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Why we are celebrating former Daily Times MDs, title editors – Fidelis…

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By Eric Elezuo

He is an epitome of what administration and goal getting is. He is Dr. Fidelis Anosike, the president CEO Chairman of Folio Holdings Limited, Publisher of the respected Daily Times of Nigeria among others.

In this interview, the administrator par excellence revealed the intricate nature of himself, the intrigues towards the acquisition of Nigeria’s oldest newspaper, his political future as well as other sundry issues in today’s Nigeria.

Kindly introduce yourself

My name is Fidelis Anosike. I am the president, Chief Executive Officer of Folio Media Group. The group comprises Folio Communications Plc, Times Multimedia Limited, 1st October Limited, folio media group folio investment and tradingg company.

Folio Communications Plc acuired the of Daily Times of Nigeria Limited. The company is the publisher of the Daily Times, The Sunday Times (TST) and The Business Times, The Daily Times Digital (DTND), folio Nigeria which is an afro pub digital content platform lunched in 2018 with CNN as an exclusive affiliate.

There is also Folio Media Group, which has access to the technology space and also doing a consolidated media offering with clients. The third leg of the group is the Folio Investment and Trading Company, which is an investment company focused on media/creativity/cultural industry investment and innovation.

We also have as part of the group, Folio Media and Creative Academy, which is also working in tandem with relevant authorities or bodies or companies to train journalists. The aim of that company is to train 50, 000 journalists in the next five years. These are all subsidiaries of Folio Holdings Limited of which I am the President/CEO.

Does the Creative African Xchange perform the same function?

No, that is Folio Media and creative Academy. The Creative African Xchange is part of the Folio Media Group. It is part of the initiative we are trying to use to consolidate the continental space of the creative industry.

Can you shed more light on 1st October and Miss Nigeria as offshoots of Folio Media Group?

1st October Limited is a publishing company that we set up in 2007 to publish the birth of Nigeria. So it has evolved overtime because we have done over 10 different publications on Nigeria and state governments, and it also went ahead in 2014 to give birth to a global public perception movement for Nigeria called Nigeria, Our Heritage.

This was launched at the Kennedy Centre, and it was the first ever African event at the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC on the sideline of Obama African heads of Government meeting. What we are trying to do with 1st October and Nigeria, Our Heritage is to see how we can transition the love of Nigerians to love of Nigeria.

We saw a gap there in terms of countries, so we want to create a platform that will enable us to use, especially Nigerians in the Diaspora to drive the love for country because at the end of the day, other countries spend tons and tons of millions of dollars in country branding.

Even the United States spends up to $240 million annually to brand their country. You see, once you are in Europe, you take a 30 per cent cut. If Aliko Dangote walks into an office in New York, and says he is a Nigerian, he takes a 30 per cent minus. That is huge! That’s one of the reasons our national development is funded because our brand, the brand Nigeria has so much deteriorated.

Why? There are so many reasons: political instability, military government of thirty something years, advanced fee fraud, imperialistic gang up and many more. So you can see the reason it has happened over the years.

There is always a reason for everything. So we as Nigerians, what are we doing to change this for the future because people only do business with people who they trust.

Without that trust, we cannot have foreign direct investment coming to Nigeria. You can have $10 billion like in Lagos State, and you are happy, but you could have $100 billion. You can begin to see how that affects national security, the issue of banditry and so on.

The problem is image. Nobody wants to do business with anybody that is dirty. If you wear dirty clothes, you become non attractive. There are options; people can sit down in New York and put their money in Scottish windows or savings accounts and make returns.

But if you want people to come from China or America, you must present yourself in a way that even give them the opportunity to fly down in the first place before they can find out there are challenges.

There are challenges everywhere. Afghanistan is probably receiving more investment than Nigeria even as they are a war-torn country. So it is a matter of how you package yourself as a country. Nigerians must help to improve the whole because when the whole collapses, the part, which may be fantastic, will automatically collapse. That is what 1st October is doing.

It is a big project. We just recently partnered with the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, and in October, we will start an immersion programme, which is going to bring 100 very young Nigerians from all the Ivy League schools in the Diaspora and bring them to Nigeria. We will train them on issues of national development and deploy them to about 100 companies, and see what Nigerians are doing right.

We have re modeled Miss Nigeria to become more than the beauty pageant its more of empowerment, it was founded in 1957(54years ago) it gave more life to other pageants in Nigeria.

Our very first Miss Nigeria is still alive at 86 grace, we have made the focus on young female empowerment.

Every Miss Nigeria is an ambassador of the Green Girl company, with project like Green Dignity Kids(GDK) and then Green Girl academy.

Dr. Fidelis Anosike

We know that a lot of things are going wrong, but let’s amplify the right ones and let’s also inculcate this into the young people. So, it is going to be a deliberate effort to raise 1000 people young people that can become advocates for the country Nigeria.

The only thing we are going to do is positive and we can see the reverse impact. This is what 1st October is all about. This is a positive national development platform.

Can you please trace your background a little; how did it all start?

My father was an Inspector of Police in the Nigeria police force. I got into the university by drawing portraits so I am a graphic and creative artist. I graduated from the University of Benin. I tell people that the creative industry is not just my passion; it is my job.

From there, I went on to do a lot of high profile courses at the Harvard Business School among which is a three years management course. I am a Harvard alumnus, and being there also opened my eyes to how things are run properly.

At 24 years, I established Folio Communications, which went on to acquire Daily Times of Nigeria, the oldest surviving newspaper in Nigeria. I regard myself as a creative and communication player.

And since then, I have been trying to see the much I can do with the resources available to me both access to capital and knowledge. I also have investments in other areas such as water, renewable energy, and I am also financing some global companies on major research on mobility and renewable energy space.

You founded Folio Communications at 24, how did it happen?

All we need to do as human beings is pray for God to give us consciousness. If you can get consciousness at 10; you can get consciousness at 30; you can get consciousness at 70. If you pray for the grace of God, you can get consciousness early. I think I was lucky to get consciousness early.

How did I found Folio at 24? I had an uncle of mine that worked with the Central Bank, and he introduced me to the Head of Communication, Mr. Bolarinwa of blessed memory, and Mr. Amobi, and they allowed me to bid.

At that time, when they want to make a Christmas card or something like that, they make it open, and whoever wins, that is if they pick your design, you will be asked to go and do packaging.

I won on three occasions, and the price for each was 14,500. With that, I was able to get my office, and went to create an ecosystem of my friends that studied graphics with me. Whenever I secure a company that needs our services, we all apply, and as fate would have it, we always won.

Together we won on many occasions for companies like First Bank, NNPC, and CBN. That was how I was able to build up capital to go into the communication business. I created a standard for myself and friends and became a relationship manager for them because they were all in a paid job.

We collaborated each time there was a bid. Whoever’s design shares with others. It was a case of all for one, one for all. I designed, structured and produced all the diaries NNPC is using today. This one has Nigerian idioms. I gave it local content. All because of the love we have for the country.

I am fully Nigerian; and I am proud of my ethnicity as an Igbo man. If there is no Nigeria, there will be no Igbo. None of us chose to be here, but we are here. No one chose his father or mother, and so cannot restructure his parents. We must not use all the energy we have to think of how to dethrone what we had no hand in creating.

In the past 60 years, we have been talking about restructuring; we could have used that same energy for better things. Both Obasanjo and Jonathan had the opportunity to restructure, but they didn’t. Now, Buhari is here and you are asking him to do this and do that when you couldn’t do anything when you were there in that regard.

If all the presidents we have had, had taken up one thing and built on it, it would have been better. Obasanjo should have picked one place and converted it to Eldorado, and same with Jonathan. If they accuse you of ethnicity, it doesn’t matter. Babangida did it with Abuja on the pretense that Lagos was not safe. That was purely an ethnic agenda.

And today, everyone is enjoying Abuja, and no one remembers it was a Hausa man that built it. So it doesn’t matter. It will bring about economic development. With economic development, there will be no banditry. The question is why are we even talking about these things?

The answer is for years, we have all been sitting down. The governors of the states were busy manipulating local governments, collecting security votes and doing nothing with them, and nobody made a sound. There are consequences for inaction.

What is happening today is a consequence of long time inaction; of doing the wrong thing, and not having ideas for doing the right thing. Most of the governors were busy building airports they don’t need, but neglected the primary schools that are supposed to train people that would shape the future.

They neglected education, and dwelt on less important things. So when you lose empathy, you start approaching things from the middle. That explains why conspiracy theory comes in. Then someone will start by accusing Fulani herdsmen.

Those cows they rear are owned by politicians; the herdsmen are just transporters. The cows are expensive, so in the same way a bullion van carrying N5 million goes about with armed escort, well…

When exactly was Folio Communications established?

That should be in 1991. In 2004, Daily Times was put up for sale. Before then, they had tried to sell the shares through public offer through the stock exchange, but it failed.

So they resorted to Core Investor Sales, which refers to a situation where whoever buys it, manages it. Then we were already a thriving communication company, and so felt that we needed a media voice and had to create a media company.

Even then, I was already involved in some creative works for ThisDay, and that was how I met Chief Dele Momodu. I had a lot of background knowledge. I reasoned that if I had to make my dream known, I needed a media voice. So I entered the bid as the only company involved, others were through consultants.

We were pre-qualified, and made a deposit of $10,000 and put in our technical bid. We were number one. We actually scored 81 per cent. This terrain was known to me. I learnt under Dele Momodu and Nduka Obaigbena; these are men who are far ahead of their time.

I’m sure that until Dele celebrated 60, people may have been thinking he was 90, and so was Nduka. They are my pillars including Okagbue Aduba, when it comes to how I was able to understand Nigeria and how it works. I connected with their energy which was infectious.

At that point I already had $1 million for the bid bond. This is a security for your integrity, and so no bank will lend you money for bid. You can only finance it with equity. It is money you lose if at the end of the day, you did not pay. Daily Times Bid Bond then was N100 million.

You know they had earlier tried selling it via shares, hoping people will buy and someone will acquire the majority, but nobody came in. This was because the media industry in Nigeria is not bankable; it has not been restructured so it doesn’t have capital flowing into it. We bidded N1.25 billion.

In our first bid, was i think it was N327 million, our competitor, bided eight hundred million in there first bid. That was N500 million above us. But we knew the bid was in two rounds. Our second bided was N1.25 billion, beaten there second bid of i.05million and we won.

When we bought and took over Daily Times, its liability was N1.9 billion; the assets were N2.3 billion; the enterprise value was N700 and something million. We bought Daily Times at almost twice the price the government was hoping to get.

It is on record, and I was about35 years old then. Nobody would have given an Igbo man (Boy) a chance to buy Daily Times. I am a testimony that things can work in Nigeria if you believe. I had no godfather, only by faith and audacity of hope.

Daily Times has had several managing directors and top executives from southwest majorly.

The company was created by Adeyemo Alakija and the London Mirror Group. It went on to have Dr. Ernest Ikoli, Alhaji Babatunde Jose, Amb. Dele Cole, Aremu Segun Osoba, Chief Tunji Oseni, Prince Tony Momoh, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, Chief Innocent Oparadike, Dr. Onyema Ugochukwu, and Chief Sam Amuka Pemu among others. As far as people were concerned, Daily Times was the biggest mouthpiece for the country.

At one time, Babatunde Jose was asked if he would run for president, and he said he was already chairman of Daily Times. That was how big the Daily Times was. It was the fourth estate of the realm.

Because I did appreciate the enormity of what I took upon my shoulder when I took it over, the commercial problems arising from property though I am not property person as an aside. The only thing I own in Abuja was bought with my money.

No government or minister can claim to have given any Land. When we took over Daily Times of Nigeria there were about 400 staff in the company then, and money from the government was not going to be coming anymore. So we had to restructure. We had to downsize, and fought with the union for two years.

During the fight with the union, the business was closed down. Then Hallmark Bank, which loaned us the money, took over the company. We didn’t recover the company through legal means until September, 2007. So, I acquired the company in 2004, it was hijacked by Hallmark Bank.

Everyone was interested in the assets and no one was thinking about the liabilities. We had to go to court. There was the man, Mr Adrian wood, one time CEO at MTN who joined us at Folio Communications; his mission was to revive Daily Times, and put it on the same pedestal as the New York Times.

He employed people from all walks of life; both Nigerians and Africans to make it a model. We knew that without a dominant and strong media organization in Nigeria, the issues of national development will fail. That is why in America, we have Fox, CNN, etc. on their ideological beliefs, and tied to politics.

Without a strong media, there will be fragmentation, and that explains why the masses don’t have a voice – an ideological voice then becomes commercialised and a merchandise. We wanted to make Daily Times what it used to be. Thereafter, all sorts of people started taking us to court.

All these people came from third parties because I acquired Daily Times alone with nobody’s assistance. Like the typical Nigeria, everything is contentious not to talk of when you acquire a national asset. We adapted to many things in the cause of all these.

So the first Times Heroes Awards we did was massively supported. We interacted with many governors in the process. We see what Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is doing today. We are proud of him. We were the only ones that saw the character the man brought with him from day one, and gave him an award.

We gave award to people like Bello of Kogi State. You know sometimes you have to encourage people with potential or you lose them. What makes you tough is working and performing in tough circumstances like Wike.

And that is why people respect Aliko Dangote, because walking out on Aliko is walking out on Nigeria. When his refinery starts operation, 90,000 people will be employed. It is about job, job, job – that is what will bring National development, circumstances should not be a limitation.

We use Dangote cement, and other products, GB tomato / over one thousand hectares and world class factory in kebbi state and Kebbi rice without remembering that they are owned by the so called Fulani – they are not just herders. There is good in every part of the country, and in everybody.

Why did you retain the name Daily Times after acquiring it? Is it because of its influence?

No, it is not because of the influence. Daily Times owns the largest archives. It is 95 years now, and will be 100 years in five years. How many media companies in Nigeria are 100 years old?

Daily Times is beyond a newspaper company. It was here before Nigeria. It created the Nigeria Stock Exchange. It has produced two or three state governors. It is a national development company.

In the run off to our 100 years, we have created an event to celebrate icons of Daily Times – our heroes. Times Heroes. The first one that we have designed is for Ambassador Dele Cole. We are hoping to do these in their states of origin like in Port Harcourt.

In Port Harcourt, it will be a two-day event. On day 1, we are going to train about 500 journalists of that area so that he can inspire local journalists of that area; tell them how young he was when he went into the media and more.

On day 2, there will be a proper lecture where the likes of Akinwunmi Adesina, Wole soyinka and co will speak. There is nothing like making impact in your home state. We have lined up about 15 of our formers heroes.

The first one will be in Rivers State because that is where Dele Cole comes from. We don’t want to keep celebrating people when they are dead; we want to celebrate them while they are alive, and learn something from them. We will talk about national development and the role the media plays.

In Nigeria, we let out heroes die without transferring knowledge. We need to have History of Nigeria because if you don’t know where you are coming from, you won’t know where you are going , we must return history to our schools. And that is what we are doing at Folio Communications.

It is important therefore we get this first one right – 1st Ambassador Dele Cole Lecture towards Daily Times at 100. Secondly, we are developing a book, which Dr Onyema Ugochukwu is co editing to be launched at our 100 year celebration.

History of Daily Times of Nigeria.

The event has been proposed to Cole, and he has signed off on it. Dele Cole has proved himself to be an epitome of politics without bitterness. He created the legacy of The Guardian and revived the legacy of Daily Times and when the government was becoming overbearing, he created a new legacy entirely. The second one in November will be Onyema Ugochukwu.

Then, early 2022, we will celebrate Ernest Ikoli, the first ever indigenous editor of Daily Times. Next year also, we are looking at celebrating Allahaji Babatunde Jose, and then Aremu Segun Osoba, Dr Wunmi Ogunbiyi, chief Sam Amuka.

Our goal between now and the next five years, we is to institute a minimum of 10 lectures. Each of them will be in respective home state of the icon , most of them and their governors have accepted. And they are all excited about it. And we will send a letter to Governor Wike believing he will be gracious enough to accept.

On the continent, Folio Media Group is an exclusive news affiliate to CNN. We are the only one who can beat their chest that we are affiliates and entitled. We are not advertising partners; we are content partners, we are creating products with CNN.

We are currently working on a continental media project with CNN which should be finalized and announced soon towards capacity building in the continent aimed at increasing the African voice in the world and also curb fake news.

In The Daily Times, our focus has remained capacity building in media and creativity industries. This is because those are where the focus is – the number one blogger Linda Ikeji is a Nigerian and so is the number one musician and actor in Africa.

So why don’t we build a competitive advantage in media and creative industry its because of our low hanging foot and moreover most young people want to be in that industry.

Why are we spending billions building monuments? We have 30 airports; some of them are not working – they are not even conforming to the national aviation master plan because the governors just want to build monuments. Why don’t we channel those funds for monuments to other stuff – things that will create jobs?

Let’s talk about Nigeria Politics. At the moment there are several agitations: for secession, one Nigeria and restructuring. What is your take?

My take is very simple. Of a fact, people’s views are a function of their knowledge. First of all, I will blame the government for not being proactive in the area of communication, but people should understand we are talking of banditry in Nigeria, and we still have coronavirus active. Last year was the first year that the whole country was shut down.

What it means is that there will be consequences afterwards. Politicians will lose their livelihood, drivers will lose their livelihood, and when people don’t have livelihood, they look for a way out. When EndSARS was on – yes, Nigeria needed to end SARS because it cannot in the guise of solving a problem become a problem.

We have to understand that Nigeria is being exploited by all manner of people, and crime is also all about exploitation. If those people crying about secession are given a position today, they won’t talk about it again. At the end of the day, most of those cries and hues are not genuine. They are based on vested interest; that is my problem with it.

There is no problem that cannot be solved, so dialogue is key. If we shout about restructure, we should ask ourselves why hasn’t the country been restructured till today. Obasanjo was in power for eight years, why didn’t he restructure? What was his constraint? So was Jonathan after conveying a national conference.

There may be reasons they did not restructure, so the cries and hues are okay. People must express themselves, but they should all work on the path leading to a true Nigeria. If we must secede, you must explain the meaning and modalities to us; not after seceding, we begin to have issues among ourselves.

So all those calls must be interrogated. Now, we have non-state actors; people that did not even go to school leading calls. How? Governance is intellectual. You see who do not have temperament, who do not understand good and bad leading calls because they have a voice.

The cries and hues are okay though because they can form topical issues for 2023 elections. However, today, APC and PDP are the same; there is no ideology. The issues raised could become ideological, and any party willing to give what the people want would be chosen.

That was the situation in Niger Republic recently. The cries and issues are good and bad, but we need to ask ourselves what the real causes are. Nigeria from far back is seen as a red flag state. If your relation is announced as minister today, people will start congratulating you.

Why? We need few good people in Nigeria to understand that where you are is better than where you are trying to be, and then work violently to convince the rest to calm down because in the next one and half years, there will be an election.

Buhari has just two years to pack and go. So let not those clamour be an opportunity for people to further rape Nigeria and take advantage of the weak system.

Let it be a clamour to formulate the issues that would form the agenda for 2023. When Buhari was coming, he ran his campaign on security, corruption and economy, and so it is easy to score. Others can come with restructuring and more, and Nigerians can see how to vote in the right people. Let the past be bygone.

Given the opportunity sir, can you score the president in six years?

Yes, I think the president has done very well. I believe in foundation, and these are the foundations the president has established. What is the reason the president was able to borrow money? I challenge anyone to try and borrow N50 million, and you will understand. It is typical discipline. When the World Bank gives you money, they don’t just leave you because the money is specified for a project.

This is number one. We talk about social programmes. We have an out-growers scheme today. It was designed when Akinwunmi Adesina was there. Go and check what is going on in Kebbi. By next month, you will see the amount of tons of rice Nigeria will have.

The Dangote refinery has taken years; when it is completed, you will see the impact. It is a social programme because every day, we talk about subsidy, and subsidy cannot work without supply, and then money is channeled every other thing.

On infrastructure, we talk about the rail lines. The rail lines of today were started by Ahmed Joda and Obasanjo. It was an $800 million loan to build various rails.

This is about N6 trillion, today because of interest and non completion , but today the projects were renegotiated and delivered as we can see. That was why the president was going to China back and forth. Today, you can enter a train from Lagos to Ibadan, and nobody is talking about that.

In my own region, for 15 years, we had senate president, economic adviser, and others. There are three major roads in the south: East West Road, Enugu-Onitsha Road and Enugu-Port Harcourt Road.

It is only in the past six years that we have had consolidated build out. From Enugu to Port Harcourt today will take 1.45 minutes. This is a journey that previously takes three to four hours.

There is the Second Niger Bridge. I can go on and on. In technology, the issue of NIN for which Mr. Afolabi went to jail has been delivered. Yes, people may have a problem on how it is being delivered but no one can give what he does not have.

In aviation, the former governments took loans to build four airports, and the government added five because the then Minister was from the southeast, she added the Enugu Airport. Abuja International Airport is delivered, Port Harcourt and Lagos international airports are delivered as well as Kano all in six years.

Thanks to the Aviation minister, nobody would have been moving around with this banditry. He has made it possible for airlines to be coming on board. Their styles may be different, but there is a method to this madness.

These are foundations that can connect. One good thing is that Buhari has actually changed to a democratic person. In his first coming, he wasn’t democratic at all. It is a big achievement that he was able to get that transformation. I think the government has done more than average in all ramifications, and I can challenge anybody to that.

The problem we have is expectation. We can only get the government we deserve. We cannot get an Obama in Nigeria. We are all complicit. So let’s forget about Buhari and talk about 2023. Let us take the good Buhari has done and build on it; let us take the bad things he had done and correct them.

That is the kind of positivity I want from few good men. Let us not tear the house down. Different versions from different people. Will a Femi Adesina tell you that Buhari is not doing well? No. But the main concern is how the common man is faring now and how he will fair tommorow. Buhari’s continuation of his predecessors project are the way to go and big lesson to politicians.

Government is a continuum, PMB’s legacy of walking across the isle is a master stroke.

On a final note, one of the biggest reasons I say Buhari has done well is the 40-year-old man he appointed as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). I don’t care if he appoints only Katsina people; he goes round and round. When Jonathan comes, let him appoint only Bayelsa people.

The Igbo are already leading in commerce. They love competitiveness, building new rods. As of today, Igbo control 50 per cent of lands in Nigeria; we have bought land everywhere so if you add to the five southeast states we have, we almost control half of Nigeria. To aspire for power, you must be sure you have the capacity to carry it, otherwise it will feel like an elephant on your head.

Do you nurse any political ambition?

Life is dynamic. For me to have political ambition, I must have finished what I am doing now. I have not revived Daily Times, why nurse political ambition? One can create impact from wherever he is. Politics is not a vocation. It is supposed to be corporate social responsibility.

But people who have failed in their fields have found it as a sure means to buy cars and houses. These are depraved individuals; people that have complex. To have political ambition, you must have thorough knowledge of the terrain and situation in Nigeria. You must also be sure you are going to impart on people.

Until I complete the transformation of Daily times, nothing else. Even God will ask me what I have done with the one he gave me. I am constantly building relationships, learning on how I can return Daily Times to become what it used to be.

How wonderful a family man are you; married, with children…

No, I’m not married. I have not been married for 10 years, hopefully, I should be. I have been married to my job for 10 years. I won’t say I’ve been a fantastic family man. I’ve been married before. I have a daughter, who will be 14 next month, and a son, who is 11. Hopefully, I should be married soon as I am in a serious relationship/courtship.

ABOUT MR FIDELIS ANOSIKE

Dr. Fidelis Anosike is the President of Folio Holdings Limited, Folio Media Group, 1st October Publications Limited, Folio Communications Plc – publishers of The Daily Times Nigeria, The Sunday Times (TST) and The Business Times, with business interests in publishing, multimedia content creation and distribution, Renewable Energy, Smart Mobility and Investments among others.

Dr. Fidelis Anosike

Dr. Anosike is the protagonist for the Creative Africa Exchange (CAX), a creative industry consolidation catalyst (www.caxafrica.com). He also champions the Nigeria our Heritage project, a positive perception movement for Nigeria (www.noh.ng).

Folio Communications under Anosike’s leadership acquired from the Federal Government of Nigeria, The Daily Times Nigeria (founded 1926) which is the country’s oldest and most noteworthy news organisation. Over the past 16 years, Anosike has tirelessly worked to restore this National Heritage to its past glory and further take it digital/multimedia in line with current trends.

FMG incubated and launched Folio.ng in 2018, an afro pop culture and digital content platform (www.folio.ng), which is part of Folio Africa and launched with CNN as an exclusive affiliate.

Dr. Anosike is at the forefront of launching MVMO Africa, a digital distribution and monetization platform for movies, video, music and opportunities powered by V-NOVA cutting edge compression technology (LECVE). MVMO which is live in the 2nd quarter of 2021 will deliver content across Africa on low bandwidth of 2G and 3G.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative & Applied Arts from the University of Benin, a graduate of Harvard Business School after wards i embarked on self development program Owner President Management Program and Alumni of the Harvard business School; which opened my eyes to how business he also holds an honorary doctorate in Philosophy from Trinity International University Georgia USA.

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Business

KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months

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KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months


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A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya Airways will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.
  • The airline in a notice to its customers yesterday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.

The airline in a notice to its customers Monday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

The airline will then resume full operations on the route on September 20, flying three times per week on the Indian route, which is one of the most lucrative destinations on its network.

Passengers on the route will part with Sh46,000 ($419) for one-way air ticket on economy class seats from Nairobi to Mumbai- prices that are relatively the same compared to what it was charging before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Welcome back onboard! Fly from Nairobi to Mumbai starting Thursday 16th September with normal schedules resuming from Monday 20th September 2021,” said the airline in a notice to its customers yesterday.

KQ Suspended passenger flights to and from Mumbai on April 30 until further notice, following a government directive on travel between India and Kenya due to a Covid-19 crisis in that country.

The airline said on Friday that passengers who had booked tickets after May 1, the date of the last flight from Mumbai to Nairobi, will have to change their plans.

Affected passengers, KQ said, could also take vouchers for the value of their fare for future travel within 12 months.

India has seen soaring infection rates in the recent days, since the discovery of a new virus variant. Last month, India put on lockdown one of the states following a spike in cases of Covid-19.

Other countries that have banned flights to India include France, the UK Bangladesh, Oman and Hong Kong that have banned travel to and from India or asked their nationals coming from the Asian country to isolate themselves in government-approved hotels.

India has so far detected 33,264,175 corona virus cases with the number of deaths hitting 442,874 as at September 13.

A large number of patients from Kenya also travel to India every year for specialised medical treatment, especially cancer care, helping to drive medical tourism in the densely populated country that boasts affordable and easily accessible healthcare.

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Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs

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Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs


mitumba

Man pulls a cart loaded with second-hand clothes at Gikomba Market in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.
  • Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.
  • Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

The average price of a tonne of second-hand clothing items imported into the country crossed the Sh100,000 mark for the first time last year on reduced volumes in the wake of safety protocols and guidelines to curb spread of coronavirus.

Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.

Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.

Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

Last year’s drop was the first dip since 2011 when 76,533 tonnes were shipped in compared with 80,423 tonnes the previous year, the official data collated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows.

The import bill for the merchandise amounted to Sh12.24 billion, a drop of 31.11 percent, or Sh5.53 billion, year-on-year.

TIn imposing the temporary ban on used clothes, Kebs had applied a standard which prohibits buying second-hand clothes from countries experiencing epidemics to ensure disease-causing microorganisms are not imported into Kenya.

Higher quality and relatively lower prices for mitumba has continued to drive demand for used clothes at expense of locally-made products amid higher margins enjoyed by traders largely operating in informal markets.

The lucrative second-hand clothing market has seen traders from China —a key source market for the merchandise —open shops in Gikomba, Kenya’s largest informal market for mitumba, in recent years to cash in rising demand.

Earnings from exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories fell 5.32 percent to Sh32.92 billion last year compared with 2019, data indicates.

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Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud

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Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud


Cotu boss Francis Atwoli

Cotu boss Francis Atwoli. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.
  • Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.

Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

Mr Atwoli is the secretary-general of KPAWU. The rival union claimed KPAWU had encroached on its area of workers’ representation.

Justice James Rika, however, dismissed the claim and ruled that the dispute should have been taken through conciliation, and was therefore presented in court prematurely.

He also stated that Kefhau must go beyond its registration and recruit sufficient members from the employers, to be granted recognition and organisational rights.

“Registration on its own, does not afford the claimant (Kefhau) recognition. Until there is proof that Kefhau has satisfied Section 54 of the Labour Relations Act, the status quo must be maintained,” said the judge.

“Kefhau must recruit at least 50 percent plus one, of the unionisable employees in the floriculture and horticulture industry, members of the Agricultural Employers Association to be considered for recognition,” he stated.

He noted that there is a Recognition Agreement and CBA, binding Mr Atwoli’s union and Agricultural Employers Association, affecting 73 Flower Growers Group of employers, and over 60,000 employees.

“It is objectionable for Kefhau to be allowed organisational rights, and the legitimacy to receive trade union dues and agency fees, from over 60,000 employees, just on the strength of registration as a trade union,” said the judge.

Kefhau wanted the court to declare that it is the sole trade union, which is allowed by its constitution to carry out activities in the export floriculture and vegetable industry, and an order restraining Mr Atwoli’s from representing workers in that area.

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