set a big goal and then go ahead to create smaller targets to it which can be measured on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For example, my goals for 2015 have already been set since we entered into the last quarter of 2014. And that was about the time that I started reviewing and accessing my 2014 goals and ensuring that I identified why I couldn’t fulfil the once I didn’t fulfil. What are your goals for the New Year (the big picture)? What are your smaller daily targets (the baby steps)?. The big ones may look daunting and only end up in wishes but as you break them down into small accomplishable piece, you not only give yourself the room to access your progress and make quick changes where necessary, you create the opportunity to sustain motivation and enthusiasm.

Don’t beat yourself down no matter how terrible the previous year went by. Develop the extra motivation to start afresh. Don’t wait for one whole year resolution. Set daily targets. Make every day worth it. Maximize the grace and power of each day. Ignite the fire every single day. And every day ends up in 24hrs. So every hour counts.
Research on motivation identified three things that need to be present to sustain your fire over time: autonomy (let God help you take control of your decisions, rather than just letting any “tom dick and harry” dictate it); competence (which comes through consistency; you have some success the more you do it); relatedness (you share the experience with others Tweet/Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat your goal so that you can feel accountable). The best resolutions (sorry goals) are also ones that you can share with other people. Recruit a couple of friends to join you (live or digitally). Report your progress, and let them hold you accountable (or better still hold each other accountable), high-five successes, and hold regular meetings to discuss ups and downs. Don’t forget that I am always here to celebrate with you and to encourage you to keep moving forward. Feel free to follow me on twitter: @seunoyeniran and on Facebook.

I really admire, appreciate and celebrate all the great ideas that have budded forth in 2014 (#TheMindOfChrist, Prospect Consult, Maximize Expressions, Angel Music Academy, etc.) and all the ones finding expressions (I can see them in my spirit *winks*). Please keep tagging me in those posts e da kun joor! (lol) Trust me, I read all of them. Although they may look small, my Facebook likes and tweeter retweets of you posts and comments are my sign of commitment to you. Please take them as a thumbs up and a sign that you are being patted on the back for a job well done. Those of you who have taken the little training and experiences I shared with you and have fanned it to flame (photography, writing, academics, video, arts and crafts and creative abilities of all sorts…ah prayer and teaching of God’s word too!), I am trusting that 2015 hold even greater things in store for us. So let’s get 2015 running as the kingdom of God is awaiting our manifestation.


There are so many scripture that back this writing up but let me summarize it like this: Jesus was from heaven and saw the world (right from the beginning), He decided to come to fulfil a script. Trinity designed the plan and followed through. Key into that understanding and get yourself going. I am waiting to celebrate your success.

Below is a collection of pictures that I found on the internet that I feel to share...credits to google:



Sunday, August 10, 2014

We are Light of The World – So what are we here to do?

A transcript of my telephone conversation with IT returnee/Final Year Students of RCF LAUTECH 8/9/2014 2:58pm Eastern Time

YouAreTheLightOfTheWorldI appreciate you all for giving me the opportunity to speak with you. There is so much to share with you that time will not be enough especially knowing that it is almost 5years since I was your coordinator when you moved into your first year in the university. Today being the occasion of your returning from Industrial Training (IT) back into campus and the official beginning of your final year of your undergraduate experience on campus, there is a number of things I wish to share with you.

I am sure many of you know that you are “The Light of the world” generation. We started on this theme since 2008/2009 and I am grateful to God that through the power of His Word, many of you have made the ultimate decision to become children of Light. As much as I will like to go over all that we discussed in time past because I still have all the notes I taught you from with me here including the Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual songs we did those good old days, I am only going to hinge my conversation with you today on what has already been discussed years ago. First and foremost let me remind you that “The Light of the World” is a profound statement and it’s deep. Jesus first called himself Light:

(John 8:12 KJV) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

(John 9:5 KJV) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

And when He further said:

(Matthew 5:14 KJV) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

We know He was referring to us becoming like Him. This is how John put it:

(John 1: 3-5 MSG) Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

So we need to appreciate where we are coming from. The Light source is Jesus Christ and as many of that receive Him as our Lord and saviour become Light like Him and we are called to live a blazing Life-Light that overcomes darkness. But there is a more pertinent issue that I want us to discuss today and that is to raise the question: so we are Light then what are we here to do?

Let me draw your attention to something very important that I discovered during my recent research – it is something quite alarming. While Christianity has continued to grow arithmetically, contrary vices: sin, evil and all the likes committed by humanity and those living especially close to where Christianity prevails, have continued to grow geometrically. This is disturbing. I have tons of example but let me give you just one. Global religiosity index points Nigeria as the second most religious country in the world. This is greatly overshadowed by transparency international corruption perception index where Nigeria ranks high as a very corrupt country. This is a stark pair of contrasting qualities. So I want to remind you of why we became light in the first place.

If you recall in Genesis, it was when darkness covered the face of the deep that God established order through by decreeing Light. We know that The Light was and is Jesus and now, ye are The Light. We are called to be Light in the first place because a need arose. There is an urgent cry in the heart of men like it was said in scripture:

(Matthew 4:16 KJV) The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

We see corruption and all the evil in our day and we keep asking the question where do we find the incorruptibles? Is there still hope? My answer: you are the incorruptibles, you are the hope, you are the Light of the world. The Light is here! You are here!! Darkness must not persist!!!

Let me put these high-sounding spiritual terminologies in perspective as I round up. What we are called to is to reverse the propagation of evil first in our immediate environment – the very present place we are right now – and then allow it spread to the outermost part of the earth. I know as simple as it sounds, it is not easy. It is this same course that I have thrown myself into and I can tell you there is great sacrifices to be made. But we are God instrument of change in this time and season. We must understand this. It is in witnessing. It is in working excellently and handling mundane things with divine touch so much so that men will see our good works and recognise our heavenly Father. It is in taking our academics seriously and coming out in God’s flying radiant colours. It is by not being sloughtful in business but fervent in spirit (Romans 12:11).

My time is up and I still have much to share. I hope to be with you in October so that we can discuss these and more as we gradually move into what God has already began to do in us and through us. As a family, we are praying for you and trusting that from this meeting you will arise and take you place as a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid. Our time is now and more responsibilities fall on us as we run our final lap on campus and especially to those of us that holds various leadership positions. I spoke with Odunbaku Damilola earlier and I’m sure he more than ever before understands His current role as the PDS coordinator. I’m constantly in touch with my son and brother Awotayo Temitope Jacob who happens to be the current President of our great fellowship, please hear him because he not only consults myself and a host of other alumni, he ensures to take his time to seek God’s face before he comes to you. Together we must ensure we hand over a hot spiritual baton to those coming behind us. RCF yi ti gbogbo wa ni!

Thank you for taking time to listen and please feel free to contact me on social media. You will find me on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, Flickr, Email and BBM. Let’s keep the fire burning. I love you.

Technorati Tags: Youths,Hope,Light,Nigeria

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Africans, don't give up on Africa

Although my wife is Canadian because she was born here; her ancestral roots traces back to the West Indies and ultimately Africa. My wife studying history and eventually furthering in Modern Slavery make both of us a team for Africa emancipation. If we're not talking about promoting African values in our Canadian context, we are busy putting the lines together about Africa: the news, reports, economic analysis, the society, environment etc. So when she sent me an email containing a link to the set of pictures below during one of her research, I wasn't at all surprised. The pictures were published on CNN’s Inside Africa website with the caption: “Stunning photos show Africa through African eyes”. The publication was part of the the IBM Research Africa 12 Global Research Lab Project

My wife naturally connected with the stories that followed each picture because of her education and of course the many trips we have made together into Africa and African related attraction around the world. For me, however, I connected with those pictures because I saw myself in them. They told my story.

photo 3 photo 1
The house I was born in Mushin Lagos, Nigeria was just across the railway line like this. Since I was born  up till date, I’ve never seen a single train pass through. My parents never stop telling tales of how busy that railway line used to be. Yet in other places, trains are working. Railway workers strike and others leave the few working ones over crowded like the one seen above.
photo 2 photo 4
We fetched water like this. I remember lifting big buckets on my head on very long distances. And you just have to fill up those big drums stored behind the kitchen doors. Africans are extremely creative. We make something out of nothing. Don’t pity Africa, work with Africa! We have a thriving creative economy, youth bulginess.
photo 3 photo 1
Yet we have hope. The future is not ahead, the future is now. When I was a kid we soil ourselves like this young child, telling ourselves we are eating food as we put this dusts on our chin. We have not lost hope. Its this hand-in-soil that has strengthened our creativity. They say religion has been our bane. But who could I have been if I had not known the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of our faith our communities are built on tenets of respect and love. Its this foundation that allows people like myself to thrive all around the world.
photo 2 photo 4
While many people know this young boy made a pair of “glasses”, only very few people knew what he made it of and what the process of making it require. I know because that boy was just exactly like me! we made those funny looking pair of “glasses” out of table-top calendar spine. Creativity is in our DNA! This is Africa!! This picture passed the strongest message to me. What are we doing to secure the future? Or better still, what am I doing? I see Bill Gates and his earnest effort and I say to myself yes, this is the way to go! We have to secure the health of our future generations.


This is Africa. We are Africans. If we have come this far why go back? Our faith has been strengthened because daily, we face challenges that forces us to exercise them. We have experienced mountain moving faith as we see mountains of poverty and economic hardship sublime. We are hard working and we also believe in honest dealings even though corruption is fast making this assertion an illusion. We have grown because we strengthened our communities by caring for one another in a most unique way. These is Africa, where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the house of three different people you met on the street. We take care of our own, we don’t let one another down. This is the Africa I have grown into from the 1980s into the 2000s. All the evil that has happened in recent times must be be reversed. We will not sit and look at them take away our glorious future. We will reverse it. We will fight it with our words across the diaspora.

We are not where we want to be, yet, we are not where we used to be. The road is still very far. We must not allow idiosyncratic people who have crept into our communities deny us of our glorious destination. We must not fail to connect with our core competences, build on our strength and secure future generations. I personally don’t expect a sudden change but one thing I’m sure of is that: myself and many others who share similar vision will not give up. Africa will arise to take its rightful place among committee of nations. It has already begin to happen, the chart below shows Nigeria is the 3rd fastest growing economy in 2014 and hence a major destination for investment (Wealth Professionals Magazine Issue 2.2 pp8,14). By 2050, global economic dynamics would also have shifted in Africa’s favour. Keep in mind that this are assumptions and pre-included are very high risks factors. If we continue to work on reducing these risk factors: ensure political stability, a stable society, we can exceed these growth estimates by very wide margin.

image

image

Its time Africa, We must not give up!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Who Told you?

I love writing about economics, raising issues through economic data, and it wouldn’t take you too long to notice so many chat and economic discourse on this blog. However for this piece I want to talk about something slightly different (but that will somehow make economic sense in the end ;) This discussion revolves about listening to inner, divine, witnesses as a secrete recipe for making headway in our ventures. As I looked on twitter homepage this morning, I was shocked by reports streaming from Nigeria showing crowds of about 60,000 unemployed young people in search for a national job for 20,000 candidates. The first thing that dropped in my mind is: “can we have a Start-Up Canada-like initiatives bringing the private, public, NGOs and ordinary people together?” I reckon that its not even the lack of initiatives rather a need for us to overhaul our thought pattern and emancipate ourselves. So the ultimate issue is that people need to see themselves as solutions, job creators, in a better estate and then walk up there.

image  
   

So can I ask you: who told you that you can’t be who you want to be? Who told you that you cannot be happy? Who told you that there is no hope for you? Who told you that you can’t be better on that job you just got? As you will see in Shawn’s video below, everything is about looking within yourself and away from what people say in general. Let me take it a step further from Shawn’s scope. When God was asking Adam and Eve “Who told you…?” in Genesis 3:11 it wasn’t to threaten them it was to bring them to the realization of “who created a false impression in your mind of the perfect estate God has kept you”

(Genesis 3:11 KJV)  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

We have constantly been tossed around in a world that keeps making us feel inferior. Our sense of self worth drops to its lowest level as we see ourselves not being able to meet the current demand at our workplace, school or whatever venture we are engaging. Its stunning to know that even though Harvard is perhaps the best school in the world, a very large number of their student still feel like they are a failure. People have talked down on us and we have been bamboozled, hoodwinked and brought to our lowest low. Please don’t settle for less. Arise and answer that inner voice and say I can make it. I will make it. This is my time. This is my week. This is my day. Who told you that you are not a bundle of success?!

Watch Shawn Achor and make sure you take the notes that will help you brighten your week

 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Celebrate [Positive] Change and Keep Growing

“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.”― Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

SNAGHTML557adfI woke up this morning and quiet unusually, asking myself: what can I do better in the coming weeks/months to make me more effective? Am I serving my family, place of work and community effectively as I should? And how am I responding to development challenges and things that seem to challenge my thought patterns? And then the ultimate questions followed: Am I changing (for the better) or am I still clinging to my comfort zone? Am I growing, developing or just adding the number? What do I need to change or respond positively to today?

Such questions will most certainly come from the mind of people who have decided to commit themselves to a worthy course; individuals who are determined to ensure they monitor their progress in life and especially in a new year as they set to achieve their goals in a realistic perspective. But the answers didn’t come straight away. I asked myself another critical question: why do I so resist change sometimes even though I know its for my personal benefit? A follow up question to that is why do we all generally resist change despite realizing that if we continue in our current state we are bound to fail?

According to Anna Dornier, one word explains it all – COMFORT. “People like to live in their comfort zones. Change is uncomfortable – most of the time. You have to make new connections in your brain and you have to use willpower at first before you can make any change permanent or at least long lasting.”

“One thing I’ve learned throughout the years of setting goals and the process of achieving them is that we have to be COMFORTABLY UNCOMFORTABLE. This means always challenging ourselves to step out of our comfort zones, taking our game to the next level, and being comfortable there. This means never being satisfied with good enough. This means always thinking, “What can I do better?” or wondering, “How can I improve?””

People that changed the course of human history radically first started by becoming uncomfortable with the way things were going. Despite the fact that it will be a change that promotes equality for all, William Wilberforce struggled for 20years with his fellow parliamentarians in passing the Act that led to abolition of slave trade. take a few second to imagine life today without telephone or internet [Imagine how long it will take to deliver a letter. People would put a message into a little container on a carrier pigeon's leg. The bird would fly to the person receiving the message. Fast backward to 1870s and early 1990s when although the telephone came with certain initial challenges like hundreds of telephone wires becoming common in large cities, critics who resisted the use of telephone further claimed that the cellphone microwaves could beam through human heads thereby damaging nerves.

Another critical factor in making that critical change for the better is by setting up a right change support system. Many people fail to make lasting changes because they hang out with the wrong people. I once heard that we are the average of 10 people we surround ourselves with.

As much as this is about setting ourselves up for overall effectiveness, its touches briefly on accepting some changes we witness in our lives. For example wrinkles on our face, ears and nose grown larger, hair suddenly begin to recede leading to baldness. As Lao Tzu once said: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow”

I am hoping that like me, some of you reading this will respond positively to changes as they confront us. I personally have to respond having travelled so far from my home country in Nigeria and now settled in Canada, I recognise everyday, the need to constantly appreciate changing cultures, environment, society etc that will ultimately make me a better person overall.

Let me conclude by retorting that its also a spiritual process as God doesn’t want us to conform but that we are constantly changing (Romans 12:2).

So keep trusting, keep believing, keep changing for the better and never give up!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Everyday is Our Valentine!

Not too surprised to see long queues at flower stores and high orders placed on special cakes…but I am grateful that I have a wife and we keep reminding ourselves that everyday is our valentine…

Imagine how much lives can be touched, how much souls can be won for good and how much progress we can make if we take everyday as a valentine…to share and to love.

9286691479_57bae39fd1_o9576713748_e14e2870ca_o9605781644_3f1ae9b2a3_o9605782498_a7be3b04c9_ophoto 5 (1)IMG_0637 Fuse

Even distance apart should not matter: Channon (my wife) is of Jamaican descent born in Canada. Myself, a Nigeria. And everyday we making it real. True love should not be restricted by geographical boundaries, neither should cultural barriers be an hindrance. We hope our world will see through this window someday and know valentine shouldn't be a one-off thing. Its should be a lifestyle.

Map picture

If we learn to invest in our relationships everyday, maybe our love-life will take a different shape and our world would be a better place…it starts with having a relationship with God.

We invite you to receive Jesus into your life so you can know and share true love.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Remittance and Other External Financial Flows to Africa

In 2012, for the first time, remittances became the largest external financial source to Africa, ahead of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Other Development Assistance (ODA). 

According to African Economic Outlook, (2013) more than 30million Africans (about 3% of its population) are living outside of their home country, remitting 11% of global remittances in 2012, compared to 8% in 2001. Nigeria receives between 30% and 60% of remittance in the African region(Orozco, 2003).The World Bank (2012) reported that the top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2012 are India($70 billion), China ($66 billion), the Philippines and Mexico ($24 billion each), and Nigeria ($21 billion).

Remittances are mostly sent to Africa through informal channels; hand carried during visits to home countries and households, sent through transport companies or delivered through other informal channels largely due to limited access to and the high cost of formal financial (banking) services relative to average per capita incomes in African countries (Pendleton and others 2006; Bracking and Sachikonye 2008; Tevera and Chikanda 2009). According to International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, 2009) large share of remittances from outside Africa is channeled through a few large international money transfer agencies, who in sole partnership with African banks and post offices.

Irving,Mohapatra, and Ratha (2010) found that almost 70% of central banks in Sub-Saharan Africa cited high costs as the most important factor inhibiting the use of formal remittance channels. Innovative options such as mobile money transfer are getting popular but adoption of these has been limited mostly to domestic money transfers, largely because of concerns about money laundering and terrorist financing. These technologies have the potential to vastly improve access to both remittances and broader financial services, including low-cost savings and credit products, for African migrants and remittance recipients.

Remittance receiving households in Africa usually save remittance money in some type of financial institution rather than put it under the mattress. These steady stream of remittances receipt can be used as a factor in evaluating the credit worthiness of recipients for microloans, consumer loans, and small business loans (for example, to purchase agricultural equipment [Ratha, 2007]). Not only has a number of research found that bulk of remittances are used for consumption or investment in human capital (education, health, better nutrition), data from a multiple surveys and story-telling evidences indicate remittance has been found to provide initial capital to starting a business thereby stimulating entrepreneurship (De Haan et al., 2000;De Haan, 2000 Dermendzhieva, 2011; Cortes, 2007).

Identifying these poverty-eradicating and sustainable development potentials of remittance, World Bank recently initiated a global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), which is aimed at facilitating multidisciplinary debate and discussion on migration issues, developing policy options, and assisting sending and receiving countries implement pilot policies. While KNOMAD is on one hand, there is growing debate on how to use remittance in sustaning development in Africa through financial market linkages examples are the diaspora bond, collateral securitization, among others.

So what are your experiences with remittance as an African in diaspora? Do you feel the cost of sending money to Africa is too high? What are your suggestions on making remittance work for sustainable development in Africa? Do you have anything to share with our team on remittance in Africa in General?

Join me on twitter 
use the hashtag #econochart to sustain the conversation.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

10 Economic Highlights to look out for in Nigeria in 2014

'Smart aid': Nigerian pupils work on computers at
LEA primary school in Abuja. The school is a pilot site for
the 'one laptop per child' project, which aims to
provide children a means to express their potential.
Photograph: Afolabi Sotunde/Corbis Source: TheGuardian.com
The fact that Pope Francis particularly prayed for Nigeria during his Urbi et Orbi, or "to the city and to the world," message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday, December 25 draws global attention yet again to a country seen by many as a creeping giant. Insecurity has not only crippled the local economy, foreign investors are also sceptical on what direction the country is going. In 2013, the country witnessed the death of many civilians as incessant shedding of blood and killing at an unprecedented rate continues. In a quick response to what seem like a terror shock; security (Armed Forces, Police, National Security Adviser's office, and the para-military services) will be receiving the largest share of the country’s budget in 2014 just as it did in 2012 and 2013. This is in line with what is obtainable in advance countries where protection of persons and property receive dominant share of the government expenditure. Together with the National Conference scheduled for early 2014, it is expected that budget spendings will help foster peace and security thereby creating enabling environment for the economy to thrive. While the attention given to insecurity is a right step in a right direction, there are a few other thought lines for year 2014. Ranging from the drive for an “inclusive” budget (in meeting job creation targets and grassroots’ needs) and deepening technology to iRokotv $21 million funding and the spillover revolution of Nollywood, here are my top 10 outlook for Nigeria and indeed Africa in 2014:

1. Awareness of Mobile Payments will increase in 2014: Mobile payment options like MTN Mobile Money, Paga, and U-MO are expected to grow in 2014. The need to bank the unbanked and other reasons for the expected growth is explained in the key finding of the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2012 Survey. MTN’s wide spread coverage, Etisalat’s fast internet service, Airtel’s affordability and Glo’s venture in the mobile banking are factors that will ultimately lead to growth in mobile payments in Nigeria in 2014. Already, payD is used in the South African market where, using their mobile phone, customers are able to securely make online payments using their debit, credit or cheque card. In Zimbabwe, EcoCash, Telecash and OneWallet are taking the lead in Mobile Money. There has also been increasing popularity of Mobile Money in Uganda with the country’s 12 million mobile money subscibers reaching a transaction of $640m between January to November 2013.

2. e-Commerce will take centre stage: This is very related to the above point on Mobile payment and transactions. On 16th December 2013 German e-commerce incubator and cloning giant Rocket Internet, MTN, Africa’s largest cellphone operator and Stockholm-listed Millicom International Cellular partnered to develop internet e-commerce businesses in Africa through Africa Internet Holding (AIH), a vehicle to develop e-commerce businesses across the African continent (alongside partner Millicom International Cellular). They each took a 33.3% stake but the value was undisclosed. While still subject to regulatory approval, the parties expect the transaction to close during the second quarter of 2014. The implication for Nigeria? More transaction will be fulfilled online and there will be a radical change from the traditional brick and mortar shopping to shopping online as seen in developed countries. Businesses will have to respond by developing B2C and B2B enterprise architecture that will facilitate e-commerce. AIH has already developed a number of e-commerce ventures in the last 18 months, including Jumia, Zando, Kaymu, Jovago, Lamudi, Carmudi, EasyTaxi and Hellofood. The partnership is expected to capture the growth potential of the digital media space across footprints in the region.

3. The year of Financial and Overall inclusion in Nigeria: With a huge rural population that is economically challenged, financial and labour market inclusion is indispensable for the sustainable growth of Nigeria and when government at top level have identified this fact, we see it as a right step in the right direction. Inclusiveness is an explicit strategy for poverty eradication and accelerated growth and it’s highly welcomed in Nigeria. It is expected that the N4.642 trillion ($29 billion) 2014 budget (available here), if properly implemented, will strengthen the rural base, agricultural sector, allowing for better equality in income distribution in the economy. To quote the Nigerian Minister of Finance, "It's a budget for jobs and inclusive growth…The budget supports policies that will continue to push agriculture, manufacturing, investment so that our youths can have modern jobs." Also if the SURE-P funds are well utilized as proposed, hopefully, the economically marginalized will be reached through job creation and in creating safety nets for women and children. Oil is more of a curse than a blessing for Nigeria as the video below shows and hopefully all of these will ultimately lead to an economy that will gradually (because it will not happen suddenly) move towards economic diversification away from oil. At the same time, it is expected that the existing banking infrastructure in Nigeria will be upgraded in 2014 to meet growing demands. The average number of clients per Bank branch is 3882, compare to 3922 in Kenya and 8595 in Tanzania. Central Bank of Nigeria microfinance banking policy (2005) and the CBN financial inclusion strategy (2012) are all worthwhile interventions put in place by the government to encourage financial inclusion.
It is true that the Nigerian automotive policy seem like a move that “puts the cart before the horse”, it should however be a celebrated initiative because of the enormous positive social externalities it can bring. Such initiatives allow the manufacturing sector to find its bearing as local contents are sourced for car parts (raw materials from the agricultural sector), the engineering academia (who have many internationally recognized professors) will play their practical roles in economic development, jobs are created and international automobile innovation hubs can be established in the country. Hopefully Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria (PAN) and others will trace their way back to Nigeria as the power reforms and other government reforms work to address problems that led to failure similar policy moves in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Let’s leave this point here for now even though there’s temptation to stretch the inclusivity theory to cover the purported housing sector reforms under the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), the agricultural transformation program and other recent economic push. It will be interesting to see how the economy unravels in the year 2014 and certainly there will be many events to watch out for.

4. International Development assistant (or ODA) is not expected to increase but remittance will:
Life was sweet when the leaders of the world's most powerful western economies pledged themselves to debt relief and aid to help poor countries in July 2005 when Britain hosted the G8 summit at Gleneagles. Growth was strong, asset prices were rising, and the financial crisis was two years away. Fast-forward to 2013, one thing was obvious when Britain chaired a similar G8 meeting at Lough Erne last summer: there will be no repeat of the commitment to double aid within five years. Money is tight. Most donour countries in the OECD are on their fiscal cliffs with characteristic high energy prices and compounded by their struggle to ensure financial solvency.

Since remittance exceeded foreign direct investment (FDI) and other development assistance (ODA) for the first time in 2012, remittance trend is seen to continue to play significant role in developing economies. In 2009, Nigeria received over $10 billion in remittances from citizens living in the diaspora and was ranked first among the top 10 remittance recipients in 2010 in Sub-Saharan Africa with average share of remittance to GDP of 10.4% between 2005-2011 (African Economic Outlook 2013; World Bank, 2011). The World Bank (2012) reported that the top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2012 are India ($70 billion), China ($66 billion), the Philippines and Mexico ($24 billion each), and Nigeria ($21 billion). Although remittance has been identified to eradicate poverty among the recipient households (Chukwuone et al, 2012), little is known about its effects on job creation and employment especially for the young people. Remittance has its own unique way of addressing the challenges such as corruption that ODA and FDI face both in donour countries and recipient nations. Remittance is specific in use and carries efficient group/channel effects. It is expected that 2014 will be the year when social, fiscal and labour-market policy recommendations will be made to help in channelling the large amount of remittance in Nigeria for sustainable growth. This will fall in line with increasing international debate on how to reduce cost of remittance as well as help developing countries cope with falling ODAs.

5. Political pressure will heat up towards 2015 general elections and ethnic and religious bigotry will increase:
It’s not reasonable to observe the spate of open letters flying about in Nigeria in 2013 and think such attitude will fall in 2014. In fact, open letters and associated political forces will continue to generate heat as the country draws closer to the 2015 general election. Apart from the five governors of the ruling PDP defecting to the opposition APC on Nov. 26 2013, on Dec. 18, the ruling party lost 37 parliamentary seats to the same opposition party. This is a collection of events some analyst call “things fall apart”. Nigeria’s political history and elections since democracy has generally been characterized with violence and it will take a miracle for such to quiet down going by the situation of things in 2013. The ruling party and the president will continue to face challenges and the greatest-ever will be in 2014. It is not only in Nigeria, similar issues are expected across Africa and we will recollect that even South African’s President Jacob Zuma was booed and jeered by South Africans during Mandel’s burial ceremony – a worrying sign for his African National Congress (ANC) as it heads for polls in about six months. Many Nigerians and also friendly foreigners agree that the country is facing various problems on political stability. Analysts see the major problem as that of national unity in an atmosphere of the rising profile of ethnicity and religious bigotry. The ongoing deadly ethnic-religious clashes in some parts of Nigeria and renewed militancy and oil theft in the southern Niger delta (put at between 100,000 (Chatham House) to 250,000 (Nuhu Ribadu Report) barrels of oil a day) continue to amplify the political divide thereby giving room for more heat in the polity. 2014 will not only be a critical year for INEC (who is expected to receive buoyant support in the 2014 budget), political parties are expected to hold their national conventions to choose their parties presidential candidates in preparation for the 2015 elections. We should be interested and look forward to how the commission will respond to emerging electioneering issues in 2014 with Ekiti and Osun governorship elections serving as a litmus test for the 2015 election. Not to forget to add that 2014 also marks 100years since the country's Northern and Southern protectorate was merged into one Nigeria in 1914 (i.e. the centenary). This will call for renewed global attention on Nigeria to see how the political climate is changing or challenging the history and aspiration of the people.

6. Information technology (ICT) use will grow as Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) expands with expansion in use of mobile devices and smartphone all of which will enforce better governance: As Samsung gains leadership in the indian market, it is well positioned to become African leader. In 2014 the battle between Apple and Samsung (mobile device leaders) will have impact in the African market as Apple will strive to expand its market niche in the growing African economy. A Positive impact should of course be expected for Africa as this will not only bring in new products, prices should fall too. Africa is seen as a growing market when it comes to internet usage. According to the World Bank Africa Development Indicator 2012-13 report, of the 89-million recorded internet users in sub-Saharan Africa, half were in Nigeria. While only around 15.6% of Africans are online, infopreneuers, journalists, bloggers and the likes will take on social media in 2014 to utilize various platforms in sharing information and shining the light on injustices. A recent survey of 1000 university student found that 90% of them use Facebook. Twitter and other social media will witness higher use in Nigeria moving forward.
There are also a growing number of social entrepreneurs in Africa, who are utilizing their training and education to develop businesses and initiatives that tackle social challenges. Innovation hubs, incubators and accelerators are supporting entrepreneurs across the continent and are gradually attracting investors and corporate partners. Spaces supporting tech entrepreneurs, such as the Co-Creation Hub in Nigeria and iHub in Kenya, are creating jobs and improving the livelihoods of the poor. iCow, an application that provides timely agricultural information to dairy farmers in Kenya via SMS has reached almost 12,000 farmers and increased their income through elevated milk yields and decreased disease outbreaks.
Efiko, an application that enables students in Nigeria to test their knowledge of the school curriculum and compete with friends, has been played by thousands of senior secondary school students. Although most of these initiatives are at times criticized for being elitist, the applications springing up from them will definitely play impactful roles as we enter into 2014.

7. Higher use of technology will lead to better governance in 2014: since Barack Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government on his first day in office, eventually led to Data.gov, African countries have also made efforts to have similar open data portal and Kenya in particular is playing leading role in this regard with the www.opendata.go.ke. The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is making similar effort with the www.nigerianstat.gov.ng. The story of governance in Africa though punctuated by war, coups de etat and not-so-democratic elections is also full of stories of democratic progress and innovation. Technology is playing a role on the demand side of governance with citizens taking to technology platforms to amplify their opinions and demand better services from governments. It’s playing a big role on the supply side as well with governments adopting e-government and making progress along the path to open government and turning Africa into an attractive place to live in and do business. Notable example include the Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) Portal, Tanzania Revenue Authority e-Filing and mPayments, Rwanda Mobile-enabled Driving license applications and Liberia’s Online Company Registry. This economic and urban boom in cities like Lagos and Accra where existing public infrastructure systems -- from transportation, to water, sanitation, energy, healthcare, public safety, education and administration – is under increasing strain, technology could play a variety of roles to address these issues. Other areas to watch out for include electronic lands registries, integrated financial management systems and electronic business registration in an effort to improve service delivery in their government to government (G2G) interactions and G2C / G2B services. Of course the idea of cloud computing, big data and mobile technology will be interconnected areas of discourse in 2014.

8. iROKOtv will accelerate towards becoming Africa's Netflix with spillover benefits for Nollywood and the Nigerian creative economy:
iROKOtv, the Africa-based movie platform for Nigerian movies (known colloquially as ‘Nollywood’) has closed a funding round of $8 million, led by existing investor Tiger Global, with further participation from Sweden-based Kinnevik. A new investor to this round is US-based Rise Capital. This brings the total raised to $21 million, which makes iROKOtv one of the best well-funded internet companies in Africa today. iROKOtv a Video-on-Demand (VOD) platform for African content which claims one million monthly users. The new capital will be used to flip the company’s audience from a primarily Diaspora base to an African base, as well as migrating from a largely ad-supported model to subscription service. Obviously, the aim here is to become the Netflix for Africa. Currently, 50% of iROKOtv’s audience is located in the UK and US. It’s important to mention that Nollywood will continue to grow in 2014 as both content quality and market penetration improves. A long-run market equilibrium analysis of what makes Nollywood different from Hollywood; giving it a comparative/competitive advantage is shown below. Some of these include large small, medium sized enterprise with low factor input and cost leading to high output (when compared to western countries) yet sufficient to break-even. Nollywood’s popularity has spread throughout English-speaking Africa and has even gained traction in the African Diaspora of North America, Europe and the Caribbean (Olley, 2009). Increasing government support for Nollywood and industrial stimulus resulting from affordable digital filming and editing technology provide opportunity for real life “family-oriented-than-American-films” story lines of love, violence and HIV/AIDS that depicts the typical African struggle for livelihood amidst difficult economic condition brings the African Story to the world. Genres also usually include religion, the occult and rags-to-riches tales. It is expected that the industry will continue to build on this model and witness continued growth in 2014. Oh, can I talk about the booming Nigerian music industry?!


9. CNN will be making concerted effort at capturing more African market/audience and that should attract other TV service providers:
CNN International is proposing to launch a new TV show titled African Start-Up, which will join the existing African Voices, CNN Marketplace Africa and Inside Africa programs is a bid for the globally acclaimed news company to cement its long standing commitment to Africa. The new series, airing as a weekly segment and then bi-Monthly as a half hour special, follows several small and medium-sized Enterprise and Entrepreneurs in various African countries to see how they're working to make their dreams become reality. One of African Start-Up production is ‘Nigeria iTunes’ which explores how ideas are generated, business plans formulated, capital raised and distribution model for products defined. The entrepreneurs take viewers through their daily challenges, charting both the setbacks and the opportunities that exist for those with the vision and creativity to try something new. The weekly segment is set to air in January 2014. Just as the entry of Starbucks (world leading coffee company) is an indication of economic growth in a country or community it venture into, the expected implication of the CNN move is that more TV service providers will be looking forward to the African market which seems booming at the moment.

10. The African telecommunication sector will grow and quality is expected to improve in Nigeria:
Part of research conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media, entitled: Africa Telecoms Outlook 2014: Maximising digital service opportunities, identifies mobile broadband and the increase in global connectivity as key drivers behind this projected growth. According to statistics revealed in the research, there were 778 million mobile subscriptions in Africa by end June 2013 and the expectation is that the mobile-subscription count will reach one billion during 2015. Contrary to what is being experienced in other regions, in Africa mobile voice revenues are expected to grow over the next few years. The research adds that annual mobile data revenues on the continent are expected to rise from US$8.53 billion in 2012 to US$23.16 billion in 2018. Data accounted for 14.3% of mobile service revenues in Africa in 2012 but will account for 26.8% in 2018. “The growth in data revenues in Africa is being driven by factors including: the continent’s new submarine and terrestrial cables; the rollout of mobile broadband networks; the increasing affordability of data devices; and economic growth. As well as facilitating a rise in data connectivity in Africa, these factors are creating a platform for a range of new digital services on the continent, such as mobile financial services, e-commerce and digital content and services for the business market,” states an excerpt from the study. In an article on BizTech Africa, Nigeria govt talks tough over service quality, Minister of Communications Technology, disclosed at media parley with senior journalists, said the Ministry of Communication Technology, the Consumer Protection of Nigeria (CPN) and the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) are collaborating to sanction or prosecute erring telecoms operators that have been delivering poor quality service to Nigerians. The Minister said “the Federal Government will no longer condone poor service delivery to subscribers and reiterated that henceforth, it’s no longer shall be business as usual, and operators must rise up to redress the current poor state of quality service delivery.” Another related development is the reduction in the cost of Right of Ways (RoW) in certain states in the country which will facilitate the roll-out of telecoms infrastructure in the country. Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) identified that this reduction would definitely impact on telecoms service delivery. It will be interesting to keep tab on events as they unfold in 2014.

Conclusion: Although there are numerous challenges facing Nigeria, there are equally huge opportunities to tap into to accelerate growth and development in the country. It is obvious that the greatest opportunity is in the technology industry being the next frontier. IBM is seen to be leading the way followed by Microsoft, Google, Baidu (China’s response to google) and their affiliate partners (Orange, Hauwei, etc) as they explore investments opportunities in Africa. Like many African countries, Nigeria’s demographic prospects are promising, too. As America, Europe and China age, Africa can expect a bulge of workers in their productive prime. Though skills are in short supply, they are becoming more abundant. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, in 2002 only 32% of Africans had secondary or tertiary education, but by 2020, 48% will have. The continent can call on degree-laden expatriates such as Uyi Stewart, the Nigerian chief scientist of IBM’s Nairobi lab. The ability of government, businesses, financial service providers and the Nigerian people in general to positively respond to rising issues and convert challenges to opportunities will go a long way in shaping the Nigerian economy in 2014. Maintaining peace and security is extremely crucial to reap these benefits as this will create a climate friendly for international partnership, investment and sustainable economic growth. As Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Heckscher-Ohlin identified in their economic postulations, every country should explore in competitive advantage to foster economic growth. Nigeria is blessed with natural resources, competitive distribution system (cutting across Africa and the world in road, airways and seaways network), a cheap workforce (fueled by abundant labour supply), a cultural revolution (with an expanding middle class) and a youth bulginess condition that continue to stimulate domestic demand. 2014 truly holds a lot and it can spell both dividends or doom depending on how we respond to opportunities and challenges as a people.

The list is certainly not exhausted. What are your thoughts about the Nigerian Economy in 2014? You can drop your comment below or continue the discussion with me on twitter 

reference list

Nigeria in 2014: Concluding Remarks

Although there are numerous challenges facing Nigeria, there are equally huge opportunities to tap into to accelerate growth and development in the country. It is obvious that the greatest opportunity is in the technology industry being the next frontier. IBM is seen to be leading the way followed by Microsoft, Google, Baidu (China’s response to google) and their affiliate partners (Orange, Hauwei, etc) as they explore investments opportunities in Africa. Like many African countries, Nigeria’s demographic prospects are promising, too. As America, Europe and China age, Africa can expect a bulge of workers in their productive prime. Though skills are in short supply, they are becoming more abundant. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, in 2002 only 32% of Africans had secondary or tertiary education, but by 2020, 48% will have. The continent can call on degree-laden expatriates such as Uyi Stewart, the Nigerian chief scientist of IBM’s Nairobi lab. The ability of government, businesses, financial service providers and the Nigerian people in general to positively respond to rising issues and convert challenges to opportunities will go a long way in shaping the Nigerian economy in 2014. Maintaining peace and security is extremely crucial to reap these benefits as this will create a climate friendly for international partnership, investment and sustainable economic growth. As Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Heckscher-Ohlin identified in their economic postulations, every country should explore in competitive advantage to foster economic growth. Nigeria is blessed with natural resources, competitive distribution system (cutting across Africa and the world in road, airways and seaways network), a cheap workforce (fueled by abundant labour supply), a cultural revolution (with an expanding middle class) and a youth bulginess condition that continue to stimulate domestic demand. 2014 truly holds a lot and it can spell both dividends or doom depending on how we respond to opportunities and challenges as a people.

Read the full article here: 10 Economic Highlights to look out for in Nigeria in 2014. Want to share you thoughts on the Nigerian Economy in 2014? You can drop your comment below or continue the discussion with on twitter 

Nigeria in 2014: The African telecommunication sector will grow and quality is expected to improve in Nigeria


Part of research conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media, entitled: Africa Telecoms Outlook 2014: Maximising digital service opportunities, identifies mobile broadband and the increase in global connectivity as key drivers behind this projected growth. According to statistics revealed in the research, there were 778 million mobile subscriptions in Africa by end June 2013 and the expectation is that the mobile-subscription count will reach one billion during 2015. Contrary to what is being experienced in other regions, in Africa mobile voice revenues are expected to grow over the next few years. The research adds that annual mobile data revenues on the continent are expected to rise from US$8.53 billion in 2012 to US$23.16 billion in 2018. Data accounted for 14.3% of mobile service revenues in Africa in 2012 but will account for 26.8% in 2018. “The growth in data revenues in Africa is being driven by factors including: the continent’s new submarine and terrestrial cables; the rollout of mobile broadband networks; the increasing affordability of data devices; and economic growth. As well as facilitating a rise in data connectivity in Africa, these factors are creating a platform for a range of new digital services on the continent, such as mobile financial services, e-commerce and digital content and services for the business market,” states an excerpt from the study. In an article on BizTech Africa, Nigeria govt talks tough over service quality, Minister of Communications Technology, disclosed at media parley with senior journalists, said the Ministry of Communication Technology, the Consumer Protection of Nigeria (CPN) and the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) are collaborating to sanction or prosecute erring telecoms operators that have been delivering poor quality service to Nigerians. The Minister said “the Federal Government will no longer condone poor service delivery to subscribers and reiterated that henceforth, it’s no longer shall be business as usual, and operators must rise up to redress the current poor state of quality service delivery.” Another related development is the reduction in the cost of Right of Ways (RoW) in certain states in the country which will facilitate the roll-out of telecoms infrastructure in the country. Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) identified that this reduction would definitely impact on telecoms service delivery. It will be interesting to keep tab on events as they unfold in 2014.

Read the full article here: 10 Economic Highlights to look out for in Nigeria in 2014. Want to share you thoughts on the Nigerian Economy in 2014? You can drop your comment below or continue the discussion with on twitter 

reference list