Rising Wheat Consumption in Nigeria Creating Job Opportunities—Crown Flour
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The rising consumption of wheat derivative foods in Nigeria is stimulating job opportunities at the production, processing, distribution, warehousing and retailing levels of the wheat value chain, Crown Flour Mill Limited, a subsidiary of Olam Nigeria, has disclosed.
“Presently, the wheat value chain accounts for over 10.5 million jobs generated annually in Nigeria.
“This of course has placed the wheat value chain at the centre of the various economic development agenda of the federal government of Nigeria,” the Managing Director of Crown Flour, Mr Ashish Pande, said last Friday when he led the company’s senior management team to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, in Abuja.
Recent government data revealed that in the fourth quarter of 2020, 33.3 per cent of the Nigerian labour force was unemployed. While the various COVID-19 curtailment policies have been relaxed to some extent, various socioeconomic disruptions continue to pile pressure on businesses and jobs.
Hence, it is estimated that the current unemployment figure in the country is expected to increase even further in 2021 and 2022.
All jobs being generated in the country in the current economic crunch and particularly along the wheat value chain are critical to positively impacting livelihoods, feeding the nation, and stimulating economic growth.
During the visit, Mr Pande, represented by the Corporate Affairs Manager of Olam Nigeria, Ms Damilola Adeniyi, assured the Minister that the firm will continue to collaborate with other stakeholders within the local wheat value chain in sustaining the socio-economic value proposition of the sector.
He disclosed that flour millers will continue to take bold developmental steps through scaled investments in critical areas, including seed trial and research, training of smallholder wheat farmers and funding of the various farming research institutes in the country to ensure that the current local production level of the wheat crop improves significantly.
“While these efforts have ensured that we keep providing affordable and quality food for the growing Nigerian population, they have also helped to increase the number of jobs being created for the active segment of the population.
“Overall, the investment efforts, which extend to capacity building initiatives for bakers, are beginning to yield positive results,” he stated.
Stressing further on the importance of the local wheat value chain, Mr Pande said that while prices of other major national staple foods such as rice, garri, yam and beans have risen sharply by 3.2 per cent, 6 per cent, 5.3 per cent and 13.4 per cent respectively, in the past months, the prices of wheat derivative foods have been largely cushioned from the inflationary trend by local millers and bakers who continuously absorb the extra cost of production to keep feeding the population.
The solicited the backing of the Minister to ensure that millers continue to deliver on their employment generating potential, noting that, “If the current wheat value chain developmental drive is sustained, it would help secure the jobs of many Nigerians while ensuring that more homes continue to gain access to affordable quality wheat derivative foods such as semolina, bread, noodles and pasta.”
In response, Mr Ngige lauded Crown Flour and the other millers for their economic development drives, saying, “The Ministry of Labour and Employment is committed to supporting efforts that are geared towards providing good jobs for Nigerians and ultimately growing the economy.”
Also, the Minister expressed his delight over the extensive investments that the Olam group has made and continues to make in Food & Agricultural value chain.
He said, “The level of investment presently being channelled into developing the value chain is of paramount importance to help reduce the level of unemployment and underemployment in the economy.”
According to Ngige, “Sustaining and scaling the current level of developmental projects in the value chain is key to keeping Nigerians gainfully employed and well-nourished.
“At the Ministry of Labour and Employment, we will continue to support your drive as a critical partner in achieving national economic prosperity through expanded local production that can deliver more employment opportunities for the teeming Nigerian population.”
Airtel Showcases Ease of Home Broadband Connectivity in New TV Commercial
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Airtel Nigeria has introduced a new television commercial to showcase the exceptional benefits of its Home Broadband connectivity.
The Airtel Home Broadband offers a Basic package, with unlimited internet and up to 40Mbps download speed; the Standard package, with 100Mbps download speed; the Entertainment package with=200Mbps download speed; the Professional package with200Mbps download speed; and the Infinity package, which offers up to 1GBps download speed.
To let subscribers know how all these packages can allow them to enjoy unlimited internet access, Airtel Nigeria contracted the services of a popular Nollywood actor, Eyinna Nwigwe.
The movie star played the character of a young man navigating through his daily remote work routine and how he manages to maintain a balance between his work and personal life, staying effortlessly connected with his business associates and loved ones across the globe.
“The high-speed internet and reliable connection of the Airtel Home Broadband makes it the preferred choice for those who require a reliable connection and access to data.
“This offers users the ease and speed to access websites, stream videos, and download files. Moreover, the network’s reliable connection ensures that users experience fewer disruptions in their online activities.
“As such, this makes it the go-to option for those who need a dependable connection to get their work done or stay connected with friends and family,” the Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Femi Oshinlaja, said of the benefits of the Airtel BroadBand.
Airtel Employees Donate Routers to Lagos Secondary School
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Some routers loaded with 100GB of data and a two-month roll-over access fee have been donated to a government-owned secondary school in Lagos, Kuramo College, by employees of Airtel Nigeria.
The items were given to the school by Airtel employees under the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, Employee Volunteer Scheme Initiative.
The routers, specifically donated by the Airtel Information and Technology team, are expected to aid digital learning in the school and boost the knowledge of the students.
“Airtel aims to empower young minds by equipping them with the connectivity to imagine and unlock a world of knowledge and opportunities.
“For Airtel, it is no longer about being a smartphone network but giving people a reason to imagine so that people can explore the possibilities powered by technology and connectivity.
“The world is evolving; young Nigerians now have access to unlimited possibilities and can now create their job titles and descriptions, which is why we now have YouTubers, social media Influencers and the likes,” the Director of Information and Technology at Airtel Nigeria, Mr Seun Solanke, said.
He encouraged the students to maximize the provision of connectivity to back up their future imaginations with the right information and resources to ensure a bright future.
The activities under the Airtel Nigeria Employee Volunteer Scheme, said Airtel management, aligns with the company’s commitment to bridging the digital divide in the country and enabling students to leverage the power of the internet, as the distribution of routers with data plans will ensure that students have uninterrupted access to educational resources, research materials, and online learning platforms, regardless of their socio-economic background.
Zoho Grows User Base to 90 million, Posts 65% Upmarket Growth
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
More and more people are embracing the products of Zoho Corporation, a leading global technology company, as the company now boasts more than 90 million users across more than 600,000 global businesses of all sizes.
Also, the organisation has recorded a three-year CAGR of 65 per cent in mid-market and enterprise segments, representing one-third of the entire business.
This is because of the steady upmarket growth Zoho is recording across the Middle East and Africa region, with its seventh office in Nairobi, Kenya, officially launched.
It was observed that Zoho is witnessing an uptick due to its investments in go-to-market services, new products, platform extensibility, privacy and security to improve the customer experience and enable success.
The Country Manager for Zoho Nigeria, Mr Kehinde Ogundare, said, “With our strong DNA as a technology platform company, we have been able to steadily improve our maturity and readiness for large organisations by investing in adjacent areas.”
“Our humble roots in SMB have helped us systematically build powerful software with strong everyday usability.
“Across our products, extensibility, usability, packaging, and go-to-market approach, Zoho aims to be the simplest enterprise software vendor in the market,” he added.
Speaking further, he said, “Today’s announcement serves as a testament to that goal, helping our customers adopt more of our software, add new capabilities, extend our platform to suit their granular workflows and get ready for the future.
“Whether customers buy our software for one department or the entire organisation, one workflow or a collection of customer journeys, the experience with Zoho will be far simpler than with any other large vendor.”
Zoho said it aims to expand EBS across skills, industry depth, and regional presence to help enterprise businesses manage their technology stack better in today’s economic climate. EBS provides expertise to large organisations across solutions engineering, account management, and customer success.
The platform accepts payment in over 15 currencies worldwide, facilitating global procurement efforts for enterprise organisations with regional operations through unified multi-currency invoicing.
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