Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Yes, Celtel is changing name for the upteenth time. This time its going to be Zain. Here we trying to break it to the public gradually so the impact is reduced. Many Celtel operations in other countries already bear Zain and I figure they are going gently on Nigeria just because peope may question the stability of the company.

If your question is "So, will it change?", the answer is YES, soon, very soon.

I mean when you marry a wife, the name always change albeit with a few exceptions. In Africa, marrying a wife is like owning the wife. Yes, I hear the women activists are already on my tail.
I heard Stella when she said her uncle compared Celtel to Nigerian cops, you never know what surprise is up next.
Celtel has evolved from Econet Wireless to Vnetworks to Vodacom to Vmobile to Celtel and now Zain. This is status quo.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Doing business the Nigerian way

12 million litres per month! 12mn!.

Thats the kind of figure the likes of Celtel Nigeria will be consuming by the end of the year due to network expansion.

12, 000, 000 X 12 = 144mn litres per annum, man the world must have a huge reserve of those things.

The pepper (money) part of things now...
144 000 000 X 66 = crazy figure per annum. People in Naija have learnt to transact in dollars now but this figure is still massive.

Now to this interesting piece alluded to Bayo Ligali,

"Today, we operate four networks instead of one: GSM Network (which is indeed our core line of business); a security network; a power (electricity) network and a transmission network. "

The security network, Celtel has about 5000 security operatives guiding installations nationwide, rightly described as more than 8 batallions. Crime rate had been on the rise in the last 8 months and mostly attributed to the lions and termites who were armed and cashed during the last elections and now still have the arms and need to maintain the cash.

I simply can't help but feel we've been wondering purbling for the last 8 years in Nigeria.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sudan: The good in the evil?

Yesterday I found out that Celtel Sudan has a hundred developers, phew!
Staggering figure if you consider the meager five we have in Nigeria. In fact, I do not know of any full software house that can boast of more than 30 developers on this side of town.

Ordinarily, Celtel would not hire a 100 into IT systems development and the only unit that enjoy numbers in the hundreds is customer care, makes sense huh? Celtel Nigeria is approaching 30million in subscriber base.

I understand there are sanctions by the United States government on Sudan as a result of the crisis in that region. I usually look up most of the info I pick up so I would not be spreading what could culminate in an urban legend. I googled the info and came up with a few links:

In accordance with US export controls and economic sanctions regulations, we are unable to permit the download of Google Earth in Sudan. More information about these controls and sanctions can be found here and here.

Interesting article on difficulties being experienced by users of google earth in Sudan.

I could not get too many relevant info but for someone as naive (haha) and geeky as me, I'm willing to overlook my fears of the Dafur crisis and go work at Celtel Sudan for a little while. Sounds like a developer heaven. I could imagine interesting tools like Microsoft VSTS and I envisage lots of gusto! I wish they have a team blog I can look up and see what those guys are up to. I can't imagine the kind of co-ordination it will take to manage 100 fiercely independent humans and what it would take to harness such but it sure feels good.

My dying wish at Celtel is to visit Celtel Sudan, in fact I won't mind paying my way. I also remember my Ghanian friend Francois Bonin (MVP) did mention girls in that region are exotic, real live Cleopatras.

Bring it on guys, can't wait for that suggested exchange program to happen!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The love of men shall wax cold

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, ... [Iniquity shall abound ... the love of many shall wax cold] ...
Endtime News: Discerning the Signs of the Times

Today in the News in Nigeria:
  • Girl arraigned for murder, kills 2 through food poisoning, original target was her boyfriend
  • Man stabs girlfriend to death at Ijeshatedo, Surulere,
  • Nurse injects baby with substance suspected to be Novalgin, baby dies

Last month in Nigeria, enough horrible crimes as robbers take on banks, killing several in Ketu areas of Lagos state, another bank robbery in Kwara state and Oyo state. Principal witness killed in the North, a muslim cleric who was supposed to testify at an election tribunal. Let me not even go into the killings in the Niger-Delta. Truly Nigeria has changed, these kind of crimes were alien a few years ago.

Well, I attribute a lot of the gun crimes to the politicians in Nigeria who armed the guys to rig elections and gave them money. Now there is no money but they still have the guns. The other crimes I won't claim to have answers to.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Federal Road Safety Commision

These guys have not been doing terribly. They make sure people wear seat belts and carry fire estinguishers. Believe me this is good if you think of the average family owning a 10 - 20 year old car that have seen many "re-wires and mechanics".
well I can't resist putting up these pictures because it appears they live by a different rule.

People put out FRSC car fire with sand.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ignore My Photo Post

This is how I can get Janice to show up beside my name.

Africa Outsourcing

I just read this post, thanks to a referal from Oluwatosin of Ngdevelopers (
Its good to know some guys out there appreciates Africa still, well the guy is African though. His belief is a vision I share. I got thoughts running wild about how we could get some guys like this to speak at kodearena or subsequent events. The guy did say he is a capitalist/social entrepreneur and I do hope he can use the later for our course :).
Back to the outsourcing thingy, he did leave out a couple of important factors though. Probably because he does not experience these things, remember he lives in DC Metro area. Power is still a major issue in Nigeria and I'm sure Nigeria is a major part of his prophesy judging by our number alone. New kidnapping trends in the Niger Delta is giving us yet a more innocent face you'll say. The roads are still bad after Objs 8 years and the educational sector sucks. The 419 stigma is still there and a google search for Nigeria is not encouraging at all.
There is hope though. I'm suddenly feeling more private sector effects in our everyday life and some more Nigerians are getting statemanly.
Veering off I do like the new president of Nigeria, Yar'Adua. If I say I still like the guy in another 4 years then I'm sure Nigeria will be a swell place then.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rubbing off the mud

The mud is popularly known as 419 or advanced fee fraud, the mud is Nigeria's battered image.
I tried to buy a web template and PayPal does not have Nigeria listed in its country list, a mammoth country floating on the Atlantic. Well, its for obvious reasons.

I could not get my dial up connection to work and I'm in this cafe called "Heavenly Lifestyle". So much for the name because their customers are the very retarded guys who make up all sort of funny and ridiculous scam letter. Not that I blame the management, but these guys are so proud of their doings they talked about it loudly. A guy goes ahead to mention how he bought his car december last year from a scam he pulled off and how much more his father now regards him, Nna!

Back to PayPal and DNSkin, someone did mail me back because I mailed them about the inconvinience of paying through paypal that has decided makeNigeria's over 120 million people suffer for the crime of a few and luckily someone replied.
I guess i will be able to make my purchase later tonight but I wonder what it will take to rub off the mud.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Microsoft Vista: Start Here

Thursday 22md Feb 2007 and Microsoft is launching Windows Vista. It’s a little past 11 a.m. and I’m lounging at the Civic Center, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island Lagos.
It takes the like of MS to afford Civic Center, its lovely with a grand view of the ocean so close it’s breathtaking. Some motor-boats sit nearby by that’s by the way. The place is so good looking I sent an s.m.s. to Stan, “Come over, this place is enchanted”.

Jim Ovia: MD, Zenith Bank (Left)

The launch gains momentum as FRANK Edoho of “Who wants to be a millionaire” climbs the podium. There was a recital of the National Anthem by a lady that made it so romantic. For some time, I wasn’t sure it was the Nigerian national anthem.

Frank introduced himself. Of course we all know who he is. He goes on to tell how people have found it difficult to dissociate him from “Who wants to be a millionaire”.

“One day”, he begins. “I was walking along the marina looking for the Nigerian Stock Exchange and waits to ask for directions”.

Frank: “Excuse me, where is the Nigerian stock Exchange”;
Stranger: “Em, Frank, I don’t know that one o, can I call a friend?”

Victor Okigbo, Marketing Mgr of Microsoft Nigeria (Dreadlock RastaJ) gave a little speech, some MS advert held people spellbound and then the truly interesting Chinenye takes the mike. After a rhetoric that made everyone sober, he goes ahead and talks about how he was a teacher 20 years ago and asked J.S.S. 2 kids to draw the layers of the earth’s atmosphere. A lad goes ahead and labels his 3 layers Earth, Sky and Heaven to the amusement of all. He goes on and relates this to how little of original things we’ve had in Nigeria and how given the right mindset we can achieve a lot more.

Chinenye, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria

Akin Akinwolere did a short Vista demo. He shows off the new search features, the 3D windows Presentation Foundation, the cool one, adding more memory to your system using a flash drive, security etc More MS Vista features

Everything was all charged up again when Jim Ovia of Zenith bank made an appearance, more men in black really. For some time I thought it was El-Rufai that came in. People gave him a loud ovation as he goes on and mentions how he intends to self-install Vista on his pc. He also got a signed copy of Vista Ultimate, signed by Bill-G.

The very interesting Chinenye is back and speaks on how he gets a BSA (Bandwidth Separation Anxiety) once he is disconnected from his mail for a few minutes. He talked some more about how technology has changed the face of doing business and the future. He wraps it up with a very beautiful Igbo piece, “What an elder sees sitting down, it takes a child climbing a palm tree”.

Vista: WPF Demo

June, the first female presenter demoed the new features of Office 2007. She selects some text, selects formatting options and its cool the previews that comes up as your glide over the formatting options. She showed off the new Ribbon control and all the tabbed menus. Everyone wows away as she demos conditional formatting and the all new “context based grammar correction” A guy behind me was so thrilled he sighed, “Nna, this people don finish everything”.
Office is definitely a good buy if you can afford it.

Very few was said about Exchange 2007, probably for fear of boring the not-so-geek audience.
MS partners in attendance included HP, Zinox, Infographics, Bi-trax Axxent. Altogether, a good day at the exclusive Civic Center.