Monday, 16 May 2016

Untold Success Story of Betty Irabor’s Genevieve Magazine

There is a popular maxim that says there is hardly any successful individual, venture or organisation without a story to tell. That perhaps explains why Betty Irabor, award-winning CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Genevieve Magazine, turns emotional anyvtime she is discussing the success story behind the glossy lifestyle publication.

In her view, “There were times when I was so discouraged as an entrepreneur that I wanted to quit but I thought of all those people I had promised that quitting was not an option, those who believed in me and started their various enterprises because I said it was possible.

“I have since learnt that there is a process to success and that process can break or build us depending on our beliefs and inner strength.  Our thoughts can make or mar us so be careful what you’re thinking about.”

In truth, those who know Betty’s story and how she forayed into the world of entrepreneurship would readily affirm that she has indeed weathered the storm and teething problems associated with the first-five years of every new publication.

Was there never a time that the publisher feared Genevieve Magazine would die off due to paucity of fund and lack of patronage?

A staunch believer in miracles, hear her story...

“For those who feel God has abandoned them, let me share this story with you! I hope it rekindles your faith in Him!

One day in the early years of Genevieve magazine (11 years ago), we had no funds to publish our next edition. I sat in my office bemoaning my fate and feeling like a downright failure when I got a call from the front desk that I had some visitors.
"Did I not say No Visitors? Send them to the editor!" I yelled.
A few minutes later, my phone rang again. This time, it was from the advert guy!  MD, I think you should meet with these visitors" it was a plea. "Ok, let them come up" I said truly exasperated.
 Minutes later I sat face-to-face with this genial woman and her West Indian partner. "You may not remember me, but I am a great admirer of you and Soni (hubby). I see you together all the time at parties and you are always so friendly. I also love your magazine. I am a distributor for Revlon and here is my UK partner. We have adverts for you and want to sign a 2-year contract" she said.
To cut a long story short, by the time they left, we had a cheque of about three million Naira (N3 million) in our hands... and hope rekindled.
Do you see why I said that miracles still happen?” she quipped.

Interesting testimony, isn’t it?

Today, Genevieve Magazine has since risen from the shell of that near-fatal trial to become Nigeria's leading lifestyle magazine circulating across Africa, America and Europe, inspiring wholesomeness in all women globally.

Just in case you are wondering how somebody like her suddenly dabbled into the world of journalism, let us take cursory look at the background of the ace publisher.
Born 59 years ago, the mother of two is married to ace broadcaster, Sonny Irabor. She had worked as a journalist at Concord Newspapers and held freelancing jobs at the Vanguard, The Guardian, Thisday and some lifestyle magazines abroad before venturing out with her own publication idea for a glossy lifestyle magazine for women home and abroad.

As planned, Betty entered into the world of publishing 13 years ago with a simple vision that has since grown.

Over the years, the magazine’s cover has been graced by leading women of style and inspiration; high achievers like Tara Fela-Durotoye, Tiwa Savage, Edewor twins, Agbani Darego, Abike Dabiri, Onyeka Onwenu and Genevieve Nnaji.

Starting her magazine at the age of 45, Betty braved all odds to transform her dream into the success story that we know today. However she has since attributed her success in entrepreneurship to an inner strength, strong will, and divine sense of purpose, maintaining that entrepreneurs must possess the quality of stubbornness in order to keep going WHEN the storms arrive

When interviewed in a recent publication, Betty confessed that the secret of Genevieve’s success bothers more on passion.

“Passion is top on my list, followed closely by tenacity of purpose. I love what I am doing especially as it is impacting people.  Genevieve changed my way of thinking from “What if I fail?” to “What if I succeed?”

“I grew on the job both emotionally and mentally and I am still learning and growing because in the words of author, Anthony Robbins “The road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not an end to be reached,” she said.

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Meet Man Whom Adeniyi Jones Avenue Was Named After (PHOTOS)

I know this article might not appeal much to many Octogenarians and Nonagenarians in Lagos and Nigeria at large, probably because they have heard or were acquainted with the historical character in question.

Nay, this publication is instead tailored and directed at the younger generation and non-historians.

How often do we pass through the highbrow area of Adeniyi Jones Avenue in Lagos and wonder who or how great the man was? Until I made a research on his person, I used to have this fallacious impression that the mystery man must be one of those ancient monarchs who contributed to the development of the cosmopolitan city called “Lagos de Curamo.”

But how wrong can one get? For, In fact, his influence and impact far outweighed my earlier submission.

The legendary Crispin Curtis Adeniyi-Jones (1876-1957), in whose memory the street in Ikeja highbrow settlement (Adeniyi-Jones Avenue) was named, was a celebrated Nigerian medical doctor of Sierra Leonean heritage (a Saro). In pre-colonial era, Saro was the popular name given to liberated slaves and returnees from Sierra Leone and environs.

He was believed to have been born in Freetown and attended Sierra Leone Grammar School for his secondary education. On the other hand, he bagged his university degrees at the University of Durham and the University of Dublin and started work at Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.

Adeniyi-Jones was reported to have also apprenticed under Sir Robert Boyce, a notable doctor from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

In the book, "C.C. Adeniyi-Jones: A 'Forgotten' National Hero" both S.O. Arifalo and Olukoya Ogen asserted  that young Crispin left Britain for Nigeria in 1904 and served in the colonial government medical services in Lagos. Unfortunately a strategic policy to limit the advancement of African doctors within the medical services and the lack of funds in many departments curtailed some of his initial enthusiasm. Nevertheless, he was appointed the first director of the Yaba Asylum, one of the two asylums in Nigeria at the time.

By 1914, the brilliant physician left government services and started a successful private clinic in Lagos. Of course, he shone like a million star and became quite famous.

This is how Richard L. Sklar in his book, “Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation” puts:

As a co-founder of Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP), he won one of the Lagos 3 legislative council seats in 1923 and represented Nigerians for 15 yrs.

A pioneer director of the Yaba asylum (Yaba Apa Osi), He became one of Nigeria's foremost nationalist as a member and later as NNDP president. He was also a staunch member of the legislative council of Nigeria and served in the council from 1923-1938.

Apart from his political activities at the home front, he also teamed up with Winifred Tete-Ansa of the National Congress of British West Africa to formulate economic policies to alleviate some of the emerging economic problems in colonial West Africa.

Until he died in 1957, he was among the foremost patriots and nationalists who strongly campaign for self governance. His contribution in Lagos politics was what later paved the way for what we know today as Adeniyi Jones Avenue in Ikeja to be named in his honour.

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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Meet Most Influential Pharmacist In Nigeria (PHOTO)

Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi

-         Has visited 140 countries across the globe
      Speaks French, Spanish, English & Dutch Fluently

His speech, gait, poise and approach to issues reek of royalty. To a first timer, his mien cuts the image of a retired ambassador. On the contrary, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, OFR, FPSN, mni is more than that. He is a man of immeasurable quality.

A former federal commissioner (now known as minister) of health and human resources under the short-lived Ernest Shonekan regime, the 75-year-old is an accomplished pharmacist and legal practitioner.

There is hardly any event he chairs or attends in Nigeria today that he doesn’t get a standing ovation. His oratory power has been metaphorically compared only to the great Greek Philosopher – CICERO. In a single oral delivery, he has the tendency to spice up his speech with a rich blend of Latin, French, Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba dialects.

Thus it came as no surprise when the number one citizen of the country, President Muhammed Buhari, paid a personal glowing tribute to the chairman of MTN Foundation through pages of national dailies, broadcast and digital media specifically on his 75th birthday.

...with members of Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm) at a recent event

Born in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, on August 2, 1940, he attended St. George’s Catholic Primary School, Ado Ekiti, from 1946 to 1952. From there, he got admission into St Thomas Aquinas College, also in Akure (1953 – 1957) for his secondary education. In furtherance of his education, he went to the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Ibadan (1959 – 1961).

His foray into pharmacy practice started in 1962. The pharmacist was among the pioneering set of students that gained admission into the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife), from 1962 to 1965.

Fair and brainy, he was described as the most handsome pharmacy student as well as the toast of the ladies on campus. However rather than live out the image of a casanova that he was labelled, Adelusi-Adeluyi concentrated more on activism and other extra-curricular activities.

According to Pharmacist Eugene Chibuzor Okonkwo, a course mate, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi was the most prominent personality at Ife in my time.

“I just could not fathom how he was able to cope with the tedium of being a pharmacy student and at the same time acting as secretary of National Union of Nigerians Students (NUNS), president of ANUNSA, PAX ROMANA and Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS),

“While in the university, he was already showing signs of going into politics. Aside his unionism activities, he was almost becoming a regular newscaster at Western Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (WNBC) at that time too. We (students) knew as at that time that he would turn out great in future,” he enthused.

...with Julia, his wife and pharmacists from industrial, academic and community practice

He has been described as an outstanding student leader at the local, national and international levels. He served as vice president, for International Affairs of the National Union of Nigerian Students in 1964.

At the international level, he was elected by student organisations worldwide, at their Annual Conference at Christ Church, New Zealand, as secretary-general of the world student body, the international student conference (ISC) based in Leiden, Holland in 1965.

In this capacity, he built student union organisations in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. In the process, he visited over 140 countries and became multilingual.

The pharmacist’s exploits in the Pharmacy field didn’t go unnoticed. His unusual passion for the profession saw him come up with lots of innovative ideas in a bid to meet up with their counterparts in the western world.

He was credited with the composition and introduction of Pharmacy Anthem in Nigeria. He was later appointed as a health minister during the interim government of Dr Ernest Shonekan, which was subsequently toppled by a military regime headed by Late Gen. Sanni Abacha.

Since leaving political office, the amiable pharmacist invested his time developing his personal businesses and interests. One of such businesses which he heads as the executive chairman is Juli Plc., the first indigenous promoted company to be quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Squatting in the heart of Ikeja (close to Computer Village), Juli Pharmacy & Supermart has become a brand synonymous with quality and class. Occupying an expansive one-storey structure, the chairman (Adelusi-Adeluyi) office is the entire top floor.

The first time this writer visited the office of the soft-spoken pharmacy icon, it was a beauty to behold. He was seated right behind a massive desk. On the left were shelves of exotic books indicating a mini library - from Law, encyclopaedia, Pharmacopoeia, pharmacy-related  to classical literature. The sprawling oriental rugs also looked like something imported from the fabled Arabian cartoon, Aladdin. Splendid!!!

...sitting comfortably with his wife, Julia at an event held by Prof Pat Utomi to fete him

Married to Julia, his childhood heartthrob, Adelusi-Adeluyi is also the president of the Indigenous Quoted Group (indigenous companies quoted on the Stock Exchange).

A multi-linguist, the ex-minister was a product of Language Institute, Noordvijk, Holland in 1967.

Presently, he speaks English, French, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish fluently.

The pharmacist, who has an obsession with anything WHITE, finished his law programme at the University of Lagos (1984 – 1986). At the Nigerian Law School in 1987, he won the Best Overall Student prize.

The eminent pharmacist also participated in a programme at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru in 1990. He is a past national president of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.

A revered gentleman, he is currently the group of chairman of Oodua Investment Conglomerate, an organisation coordinating the economic and cultural legacies of the south-western states of Nigeria.

Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi is also a former national president of the Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce as well as the national president of the National Council for Population and Environmental Activities (NCPEA).

He became a Rotarian (Rotary Club of Ikeja) in 1969 and was elected club president in 1977. In 1980, he was elected district Governor for District 210 (covering Anglophone & Francophone West Africa) at the District conference in Kano, Nigeria. He became the first district governor of Rotary District 910 (later 9110) for 1982/83. He formed 33 new clubs within his year. He was succeeded as governor by PDG Bob Ogbuagu.

...receiving a Merit Award from former head of States, Gen Yakubu Gowon
The Prince has to his credit scores of publications among which are Drug Control, Import and Storage (Continued Education, Ife, 1976); You are welcome to my profession Pharmacy (television broadcast 1979); Public Relations in Pharmacy (PSN 1979); Medicines practical problems involved in their delivery to the patients in developing countries (International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Madrid, Spain; Pharmacy in the West Africa Region: Problems and Prospects (W.A.P.F 1986); and The Pharmacist and Private Sector in Essential Drugs Programme (PSN, Benin, 1986).
Among his numerous awards are Member of the Federal Republic, MFR, 1986 and Officer of the Federal Republic, OFR, 2002. He is a Fellow of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN), a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (FNIM); a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, London (FIOD) and a Fellow of the West African Pharmaceutical Postgraduate College (FWAPPC). He also bagged the Centenary Award of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, among many others.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Five Lessons From Success Story of Tolu Ogunlesi, Presidential Aide On New Media

Tolu Ogunlesi

There is a maxim that says some are great, some achieve greatness and some employ PR to make them feel great. The inspiring story of Tolu Ogunlesi, special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital and New Media, could only have been motivated by the second factor.

Born on March 3, 1982 in Edinburgh the capital city of Scotland to Nigerian parents, Ogunlesi lived most of his life in Nigeria. A journalist, poet, photographer, and fiction writer, the young man holds a 2004 Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and in 2011 earned an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.

When Ogunlesi’s appointment was announced through the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in February 2016, quite a handful of people thought he was lucky.

But the story of the writer has not always been that rosy. Behind those glitters that look like solid gold to most admirers, he also has a story to tell.

Addressing a gathering of youths during the launch of Young Pharmacists Mentoring Programme organised by Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm) at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Alausa, Lagos on March 22, 2015, the renowned writer shared his experience on how pharmacy practice paved the way to his current elevated status.

The former editor of Next Newspaper (now defunct) told the audience that he always knew before he graduated that Pharmacy was not his true calling.

“Not that I don’t like the idea of practising as a full time pharmacist. But right from the time I observed that I have keen interest in writing poems and short stories, I knew that I have found my passion.

“In all of these, I must not fail to point out the fact that Pharmacy paved the way for me to succeed in my chosen field. Before I hand over the microphone, let me quickly enumerate five key lessons that shaped my life,” he remarked.

L-R: Ahmed Yakasai, PSN president; Tolu Ogunlesi and Lekan Asuni, managing director of GlaxoSmithKline 

First Lesson
The first lesson, according to the presidential aide, was for young pharmacists to note that the journey in life is as important as the destination.

 “One of the key lessons I learnt in life is that your journey is as important as your destination. Some people will never understand why you took a certain decision. Let me use my life as an example. I have taken decisions that didn’t really make sense to people. Many actually thought my failure to practise as a pharmacist after my service year would be my undoing. But it didn’t happen!”

Second Lesson
Secondly, no matter how many times you explain, some people will just not understand why you took a particular decision. There comes a time when people will always want to ask “Why are you leaving your job?” “Why take that job?” “Why do you want to start a business?”

Counsel is good, no doubt! But decision taken should be yours, because at the end of the day, no one sees what you see.”

Third Lesson
The third point, in his summation, for people to come to terms with the fact that there can never be a substitute for passion.
“I meet so many people who tell me that they want to be a journalist and the first question I usually ask them is: ‘Do you have a Blog?’ The reason I say that is simple. In five years time, nobody will wait for Punch or Guardian to give them the news. Thus there can be no substitute for passion. If you don’t have it, you cannot buy it. For some people, it is activism. For others, it is marketing. There are millions of passions out there. No matter what obstacle you face, that passion stays with you. As I said earlier, the last time I practised pharmacy the course I studied was during my NYSC years when I discovered in passion in writing poems and short stories. However pharmacy is a discipline that designed in such a way that one can fit easily into any profession, whether it is banking, telecommunication, civil service or multinational companies. I know quite a number of people in these sectors who are equally pharmacists.”

Fourth Lesson
“The fourth lesson is for every success-minded individual to keep an open mind. You must have been seeing shops putting up notice like ‘Open/Close’ signpost outside their doors. You shouldn’t be like them. A close mind is really a dangerous thing. You must always learn to keep an open mind.

For instance, I had no idea 10 years ago that I will end up where I am today. You don’t always need to have things figured out before you make a move. After all, even in pharmaceuticals, products like Viagra was an accidental discovery because it was originally developed to treat heart related diseases. But when they discovered that the older men are in the habit of coming back for more stating that it makes them feel younger, a new use was created for it.

Fifth Lesson
While urging young pharmacists not to give up on their dream, the presidential aide declared that the sole decision he took in those trying years was his gains today.

“It makes more sense looking forward instead of backward. I am proud today that those decisions I took yesterday have all added up to take me to where I wanted to be. I can confidently say that I am living me dream!”

As he disembarked from the podium, Ogunlesi received a standing ovation from both the dignitaries and crowd of young pharmacists in attendance.

To his credits, the pharmacist-turned-writer has authored a collection of poetry such as Listen to the Geckos, Singing from a Balcony and a novella, Conquest & Conviviality. Among publications in which his fiction and poetry have appeared are The London Magazine, Wasafiri, Farafina, PEN Anthology of New Nigerian Writing, Litro, Brand, Orbis, Nano2ales, Stimulus Respond, Sable, Magma, Stanford’s Black Arts Quarterly and World Literature Today.

In 2007, Ogunlesi was awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg poetry prize, in 2008 the Nordic Africa Institute Guest Writer Fellowship, and in 2009, a Cadbury Visiting Fellowship by the University of Birmingham. He has twice been a winner of the annual CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards, in 2009 (the Arts and Culture prize) and in 2013 (Coca-Cola Company Economics & Business Award), as well as being shortlisted for the inaugural PEN/Studzinski literary prize.

As a journalist, he has been a contributor to many significant publications and outlets, including Tell Magazine, The Guardian (Lagos), Daily Independent (Nigeria), New Age, Forbes Africa, The Guardian (UK), Financial Times, Huffington Post, Business Day (Nigeria), and Premium Times.

Ogunlesi and Kemi during their traditional wedding

His marriage to his heartthrob, Kemi Agboola, in December 2014 at Oritamefa Baptist Church, Ibadan was the talk of the town.

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Remarkable Story of OBIORA CHUKWUKA: School Drop-Out Who Became King of Nigerian Pharmaceuticals

Dr Obiora Chukwuka, Greenlife MD

To a first time visitor at Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Limited, Dr. Obiora Anthony Chukwuka’s mien cuts the image of an average office worker in the organisation.
However in stark contrast to such assumption, he is actually the founder and chairman of the company.

Popularly christened “The king of antimalarial,” the grass to grace story of Dr. Obiora Anthony Chukwuka who is also the chairman of Seagreen Pharmaceuticals Limited is a remarkable one.

Born on July 18, 1963 into the family of late Denis Ifedi and Regina Chukwuka of Ubili Village, Nnokwa, Idemmili South Local Council, Anambra State, the young Obiora was the last and only male child in the family of seven.

His father doubled his job as a school teacher with that of a Catechist in their local church. Going through secondary school was really difficult. His latter day academic accomplishments served as testaments to his quest for knowledge and also assuaged him for the early educational deprivation that he suffered on account of financial incapacitation.

Obiora started his early education at Infant Primary school (now Upaka Primary School), Nnokwa in 1970. He was very intelligent and as a result, his teachers took special interest in him.

In 1973, Obiora moved to St. Stephen’s Anglican School following the military intervention and change in education policy then.

He gained admission into Oraukwu Grammar School, Oraukwu and his experience in the secondary school was to shape the course of his future in a profound way.

After his five-year journey in Oraukwu Grammar School in 1980, his friends labelled him “Mr. Trader” because they saw him more as a businessman than a student.

Due to the circumstances of his life as the only male child in a poor family, he knew that the most appropriate thing was to forget education in the short run in order to support the family’s lean financial resources.

Obiora stated that even for him to complete his standard six at that time was a huge struggle. In 1980, the young man moved to Lagos to join his maternal cousin at the age of 17.

The cousin was then a trader in Idumota market, dealing in ladies shoes. That was where the Greenlife boss cut his teeth in business. He however spent only three years with his cousin before he was set-up in the same line of business.

However, the joy was cut short by the Buhari / Idiagbon military regime in 1984. It was an era that saw all illegal shops at Idumota (including Obiora’s fledging business) demolished by the special task force put in place by the regime.

What many viewed as terrible setback for the Seagreen Pharmaceutical owner was actually a launch pad for the young man to determine his future business. With the leftover capital at his disposal, Obiora delved into the pharmaceutical industry, banking on his love for dispensary services and previous experience as an active member of the Red Cross Society during his school days. After a brief training in drug business, he started the trade with a take-off capital of N10,000 in 1985 at Idumota, with the name Leton Medical Store, which later metamorphosed to Caleb Pharmaceuticals.

However, being a determined young man with a vision, Obiora had his game plan. He was determined to run a company recognised by law without molestation. To regularise the drug business, he decided to approach the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) where he was instructed to get a registered pharmacist, a shop with a size of at least 20 feet by 10 feet and register his firm with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

With all the requirements met, an application was filed with the PCN and Caleb Pharmaceuticals Limited was given approval in March, 1987.

Having started out as a legal entity, Caleb Pharmaceuticals Limited enjoyed huge patronage. Unfortunately trouble came knocking on May 1989, barely two years after the company was fully registered. Inspectorate officials from the PCN reportedly sealed off all the pharmaceutical shops in Idumota area with allegation that majority of the operators had no licence to operate as pharmaceutical companies.

The raid lasted for more than a month before re-opening. Not done yet, the council clamped down on the traders again in 1992 when it declared that there would be no renewal of pharmaceutical licences for operators in Idumota. According to officials, the location was not conducive for pharmaceutical service.

While problem with the council persisted in 1992, Obiora, not given to stress and difficulties in life, made up his mind not to continue with his business and trade in Idumota. He was determined that even if there was any positive news from the PCN at the end of the day, he was not prepared to continue doing business there. His vision and ambition was to run a full-fledge corporate entity like the Pfizer or other multinationals of this world.

Not too long, a window of opportunity opened for him from India. As at the time the opportunity came, Obiora was having about N42, 000 as savings. In December 1993, Obiora travelled to India to perfect the deal on the importation of drugs like Felvin 20mg and Gentamycin 280mg directly into the country through one Blessed Augustine Pharmaceuticals Company located in Mushin, Lagos.

Unfortunately, by the time the goods arrived Nigeria in early 1994 and went into circulation, Obiora encountered serious problem with the product. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Limited, a multinational company in the country, already had the patent for the product. He never knew that Pfizer patent which covered the importation of Piroxican still existed and had not expired.

Consequently, Pfizer, on investigation made attempt to arrest the importer of the product and when Obiora got wind of this development, he quickly withdrew the product from circulation. However, when the Pfizer’s licence expired in 1995, Obiora immediately reintroduced Felvin into the market.

With assistance from Konfidek Pharmacy, Obiora imported new products from India and eventually registered Felvin 20mg and Genamycin 280mg with NAFDAC using Konfidek Pharmacy.

In 1994, following repeated problems associated with the drug market in Idumota, the idea of registering Greenlife Pharmaceticals as a new company with the PCN became inevitable.

In 1997, Ebere Nwosu, who is now the Managing Director, approached Obiora with a partnership request. In effect, he wanted both of them to import drugs together into the country. Obiora bought the idea and as a take-off, they jointly contributed N10,000 each and that marked the new beginning of what is today Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Limited.

Obiora and Ebere, employed another Pharmacist, Ibe James (now late), who eventually got Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Limited registered with the PCN in June 2000. Thus with the registration, Obiora’s transformation from being a shoe trader to a wholesale medicine dealer and now a corporate entity became fully manifested.

L-R: Dr. Obiora Chukwuka, founder and chairman of Greenlife Pharmaceuticals and his wife receiving the 2015 Businessman of the Year Award from Dr Chris Ngige, minister of labour

Over the years, Greenlife has grown to become one of Nigeria’s top corporate and respected indigenous pharmaceutical brands. With over 120 NAFDAC approved brands currently on its stable, the company employs several hundreds of Nigerian professionals across various disciplines, especially pharmacy.

Years after he had made tremendous success in his entrepreneurial stride, Obiora still felt the compelling need to further his education. So, in 2002, he secured admission into University of Lagos, after 22 years in business, bagging Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, in 2008.

He got a Masters Degree in Corporate Governance from Leeds Metropolitan University, England, from where he also had a diploma certificate in Management Consultancy.

He is also a recipient of an honorary doctorate conferred on him by Commonwealth University Belize, Central America, in collaboration with the London Graduate School, England.

On the social front, Obiora is a member of the Council of Nigeria- British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC); Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoD), Nigeria Red Cross Society and Nigeria – India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI).

He was recently decorated as 2015 Businessman of the Year at The Sun 13th Annual Awards ceremony which held at Eko Hotels in Victoria Island.

Receiving the award, Obiora disclosed that the award wasn’t something he expected so soon.

“But what I saw today has given me the impression that no matter what you do, people are always watching. I have always been an advocate of “doing the right thing at all time” and I strongly believe that for as long as you are hardworking and a man of integrity, you will always get it right

“I thank The Sun management for not just the award, but for equally giving me the opportunity to tell my story,” he enthused.

Yet the King of antimalarial believes that he has not arrived as many thought. He believes the world out there is for those who can conquer it.

Did you believe him?

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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Why TV Advert On BRT LCD Screen Remains A Viable Medium For Entrepreneurs, SMEs

It is not unusual to hear young entrepreneurs and small and medium scale (SMEs) business owners lamenting “I don’t have the financial muscle to advertise on television and radio” or “Advertising in Nigerian newspapers is outrageous!”

The lamentation further takes a different twist the moment you moot the idea of advertising on BRT / LAGBUS. Most entrepreneurs tend to turn and take another look at you to be sure you are okay.

The essence of advertisement, in the first place, is to call the public's attention to your business, usually for the purpose of selling products or services, through the use of various forms of media, such as print or broadcast notices.

Yea, we understand that brands, services, awareness campaigns on a metropolitan shuttle like LAGBUS / BRT readily gives value for money in the long run (if you missed the maiden article, read it here, it is not advisable for small and medium scale enterprises.

That notwithstanding, smart SMEs can explore the huge opportunities embedded in showcasing brands via the ultra modern in-transit multimedia screen in every BRT / LAGBUS on Lagos roads.

It comes with huge benefits such as:

Stable power:

Whether there is power outage or, it has nothing to do with your advertisement which requires energy from the shuttle to run. Thus while commuters who are fatigued from continual scorching of the sun are cooling off in the air-conditioned buses, their attentions are focused on the multimedia which tends to play recent sports clips, trendy music and movie trailers neatly blend with a handful of in-transit TV commercials.

Demography (Audience):

BRT commuters cut across the ‘B’ to ‘C’ classes (medium to average income earners) which comprise civil servants, technocrats, business owners, market women, students, religious leaders, corp members, artisans and traders among others.


An average 15’ 30’ or 60’ commercial slot runs 56 times daily, 392 times weekly and 1,568 times monthly.
     * No of Buses: 400

·       *  No of Commuters Daily: 460,000

·        * Average No of Commuters Monthly:14,000,000

·       *  Passenger Flow (Peak Period): 360000

·        * Passenger Flow (Off Peak): 100,000

·        * Passenger capacity/bus: 80 (37 sitting/43 standing)

·       * Daily Passenger Flow/Bus: An average of 200 passengers (including those embarking and disembarking at different bus terminals) per trip

·      * Each bus makes 20 trips (to and fro) each day. That makes the total carriage about 4,000 passengers per day and 120,000 commuters per month thereby offering advertisers the opportunity to reach a wide, diverse, heterogeneous audience.

As earlier mentioned, product / service commercials will be featured amidst entertaining content such as musical videos, sports, movie trailers, fashion tips, comedy flicks and so on. This guarantees large viewership of your advert.
Interestingly, we presently have 400 in-transit audio and visual display units available in BRT commercial shuttles.

Cost friendly:
For as low as N60, 000 per month, SMEs can be assured of maximum exposure to commuters who form the bulk of their potential customers at a relatively cheap rate. As against spending about N6,500 on single slot radio jingles, N48,000 on one slot of television commercial or N30,000 on 3 x 4 advert space in newspaper, you are merely spending more about N2,000 a day to run similar television commercial (albeit small audience) on LAGBUS / BRT multimedia to a diverse audience. Not bad, isn’t it?

Major Route:
Although BRT / LAGBUS initiative is not meant to take over the entire stretch of Lagos roads, specific routes known to be chaotic and traffic prone were cut out to meet its purpose. 

The five major ones include:

·        CMS - Ketu
·        Maryland - Iyana Ipaja
·        CMS – Lekki / Ajah
·        Maryland – Ikotun / Igando
·        Mile 12 – CMS

Influences Consumer Buying Behaviour

A recent survey conducted by Folfrad Media Classics has shown that consumers tend to make shopping decisions whenever they are on the move. Secondly, whether commuters like it or not, they don’t have the luxury of alighting from the bus in annoyance or tuning into another channel if they are not too comfortable with whatever is shown on the screen. In this regard, advertiser has more control over the audience not the other way round. This is why we believe showcasing your brands in as many as BRT multimedia as possible is a great way to break into the sub-consciousness of your consumers and direct their attention to your products and services.

Call to action
After watching three to four slots of a commercial during a journey from CMS to Maryland, it is not unusual to observe that an estimated 40 per cent of the passengers are spurred to give the products / services / religious or awareness campaign a trial. Guess what? If, for instance, a passenger decides to purchase a pack of noodles after alighting from the bus, don’t you think the product of the company’s commercial they had just witnessed on the in-transit LCD screen stands a better chance of being purchased as against other brands?

That is the power of advertising!

If this prospect of advertising on BRT / LagBus in Lagos meets your demand, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us:

(Publishers of CityPulse online & print magazine)
Tel: +234-703-909-1674, +234 8099425352

We encourage companies, NGOs, institutes, schools, independent agencies and religious bodies to saddle us with the responsibility of reaching a wide range of audience via a comprehensive BRT / LagBus advertisement

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Inspiring Story of Kelechi Iheanacho’s Meteoric Rise To Football Fame

Iheanacho representing Imo State at a junior football tournament

Whenever the name Kelechi Iheanacho is mentioned in football circle, what people visualise is a young man who was fortunate to find himself in soccer hall of fame.

However his story is not as easy as many thought. His struggle in life has been described as topsy turvy by close friends and allies.

As a youth, Iheanacho represented Taye Academy in Owerri. His performances for Nigeria in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup led to interest from clubs in Europe. Teams following his progress included Arsenal, Sporting Clube de Portugal and Porto.

In December 2013, Iheanacho travelled to England to discuss a move to Manchester City where he signed a pre-contract agreement with the club, stating his intent to formally sign for Manchester City on his 18th birthday in October 2014. In the interim, he returned to Nigeria. As the year drew to a close, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) named him the Most Promising Talent of the Year for 2013 during the CAF Awards.

But just how much do you know about the personal life of the youngster?

Golden Eaglets' Kelechi Iheanacho won the Golden Ball award at 2013 Fifa U17 World Cup

His mother, Mercy, died some years ago precisely in February after a short illness. Her death meant that the young footballer would have to depend heavily on his father.

In an interview he granted to UK’s Daily Mail, Iheanacho said: ‘My father (James) was a trader and my mum was a teacher, but she was laid to rest a few years ago which was really hard for all of us.

‘I have two brothers and a sister back in Nigeria as well. Everything I do, I do for my mum and my family – that’s what drives me.

‘My dad is back home and I’m living on my own in Manchester at the moment.

‘But I think a lot of kids back home have been encouraged by what’s happened to me and by where I am today. They can’t believe what I’ve achieved at just 19 years of age and it further gives them the belief that they can make it too.’

Manchester City fought off competition from FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon to agree a pre-contract with Iheanacho, but had a long wait before completing the signing and securing a work permit.

He added: ‘I’d played a few games at the Under-17 World Cup finals, and that’s when I agreed a deal with City. In all honesty, I didn’t know that much about the club at the time.

‘I was close to signing for FC Porto where I really wanted to go. City are such a big team with so many fantastic players, I didn’t believe I’d have a future here. But my father did and he gave me the confidence I needed. I’m happy I took his advice.’

‘I first heard of City's interest when I was with Nigeria for the World Under-17 qualifiers," he said. "When we finished the qualification process, I had a few scouts approaching me and telling me I had quite a few clubs interested in signing me. But I didn't want to sign for anyone at that time, I just wanted to enjoy my football.”

Today, Iheanacho's consistency and goal poaching instinct has forced him to claim a first team shirt ahead of established midfield players like Samir Nasri whose nagging injury woes has continued for some time now.

In fact, many believed that the likes of Edin Dzeko were offloaded to pave way for youthful talents like him a chance for the future.

The giant leap of Kel, as his friends fondly call him, from the grassroots to one of the biggest clubs in the world has continue to elicit hope from young struggling footballers across Africa.
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