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A Niche Entrepreneurial Mentorship Academy Berths in Lagos

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The Entrepreneurial elite of Nigeria has come together under the umbrella of the Ausso Leadership Academy (ALA) to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem with personalized mentorship to maximize jobs created by entrepreneurs to ensure shared prosperity. This has been inspired by the unprecedented success in entrepreneurship at Silicon Valley, which has been underpinned by a strong mentorship culture.

ALA aims to Impact at least 200 Entrepreneurs each year in cohorts of 40 per Masterclass, with the first Masterclass coming on stream as early as April and for which registration has commenced. It is expected that the entrepreneurs will achieve double-digit growth in their Revenue a year after impact and would have imbibed a code of Governance and a culture of Succession and Legacy.

Nigeria is at a point when the ecosystem is visibly maturing and entrepreneurial opportunities are vastly increasing. ALA’s goal is to drive economic development through high-impact entrepreneurs, who will become a strong economic force that can take advantage of the opportunities to transform the country.

According to the promoter of ALA, Austin Okere, “One of the cardinal principles of the Ausso Leadership Academy is to instill the mentality of building a Solid Structure for the business with more emphasis on Institutionalization than the concept of an All-Knowing Strongman; an erroneous concept which has led to the demise of many enterprises after the departure of the founder.”

Austin Okere was also the founder of CWG Plc, the largest security in the ICT Sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Austin has subsequently honed his craft in Entrepreneurial Executive Education, becoming an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Columbia Business School, New York and being appointed into the Advisory Board of the Global Business School Network (GBSN) in Washington DC.

On what inspired him to set up the Academy, Austin explained: “Being a serial entrepreneur, it was intuitive for me to conceive the idea of the Ausso Leadership Academy and the unique differentiation it offers.” He continued “the first inspiration was what I would have advised my younger self, and the second inspiration was to be the Mentor I wish I had.”

The huge gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem is due to the lack of a personalized mentorship program to complement what professors teach entrepreneurs at business schools. Entrepreneurs are best mentored by other entrepreneurs who understand the trailblazing journey and how to spot opportunities from challenges and create new businesses for themselves and others.

The need for resourcefulness and an innovative mindset to reinvent oneself when disruption knocks on the door is a key skill which entrepreneurs need to imbibe. ALA provides the medium for Veteran Entrepreneurs to pass on this experiential skill, emphasizing what has worked in their own journeys, and the pitfalls to avoid.

The Champions of Entrepreneurship are role models who reinvest their knowledge, credibility and time in the next generation of entrepreneurs, thus multiplying their network and influence. Among the Champions who will be sharing their experience are Ibukun Awosika, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, Tony Elumelu, John Momoh, Frank Aigbogun, Austin Avuru, Dotun Suleiman, Ndidi Nwuneli, Ernest Ndukwe, Mitchel Elegbe, Charles Anudu, Seyi Bickerseth and Deji Alli to mention a few.

The Faculty are seasoned practitioners who have also honed their skills working with entrepreneurs in various capacities. They include Austin Okere, Chris Stephenson, Opeyemi Agbaje and Rasheed Olaoluwa. On why he accepted to be a faculty at ALA, Chris said “Austin is one of Africa’s leading Tech Entrepreneurs, and I’ve been working with him since 2010. I want to get behind his exciting new venture and continue our partnership.”

He continued “I would recommend the Academy to prospective participants because Entrepreneurs need a clear Vision and Operational Plan with which to inspire colleagues, investors and other stakeholders. The Academy will bring them the thinking, approaches, tips and tricks that its faculty have all learned the hard way. More importantly, it will provide them with the framework, network and above all confidence for success, whatever their venture.”

According to Opeyemi Agbaje, he bought into the program because he believes that “efforts to tackle corruption must recognize its socio-economic linkages, especially poverty and unemployment. An effective and sustainable anti-corruption strategy must be anchored in the context of an ambitious economic reform program that creates employment in large numbers to foster inclusive economic growth. This is what I believe the Ausso Leadership Academy brings to the table and why I want to contribute my quota.”

Rasheed Olawoluwa, on the other hand, says “Entrepreneurial Leadership is incomplete without a Vision and a strong ability to Influence People to get Results. This is what we aim to impart at the Ausso Leadership Academy.”

The Ausso Leadership Academy recognizing that capital is essential to scaling has entered into partnerships with Investors including the African Wealth Partners AG of Switzerland to offer opportunities for capital to entrepreneurs who successfully articulate their growth plans.

Austin Okere, Founder, Ausso Leadership Academy, with Mario Marconi, of the African Wealth Partners and Martin Emodi, Founding Partner, African Wealth Partners

According to Martin Emodi, Founding Partner of the Africa Wealth Partners, “We were seriously impressed by the practical leadership development programme Mr Okere is putting together for Nigerian entrepreneurs. It is so important to give the entrepreneurs the tools and support to take their businesses to the next level. This will be good business for all involved but most importantly for the country and its development.”

He continued “We are delighted to partner with the Ausso Leadership Academy and contribute to this laudable initiative. We believe strongly in long-term partnerships and we are convinced we have found such a partner in Austin Okere and the Ausso Leadership Academy.”

Clarifying the perceived ‘Premium Recruitment’ of the ALA First Masterclass, Austin Okere said “We are looking to work with entrepreneurs that have the potential and capability to become leaders in their sectors, and are willing to invest to achieve this. The goal is to crystalize a multiplier effect, as the first cohort of entrepreneurs, by their success, will become beacons to other aspiring high growth entrepreneurs”.


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NCC Board Chairman Alleges Threat to His life by Agents of DG

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Tonye Jaja, chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has raised the alarm over alleged threat to his life by agents of John Asein, director general of the agency.

NCC Board Chairman Alleges Threat to His life by Agents of DG

He disclosed that an unnamed member of the NCC Governing Board had threatened his life through phone calls and SMS messages.

The Board Chairman, who made the claim in a statement, titled: “Notification of threats to my life and reputation in the line of duty as chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission,” ‎said the development followed statements he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission as part of ongoing investigations into allegations against Asein. ‎

According to Jaja, Asein is being investigated over alleged conflict of interest and abuse of office, among other offences.

The chairman of the NCC Governing Board also alleged that Asein and his agents have vowed to destroy his reputation through publications in the media.

The statement read: “Yesterday, I received a verbal threat during a telephone call and an SMS from one member of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright (NCC).‎

“In a nutshell, he threatened that he will use online newspapers and other means to disgrace me and rubbish my reputation.

“His annoyance and threats is not an isolated incident, it is part of a coordinated onslaught of threats, publications of propaganda and other acts of reprisal targetted against me in my capacity as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).

“The persons behind this have gone to the illegal extent of forging certain documents and leaking government official documents to Online newspapers in their desperate attempts at smearing my hard earned reputation.

“The Office of the Inspector-General of Police is currently investigating one of such incidences.

“All this smear campaign is because I ‎was invited by the Code of Conduct Bureau and the ICPC as part of their investigation of Mr John Asein the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) whom they are investigating for allegations of conflict of interest and abuse of office, etc.

“‎As a responsible and law-abiding citizen,  who could not disobey the invitation of the ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau, I went to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and deposed to an affidavit to confirm the veracity of the written and oral statements that I submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“Instead of these persons to apply the same steps of going before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or any other court of Justice in Nigeria to swear an affidavit and oath on the pain of perjury, in support of any statements they are making, they have resorted to peddling fake news, falsehood and false, unsubstantiated allegations through the pages of online newspapers and other social media platforms.

“In recent times, their anger and onslaught has intensified because their attempts to “kill” and “bury” the investigations proved abortive considering that the ICPC, the EFCC and the Code of Conduct Bureau continued with the investigations which they had previously in an online newspaper described as the petition against Mr. John Asein as jokers.’”

The Governing Board Chairman added that anybody who is sincerely interested in knowing and verifying the truth of the allegations against Asein can make Freedom of Information requests to the Department of State Services, ‎Chairman of the ICPC,‎ Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Inspector-General of Police through the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Charge of the Federal Investigations Bureau.

 


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Health Plus Accuses Foreign Firm of Attempt to Fraudulently Takeover Business

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Health Plus, a pharmaceutical company, has accused Alta Semper Capital, a foreign private equity firm (PEF), of a fraudulent attempt to take over its business.

Health Plus Accuses Foreign Firm of Attempt to Fraudulently Takeover Business

In a rejoinder to a press release earlier issued by the PEF, Health Plus dismissed the appointment of Chidi Okoro as chief transformation officer and the claim that Olubukunola Adewunmi George, chief executive officer, remains a director and shareholder

Health Plus stated that it entered into a five-year partnership with Alta Semper Capital in 2018 to inject fresh capital to further grow the business.

George, the rejoinder stated, was prepared to give PEF a controlling stake in order for them to realise their investment.

However, it added, PEF started working of schemes aimed at taking over the business after seeing the vastness of the Nigerian market.

PEF, according to Health Plus, deliberately starved the company of funds, neglected its obligations to the business, appointed Okoro as CTO and was running the company in utter disregard for George’s wishes.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors was said to have resigned two days ago while another director resigned five weeks ago over the debilitating effect of the impasse on the company.

The rejoinder stated that George had, in May 2020, instituted a suit at the Federal High Court (FHC/L/CS/609/2020) seeking to stop HealthPlus Africa Holdings Limited (the investment vehicle used by Alta Semper Capital and which they control) and their nominee directors from continuing to run and manage the company with disregard to her interests as a member of the Company.

After being served the court summons, PEF appealed for a mediation of the crisis outside court, a process frustrated after three meetings in three months.

Alta Semper thereafter filed an arbitration claim in England.

“Alta Semper’s latest actions, including the arbitration claim that it has now filed, constitute a serious affront to the authority of the Court seised of the suit, a desecration of the integrity of the Nigerian judicial system and a gross violation of Nigeria’s extant legislation.

“The General Public, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, our Staff, loyal Customers, Vendors, Landlords, Bankers and all Stakeholders are advised to totally disregard and ignore the earlier unauthorised Press Release from those who have no real stake in the Company, its employees or Nigeria.

“Mrs. Bukky George remains the Founder & CEO of the Company and is focused on preserving and growing this national treasure,” the rejoinder read.

 

 

 


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Labour Vows to Shut Down Airports, Banks, Others from Today

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Organised Labour in Lagos State has said all sectors would be shut from Monday.

Labour Vows to Shut Down Airports, Banks, Others from Today

Amaechi Asogwuni, deputy vice president, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), spoke at a news conference on Sunday, said airports, banks, and offices would not be allowed to function.

“No airport will be in operation in Nigeria; banks are not expected to function, so no business owners should risk himself, for Nigerian workers have taken that decision”, NAN quoted him as saying.

“We are the workers and we are withdrawing our services; we have the right to do so because protests are our constitutional right. And I believe we will enforce it; schools shall remain closed until this action ends.”

The labour leader appealed to Nigerians to join the protest.

He reminded them that it was part of their quota to democracy.

On the increase in petrol price, Asogwuni said the federal government should have engaged the organised labour and other stakeholders.

“The government did not do that at a time it ought to; it failed in its duty to engage labour before time. On the issue of electricity, the government had earlier had an interaction with labour in Kano and we discouraged it from proceeding.”


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