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4 Disastrous Ways to Push Your Start-up Through Lies



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There was this popular ad on TVs and billboards. The ad introduced a croissant brand into the one of the biggest emerging markets in Africa, Nigeria.

In fact, the feeling was great, the visuals were powerful and compelling. To crown it all, a popular celebrity was used to personify the brand.

If there were a thousand and one consumers craving for the product, I was one of them but for several weeks, I couldn’t lay my hand on ituntil on a very tiring day while returning home from work.

The adrenalin rush to devour the croissant was unimaginable but hey, the traffic law says you shouldn’t eat why driving!

The whole excitement turned into dissonance even before consumption. The product size could not measure up to the same as the size portrayed by the advertisement.

I felt cheated, embarrassed and discomfited for wasting my hard-earned money on a product that could not deliver its promise.

Since there was no value for money, repeat purchase was the last thing on my mind and never would I allow my close associates to make the same mistake.

Things like these are common in mostemerging markets and because the consumer laws are rather weak in these markets, advertisers sometimes escape the necessary regulatory scrutiny and whack.

Be that as it may, below are four ways I think your start-up can unsuccessfully lie to its market:

Making Promises You Can’t Fulfil
Every start-up should be reminded that a brand is a promise to the consumer to deliver a particular desired experience most of the time.

It should be known that consumers offer their trust and loyalty with the implicit understanding that your brand will behave in certain satisfying ways through product/service performance and through appropriate pricing, promotion, and distribution programs. In the croissant story earlier told, do you think I felt cheated because the product was too small? Not at all.

I felt embittered because the advertiser had failed in its promise to meet my expectations as conveyed in the billboard and television.

Believing Advert Would Do The Magic
Troublingly, many well-funded start-ups oftensubscribe to advertisingto blatantly make implicit promises they would never keep.

When the product or service doesn’t match up to the advertised promise, isn’t that like cheating, or at some level, stealing from people’s hopes?

Well, your ever wise customers would soon realise this, jettison your brand and pitch their tent with your competition who is real and truthful.

A marketing professional once said that advertising is powerful but ad is not what the consumer is buying.

You can spend one billion dollar on ad, if the product lacks merit, you would not sell. In fact, your ad begins to irritate. The value of an ad is based on the fact that the product is right.

There is a coinage in marketing, which underscores this, that the best way to kill a bad product is to advertise it.

Bad Positioning
More importantly, in our social media crazed world, venting out broken promises made to consumers has instant ramifications to the credibility and trajectory of your start-up’s perceived value.It is true that the goal of any brand positioning exercise is to develop a brand promise that is unique, compelling and believable.

Any successful brand positioning project must evaluate all potential brand promises against these three criteria – unique, compelling and believable. The winning promise must deliver against all threecriteria or it won’t work.

Thinking That Lies Would Engender Profitability
It’s wrong to assume that lies would ensure profitability. In fact, a lie told will only stimulate trial but never engender repeat purchase that can guarantee sustainable profitability.

Most times, a betrayed consumer will make sure others around him never fall victim. Tell the truth and don’t shoot yourself in the leg.

Don’t over promise and under deliver. Lies shouldn’t be ‘sold’ to push your start-up.

I’m sure you’re still interested in the croissant story I shared with you at the beginning of this article.

Well, I’m pleased to inform you that its makers only survived for two years. The croissant is abysmally dead, never to be resurrected.

Is your start-uppositioned to lie? If yes, please have a rethink!

Jide Ayegbusi is the founder of, an edtechstart-up that connects Africans with good and affordable schools in Africa and beyond. Follow Jide on twitter @jideayegbusi.



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AfriLabs, Korea-Africa Foundation in Strategic Partnership to Boost African Innovation



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African hubs network AfriLabs has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Korea-Africa Foundation for a strategic partnership aimed at driving innovation and economic growth across the continent.

AfriLabs is a network organisation that is committed to driving innovation and entrepreneurship on the continent by bringing together technology hubs, startups, investors, and other key stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Having recently announced the admission of 16 new hubs, AfriLabs now has a network of 478 hubs across 260 cities in 53 African nations.

The Korea-Africa Foundation, meanwhile, aims to serve as a platform for collaboration between the private and public sectors, and to strengthen exchange and cooperation with African countries.

The collaboration between the two aims to bridge the gap between Korean and African startups by leveraging each other’s expertise and resources. This will be achieved through the exchange of insights on youth development, the launch of joint research initiatives, and the fostering of a dynamic ecosystem that cultivates talent and entrepreneurial spirit in both regions.

“At AfriLabs, we are dedicated to unlocking Africa’s full potential and generating wealth through strategic alliances. This partnership with the Korea-Africa Foundation unlocks a treasure trove of opportunities for startups, granting them access to a global network, invaluable resources, and unparalleled industry knowledge.

“Together, we will empower the next generation of African innovators and entrepreneurs, paving the way for sustainable development and a thriving economy,” said Anna Ekeledo, executive director of AfriLabs.

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$750m World Bank Loan:  FG May Reintroduce Telcoms, Gambling Taxes



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Federal government may reintroduce the controversial telecom tax and other fiscal measures to fulfill one of the conditions for The World Bank’s fresh $750 million loan to Nigeria.

$750m World Bank Loan:  FG May Reintroduce Telcoms, Gambling Taxes

Experts have however strongly opposed new taxes, calling them harmful to the sector’s survival and the larger economy.

But The World Bank in programme appraisal document, dated May 17, 2024, on the loan disbursement to Nigeria, said that $750 million loan to Nigeria will support the federal government’s policy reforms.

A copy of the plan’s document posted on the World Bank website indicated that the government might reintroduce the excises on telecom services, and EMT levy on electronic money transfers through the Nigerian Banking System among other taxes.

Recall that on June 13, Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, announced the approval of two financial support packages by the World Bank valued at $2.25 billion.

The loan consists of $1.5 billion for Nigeria’s reforms for economic stabilisation to enable transformation (RESET) development policy financing program (DPF) and $750 million for Nigeria’s accelerating resource mobilisation reforms (ARMOR) program-for-results (PforR).

In the programme appraisal document, the World Bank said the ARMOR programme contains revenue policy measures such as raising pro-health taxes on tobacco, and alcohol.

The Bretton Woods institution also said the programme contains the introduction of taxes on online betting and gambling, as well as new excise on telecommunication services.

Experts have however warned that these taxes would have severe consequences for investment and the operational viability of telecom companies.

According to them, higher taxes would hinder digitalization efforts, which are crucial for economic growth.

The proposed tax measures, according to the industry, are not only damaging to the telecom sector but also to the broader economy.



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EFCC, Flutterwave to Establish Cybercrime Centre for Security of Transactions



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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Flutterwave, unicorn payments technology company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to establish and a state-of-the-art Cybercrime Research Centre.

EFCC, Flutterwave to Establish Cybercrime Centre for Security of Transactions

Areas of focus of the centre include advanced fraud detection and prevention, policy development, as well as youth empowerment.

The fintech company with fortunes worth over $1bn headquartered in San Francisco with footprints in Nigeria and other African countries said the centre would also provide a “sustainable lifeline to youths across the country”.

To this effect, the Silicon Valley-based company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the anti-graft agency in Abuja.

Ola Olukoyede, chairman, EFCC; Olugbenga Agboola, founder, Flutterwave; Christopher Gray, director of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); and other senior officials from both the EFCC and the FBI witnessed the signing of the MoU

Specifically, the MoU was signed by Mohammadu Hammajoda, secretary, EFCC and Agboolaof Flutterwave.

Olukoyede said, “This partnership marks a significant leap forward in our efforts to combat financial crimes and ensure a secure financial landscape for Nigerians. The Cybercrime Research Centre will significantly enhance our capabilities to prevent, detect, and prosecute financial crimes.”

On his part, Agboola said, “This initiative underscores our commitment to creating a fraud-free financial ecosystem and leading the charge in safeguarding transactions across Africa.

“We applaud the EFCC’s relentless efforts to combat internet fraud and other illicit activities in the financial sector.”

The Cybercrime Research Centre, to be established at the new EFCC Academy in Abuja, would serve as a hub for advanced research, training, and capacity building in the fight against financial crimes.

Areas of focus of the centre include advanced fraud detection and prevention, collaborative research and policy development, youth empowerment and capacity building, technological advancement and resource enablement, among other key areas.

“Advanced Fraud Detection and Prevention: Developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies to detect and prevent financial fraud. The centre will offer comprehensive training for law enforcement and industry professionals to combat modern financial crimes effectively.

“Collaborative Research and Policy Development: Engaging in joint research initiatives and policy formulation to enhance the understanding and regulation of financial crime. The centre will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices between the public and private sectors.

“Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building: Providing high-end training and research opportunities for 500 youths, equipping them with the skills needed to navigate and excel in the digital economy.

“Technological Advancement and Resource Enablement: Creating a repository of advanced tools, technologies, and resources to support financial crime investigations, including protocols for addressing emerging threats such as cryptocurrency-related crimes,” the statement concluded.

Birthed in 2016 by Agboola, fondly referred to as GB, Flutterwave, with its corporate headquarters in San Francisco and operational head office in Lagos State, grew within a short time, penetrating the African market with customisable payments applications through its unique Application Programming Interface.



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