The business side of the Pandemic? Covid-19 is transforming itself from the ‘Bad, the Ugly and the Good’ – into the Business-of Things. This is within the background of the arrival of several types of Covid-19 Vaccines around the world, many weeks ago. Indeed, the epicenter of global challenges and business opportunities has moved from the ugly pandemic scenario of 2019-2020 to the commercial business of Covid-19 vaccine implementation ecosystem.
All over the world, business leaders and policymakers leverage on condensed real-time data and information to achieve trustworthy entrepreneurial business opportunities, values, and equitable corporate governance for sustainable trade and business assurances – going forward to Covid-19 version 2.0.
Emerging research outcome from the analysis of content and thought-process of vision-bearers, investors, innovative people, business analysts is fostering a new evidence-based and real-time business model. This model is energized by Covid-19 version 2.0, with a different type of condensed challenges. The new challenge is returning the world to the routine of normal way of life.
Therefore, what do we do when the vaccines arrive in Nigeria?
Implementing a national vaccination rollout plan is not a child’s play. It demands a colossal high-level logistics know-how and high-end professional skillsets at all levels of the rollout spectrum.
When will the pandemic end? Seriously speaking, no one knows. Some forecast estimated 2023, 2026 and some beyond those dates. The focus of this piece is to ensure that Africa is not left out of the big-pie and disconnected from the post-pandemic business network. Rather, African businesses should explore and gain real-time business insights, benefits and profitability assurances from the value chains of the vaccine-propelled global commerce.
The challenges in implementing the Vaccine-to-the-Arm project comes with its complexities of risk factors and requires seamlessly connected business-chain logistics and distribution networks for effective delivery. Some call it e-Commerce task systems, others call it superlative e-platform. Anticipating the challenges which the COVID-19 vaccine distribution pose to Nigeria and Africa means we seriously need experienced organisations to deliver our vaccine. Luckily, research shows that Nigeria has reliable inter-connected combinations of all the above.
One out of the mega-pack is the Konga Group.
Effective implementation model has shown that no one company has the capacity and capabilities to effectively implement the COVID-19 vaccination challenge. The most effective working model is what is classified as ‘Collaborative Resilience’. A common operating model of COVID-19-vaccine delivery, shown in the interactive graphics from McKinsey and Co, below, clearly demonstrates the complexity of the task at hand. Essentially, the interactive is a qualitative risk map, showing the many stages of vaccine deployment and highlighting areas of potential failure as one party interacts with another. A breakdown at any point in the deployment process can set off a cascade, shutting down the entire operation!
Today, Konga has become one of the acclaimed global digital brands in a class of its own – navigating the mega-business world at 360 degrees. I found this truth after many months of conventional e-business research – with particular focus on Nigeria and Africa’s e-Commerce space. Konga commands the nationwide reach with its own quality infrastructure, digital logistics and tracking technologies for last-mile delivery.
When the COVID-19 vaccine comes, how will it be put into the arms of an estimated 170 million Nigerians who need it? How will the logistics be provided and who will manage the implementation logistics? Who has the best infrastructure and experienced manpower to secure and deliver the best result, similar to the INEC electioneering challenges and experiences of 2014 and 2009?
Lessons learned suggest that the Covid-19 pandemic has become the greatest challenge faced by humanity in the last 100 years to date. It reveals that many nations are still deficient in developing and managing critical information and logistic infrastructures (CILI) at real-time levels. This is primarily due to our collective ignorance in understanding the work-around of the digital connectedness of our world, the imperatives of networked data efficiency, infrastructure and information systems. In effect, many millions of the world’s citizens have been sent to their untimely death. Regrettably, many citizens will still die if the arrival, distribution, and vaccination of the vaccines is ignorantly managed by inexperienced entities, poor infrastructure and logistics. Truth is, there would be points of failure and our primary goal is to reduce the points of failure.
Here is my take: First, the bad news:- COVID-19 pandemic has hit semiconductor chips manufacturing industry very hard. This situation is expected to worsen as companies battle for supplies of the critical parts. According to AlixPartners, the shortage will cut $60.6 billion in revenue from the global automotive and associated industries this year. The broader implication is that most business survival is evolving collaborative model of survival. Considering the fact that, the world will need to deliver about 6 x 2 billion doses of vaccine into the arms of the targeted six billion of the global human population of 7.3billion people, and that Nigeria’s share of the task would require her to deliver about 160 x 2million (or 320million vaccines to the arms of 160 million eligible Nigerians), we must be on top of the game.
Point-to-point Data communications efficiency is not only imperative but mandatory to augment efficiency. The biggest challenge in responding to the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccines resides in its logistics know-how, storage, distribution systems safety, communications logistics and security know-how. The Federal Government is therefore advised, apart from landing the vaccines and related operational apparatus into the country, to draw up a national rollout strategic plan, commission experienced logistics e-Commerce company like Konga.com group, with its own nationwide quality infrastructure, digital logistics and tracking technologies with performance assurances to ensure that the expected collateral damages are eliminated and/or reduced to the barest minimum.
Vaccine delivery, storage and distribution come with high-end safety and logistic issues. Reliable data analysis reveals that the Covid-19 vaccine procurement and distribution assignment should be classified as a national emergency challenge. The assignment is required to be handled with care and professional ability. Therefore, before the anticipated COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Nigeria, indigenous experienced logistic companies with track records similar to/or better than that applied to deliver the 2014 and 2010 INEC national election mission should be consulted and signed on to ensure quality performance.
Konga remains our best indigenous e-Commerce logistics company, comparable in facility management, infrastructure and top-skill professional project management. Not only that, amongst others:
- They possess the cognate experience and ingenuity for success
- With our climatic conditions, Konga Group has the capability and can in few days create vaccine storage capacity and commensurate transportation logistics to deliver the strategic imperatives
- Records show that Konga has digital 360 Blockchain-enabled warehouses with 24/7 uninterrupted power supply and Interstate Tier 3 Level security monitoring/tracking system
- Also, her AI-controlled warehousing inventory systems should be prioritized in the decision-making process. Fake vaccine and syringes control monitoring system is essential
- Internet of Things (IoT) alarm-based embedded time clock would be installed in all vaccine delivery packages to monitor date of expiration of each vaccine pack and syringes
After exploring the Oracle side-of-things, I have become deeply aware of the fact that the nation is really fighting a war with an invisible enemy. Alarmed on the above challenges and how to conquer them, I turned to the grapevine for the most efficient smart and dependable solutions providers. From all the nooks and crannies, the consensus is that the most experienced tech platforms accredited with high-breed global standard performance should be listed to handle and deliver the required services. Especially those who were responsible for delivering superlative end-to-end services to INEC, during the elections, when procurement, logistic and delivery were the hallmark of success.
With this, the vaccine implementation experience in Nigeria will undoubtedly benefit the rest of Africa.
Written by Dr. B. B Usman, a Business Analyst
Court vindicates Zinox, TD Africa in N170m FIRS contract fraud
Zinox and TD Africa have been vindicated as court rules on N170 million FIRS contract scandal.
An Abuja High Court has vindicated the long-held position of Zinox Technologies Ltd., and TD Africa, two of Nigeria’s leading technology giants, that its Chairman, Leo Stan Ekeh and its staff, Company Secretary, Barr. Chris Eze Ozims and two others, Shade Oyebode and Charles Adigwe respectively, had no wrongdoing in a long-drawn court case involving a N170m Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) contract.
The court on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, discharged and acquitted the duo of Princess Kama Onyeoma and Chief Onny Igbokwe, partners to Mr. Benjamin Joseph, who were accused of fraudulently executing the N170m contract awarded to Citadel Oracle Concepts, an Ibadan-based ICT firm owned by Joseph.
In addition, the sum of N20m was awarded as damages against the complainant, Mr. Joseph, for frivolous and malicious petitioning and prosecution.
In his ruling, the trial judge, Hon. Justice Senchi of the FCT High Court, Abuja, dismissed the case as lacking in merit, adding that the prosecution failed to establish the case of criminal conspiracy, forgery and fraudulent use of Mr. Joseph’s documents as alleged. Further, the judge acquitted the duo of all four count charges; even as he absolved both defendants, Kama, a long-time associate of Mr. Joseph, and Chief Igbokwe of the criminal charges levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The four-count charges are forgery; false board resolution of Citadel Oracle Concept, with intent to commit fraud and commission of fraud; using the forged documents as genuine and fraudulent use as genuine of the forged board resolution.
Mr. Joseph had petitioned the EFCC, the Police and later the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, alleging that his board resolution and other corporate documents were forged to execute the N170 million FIRS contract without his knowledge, even when he appointed the said Princess Kama to execute the contract on his behalf by issuing her a duly executed Power of Attorney and other corporate documents, all presented to the FIRS.
However, Mr. Joseph had also surprisingly accused top officials of TD Africa and Zinox, including its Chairman, Leo Stan Ekeh, of involvement in the alleged fraud, even when Zinox or Mr. Ekeh had never met or transacted any business with Mr. Joseph.
Indeed, after winning the contract, Joseph and his partner, Princess Kama had agreed to domicile the FIRS computer supplies transaction worth N170m with Sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost tech distribution giant, TD Africa, the biggest HP authorised distributors for funding, with a promise to pay immediately they received payment from the FIRS, with additional guarantee from Princess Kama’s uncle, Chief Igbokwe as Citadel Oracle Concepts Ltd. was not qualified to enjoy credit from TD Africa. When the FIRS paid for the supplies, Mr. Joseph had allegedly tried to divert the fund but his partner, Princess Kama refused and paid TD Africa the pre-agreed invoice sum of the laptops supplied on credit.
This move apparently saw Mr. Joseph take offence and he started writing all sorts of petitions to blackmail the Zinox Chairman, accusing him and other top officials of TD Africa, including Ozims, Oyebode and Adigwe; as well as Access Bank of criminally conniving to execute the contract without his knowledge.
However, investigations by the EFCC and the Police had absolved the aforementioned officials of Zinox and TD Africa, with the Commission later charging the staff/representatives of Citadel Oracle Concept Limited, Princess Kama and Chief Igbokwe, due to their own internal issues in Charge no. CR/244/2018 before the FCT High Court.
The ruling by Justice Senchi on Wednesday upheld the unflinching position of Zinox and TD Africa, which had repeatedly insisted on the innocence of its officials, especially in the face of a barrage of sponsored media attacks by Mr. Joseph and led by Premium Times, an online news medium.
Recently, the medium had come up with a report claiming that an unsubstantiated Police report had indicted the Zinox Chairman, Ekeh, which had been debunked by the Police Force and on the basis of the same case which Justice Senchi had ruled on Wednesday.
‘‘We are delighted to see justice finally run its course in this long-drawn case,’’ said Reginald Obiakor, a Senior Special Assistant (Legal) to Mr. Ekeh. ‘‘Despite the obviously sponsored attacks and campaign of calumny by Benjamin Joseph and Premium Times, we had remained steadfast in our conviction that Mr. Ekeh, Zinox and TD Africa had no case to answer, as TD had only extended a facility to Citadel and her partners. This case has caused us quite some embarrassment, especially considering the potential damage to the hard-earned reputation of an industrious/exemplary Nigerian and globally respected digital icon who has enjoyed over 35 successful years in business.
‘‘We wish to thank our local and international partners, friends and well-wishers who have continued to show us support, even when the attacks persisted. This judgment further strengthens our belief in the validity of the courts as the bastion of justice and hope of the downtrodden,’’ he concluded.
FITC to host Employee Engagement and Experience Conference to boost workforce capabilities
The Conference aims are to share strategies for building optimum employee engagement and experience in the new normal.
FITC, the world-class innovation-led, and technology-driven knowledge institute is set to host Africa’s biggest Employee Engagement and Experience Conference (E3) focused on strategies for the acquisition, management, and retention of talent.
The FITC E3 conference, which is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, March 24th to Thursday, March 25th, 2021, was designed to enable individuals and organisations develop strategies for engaging their employees and retaining talents for optimum performance, as well as remaining competitive in an agile environment.
The Conference facilitators are made up of over 25 speakers, including C-suite Executives, Subject Matter Experts and Thought Leaders from the financial and non-financial services sector, government agencies, oil and gas industry, manufacturing industry across the world.
The facilitators will be sharing insights on contemporary issues around employee engagement and experience relevant to the sustained growth, development, and survival of businesses.
The Conference aims are to share strategies for building optimum employee engagement and experience in the new normal, provide insights on building an agile workforce in an increasingly digital work environment, provide platforms for key stakeholders to discuss initiatives for upscaling the workforce in line with the future of work, and discuss talent retention and engagement strategies for Generation Z and Millennials.
Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria is the distinguished guest speaker, while Mrs. Bola, Adesola, Senior Vice Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank, Africa will give the keynote address.
The faculty line up for this programme include: Esther Akinnukawe, Chief Human Resources Officer, MTN Nigeria; Rosie Ebe–Arthur, Group Head, Human Capital Management & Development, First Bank of Nigeria; Funke Amobi, Country Head, Human Capital, Stanbic IBTC Bank; Olusola Adewole, Partner, People and Organisation, PwC Nigeria; Bukola Thomas, Group Head, Talent Management, Dangote Industries Limited; Chizoba Mojekwu, Lead Consultant, Deft Adroit Consulting; Yemi Faseun, Senior Human Resources Executive & Founder YF Network; Foluke Adeniyi Adeleye, Regional Director, Oracle & Certified Executive Coach and several others.
The conference becomes exigent because industry data showed that employee engagement and experience is fast becoming one of the most important indicators for gauging a company’s success. The “Global Workplace Study 2020” ascertained that, as high as 86 per cent of employees are not actively engaged or are actively disengaged at work, whilst only 14 per cent of workers are fully engaged globally. This shows a decline in employee engagement, which was 15 per cent from the study in 2018.
Likewise, employee engagement has a direct impact on an employee’s productivity and on the performance of the entire organization, a fully engaged workforce is more efficient, delivers higher levels of customer satisfaction, attains higher productivity levels, and ensures lower turnover rates, which all translates into improved overall performance and profitability for the organisation. Hence, the relevance of employee engagement and experience in an organisation cannot be overemphasized.
Furthermore, COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased digitalization of the workplace and more people working remotely. This development has brought employee engagement and experience to the top burner in many organisations aspiring to have and maintain a pool of engaged employees.
Besides, the advent and utilization of advanced technologies, skilled labour, best practices, and education have increased job efficiencies in major organizations even as employees with lowered productivity have been disengaged with adverse impact on the organizational financial performances.
As a socially conscious, innovation-led and technology-driven knowledge organization, FITC has developed the E3 Conference to be a platform for people and organizations, driven by a collective commitment to understand how to manage the balance between employee experience and adopting innovations to ensure a viable future for their organisations.
FITC is a world-class innovation-led knowledge and professional services firm providing cutting-edge Learning, Advisory and Research Services to clients in the Financial Services and other sectors, within and outside Nigeria.
Established in 1981 as a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and serve as a knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector. FITC is owned by the Bankers Committee, i.e., CBN, NDIC, and all deposit money banks in Nigeria.
For four decades, FITC has been at the forefront of innovative knowledge offerings designed for an array of C-suite executives, directors of banks and other financial institutions. Leveraging on international Faculty and partnership, FITC has led the knowledge space in delivering high valued capacity building solutions for Board Directors and C-suites. FITC is a recipient of the International Federation of Training & Development Organisations (IFTDO) ‘Change Agent in Learning and Development in Africa’ Award, 2020 Business Excellence Award (The BIZZ Award), 2020 Strategy Innovation & Change Award, The International Business Excellence (IBX) Award, among others.
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