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Thursday, March 1, 2018


YouREAD Initiative, a CSR initiative of GTBank launched last year to rekindle interest in reading, has given its support to a 40-year old Nigerian, Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi, who is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Marathon Read Aloud.

The current record holder, Deepak Sharma Bajaan attained the feat in 2008 after he read a total of 17 books in 113 hours and 15 minutes. Now, Treasure Olawunmi is taking a shot at breaking the world record by reading over 15 Nigerian published books in 120 hours over a period of 6 days at the Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba recently refurbished by the bank.

Treasures Olawunmi started the challenge on Monday 26th February, 2018 at exactly 1:30pm Nigerian time. So far, he has read nine books including Toni Kan’s The Carnivorous City, Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s Independence, Leye Adenle’s Easy Motion Tourist, Elnathan John’s Born on a Tuesday amongst many others.

Today, 1st March, has been set aside by UNESCO as the World Book Day and it is the 3rd day of his marathon attempt, he has done over 72 hours of reading. YouREAD Initiative celebrated the day with him, students from various schools in the environs and over 250 readers who filled the library to capacity.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Murtala Muhammed: 42 Years Later, and A Call for National RebirthGen

General Murtala Muhammed

13th February 2018 (last week Tuesday) marked the 42nd anniversary of the death of General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, Nigeria’s then Head of State and Commander-in-Chief, through an assassination in an attempted coup in Lagos, Nigeria’s then federal capital city. He was just 37, leaving behind his only wife, Ajoke, and six young children. A fine gentleman and revolutionary leader, General Muhammed stood for patriotism, positive nationalism, pan-Africanism, and strategic foreign policy.

In a statement released by the foundation founded in his honour, his daughter Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, CEO and trustee of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation noted that 42 years later, the time remains ripe as ever to examine and extrapolate the ideas and ideals of the late General in the context of the existential challenges, which our country Nigeria currently faces.

During his time as Head of State, Nigeria became relevant in Africa and the world. General Muhammed was not only ideologically driven, he was methodical as he employed the power of plans and think tanks. He named Abuja as the new Federal Capital Territory, citing the geographical centrality of Abuja as a uniting factor. He also re-federalised Nigeria with the creation of seven states, including Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Imo, Niger, Ogun and Ondo. He re-organised the Nigerian armed forces and initiated a comprehensive review of the Third National Development Plan, all within his one year at the helm of the affairs.” She noted

On October 1st 1975, General Muhammed announced the five-stage program of transition to civilian rule, from 1975 to 1979. This comprised the creation of new states and the reorganisation of the local government system, the setting up of a Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), followed by a Constituent Assembly (CA) to deliberate on the draft constitution, lifting of the ban on politics, elections into state and federal legislatures, and the handing over of power to civilians on October 1, 1979. Muhammed recognised that structural reforms were required with the demilitarization process, to create a viable political system that will be stable and responsive to the needs and realities of the country. However, this transition to civil rule program had barely started when he was assassinated.

Today, our country Nigeria is still facing problems that General Muhammed sought to eradicate 42 years ago; corruption, poverty, civil unrest and a shaky foreign policy architecture. At the global level, Nigeria can and should leverage on the legacy of General Muhammed, for Africa to once again find its dominant space in world affairs. His Afro-centric foreign policy strategy not only placed Nigeria above its African counterparts, it effectively crashed the pillars of injustice and apartheid in Southern Africa. The ‘neutral’ stance of Nigeria during the cold war era as against the politically correct ‘non-aligned’ movement of the time made Nigeria stand out from the pack. That there is no more cold war should not diminish the voice of Africa’s most populous country,” the statement noted.

Gen Muhammed with Prof Bolaji Akinyemi

It is important at a time like this when our continent is being derided to recall General Muhammed’s speech to the AU leadership on the 11th of January 1976, delivered with so much pride and expectation: “Africa has come of age. It’s no longer under the orbit of any extra continental power. It should no longer take orders from any country, however powerful. The fortunes of Africa are in our hands to make or mar. For too long have we been kicked around; for too long have we been treated like adolescents who cannot discern their interests and act accordingly.”

The foundation further noted that sound and strategic foreign policy can be the bedrock of national development as it was in the days of General Muhammed. Global politics it said is an extension of domestic policies and Nigeria needs restructuring of minds, of attitude, of economic thinking and of course, of governmental structures.

Above all, if we can begin to train the minds of the young and the old at domesticating pan-African ideologies of self-reliance and self-sufficiency, we will overcome our developmental challenges. An opportunity for our national rebirth is here, if only we can replicate some of the values and virtues of our heroes past, as demonstrated by the Late Murtala General Muhammed (1938-1976). Reflecting on General Muhammed’s short-lived innovative leadership and legacy, we believe time is now for a re-interrogation and re-calibration of new forms of thought towards national rebirth.”

Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode announced that the Foundation is expanding its co-funded educational scholarship and financial aid fund to N50,000,000 a year and the launch of its quarterly conversations in partnership with the Daily Times of Nigeria with a focus on governance, and leadership in crisis leading up to the 2019 elections and beyond.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Heritage Adoption Support And Advocacy Group Holds Conference On Adoption

The Heritage Adoption Support And Advocacy Group held its first conference recently with the theme, “The Power of Adoption”. Special Guest of Honour at the event was Her Excellency, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the Vice President of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo urged Nigerians to adopt saying, “We must choose to fight the negativity that is around adoption and raise our voice to speak out against the stigma, uncertainty and fear attached to adoption.

According to the Managing Trustee and project coordinator of the group, Eme Akenzua, “The aim of this conference is to change the negative perception associated with adoption and thereby make it more acceptable to childless couples and any responsible and God-fearing adult that has the heart and resource to adopt. By so doing, we would achieve our aim of getting all abandoned and needy children into responsible, God-fearing homes.”

The Heritage Adoption Support And Advocacy Group is an offshoot of The Heritage Homes orphanage founded in 2006 by Pastor Ituah Ighodalo. The vision of the group is simply to change the negative perception of adoption in the society and render support to prospective adopters, adoptive parents and adoptees and advocates for better adoption laws.

Speaking at the event, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo said “Adoption would depopulate our streets of children who can easily fall prey to all kinds of vices and become criminals and ultimately a threat to the society. Adoption transforms the lives of both childless couples and adopted children. Through adoption, loving and caring parents are able to fulfill a lifelong desire of having their own child. The culture of shame and stigma associated with adoption in our society must stop.”

He said adoption can be embraced by people who have biological children, but they should have the heart and resources to take another child off the street. He appealed to all government authorities to make it easier for people to adopt children without compromising on the stringent checks and balances to prevent trafficking. He called for the co-operation of religious organisations, government and non-governmental organisations (NGO), corporate entities, the press and all Nigerians to take it as a collective responsibility to promote adoption.

The aims of the conference were to dispel the negative impression of stigma and shame associated with adoption in the society, garner support for the adoption cause, enlighten the general public on the subject of adoption and to let prospective adopters, adoptive parents, adoptees and the entire adoption community know there is a support and advocacy group they can be a part of.

The conference highlighted the issue of infertility in the Nigerian society, which affects about 25% of married couples in the country. The conference noted that while some infertile couples will respond to different types of fertility treatments, some sadly will not and fortunately for such couples, adoption offers an opportunity to have a family. Unfortunately though, because of the stigma and shame associated with adoption, this is usually shrouded in much secrecy. It is this stigma and shame that the group seeks to dispel by enlightening people appropriately on the subject of adoption.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Google Trains One Million African Youths In Digital Skills In 11 Months

Reporting by Ayodeji Jeremiah

Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, Google Country Manager Nigeria and Vanessa Morris

Mayowa Oshindero, Segun Aboderin, Vanessa Mbaramah, Tele Aina and Vanessa Morris

Bunmi Banjo, Head of Google Africa and Mrs. Moni Udoh,
Director of ICT. Ministry of Communication

Titi Akinsanmi, Policy and Govt Relations Mgr Google and
Taiwo Kola Ogunlade, Communication Mgr. West Africa, Google

On April 12, 2016, Google Nigeria announced an initiative that will provide free digital skills training for one million youths (between ages 18 and 35) within a one year period. The programme was designed to address the issue of unemployment especially amongst young people and provide opportunities for them to succeed in today's digital economy.

Google convened a media briefing in Lagos recently to announce that it had achieved the one million milestone albeit in 10 months. At the event witnessed by partners, the media, participants and Google executives, Google Country Manager for Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor in her welcome address said young people accounted for 60% of unemployed people on the continent; "it's very important to empower young people with the right digital skills for them to create opportunities for themselves and take advantage of the digital economy.”

Titi Akinsanmi, Google Government and Policy Relations Manager moderated the panel discussion that included Mrs. Moni Udoh (representative of the Ministry of Communications), Mr. Smart Akande (from the office of the Special Assistant on the SDGs to the Vice-President) and Mr. Tayo Olosunde (from Mind The Gap, one of the major training partners on the initiative).

Feedback from participants centered mainly on the realisation that most now knew what they wanted to do career wise; they could now be more productive online and they can use the present resources they have more efficiently.

One of the main goals of the MDGs (now replaced by the SDGs) is addressing poverty within the population. With the average age of an African being 19.5 years, the bulk of those that will be affected by poverty will be the youths. With this realisation and the fact that these young people still have their future ahead of them, empowering and educating these sub set of the population (which the Goodle Digital Skills Training provides) is crucial in addressing economic and political challenges on the continent. Bunmi Banjo, Google Brand Lead for Sub-Saharan Africa said “Having one million digitally skilled young people in Africa is good for everyone. If young people have the right skills, they will build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent.”

Google is extending its committment by providing offline kits that don't need data to access the training, roll out the training using indigeneous languages, and go outside of their area of operations to reach local communities they ordinarily won't reach.                 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

14th Timeless Magazine Anniversary Advertising Offer

For our 14th anniversary next month, we are offering 50% off our usual advert rates in the April edition. In addition to the 50% discount, YOU GET A FREE ADVERT of the same size in the May edition for every advert placed. Essentially, you are getting two adverts at 75% off.

With the 50% Discount, you get:
Full page 12 by 10 inch for N75,000;
Half page (6 by 10 inch horizontal or 12 by 5 inch vertical) N45,000; 
Quarter page 5 by 6 inch N25,000 and
Strip size 11 by 3 inches N20,000.

All adverts have to be booked and confirmed by 20th of March. We look forward to receiving your placements. Pleae call or SMS 08026861642 or email

Monday, January 23, 2017


Celebrating Creativity and Innovation”

The management of Bellafricana has announced the first edition of the Bellafricana Annual Creative Exhibition and Awards coming up on the 17th of April, 2017. Termed the Bellafricana ACE Awards, the event is endorsed by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and the Nigeria Britain Association and will take place at D-Venue, Water Corporation Drive, Off Ligali Ayorinde, Oniru, Lagos, Nigeria.

The event is for enterprising Nigerian MSMEs seeking wider access to both internal markets and international markets and investors seeking joint-venture partners. With the theme “Celebrating Creativity and Innovation”, the organisers believe the time has come to come together to recognise and encourage hardworking and highly skilled men and women who are making a significant impact through their various industries/sectors.

The event will be a three phase event with two of the phases running simultaneously while the third phase will be held as the peak of the event. The phases are the Exhibition, the Conference and the Awards Dinner. While the Exhibition and the Conference will be held simultaneously, the Awards will be held as a dinner to close the event.

The watch word at Bellafricana is quality, to this effect; the organisers have assured of the availability of top quality creative Afrocentric businesses for the exhibitition. Participants and visitors will be able to access a wide variety of discounted quality made in Nigeria products under one roof in five focus categories namely Arts & Crafts, Fashion, Health & Beauty, Home & Living and Food Produce & Snacks.

The conference will feature enlightening and engaging talks from renowned business men and women who have garnered experience in their fields with conference topics such as
  • Marketing Your Creative Business Globally
  • How to Monetize your Creative Idea
  • Branding For Local And International Market
  • Taking Your Non-Oil Export Global (Export)
  • Financial Management For Creative Businesses
  • Growing A Sustainable Creative Business
  • How to Receive Payment Globally

The Awards opens for nominations in various categories. Participants are offered a unique opportunity to showcase their talents and to have their work judged by consumers and experts. Awards categories include:
1) Best Indigenous Textile Designer
2) Best Emerging Beauty Brand
3) Best Emerging Fashion Brand
4) Best Creative Solution (ICT)
5) Best Supportive Made-in-Nigeria Celebrity of the Year
6) Best Eco-friendly Product Innovation
7) Best Innovative Product of the Year
8) Best Pioneer Craftsman/Woman of the Year (Over 10 years)
9) Best Food Produce Innovation
10) Best Creative Kidpreneur
11) Best Creative Social Enterprise of the Year

Bellafricana is an initiative with a focus on Made-in-Nigeria (non-oil) products where customers and suppliers engage and transact to bridge the buyer-seller gap and create a wider outreach for Nigerian products locally and globally. Bellafricana has enabled creative businesses a platform to receive the recognition they have long deserved. They aim to laud the creative works of Nigerians, which makes open competition affordable and accessible. Bellafricana is always finding ways to help both budding and established creatives to harness the resources available to build their businesses.

Bellafricana founder, Bukky Asehinde

The event is an important annual occurrence aimed at attracting an audience that includes Captains of Industry, Investors, Upwardly Mobile Youths, Marketers, Trade Delegations & Missions, Procurement Officers, Brand and Business Managers, Art Lovers, Government Representatives and Key Decision Makers.

For partnership and sponsorship details, please contact the organisers: Call: +2348086363970 or +2348184457403 orEmail:,