Old_Church

The Story of 100 Years Church Now a Skating Arena

Reading this story on the Guardian UK website sent cold chills down my spine. How in the world did that happen? What exactly happened and why would a church, built for people, lay desolate, up to the point that it is now an arena for sporting events. Isn’t this very sad?

Bringing it back home, Nigeria is a bubbling country when it comes to anything that has to do with religion. How genuine we are with professing religion, I, however, cannot say. A number of people say it is all pretence. I leave that aspect to God, but the fact is that a lot of us in this part of the world are simply lukewarm.

Be that as it may, Christianity remains a dominant religion in this part of the world, but if you look at it critically, this is exactly how it was in most parts of Europe 200 to 300 years ago and today, things are a lot different.

What am I driving at?

There is nothing stopping a similar occurrence from happening here, if we are not watchful. This is, indeed, the purpose of this post. We all need to stay vigilant if we don’t want all the wonderful edifices built by churches to become museums in future!

I believe someone will say God forbid, it is not our portion. To that, I say a BIG Amen, but I also encourage such a person to go and find out the history of the European churches that you know, talking about fathers of faith who feared God and were ready to die and many indeed died for the faith. So, it’s not about wishful thinking, but acting with bold conviction and absolute reliance of his will.

What you should be doing?

1. Get your children and young wards to understand that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

The devil wants to catch them young, so, he is making it “unfashionable” to go to church or mention anything God. The fastest way to become popular is to become a full-body tatooed superstar and the society will be super excited and will pay you big time for your time.

I, honestly, feel for Children of today because, they are over exposed – the most you can do for them is to guide them and keep praying for them.

2. Regulate Internet Usage

The Internet could either be used for good or bad, depending on the person’s involved and the context. One big mistake we make is allowing our minds to consume every single information that crops up on the Internet. No, no, no, no! If that has been your strategy, then, you’ve got to change that – some information are better in the trash and not in your mind.

3. Don’t allow anything to question the Authority of God

What is happening today is that a lot of people are beginning to question God’s authority for a number of reasons – maybe due to multiple tragedies or a new research published that claims that the world was not created or another discovery that backs up the claim that man evolved and was not created as the Bible teaches. It could be anything, but the fact is that you must not allow anything to question God’s sovereignty in your life.

4. Keep telling others about the Love of Jesus

The Lord gave us a great commission which is that we should go into the world and preach the gospel to all Nations. What is now playing out in the UK, is the result of not following through on this command. How else can you explain that the European continent, that served as the headquaters of the Christian faith for centuries, would see its Christian faithful diminish over the years and from what I gather, churches in Europe are now synonymous to old people’s homes because, they are the ones you will find there the most.

May the good Lord help the church to leave up to its responsibility as the salt of the earth, in Jesus name, Amen!

Ikoyi Prison, Lagos

4 Lessons from a Visit to Ikoyi Prison, Lagos

It is indeed a visit that left me wondering how important it is to live right and stay on the right side of the law. How would you explain a situation where people are spending the better part of their productive years in confinement?

For all those that are free, how much value can you really place on freedom? The fact that you can move around freely whenever you wish is often times taken for granted.

THE GENESIS

My church decided that we would pay a visit to Ikoyi prisons so members were asked to give whatever they could, from provisions to clothing to personal utilities and so on. As the day approached, our Reverend always reminded us of the need to make out time to join other members of the church for the planned visit to the prison.

I thought to myself that it will be a good time to visit a prison for the first time in my life not as an inmate thankfully but rather as a visitor and it was truly a very humbling experience.

The 2 places that I believe should humble the average haughty mind are Hospitals (especially specialist hospitals) and Prisons.

So I made up my mind to join other members despite the fact that I was extremely tired due to my busy schedule. One of the things I promised myself is that I’ll not allow being somewhat popular make me lose my sense of staying sane and humble. I saw this visit as one cool way to keep reminding of myself that without the grace and mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ I am NOTHING!

THE D-DAY CAME

We took off from the church premises and as we were heading to Ikoyi prisons some thoughts ran through my head, what should I be expecting? How would I counsel the inmates without allowing my emotions give way? What if we were attacked by a frustrated inmate? What happens if a riot breaks while we were inside? Frankly, so many thoughts ran through my head but I guess it was just a case of my mind playing tricks on me. Thankfully, we arrived Ikoyi prison sooner than I expected!

LESSONS LEARNT FROM IKOYI PRISON VISIT

As we made our way into the prison environment proper, the first impression was the foul smell that welcomed us, which immediately reminded me that you’ve come to a place where people are live are restricted in all ramifications and condemned by the law. At the Prison’s gatehouse, we were searched and given tags that must not be misplaced otherwise you won’t be allowed out.

Personally, I did learn some lessons from this visit which I’d like to share.

1. Freedom is Awesome

Whether it is freedom from the mind, spirit, soul, poverty, sickness, depression, oppression, sin, pornography, youthful vices etc. Right then and there, I concluded that certain people don’t understand what it takes to be free and might therefore not be willing to do what is takes to stay free. Seeing those inmates made me reinstate my resolve to stay free in all aspects of life.

Click to Read the Remaining Lessons

Saturday Sun Newspaper pg 33 featured

Check out Saturday Sun’s Double Page Interview on CFA

A little over a month ago, I was informed that I will be interviewed in the Sun Newspaper, Tony Ogaga was the gentle man penciled to anchor the interview. He did a good job asking some deep interesting questions that brought out the best for this interview.

By the way, I was wrongly addressed as Chinedu instead of Chukwuemeka which by the way is not entirely bad because Chinedu has a great meaning – God is leading CFA 🙂

Below is the full interview as published in The Sun precisely on Pages 33 & 34:

When passion and vision drive you, you’re like a moving train – Agbata, founder, ICT with CFA

In 2009, Chinedu Fred Agbata Jnr. (aka CFA), had everything going for him. The father of three had just resigned from one of Nigeria’s biggest telecoms companies and started his own business, an upstart dedicated to training IT professionals. His fledg­ling venture was gradually building momentum and money was coming in trick­les but Chinedu wanted more!

And then came tempta­tion he could not resist; an opportunity to make huge and quick turn-over in an Oil & Gas deal. In a chat with,TONY OGAGA ER­HARIEFE, Agbata says he swallowed the juicy bait hook, line and sinker and by the time the scales fell off his eyes a year and six months later, he had lost his entire savings running into millions of naira, his business was crippled and he was stark broke. He also spoke on how he got back on his feet and the lessons he learnt.

Excerpts


“I started out in 2009 on the Inter­net after I lost a business and was extremely broke. Before then I was quite buoyant and people were able to rent houses and buy cars working for me.

“When I left the telecoms industry, I started a training company but six months later, I met a guy who introduced me to Oil & Gas so I lost focus and abandoned my vision. One year and six months lat­er, I lost everything I had worked for all my life; I lost every penny. My wife was pregnant with our first child and I was stark broke and all this was happening just a day before my birthday!”

Agbata says his biggest error was as­suming that because he was successful as a sales person in the telecoms industry, he would automatically succeed in his busi­ness.

“I beautified my office to world class standard without a world-class business idea. However, I was not really doing bad­ly until the day I met the guy who derailed me. The money was good and the figures were fantastic so I took the plunge. I did not think of the risk so I got burnt.”

Hope

“Then I had already seen some of my friends making waves on the internet so I said to myself, ‘Chinedu, you’re not go­ing to be in a hurry to get a job. You’re just 30, so you have a lot of time on your hands. You could fool around for another five years and if it doesn’t work, you’d go get a job.’ So, I started out learning.

Commenting on the need for brand­ing on the Internet, Agbata continued: “When I made the decision to start blog­ging, I wanted to have a brand because I realised that the internet was over­crowded, so I needed to brand myself by doing something that would distinguish me from every other person and then I started brain storming and that was how CFA was born. It means Conditions For Accomplishment which is my personal mantra derived from my initials.”

He says his first port of call were por­tals that dealt with how to make money on the Internet. He was on Google re­searching and developed his first blog himself from the scratch.

“Today, I have built over 100 websites and nobody taught me. Anyone can learn if you are serious. I have trained thou­sands and all this knowledge I acquired by researching, reading, and practicing. I did it over and over again till I got it right.

“That was when I discovered blog­ging and I started developing myself. The secret I discovered was that for you to be an authority in any field, you must invest in the right content and package it.

“So, I kept writing and blogging and I started getting speaking engagements. I was not just blogging, I was also market­ing. I would blog and share on social me­dia and blackberry. I shared on every so­cial media platform and just kept going. I was sharing and pumping content online and what was more, I was consistent.

“I was blogging about how I started my business with no money but with a passion to share. And mind you, I wasn’t a trained writer, so you don’t have to be a professional to blog. From there people started reaching out to me. I was consist­ent, so I got better. And now I have two books published. I have tons of content online. In fact, I am a moving library. I can churn out five books today if I want to and the reason is because I have amassed so much content.

“I have discovered modern tools that will help whoever wants to develop con­tent in a very easy way. So, you don’t have to look at content development as rocket science. The point is that if you want to be an authority in today’s world, you must have content that will sell you. What sells your products is your ability to communicate that in terms of the con­tent you generate and how you share it.”

Digital culture trainings

“I started with an Australia-based company as their Nigerian partner. We were training small businesses. My pas­sion has always been on SMEs because I understand that they are the drivers of any economy; if we want to drive the Ni­gerian economy, then we must focus on SMEs. “Over the years we have trained countless small businesses on our Digital Culture Trainings. We have discovered that people have gadgets, phones and de­vices but they have not developed a digi­tal culture. They just carry big devises around that they can’t manage.

“Consequently, our training is fo­cussed on entre­preneurs, business owners and managers who want to evolve a new way of using these gadgets and devises; that is the gap we are trying to fill.”

Five years down the road, how has the journey been?

It’s been challenging but when vision drives you, you’re like a moving train; nothing can stop you. At some point, when things were so rough, my close family members called me and said to me, ‘guy, get serious and stop fooling around, go get a job, what the hell are you doing with your life?’

“There were some days my family would go without food but I just knew that there was a vacuum I was feeling and all I needed was to be consistent and re­main focussed. It’s been tough and chal­lenging, but it’s been highly rewarding.

Next level

Five years later, has he broken even?

“You have to decide what you want. When I made the decision to build a personal brand, I told myself that mon­ey would come last so we are making enough money to sustain us as a small business. We are working on growing but we are sustainable as a small business.

“But now we are moving to the next level and that is why we want to monetise our platforms by looking for partners that will work with us to further educate Ni­gerians to keep this programme going; that is the level we are at now.”

What government can do:

“Government must strive to create protectionist policies. If a foreign business is coming into Nige­ria to invest in the technology space, it should be mandatory that Nigerians own a certain percentage of such busi­nesses because we are gradually enter­ing a second level of colonialism which I call technology colonialism. We must understand that he who pays the piper dictates the tune so if we allow them to control everything in technology, we wouldn’t be doing ourselves any good.”

To drive home his point, he adds em­phatically: “As a Nigerian, you can’t own a company in Ghana 100 per cent. And if you must, you must invest at least $300, 000 otherwise a Ghanaian must be on your board. The message to govern­ment is that it must deepen local content and that is what is lacking here. We want to see that happen so that Nigerian firms can compete. We are happy that a lot of technology entrepreneurs including my­self are not waiting for government; we are forging ahead because we know that the future is bright for Nigeria.”

Secret of success

Having come thus far, Agbata shares his success secrets: “Selfless service. I want everybody reading this to know that in order to succeed; you must develop a culture of adding value and selfless ser­vice. One of my secret is that if I want to break into a particular organisation, be­cause I know they already have consult­ants, what I do is offer pro bono service.

“What that does for me is that even though I may not get paid initially, I have their brand rubbing off on me and that adds value to my brand. I don’t put finan­cial gains first; I am a man driven by a bigger philosophy.”

Management philosophy

“My management philosophy is peo­ple. People tell me that partnerships don’t work but I beg to disagree. The success that of many big businesses like Google, Microsoft or Apple are products of part­nerships. So partnerships are critical.

“So, my first stop is people; I love working with people and investing in people. I love working with people who are smarter than I am. Outwardly you see CFA but behind CFA are people who can deliver value. Hence my greatest philos­ophy as a manager is to invest in people, trust in them and allow them to grow.

Dreams

“Basically, we are aspiring to be an ICT conglomerate with investments in five areas including agriculture, IT, enter­tainment, education and healthcare. Our focus will be how technology can drive these sectors.

“My dream in the next five years when I will be 40 is to be a positive role model for Nigerian youths. I won’t sell happi­ness to the youths based on hard drugs or illicit sex, but happiness based on finding out their potential, purpose and then in­spire them to work hard work to achieve their dreams.

Most importantly, I want to be influen­tial to the extent of hobnobbing with Af­rican presidents and having them as my personal friends that I could talk to at just a call. As simple as it sounds, I have set it as a goal and I will achieve it.”

Saturday Sun Newspaper pg 33

Saturday Sun Newspaper pg 34

JCI TOYP Award 2014.

CFA’s Abridged Story after receiving the JCI TOYP 2014 Award (Part II)

Thanks for stopping by, I honestly do appreciate your presence on the CFA blog 🙂 Have you read the part 1 of the story behind the JCI TOYP 2014 award that I received? This is the part 2 of what I believe to be the brief story behind the JCI TOYP Award that I received recently.

JCI TOYP Award 2014
CFA’s JCI TOYP 2014 Plaque

I ended that article with a flash back of how tough it was trying to make a headway as an entrepreneur. It was pretty challenging due to a number of internal and external reasons but particularly because of some silly mistakes and poor business judgement as a result of inexperience or over confidence.

Recommended Reading:

Today, most my colleagues in the telecommunications industry have probably “enjoyed” life more than me at this point, which simply proves that CFA is still largely work-in-progress. Despite the graceful smiles you see, I am yet to enjoy the fruits of my labour. I last had a major holiday in 2007, that was a week or two after leaving Globacom and up to this point, its been work, work, work!!!

I clearly recall that 2 years after exiting Glo, I experienced a major business upset that left me penniless in all ramifications and that singular experience necessitated my foray into the world of Blogging which is the genesis of all that I been able to do within the ICT Industry. Between April and July 2009, just before I started my blog, I spent countless hours scribbling and designing how I believe my online world will be and how I would grow my personal brand into one of great substance.

So from the moment I started, I had a clear plan and direction. I focused on giving out free information on any subject I wrote on, holding nothing back. This did not go down well with some folks who thought I should not disclose all available information on those subject matters to the public so that they will come back to you for consultancy on the aspects not disclosed.

Fast forward>>>>>>> Below are some of the web properties that are the results of a mustard seed:

  1. ICT Clinic, The Punch – https://punchng.com/topics/ict-clinic/
  2. ICT Radio Show on 99.3 Nigeria Info FM – http://www.CFA.ng/radio
  3. Tech Trends on Channels TV
  4. CFA’s Monthly Digital Marketing Training services
  5. And of course the JCI TOYP 2014 award which for me is also a formidable platform.

How about my intellectual contribution? I have written well over 2,000 articles across various platforms on the Internet. My efforts in this regards, earned me the coveted Platinum Author Status by Ezinearticles.com. Today, I speak on various ICT-related topics especially on how ICT can improve the lives through the application of the various helpful tools that exist online which they can tap into. This I have done with much success for those that have taken steps to carry out the things I speak about.

From my various speaking engagements, I also ventured into outright Training of individuals and businesses on how to grow their brands and products online for profitability, productivity, client contact and retention.

As an author, I have written a number of books on ICT as well as co-authoring one with another ICT enthusiast.

Some of these books include the following:

  • Powering Your Business On The Internet And Social Media – A Guide For Today’s Business Owner; (This book has sold thousands of copies both locally and internationally)
  • Towards A Smaller World – How The World Transits To Our Palms – (This is a free e-book available at Okadabooks.com, Amazon.com and smashwords.com)
  • Teachers, The Internet And Money Making – (This is an e-book that I co-authored with Joe Oye, an ICT enthusiast)
  • Becoming a Blogging Professional – The Complete Step By Step Guide.
JCI TOYP 2014 awardees
L-R: Austin Osibor, Chief Visionary, Erne Group Limited; Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. “CFA” Founder, ICTwithCFA.com; Olayinka Thomas-Ogboja, Founder, Thomas O. Women Network and Lanre Olagunju, Curator, Omojuwa.com (representing Japhet Omojuwa) all recipients of the JCI TOYP 2014 Award.

To cap it up, in the next couple of weeks ahead, I will commence being host of Tech Trends, and ICT Television show, on Channels Television, one of the best Television stations in Africa. All these achievements that I have made on ICT all started with just one Laptop and internet connection coupled with my determination to research and study hard online.

This, in short, is my ICT success story. I hope it inspires someone out there?

Many thanks to JCI Nigeria for deeming it fit to acknowledge and recognize my very modest contributions to the advancement of technology development – this indeed serves as an impetus to BE and ACCOMPLISH more. I am proud to be a JCI TOYP 2014 receipient.

Watch out for Part III

JCI TOYP Award

CFA’s JCI TOYP Award & the Journey So Far (Part I)

JCI TOYP Award 2014
CFA JCI TOYP Award Plaque

In this part of the world, we often hear people attribute everything to God which is a good thing but where we miss it completely, is when we do not chronicle the events that took place before the recorded success.

I don’t know about you but I believe that Success is neither mystical nor magical according to Jim Rohn. It is certainly a process and just about anyone can replicate the process or at the very least learn from it. The God that I know and serve is not and will never be a magician, He is an orderly God by any classification, the same way he carefully described the creation of the universe and mankind in the bible is the same way I believe he wants us to be able to describe our success stories and achievements albeit modestly so that those coming behind us can learn a thing or two.

In order not to make this post too long, I am gonna cut this post into 2 parts because most internet users have poor attention span, so reading long (non-gossip) articles online have gone out of fashion. Be that as it may, I’ll do my best to make it as interesting as possible because I am gonna just chronicle my experience so far (of course the much I can remember) and end with some of the principles that help me to stand out.

The JCI TOYP Award

I am indeed grateful to God, my family and everyone who has supported this dream of mine in one way or the other. It’s been a pretty challenging journey but I am grateful that I stood tall despite the pressures that almost made me cave in.

I am not so much of an award or recognition guy even though I admit it helps in many ways than one, I have never competed or entered into any competition until early this year when I accepted to enter for the Easy business Millionaires Hunt after much persuasion. In the same vein, when I first received the email that I have been nominated for the JCI TOYP Award in the science and technology category, I simply ignored the email thinking it was a mistake and asking myself “what have I done to deserve an award?” After a while, the 2nd email came to confirm or reaffirm that it was indeed me, it became clear that someone was noticing that I have been indeed contributing my quota to the advancement of ICT in Nigeria.

The JCI TOYP award ceremony took place held at the massive Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta. It gave me a rare opportunity to meet all the other remarkable awardees who are also making massive impact in their respective fields of engagement.

The lesson here is that you are not the only sharp person out there, there are many more sharper people who can deliver great results – always have this at the back of your mind as you hustle on.

It all began as a Child

I have always been restless even as a child. I remember one of the badges I was used to seeing on my report card term after term is “he is brilliant but he plays too much or there is room for improvement but he plays too much” – I received these sort of feedback too often back in the days. I remember my parents tried to curb this side of me and got me the strictest teacher I have ever met, this guy was so strict that his face alone sent fear down my spines, not to talk of when he opened his mouth to say a word. I clearly remember how he would beat the living day light out of me just so I can stop playing. Wow! Memories of old indeed! Don’t ask me if I stopped playing?

I clearly remember that Technology was indeed a strong part of me while growing up, I remember I use to fiddle with any electronics or gadgets that came my way, I would unscrew them just to see how they were made and how they functioned. I so much loved to play with these gadgets. My father being an Engineer used to come to my rescue by either scolding me or helping out either way it was indeed fun. At that early age, I thought I would grow up to start a career in either the Engineering or Computer field largely due to his influence. I did try to study sciences in SS1 but I had to move to Social Science by SS2 simply because I could not cope maybe because I would not give up my play for anything in the world.

A More Mature CFA

After writing JAMB 3 consecutive times, waiting for University of Lagos that never came, an Uncle of mine suggested to my parents that I should go to University of Ado-Ekiti, then Ondo State University (OSUA), at first I resisted but seeing that I had lost 2 years already, I decided to go for it. Little did I know that accepting to go that far into the West lies the key to one of my greatest treasures of my life – Oluwatosin – the gentle spirit who has brought balance and sanity to my restless soul. We have been together since 2001 to date.

Some Daring Moments

When some cultists tried to cajole and coerce me to join their fraternity, I boldly informed them that I was in school to learn and besides my Christian background makes it impossible to join any other association outside it. I remember looking the Don of Eiye back then eyeball to eyeball and saying these words;

I can only fear someone who can hurt both the flesh and soul and not someone who can hurt only the flesh.

This was a well dreaded guy in school but I was able to look him in the eyes and utter those words. Was I scared when I was saying that? Absolutely! Did I go ahead and say it? You bet! What if it had backfired? Then it would have been God’s will but I wonder what kind of world it will be without the dynamic, always smiling CFA 🙂

JCI TOYP Award
CFA along with other recipients and top members of JCI Nigeria

As I grew older, I began to play less except when the opportunity arises then I maximize it especially if it is the kind of play that will help me laugh out loud. What you see in my pictures is really no joke, I love to laugh. Back in school, I sometimes laughed so hard that my lecturers will stop to ask what was funny. Do you know what this trait others thought was silly has helped me achieve?

The ability to laugh at myself and situation is definitely something that has helped propel and keeps me success minded.

This child-like attitude has helped to conquer rejection as much as possible, I am willing to accept no for an answer with a big smile on my face. I can’t count how many times my friends will laugh me to scorn because I don’t take alcohol or when the security guy at Globacom laughed at me when I said I wanted to work there on my first visit. Read more about that story here. I simply laugh over these sort of situation whenever they arise.

And so the Story Goes………….

I left Globacom in 2007, to chart a course in this uncertain world of business and entrepreneurship, which meant leaving  the comfort and certainty of a monthly income to a situation with no guarantees – looking back I can simply reiterate; It wasn’t easy but it was worth it…….

In the concluding part, I am just going to tell some more stories and then conclude with some of the success principles I live by. Thank you for being part of my evolving success story (as there is so much to do) and I therefore dedicate my JCI TOYP award to all my readers.

The-First-Grader-kimani-maruge

Back to School at 84 – the inspiring story of Maruge Kimani!

img_kimani_maruge-300x202It was indeed a stroke of fate for me to have stumbled on the trailer of the movie “The First Grader” – I consider it somewhat divine because I stumbled on it while taking a break, after a long uninterrupted period of work. I asked my wife what she was watching? I think the station was African Magic – a station I rarely ever sit down to watch.

Anyways, I joined her for another 30 minutes or so and what I saw simply blew my mind. By the end of that trailer I said to her; “I must watch that film somehow,” so I went on the search……… I have had the chance to watch the movie and by the time I was done I knew I had to write about it and let more people know about this inspiring movie. I know quite a number of people would have seen this movie but an African proverb I love says:

your morning starts when you wake up!

The First Grader is a true life story of one man who despite his old ripe age of 84 summoned courage and enrolled at a primary Kimani Maruge 5school after the Kenyan Government announced her policy of free education for all. This is not just a movie, it is a true life story and the guy, though late still holds the world record as the oldest guy to have enrolled in a primary school – remarkable and daring indeed!!!

  • Can you imagine the level of doubt in his heart when he took that decision?
  • Can you imagine what shame and ridicule he would have faced?
  • Can you just picture the level of humility required to join kids in a school?

Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge is my man – may his soul rest in peace, Amen! His story is simply inspiring, motivational, heart warming, outstanding and a healthy dose of encouragement that should be watched repeatedly especially when faced with challenges. These are the sort of exemplary stories we should tell to kids and not the lies of showbiz.

The movie was shot in a mountain village in Kenya the film tells the remarkable true and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last chance to learn to read and write – and so ends up joining a class alongside six year-olds. Together he and his young teacher face fierce resistance, but ultimately they win through – and also find a new way of overcoming the burdens of the colonial past.

Some questions I had to ponder on:

  1. Would you regard Maruge as a successful man?
  2. Does this not prove that success is indeed subjective?
  3. What will be the most important success factor for a man like Maruge?
  4. Is this not a pointer that you should not blame your environment, the Government or anyone else?
  5. What key decisions are you procrastinating at this point in time?

Go watch the movie and read Maruge baptisedup the story of another great African who took charge of his world at a very old age and achieved his dream. Another interesting feat he achieved was that he got baptised about 3 months before his death at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and took a Christian name, Stephen. It was reported that his teachers kept coming to teach him even as he was close to death.

Isn’t this a remarkable story? What excuse does any young person out there really have? Irrespective of your position or background today, this guy’s story is enough to help you decide to believe solely in God and possibilities that abound when you truly believe!

Maruge! Maruge!! Maruge!!! Rest in Peace Sir…….

scam-alert

Lessons from a Job Scam Experience – Be Informed!

Success has more friends than enemies unlike failure, human beings therefore prefer to hide failures while flaunting successes. This is indeed a painful experience for me and I consider it a failure on my part based on the fact that I am a leader and people look up to me for a number of reasons, I should therefore be extremely careful about the kind of stuff I endorse.

First and foremost, let me state that I am a sharp guy in many ways; firstly because of the sort of wisdom and grace God has given me and secondly because I was born and bred in downtown Lagos otherwise called No Man’s Land (apologies to indigenes who totally disagree with that phrase).

….the Genesis

I only just settled down to start the day’s work when a call came in from 09033968824 (I am not exactly sure what network this is but the guy also called from a Globacom line: 08078121057), usually I don’t pick calls coming from my public number at that time of the day but I decided to take the call….. The guy on the other end of the phone and myself got talking and mid-way into the conversation he asked if I had people who wanted jobs and I said yes! He requested for their names and other details. It is very unlike me not to have detected early enough that there was something fishy about this whole arrangement and I foolishly fell mugu (local slang meaning fall for a scam) by actually connecting a few people to the guy – which was a big mistake. 

The Lucky Chap

One of the guys I informed was lucky simply because he was wise and carried me along every step of the way. I came back to my senses when he called to inform me that the crook on the other end gave him a private account number shown below to pay into and at that point I became aware this was nothing but a scam. Here is a screenshot of the Zenith Bank Account Details sent to the guy:

Name: Mrs. Ifeyiwa Jessica Obi

Number: 20840337291

I hope this will motivate the guys at Zenith Bank enough to place this account number on immediate suspension and beginning the process of investigation right away. I am going to do my best to see that this particular account is not used to defraud anyone again.

 The Unlucky Chapsscam sms 2

There were two unlucky chaps who did not deem it wise to carry me along and each of them paid the sum of N50,000 and N20,500 respectively into an Eco Bank Plc account without informing me in anyway.

Account Name: Dr. Mrs. Cynthia Dim O.

Account Number: 4341029509

Ecobank Plc this is to gladly inform you and your management that this particular account is being used to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

Next Steps

  1. Contact both Zenith and Eco Banks informing them about these fraudulent accounts.
  2. Contact Globacom and Etisalat to do away with the lines.
  3. Inform relevant security agencies so they can be aware of these subtle strategies used in defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians.

I only hope someone with all these bodies involved will take this up and carry out a thorough investigation because these guys are so easy to trace either through the GSM lines used or actual bank accounts. A detailed scan through their call and transaction histories will reveal a whole lot, they are not as smart as they seem. There is always a let out!!!

 Huge Lessons

  1. If it is too good to be true then it isn’t. This long time adage still holds true – what in the world was I thinking?
  2. Always pause before making any major decisions; I made a rather hasty decision to get others involved – I wish I slowed down a bit when the call first came through.
  3. Excitement sometime works against us in decision making, I was pretty excited because of certain giant strides and that also played a role in my jumping at it without thinking deeply.
  4. Job seekers are generally desperate, so they easily fall prey. The immigration emplyment saga is still fresh in our minds so please lets always tell them to tread carefully.
  5. The smartest kid on the block can fall prey to cheap scams as this, if he lets down his or her guard. I like the way Apostle Paul puts it; Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. – 1 Corinthians 10:12

This is indeed a learning experience for me, the easiest and most comfortable thing to have done is to keep quiet and not blog about it but who knows how many people have fallen victim to this scam in the past and how many more will fall in the future.

The other positive aspect of this experience is that this may be the end of the road for them who knows. God may have ordained it that a day will come that they will mess with the wrong dude who would take action, the way others have never done. Let’s see how it goes from now on. I assure them that all the instruments used above will all be destroyed for good – I’d ensure I achieve that.

One last word for the Government and other stakeholders; the only way to truly grow the Nigerian economy is by creating more jobs otherwise we should prepare for the danger ahead. An army of unemployed youths is an army that can be easily manipulated!!!