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Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, but it takes forward-looking vision, deep thinking and boldness to create innovations that change our world.


Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s plan to introduce electric and compressed natural gas powered vehicles to transform the public transportation sector resonates that mode.


Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of Commissioners, he noted that consequent upon the removal of fuel subsidy and the galloping exchange rate of the dollar against the naira, so much hardship has been brought upon the people, and in addition to various immediate palliative measures he has unwrapped to provide economic relief for Deltans, his administration has set up a committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government to look “at the possibility of acquiring electric vehicles for public transportation.”


The committee, he said, has equally been mandated to initiate the process of converting the Tricycle Assembly Plant in Asaba, in which the state shares equity with Stallion Group, into a dual-purpose factory to produce gas-powered tricycles in addition to those running on petrol.


“If this is done,” he reasoned, “it should significantly drive down the cost of transportation.” Indeed, it essentially will provide an enduring cost operation solution for both public transporters and commuters.


The removal of fuel subsidy came with spiral inflation. The cost of transportation from Asaba to Warri which used to be around N2,500 jumped to N5,000 while Asaba to Lagos which was N7,000 went up to N15,000. So too has the cost of intra-city movement risen, with biting effect on workers who must commute daily to and from offices. The incidence on traders is passed on the public with the inflation of the price of goods, especially foodstuffs.


What we need to know is that petrol engines are only 20 to 30 per cent efficient in fuel utilisation while the remaining 70 to 80 per cent are wasted in combustion. This means for every N10,000 petrol, only about N3,000 of it is used by the engine while N7,000 is wasted. The efficiency is even lower in older vehicles with only about 15 to 25 per cent utilisation and higher harmful gas emission.


Given this fact of physics, we can imagine the financial waste occasioned by the increase of fuel price from N185 to now above N600 per litre. Worse is that 99 per cent of vehicles on Nigerian roads are petrol and diesel powered and with average age of between 15 and 20 years compared to between five and seven years in Europe and America.


On the other hand, electric vehicles have energy utilisation efficiency of between 70 and 80 per cent while only about 20 to 30 per cent goes to waste. Needless to add that they are cleaner and more environmentally friendly as against the harmful gas emission of petrol vehicles.


While the utilisation efficiency of compressed natural gas is the same as petrol engine, the difference is that autogas is relatively cheaper, has less noisy and smoother engine and emits almost 70 per cent less carbon dioxide.


The foregoing analysis shows why the top 20 automobile producers in the world are fast embracing the manufacture of e-vehicles even as many advanced nations are targeting the phasing out of petrol vehicles in not too distant years.


The Nigerian government had recognised this, but it is sad that the action plan for conversion of Nigerian vehicles announced at about 2020 is still in the dream pipe while countries like South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Rwanda and Kenya have not only set up enabling infrastructures but are already in partnership with various leading e-vehicle manufacturers in setting up local productions in their countries.


This opens new channels for direct foreign investments, introduction of new technologies, generation of new jobs and, most importantly, reduction in the price of new cars with the elimination of freight, clearing and forwarding costs and pressure on foreign exchange for importation.


It is therefore great foresight that Governor Oborevwori’s thought is in the direction the world is advancing. Even though his immediate approach is geared towards purchasing manufactured e-vehicles for immediate relief on operational cost in public transportation, he will ultimately lead a disruption, for good, in not just Delta but Nigeria’s public transportation scene.


Interestingly, he has been actually in engagement with Jet Systems, an e-vehicle provider, to work out the feasibility.


“Everybody is trying to go in that direction. It will also be economical and the good thing about this is that I am putting together a team headed by the Secretary to the State Government to study and see if it is something the state can do to support the transporters and reduce cost of transportation,” he said during one of the engagements.


Apart from the possible mass migration of public transporters to e-vehicles for cheaper operational cost, the agenda can manifest in the attraction of manufacturing partners for local production and new revenue stream for the government, even if it begins only with the conversion or manufacture of two and three wheeler electric vehicles for workers to commute to and from work and for intra-city commercial transportation as is the case in countries like India, Brazil, China and various European nations.


Expectedly too, the initiative will necessitate deliberate action for the intensification of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity across the state to sustain the new order and empower other industries.


Thankfully, Sheriff knows the street and where it pinches the people. He also knows that if we don’t shoot, we can’t score, and that is why the NIKE sports brand says: “Just Do It.”


(Fred Edoreh is Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Delta State)

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Trade minister, Uzoka-Anite launches NATEP, targets 50 Million jobs for youths 



The minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite has launched the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP) in a bid to position Nigeria as a talent export hub designed to create not less than one million jobs in the next five years.


The Minister performed the launching on behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the sidelines of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York, United States of America.


In her opening remarks at the launch of the initiative at the Microsoft office in NewYork, the minister highlighted the need to ensure Nigeria takes the lead in exporting global talents that are doing well across the world which will also drive a huge investment in training and also attracting more investment in talent exportation.


According to her, the initiative is in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda to diversify the Nigerian economy, create sustainability opportunities and generate about 50 million jobs for the youths over time.


“NATEP is an initiative that will serve as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service export, talent sourcing and talent export.


“As part of our strategy towards achieving this, President Bola Tinubu whose agenda is job creation, we have initiated a National Talent Export Programme (NATEP) for Nigeria, which targets the creation of one million jobs across Nigeria with a target of five years in line with the theme of this year’s UNGA, which is rebuilding trust and igniting global solidarity, accelerating action on the 2030 agenda and the sustainable development goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all”, the minister said.


Uzoka-Anite further informed the large gathering comprising of world leaders and other giant tech companies across the globe like; Amazon, World Economic Forum, Microsoft group, Flour Mills Nigeria, Meta, Google and a host of others, that the global talent sourcing industry is valued at $620 billion as at 2020 and industry pundit have forecasted it will be valued at about $904 billion by 2027.


“Nigeria can supply top talents for the global service export and outsourcing business. With over 1.7 million graduates from higher education institutions entering the workforce annually, this will reduce the burden of unemployment and over-dependence on the government for jobs”, she explained.


The Minister further noted that NATEP was specially created to arrest the bottleneck facing the talent and service sector export industry, which will enhance competitiveness, and innovation, and drive sustainable development growth, empowerment and training through trade and value chain exchange.


She added: “Nigeria is ready to become a global hub for talent export, as the government is ready to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACfTA) to penetrate the huge continental market and target job opportunities.


“As a country, we have a significant value proposition for regional and global markets for the export of services. We will actively target Greenfield and brownfield job opportunities in the United Kingdom, Europe, China, Canada, the United States of America and a host of other countries”.


The Minister For Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, while addressing participants at the launch disclosed that launching NATEP was timely, adding that to drive the mandate for Nigeria to be positioned as one of the global talent export hubs in Africa and the world will see Nigeria benefit more in terms of generating huge revenue, digitalization of the economy, more robust data protection opportunities and also avert the massive brain drain within the youth demography.


According to him, Nigerians in the diaspora are doing great things in the tech world, adding that it’s time for Nigeria to benefit by making more money and develop other youths to maximize their potentials.


“With a youthful population and over 1.7 million graduates from higher educational institutions joining the workforce each year, Nigeria has the potential to provide high-quality talent for the Global Service export and outsourcing industry. We must first identify them, train them and make the world see the stuff they are made of. We will not only create jobs but also empower them with the basic skills of survival and pass them on to the next generation” Dr Tijani said.

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The Disappointing State of Customer Relations Among Instagram Merchants



By Otunba Deoye Otukoya



In today’s digital age Instagram has become an indispensable platform for businesses to connect with customers and promote their products or services. With the increasing popularity of Instagram stores it is essential for merchants to prioritize good customer relations. However a prevalent issue that deserves attention is the lack of professionalism and poor communication exhibited by some Instagram merchants. Many customers have reported incidents where the merchants provide their phone numbers on their timelines but fail to respond adequately or display unpleasant attitudes when contacted. This article aims to shed light on this concerning trend and the implications it has on customers and businesses alike.


1. Accessibility Matters:

One of the fundamental aspects of ensuring good customer relations is the accessibility of the merchant. By voluntarily providing their phone numbers merchants convey the impression of being available and open to customer inquiries. However the reality often falls short of this expectation. Too frequently customers are left frustrated and inconvenienced when their attempts to contact merchants go unanswered for days or are met with dismissive responses. This lack of availability undermines trust and damages the overall customer experience.


2. Unprofessional Attitudes:

Another significant concern is the unprofessional conduct and negative attitudes displayed by certain Instagram merchants when interacting with customers. The success of any business hinges on creating a positive relationship with consumers. However some merchants who put their phone numbers out for public use have been observed to have a lackadaisical approach towards customer engagements. Instances of rude behavior impatience and unhelpfulness have been reported leaving customers feeling disrespected and discouraged from engaging with that particular merchant or even shopping on Instagram altogether.


3. The Ripple Effect:

The ramifications of poor customer relations go beyond individual experiences. When customers have negative encounters with Instagram merchants they are likely to share their frustrations with friends family and online communities. Word-of-mouth plays a crucial role in shaping a merchant’s reputation and negative reviews can quickly spread damaging the business’s credibility. Consequently merchants who fail to prioritize customer relations may find themselves losing potential customers and hindering their long-term growth prospects.


4. A Call for Improvement:

To address this issue it is imperative for Instagram merchants to recognize the significance of good customer relations and take proactive steps to improve their interactions with customers. Some crucial measures include:


a. Prompt Responses: Merchants should aim to respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner ideally within 24 hours. This showcases attentiveness and professionalism fostering positive customer relationships.


b. Polite and Respectful Communication: Merchants need to maintain a respectful tone even when faced with challenging or repetitive customer inquiries. Good customer relations require patience and understanding.


c. Training and Empathy: Merchants should invest time in training their customer support staff emphasizing the importance of empathy and effective problem-solving. Understanding the customer’s perspective can go a long way in providing satisfactory resolutions.


d. Feedback and Improvements: Merchants should actively seek feedback from customers to identify areas for improvement. This feedback loop can assist in refining their customer relations strategies and forging stronger connections with their target audience.



The alarming lack of good customer relations displayed by some Instagram merchants is a disheartening trend that affects both customers and businesses. By prioritizing accessibility professionalism and respect in their interactions merchants can foster an environment of trust and loyalty. Overlooking the importance of good customer relations may lead to a decline in sales and reputation. Ultimately developing strong customer relations on Instagram will not only boost customer satisfaction but also drive growth and success for merchants in the long run.

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