August 17, 2017
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So, that video of a governor wielding a machete and saying stuff online…?

Is kinda old

BellaRose OkojieBellaRose OkojieJul 1, 20171min

Hakeem Bello-Osagie, 62 has resigned his appointment as Chairman of telco, Etisalat following the approval of a ‘restructuring’ plan for the firm. The resignation takes effect immediately and is connected with the ongoing N541billion loan recovery and bank take-over blow the company has been dealt in recent times.

“Although the chairman had planned to leave immediately the banks made the take-over move, he opted to tarry until a road map for the company was finalised. The timing of the resignation was strategically delayed till now when stakeholders have agreed a plan and comes more than a week after Mubadala Development Company directors tendered their resignation,” reports reveal. Indications point to the fact that the resignation of these shareholders, including Bello-Osagie’s is to simplify the loan repayment and absolve the individuals of any criminality should the case get to court. “It is now expected that Etisalat Nigeria under its new shareholding structure will navigate through its current loan repayment challenge with minimum impact.”


BellaRose OkojieBellaRose OkojieJun 23, 20173min

Tech innovation company, SWITCH! was established in November 2016 by a team of developers whose main aim is to develop world-class developers, build world-class software, websites and apps. This year, they launch a service for potential tech-preneurs which will see them benefit immensely from guidance/mentorship the SWITCH! team promise to give. Deets below:

Do you have a million dollar business idea burning inside you? And you are thinking, “if only I can get my idea to become a functional product.” Then, you need to partner with Switch innovation express and get a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) ? Minimum Viable Products (MVP) contains the minimum key features that your product needs to add value to its consumers. It enables you get to the market early enough and test that your idea is valid. It helps you find out what the consumers really want from your product.

With an MVP;

  1. You can quickly turn your million-dollar idea into a functional product.
  2. You get your functional product into the market and beat your competitors by gaining the market space.
  3. Your idea gets validated and your product gains traction with its consumers.
  4. You get to know how to make your product better by gaining real access to analytics that will point you to the right direction. 

Ready to start?   

  • Fill the MVP form here
  • Describe your idea to us
  • You will be allocated a Switch partner
  • Your Switch partner will work with you to break down your idea into key features
  • A Switch team is put together to build your MVP based on the agreed key features.
  • Your MVP is live within 30 days of filling the form.

BellaRose OkojieBellaRose OkojieJun 20, 20172min

ScholarX is a technology enabled Social Enterprise that helps Nigerian youth (soon whole of Africa) access quality education cheaper or free though scholarships and other opportunities. Having launched in July 2016 on Android and iPhone apps, the app has accumulated over 5,000 users and continues to grow rapidly. It is run by Maxwell Ogunfuyi, Bola Lawal and Abayomi Johnson. Co-Founder and COO Maxwell Ogunfuyi is a Nigerian based serial entrepreneur, naturally occurring motivational speaker, Senior Network Engineer with over 9 years working experience in Telecom environment with organisations like Spectranet Ltd, SWAP Technologies, Etisalat (EMTS) and Alan-Dick West Africa. Abolade Lawal Co-Founder and CEO Abolade Lawal (Bola) is a US based Nigerian American Business Consultant with a wealth of experience that spans over 8 years with companies such as Conoco Philips, Accenture and Shell. Abayomi Johnson Co-founder Abayomi Johnson is a seasoned IT Consultant with 9 years experience in the information technology and telecommunication industry. He is the Founder and CEO of Bisobim Online Store. Abayomi graduated from the Lagos State University with a Degree in Electronics/Computer Engineering

Bola visited Nigeria earlier in the year and sat down with me as we talked about the education sector in Nigeria; the realities in Houston, US, how scholarships really work, the safety of Nigerians (or blacks) in countries where racism is rife but scholarship opportunities abound.


BellaRose OkojieBellaRose OkojieJun 9, 20175min

People who would naturally wake up to view pornography are staying awake to pray; testimonies are being shared, people are getting healed, spiritual destinies are being restored, those owing monies will pay; debts will be cancelled and God will make a way for debtors to pay what they owe”, Nathaniel Bassey said on Monday night, the first time I joined the #HallelujahChallenge hosted on his Instagram live.

The #HallelujahChallenge is a one hour long, live Instagram vigil that is attracting tens of thousands of Instagram users at midnight to pray, sing songs of praise and shout “Hallelujah!” to the name of God. Monday night, convener, Nathaniel Bassey the RCCG pastor and gospel music minister made a live announcement where he enjoined more of his almost 140k Instagram followers to join the midnight prayers and invite their friends too. He also shared the vision of the challenge; why it was midnight and why “Hallelujah”. “Things happen suddenly at midnight; things you have waited for long to happen will happen suddenly – at midnight- foundational issues will be sorted out; we are only enforcing and declaring the victory of Jesus through our praise. It is Hurricane hallelujah and praise!” He further encouraged viewers to partake of the challenge not just because they have needs, but moreso in the midst of these needs and challenges. “Tell your problems your God is Jehovah Rapha; a mighty Warrior”, he said.

Very many Instagram users have caught the vision of the challenge and the resultant effect of that is gist of the one hour online worship exercise going viral via hashtags, individual posts, WhatsApp broadcast messages and even the participation of celebrities in the challenge like singers, Benita Okojie-Adeyina, Waje, Weird MC, event mogul, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, actor/tv host Dolapo Oni-Sijuwade, etc


As per the future of the #HallelujahChallenge, he revealed that between the 27th & 28th of June, there will be a Hallelujah Festival in Lekki where people will gather physically to give God “boisterous praise for 4-5hours”. Plans are sketchy for now, but Bassey hinted that attendees got colorful tee-shirts ready with inscriptions on them like, #Suddenly, #AndGodDidIt, #SoundOfAbundanceOfRain and perhaps the most recent, #Olowogbogboro (Yoruba term of admiration to God meaning, The One with outstretched hands). On Monday, the day I joined, were about 2thousand viewers on @nathanielblow‘s Instagram. The following day, there were over 7thousand. Yesterday we were over 13thousand people watching; singing, dancing and making supplications known at the same time!

Bassey had also expressed his love for testimonies and the plethora of testimonies shared on his handle point very well to that. “I love testimonies and am so passionate to hear people testify. I don’t believe in a gospel without signs and wonders so I enjoin you to invite your friends; have a hallelujah slumber party. Once again, between 27th and 28th June; there will be a Hallelujah festival in Lekki… more details soon.”

Last month of May, Bassey kicked off the (now) monthly spiritual exercise with #TheOneHourTongueChallenge where he enjoined followers to pray by way of speaking in tongues; a form of worship that is traditionally pentecostal.

Musically, Nathaniel Bassey is on tour quite frequently and details about that are here. His new body of work can be downloaded on the Minstrels app.


BellaRose OkojieBellaRose OkojieJun 9, 20175min

I have a theory. Group pages on Facebook increase interaction and engagement on the social network; a fact Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged by dedicating a Facebook post to a lady and her group. WhatsApp groups also do same. So, if Zuckerberg can meet one-on-one with said Facebook group admin lady, WhatsApp group admins just may be next in line for a sit down with him! No?

Mark Zuckerberg met with the group admin of a super successful, viral Facebook Page group (Female in Nigeria, FIN – which I belong to btw) and said he has been meeting with other Facebook group page admins recently, so he might as well meet with WhatsApp group admins too since he owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

In a Facebook post, Mark revealed how for some weeks now, he has met group admins across the US who are building meaningful communities on Facebook and will be at the first ever Facebook Communities Summit. One of such people is Lola Omolola the Female in Nigeria (FIN) founder who lives in Chicago and is originally from Nigeria. “Two years ago, she founded a secret Facebook group called Female IN, or FIN. It’s a no-judgment space where more than a million women come to talk about everything from marriage and sex to health issues and work problems – and it’s helping end the culture of silence that exists for women in some parts of the world. I’m looking forward to meeting more admins like Lola and talking about how we can help them do even more to build community. I’ll share more info on the summit as we get closer, and I’ll stream the event live from my profile later this month.”

Responding to Zuckerberg’s Facebook post, Lola replied;

“Thank you so much Mark for this honorable mention. Were it not for your relentless drive to connect our world and your assembly of the brightest minds in the universe to bring this dream to life, FIN would not have been probable. Certainly not at this scale.

I’m an ordinary woman from modest means and your vision; our shared vision to advance meaningful connection, is now helping women across the world to find our voices through FIN; our non-judgmental Facebook support group.

Thank you for helping me create the world I wish to live in and have my 8 and 10 year old inherit.

Your outstanding team at Facebook, our indefatigable admin team and my irrepressible FINsters make this all possible.

Thank you! and see you in Chicago.


While it is most unlikely that he will want to ever meet with WhatsApp group admins – The Zuck has left the group 😂😂😂 – he is working to bring some major changes to WhatsApp via new updates on the app which will to a large extent impress its users.


BellaRose OkojieBellaRose OkojieMay 11, 201710min

I had written an article about Uber and their issues in Abuja last year; the strike and how that was perhaps the most Naija thing to happen to a foreign brand. We are famous for strike actions in Nigeria. While other nations also engage in striking, the context within which we have ours cannot be compared to theirs. Same damn thing with Uber. Strike actions have been embarked upon in other cities where Uber partners exist with the main issue being pricing. Drivers (partners) would complain that the percentage cut by Uber was too high and the drivers were left with too little.

Uber came to Lagos Nigeria in 2014. The major USP at the time was luxury, convenience and quality rides. Very cool stuff. A girl could attend an event in a Ford Focus and not have to worry about “painted taxi not allowed entry” but it would come at a price. I’ll be honest, for someone earning X amount as salary, N7,000 on Uber from office-home was too much; but shebi it is luxury ride. No wahala. My bank account thought otherwise. Still. People signed up in their droves on the app; drivers and riders alike. It was the most upwardly mobile thing you could be doing in 2015. It was good, I must admit. Only, again, occasionally, I’d have palpitations when the driver was about to end trip and the moment of reckoning came in form of your ride fare.

I remember vividly one day in 2016, on one of those horrendous Lagos-Ibadan spilling to 3rd mainland bridge traffic days, I had taken a yellow and black taxi because my phone died and I couldn’t hail an Uber. By the time we got to Oregun from Landmark, i paid N2,500. We spent not less that 3hrs in traffic. I had honestly estimated in my head how much an Uber would have sucked from my money tube. Bruh, I gave testimony on our church WhatsApp group. Judge me now.

On a serious note now, the arguments about Taxify giving Uber a run for their money is to some an impossibility. I have questions. How do we fail to see that the most Nigerian thing to happen to a business has happened to Uber? And Taxify has capitalised on it greatly. Uber took the time to train drivers and inspect cars – fantastic unrivaled quality assurance – especially when it is on Uber on that driver training thing and you see it is no surprise some of the Taxify drivers act cautiously. But beyond caution. Other Nigerian phenomena have either been overlooked by Uber or they can’t just be arsed to address it and Taxify again, took advantage.

Taxify drivers reportedly have an active WhatsApp group where they share complaints and get feedback from the Taxify admin.

Taxify drivers reportedly have an active WhatsApp group where they share complaints and get feedback from the Taxify admin. From experience, Nigerians do not exactly love to send/read emails. Argue with Mark Essien who replies mails once a week. Give us a number to call! But Uber remain adamant on “sending an email to Sam Allenberg” who is not based in Nigeria and cannot resonate with the issues faced by riders/drivers. We move.

“Nigerian roads are not car worthy so VIO and FRSC should calm down”.

Uber started with Uber Black (luxury rides) and as time went on, with the uniqueness of the Nigerian market, Uber Black was replaced by UberX; cars eligible on the app were relaxed from 2008 models to 2003 and up. I’ll leave you with the words of someone on twitter the other day who said; “nigerian roads are not car worthy so VIO and FRSC should calm down”.

Still on the car matter, the Lagos state government had on a number of occasions given Uber drivers issues with their phone GPS system and some people had advised that riders sat in front with the driver so VIO did not guess it was an Uber. There was someway new model cars and young people being driven in them was intimidating government or our extra conservative subservient backward thinking. Taxify signed up your usual car hire level cars.


The one thing i don’t want you reading to do is, get me wrong. Uber and Taxify are healthy competition for the pathetic transportation system we are plagued with in Lagos. Same people on Uber are the ones on Taxify just like PDP, main opposition party in Nigeria and ruling party APC where some politicians defect to. Let’s not get drunken with the idea that quality of rides will save Uber in Nigeria. Yes, they have more driver liquidity; heck they have more everything liquidity! But is that enough to keep their heads above water? Even if Taxify does not “win” this war, can Uber survive in the hands of its stakeholders?

We are talking about drivers who also have riders apps. They generate artificial surge by themselves by going offline and using their riders app to get on the app trying to hail a cab. Some of these Uber drivers have more than one account. More than once, I have been told by drivers that there are people who sell drivers accounts on Uber. A friend hailed an Uber the other day and saw a Ford on the app but it was a Toyota “big for nothing” that came to pick him. And we think corruption is exclusive to politicians. I would say PMB should bring his corruption fight to these streets but he should get well first.

Nigeria is a unique market. Our realities are very much different from next door neighbour Ghana. Taxify is very reactive in their approach. Not sustainable, but it is improving the perception the public has of them. The major complaint drivers have with Uber since the announcement of a price cut is the 25% they are still taking from the drivers earnings while Taxify takes 15%. Again, unsustainable for Taxify because they do not have half as much liquidity as Uber.

The grief Uber is causing drivers is what makes them feel like Taxify is their safe haven.

The grief Uber is causing drivers is what makes them feel like Taxify is their safe haven. The most prevalent argument many are putting up for Uber is the quality of rides they place above everything else. But this culture of quality is blindsiding them to other serious issues that demand real-time fixing. If Uber keep playing the ostrich or keep reacting to every price move Taxify makes, they expose themselves unduly and further subject their defecting drivers to cutting shows. In Taxify’s case, there is some sympathy in the air, they can either take advantage of that and make things right once and for all or the thunder that will fire their anyhowness will come faster than anyone can imagine.


BellaRose OkojieBellaRose OkojieMay 9, 20175min

Dell Technologies, yesterday brought out of stealth its venture practice, Dell Technologies Capital. Since its inception a few years ago, Dell Technologies Capital has been an active investor in more than 70 early-stage startups, with the mission of helping founders and their teams develop innovative technology solutions and bring them to market.

“At Dell Technologies Capital, we have a fundamental understanding of what promising young companies need to change the world,” said Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive of Dell Technologies. “We provide the resources, scale and expertise to help them continue innovating and maximise their potential.”
The ventures team focuses on emerging technology areas that are relevant to the Dell Technologies’ unique family of businesses: Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware. Examples of Dell Technologies Capital’s investment areas include storage, software-defined networking, management and orchestration, security, machine learning/artificial intelligence, Big Data/analytics, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and DevOps.

“Capital is merely table stakes to set a startup company on the path to success. New companies are looking for active investment partners who provide breadth and depth of expertise and access to resources and scale,” said Scott Darling, president, Dell Technologies Capital. “Dell Technologies Capital is comprised of a team of highly experienced investors with an extensive network of industry contacts to help our portfolio companies achieve escape velocity. We’ve been making these investments in stealth mode for a number of years and are accelerating our pace of investments.”

Dell Technologies Capital offers experienced board members, deep technical expertise as well as access to the global scale, channel, OEM and go-to-market relationships that are unique to the Dell Technologies’ family of businesses. In addition, we provide access to industry-leading technologists, investors and company executives.

“I have known and have greatly enjoyed working with Michael, Scott and the team at Dell Technologies Capital for many years,” said Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder, chairman and chief development officer of Arista Networks. “They have a unique set of perspectives spanning core infrastructure to cloud native technology and thus are a valuable advisor and investor to any company in the IT industry.”

Two Dell Technologies Capital portfolio companies are being highlighted at Dell EMC World this year:

Edico Genome created the first bio-IT processor and an end-to-end platform designed to analyse the massive workloads associated with DNA sequencing. Edico Genome is delivering a pre-configured, out-of-the- box solution with Dell Technologies that enables the analysis of an entire genome in 22 minutes compared to more than 24 hours using standard software.

Graphcore developed new technology to deliver massive acceleration for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. The company’s Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) is the first to be designed specifically for machine intelligence workloads. Graphcore IPU platforms are designed to improve performance, increase efficiency and lower the cost of accelerating AI applications in cloud and enterprise datacenters. Dell Technologies Capital is helping Graphcore use Dell Technologies’ OEM and product integration capabilities to bring their innovative technology to even more customers.

“The Dell Technologies Capital team understands both the business potential of genomics processing, and importantly, how ultra-rapid data analysis advances healthcare and potentially saves lives,” said Pieter van Rooyen, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Edico Genome. “As a Dell Technologies Capital portfolio company, we were able to utilise Dell Technologies’ ecosystem to collaborate and combine the powerful Dell EMC and Virtustream portfolio with the speed and accuracy of the DRAGEN processor to offer a complete, cost-effective solution for rapid genomic analysis for new and existing customers.”

“When you have a breakthrough idea or technology, finding investors typically isn’t a problem. Finding investors who can add value, time and expertise to help your business succeed is a far more daunting challenge,” said Nigel Toon, CEO and co-founder of Graphcore. “Scott and the Dell Technologies Capital team provided us with more than just capital. Their understanding of our business coupled with their ability to put us in touch with industry luminaries and Dell Technologies’ technology and go-to-market experts has been extremely valuable and will help us expand the reach of our innovative IPU processing technology for machine learning and AI.”
More information about Dell Technologies Capital, including its current portfolio and previous investments, is available at


BellaRose OkojieBellaRose OkojieApr 26, 20175min

Last week, we reported the ambition of a local government chairmanship candidate to build a tech hub in the Ojodu area of Lagos on the heels of an ongoing debate on the possibility of having a structured and vibrant tech cluster in Yaba. While the debate is still unresolved, the Lagos state government unexpectedly announced that the popular (Ikeja) Computer Village; where gadget parts, accessories, smartphones sale and repairs are easily accessible will be relocated to Katangowa on Lagos-Abeokuta expressway. There had been indications from the recent past that this would happen but while other conversations around developing the tech community withing Lagos (Nigeria) stirred, this wasn’t what many prepared to also banter on – or so I think, seeing that the Lagos State government is on a demolition and relocation spree; re: Otodo Gbame.

Making the announcement yesterday, the government assured that the relocation will curb environmental degradation, housing stock deficit and traffic congestion in the Ikeja axis and by the tone of the announcement, there is little that can or will be done to contest the decision. We move.

By this morning, another announcement has been made.

In order to reinforce Yaba as the tech hub of Lagos (Nigeria), more conscious and intentional steps are being taken. Mark Essien, CEO and a vocal member of the tech community announced via his twitter handle a tech meetup – in Yaba, starting on the 27th of April 2017 – tomorrow!




One would have to be blind not to notice how much effort Mark is putting to bring back the glory of Yaba and the reputation it has for hosting tech businesses and startups and the benefits therein if properly set up. Baby steps will one day be giant steps and that’s what’s most admirable in all this. Follow Mark on twitter to stay informed on the “Tech Meetup” pending when a name is coined for it. One also expects that the meetup becomes a place of reference for the government to seek insights before embarking on projects that affect the almost self-sufficient community as a whole.

Biggest fear: What if after all this hardwork to build a cultural tech community in Yaba, the Lagos state government decide to relocate it?

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