Our self-inflicted recession as gift

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Like the name suggests, our blog-cum-epaper: soon hopes to fill the gap between Nigeria of today and Nigeria of the future with speculations, ideas, and images. Our goal is to sit as the prefix to Nigeria’s economic and political development, so that one day we can say: soon, Nollywood will be the world’s largest film industry or soon, Nigeria will achieve uninterrupted power supply or more urgently, soon, Nigeria will be out of recession.

We are all aware that the economic recession (otherwise known as inflation to the man on the street) has been the hot topic in Nigeria today; while on the other hand, pockets of hope such as: Owambe (my euphemism for events sector), Church, Nollywood, Music, Football, Agriculture, Solar Energy, herbal medicine and side businesses offer a glimpse into Nigeria of the future.
As we hope to think our way out of today’s recession, we have to understand that our economy, once totally dependent on oil, is suffering due to an unhealthy aspirational culture that has seen us attempt to Westernize our economy. So for instance, we ban hawkers, chase away roadside cobblers and vulcanizers, refuse to document Nollywood (until lately) because they do not fit into the Western prescription of what should count as sectors of the economy. In ignoring our large informal and unsalaried economy, we have based our economic projections on a small segment: the documented, salaried economy; and by so doing we have remained dependent on the West tipping the balance of trade in their favour. So rather than look to the West, soon will, in the midst of the recession, glory in our unsalaried informal economy: those ragtag industries that keep Nigeria moving. We will look closely at those sectors we have jettisoned: those undocumented sectors with healthy cash flow that actually run our current sub-economy.

We will catalogue those beautiful unique things within our geographic and financial reach. For where if not Nigeria can you get a shoe shiner, or a cobbler right at your doorstep, without going to a town centre mall like in the Western cities we admire, where else can you have empty bedrooms sit idle in large compounds and not pay bedroom tax. Where else than Nigeria can you get repairs for your electronics and clothing cheaper than purchasing the original. For how did Nollywood get its acclaim for becoming the 2nd largest film industry in terms of output if not through smash and grab. In looking at how to get out of recession, we will celebrate these hidden beauties of our economy. With Street Stock Exchange, we will document our unsalaried informal sector: barbers, roadside vulcanizers and tailors. With Cheap Icons, we will promote goods and services that are within financial reach while we cast our minds on tomorrow through futuristic polls on the 2019 general elections.

We hope that by filling the gaps between how we arrived at recession and how we can get out of it, we can also move from import dependency to local sufficiency and then to the desired mix of local sufficiency and exports. For example, have you noticed how one of our national strengths: The Church (my euphemism for religion) has flourished in spite of the recession? In this inaugural April – May cycle when we approach Easter and Democracy Day holidays in April and May respectively, we will, weekly, explore Church as Strategy: how Nigeria and/or the Church can take advantage of burgeoning religious entrepreneurialism in becoming an economic giant. We will also welcome submissions in all formats as we hope to co-create the future of Nigeria.

Baba Oladeji Editor

Stomach Infrastructure Bank critiques Buhari’s inability to pay N5,000

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Stomach Infrastructure Bank is a critique of the inability of the Buhari administration to fulfill its campaign promise to pay N5,000 to Nigerian youths. By adopting transparency in its operations through the use of clear glass, the mobile nature of this cash installation immediately collapses the bureaucratic bottlenecks hindering the government in fulfilling its campaign promise.

The design is inspired by the vending machine, only in this case, cash is the item being vended. So an expectant youth approaches the machine with his SIBank card and receives N5,000 like he would have received a bottle of Coke if it were a vending machine for beverages. The potential for this installation is twofold: on one hand, politics, on the other, banking. As a political device, it can be deployed to different campaign sites by an Opposition that needs the crucial millennial vote while as a banking device, it can attract excitement-hungry millenials to the banking hall.

Summarily, it seeks to demystify and question the respect money gets being locked away in opaque safes by subversively celebrating cash.

Our Manifesto: Architecture Beyond Building

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These are the 7 truths that sit at the foundation of our organization.

1. We say architecture is not building but a way of thinking to shape life.

2. We say enough of the architecture of apolitical professionals,  designing for design sake.

3. We call for architecture with an agenda: a cause greater than the physical.

4. We say: for too long,  our collective future has been decided by argument, wit and empty promises.

5. We say:. there is no need for Left or Right wing politics, instead it’s time for national creative problem solving

6. We say Nigeria should be a unique model as a nation: in her politics, economy and culture.

7. We therefore call for politics for the economy as the economy affects us all.

Download our manifesto here

4 Dos and Don’ts for Skye Bank

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Stop Assuring People, Think and Act!

People care less about your assurances. Nigerians have heard and seen banks wind up despite plenty assurances.

Stop wasting N400,000? on full page Punch adverts when you can save some money strategizing about the future. Nigerians, even the elite, are wary of promises.

Stop talking, take some quick steps.

Don’t Shut Down Branches, Turn them to Mini-Markets for Customers

Your 260? strong branch network is huge strength. Based on their account balance, offer your business account holders a chance to advertise and/or sell in your branches.

Think of it as converting your online YES Mall into a physical YES Bank. Transfer the management of your redundant branches to a leasing company and earn new revenue from leaseholds to your expansion-hungry customers.

You grow your deposit base, they grow their businesses. You win, they win.

De-Emphasize Skye Bank, Emphasize YES Bank

skye bank design party We all love new things and new names, therefore refresh your brand. Already, Skye Bank sounds
like danger to many: a bank where one’s money may never be retrieved.

So, do a simple refresh. Relaunch your redeveloped branches as YES Bank while retaining Skye bank as the parent brand.

Let your proposition be: YES Bank says the Skye is Big Enough to accommodate all our customers because we connect their businesses to a huge number of people who come to our branches.

Quit Core Banking, Embrace Brokerage

When customers see how successful you are at connecting their businesses to new customers all over Nigeria, how their sales have improved through advertising in your branch network, and how they are answering in-numerous new customer inquiries;

You will easily earn new revenue from brokerage deposits and become that bank that fulfills the promise of its slogan: the Skye is big enough because our 260? branches are big enough to accommodate every business.