As people feel the freedom to leave their homes once again to rejoin the outside world, so too they are allowing others, such as home cleaners and artisans, to come into their homes once more. The recent fears of COVID entering our homes have been replaced by the usual worries of safety and security when letting strangers into our houses.
Nigeria’s high levels of petty and violent crime have created a general feeling of mistrust among the public about allowing people you don’t know into your home. Such concerns aren’t unwarranted. Statista states that Nigeria has recently been included among the countries with the least peace in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, with Lagos the most affected state in terms of the number of crimes.
Crimes against property are among the highest types of offences reported to the police, with most property offence cases related to theft and stealing in general, cheating and fraud, as well as false pretences.
Keeping your family and property safe when hiring service professionals to fix broken appliances and domestic workers to do home cleaning is, therefore, important and here are valuable guidelines in doing so:
Use companies you trust
Personal recommendations work well, but there are times when no one you know can, for example, vouch for a repairman to fix your fridge. Do some research online to find suitable companies and look at any reviews so that you can establish their legitimacy and quality of service. If need be, you can ask the company for references.
Don’t be afraid to ask the company questions about any areas of concern that you may have – you need to feel comfortable letting them in your house. Find out who will be arriving to do the work, and what processes they follow during their work process. Arrange a time that will suit you, and make sure that all costs are clearly outlined upfront.
Vet people coming into your home
It makes sense to use companies who verify the trustworthiness of their workers as running criminal checks is not something most of us feel comfortable doing, or even know how to do. Recognising that this is a particular challenge for people wanting to hire a domestic worker, a new company called SweepSouth has launched a service that offers trustworthy, pre-vetted home cleaners.
“Trust, safety, and security are at the forefront of every decision we make,” says Awazi Angbalaga, Country Manager for SweepSouth. “We understand that trust and peace of mind are imperative to clients, which is why we take every precaution possible to ensure that SweepStars (the cleaners on their platform) are honest and trustworthy.”
It’s vital for SweepSouth that anyone using their service feels safe and comfortable doing so, so their vetting protocol includes criminal and reference checks, as well as getting constant feedback from clients, says Angbalaga.
“We thoroughly vet the people who apply to work via our platform through a reliable verification partner, who provides us with an in-depth status report for each applicant confirming that the information provided to us is accurate and in fact traceable to a person. In addition, All potential SweepStars are required to have working experience and references, whom we contact,” she adds
Be responsible about precious belongings
Be sure to keep valuable belongings in a safe place if someone is coming for home repairs. Money, jewellery, electronics and expensive medications can all be placed out of sight and taken out again after the repair work has been done. If you don’t have a detailed inventory of precious items or important documents like passports, at least be aware of where you are storing them.
Have your own safety protocols
It may feel uncomfortable thinking about crime taking place in your own home, but do have a talk to your family members about safety and security protocols, so that everyone knows exactly what to do in case of an emergency, and have the numbers of your local police services on display.
Your safety, and that of your family, begins with you having your own situational awareness. Making an effort to cut down on potential risk factors, and using companies that you trust, will go a long way to ensuring that you have peace of mind.
Economy: Simplistic Thinking in Africa and African American Communities
By Nneka Okumazie
There is caution in African American communities not to criticise each other to avoid appearing to take the side of others against the community. This agreement, useful in a few cases, has become part of the problem of the community where there is an appearance to condone horrible things.
If the problem is to avoid sounding like others, then another channel to criticize but not sound like others should have been sought.
In the community, the killings of the same kind, even for some who have made it, sometimes over absurd things, meets mute responses or fierce firestorm from the leaders of the community.
Do not criticize has allowed all kinds of comments and behaviours to fester in the community, and it keeps getting worse, but everyone minds their business because black people come first even if it is evil.
There is a limit to protests. There is a limit to heightened sensitivity over the past. There is a limit to ignoring internal responsibility. Proclamation of emancipation is a starting point, but every other way, as a people, to ensure more strength has to be sought. Civil rights are great but there is a need for the kind of economic success of Asia to be strong and not act or be seen as a victim because victimhood is limited.
There is a limit to entitlement for the sake of it, in a time when economic concerns are a priority for all. An individual success story is already old for a people with the majority on the lower economic and social side. A charity that benefits a small number of people in a small community is negligible for people. Speaking out for the sake of it, against oppression by other races, is also limited for a successful black. Whatever feel-good story on history or origin may promote fantasy, but ensures backwardness in reality.
As more blacks, everywhere, are getting prominent and failing in some positions, the other races have been able to lob criticisms without getting racial, something that many blacks do not attempt for each other.
There are streams of simplistic thinking that are static ends for a people, and breaking out of it, as a people is important for progress.
In Africa, most people keep saying the government is the problem or corruption. But there are different countries, structures, regions, states, governments, etc. yet there is hardly a major success story comparable with some in Asia.
Asian success is different people in different sectors making progress ahead and above the government so that government gets to adopt those into policy. If everyone with some responsibility or a few in different fields pursues major progress, the government does not have the power to crush all of them. The government would have to adopt or enable some. The excellence that made those would have them draw others. The government too would promote some policies whose success or adoption would meet the advancement the people are seeking, so it would work.
But what is obvious in most African countries is that the government often has the best answer, which is often really low, so from other sectors, things are lower, so most things are worse. And whenever there is a crisis, it is even far worse, because those who could try have failed, so left to the government, everything goes down.
Government is not the problem in any African country so long they have sectors and people who hold responsibility. Simplistic thinking says it is government.
Some have also said that they should use African religions for swearing officials into the office to prevent corruption. If enacted, some people would find a way around it, so it solves nothing.
There are desperate Africans who migrate to other continents, by the sea, desert and other ways, to find survival. Their move is parallel to professionals who run away too, because the place is bad, as a belief, not because they are actually in some dire situation.
There is a comment on brain drain, but brain drain is not a problem for professionals who are replaceable. Many of them would not do better than what government would do, so leaving or staying makes little difference, so no matter the certificates or certifications, it is not a brain drain if their work had not been consistently aiming at progress.
For many, success is seen as location or position when success is time or other things not related to material or resources. The things that are needed for progress, like courage, fairness, sincerity, honour, and selfless diligence for all that is not available, makes many to point to the wrong things.
[Psalm 144:4, Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.]
How to Properly Store and Preserve Value of Dry Hay Bales
By Regina Thomas
Hay bales are a key ingredient in many farm animals’ diets, providing them with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. However, storing and preserving hay bales can be challenging, as they are susceptible to damage from weather, pests, and other factors. Here are eight tips for properly storing and preserving your hay bales.
1. Choose a Dry, Sunny Spot for Storage
One way to properly store and preserve the value of dry hay bales is to choose a dry, sunny spot for storage. Hay bales are susceptible to mould and rot if stored in a moist location, so it is important to find a spot that will stay dry. A sunny spot will also help to prevent mould growth by keeping the bales warm and dry. If you cannot find a sunny spot, you can protect your bales by covering them with a tarp or plastic sheet.
2. Stack the Bales on Pallets
Another way to properly store and preserve the value of dry hay bales is to stack the bales on pallets. This will help keep the bales off the ground, preventing moisture from seeping in and damaging the hay. Stacking the bales on pallets will also allow air to circulate them, further preventing mould growth. If you are stacking the bales in a barn or shed, leave enough space between the rows for ventilation.
3. Inspect the Bales Regularly
It is vital to inspect the bales regularly to ensure that they are not becoming damp or mouldy. If you see any signs of moisture, move the affected bale to a drier location immediately. Mould can spread quickly through a stack of hay bales, so it is important to catch it early. By following these simple storage tips, you can help to preserve the value of your dry hay bales.
4. Use a Tarp or Other Cover to Protect Bales from Direct Sunlight
Another excellent way to properly store and preserve the value of dry hay bales is to use a tarp to protect them from direct sunlight. Hay bales are extremely flammable; even a small spark can set them ablaze. By using a fire retardant tarp, you can help to prevent any tragic accidents from happening. In addition, the tarp will also help to keep the hay dry and free from mould and mildew. Tarps are inexpensive and easy to find, so there’s no excuse not to use one. Make sure to store your hay bales in a safe, dry place, and you’ll enjoy their benefits for years to come.
5. Rotate Your Stock
Another step in preserving hay bales is to rotate them regularly. This means using the oldest bales and storing new ones at the back of your storage area. This helps to prevent your hay from going bad and keeps it in good condition. Rotating your stock is essential to preserving the value of your dry hay bales.
6. Avoid Excessive Moisture
If you’re planning to store dry hay bales for any time, it’s important to take steps to prevent excessive moisture from damaging the hay. One way to do this is to store the bales in a well-ventilated area where they won’t be exposed to excessive humidity. It’s also a good idea to cover the bales with a tarp or other breathable cover to further protect them from moisture.
7. Use Pest Control Methods If Necessary
If you live in an area with many pests, it’s important to protect your hay. Insects can quickly destroy a bale of hay, making it worthless. Several pest control methods are available, and you should choose the one that best suits your needs.
One popular method is to cover the hay with a plastic sheet. This will create a barrier that will keep most pests out. You can also try using insecticides but follow the instructions carefully.
By following these simple tips, you can help to preserve the value of your dry hay bales and keep them in good condition for years to come. Hay is a valuable commodity, so protecting it from damage is important. By storing the bales properly and rotating your stock regularly, you can help to ensure that your hay bales will stay in a good state for a long time.
2023 Election: The Role of Media Monitoring Services
By Queen Nwabueze
This 2023 election season is a true test of the much-vaunted objectivity of journalists.
Journalism’s pursuit of objectivity strives to enable readers to form their OWN opinions about a story. This implies that the media (mainstream and digital) must present the facts solely before allowing the potential voters to offer them their interpretation. Again, this means that news organisations should present the facts as they are, whether or not they agree with them.
Lovely on paper, yeah? But has this really been the focus of our media since the polls for 2023 began to be conducted? No!
A well-liked TV station reporter was recently discredited for having ties to a well-liked political party (names withheld for ethical reasons).
Hold on for a moment! Let’s sketch out the perfect situation once more. In journalism, objectivity means refusing to embellish any facts or details in order to strengthen a narrative or better align a topic with a predetermined objective. Similarly, according to the profession of journalism’s neutrality standards, news should be reported in an objective, fair, and impartial way. In actuality, according to this idea, journalists should support NONE of the competing political parties and should instead just present the pertinent information to everybody.
How about disengagement? The journalist’s emotional stance is referred to as detachment. Basically, reporters MUST approach topics not only objectively but also with a cold, emotionless mentality. This tactic calls for the telling of tales in a calm, collected manner, allowing potential voters to make their own decisions apart from the influence of social or traditional media. Again, all of these principles seem sensible on paper.
You might be wondering why this article focuses so much on the Disneyland roles that the media play during elections.
Sorry, but without hammering our media, we cannot properly address the subject of “2023 Election: The Role of Media Monitoring Services.” The role of media monitoring services should reflect the fact that the media’s actions and inactions are at the centre of every aspect of elections and electioneering. That is the reality!
Election seasons do in fact coincide with times of increased media attention and reporting, with each political party seemingly desperate to take the helm of the nation, as we’ve seen in more recent years. These times of change are frequently marked by extremely competitive rhetoric, escalating tensions, occasional political bullying, and occasionally even violent confrontation and death desires.
Since the media is the main driver of these dynamics, political candidates and campaign offices should use media monitoring services, if only to uncover information that is hidden from plain view and has the potential to prevent voters from receiving enough information to make informed voting decisions.
You may track your candidacy, your opponents, public media conversation, and even detractors in real-time across all media in Nigeria, including print, online, broadcast, and social. P+ Measurement Services is one such media monitoring service.
Largely as a result of Walter Lippmann’s work, the concept of objectivity in journalism as we know it now exists. After the excesses of yellow journalism, Lippmann urged impartiality in journalism. The yellows of the period, he said, had served their role, but the populace needed to hear the truth, not a “romanticized version of it.”
Not to cry anymore over already spilled milk, but this article strongly suggests that you hire expert media monitors to join your campaign organization and conduct your listening on your behalf. Do not employ individuals who are unqualified to watch your media.
You may have noticed that the electorate now lives online in this era of online media—your own potential voters! Where are they getting their political message from? If it’s in your favour, are you certain?
Since internet media has become so crucial, it is not advisable to quickly enter and leave.
Who is keeping watch of the media for you? Are they qualified?
Online media has significantly altered how individuals consume political messages. These advances have also resulted in certain unfavourable occurrences, such as a significant rise in material that is unreliable, context-free, and biased against you and your political party.
For instance, a number of studies have shown P+ Measurement Services that your critics are using newly forming social and tribal divisions to preach to your adherents. What will you do next, then? If your party is sincerely committed to winning the 2023 elections, we advise you to use media monitoring services to provide you with accurate information.
PPlus’ approach is straightforward. To manage the perceptions that shape your reality across the media, they engage in 24/7 media fact-checking, media monitoring, and traction using international standard listening and intelligence tools/metrics; they then report back to you with the crucial findings/feedback and hand you the precise places you need to influence.
Queen Nwabueze is a Media and Content Strategist based in Lagos
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