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Customs Seizes Cargo With 400 Snakes, 200 Frogs

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Customs Seizes Cargo With 400 Snakes, 200 Frogs

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have confiscated a cargo bringing into the country 400 snakes, 200 frogs, and 100 lizards.

The animals were kept in three cartons loaded into a container and shipped into through a vessel marked MV Flesh.

It was gathered that the impounded reptiles were imported illegally into the country through the Calabar waterways by an unnamed importer in Lagos.

According to spokesman for the Cross River and Akwa Ibom States Customs Area Command, Mr Mohammed Awalu, the animals were imported from Cameroon.

He said two persons, who claimed to be the clearing agents, were apprehended in connection with the illegal importation.

However, the cargo containing the animals has been handed over to the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service Agency (NAQSA), which is also interrogating the suspects.

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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Consumers Laud Bigi Drinks for Show of Love Via BRAK Initiative

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Bigi Drinks BRAK

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Some consumers of Bigi Drinks, a consumer-centric brand with 13 flavours from Rite Foods, have applauded the company for improving their living conditions by giving them cash and gift prizes.

The soft drink brand recently surprised 20 of its customers nominated by their friends and loved ones in need of support.

The company gave them cash prizes and its array of products and other amazing gifts in a bid to improve their living conditions and status through its CRS campaign known as Bigi Random Acts of Kindness (BRAK). This CSR initiative has been held annually since 2019.

The lucky consumers were chosen from different environs across Lagos State, including Ketu, Igando, Abule-Egba, Ikorodu, Alapere, and Chevron.

Some of the beneficiaries were Mrs Adetutu, Mummy Gloria, Chukwuifeyinwa Esther, Mrs Adeyosola Bisiriyu, Aunty Calabar, Mrs Toyin Rowland, Mrs Chinwe Ngharamike, and Mrs Aziba, whose residences were stormed by the brand with a team of cheerleaders and trumpeter to celebrate and reward them.

Mrs Ngharamike, who could not hide her joy over the gifts, thanked Bigi Drinks for bringing joy to her heart and putting laughter on her face and that of her family.

“Indeed, Bigi drink is that go-to brand that brings smiles to the faces of its consumers by uplifting their burden. This is a big surprise, and I am indeed grateful,” she said between cheerful sobs.

Other consumers expressed their utmost surprise upon the brand’s visit to their homes, as they could not contain their excitement, jubilation, dancing, and screaming, while others sobbed cheerfully to contain their emotions for the succour and uplift the Bigi brand surprised them with.

Commenting on the initiative, the Assistant Brand Manager for Bigi, Ms Abiola Aransiola, restated the company’s commitment through the Bigi brand and the BRAK initiative to reaching out to people in need and improving their lives all across the country.

“It is our culture to find good deeds and reward them, which demonstrates our passion for helping people and improving their social status and living conditions. This is why Bigi extends its acts of kindness to consumers and other Nigerians,” she stated.

“As a company, we are not only concerned about selling our array of refreshing products to Nigerians but also committed to reaching out to our numerous consumers and Nigerians at the point of their needs by improving their living conditions across the country,” she added.

The BRAK initiative was originally flagged off in 2019 as BRAKNOV, as it was celebrated in November. However, it has metamorphosed to BRAK to allow the Bigi brand to give back to its consumers and Nigerians all over the country at any time of the year by rewarding them with the brand’s kindness.

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Rite Foods Expands Footprint in Africa, Changes Slogan

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Rite Foods Hunger in Nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

A leading player in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector in Nigeria, Rite Foods Limited, has expanded its footprint across Africa, with its products selling in other African countries.

According to the Managing Director of the company, Mr Seleem Adegunwa, this development has necessitated a change in the organisation’s slogan from Proudly Nigerian to Proudly African.

In a recent interview with a leading independent and international brand valuation consultancy publication, Mr Adegunwa explained that the decision to change its slogan was to reflect its current status, pointing out that the firm remains a world-class and global brand.

Rite Foods started with the slogan, Truly World-Class and Proudly Nigerian, but has now upgraded to another level.

“We have an indigenous brand that operates on the world-class stage, so these slogans are exactly what we are, but put into words, it shows our intention of expanding across Africa,” Mr Adegunwa affirmed, adding that, “The importance and value of working on them are to ensure that we are improving the brand equity, hence the need for appropriate slogans.”

He avowed that the high-quality of the company’s brands with their flavours stems from the continuous innovation adopted in the manufacturing processes which are carried out in a first-rate factory with up-to-the-minute technology and a skilled workforce.

According to him, research and development are of topmost priority for the company, having led to the production of unrivalled brands that are top-notched in the sector it operates.

“We do it frequently with our partners and suppliers to attain the desired quality for consumers’ satisfaction,” he stated.

This explains why despite the stiff competition in the industry, Rite Foods’ product portfolio, comprising the 13 variants of the Bigi carbonated soft drink, the Bigi Table Water, the Fearless energy drink consisting of the Fearless Classic and Fearless Red Berry, the five variants of Sosa Fruit Drink as well as the Rite and Bigi Sausages, have continued to dictate the pace in the market, with their inventiveness which has earned them numerous laurels at various awards ceremonies.

Also, the company is at the forefront of implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies for human and societal development.

It is currently partnering with quite a few organisations to support eco-friendly sustainability initiatives, especially in recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic collections and also in developing recycling plants in the country.

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The Four Drivers of Nigerian Digital Advertising in 2023

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Nigerian digital advertising

By Brian Abel

Nigeria has long been considered Africa’s largest economy in terms of GDP, this should come as no huge surprise, especially considering its population of over 200 million, making it the largest in the continent, and boasting an abundance of natural resources, as well as strong trade links with its neighbouring countries. However, as vast as the Nigerian economy may appear to be, it is still very much going through stages of growth.

Helping to drive this evolution is the rapid digitalisation of many economic sectors. Consider the financial sector, for example, while Nigeria has been a major centre of African banking for many years, recently, it has also become the leading fintech player in the continent. Moreover, of Africa’s handful of unicorns (start-ups valued at more than $1 billion), the majority are, in fact, headquartered in Nigeria.

Rapid digitalisation has also impacted the world of advertising, with the country’s current digital advertising sphere worth over $179.20 million. And, as we know, digital advertising isn’t static, it’s constantly evolving, driven by ever-shifting trends, a fact that remains as true now, in 2023, then it has ever been. With that in mind, it is beneficial to understand the major trends and recognise which are set to impact Nigerian digital advertising over the course of the year.

Twitter to build on its return 

At the start of 2022, the Nigerian government reversed its seven-month ban on Twitter. At first, ordinary Nigerians and advertisers alike were a little cautious when it came to returning to the social network. After all, once a service has been banned, it’s hard to imagine that the same might not happen again.

Fortunately, Twitter and the Nigerian government were able to come to an agreement, developing a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices. Over the months that followed, Twitter continued to make gains and once again proved its worth. The platform is slowly but surely securing its stance as the best location for advertisers to reach mass audiences, enabling them to build brand recognition, whilst developing trust, establishing relationships, increasing sales, and improving the customer’s experience.

While the government is keeping a close eye on the social network, especially following Elon Musk’s acquisition, it is set to remain a valuable digital advertising platform in 2023.

Post-Covid adjustments 

During the peak of Covid-19 between 2020 and 2021, came an unexpected shining light for digital marketing and technology companies alike. With strict lockdowns in place globally, people were mostly confined to homes, and it should come as no shock that the need to connect took on new forms as the masses flocked to their online devices to reach loved ones, purchase goods, and seek a sense of normality.

However, as we stepped back into the outside world again, both tech and digital marketing witnessed revenue hits. Nigeria was not spared this cooling-off period, which was exacerbated by internet access issues for people during the year. That said, as connectivity becomes more reliable, ubiquitous, and affordable, digital marketing should continue its rise, with some analysts predicting that the sector will be worth close to $259 million by 2027. Not to mention, once the Pan-African telecommunications service provider, Seacom, launches their West African hub in 2023, that number could be reached even faster.

Marketers leverage entertainment and media 

As far back as 2017, PwC predicted that Nigeria would be the world’s fastest-growing entertainment and media market. While Turkey currently holds the top spot, E&M growth in Nigeria remains strong. In fact, analysts predict that spending in the sector will increase by an average of just below 9% in the next five years.

One of the most visible areas of growth can be seen in music streaming. Since its Nigerian launch in February 2021, Spotify has achieved impressive growth in the country. Within a year after launching in Nigeria, music fans in the country had curated some 1.3 million user-generated playlists. Additionally, during the same period, nearly 21,000 songs were added to the platform. In fact, Nigeria was the country with the second most streams after Pakistan, among new markets, with Kenya following behind third in the ranking.

Digital marketers and media platforms have embraced the potential that comes with this advertising growth. Spotify, for example, has a 3D audio feature which allows brands to provide high-quality advertising through an immersive, dynamic, and sensory audio experience. Advertisers around the world have also realised this power, and spend is expected to increase in Nigeria and on a global scale.

Demand for digital marketing skills grows 

One of the effects of the accelerated growth in Nigeria’s digital advertising sector has been a growing gap between the available skills and those required to operate effectively. While it’s a figure that applies to more than just digital advertising, research from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) reveals that approximately 230 million jobs across Africa will require digital skills by 2030.

Fortunately, a number of players have stepped forward to try and turn the situation around. Our own Digital Ad Expert Programme, for instance, aims to educate, certify, and connect thousands of Africans with the digital skills they need, enabling them to succeed in this increasingly digitised economy. Whilst these skills will, of course, open the door to an array of career opportunities in digital advertising, they will also accelerate the broader digital economy and provide much-needed jobs on a global scale.

Embracing shifts 

Ultimately, whilst at present, we foresee these trends to be the 2023 drivers for the world of digital advertising and marketing, it is important not to dismiss the possible emergence of others throughout the coming year. Thus, the ability to understand and navigate these shifts will be your key. This can, however, be not notoriously difficult, and therefore using a media buying partner with significant experience in Nigeria and across the biggest digital platforms to guide you through the maze can go a long way.

Brian Abel is the Regional Sales Manager for West Africa at Ad Dynamo by Aleph 

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