Showing posts with label vendors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vendors. Show all posts

Friday, October 30, 2009

Nigeria: The Abyss of Ignorance in the Land of Fools

I stood with the vendors under the flyover at the Obafemi Awolowo Road roundabout in Ikeja, Lagos. I was waiting for Kazeem the Chairman of the vendors to bring copies of a magazine we needed for our advert executives. I loved to watch the rush hours of the morning and evening as commuters hurry to their different destinations. Most of them seemed ill at ease and I did not blame these people who are traumatized by the irony of living in the most populous country in Africa with abundant human and mineral resources but ranked among the poorest of the poor in the world. Nigerians are in the turmoil that would be best dramatized as Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka’s Season of Anomie.

The manufacturing industry has collapsed and many of the leading banks have crashed in the meltdown of the Nigerian Capital market and aptly illustrated by the prolific Nigerian novelist Bisi Daniels as a tower of Babel.. The shocking report that over 20 million Nigerian youths are unemployable and they are even ignorant of this fact and have chosen to wallow in the troubled waters in resignation of their fate in the hands of their brazenly corrupt rulers whose sons and daughters and arse-kissers continue posing and posturing with their false airs and graces in Nigeria, but cannot walk tall among "The real McCoy" in the developed countries. Even the only Nigerian bank that seemed to have escaped my danger list Skye Bank Plc has just admitted that it had swung to a 12.63 billion naira ($85 million) pretax loss in the 12 months to Sept. 30, compared with a pretax profit of 20.42 billion naira in the same period last year.

Inside Lagos city

It was Karl Maier Who saw it all in This House Has Fallen: Midnight in Nigeria, but as I feared, the sick patient refused to accept the diagnosis of his crisis and chose hemorrhaging instead of taking the bitter pills. And millions of her equally ignorant retards prefer to waste their time chasing shadows on Facebook that they are abusing and misusing as a dating site and are really clueless on why Mark Elliot Zuckerberg and his Harvard classmates Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes created and launched it on February 4, 2004.

Well, what can these millions of the vacuous youths do in a nation sinking in the abyss of ignorance?

I do really feel sorry for them as I see them hanging around and loitering with their cell-phones and sagging pants with their heads in the clouds while their visionless rulers in their stinking corridors of power bury their heads in the sand like ostriches. I wonder how many of the millions of them on Facebook have even attempted to develop applications on the Facebook Platform. How many of them can compare themselves to the First Class scholar Reuben Abati who had his Ph.D at 24 and Ben Okri who won the Booker Prize for his classic novel The Famished Road when he was 32 and many of us who were already authors and editors of national newspapers and magazines when were in our early 20s. I do feel sorry for them, because they are wasting away as they are celebrating their ignorance and mediocrity in their banal Hip-hop songs and pornographic videos, but cannot mention three books they have read since January to date. A generation of Intellectual morons? No. They are the Lotus-eaters of a generation sinking and wasting in the the abyss of ignorance in the land of fools.

Obafemi Awolowo Road, Ikeja, Lagos.

The greedy political contractors in power are misplacing our priorities and scuttling the great prospects of the innovations developed by the Nigerian intelligentsia of gifted artists, scientists and scholars who have proposed practical solutions to the problems plaguing the nation.

Millions of Nigerians say that Nigeria was better under military rule and have recalled that even though the country was bad under military tyrants, the corrupt shareholders of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) have made things worse.

It is unfortunate that the majority of the youths have decided to join in the rat race of the crooks and rogues and careless about nation building.
The youths must stop fooling themsleves by aping the Joneses and take up the challenges of the 21st century as the visionary youths of the Asian Tigers are doing and they are making great progress in the world.

Our destinies are not in the stars, but in our own hands.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Untold Story of Distributing Newspapers and Magazines in Nigeria

Nigerians reading newspapers at a news stand.

Distributing newspapers and magazines in Nigeria is not an easy task, because there is no good infrastructure for the distribution of newspapers and magazines in the 36 states of the most populous country in Africa. With a population of over 140 people, Nigeria is the largest market in Africa and there are over 65 million users of GSM phones in Nigeria spending over $78 million weekly on phone calls. This awesome population of millions of people can afford to read newspapers and magazines if you know how to reach them daily, weekly or monthly.

We can attract some millions of the over 65 million users of GSM phones to buy newspapers and magazines if we can convince them to appreciate the fact that buying and reading more newspapers and magazines will be of great benefit to sustainable development of the Nigerian press and very important to nation building. It is possible.

I have been in Lagos city since last August, working with the Publisher of the new Supple magazine and following him to supply thousands of his magazine to distributors and vendors

We have to wake up early at 5 am and drive to the office of the Newspapers and Magazines Distributors Association of Nigeria on the Marina in Lagos, where scores of distributors and vendors gather everyday by day to share and circulate newspapers and magazines of all sorts.

They get to their workplace at dawn and I have seen them using candle lights in their large warehouse when there was a power outage. I have seen many young women among the young and old men carrying and sharing newspapers and magazines with total professional concentration. These conscientious Nigerians make me proud of being a Nigerian whenever I see them at work even in the dim candlelight. I wonder if some of them have taken their bath before leaving their various houses and rushing to their daily workplace before 5 am!

After supplying to them, we move on to Ikeja to supply to our distributors in the state capital. We also supply hundreds of copies of Supple magazine to the other distributors and vendors in other states through the distribution network of the National Daily newspapers.

Until you have handed your publications to the vendors you will not rest, because without these vendors your newspaper or magazine will not be well distributed all over Nigeria.

The Punch is the largest circulating newspaper in Nigeria and believe it or not, the circulation is not up 100, 000 copies daily in a country with over 140 million people! The irony is the fact that The Punch was circulating over 200, 000 copies daily when the population of Nigeria was less than 120 million people. Why?

Many reasons have been given for the gradual drop in the figures of copies of newspapers and magazines sold in Nigeria. But the truth is the figures of the readers have not dropped over the years. In fact, the readers have been increasing, but the majority of them do not buy the copies of newspapers and magazines they read daily. They have been sharing the copies bought by their colleagues in the workplace or neighbours and thousands more actually pay less to the vendors to read the newspapers on the spot and then drop them and many of these copies have been returned as unsold to the publishers.

If you are in Lagos city or other urban towns and cities in Nigeria, you will notice small crowds of people milling around news stands of vendors and gazing at the covers of the displayed newspapers and magazines. Many of them read the headlines and first paragraphs on the front pages and others pay less then the cover price to read more pages of the newspapers before leaving the spot. The vendors have nothing much to lose if the copies of these newspapers passed round among so many “on the spot” readers are returned unsold, because they make extra money from these passersby on each copy of the various newspapers and also collect their daily commissions from the distributors or publishers. In fact, some publishers use shortcuts to bypass the major registered distributors and engage the vendors to sell their newspapers and magazines directly to the readers on the street. The publisher of the Castle real estate and property newspaper employs his own vendors. The Guardian and The Punch also have their own vendors.

Millions of Nigerians will prefer to pay less to read fewer pages of newspapers and magazines than to pay more for more pages, because most of them will read only what attracts them and skip or glance over the adverts and other uninteresting things before dropping the newspapers and magazines. Most of them are interested in reading sensational breaking news on politics, crime and social gossip of romantic or erotic scandals and the millions of applicants prefer to look for vacancies and that would be all. Therefore, I can bet that newspaper of only 10 pages on these topics selling for as little as N50 will sell more thousands of copies than The Punch or The Guardian of 50-100 pages. In fact, they regard most content as garbage and the less garbage or page fillers the better for them.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima is the Media Consultant of Supple magazine and the President/CEO of International Digital Post Network, LLC.

Hello! Have you read Half of a Yellow Sun?