" ITREALMS: May 2013


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Thursday, May 30, 2013

What would a world with no legal tobacco industry really look like, asks BAT

As the we marked the World No Tobacco Day 2013, the British American Tobacco (BAT) asks in this opinion contribution, “What would a world with no legal tobacco industry really look like?” Excerpt:

On World No Tobacco Day 2013, British American Tobacco has issued a series of images to illustrate what it believes the world would look like if the legal tobacco industry was forced out of existence. 

Kingsley Wheaton, British American Tobacco’s Group Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, warned: “The reality is that people will continue to smoke. But instead of buying legal taxed cigarettes, made by legitimate tobacco companies and sold by reputable retailers, they’ll turn to black market sources to get what they want.

“The tobacco industry is highly regulated, sells a legal product and we have a legitimate business. We conduct our business in a professional and responsible way, abiding by the laws in all the countries we operate in, often going above and beyond our legal obligations.

“Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the sophisticated network of criminals ready and waiting to step-in and take over if the legitimate tobacco industry didn’t exist.”

The global black market for tobacco accounted for 660 billion (Framework Convention Alliance) cigarette sales in 2012, making it roughly equivalent in volume to the world’s third largest multinational tobacco company. It is not a victimless crime. Illegal tobacco is sold by well-organised criminal gangs, some of whom have recognised links to terrorism.

Mr Wheaton continued: “These people don’t abide by the law or follow government regulation, they don’t pay taxes, they don’t care what’s in their products and they happily sell to minors.

“If we didn’t exist to supply tobacco products legally, traffickers would fill the vacuum and this cannot be the outcome society wants.”

British American Tobacco makes a long term commitment to sustainability; strives to bring reduced harm products to market; continues to fight the illegal tobacco trade; generates excise revenue; and provides employment and enhanced livelihoods to hundreds of thousands of employees and suppliers. However, a world with no legitimate tobacco industry would see an end to:

·         Significant investment in research and development of reduced-risk tobacco products: There would be no incentive for criminals to start doing this. In 2012 British American Tobacco alone invested £171m in our research and development activities – part of our responsibility to working towards reducing the health risks associated with our products.

·         Responsible product marketing: We are clear that children are not and will never be our audience. Our marketing is aimed at informed adult smokers who are aware of the health risks associated with tobacco use. But the same can’t be said for the criminals who are already actively selling tobacco products outside schools, newsagents and playgrounds. Black market cigarettes are also cheaper, making them more accessible to children at pocket money prices.
·         Industry support to tackle tobacco trafficking and associated criminality: We work closely with governments and law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal tobacco. Europol, Interpol and the FBI have stated that among those who traffic illegal tobacco some also deal in money laundering, drugs, human trafficking and fund terrorist organisations. In west Africa we collaborate with various government agencies including custom agencies, consumer protection agencies and the Joint Port Control Unit (JPCU) in tackling illicit trade in tobacco.
·         Product quality and safety:  It’s a worrying fact that illegal cigarettes have been found to contain dead insects and animal excrement.  We work tirelessly to manage the integrity of our entire supply chain from the seed that’s put in the ground through to the packets of our products sold on the shelves.  

·         $200billion per year in tax: That’s the figure generated in tobacco taxes globally each year, more than seven times the profit of the global industry. In West Africa alone, the tobacco industry has generated more than $187million for governments, through income tax, excise and VAT on tobacco products in 2012.
·         Fair treatment and prices for farmers: It’s very hard and dangerous for a farmer from a developing country to negotiate prices with criminals. British American Tobacco offers contracts to the 140,000 farmers we have direct relationships with, helping to provide consistent revenue and fair prices. We also provide advice regarding sustainable agricultural practices and crop rotation.
·         Millions of employees would lose their jobs and have their livelihoods impacted: We create jobs and support business in West Africa through our own workforce and through entrepreneurs and employees involved in our supply chain. Our development of the industry has led to economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of West Africans; from the workforce of our distributors, wholesalers  and retailers, to suppliers  of materials such as tobacco leaf farmers, and providers of services such as haulage.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

DigitalSENSE News: MTN’s Facebook page records 1millionth followers i...

DigitalSENSE News: MTN’s Facebook page records 1millionth followers i...: Leading mobile Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company, MTN Nigeria, has recorded the 1 millionth followers on its ... ... Making SENSE of digital revolution!

Monday, May 27, 2013

DigitalSENSE News: Danfo Reloaded II set to debut

DigitalSENSE News: Danfo Reloaded II set to debut: The much celebrated Danfo developers are set to launch the Reloaded II version of the game, Tuesday in Lagos, as confirmed by the c... ... Making SENSE of digital revolution!

Etisalat introduces Geek Force Internship Contest for youths

Much acclaimed fastest growing telecommunications company in Nigeria, Etisalat has introduced Geek Force Internship contest for Nigerian youths between the ages of 21 and 30 years.
The Chief Commercial Officer at Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Wael Ammar said ITRealms that this is a chance for dexterous youths to join Etisalat’s workforce by demonstrating sound knowledge of devices and passion for customer service.

He said that this is a cool recruitment process, which shows that everything about this recruitment process would be driven by social media.

He explained that first of all, interested youths must have to be a university graduate or have an equivalent degree to stand a chance to showcase the ‘Geek-in-side’ and become an Etisalat Geek.

“If you meet this first condition, then you must submit an online application and a two minute YouTube video which will be assessed to arrive at a long-list of the top 30,” he said.

Mr. Ammar also said that from the top 30, the figure would be pruned to 20 through an online voting process.

According to him, the top 20 would be a part of a panel interview where 10 of them will be shortlisted.

“The top 10 candidates would be housed in an exquisite location in Lagos, and will each receive weekly allowances. They will be given weekly tasks or assignments which will be posted online and voted on by the Etisalat subscriber base and one candidate will be eliminated each week.

“The ‘last five standing’ will win a one year internship with the telecommunications giant,” he explained.

In addition, he said, each contestant would be required to demonstrate exceptional understanding of the working and application of the most common telecommunication devices available in the Nigerian market.

“The successful candidates would be required to help solve customers’ communication challenges,” he said.
The Interns that emerge from this contest will get a great opportunity to learn about the brand’s values as well as bring their own passion for technology to work on some great projects.

They would embark on an exciting journey through five departments of the telecommunications company and work in cross-functional teams as well as have executive mentors.

“Etisalat is out with this innovative customer engagement initiative to build strong bonds with customers and offer people the chance of pursuing a rewarding career along the area of their personal passion,” Ammar said.

Equally speaking, the Director, Retail Sales at Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Charles Ogunwuyi, noted that this initiative re-enforces Etisalat’s position as the most customer centric and most innovative telecommunications company in Nigeria. 

“The initiative allows us to co-create with our teeming subscriber base as well as supports one of our core corporate values of – “growing people” he said.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Airtel, Huawei partner Microsoft on Ascending W1 in Lagos

r-l Tony Liang of Huawei, Eniola Bello, Airtel Chief Sales officer,
Mark Ihimoyan, Consumer Director, Microsoft and Data Manager at Airtel, Mr. David.
One of the mobile network operators (MNO) in Nigeria making waves, Airtel, has partnered with Huawei, a mobile device manufacturer and Microsoft, the software giant by unveiling Huawei’s Ascending W1 smartphones in Lagos.
in his welcome remarks, the Chief Sales Officer for Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Eniola Bello, said that this partnership is coming at a right time when Airtel’s Internet service offering is on the fast lane of 3.75G and benefit from other goodies that Airtel has on the table for customers.

He urged Nigerians to take advantages of this partnership by buying this offer at any Airtel shops across the country.

Also speaking, the Managing Director, Terminal for West Africa at Huawei, Mr. Tony Liang, said that the Huawei Ascendi W1 was made for Africa as Windows Phone.

He pointed out that the smartphone was designed specifically for Africans, putting Africa at the centre ad connecting Africans to the people and the information that matter most to you.

“We know that access to technology will contribute to fueling Africa’s knowledge economy,” he said, even as Microsoft is bringing the Windows Phone 4Africa to the continent to empower 
Africans with best in-class technology at an affordable price point.

Mr. Liang was optimistic that Huawei Ascendi W1 would open new windows of opportunity for Africans, especially in Nigeria.
The Consumer Channels Group Director, Microsoft West Africa, Mr. Mark Ihimoyan, highlighted some of the features of Huawei Ascendi W1, describing it as a unique that was built in a way that no two phones home page is the same.

There are resizable tiles, in addition to the smartphone having features that enable it to updates frequently from social media and major media apps like CNN or ChannelsTV to name a few.
According to him, ‘People hub’ for instance, is a network of friends and families and which made the most social phone device around.
“Peoples hub actually connects all your social networks as an integrated solution, so the user don't have to miss any update,” he said.

Equally, Family Room, he said, is where users could invite up to 10 people close to them for a chat.

While the Kids corner on the Windows Phone enables owners who have kids to set it on a given mode in order to allow kids play with this phone based on the setting offered without much ado or getting worried over what they are doing with the phone, either deleting your contacts or sending a Short Messaging Service (SMS) to an angry boss.

“What makes this phone innovative as it is today is because it runs on Windows,” he said, adding that Windows phones have backup and restore mode as well as it has secure booting, which means that every application that could be downloaded on it is certified clean and secure by Microsoft before it could be downloaded.

“Microsoft App Store is not concerned about quantity, but quality,” he declared.

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Olu Akanmu, bows out of Airtel Nigeria as CMO

Olu Akanmi, former CMO Airtel resigned yesterday
The Chief Marketing Officer of Airtel Networks Limited, Mr. Olu Akanmu, has resigned his appointment with the company, to pursue other interests-with effect from Wednesday, May 22, 2013, after spending about a little above 11 months in office.

Confirming this to ITRealms, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Oparah, said that the resignation comes immediate effect.

He also noted that Mr. Akanmu led the marketing function at a crucial time in the life of Airtel.

“Mr. Akanmu … brought his over two decades of marketing experience and a rich knowledge of the telecommunications market to bear on his role as our CMO,” says Oparah. 

He then wished Akanmu the very best in his future endeavours, just as a replacement for the CMO will be announced shortly.

ITRealms recalls that Olu Akanmu joined Airtel Nigeria, effective, June 1, 2012.  

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