Lai Mohammed. Photo credit: Per Second News

Lai Mohammed. Photo credit: Per Second News | Reuters

Nigerian information Minister, Lai Mohammed has recently denied suggesting a ban on the shooting Nigerian music videos and movies abroad.

In a response to the furore the supposed announcement caused, Mr Mohammed had this to say: “At COSON, I said that I would work to amend the National Broadcasting Commission’s code to ensure that if a product is designated a Nigerian product, it must be produced in Nigeria. I didn’t say that, henceforth, all music and films would or must be produced in Nigeria. All I said was that if a programme is designated as a Nigerian content programme, we will amend the code to ensure that it is produced in Nigeria. I didn’t say I’ll ban the production of Nigerian movies and videos overseas.”

There was public outcry recently when it was reported that the Nigerian Federal Government would ban production of Nigerian music videos and movies abroad.


Got a business idea? Where do you begin?

Got a business idea? Where do you begin?


Here’s a proven initial action plan:

Identity – The product must be identified in order to have a relevant presence in the market place. For any product, it is wise to incorporate a company (a partnership or sole trader registration can also suffice)

Registration can help with ensuring your preferred name is registered and not taken by someone else. A registered company is liable to relevant taxes, so ensure you do your research before registration. Following this, extensive research must also be done to ensure an idea like yours does not already exist. If it does, what is the competition? What are their weaknesses? and how can you beat them?

Branding – This is the core of the business. Your product must have a solid logo, banner, name and presence. Reflect carefully about names that will resonate with consumers and customers alike. Your logo must be catchy as this will be what your product will be associated with……Forever!
Protection – Your business idea must be protected in order to stand a chance of success. Protection comes in many guises but there are 4 main types:

  1. Patent – A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. Patenting costs between £230-£280 and can take up to 7 yrs to come out, but once patented, nobody else has the right to your idea.
  2. Trade mark – is a sign, which can distinguish your goods and services from those of your competitors (you may refer to your trade mark as your “brand”). It can be for example words, logos or a combination of both. TM’s cost £170.
  3. Copyright – this automatically protects your idea. It’s free, but you still need to make it official.
  4. Design – simply protects the shape of an object. If this is relevant to your business idea, then you need to strongly consider this level of protection.

Marketing and Promotion – Once the identity and branding has been done, you can then start the marketing and promotion process. I’ll advice though that some form of protection is in place before any marketing is done just to deter anyone from copying or duplicating your idea. Marketing is an ongoing aspect of business. You can never have too much marketing or promotion. There are several channels for marketing and its best to utilise the free ones initially. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In are all sure-fire ways of promoting and marketing your product. I suggest a Facebook page as well as constant tweets about the product to build fan and follower base. The more followers you get on these platforms, the more users you get for the product.

Business plan – a complete and comprehensive business plan will be needed regardless of the type of support needed. Business plans are very important documents to keep and maintain not just for investors but for the entrepreneur too. Any business plan needs to be regularly updated in order to know what stage any business is at, next steps to take, updates on your competition and market trends.

Costs – In order to be able to determine the type and level of support, its important to put a figure on the business idea. Every investor, Venture Capitalist, Bank or loan company will want to know the product’s associated costs and how much investment you’ll need in total. This can be worked out by determining the costs of production, maintenance, servicing, admin, salaries, marketing & Promotion, miscellaneous expenses etc.

Investor or loan support? – It is imperative to determine the kind of support you would need to push this business forward. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Getting a loan is much more straightforward however, banks RARELY give loans any more to start-up businesses. There are several loan companies that are designed for new start-up businesses; all they need is financial projection, business plans, cashflow, profit and loss accounts etc. However, with any loan you have to pay back! Which leads to investors and Venture Capitalists. It’s extremely hard to get one these days especially in the current climate, but it can be done. There are several ways to hook an investor. I’ll talk more about investors next time! Just know that if the product is good, the product is good. Investors will not shy away from a good product.
Follow these simple steps when considering bringing a business idea to market.

Kole Obasa

the celebes crested macaque monkey like the one pictured was recently the source of a conflict between an professional photographer and Wikipedia

the celebes crested macaque monkey like the one pictured was recently the source of a conflict between an professional photographer and Wikipedia

Thursday 7th August 2014, The Ebola virus is indeed taking hold and by Friday 8th the World Health Organisation, and Nigerian Govt. declare a state of emergency.

The Americans have decided to bomb Iraq (again) while chasing the deadly gang ISIS.

Israel is not letting up on Hezbollah, and vice versa. Gaza has become a death bed.

There is the normal strife in other parts of the world – Syria, Libya, South Sudan, Egypt, Afghanistan etc.

So, thousands of people dead, bombings, diseases, violence, genocide and we are fighting over an animal selfie copyright?

Kole Obasa


It always occurred to me that even though there are so many of life’s fundamental questions that remain unanswered, there still seem to be an active support or following for a particular course of action.

Why do a degree course when you could simply get into the work force and build your way to top management in a couple of years time? Or why do a degree course if you will end up in the middle management sphere at most? Reasons for this ‘anti’ argument vary greatly. There are many reasons students find themselves tied down to academia for 3 (maybe more) years of their lives.

It is fascinating sometimes to hear the various reasons people give for being in higher education. Many of us have no other option than to study. African and to a large extent Asian parents find it sacrilegious, a taboo even to not attend and successfully complete a degree program. Some even have their career paths and indeed degree courses chosen for them. Having a ‘good Degree’ represented a sense of pride; a sense of belonging, and an opportunity for a social standing that is unparalleled. A tidal wave of consequences would normally await the wards of many who wouldn’t rethink.
This stance can be justified though since in many parts of the world, a first degree is not even enough to get you through the ever revolving doors of employment, talk less of not even having one at all.

I use to think I was one of the lucky few in this regard; My father, being an Air force pilot always either made me believe my career in life was completely left to me to decide or he didn’t participate in any discuss regarding it. This made me feel somewhat empowered to do what I felt was right for me. So if I decided not to do a degree, so be it. Right?

Looking back now, it occurred to me the little remarks and innuendo about the Air force being ‘A great way of life” a motto I carried with me and recited all my life was not just a motto, it was me being buttered up to study and either join the Air force as an officer, or study and become a pilot. I remember how as a reward for ‘good behaviour’ my brother and I were allowed into the cockpit of huge military transport planes (C130) almost on a daily basis. We weren’t that well behaved, at least not daily. He would talk about flying and the Air force non-stop and he still does. This wasn’t a punishment, neither was it any form of reward, he was simply nudging us towards a career path he felt was best above all. So much so, I nurtured an ambition to be a pilot all my life (I still do) I also ended up in the military for a short while. My brother came very close.

Some of us do it because it’s the next logical step; it follows a set pattern – primary, secondary and tertiary education. Something that just has to be done. Not because of any kind of pressure from any quarter, but simply because its logical.

Believe it or not, some others do it out of sheer curiosity. Why is 1+1 really 2? What really is the General Theory of Relativity and what does Einstein mean by this? It is true that some in academia will forever strive to conquer the summit of learning. Many are successful! If you think that attaining a Doctorate Degree is the end of true education, think again. Education is constant and continuous, and knowledge is never lost.

There is also the ‘clubbing and drinking’ culture, which also makes higher education appealing to many. Heck, who wouldn’t relish an unsupervised and wild social life? Putting the appeal of this into perspective, one can see a reason for the influx of many to Universities. Party hard, drink harder, play hardest; by the way, there’s the small issue of a degree course to consider.

The harder economic times, the recession as many know it forced the hands of most employers who somewhat unfairly subsequently attached stringent measures to their recruitment drive. One of these measures and in order to be able to stand out from the rest of the crowd was a ‘good University Degree’ as a minimum for entry. Some go as far as requesting professional courses as well as university degrees. The reaction to these sometime draconian measures was an increase in undergraduate numbers. But, there is research that supports a steady increase in salary for recent graduates; so it’s not all bad news. Keeping ahead of the competition has never been more justifiable.

Regardless of the motive, motivation and end result, certain school of thought continually refer to statistics that indicate a steady rise in graduates (at least in this country) Their argument, one might add, also lends credence to higher education being seen as the benchmark of the political leadership in the UK, a standard which is unchangeable or undiluted. To even consider going for the top job, the British Prime Minister, political acumen is and will never be enough. It is surely the norm these days to have a leader who is ‘Educated’ and this extends to leaders of mainstream political opposition as well.

But believing the above statement would mean the land is and will continue to be ruled by the educated elite. This is simply not true. On the other side of the divide, you will find strong argument supporting the notion that so many (particularly entrepreneurs) have made it to the very top without spending a day inside a lecture room. Two or three British names will continually spring to mind when laying down this argument – Sir Alan Sugar, Sir Richard Branson. If we want to go global, then Bill Gates and Steve Jobs will complete the list of names of giants of industry who did not attend university. But are they uneducated? Honorary degrees aside, could even the most worthy academic match these Billionaires toe to toe in any current, global or business issue? I think not, simply because learning and qualifications are 2 separate entities. These guys have learnt their ways to be qualified enough to hold their own in their respective industries. Truly fascinating wouldn’t you say?

This article is pregnant with questions and surely provokes a bout of self-reflection, but then it was designed to be. One thing is clear though, choosing higher education is increasingly no longer a luxury, it is gradually becoming the norm and an undeniable fact is that regardless of your rationale and reason(s), there appears to be no downside to it. It is sure! You win a prize at the end, which helps you massively in your life, and you lose nothing.

So, why are you in higher education? I can’t speak for you, but I can speak for myself. My answer is unpretentious, I have always operated on a simple ethos in life – I have a dream not a plan. In order to attain this dream, I need to attain a good degree. It’s that simple.

Kole Obasa