Category Archives: Nigeria

How To Conduct A Nigerian Meeting

A Nigerian is not just a person who has a green passport or one whose parents are Nigerian citizens. A Nigerian properly-so-called, is one who knows how to live in Nigeria without bursting an artery, committing suicide, or running away to seek asylum somewhere else. If you have run away, kindly refrain from calling yourself a Nigerian. The acceptable term for you is ‘of Nigerian origin’. There is a difference.
Being a proper Nigerian, I feel like I should explain this concept thoroughly starting with how to conduct meetings. A Nigerian meeting is not just an event. It is that sacred, multipurpose, indispensable tool for living the Nigerian life. This is how to conduct a Nigerian meeting.

As a business owner, always call for meetings even for things you can do by email. Sometimes, meet early in the morning for morning devotion to commit your business and hustle to the hands of God. Meet to set the agenda for other meetings that will be held over the week.

Jobs are boring. You need a distraction. Meetings, especially ones with tea break, prevent you from losing your mind and picking up a gun to shoot all your annoying colleagues like white people do. White people need to have more meetings.

When going for a meeting, never arrive early. This will give the impression that you are jobless, desperate or too eager. Nobody likes Nigerians who are jobless or too eager. A true Nigerian, not one who is pretending to be white, will understand if you show up late for a meeting. They may feign annoyance, but usually they will wait. In fact the best of Nigerians will make excuses for you, especially if you live in a place like Lagos. You will walk in late to a meeting, panting, with that faux look of contrition and the person you are having a meeting with – if she is a good Nigerian – will say: “Eiyah! Traffic abi?” You will only have to nod or say something like: “No be small tin o“. Everyone will be grateful that you showed up and the meeting will begin.

When you are having a big meeting with an oga (or oga-madam) it is safer to cancel all other appointments for the day. Because the oga will saunter in three hours late and you will have to smile and say “No, not at all!” when he asks: “Did I keep you waiting?

If you are an oga, you should never, ever show up for a meeting on time. This is Nigeria. People disrespect ogas who don’t keep them waiting forever. They will think you are equals and before you know it one ordinary person will call your name without adding Chief or Prof or Honorable or Your Excellency. God forbid that after hustling to get those titles, some idiot forgets to mention them. All because you came early to a meeting.

As a proper Nigerian whose father is God, you must commit all meetings to His hands. You may work hard but it is God that is in charge of blessing our hustle. Never forget to say at least two prayers in every meeting. One Christian, one Muslim. You never know which of the Gods will answer favorably. It does not matter if you will be discussing how to steal from other people. God sees the heart and he knows that deep down, all you want to do is succeed.

When it is your turn to speak at a meeting it is rude to go straight to the point. Proper Nigerians are not rude. Because I care, please find below a summary of how to speak at a Nigerian meeting:

  1. Don’t be ungrateful. Thank the moderator for giving you the opportunity to speak.
  2. Don’t be disrespectful. Observe all protocol. People did not become highly placed by mistake.
  3. Show appreciation. Say how much it is a privilege for you to be at the meeting. Use the phrases ‘singular honor’ and ‘rare privilege’.
  4. Show understanding. Explain how important the meeting is to you and to everyone present. Thank the conveners for having the wisdom to organize the meeting.
  5. Show regard for the last speaker. Use words like ‘just like the last speaker has said’ or ‘I want to concur with the last speaker’ or ‘I totally agree with the last speaker’ or ‘I want to align myself with the last speaker’. Then proceed to say the same thing using your own words. It is important for everyone to have a chance to speak at a meeting.
  6. Be considerate. Promise not to speak too long with a phrase like: ‘I will not take much of your time’, after which you can speak freely.
  7. Always provide a summary of all you have just said. Use phrases like: ‘So, what have I just said?’ or ‘What am I trying to say?’ to introduce you summary.
  8. Be observant.  If you still have more things to say and you sense that people are tired of hearing you speak, use the words ‘In conclusion’ to give them hope that you will soon end, after which you can continue to speak freely.

All meetings must end in a closing prayer. To avoid a fight however, take care to remember whether it was a Christian prayer or Muslim prayer you began with. When you are not sure, do both prayers. You do not want to annoy any children of the Nigerian God.

One last thing: Don’t forget that the only acceptable way of answering a phone call during a Nigerian meeting is to shout: “Hello, please I am in a meeting, let me call you back.” People will smile, seeing how important this meeting is to you.

I hope that this helps and that God will continue to bless your hustle as you conduct meetings.

A copied post written by Elnathan John

Man Down

image

The other day I was in a bus going home from work and there was this very obnoxious passenger in the bus who thought he could make himself appear any better by belittling some other “poor fellow” – that’s exactly how they make it look. He just chose to pick on the conductor and brow beat him with demeaning words.

At first I took his first couple of words as a mere joke – and so did the rest of us in the bus – until the words began to become too annoying to listen to. He insulted the conductor, his position as compared to the driver, his profession, his social standing . . . and all the while he exuded this very irritating air of superiority.

And he wouldn’t just stop. The rest of us in the bus had obviously had our share of a crazy work day that had made us pretty edgy and quite a number of us just wanted to get home and get the whole work thing off for the night but this man was dredging up all the stored angst. At some point, some told him outright to shut and lay off the conduction but he’ll just smile and pick another line of insult.

The conductor kept responding until at some point he was beat. He couldn’t muster any kind of comeback to this unreasonable man’s mindless insults. Though he wouldn’t blatantly reveal it, he was conceding, he was accepting the man’s insult, he was wishing he was a better man, with a better job . . . he was wishing life was just a little bit fairer to him.

It was at that point that I turned to see the face of the man who could so easily demean a working man (in this our very terrible economic situation), a man who would allow himself belittle another man who shouts his destination to call passengers from dawn till mid night everyday for 7 days just so he and his family will continue to survive, a man that could be so insensitive to the plight and pride of another man, a  man who delights in crushing another man’s spirit, and there he was, with carved, greying beards on his 50ish kind of face, bald and pretty much ordinary.

There really was nothing special about him. He saw me looking, then winked and smiled at me and said he just needed to catch some fun. And I was like, “how do you think any of what you said was funny?” You just revealed to the rest of us that you are a thoughtless, mean-spirited, inconsiderate, selfish (no strike that), self centred, Machiavellian. What you really succeeded in doing was in unveiling your foolishness. What man in his right senses will see another man struggling to eke out a living and still think it right to publicly deride him – and that for fun?  You can’t raise your state or status by putting others down. A man who takes delight in putting another man down is no man at all; he doesn’t know what it means to be a man.

A part of that conductor would not forget what that man did to him, he’ll go home playing that tape over and again in his mind. He might transfer the shame and whatever else you’ve made him feel to his wife, kids, and everyone else around.

He’s a man like you, a hustling man. A father, a husband, a friend . . .  If you’re any of those things, then you’ll know being a real man is one of the earth’s toughest jobs.

Copied from Ezeogu Chukwuemeka’s Facebook timeline. Follow him on twitter @smartchux.

So there you have it. Stop bringing people down with your words. Uplift their spirits. Respect their work.

Enjoy.

By @AmosCP
Posted from WordPress for Android

The Rains Finally

image

The nights were dark, torturous and tormentous. The power supply nose-dived in recent times and the availability of the major fuel to the innumerable amount of generators in the land was scarce.

The days were hotter than usual such that you would pity those that habit in the north or in the Sahara desert. You can take it to non-physical levels and imagine how hot hell could be. It was as if someone left the gates of hell open. If your car’s airconditioner faulty, you had to make do with the hot air that wets your face dryly.

Even the minister of power said his kids had heat rashes. The epistemology of that claim matters little to those that roll around on their beds trying to seek comfort in the heat. Maybe he can have a census of generators in Nigeria or improve electricity conditions.

You can say it is the ozone layer, after all snow just fell in parts of Europe. So what about the Ozone Tax in Benue state? Have they sent anyone to space to repair the layer with some Benue made mortar made from the affordable limestone in the state? Or will they send the money to UN as a donation?

Never mind. The rain fell in the early hours of this morning. The wind was cool and then violent. It smelt of rain long before dawn. And then the rain started to drum on the surface of the earth. The music was a great melody to my body as i recoiled to extend my sleep.

It was like a new year, a new season and a new life. The day would eventually be wet all through the working hours and thus the traffic would be worse than before. But who cares, the coolness brought forth by the rain cannot be overshadowed by the traffic on the road.

For now, i can sleep much better than before. Hopefully, i don’t override the alarm and circumvent work tomorrow.

Thank God for the rain.

Enjoy.

By @AmosCP
Posted from WordPress for Android

The Plan: Whose Budget? Whose Pocket?

At the beginning of the year, my little sister gave me her  financial budget and i was like “wow”, “seriously”. I didn’t expect the figures I saw but I had initially told her to express herself so I can have a clearer picture of her needs. The fulfillment of the budget is another story entirely and has been taken care of privately. Her plan was for a given project which is to span for a given period.

Plans and budget are made as per project or period. The plan determines the budget or is it the other way? I will need to ask my economist friends or maybe email Arsene Wenger, the professor of Economics managing affairs at the Emirates. But when you hear “budget”, “money” takes center stage. A full plan will have its cost implications but the actualization or adjustment of such plan is dependent on the budget or available funds for execution.

A budget is a quantitative expression of a plan for a defined period of time

My sister had to change her plans to suit my pocket but she made sure the key goals were not chalked off her list. Somethings can wait till later in life, some others are time dependent and may be even more important and as such classified as priority. Without a plan, a budget is a joke.

The national budget joke can be classified as a disgrace and shows the level of importance ascribed to it by the persons involved. Today the budget is stolen, tomorrow it is found. Next tomorrow, the figures are tampered, by weekend, the allocations alarmingly wrong. It is just like a cartoon with so many funny scenes to add comic relief to the suffering populace. 39 days into the a new year and a nation is yet to have a budget. 11% of the year is gone. When are we going to have the 2016 budget?

It is funny that you start planning for a thing after you have started the thing. It is weird that you are on the road moving in a directionless manner. Even the particles in Brownian Motion may have more direction than the one we find ourselves in. Imagine Noah building the Ark as the rain started. If you have failed to plan, you have planned to fail. The process of planning gives you the opportunity to look at the goal and the steps you intend to follow in achieving them.

Luke 14:28 – For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]?

As Christians, we are encouraged to plan. Every December, I join a group of friends and workers in the Lord to review the ending year and make plans for the coming year. It requires a lot of soul searching, dedicated personal screening and keying into the God’s plan itself. We engage in prayers and seek God’s face and direction as to the immediate future. We encourage ourselves to write these plans/goals down.

Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire. –  Napoleon Hill

It’s not the plan that’s important, it’s the planning. – Dr. Gramme Edwards

Away from planning, the execution lies within thy reach. I am usually not happy seeing people spending more than they earn, biting more than they can chew, sewing coats bigger than their sizes, wallowing in debts as a result of wanting to belong. It pains my heart and my head is tired of shaking.

Whose pocket are you depleting? Who bears the pains of your excesses and flamboyancy? Who joins you in counting the ceiling boards in your room when you are left with nothing few days after your wage has been paid. Where is thy modesty? Where is thy plan? Are you competing with anybody? You should be competing with yourself and nobody else. You wear the shoe and knows how much it pinches you. You can’t have it all. But you can be happy with what you have.

There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other. – Douglas H. Everett

I worked with a guy who blew his salary away within the first 7 days of payment and goes around asking for alms. I was a mere intern but I knew that was not a way to live. He spent his money on women, drinks, friends, parties and before he says “Jack Robinson” (whose name is that?), he is back to ground zero. It was a disgrace but you must not live a disgraced life. His Grace is enough for thee if you allow him to govern you daily activity and engage him in your plans.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. – Proverb 16:3

Be responsible. It is not about what you earn, but how you spend it. Manage your pocket.

You are no longer a boy, and one of the first duties which a man owes to his friends and to society is to live within his income. ― Thomas Hughes

Have a nice weekend friend. Live Responsible.

Enjoy in Christ.

Lassa Fever: All You Need To Know

I got this publication in the office memo and it is worth sharing to save lives.

Lassa Fever

  1. Lassa fever is an acute viral infection caused by the Lassa virus.
  2. Everyone must take special care as Lassa fever is common to West Africa and it is an endemic disease in Nigeria.
  3. The United States Centers for Control and Prevention states that the viral disease was first discovered in 1969 when two missionary nurses died in a village in Nigeria.
  4. The agency states that the virus is named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases occurred.
  5. There is a recent outbreak in Nigeria over the past 7weeks, which has claimed 40 lives.
  6. 17 of the 36 states in Nigeria have been affected by this and a total of 397 cases have been reported, out of which 87 have been confirmed.
  7. The reservoir, or host, of Lassa virus is a rodent known as the multimammate rat of the genus Mastomys. It is not certain which species of Mastomys are associated with Lassa; however, at least two species carry the virus in some countries.
  8. It is also spread by direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of a person with Lassa fever. In short, those who contract this virus must have touched or eaten something that had been touched by an infected rat
  9. Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus from exposure to urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats. Lassa virus may also be spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of a person infected with Lassa fever.
  10. There is no scientific evidence supporting airborne spread between humans.
  11. Person-to-person transmission occurs in both community and health-care settings, where the virus may be spread by contaminated medical equipment, such as re-used needles.
  12. Sexual transmission of Lassa virus has been reported.
  13. Lassa fever occurs in all age groups and both sexes.
  14. Persons at greatest risk are those living in rural areas where Mastomys are usually found, especially in communities with poor sanitation or crowded living conditions.

Symptoms

  1. As in Ebola, the symptoms of Lassa fever occur one to three weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus. Its general symptoms may include general malaise, weakness, and headache in mild cases but quickly adds that when untreated, the infection may progress to respiratory distress, bleeding in the gums, repeated vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back and abdomen as well as shock.
  2. Neurological problems such as hearing loss, tremours, and encephalitis are symptoms of severe cases and if left untreated, death may occur within two weeks after symptom onset due to multi-organ failure in an infected person.
  3. The most common complication of Lassa fever is deafness. Various degrees of deafness occur in approximately one-third of infections, and in many cases hearing loss is permanent. As far as is known, severity of the disease does not affect this complication: deafness may develop in mild as well as in severe cases.
  4. Death usually occurs within 14 days of onset in severe cases. The disease is worse in pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Prevention

  1. Preventing Lassa fever is first about knowing the source. The disease is spread by exposure to and eating of food contaminated with rat dropping or urine.
  2. Store food, cooking utensils and drinking water properly in rodent-proof containers.
  3. Keep homes clean and discourage rodent entry. Block all rat hideouts.
  4. Using rodent as food source is discouraged.
  5. Clean traps and dispose carcass neatly.
  6. “Soaking of Garri” as a meal should be discouraged for now.
  7. “Tasting of raw food” in the markets before purchases should be discouraged for now.
  8. Cook all foods thoroughly
  9. If you suspect that rat has eaten any food, discard it
  10. Hand washing with soap and running water regularly.
  11. Early treatment and proper fever management can improve survival chances. Report all suspected cases to appropriate Health Authorities.

I think the information above should help.

Do the needful.

Democracy Day, Change of Government and The Ultimate Handover

I love public holidays, it gives me the opportunity to sleep very late a day before and wake even later in the morning. A cup of milky tea warms up the stomach with the television switched on to a station of choice.

The public holiday was tagged “Democracy Day” and signifies the victory of democracy with a hand over to add to the spice of the regular democracy day. May 29,  1999 brought Olusegun Obasanjo to power as a democratic president. Since then he has been succeeded by Late Umar Yaradua and current president – as of blogging time – Goodluck Jonathan and will be succeded by former military head of state,  Mohammed Buhari.

The Eagles square in Abuja is being filled up with dignitaries from all over the world to witness the hand over and change of Government. It has been surprisingly peaceful since the elections especially with GEJ conceding defeat and ensuring a greasy handover,  although the fuel scarcity as a case sha.

So how does all this affect me and you. It is a period to examine your domain as a member of the Lord’s army and see if you need to change your government, lifestyle and the ultimate handover.

First, under whose government have you been operating? God or Mammon?
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” – Matthew 6:24 KJV.
So you have choose one government to serve, just like Joshua made his choice after conquering Canaan. (Read 1 Peter 1:22-23, 1 Corinthians 5:17)

After making that choice, you will need to hand over all – yes, all – to be a partaker of the new government goodies. We are directed to seek this Kingdom first and then the goodies will be added – Matthew 6:33. Who heads this kingdom? – The Lord Jesus Christ – Isaiah 9:6.

Unless you are born again – John 3:3, unless you take all to his feet, unless you have faith him, you are yet to ultimately hand over to him. He will take away your burden that the government of this world doesn’t even know about. He will guide and guard and help you achieve his goal in your life.

But you must be ready to accept the new government, be proud of the new change and make more grounds in knowing more of this heavenly government.

The Choice is yours, Change is here. His Kingdom is forever unlike your 4years tenures in Nigeria. Give him the chance to change you.

Enjoy your holiday. Let me do some chores.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

No Fuel and The Era of Treks and Kegs

Happy new week Nigerians and well wishers. Happy might have been exaggerated but Nigerians as we know have Ph.D in Suffering and Smiling since the days of Fela.

The previous week and the associated weekend have been hampered by the looming increasing fuel scarcity. Transportation fares have skyrocketed no thanks to the unavailability of fuel in the petrol stations. The stations have no PMS nor AGO.

I was indoors on Saturday but embarked on a journey on Sunday to see my family on the other side of Lagos. After waiting for about 45 minutes at the bustop without any sign of any taxi, cab or even bus. There was only one option: Trek.

The Trekkers Union of Nigeria hit the Nigerian media after the 2015 elections with various treks criss crossing the federation. From Lagos to Abuja, Abuja to Otueke, Kaduna to Abuja, the trekkers have not lacked publicity. They were voluntary trekkers and most were acknowledged by the figures they trekked for. Some others trekked from their rooms to the kitchen in collaboration.

But the fuel scarcity have affected the participation of the nationwide trek. The Trekkers Union have now admitted involuntary members to the new found era. The new members trekked to Mosque on Friday, Church on Sunday, and Work on Monday. Distance trips have been cancelled, flight cancelled, marriage cancelled, ACs off, Generator rationed, cars parked and blogs unattended, parties closed, church services shortened, Radio stations down, Mobile networks down, etc.

But within the last week, the black marketers have flooded the streets with petroleum products. The regular N87/litre PMS is being sold for as high as N500/litre. Motorists are tempted to purchase from the kegs by the way but the colour and quality of those product remains a mystery.

Rumors have it that the black marketers purchase from the hoarding petrol stations at midnight, perform some chemical processing like mixing, sedimentation, material balance and “quality” check before it is made available in kegs for users.

If you have a big engine car or you love your car,  i advise you just park it at home and join the trekkers and public commuters. It will save your car.

But for how long can we bear? How long can we trek? How long can we purchase “quality” fuel in kegs? I hear Ifeanyi Uba and his Capital Oil have started giving out fuel and the marketer’s strike has been called off. Ok na.

My UPS has finally given up. How is your inverter?  Still on? Those with solar power will be glad.

Later

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android