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Airtel Nigeria’s COVID-19 Response Thrills NCDC

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Airtel Nigeria SIM update

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The response of Airtel Nigeria to the COVID-19 pandemic last year has been recognised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The agency said it was impressed with the company’s role and support towards the COVID-19 response in Nigeria, commending the telco for deploying its resources in the fight against the dreaded virus.

Speaking at an event in Lagos, the outgoing Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, expressed appreciation to Airtel for providing digital outreach platforms, access, connectivity and joining in the national campaign to sensitize Nigerians on how to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Specifically, Mr Ihekweazu said the Airtel SMS channel was very effective in information dissemination and data gathering as it not only reached the targeted audience but was considered credible and authentic by the stakeholders.

“I commend Airtel for its support and on behalf of the NCDC, I will like to present an award recognizing Airtel’s efforts in fighting COVID-19 in Nigeria,” he said.

In his response, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Surendran Chemmenkotil, said the company will continue to leverage its digital resources and network infrastructure to fight infectious diseases in Nigeria just as it will continue to partner with the NCDC and other relevant governmental institutions.

“Airtel is pleased with the partnership with the NCDC and we will not rest on our laurels. As a key stakeholder and responsible corporate citizen, we will continue to collaborate with the government in creating opportunities and platforms that will protect and empower Nigerians,” he said.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Airtel offered the NCDC toll-free lines and phones to enable the agency to process the deluge of phone calls it was besieged with and also curtail the spread of the pandemic.

The telco also connected NCDC offices in the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria with broadband services riding on its expansive and robust 4G network architecture.

Airtel said it believes that expanding the NCDC virtual, electronic and Internet access points will enable more Nigerians to get the much-needed help they require as well as facilitate instant sharing of important information that will greatly limit the current wave of the pandemic.

In April 2020, Airtel Nigeria announced a commitment of N1.97 billion towards the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria. It offered free Short Message Services (SMS) to customers across all networks worth over N1.2 billion as well as complimentary data for customers to access educational sites worth over N494 million.

The telco also invested N200 million in refurbishing and equipping a 4-storey admission facility for the use of Specialist Units in the Department of Medicine at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); N50 million to Lagos State Government to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for Lagos State Health Workers and N50 million for the procurement of a Molecular Laboratory provided by 54 Gene with the capacity for 300 tests per day for Ogun State.

Also, Airtel Nigeria employees were the first employee group to make a donation of N20 million from their personal contributions in support of the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic in May 2020.

The donated sum was to support the Lagos State Government in the provision of relief materials to indigent residents and citizens as well as families who were badly affected by the lockdown.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Mediacraft’s John Ehiguese to Head Lagos NIPR Education Committee

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Mediacraft’s John Ehiguese NIPR Education Committee

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Chief Executive Officer of Mediacraft Associates Limited, Mr John Ehiguese, has been appointed as the chairman of the Training and Education Committee of the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).

“I am delighted to inform you that the Executive Council of the Lagos State Chapter has approved your appointment as the Chairman, Training and Education Committee of the Chapter,” a letter dated January 17, 2022, and signed by the chairman of the PR body, Ms Comfort Nwankwo, stated.

It was stated that Mr Ehiguese was chosen for the position because of his leadership, passion and contributions to the advancement of quality education and training for communications professionals in the country. The NIPR Education Committee has a total of 10 members.

“In constituting your committee, the painstaking effort has been made to choose discerning, bright and knowledgeable professionals of impeccable character, professional accomplishments having held long-time leadership roles representing significant stakeholder groups,” another part of the letter stated.

“By this appointment, we are confident that you will bring your deep knowledge and invaluable experience to bear on this exciting assignment,” she added.

In his remarks, Mr Ehiguese expressed his appreciation for the appointment, promising to put in his best to help strengthen the institute’s training and master class programmes.

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed to head such a critical committee. I am confident that as a committee, we will put in our best to further strengthen the institute’s training and education programmes,” the renowned PR practitioner said.

Mr Ehiguese, who founded Mediacraft, a leading PR firm in the country, over 18 years ago, has close to 30 years of experience in public relations and communications.

A consummate professional, Mr Ehiguese has contributed immensely to the development of PR in Nigeria. He was at one-time president of the Public Relations Consultant Association of Nigeria (PRCAN). He is on the Board of Management of International Communications Consultants Organization (ICCO) and has functioned in the ICCO as a judge for the body’s Global PR Award.

He remains a strong advocate of support by the government for local PR players through patronage and partnerships.

Last year, Mr Ehiguese instituted a training and mentorship programme for mass communications undergraduates and prospective PR practitioners, as part of his contributions to the growth of the industry.

In recognition of his invaluable contributions, Mr Ehiguese has won several industry awards, including the Best Public Relations practitioner in 2019 and a Lifetime Achievement award at the 2021 Lagos PR Industry Gala & Awards (LaPRIGA).

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Power Black Aims to Disrupt Nigerian Energy Drinks Market

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Power Black Energy drink

By Adedapo Adesanya

Power Black Energy drink, a Turkish energy drink with a presence in over 35 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, has landed in Nigeria, being the first and only energy drink in Nigeria with a hygienic cover.

Speaking at a recent launch, the Marketing Manager of Frisson Nigeria Limited, the sole distributor of Power Black Energy Drink in Nigeria, Mr Ojotobor Samuel, said Power Black Energy Drink is a premium energy drink that offers Nigerians needed the power to achieve their goals with class and finesse.

Mr Ojotobor said as the first and only energy drink with a hygienic cover in Nigeria, Power Black seeks to encourage healthy consumption of energy drinks whereby consumers do not have to finish the can of drink at a go as it can be preserved with the hygienic cover all day long.

The Frisson Nigeria boss said Power Black Energy Drink is made with clean water, sugar glucose syrup, carbon dioxide, acidity regulator (Citric acid & Sodium citrate), Taurine, Vitamins B2, B3, B5 and B6. These ingredients, according to him enrich the human body with desired energy and account for the positive effect on the cognitive performance of every individual.

He added that there is no negative side effect to Power Black energy drink if consumed in moderation and advised Nigerians that it is healthy to consume everything, including water in moderation.

Validating the claims of the distributing firm, a representative of the manufacturer, Ares Gida Manufacturing-Turkey, Mr Recep Yildiz said Power Black Energy drink is made with finest of ingredients and purest of water and it guarantees good health and energy for Nigerians.

He added that the brand is the leading brand in the energy drinks market of countries like Spain, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Chad, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Mali.

As the latest entrant in the Nigerian market, the company has noted that the brand will soon take its leadership position in Nigeria.

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Customers to Enjoy Free Delivery on Jumia Express Orders

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Jumia Express orders

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Customers of Jumia will enjoy free delivery of goods shopped on the prominent e-commerce platform via the Jumia Express orders.

A statement from the company said this offering is part of its Free Delivery campaign designed to incentivize consumers to shop online, especially on the platform.

The Free Delivery campaign on Jumia Express orders is mainly available for consumers in Lagos and Abuja.

According to the firm, the deal will be valid for all Jumia Express (items stored at the Jumia warehouse) orders above N4,999 in Lagos and Abuja, excluding large items.

The campaign, one of the first for the year, is among several initiatives the company is putting together to encourage consumers to continue shopping on the platform while enjoying a rewarding online shopping experience.

Commenting on the initiative, the chief executive of Jumia Nigeria, Mr Massimiliano Spalazzi, stated that, “We want Nigerians to conveniently shop online without having to worry about delivery fees.”

“That is why we are introducing the cost-saving promo to enable them to buy more while spending less,” he further stated.

Jumia is unarguably the biggest online shopping platform in Africa, with operations in Nigeria and other countries.

It is also one trust e-commerce company used by online shoppers to purchase different ranges of items, including raw and cooked foods.

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