Monday, March 23, 2020

Support Nigerians Report Online

We need the support of everyone and every organisation committed to democracy and good governance for the benefit of Nigerians Report Online to raise US$10,000 (ten thousand dollars) to sustain our commitment to continue publishing the news blog and the extension on 247 Nigeria (@247nigeria) / Twitter

Nigerians Report Online was a member of the Digital Media Law Project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society from 2008 - 2014 and the Publisher/Editor was a member of the International Law Office. 

Nigerians Report Online is the only news media that commissioned a critical analysis of the Meltdown Of The Nigerian Capital Market in 2009: Causes And Consequences - Investment - Nigeria 

Nigerians Report Online is committed to the education, protection and welfare of the millions of underprivileged girls out of school in Nigeria and co-organised the Nigerian première of "Girl Rising" to celebrate the annual United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child for the first time in Nigeria in 2013. "Girl Rising" is a 2013 movie produced by Kayce Freed, Tom Yellin and Holly Gordon at The Documentary Group, in partnership with Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen of Vulcan Productions. It was directed by Academy Award nominee Richard E. Robbins and features narration by Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Selena Gomez, Liam Neeson, Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra, Chloë Grace Moretz, Freida Pinto, Salma Hayek, Meryl Streep, Alicia Keys and Kerry Washington. The success resulted in the establishment of the Girl Rising Nigeria project in Kano state of northern Nigeria. 

The Publisher/Editor launched the Girls United Together for Success (GUTS) project in 2014 and was part of The State of the World's Children 2015 : Reimagine the future of the UNICEF. 

In 2015, GUTS co-organised and cosponsored the Nigerian première of "He Named Me MALALA" to celebrate the 2015 United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child in Nigeria supported by the MALALA Fund, Fox Searchlight, Crimson Media, Blue Pictures, Silverbird Group, Cool 96.9 FM, IREPRESENT Documentary Film Forum, JSP Communication Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Anyiam Osigwe Foundation, Freedom Park Lagos, Kiddes and Brands Limited and others. 
In 2016, we successfully rescued a Nigerian school girl from sex traffickers in Libya by paying for her release and she was returned to her family in Benin, Edo state of Nigeria and provided for her rehabilitation.

The High Commission of Canada cosponsored our successful Nigerian première of the Canadian Giselle Portenier's "In The Name Of Your Daughter" on May 23, 2019 at the Silverbird Cinemas in the Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island, Lagos. 

We will appreciate your cooperation and support for the further development of our digital media projects in the promotion of freedom of speech, human rights, information technology and corporate social responsibility for the nation building of a New Nigeria in the leadership of Africa among the comity of nations in the world. 

Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, The CEO, International Digital Post Network Limited Publisher/Editor, NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®Series 247 Nigeria (@247nigeria) / Twitter Tel: +2347066379246.

Friday, March 13, 2020

#COVID-19 Message from Tripadvisor CEO Steve Kaufer

#COVID-19 Message from Tripadvisor CEO Steve Kaufer

Dear fellow travelers,
As a site that millions around the world count on for travel guidance, Tripadvisor is closely monitoring the impact of #Coronavirus (COVID-19) on both travelers and the travel industry.
We care deeply about your safety, whether you are at home or traveling. With this in mind, I would like to share some resources we’ve created and the actions we’re taking to help you make informed decisions about your own travel plans.
Helping you make travel decisions
As this situation rapidly evolves, we know there is an atmosphere of uncertainty as travelers wonder if they should change their plans. That’s why, starting today, Tripadvisor will feature alerts for destinations that the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated as heavily impacted. We’ve also launched a new resource page to bring all the latest COVID-19 travel information from trusted sources together in one place.
Keeping you informed if you are traveling
As travel-related business owners continue to adapt as a result of COVID-19, they are making changes to their hours, making changes in service or even temporarily closing. We are making daily updates to the information on our site to keep travelers informed. We’re also doing what we can to help businesses in impacted regions, by providing them with tips and advice on how to weather this challenging time.
What you can do to stay healthy
Whether you’re at home or traveling, the WHO recommends practicing good hygiene to protect yourself against infection — by washing your hands frequently with soap or alcohol-based sanitizer, maintaining distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you become sick, please seek medical attention quickly.
For more information, please visit our resource page. You can also connect to other travelers and join discussions about COVID-19 and how it may affect your plans in Tripadvisor's forums.
Stay safe,

Steve Kaufer
Co-founder and CEO


LAGOS in MOTION: A Photo Album of Africa's Largest Megacity (LAGOS: Africa's Largest Megacity) (Volume 1)

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ibeto: An Enthralling Story of an Achiever

Ibeto: An Enthralling Story of an Achiever

- By Ingram Osigwe

If you are 13 years old and in your mind's eye, you were already seeing yourself among the vivacious crowd of age mates resplendent in their forget-me-not secondary school uniforms, chattering away heartily in a classroom, and just when that dream was about to berth on the shores of reality, your own biological father rudely aborts it, what will you do? Crestfallen and disappointed, will you turn your back on life and bemoan your fate for ever?

Some people with fickle spirit will. But the likes of Dr.Cletus Madubugwu who are made with sterner stuff and blessed with a can - do spirit that does not yield to despair will soldier on with life, turn the disappointment into a blessing in disguise and later in life have an inspiring story to tell. And that was the exactness of what the then young Ibeto did when his dream for secondary education crashed on January 22, 1966.

On that day, the young lad was in high mood. He looked forward to a new and exhilarating life as a fresh student of Crusader Secondary School, Isingwu Amachala, Umuahia.

Gaily dressed in his school uniform and armed with his school box, Ibeto was set to depart for Umuahia to begin a life as secondary school student and then suddenly his father made a shattering proclamation that would leave hot tears cascading the young man's cheeks, crestfallen, disappointed and embittered, he was to make a detour to trading rather than education.

There and then, Ibeto was parceled, willy nilly, to Onitsha to begin apprenticeship in auto spare parts as a trader under the tutelage of one Akamelu.

And so began his journey through life's  bumpy road which would dramatically signpost his subsequent rise to the top. It will be safe to say that Ibeto's eventual road to prominence was watered by determination to succeed and excel after a devastating and unsettling dream crash.

Fifty- four years down the lane, Ibeto has not only shrugged off that initial life hiccup but he has also left bold imprints on the sands of time.

His zero to hero story typifies the rise of the proverbial Phoenix.From ground zero, Ibeto has built a multi- billion dollars business conglomerate. The Ibeto Group, spanning real estate, Petro-chemical, cement, Auto parts, hospitality, oil, commodity trading among others.

Naturally blessed with business acumen and fecundity of ideas, Ibeto's apprenticeship on auto spare parts was abbreviated by the civil war. He was himself a combatant in the war having joined the Biafran Army at the outbreak of hostilities.

Surviving the war by the whiskers, he launched himself back into the world of trading at the end of hostilities. Thus, at the end of the civil war in 1970 Ibeto was already an enterprising young businessman. Ingenious and enterprising, Cletus Ibeto had started his business career in 1970 stepping into what has now become a massive business dream with the establishment of Ibeto Brothers Trading Company as its sole proprietor. 

However, his major business break came during the administration of President Shehu Shagari, profiting massively from a policy change during that era. There was a policy that goods could be imported without import licence but as Nigerian’s external reserves began to dry up, the Shagari government had to introduce import licence.

The uncertainty forced many importers to suspend importation in order to monitor the new policy. But braving the uncertain situation, Ibeto moved quickly to secure the N3 million import license at a time a dollar sold for 68 kobo. With the license, he imported 65 containers of vital motor parts. By the time other importers could wake up to get the license, the government had tightened the screws and made it almost impossible for anyone to obtain the license. Almost at the same time, the Shagari’s government was toppled which made matters worse as it resulted in borders being closed.

The Nnewi born business mogul then virtually became a monopolist for motor spare parts. He confessed that the moment was a turning point for his life and business. He was selling at almost 500% mark up and people were buying!
His words “That was the turning point for me Come and see the line-up of people who wanted the spare parts. I was packing money with cartons. There was no armed robbery then, no kidnapping. It was a seller’s market. And the mark up was almost 500% but people were buying! In fact, within two days of the arrival of the containers, I made four million pounds".

Diversification was flowery and seamless for Ibeto, swiftly moving from an importer of auto spare parts to automotive lead-acid batteries and plastic accessories merchant. Then in 1988, he delved into manufacturing when he completed his factory in Nnewi and stopped direct importation of lead-acid automotive battery and plastic motor accessories. By 1995, the company had become one of the largest auto spare parts manufacturing outfit in Nigeria.

A year later, Ibeto would  further expand his business operations by diversifying into other sectors thus establishing Ibeto Petrochemicals Industries Limited. His petrochemicals industry owns one of the largest liquid facilities for petroleum products in Nigeria.

Subsidiaries under the Ibeto group are legion and they include Union Autoparts manufacturing Co. Ltd which was incorporated on 2nd June 1987.The company is a major player in automotive lead-acid battery manufacturing in Nigeria. The interesting thing is that the company produces locally, from its lead and aluminum smelting plant, all the lead and aluminum required for its operations.

It has the capacity to produce, annually; 300,000 units of lead/acid batteries, 120,000 units of sealed maintenance-free batteries, 5,500tonnes of lead, 500 tonnes of accessories and 1,500 tonnes of friction parts.

There is also the  Ibeto Petrochemical Industries Ltd. It was established in October  1996 with a blending plant in Nnewi, Anambra State. The company blends oil lubricants and produces various types of petroleum products for local and international markets. The Petro-Chemical company also owns one of the largest liquid storage facilities for petroleum products in Nigeria with a capacity of over 60,000 metric tones located at Apapa Wharf and Ibru Jetty Complex, Lagos.

Ibeto Cement Company Ltd produces bagged cements at its bagging terminal at Bundu Ama, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Ibeto Cement commenced operation in 1997 with the importation of bagged cement from Portland before establishing Ibeto Cement in 2001.

In 2018, Ibeto Cement Company Limited announced a reverse merger with Century Petroleum Corporation, a United States (U.S.) publicly-traded petroleum exploration and production company. This was aimed at  taking the  global markets  by storm and bypass the complex process of listing. The company was to acquire a 70% controlling stake of Century Petroleum and thus Cletus Ibeto was subsequently made the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Ibeto's foray into cement business saw him establishing Eastern Bulkcem Company Ltd

The company is also engaged in the importation of bulk cement and bagging of same in its factory premises in Rumuolumeni waterfront, Rivers State.

Eastern Bulkcem equally owns 60% of Nigeria Cement Company Plc (NIGERCEM), Nkalagu, Ebonyi State.

NIGERCEM was very important for Ibeto; if he was to remain an importer of cement, he needed to own a cement manufacturing plant as it was the requirement. Owning NIGERCEM did not come easy as the then Ebonyi state governor, Martin Elechi was against the acquisition. Ibeto fought him head-on like a wounded lion until he had NIGERCEM secured. NIGERCEM gave him the initial stability he needed to continue in the cement business.

King's Palace Hotels Ltd was established in March 1985 and has become synonymous with hospitality. Kings' Palace is located at the heart of Nnewi and has played a significant role in the economic and tourism development in Anambra State.

 Ibeto Energy Development Ltd is Ibeto's response to the energy need of the country. The company was established in April 2008 in line with federal government's aspiration to exploit the available natural gas in the Niger Delta Region for economic development.

Palmex Agencies Limited was incorporated in September 1998  and  engaged in general merchandising. The company imports and distributes commodity items like rice, sugar and fertilizer.

 Ibeto Industries Ltd is the flagship. It was incorporated in 1984 to serve the Nigerian public in their quest for colour print and photographic processing. Ibeto industries have modern printing machines that meet the need of customers and they have branches across Nigeria.

 Odoh Holdings Ltd made a debut in March 1985.It is the real estate arm of the Ibeto. The company owns properties in prime areas of Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Onitsha and Nnewi.

Ibeto Hotel Abuja is a 100-room four-star property which was commissioned early in 2013 and the company has interest in replicating Ibeto Hotel Abuja in other major cities in Nigeria.

Ibeto believes in ethics in business even if its application or observances will cost  him money and business opportunities. A veteran journalist, Mike Awoyinfa tells an enchanting story of how Ibeto elected to lose millions of dollars during the gulf war than compromise on business ethics: "Ibeto said that during the Gulf War II, his company received a lot of pressure from Saddam Hussien’s officials who badly wanted Union Recycling Plant to export the lead products refined by his company at very lucrative terms, but the company turned down the tempting offer because Ibeto believed that such leads would go into production of dangerous weapons of war by Saddam. This was far more ethical than a business decision, but Ibeto argued to his astonished management that even though the group desperately needed the fund to inject into the the construction of the cement terminals at Bundu Ama Creek.

Born on November 6, 1952 in his home  town, Obiofia Umuenem, Otolo Nnewi in Anambra State, Ibeto is  humble, unassuming and focused.Through his philanthropic gestures Ibeto has lifted thousands of people out of poverty. He has also helped other top business persons from Nnewi.

A large hearted and ever kindly disposed community developer and human capacity builder, Cletus Ibeto has to his credit the following notable philanthropic milestones, amongst several others:

The award of over 200 secondary and university scholarships to deserving, indigent Nigerian youths.

Instituted and maintains in perpetuity a prize award foundation for the best graduating student in pediatrics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, College Of Medicine, Nnewi, Anambra State.

Instituted and maintains in perpetuity a prize award foundation for the best graduating student in the department of Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State.

Extensive Community Support Services in: Rural Electrification projects with donation and installation of transformers, borehole water projects to communities and institutions of learning.

Constructed and maintains a 20km road and a multipurpose hall for Nnewi community.

Constructed the biggest but yet-to-be commissioned N650 Million-worth Medical Diagnostic Center at the University of Nigeria (UNN), Enugu Campus (renowned to be the largest in the West African sub region).

Constructed and donated Departmental buildings to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi.

On the construction of the most modern and contemporary Catholic Youth Village located in Amansea (near Awka) in Anambra State, Dr Ibeto was acknowledged as the single largest donor and developed 250 number self-contained rooms of hostel accommodations within the Village designed to mitigate the accommodation challenges of students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

Constructed and donated a world class church building, chancery and Conference Centre to St. Cletus Catholic Church, Otolo Nnewi, Anambra State.

Sponsors annual comprehensive medical/surgical outreaches to communities that have restored health to thousands of sick and helpless Nigerians and prevented death for many.

Extensive development programme for host communities to his numerous businesses.


Ingram Osigwe, the MD/CEO of Full Page International Communications Ltd writes from  Lagos.

Friday, March 6, 2020

World Glaucoma Week: Arresting the Silent Thief of Vision


Vision is the most valuable of all human senses, yet every five seconds one person in the world goes blind and a child goes blind every minute, mainly because most people do not seek out preventive eye care. Furthermore, low vision and blindness affects not just the individuals, but also families, and communities. Globally, the life expectancy of blind persons is 1/3 less than that of their sighted counterparts, and most of them die within 10 years of becoming blind.

Chioma Ude Makes Variety's Annual International Women’s Impact Report for 2020

Chioma Ude is among the accomplished women recognised in Variety's annual International Women’s Impact Report for 2020 to celebrate the annual International Women's Day on March 8.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Encyclopaedia of Nollywood and the Nigerian Film Industry

African beauty, Tiana Dimoko, a graduate University of Benin and winner of the 2014 Miss Fair and White Beauty Gold pageant, sponsored by Bozac Continental ltd, owners of the Fair and White range of beauty products is on the back cover of the second edition of the NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®Series and with more than 45 photographs of the pageant, including pictures of #Nollywood stars and top divas of the Nigerian society and beauty industry. The hardcover copy is only US$70. The text to speech Amazon Kindle version is available @Amazon. I am still shortlisting the Nigerian beauty to be featured on the back of the third edition of the NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®Series.

NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®Series is the only book series on Nollywood and the Nigerian film industry, published since 2013.