By Bayo Ogunmupe Modern slavery is a crime committed every day under our noses in Nigeria and all over the world. In fields, factories, in the media, building sites, brothels and homes the atrocity continues unabated. It takes many forms: human trafficking, forced and bonded labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced marriages. Other slavery guises include workers being owed salaries, states in Nigeria not wanting to pay the salaries of their state and local government workers. President Muhammadu Buhari has not paid the pensions of Nigeria's former heads of state for the past 10 months. Any wonder why the Academic Staff Union of Universities want to have a separate pension administrator of their own? Sadly, there are an estimated 4.5 million people enslaved in the world today. This number is roughly equivalent to the population of Spain. The Global Slavery Index of 2016 assessed the problem and the inadequacy of government response to it in 167 countries including Nigeria. North Korea where about 4.4 percent of the population is enslaved, has the highest incidence of servitude in the world. In this game of man's inhumanity to man, North Korea is followed by Uzbekistan at 3.97 percent of her population and Cambodia at two percent. In terms of absolute numbers, India by far has more people in slavery than any other country with 18.3 million enslaved people. But the present government of Narendra Modi is taking giant strides to tackle the problem. In sub Saharan Africa slavery is a booming criminal industry. Forced labour, one of its kind generates $150 billion yearly in illegal profits. Figures from the International Labour Organization (ILO) show this is more than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of most of African countries. The ILO shows that there are 21 million victims of forced labour worldwide, 19 million of whom are exploited by criminals working for themselves or gangs. And over 2 million slaves are exploited by nation states or rebel groups. Indeed, more than one quarter of enslaved people working for individuals, gangs or states are sexually exploited. Also, victims of sex trafficking include more than two million children. In Nigeria, there are scores of baby factories where babies are reared and sold as slaves. In fact perhaps owing to the current recession, some parents sell or barter their wards for food. Nearly one in three of trafficked people who are found are children, according to a 2014 UN report on human trafficking. In Africa and the Middle East, children make up the majority of victims of slave labour. In Europe and Central Asia, victims of trafficking are adults, mainly women. Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi founded the charity-Save the Child Movement, which has rescued more than 80,000 enslaved children in South Asia. Satyarthi also leads the Global March Against Child Labour, a global movement to bring child labour and child slavery to the attention of world leaders. For safety, the best a country like Nigeria can do is to allocate as much money to skills acquisition for in and out of school children as is given tertiary and higher education. Though the education of the citizen is important for development, skills acquisition is all the more so for the well-being of a nation state.
By Bayo Ogunmupe In order to do God's will, Moses had to leave his comfort zone. Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He thought it was better to suffer than to own all the treasures of Egypt. He was looking ahead to his great reward from Jehovah. To fulfill the mission that God gave him, Moses had to give up two things: One, Moses had to leave the ease and comfort of Pharaoh's palace. Ease is a greater danger to your progress than hardship. After leaving the palace, Moses spent his next forty years in the desert tending sheep. He married one of Jethro's daughters; managed her father's business and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. Can you imagine leaving all that to face Pharaoh? God's plan for your life will bless and reward you, but never expect it to be easy: 'Along familiar paths I will guide them that dote upon the Lord' Isaiah 42:16. Two, Security: When Jehovah called him, Moses had many doubts and questions: 'Who am I that I should go?' Exodus 3:11. 'What shall I say to them?'Exodus 3:13. 'Suppose they will not believe me?' Exodus 4:1. 'But I am slow of speech', Exodus' Exodus 4:10. Finally, Moses told God, 'Send someone else', Exodus 4:13. Have you been doing that in God's plan to make you the messiah to rescue Nigeria from poverty? Fortunately, God would not take no for an answer and Moses eventually did the one thing that works when you are uncertain about the future. He obeyed God entrusting the details of the future to Him. In doing that Moses agreed to hearken to Jehovah's call by leaving his comfort zone and returning to Egypt. As a result the children of Israel were delivered from slavery; and Moses' name became immortal. When are you leaving your comfort zone to deliver Nigeria from the shackles of depression? Three, It is never easy to leave your comfort zone. Moses probably didn't relish leaving the luxury of Pharaoh's palace or the security of his new family in Midian. Yet if he hadn't, he would have failed to fulfill God's call. Just because you don't feel like doing something does not mean you should not. The greater the assignment, the greater the sacrifice. Four, real progress begins as soon as you leave your comfort zone. For forty years, Moses benefited from everything Egypt had to offer. But only after he left Egypt for the first time did he begin to learn what was really important, namely, God's purposes. It took him another forty years in the desert to discover how God intended to use him. By then, he had been humbled, rendered old, infirm and sagacious by experience. The bottom line is that before you become successful you have grow in wisdom and experience. Five, staying in your comfort zone robs you of your greatest moments and memories. Your life story is told by risks- those you took and those you avoided. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed about the risks you did not take than the ones you did. The way to pre-empt tomorrow's regret is by moving forward today into the faith zone. You say, But there is so much I don't know or understand. That may be true but here is a promise you can stand on: "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them.....turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These things I will do, I will not forsake them," Isaiah 42:16. What more assurance for God's blessings do you need? For you to become great, you must leave home and your comfort zone to gather experience, wisdom and courage.
By Bayo Ogunmupe Here are truths you must understand that will make you excel. One, there is a life-force within your soul which is a spark from the Supreme Intelligence. You might have been taught from childhood to look outside of yourself for salvation. However, from that divine spark within, you can gain all the answers needed for a life more abundant. So, always seek inside of you for solutions. Two, you know more than you think. Your heart and soul are a lot wiser than you think. This is so because they have been alive here from time immemorial. They know everything about you, your path in life and about all the wonderful things you are capable of being, doing and having. And if you could just cultivate the habit of conversing with your soul via meditation; listening, trusting and following the guidance of your heart and the wisdom of your intuition. You will discover that the answers you were once seeking were within yourself. Three, you were not created to live in a box. Your nature is gregarious, flexible, fluid and expansive. Your perception is greater than reality. You are more precious and valuable than all the labels heaped on you until now and all the labels that may be placed on you in the future. When you define yourself, you put yourself in a box to conform to elicit ideas of who you are and how you should live. You deny yourself the right to realize your full human potential. You deny yourself the right to become all you can be. Four, but you are not a finished product. You are constantly changing, growing and evolving; taking new forms and shapes: becoming something new each day. That is why it is important for you to be flexible at all times. You must be open to change. You must allow yourself to be who life needs you to be; not who you think you should be. Always remember that the more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless. When you try to shine, you dim your inner light. Tao Te Ching says:"He who stands tiptoe doesn't stand firm. He who rushes ahead doesn't go far. He who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can't know who he really is"- Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and compiler of the Buddhist holy book, who lived in the 6th century Before the Christian Era (BCE). Five, you came to this world shining like a star. Though you might have forgotten how valuable you actually are; you could just do without trying to prove your value to others, you will eventually allow your light to be seen, valued and appreciated. You will no longer depend on others to confirm that you are worthwhile. Six, your worth cannot be verified by others, that will only be determined by history. Other people cannot determine your worth, since most people have no idea how valuable they themselves are. Most people allow places, people and circumstances determine how much they are worth; and so they judge you as being worthy. based on the same criteria; not knowing that these things have nothing to do with your value and self-worth. Make sure you don't fall into the trap of thinking that who you are is not enough and that you need other people's approval, love and validation. Never allow external forces, places, people or circumstances determine how much you are worth. Decide for yourself, which is why it is self-worth, not other worth. Self-worth cannot be verified, so never depend on others for your value. Seven, you don't have to compare or compete with anyone. The life you will create and the person you were born to be are unique. Since your path is different, there is no need to compare or compete with anyone. No need to be better than anyone. When you are content to be yourself, everybody will respect you. Eight, you have your own unique path to walk in life. Even though you might be tempted at times to imitate and follow the herd; to do what everybody else does, please don't. Insist on yourself; never imitate, every champion is unique. Embrace your uniqueness. Nine, you are never alone, wherever you are. Your heart and soul are always with you, guiding,inspiring, protecting you and making sure you loved and cared for. Moreover, your guardian and legions of other angels are waiting for you to ask for their guidance. That my friend, is something no one can take from you.
By Bayo Ogunmupe Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th president of the United States. By his astute diplomacy and humility he was able to dismember the Soviet Union thereby turning the world to a unipolar globe dominated by the United States. He was arguably the greatest U. S. president in the 20th century. When he was governor of California, Reagan sometimes slipped out of his office; telling his chief of staff Michael Deaver, "I have few errands to run." Deaver became curious, so he leafed through the "to read file' on the governor's desk. On top was a wrinkled letter from a man stationed in Vietnam. The soldier had written to Reagan telling him about his life in Southeast Asia; and how much he missed his wife. That particular day was their wedding anniversary and he wanted her to know how much he loved her and longed to be with her. Although he had already sent her a card, he asked the governor if he could make a phone call to make sure she was okay and pass on his love in case she didn't receive the card. The next day Deaver discovered Reagan had done much more than the soldier requested. He had picked up a dozen red roses and delivered them to the man's wife. Dale Rowlee, the governor's driver told Deaver that Reagan approached the woman with extreme humility and offered the flowers on behalf of her loving husband stationed in the jungle on the other side of the world. Then Reagan spent an hour with her, drinking coffee and talking about her family. Reagan's humility may, in fact, have been one of the secrets of his enduring popularity. To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals, courtesy; to inferiors, nobility. It is not by deeds, but small acts of kindness that make us great as God counts greatness. Finding ways to serve others like this are sacrifices God is pleased with. Maintaining an unimpeachable integrity is yet another way to please God. "The integrity of the upright guides them," Proverbs 11:3. The word integrity derives from Latin word, integer, a mathematical cliche meaning whole as opposed to a fraction. So when you walk in integrity, you tell the whole truth, not just a fraction of it. That is why we take an oath in court to tell "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God." Sometimes, we slant the truth, embellish it and tell half-truths, just for financial gain. At other times, for social advantage. And sometimes, it is to hide our actions. Jacob whose name means- trickster, conspired with his mother and deceived his father into giving him the birthright of the firstborn- twice as much of their father's inheritance which rightfully belonged to his older brother Esau. And Jacob paid dearly for it. He spent the next fourteen years as a fugitive working for his father-in-law, who was an even bigger and better cheat than Jacob. Finally in despair, Jacob had an encounter with God and heard these words: "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.....I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you," Genesis 28:15. That day Jacob's value system changed and the taker became a giver. He told God, "Of all that you give me I will give you a tenth," Genesis 28:22. Thereafter, God blessed him beyond his wildest dreams. He returned home with a beautiful family, great riches and a new name- Israel. The truth is: integrity pays dividends every time because Jehovah guarantees it
By Bayo Ogunmupe The older prosperity manuals are often the best. And Genevieve Behrend's books provide a charming entry point to the genre. It is fascinating to sit down with 'Your Invisible Power' after reading contemporary manifestation and 'law of attraction' books, like The Secret and Ask and It Is Given as you realize that many of their ideas are not new; with Behrend having studied and written about this material 80 years previously. Behrend was the pupil of the British philosopher Thomas Troward, a former judge in the Indian Punjab, who in his spare time had studied the arcane books of the East, therefrom becoming a master of metaphysics. Troward propounded the laws governing the relationship between the individual and the Universal Mind. In his book 'The Creative Process in the Individual', Troward argues that the fulfillment of our personalities is vital for the evolution of the universe. His thinking was seminal to the emergence of the New Thought movement and the science of the mind in the 1930s. Thus, Behrend summarized these ideas in her book that combines spiritual principles with anecdotes of her researches to help people appreciate their abundance. Compared to its modern counterparts, Behrend's Your Invisible Power is more focused on visualization to achieve desires. It is also distinguished by its concept that every person is God in miniature. This means that when you have feelings of lack, you have forgotten your divinity or divine connection to Divine abundance. Since you are Godlike, what your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve. What we visualize tends to come into being. Use this invisible power to turn any desire into reality. There is nothing mysterious in turning our pictured desire into material reality. Everything in the whole world, from your hat, shoe and cellphone, first existed as a picture in the mind. It then comes into existence as a projection of human thought. Through the law of growth and attraction, whatever you desire becomes yours. Behrend's first point is that visualization brings order to your mind. The Universe and the Mind behind it is perfectly in order and your use of vivid imagination allows this order to be expressed. We now have airplanes and telephones because someone first visualized that such things should exist. All great advances are a triumph of principle over circumstances. Reality is a blurry concept when you consider that all things are first created in the human mind. At the moment that they are being imagined, they are already part real. Which is why whatever you imagine you can achieve because of your divine nature. Therefore, in visualizing the object of your ambition, you are not changing natural laws; you are only fulfilling them. A strong mental image summons the mysterious but unfailing law of attraction to allow your ambition to materialize in accordance with your imagination. With such strong images, the success of your goal takes on an air of inevitability. We all create our futures first in the mind before they are played out in physical reality. For example, the United States railway magnate James Hill, whose railroad stretched from one U.S. coast to the other, first built it in his mind decades before the first track was actually laid. What Hill did to achieve his goal was to visualize what he wanted strongly enough to pull him into action. Upon all, action is the soul of success. Without action nothing can be achieved. All rests on the Biblical promise: "All things whatsoever thou wilt, believe thou hast received, and all thou shalt receive."
By Bayo Ogunmupe In Paul's epistle to the Corinthians, God said, 'Love never fails', think about it. Money doesn't bring happiness; fame doesn't bring self-worth and revenge doesn't bring satisfaction. The only thing that never fails is love. When Mother Teresa addressed the United Nations, she was asked, 'How can we have world peace?' She replied, 'Go home and love your family'. If we all did, 'Paradise Lost' would become 'Paradise Found'. Napoleon Bonaparte's intellectual prowess and intense egotism make his tribute to the supremacy of leadership by love all the more striking. He said, 'Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself founded empires: but upon what did the creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire on love, and to this day millions would die for Him". Sometimes, leaders are just power-holders; because you cannot love others without making yourself vulnerable, for they see the expression of love as a weakness. But factually, you cannot love and keep all your options open. To truly love your spouse, your children, your siblings or the people you lead, you must give yourself unreservedly in such a way that you can be hurt and even rejected. The fundamental principle on which power holders operate is to protect themselves and everything they have. Whereas, true leadership is to give of yourself without reservations. Love as a characteristic of leadership seems now outmoded, yet according to the scriptures, love and integrity are the winning strategy for success in life. The bible says, 'God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of courage, power and of love and of a sound mind'. Thus, courage, integrity and love are the attributes of champions. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you", Luke 6:32. The love talked about in scripture isn't a sentimental emotion that gives you goose bumps. It is compassion, caring and concern for the well-being of another. It is based on commitment, not convenience. It is an act of your will, not a reflex of your emotions. When we submit to God's dealings in our lives, He empowers us to reach our full potential by gently breaking our stubborn will that needs to be submitted to Him. As our stubbornness breaks, His power within us is released and things begin to change for the better. Power, vision and talent without character and direction, have destroyed many a man and woman, so be warned. Unless your talent is governed by character, you are headed for failure. You don’t belong to yourself alone; you must honour God who bought you at a high price. Isaiah wrote, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up.” The king had to die before Isaiah saw Him. Only when a leader becomes impervious to applause and approval and dies to ego is Jehovah glorified in his leadership. When God calls you to be a leader, here are two important principles you must always practice. One, reach for people who stretch you. Solomon said, ‘Teach the wise, and they will become wiser,’ Proverbs 9:9. You can tell a lot about the direction of your life by looking at the people you hang out with. Their values and priorities impact on the way you think and act. If they are positive and dedicated to growth, then they will encourage and reinforce your desire to grow. It is not only comfortable to associate with people who are ahead of you in their growth; but it is profitable. So, try to cultivate people who stretch you, who never think in terms of only what you can gain, bringing something to the table yourself. Two, realize there are tradeoffs. As responsibilities increase, rights decrease. In a world where perks and privileges accompany the climb to success, little thought is given to the responsibilities of the upward journey. As the American oil magnate John Rockefeller once said, “Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” Put another way, “To whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”, Luke 12:48.
By Bayo Ogunmupe Engineer William Adeolu Rosanwo (1931-2016) was born on October 20, 1931 into the respected family of Gabriel Awowekun Rosanwo and Madam Victoria Sheneiye Rosanwo of Iwesi, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. Adeolu attended Ereko Primary School,Ijebu Ode and the Baptist Academy, Lagos. Willy as he was fondly called sat for the West African School Certificate Examination and the Higher School Certificate Examination, passing them with distinction. Then he left for England to study engineering. After three years apprenticeship, as was the practice at that time, he returned to Nigeria as a qualified engineer. Upon his return, he secured an appointment as a structural engineer with the United African Company (UAC), a company richer and older than Nigeria at that time. Rosanwo worked for a decade for UAC shuttling between Lagos and Aba, Abia State. Dissatisfied with their working conditions, Rosanwo resigned from the UAC to join the Federal Ministry of Works as an Assistant Works Superintendent in September 1961. Along with his uncle Johnson Rosanwo, Adeolu became a pillar of the Baptist Church, Yaba, Lagos. From his Works Ministry Rosanwo attended refresher courses in mechanical and civil engineering in London, UK and Tokyo, Japan. During the Yakubu Gowon regime, Rosanwo supervised the building of Ikorodu Road, Lagos and the Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja. He then supervised various formations in the ministries of Works and the Environment. Other formations built by Rosanwo included Ijora Waterworks, Ikoyi Government Reservation Area and the Yaba Central Division. He was commended for setting up the Yaba Mechanical Workshop by the then Minister of Works, General Mamman Kontagora. He managed the Workshop until he retired in 1991 after 30 years of meritorious service. He was a caring husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. His ancestor, Elder Gabriel Rosanwo was a successful merchant shuttling between Lagos and Ijebu Ode. Elder Gabriel was the first person who took the Baptist missionaries from Broad Street, Lagos to Iwesi in Ijebu Ode in 1902. No wonder serving God runs in the blood of the Adeolu family. Thus, Willy was a chorister and organist at the Yaba Baptist Church for decades. Later, he became the choirmaster and Music Director of the Church for many years without pay. Also, Rosanwo's contribution as an organist to a weekly Radio programme tagged "Sunday Night at the Organ," then on Radio Nigeria and Radio Lagos endeared him to listeners and their interpreters immensely. Willy has come,seen and conquered with children and grandchildren. What will they say of you? Accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and your path to paradise will be smooth.
By Bayo Ogunmupe Your life does not consist of the abundance of possessions you accumulate but the value of your contribution to the world. And the worth of your life isn't what you own but your life is measured by what you give. Your life is the sum total of all you have been given, but how well you lived that life is shown by what you give back to society in return. Your life is Jehovah's gift to you; what you do with it ia your gift to the world. You are endowed with unique gifts, abilities and wonderful graces that only you possess. God intends that all your gifts must be expended during your life time to fulfill the purpose why He put you on earth. Have you ever wondered why your fingerprint is different from that of any other person dead or alive? This is because the legacy God destined you to leave on earth can be attained by no other person but you.That is how unique you are. Which is why self discovery is the mother of self actualization. Until you discover who you are, you will never know your path in life. You only become in life, what you already are by nature; and that you must discover by experience. Thus, your outward circumstances can only lineup with who you are on the outside. You are perfect in your spirit. But you need to renew your mind with the Word of God and find your place in the Cosmos. Indeed, any outward limitation you face is a clue to an inward potential that is lying dormant in you. This means in life you will only experience difficulties that you have what it takes to overcome. Also, the ammunition the enemy chooses to attack you with is a clue to his fear of you. It reveals something in your life that poses a great threat to his agenda and an area of great potential strength against His kingdom. Are you fearful, timid and lazy? These only reveal that you are potentially a man full of faith, boldness, courage, smartness and diligence on your inside. Therefore you must advance toward your fears. You must double your speed of advancing towards those fears. The past only reveals a clue to the greatness in your shining star. The champion in you will not be awakened until a certain level of crises comes your way. And rest assured that if God allows it to come your way, the Almighty will be there to see you overcome it. But it will done to you according to your faith. Now, until you get to that place where you become restless and strongly desire change, the champion in you may remain sound asleep. Let the challenges you face in life add meaning and value to your faith. Awaken the champion in you. Umbrella cannot stop the rain. But it can make you stand in the rain. Confidence may not bring success but it gives you the power to face and conquer challenges. That is why if you do not leave your comfort zone, you never find your true destination. Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to fight for what you deserve. There are no limits other than those you place on yourself. Your life has purpose, you overcome your weaknesses by letting go. You can always go beyond logic.
By Bayo Ogunmupe The Lagos Office of the National Productivity Centre hosted the public to a seminar on the application of the Japanese Kaizen concept of productivity improvement. The seminar was held at Eko Hotel recently. In his opening address, the deputy director, technical cooperation, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Investment of Japan, Yuji Nakayama said his government is satisfied with the implementation of several projects in Africa. He said the projects have enhanced the living standards of the people in infrastructure promotion, better hygiene and health and the development of human resources by means of Business Education Initiative for the Youth. Mr Nakayama declared that Japan planned to develop 30,000 people and improve 30 percent of the productivity in African factories with the Japanese Kaizen concept of productivity. Japan is supporting sub Saharan Africa in productivity improvement through Japan Productivity Centre. On Nigeria's side, the Lagos Office coordinator of the National Productivity Centre (NPC), Mrs Patricia Nwaozuzu, in a release, announced the mandate of NPC as stimulating productivity consciousness, determining productivity levels, monitoring productivity and promoting it in all sectors of the Nigerian economy. Also, NPC promotes cooperation with similar organizations such as the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, Asian Productivity Organization, Pan African Productivity Association (PAPA), Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Investment and the Japan Productivity Centre. The seminar was the offshoot of NPC's membership of PAPA through the collaboration with Japan who is assisting in developing the Kaizen concept of productivity in Nigeria. The teaching of kaizen is currently running in Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mauritius, Namibia and the African Union. The aim of NPC intervention programme is to develop the productivity mindset in Nigerians; to promote human resource development and to build a knowledge based society. Through networking and partnering with other productivity institutions, NPC has organized awareness campaigns, produced jingles in five languages namely, English, Pidgin English, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. Consequently, kaizen productivity and quality improvement were installed at First Forty Hotels, Abuja; Niyya Foods Limited, Kaduna and Afrotec Industries, Laqgos. From 2009 to date, 32 private companies have benefited from the programme, resulting in 480 productivity champions, serving in 32 Quality Circles around the country. Then, NPC formulated the rationale and the objectives for determining productivity indices. At present, there is no nationally coordinated productivity measurement system in Nigeria. Also, there is no provision for productivity statistics as the basic input for meaningful national productivity measurements. In capacity building through training courses, workshops and seminars, the Japanese kaizen productivity concept was discovered. The five components of kaizen are: good house keeping; the kaizen suggestion scheme, innovative creative circles, total quality management, total production maintenance and timeliness. This seminar showcased three companies. One each from Ghana, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The company from Ghana was on marketing; that from Burkina Faso was manufacturing cement and the last was Jumac International Company from Lagos, Nigeria. Led by Chief James Uzuh, Jumac like other companies improved both productivity and quality from 20 percent to 80 percent. Jumac which manufactures suitcases was so successful in quality the Nigeria Customs often impound its products as imported good goods. Jumac won the NPC Best Private Company award in 2016. It missed National Productivity Order of Merit award because it did not apply in 2016. Jumac had increased its productivity, efficiency and quality through the application of the Japanese kaizen productivity concept.
By Bayo Ogunmupe When you are trying to be original by creating something original, that stands out from the crowd, that will last forever, you must go it alone. Above all, creating innovation should always be your philosophy of business. You might be an entrepreneur setting up companies for profit, dreaming up new products must be your ideal goal not money. Don't ever be afraid to be different. Everyone knows Richard Branson as a famous entrepreneur, the philanthropist knighted by the Queen of England. What most of us know of Branson comes from snippets on newspapers. But there is a reality behind the image that only good autobiography reveals. There are hundreds of "how I did it' stories by many millionaires, but Losing my virginity, is one of the greatest autobiographies of all time. This is owing to rich materials Branson has to draw from. As an inveterate diarist whose over 25 year scribblings enabled the book to be written. Losing My Virginity is a book which an aspiring entrepreneur must read. As his philosophy of life, Branson will either go to prison or become a millionaire. That was because when he left high school, his headmaster said to him, "You will either go to prison or become a millionaire." Branson's first success was as a publisher of a National magazine for students. There, he added interviews of great champions including the British musical legend, John Lennon. He said he did not go into the venture to make money; it was more of a fun enterprise. In fact the magazine was kept going by advertising. His clique were obsessed with music; making them to sell records by mail order. Selling records blossomed but a postal strike forced him into retail trading. Branson's first Virgin record store became a hangout for young people, the first to take care of the youth market exclusively. Many more stores followed around Britain. Branson never obeyed the business rule not to work with your friends that you cannot send to jail. Most of his Virgin inner circle for the first fifteen years were people who had grown up with him. Apart from drug indulgence, Branson preferred to have a great time and keeping his wits about him. Behind his barefooted, long haired hippy style was a businessman who wanted to make a difference. In spite of his chain of record stores, Branson was losing money. As a solution, he accidentally solved his problem by selling records in Belgium and thus escaping hefty U.K sales duties. When discovered by Customs, he had to pay three times his duties (60,000 pounds sterling) in 1971 to evade imprisonment. The experience burned him to never do illegal business again in his life. Then, Branson fulfilled his dream of big time Music whose acts could be promoted through the Virgin stores. He bought an old manor house i Oxfordshire which he converted into a recording studio. The first act Virgin signed was the musician Mike Oldfield. This bizarre choice for a rock music label paid off. Tubular Bells was one of the biggest selling albums of the 1970s; it bankrolled Virgin's early years in the business. The label later attracted the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, Phil Collins, Human League and other stars to its fold. By the early 1980s the label had become the greatest in Europe. Branson had achieved his wish for an integrated music company where Virgin stores and Virgin Megastores could promote the bands that Virgin Music had signed. His business success propelled a proposal to establish a transatlantic airline to compete with British Airways. He could not resist the offer. Against the advice of his counsellors, he negotiated to lease a 747 for a year from Boeing in Settle, USA; Virgin Atlantic airline was born. But the fuel price hike brought on by the first Gulf War was a major obstacle as was the sudden loss of air passengers after the events of September 11, 2001. Virgin also had to contend with a dirty tricks assault from the British Airways which soaked up more debt than was expected. Then, Branson came to the realisation to either sell Virgin Music and keep Virgin Atlantic flying or lose the airline. Again despite good advice from family and friends Branson sold Virgin Music. The sale brought in $1billion. His share of the sale gave him money beyond his wildest dreams. From experience Branson notes that there is no recipe for business success; but there are styles of business management. Thinking big, taking calculated risks and simply believing in your 'can do spirit', these are the unfailing styles of running businesses.
By Bayo Ogunmupe Thousands of personal finance books on shelves today promise to teach you to spend less, save more, invest better and solve any financial conundrum between poverty and stardom. Perhaps none said it better than a book by Napoleon Hill, published in 1937. This great depression author and former U.S. presidential adviser, Mr Hill interviewed hundreds of the richest men in America to figure out the key to their good fortune. Hill wrapped his insights in a 200 page package named, Think and Grow Rich, which went on to become one of the greatest best sellers of all time. Do not expect to find any stock-picking or gambling advice in it. In spite of the interviews, none of his findings involved any particularly-hard-to- attain skills. The entire premise of Hill's findings is helping people overcome their psychological barriers and personality deviations that keep them from wealth. According to Hill, wishing will not bring riches. But he says, actively desiring riches with the state of mind that becomes an obsession will make you rich. Definitively planning to acquire wealth and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure are the hallmarks of dollar millionaires. If you want anything, you should focus all your positive energy on that thing until it becomes your reality. You remain poor because you chose to cling to your comfort zone. People experience relief from their perception of belief, faith or religion. Which is why they will fight tooth and nail to protect their faith rather than be a knower of the truth. Such beliefs spawn poverty. What you love loves you. If you cherish wealth and fight for it you will become wealthy. Some persons attract wealth more than others. Since the idea that personality is more fluid has gained grounds over time; the world has now reached a point where we know we have influence and control over which traits and characteristics we want to develop or refine in ourselves. The personality is the typical pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving that makes a person unique. When we say a person has good personality, we mean that he is likable, trustworthy, interesting and pleasant to hang out with. If you want to attract others, having a good personality is vital. In a desire to become a millionaire, having a good personality is even more valuable than good looks. In fact, 85 percent of your success and happiness will be as a result of how well you interact with others. Ultimately, it is your personality that determines how you attract or repel people and wealth. While we can only enhance our looks to a certain extent, we have the ability to improve our personality as much as we want. We can integrate any trait we deem fitting and agreeable. You can make yourself attractive to money and moneyed people in the following ways. One, be a good listener. That trait made Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis such a celebrity that both John Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis made her their consort. Two, read more to expand your intellect and conversation. The more you know, the more you are interesting to hang out and transact business with. Three, have an opinion; there is nothing more tiresome than conversing with someone who has no opinion on anything. moreover, cherish conversation above argument. Arguments lead to disaffection while conversations enrich your knowledge. Four, make effort to reach new people, people who are unlike you. It exposes you to new cultures and broadens your horizons. Five, be yourself and exude a positive mental attitude. Such an outlook will attract helpers to you. Be funny and see the humorous side of life. Finally espouse integrity in every aspect of your life. Being honest and respectful brings you the admiration of others. Nothing enhances a person's personality better than integrity. When we develop ourselves this way, we become whatever we wish to be; we contribute to our own success and happiness and the happiness of others.
By Bayo Ogunmupe No matter who you are, where you are from and what you want to become, good health is the pivot to your success. It is the ultimate key to riches as it opens the door to everything good in your life. In every nation, regardless of their economic status, improving the quality of life and increasing longevity are common threads that tie us together. Sadly, far too many people in many places lack basic resources like food, clothing and shelter; it is essential for us to protect our diverse populations from the devastating impact of preventable illnesses and death. Senator Isaiah Balat of Kaduna, Veteran journalists Yakubu Abdulaziz of Kwara, Rufai Ibrahim of Nasarawa; Nigeria's former Charge D'affaires in Lebanon Terimi Jimoh and Chris Ghomorai of Bayelsa were my bosom friends killed by Nigeria's poor environment. The problems are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease all of which are non communicable. Together they are the world's leading cause of preventable death and represent the defining global health crisis of this generation. In the 1990s, forty percent of deaths from non communicable diseases were in our developing countries; compared to 75 percent today. This surge can be traced largely to four areas: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, insufficient physical activity and unhealthy diet which leads to obesity. Each year, 38 million people die from these diseases globally. But three quarters of these deaths occur in poor countries like Nigeria. In addition, these health threats carry an economic burden of increased medical costs with lost wages and unpaid pensions that continue to climb. A 2011 report of the World Economic Forum estimated that non communicable diseases could cost the world a cumulative output loss of $47 trillion by 2030. Of course this doesn't begin to factor in the emotional toll on family and friends- the abandoned children without parents; students left without teachers and businesses left without leaders. But what is to be done? We all have an obligation to help ourselves and the community to control their risk factors. It is more straightforward than you may think. A 2015 study published by the American Journal of Medicine concluded that chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cancer could be cut by a half if people adopted healthy lifestyles such as regular exercise; diets low in sodium and added sugars and abstaining from using tobacco. Adopting healthy lifestyles however, doesn't happen overnight. There is science behind why people change, as each person is inspired and motivated by varying emotional and life factors. While taking an individual approach to extending and saving lives is effective, think about what a dramatic impact we can make by casting a bigger net and creating a culture of health. This means designing infrastructures so the healthy choice is the easy choice. For instance, nations can prioritize creating and maintaining safe spaces for exercises; low cost options to purchase healthy foods and clean air laws that protect people from the dangers of second hand smoke. It doesn't have to be an entire nation. It could happen in a community, company or neighbourhood. Every little bit helps to preserve and prolong human life. Effective prevention also means understanding the unique risk profiles based on race or ethnicity. In the United States, African Americans have a high prevalence of hypertension, a major risk factor for stroke; not surprisingly, stroke rates are much higher among African Americans. Where you live can make a huge difference between the length of your life. We have seen life expectancy differ by more than 20 years for people living just five miles apart. With creative problem solving, there are many more ideas and more solutions. The key to salvation is in working together, by so doing, we can create a world that is healthier and all manner of prosperity is sure to follow.
By Bayo Ogunmupe This is a massive, paperback book from a seasoned technocrat. The author, Dr Dan Mou is an expert on public policy analysis. He is worth being listened to by politicians and public servants. Published by the famous Author House Publishers of Bloomington in Indiana, United States in 2016; National Security, Good Governance and Democracy in Africa is a book worth the reading by anyone passionate about Nigeria's prosperity. The book demonstrates that National security and good governance are opposite sides of the same coin. As good governance improves and develops society, national security also improves the well-being of the people. The challenges to national security become lesser and lesser as society grows prosperous and peaceful. in this book, Dr Mou avers that for most of Africa, security and good governance are not happening fast enough. Mou avows that poor governance is leading African youth into self help, which includes, violence, kidnapping, militancy and migration. Which is why African youth are migrating through the Mediterranean sea into Europe and over land into more prosperous nations of Eastern and Southern Africa. Thus, the issues of national security and good governance have become complicated by militancy, kidnapping and rural and urban migration. The book is in four parts; has 24 chapters; eight appendices and additional readings. With a bibliography running into 30 pages, the book has 860 pages. Other issues covered by the book includes human rights, social integration, international trade and foreign policy. Herewith is a repository of many workable schemes and suggestions masterminded by a research guru on public policy. Such schemes as the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs and the Amnesty Programme for the development of the Niger Delta region. The entire eight appendices comprising hundreds of pages contain the quantum of Mou's suggestions. He shows that the problems of poor national security and bad governance in our democracy arise more in the context of periods of weak leadership and weak institutions. All of these determine the posture and state of our national security, good governance and democracy. Moreover, under harsh economic conditions, more challenges tend to surface. This is because a deepening economic crisis generates more social conflicts based on social cleavages. The cleavages comprise divisions based on class, ethnicity, religion, language, race and gender. Each set attempts to capture the state and use state authority and power to favour their exclusive interests.This affects the autonomy of the state, its policies and their impact on the people at large. In concluding Mou's take on economic revival, we are delving on his many memoranda on how to quickly revamp the Nigerian economy. A memorandum on that was submitted to the late head of state, General Sani Abacha in 1993. Among his suggestions to Abacha was the cancellation of Ibrahim Babangida's Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). Though SAP was not designed as a long term economic plan, it was mistakenly allowed to outstay its welcome. At that time, the Nigerian economy faced major distortions with unviable parastatals squandering scarce public resources on questionable projects. In domestic affairs, SAP promoted initiatives from private entrepreneurs, local sourcing of raw materials. But the political consequences of SAP had been negative. The removal of subsidy on consumer goods increased poverty. Which was why he proposed the abrogation of SAP and the abrogation of foreign exchange as was managed by the Babangida administration. According to Mou, printing naira notes will cause a revaluation of the currency. He also advocated the dissolution of the National Planning Commission and the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Economy. With the continued poor performance of the economy up till date, it is difficult to say that the planning commission has lived up to our expectation of providing useful advice to the government on the economy. In chapters 2, 3 and 4, Mou discussed Human Rights. But the locus of his thoughts is on the modernization of the Nigerian civil service, waging war on corruption and deregulating the workforce as the lasting solution to the minimum wage debacle. In that regard, Mou has used the appendices as the journal of record of his suggestions to Nigeria's heads of state from Babangida to Umaru Yar Adua. His memorandum on the Civil Service and war on corruption led to his friendship with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Mou's advice on deregulation he borrowed from the Administration of President Franklin Roosevelt of the USA. The policy started during the great depression in the U.S. There, the private and public sector workers could not be paid; their wages were not sustainable because of the depression. To tap the vast energies of the people, the policy makers decided that workers should be fully deregulated such that any worker is free to have two or more jobs. It also allows workers in their free time, to do anything that is economically viable, provided it is legal; to earn more money and improve their individual welfare. Thus, the jobs an individual holds is entirely dependent on his energy, marketability and his need for more income. This policy shifts the burden of family prosperity from government. Dependence on government will also reduce. Mou's second memorandum to Obasanjo with input from Rose Abang Wushishi, a retired assistant inspector general of police, produced the EFCC. The original proposal was titled: National Economic and Financial Crimes Enforcement Agency. In part three, Mou gave conditions of how to institutionalize and sustain democracy in Nigeria. Methods of sustaining democracy through effective conflict resolution mechanism occupies chapter eight. He he traces sources of conflict boundary dispute over land; the federal civil service; the Presidency and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Inherent in our society are allocations by government which tend to be unequal in the perception of the people; whether real or imagined. Therefore, legitimacy is pursued in order to avoid conflict and disintegration in our society. That was why the Federal Character clause was inserted into the Nigerian Constitution. They provided provisions for resolving the issues of marginalization, pluralism and justice. Marginalization introduces such issues as true federalism, resource control and ethic domination. Accordingly, the 1991 Nigerian Population Census gave 53.19 percent to Northern Nigeria and 46.80 percent to Southern Nigeria. In terms of the federal character clause, it implies that every thing in Nigeria must be divided in like manner for justice and equity. In other words, justice and fair play must prevail in order for peace to reign. Sadly, the causes of conflict were spawn by colonialism. Contact with the West started from the South. It took decades before it reached Northern Nigeria. This is why the South had a head start in Western education. At that time, the Hausa and the Fulani ethnic groups were in contact with Eastern and Arabic civilization. Had Arabic language been adopted as our lingua franca at independence, Southerners would today have been considered uneducated. The lesson therefore, is not to trivialize the issue of marginalization. The answer is to seek solutions to the prevailing inequality in the land. Certainly Mou has contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria. He had his first degree in Political Science from the University of Ibadan. He had his MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in the USA. He specialized in public policy analysis. After teaching politics briefly at the University of Jos, he joined the Presidency in 1989. After stints as director, drug control; secretary, National Poverty Eradication Programme and director, Ministry of Defence, He ended his service as adviser to the National Security Advisers to three consecutive Nigerian governments. He is married with children.
By Bayo Ogunmupe The protagonists of the New Evangelism believe that another name for the Supreme Being is Abundance. You can meet these people in the social media particularly on Facebook. These new theologians believe that by being attuned with God Almighty that permeates the universe, you acquire the right to ask Him for your fair share of His riches. It is your right to ask God to become the most you can be. And you should ask to make earthly contributions which can reverberate beyond your lifetime. At the same time you must not neglect your workaday duties, for work is prayer in another form. This is exemplified by the Latin adage: He prays the most who works hardest. "With the last word, the transformation begins. He hears a tremendous crack. Then a roan, and a rumble as the gate swings away from him in a wide arc. There, stretching to the horizon, are fields of blessings. And Jabez steps forward into another life." Simply put, God favours those who ask. To ask God that you want honour isn't arrogance in Jehovah's eyes. It isn't self- centered either. God's kindness in recording Jabez's story in the Bible is proof that it is not who you are, or what your parents decided for you, or what you were fated to be that counts. What counts is knowing who you want to be and asking for it. In a nutshell, do not be afraid to ask for blessings in your life. With the help of divine power, you can do more and more. The character Jabez is mentioned in the Bible book of Chronicles. The idea that an average person could obtain blessings and abundance through simply asking and being given suggests a new appreciation of how God works and therefore the foundation for any aspirant for prosperity in life. The story of Jabez is hidden because he did nothing remarkable in ancient Israel. He appears in chapter 4 of Chronicles in the listing of the descendants of Judah. Jabez's start in life was not good. In his wish to improve himself he prayed the following: "Oh, that You would bless me indeed. And enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain." After this comes the simple line: "So God granted him what he requested." Nothing is said about what subsequently happens to Jabez. All we know is that his prayers were answered. Thus, it is good to ask. Great people of faith do not think it is selfish to ask for huge blessings from God. They felt that to fulfill their task, they will need more resources and power than the average person. So it is right to be selfish in your prayers, to say: "Bless me abundantly." Indeed, the example of the Jabez prayer is that your demand becomes a habit, said daily. Never be afraid to ask for more, even when you swim in abundance. God's supply of blessings has no limit. Asking for more is supported by Proverbs 10:22: The Lord's blessing is our greatest wealth; all our work adds nothing to it. Two, James 4:2: You do not have because you do not ask. Finally, Matthew 7:7: Ask and it will be given to you. Note that while Jabez asked for huge blessings,he left it open to God to decide the exact nature of the blessing. God will shower you with blessings when your faith in His goodness is absolute. Yet God waits to be asked as a precondition for helping you. Always pray, believing that no obstacle is larger than God. Jabez asked: Enlarge my territory. Do not be ashamed in asking for more influence and responsibility, since you were born to be more and do more. Moreover, never be surprised when your blessings turn out to be more than you can handle; bringing new challenges. You may even feel you are the wrong person for the job. This is the paradox of the big blessing: That through God we embark on things which are too big for us to do. Yet, this brings further blessing. We're expected to attempt something large enough that failure is certain, unless God steps in. That's how God sets you up to be a hero; making others wonder how you achieved it. Always ask for the hand of God in your life, since He wants to work with you and through you. So, it is not selfish to pray to be great in the service of humanity. It is a fulfillment of Jehovah's blessing. Jabez says, "Oh, that you would keep me from evil." If said daily, the Jabez prayer enables you to avoid being in temptation. Finally, Jabez asks that he not cause pain to others. Such a humble request is a basic element for a blessed life. The morale of Jabez is that what you want for yourself is little compared with what is in store for you if you become open to divine guidance. Just do not allow your upbringing limit you. History is replete with average persons who became remarkable due to their openness to a particular direction quietly suggested in prayer or meditation.