Millennials are currently the largest generation in the Nigeria labour force and will comprise more than 75% of the workforce by 2025 (globally). In fact, Millennials now have the most spending power of any generation, which means that creating a work environment that they can thrive in matters a lot for them.
Yes, change is certainly happening among the Millennials, yet progress is still needed. Unfortunately, many corporate entities are stuck in outdated norms, many of which are still tailored to older generations. This is particularly true when it comes to management.
So, it is usually heart-warming to see firms like Digital Encode doing everything to develop this group of leaders. Digital Encode, itself is a millennial company; the leading cybersecurity and compliance advisory firm was founded in 2003. In other words, it turns 19 this year!
The Founders, Oluseyi Akindeinde and Dr. Peter Adewale Obadare have demonstrated great understanding that today’s workforce (i.e, the Millennials) don’t need some ‘Big Brother’ figure hovering over them to tell them that budgets are cut, “that we will be in big trouble if we don’t meet deadlines, and to ‘make do with less’”.
So many things set Digital Encode apart from its peers – it understands and speaks the language of the Millennials without missing out on the needs of the laggards too.
They have shown leadership qualities by setting these young people (team members) up for success; instil in them a sense of bigger purpose, and giving them the confidence to persevere when the work gets challenging.
In line with Digital Encode philosophy of making its employees better than as they were employed that the Company took them to a retreat in Dubai.
According to Dr. Wale Obadare, co-founder and chief operating officer, Digital Encode, “Since inception of Digital Encode in 2003, It has always been our dream, our passion, to build a game-changing organisation; a place where employees have a sense of belonging, a big family, a great place where everyone is proud of. This year in pursuant of the dream, we decided to take all of our staff on this trip to Dubai for the 2019 Annual Retreat. Digital Encode is passionate to attract, motivate and develop a dynamic workforce that conquer the world from Lagos, Nigeria”.
“The only way that each and every person is going to get better at what they do is through reflection. The best CEOs always take time out to get away from work and think. They may sit on a luxury cruise ship or run away to a cabin in the woods, which was part of the team retreat activities.
“A time to reflect enables everyone to look back at what they have done in the past few months. They have the chance to consider how they can improve and what their flaws are.
Not only is this crucial for self-development it’s essential for the continuing progress of the company”.
Also speaking Dr. Oluseyi Akindeinde, co-founder and chief technical officer, Digital Encode, said: “We all can attest to the bustles and hustles in Lagos (Nigeria). The big issue that a lot of people have with the office is that it can become a stressful place. There are always busy times during the year. So, retreat is an avenue to come around, and ease-off.
“By taking the team away from a stressful environment, Digital Encode has made sure that they decompress all over again because as the saying goes, “less stress means more productive workers”.
“Workers are more demanding than ever before. Just because you are paying them doesn’t mean that they are going to give it their all. As far as they are concerned, a salary is just a means to an end. They do it because they have to, and that’s not a good mindset to have for your (modern) business.
“You need to come up with ways in which you can improve company morale. Studies indicate that companies with high morale outperform their counterparts by 20%.
The way to do this is through a corporate retreat. You are showing that the company cares about the well-being of its employees. It’s supposed to be a treat and a reward. It’s not something you have to do but it’s something you should do. So, Digital Encode has achieved this too!
Empowers young talents to a great height
Digital Encode, a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures, recently sponsored some kids among whom where children of the Company staff, to five-week training on Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Printing and game development.
This is a clear demonstration of believe in the Generation Y; the generation of people born during the 1980s and early 1990s. Importantly, they are grooming talents that will bring new digital skills and tech savvies that will be critical to transforming the business. This is one reason why so much is written about millennials.
With what Digital Encode is doing, these youngsters will bring their values, ideas and skills to shape society, markets and companies. Of particular interest are their attitudes to work and the implications these hold for firms and economies.
In the heel of that development, the firm sponsored the team to one-week retreat at the United Arab Emirates; Dubai precisely! Team retreat is a growing trend in the corporate world. There are so many benefits of team retreats that even smaller companies are thinking about how they can take the office out of the office for a weekend or just for a day.
Discovering hidden talents
A company can spend millions of naira to hire event comperes without knowing that Engineer (in the office) who carries wire about can also ‘talk’. If you’re doing the same things every single day, the chances are people are not going to realize their true talents. Coworkers often fail to realize just how extraordinary each person is because nobody ever gets the chance to reveal who they truly are.
Team retreats allow a group of people to indulge in tasks that just don’t happen in the normal office environment. For the first time, you may discover that Nkechi from accounting is really good at storytelling. But how does this translate to any actual value for the company?
To put it simply, you learn to know a person. You can better identify with them. You may even bond over the fact that you have the same interests as them. A hard skill can reveal a bunch of other soft skills, so it’s always useful to find out more about a person.
FG Launches Central Database for Stolen Asset Tracing
Federal government has launched a Central Database under the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations (ARTM), 2019 and the Central Criminal Justice Information System (CCJIS) under the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017 – 2011 to assist in the fight against corruption.
Mr Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of Justice, at the launch in Abuja, said the database will ensure uniformity of process, access and information feeding to deepen transparency and accountability in the management of recovered assets.
To ensure compliance, he said his office is developing legislation for the full implementation and operation of the CCJIS.
“We will work together to establish and re-enact transparency and accountability in governance and management of our resources which we have committed to do by way of strengthening International Cooperation of our membership of Open Government Partnership,” he said.
In his speech, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, represented by Mrs Ugonna Ozurigbo, chairman, House Committee on Justice, said the regulation on Asset Tracing, Recovery and proper management of proceeds of crime was signed on October 24, 2019, and took effect from November 1, 2019, replaced the proceeds of Crime Regulation of 2012.
The new regulation titled Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019 empowers the AGF to take charge of the custody and management of all final forfeited assets, approval and appointment of asset managers and operating and maintaining a database for the records of all recovered assets within and outside Nigeria.
He said, the AGF’s office, under the new regulation, is also required to coordinate inter-agency investigations into recovery matters within and outside Nigeria from all law enforcement agencies whose law empowers them to undertake recoveries and maintaining a depository for all forfeiture orders issued by the Nigeria courts and courts outside Nigeria.
Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management, according to the Speaker, is a core value of good governance and its effective management will serve as a deterrent to would-be fraudulent minded individuals who may find themselves in public offices.
According to him, states resources must not be allowed to be stolen but if that happened by fraudulent individuals, efforts must be taken to trace the proceed, recover same and manage for the interest of the generality of the people.
“When the proceeds of crime are traced and recovered but again looted by government officials, I dare to say such act amounts to the crime of tertiary capacity and must be avoided.
“Assets not accounted for are assets lost; loss of assets undervalues the economic potential of a country and will negatively impact on the net worth of a country. Accordingly, Asset Tracing Recovery and Management is a panacea to rekindling of the value system of a nation,” the Speaker noted.
Konga Bulk Debuts Monday
Konga, Nigeria’s foremost ethical and innovative composite e-Commerce brand is set to unveil a revolutionary new solution – Konga Bulk – which the company says will represent the new normal for forward-thinking businesses and consumers in the Nigerian corporate space.
Equally important, Konga Bulk, the latest innovation from the e-Commerce giant, is set to go live on Monday, September 21, 2020.
Through this initiative, Konga is rolling out a mega platform which has been touted a potential game-changer, offering manufacturers, distributors, resellers as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) an opportunity to take advantage of Konga’s world class assets including its secure regional warehouses, smart offices, cutting-edge technology, advanced logistics capabilities through an internally-owned subsidiary, Kxpress and its Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed payment platform known as KongaPay.
This is in addition to leveraging Konga’s e-Commerce engine and extensive marketing expertise in bringing their products and services to the consciousness of millions of Nigerians nationwide.
In other words, Konga is taking a huge burden off the shoulders of manufacturers and other business owners in Nigeria through this ambitious project.
By allocating physical office and warehouse spaces to partner businesses and placing its many other cutting-edge assets at their disposal, Konga is ushering many into the new normal by bringing succour to corporate entities, many of whom have been encumbered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, Konga Bulk will play a very important role, bridging the gap to genuine products and services between manufacturers, distributors, resellers, bulk buyers and consumers.
Resellers and other bulk buyers can also take advantage of best prices available for genuine products exclusively through Konga Bulk.
Kalu Johnson, vice president, Strategic Business, said businesses who sign up on Konga Bulk have a lot to gain.
‘‘Konga Bulk is a very ambitious project which we have positioned as the new normal.
“It is a unique opportunity for manufacturers to take advantage of the huge assets and real estate, both physical and virtual, available at Konga.
‘‘We have invested significantly and strategically in various areas of our operations.
“Today, Konga owns arguably the largest single warehouse space in Lagos in addition to other similar massive infrastructure in other parts of the country such as Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Abuja, Owerri and other locations.
‘‘As a manufacturer, distributor or business owner signed up on Konga Bulk, you no longer have to worry about owning your own office or warehouse space. Nor do you have to bother about the heavy investment in logistics, delivery, payment solution, technology, marketing or activations.
“You can rely on Konga’s world class competencies and assets in these areas.
‘‘Businesses must find a way to rebound from the difficulties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Konga Bulk, which is focused on ushering in the new normal, is one of the innovations we have come up with to provide a way out,’’ he concluded.
Konga Bulk goes live online at www.konga.com and offline in every Konga retail store nationwide on Monday, September 21, 2020.
Access Bank Reaffirms Support for An Innovative, Smart Lagos State
Mr. Herbert Wigwe, managing director and chief executive officer of Access Bank Plc, has said that Access Bank Plc will not relent in supporting innovative programmes aimed at transforming Lagos into a 21st century State driven by technology innovations.
Wigwe spoke yesterday during the finals of the Lagos State Smart Meter Hackathon design held at the Bank’s Corporate Headquarters in Lagos.
An initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Hackathon is aimed at providing affordable electricity meters to the populace by facilitating the design and production of meters that will accelerate efforts towards achieving improvement in energy distribution, monitoring and prevention of revenue leakage.
Wigwe who was represented by Mr Ade Bajomo, executive director, IT & Operations at Access Bank, said that supporting the Hackathon once more reinforces the Bank’s commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of the society.
“Having Hackathon and innovative programmes like this, has always been part and parcel of our DNA in Access Bank. We are forever looking for new things to do to solve real problems in Africa and beyond; new things that would move the life of our people forward.
“We are always looking forward to doing things that would make more people financially independent, driving and enhancing the well-being of the entire society,” he said.
He noted that now the world is witnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and there are Africans working with the rest of the world and using technology to solve the problems of the people.
Wigwe stressed that Access Bank does not exclude the rest of the world when it comes to using technology innovations to address the problems of the people.
“That is why this Hackathon is very important because it’s our people solving our problems and leveraging global solutions to finding our answers to our own problems.
“And that is why at the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), which Access Bank is promoting, we want to have more innovators and innovations that will help in transforming our society for the better,” he said.
The Access Bank boss stated that to see this Hackathon come to light shows the commitment of the Lagos State Government to not only the project, but to the actualization of a smart Lagos, where electricity is accessible and affordable.
He pledged Access Bank’s continued support to the Lagos State Government’s efforts at building a smart state.
Mr. Olalere Odusote, convener of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon and the State’s Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said that there were very many talented people who applied for the Hackathon, noting that there were 65 submissions in all, out of which its panel of experts reduced the number to the five finalists that participated at the finals of the Hackathon.
“We had the hardware yesterday and we were very impressed with what we saw. We are expecting no less from the software side. We are going to get engaged, look at what they have to offer and then integrate it into our future.
“We are trying to solve our own problems by ourselves. This is just the start; it is not a one-off project. At the end of the event, we will take the product to our prototype mode; we will take the product to a commercial development process,” he said.
The Commissioner said they were not just doing the Hackathon for the sake of it but are looking for solutions that will contribute to making Lagos a 21st Century economy.
He thanked Access Bank for its generosity, support and partnership with the State government. He also thanked other partners for joining in the journey of making Lagos a great state.
Five contenders each emerged from both categories of the competition, and the two winners are expected to share the prize money of seven million naira.
Finalists were shortlisted after a transparent, rigorous and competitive process.
The Hackathon attracted 274 registrations or entries, 127 of which bid in hardware category, while 147 competed in software group.
The five software finalists for the Hackathon on Thursday were Magnitronics, Vectorians, Zeena Platform, Chosen Soft Tech and Gideon.
It would be recall that during the launch of the programme on July 30th, 2020, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu noted that the Smart Metre Hackathon Initiative marked a significant milestone in the implementation of the State Government’s plan towards improving access to electricity.
He said it aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the United Nations, targeted at achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.
The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020 was convened by the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, curated by Eko Innovation Centre, and sponsored by Access Bank Plc, Egbin Power, and Ikeja Electric Distribution Company.
Other sponsors include Mojec International, Eko Electric Distribution Company, MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company, ElSewedy Electric, Royal Power & Energy, Venture Garden Group, InfraCredit, and Axxela Limited.
They were supported by the Lagos State Office of Innovation and Technology, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), Oracle, IBM, General Electric, Business Day and Accelerate TV.
The Grand Finale of the Hackathon holds on Friday, September 18, 2020 at Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.
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