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Business News

FBI clampdown: US firm, Dynamics Intelligence, shuts down operation in Nigeria over extortion

Jenna Bourgeois has shut down the company’s operations in Nigeria over mistrust and extortion by his Nigerian employees.

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FG FBI, Jenna

The Founder and Chairman of Dynamics IntelligenceJenna Bourgeois has shut down the company’s operations in Nigeria over mistrust and extortion by her Nigerian employees. Her statement came amidst the crackdown on internet fraudsters who are predominantly Nigerians in the US. However, her reasons have drawn condemnation as it’s conflicting with her previous remarks about Nigeria. 

Bourgeois announced the decision to end operation on her LinkedIn page, stating that the employees and contractors that her office in Nigeria engaged with had continued to rip-off her company. She said Dynamics Intelligence had been helping to create employment opportunity and assist Nigerians to gain skills. This, she, however, said could not continue amidst the extortion by her employees and contractors. 

Dynamics Intelligence is a technology company involved in Healthier Cloud, Dynamics 365, Cloud Solutions, Cyber Security, and partners with Microsoft and Amazon. The company has offices in the United States, Canada and Nigeria (before shutting down). The company stated on its website that its aim was to teach between 1000 to 5000 Nigerians. 

Don’t employ Nigerians: Bourgeois canvassed that companies interested in operating in Nigeria should contact her company in order to help them avoid being scammed by technical resources. Apart from that, she said Companies would be better off if they give their services out to Indians rather than Nigerians. 

[READ ALSO: SEC warns against false prophets in investment market]

“Effective immediately, we will be closing our operations in Nigeria.  Over the last year, we have faced numerous examples of employees and contractors extorting the company. While we kept giving Nigerians a chance to gain skills and employment, we cannot run a company when we can’t trust the people who work for us.   

“Any company interested in conducting business in Nigeria can reach out to us to learn how to avoid being scammed by technical resources. It is a kick in our face that we spent so much time trying to give Nigerians the benefit of the doubt to have this happen. Customers who wish to outsource are well-advised to seek an India-owned company for the best results. 

“We obtained evidence today in the developer’s own words that he intentionally breached the contract.” 

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Bourgeois contradicts herself: Before her recent outburst and condemnation of Nigerians, Bourgeois had previously written an article about operating in Nigeria where she commended Nigerians and rated them above Americans and Canadians. 

“In our searches, we found many Nigerians who were more than qualified to hold positions in our company when compared to their American and Canadian counterparts.” 

At the beginning of her piece, Bourgeois condemned the false narratives about Nigerians which she said were created by “westerners, arguably racists or colonists.” She said her false presumptions about Nigerians changed due to her personal experience in the country. 

“Nigerians have the same access to the same online education that American children have. The main difference is that Nigerians seem to be more motivated than their American counterparts given the same opportunity. This is not my opinion of Americans necessarily, read through the thousands of articles written on LinkedIn over the last decade… 

“In 10 or 20 years, Nigeria will be viewed as comparable to China and India which will also make Nigeria incredibly influential in African geopolitics.” 

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Nigerians on LinkedIn have, however, accused Bourgeois of trying to take advantage of the recent clampdown on some Nigerians involved in internet scam in the US to drive her business’ growth. 

[READ MORE: FRAUD: FBI releases names of 80 Nigerians]

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Real Estate and Construction

Osborne, Ikoyi residents move against Lekki Gardens over planning laws violation

The residents accused owners of Lekki Gardens Estate of alleged flagrant and unchecked violation of officially approved building plans.

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Residents of Osborne Foreshore 2 estate, Ikoyi, have moved against a property development firm, Lekki Gardens/Foreshore Waters Limited for allegedly violating the state’s planning laws; in addition to the violation of the estate’s building plan and the existing plan to stop work forthwith.

This is as the residents of the estate have appealed to the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to order that works on all approvals for development in the estate be suspended for 3 months because of the ongoing review of the approval order.

According to a report from Thisday, the appeal is contained in a statement issued by the residents of Osborne Foreshore 2 estate, where they warned that refusal to stop further work might lead to a breakdown of law and order.

What the residents of Osborne Foreshore 2 estate are saying

The residents of the estate in their statement said, “We once again invite your Excellency to visit our estate to see for yourself how the activities of Richard Nyong will one day lead to a breakdown of law and order if this brazen disregard of planning laws of Lagos States is allowed to continue.”

They accused the developer of violating state’s planning laws in its quest to construct multi-storey structures in the expansive residential estate.

They also accused Richard Nyong, Lekki Gardens Estate and Foreshore Waters Limited of alleged flagrant and unchecked violation of officially approved building plans.

The estate management pointed out that other developers have since complied with these guidelines whereas Lekki Gardens had allegedly refused to do the same.

What the Chairperson of Osborne Foreshore Residents Association is saying

The Chairperson of Osborne Foreshore Residents Association, Mrs Chinwe Ezenwa-Mbah, had recently expressed reservations over the impact of the heavy construction by Lekki Gardens and other developers and how it is affecting the houses of other residents in the estate.

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She said, “When we got our plots, we were told that the place was designed as a low population residential area. We did not know that a time would come when this area would become a commercial area.

“When you come into an existing estate and you are doing piling that is breaking your neighbour’s foundations as well as against the approved plan given to you in the name of commercial development, that is not right.”

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the relationship between Lekki Gardens and the management of Osborne Foreshore 2 Estate broke down after the latter insisted that the property developer must obey building permit laws given to it by both the Lagos State government and the resident association.
  • Several other landlords and Residents of Osborne Foreshore 11, have also complained about the activities of Lekki Gardens and other developers in the area whom they accused of violating the building permit given to them by the government.
  • The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako had held a meeting with all the stakeholders in a bid to amicably resolve the existing dispute.
  • The residents made an appeal to the Lagos State government for reversal of the wrongful classification of Osborne Foreshore Phase II from its original master plan as a low-density to a high-density residential estate.

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Business

The five-ingredient of a successful startup pitch

Every great pitch has these 5 ingredients to help you maximize your chances when fundraising for your startup.

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Startups typically prepare a pitch deck to present to potential investors for funding. A pitch deck is a brief presentation that provides investors with an overview of your business. It typically focuses on showcasing your product and business model. An excellent pitch is highly essential to the success of a startup seeking funding from investors.

According to Romeen Sheeth, an angel investor who heard 200 companies pitch and invested over $1million last year, every great pitch has these 5 ingredients to help you maximize your chances when fundraising.

  • Problem:  Is this an issue?
  • Solution:  Do you have the fix?
  • Market:   Is this a big enough issue?
  • Business: Can you make money
  • Team:  Do you have the human resources to do it?

The best pitches nail all 5. Good ones hit 4. Subpar hit 3 or less.

Problem

The problem statement is an explanation of why a set of circumstances is painful for a set of users. There’s one word in that sentence that is most important: painful. If your problem is not painful enough, it’s a vitamin. The best startups are pain killers.

Solution

The solution statement is an explanation of how you address the pain felt by your users. If you don’t have the right solution, you won’t get customer traction. Customers don’t buy your thesis on the pain point. They buy the actual thing that solves their pain point.

Market

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In tech, only businesses that have outsized potential get funded. To have outsized potential, you have to either be in a: (a) small, but rapidly growing market or (b) large existing market that can be resegmented. If not, the business is not venture backable.

Business

The business model defines how you print cash. What is the key insight you’ve figured out that other people haven’t? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel on everything to be a compelling business. Just explain the secret sauce that helps you capture the value.

Team

Everything else is academic if you can’t execute. Ultimately the investor is betting on your team’s ability to bring out the reality in the insights around the problem, solution, market, and business. Communicate why you are the best in the world to build the business.

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Once you feel good about these 5, think through the connection points. Every topic that comes up in the conversation will be a function of a connection point. For example:

  • Problem-Market = Industry Dynamics
  • Solution-Market = Competition
  • Market-Business = Unit Economics

Bottom line

When you pitch, always keep it simple. Understand the 5 core ingredients, think through how they relate to one another, communicate with clarity, and don’t assume investors understand your business.

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