Positive Feedback From My Readers Encouraged Me- Jackie Opara-Fatoye

  • Jackie Opara-Fatoye is the Head Strategist, Jackie Opara Media, a Lagos-based company that provides clients with strategic media campaign and prepares aspiring Journalists to kick-start their career in Journalism. She takes TMG through her journey in journalism which she says began from childhood.

Jackie O

TMG> Please introduce yourself:

I am Jackie Opara-Fatoye, a B.Sc holder in Mass Communication with a Certificate in Communications Skill and Protocol, Protocol School of West Africa. I am the Head Strategist of Jackie Opara Media in Lagos, Nigeria.


TMG> What sparked your interest in Media?

Jackie> I have always loved the media since I was a child. My Dad always made me read newspapers and watch the news. Each time I did that, I would always say to myself that this is what I want to do with my life. So I started by joining press clubs in primary school and when I got to secondary school, Reagan Memorial Baptist girls secondary school, I actively got involved with the press club. It was so natural that I study Mass Communication.


TMG> How long have you been a Journalist?

Jackie> I started my journalism career professionally in 2007.


TMG> What other form of training did you get and what is it like to be a journalist?

Jackie> I studied Mass Communication at the Madonna University and attended Protocol School of West Africa to get a certificate in communications skill and protocol and then attended a special training on science communication at the Wallenberg Research Centre, Stellenbosch Institute of Advance Study, South Africa.

My career as a journalist, despite its ups and downs, has been very rewarding so far and this is just the beginning of the great opportunities to come.

Jackie O

TMG> Is it difficult to be a journalist and how hard is it to reach out to your readers?

Jackie> Sometimes. Especially when I was working with the local media in Nigeria. You see, the proprietors of local media houses in Nigeria have little regard for Journalists; you would work for months and not get paid. This makes it difficult to do the job as I don’t understand how one would work for months without pay and you are expected to deliver.


TMG> What makes one successful in journalism?

Jackie> It is very important that you find new ways of practicing journalism. The world is moving at a very fast pace and every journalist must understand that you have to move with the trend or the train leaves you behind.


TMG> How would you evaluate your work and what kind of feedback were you receiving from readers?

Jackie> I get amazing feedback from my readers. This actually led me to launch my own media platform, Jackie Opara Media in Lagos this March. For the few months of existence, the response has been tremendous.

Apart from organizing press conferences for organizations and covering news and events, we also run a preparatory media school for aspiring journalists. It’s amazing that the students we have are graduates of mass communication who are eager to run with what they have learnt in the university. So we brush up what they know already and incorporate them into the journalism world


TMG< What do you find most challenging about your practice?

Jackie> I think the most challenging aspect is organizations that believe media professionals are bound to do everything for free. We have families to take care of and we have bills to pay. We are a profit organization and we expect to make profit with our jobs. If we do everything for free, I wonder how we are going to survive.


TMG> Tell us 3 things that you consider to be your strengths as a Journalist?

Jackie> Timeliness in delivery; Networking/ keeping in touch with clients, and my entrepreneurial mind.

 Jackie O

TMG> Tell us about a memorable day of your journalism career you can’t forget?

Jackie> That would be when I won the 2014 Canada’s International Development Research Centre Science Journalism Award.


TMG> Apart from your journalism practice, tell us about your company and when it was established?

Jackie> We provide our clients with strategic media campaign. We work with clients from all sectors, including universities, institutions, government agencies and private individuals. We also run a preparatory school for aspiring journalists to kick-start their career in Journalism. The company was officially established in March 2017.


TMG> What are the aims and objectives of your company?

Jackie> To deliver individually tailored services that are vibrant innovative, outstanding, and efficient.

Jackie O

TMG> What do you like most about your practice?

Jackie > Getting to talk to and meet great personalities.


TMG> How do you stay educated about new trends to develop yourself?

Jackie > By going for trainings regularly, reading and catching up with other Journalists around the world.


TMG> Who are your role models and people that motivated you into this profession?

Jackie > Journalists that are sincere and toil day and night to be best at their jobs motivate me to do more.


TMG> Tell us about an accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Jackie> Establishing my media company.www.jackieoparamedia.com and getting to work with media organizations in South Africa, London, Sweden and Switzerland.


TMG> What way can you encourage others to be independent in any profession?

Jackie >They have to be entrepreneurial, put their best foot forward and focus on their strength.

Jackie O

TMG> How do you spend your free time?

Jackie> I watch movies and spend time with my family.


Osinbajo Plans More Talks On Nigeria’s Unity

The consultations by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo with various segments of the Nigerian society will continue, his spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, said.

He stated this in a release while emphasizing the import of the dialogue the Acting President had with leaders from the North, Southeast and the media over the last two weeks.

“While this set of consultations was concluded last week, the presidency will continue to actively engage with different segments of the Nigerian population at different stages and formats in the near future.

“The meetings were convened to provide a platform for frank and open discussions between the concerned stakeholders and by extension the Nigerian public on issues relating to the unity, peace and security of the country,’’ the release said.

In the course of the interaction from June 13, to June 22, the Acting President gave the assurance that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was not deaf to grievances in parts of the country and would address them.

He, however, urged that such grievances should be expressed with grace.

According to Akande interactions began following the recent spate of agitations pitting some groups in the North against others in the Southeast while Osinbajo used it to douse inter-ethnic tension using political, religious, traditional and media leaders.

He said the meetings established some common ground on a number of issues such as the condemnation of all the hate and divisive rhetoric by the concerned groups of Northern and Southeastern youths.

“They affirmed the need for all leaders and elders, regardless of political or ideological persuasion, to speak out more forcefully to counter divisive and hate speeches and any form of warmongering.

“They also affirmed the primacy of the country’s constitution, the ultimate basis for the unity of Nigeria.”

Also during the meetings it was agreed that the constitution guarantees freedom of residence and of movement for all Nigerians anywhere in the country, without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

They also affirmed the need to draw a line between the freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution and the degeneration of such expression into hate rhetoric and prejudice.

The interactions similarly affirmed the necessity of confronting all grievances and frustrations head-on, however uncomfortable they might seem instead of ignoring issues and allowing them to fester.

The Acting President expressed appreciation to all the leaders for their time and commitment to the unity, peace and progress of the nation.

He also assured Nigerians of the determination and resolve of the Buhari administration to ensure their well-being and security at all times.


NAN ……

EU Fined Google With $2.7b

Google, a unit of Alphabet, the world’s leading technology company, has been slammed a record $2.7 billion fine by Europe’s anti-trust agency.

The fine signalled a tough stance by the agency in the first of three investigations into the company’s dominance in searches and smartphones.

It is the biggest fine the EU has ever imposed on a single company in an anti-trust case, exceeding a 1.06-billion-euro sanction handed down to U.S. chipmaker Intel in 2009, Reuters reported.

The European Commission said the world’s most popular internet search engine has 90 days to stop favouring its own shopping service or face a further penalty per day of up to 5 percent of Alphabet’s average daily global turnover.

The fine, equivalent to 3 percent of Alphabet’s turnover, is the biggest regulatory setback for Google, which settled with U.S. enforcers in 2013 without a penalty after agreeing to change some of its search practices.

The EU competition enforcer has also charged Google with using its Android mobile operating system to crush rivals, a case that could potentially be the most damaging for the company, with the system used in most smartphones.

The company has also been accused of blocking rivals in online search advertising.

The Commission found that Google, with a market share in searches of over 90 percent in most European countries, had systematically given prominent placement in searches to its own comparison shopping service and demoted those of rivals in search results.

“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Google said its data showed people preferred links taking them directly to products they want and not to websites where they have to repeat their search.

“We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case,” Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, said in a statement.

1.2billion Debt, Can Etisalat Avoid Takeover?

Some shareholder groups in the nation’s capital market on Tuesday urged Etisalat Nigeria to settle the N1.2 billion debt it owed 13 commercial banks to avoid a takeover.

A cross section of the shareholder groups stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.

They insisted that the company must settle the debt for the banks to meet up with their dividend obligations.

Mr Boniface Okezie, National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, called on Etisalat to settle the debt owed the commercial banks to avoid a legal action.

Okezie said that the affected banks should approach the court for receivership if Etisalat failed to settle the debt.

He stated that the banks had obligations to their shareholders in terms of dividend payment at the end of the financial year, insisting that the debt must be paid.

Also, Mr Godwin Anono, the Chairman of Nigeria Professional Shareholders Association, said that the company should settle the debt and desist from making unnecessary noise about the whole thing.

He said the transaction was in line with customer-bank relationship, noting that terms and conditions must be obeyed.

Anono said further that the shareholders were in support of the banks to acquire the company if it failed to settle the loan.

“This is like any other transaction, it’s not government business and I stand on existing protocol that the banks should acquire the company,’’ he said.

In his view, Mr Sewa Wusu, Head Research, SCM Capital Ltd., said that the issue of loan between Etisalat and the consortium of banks was a customer-bank relationship which ought to be settled amicably with terms agreeable between both parties.

He said that the issue was beginning to elicit concerns in the banking industry given the level of amount involved and its potential impact on the balance sheets of those banks involved.

“But I think, the monetary authority is also involved to ensure prompt settlement of the situation among the parties,’’ he said.

Etisalat, on June 20, said it had been instructed to transfer its 45 per cent stake in Etisalat Nigeria to a loan trustee.

It said it had been notified to transfer its stake by June 23, saying that the stake had a carrying value of zero on its books.

However, in the last few months, Etisalat Nigeria has been in talks with Nigerian banks to restructure a 1.2 billion-dollar loan after missing repayments.

The loan is a seven-year facility agreed with 13 banks in 2013 to refinance a 650 million-dollar loan and fund expansion of its network.

Although the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria stepped into the fray to prevent a takeover by the banks, those discussions failed to produce an agreement on restructuring the debt.

FFK; Does Jonathan Still Have Much To Offer Nigeria?

Former Minister of Aviation Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has said that former President Goodluck Jonathan still had so much to offer Nigeria.

This is even as the former President Goodluck Jonathan has called for peace and unity stressing that without peace, Nigeria would not develop.

They made the calls when Jonathan hosted a delegation of former ministers still in the Peoples Democratic Party and served between 1999 and 2015.

Fani Kayode described the former president as a great leader who had encouraged many Nigerians.

“You still have so much to offer this country. The future is great for us, for PDP and this country,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Jonathan called on Nigerians to pray and work toward the nation’s unity, as Muslims celebrate Eid-el-Fitr.

The immediate past president said that no nation’s economy could grow where there was no peace.

“We should always use this period to know that the unity of the country is paramount.

“We cannot develop as a nation, no matter how people demonstrate, and no president can do magic, if there is tension in the land.

“This is because, immediately there is sense of insecurity in any country, investors will go back and when investors go back, of course, the economy will dwindle.

“What improves the economy is confidence and what makes investors to have confidence is peace.

“Nobody wants to invest where there is no peace, except those that invest in arms and ammunition.

“We should all pray and work toward that peace, that is the only way we can grow our economy,” Jonathan said.

He also commended the former ministers for forming the forum and for finding time to celebrate Sallah with his family.

The former president said that he was elated for seeing the former ministers coming together under a unique platform.

“We should begin to reduce the cleavages and fault lines and form a political body that will look at things with national interest,“ Jonathan said.

He, however, congratulated all Muslim brothers and sisters in the country for the successful completion of Ramadan fast and the Sallah celebration.

In his remarks, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, the chairman of the forum, said that the delegation comprises former ministers from 1999 to 2015.

Turaki said that the visit was to avail them the opportunity to share with Jonathan issues of national interest.

“Nigerians are beginning to appreciate the efforts you made in moving this country forward.

“Nigerians are still getting more aware of the enormous sacrifice you made to ensure that Nigeria remained together as one indivisible and indissoluble nation,“ he said

Senate: Can 8th Assembly Address All Injustices Against Nigerians?

The President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki has pledged the commitment of the 8th Senate to address on petitions bordering on injustice against Nigerians.

This is even as he has called on Nigerian to feel free to submit their petitions to the Senate or the House of Representatives through their representative in the National Assembly.

Saraki made this call in a video interview published on @NGRSenate, the official twitter handle of the Nigerian Senate.
The video was published on Tuesday by Mr Bamikole Omishore, Special Adviser to the President of the Senate on New Media.

In the video, Saraki said that the commitment of the 8th Senate to representing Nigerians in this regard could be exemplified by the number of petition which it had addressed in only two years.

Saraki said that the 8th Senate had finalised 74 petitions in only two years stressing that the number was more than what any other senate had treated in the history of Nigeria.

“We represent Nigerians, we are voted for that, the difference between democracy and military rule is parliament.

“In Kwara central if anybody feels there has been injustice against him anywhere in the system it is me that he comes to and says you are representing me, fight for me.

“Over the years, nobody attends to such petitions but we have treated over 70 petitions in two years: I know a senate that treated only 5 petitions in four years.

“So there is an avenue now for Nigerians to go to if they feel there has been an injustice,” he said.

The President of Senate said that there was a case of wrongful termination of employment where the man died in the process and the petition was brought to the Senate.

He said that the Senate heard the petition and directed that the late man’s entitlement up to when he died including his death benefit be paid to his widow and children.

He added that the family has been uplifted and the widow has started a business to support the family.

“That is what we are here for, that is why we created the opportunity for Nigerians to bring their petitions and we will address them and get justice,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 8th Senate hold the record to have received the highest number of petitions and in just two years have treated more petitions than any other Senate in the history of Nigeria.

However the Senate has also warned Nigerians not to submit frivolous petitions or petitions without facts and only aimed at damaging the reputation of an individual or a company.

Can Dead Men Recall A Sitting Senator?

Sen. Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial district in the National Assembly says the signatures allegedly collected to influence his recall and forwarded to INEC were forged.

Addressing newsmen on Sunday in Lokoja, Melaye who said investigations had revealed that even the dead signed the recall across the seven area councils of the senatorial district, described the process as fraudulent.

Speaking through one of his legislative aides, Malam Abubakar Sadiq, the embattled senator said names and signatures of dead constituents were on the list.

According to him, the name of a former governorship aspirant of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, late Chief Rotimi Obadofin precisely from Iya-Gbede axis was on the list.

“Let me also sound authoritatively that here in Lokoja Local Government Council, several others whose names and signatures appeared on the list of the signatories to this failed exercise were identified and known to us as being dead long before now.

“Such people like late Abdullahi Abubakar, his immediate younger sister late Halima Lawal Abubakar and Ibrahim Adama of Unit Code 021, Adankolo Ring Road in Ward ‘A’, Lokoja Local Government Council.

Also one late Salihu Black of Gegu-Beki town, Kogi Local Government Council who until his death was a biology teacher in Government Secondary School, Koton-Karfe, also appended his signature on the recall list.

“This recall exercise was hatched in Kogi Government House due to the manner in which Senator Dino Melaye consistently challenges and engages the government over non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners for over 15 months; and also the constant closure of tertiary institutions,” he stated.

Senator Melaye also alleged that they claimed to have gotten over 188,000 signatories of electorates in Kogi West when the total vote cast, both valid and rejected, in the last senatorial election of 2015, was merely 111, 000 for all the candidates that participated.

In a swift reaction, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi said Senator Dino Melaye should stop worrying about INEC.

Bello, who spoke through his chief Press Secretary, Mrs Petra Onyegbule, said facts about the constituents were with INEC which had the responsibility of verifying the signatures.

“There is nothing for the distinguished senator to be worried about. INEC has set July 3, for the public verification of signatures and the date is around the corner; there is no point burning their energies all over the place”, Onyegbule said

On the alleged collation of signatures in Government House, the spokesperson said it was absolutely false as no single signature was collated in Government House.

Facebook Users Hit 2billion

Facebook active users have reached two billion monthly, the social platform giant announced on Tuesday.

The milestone was reached as founder Mark Zuckerberg highlighted his new mission — not just connecting people, but helping them find common ground.

“As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people!” Zuckerberg wrote in a post marking the milestone.

“We’re making progress connecting the world, and now let’s bring the world closer together,” he wrote. “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you.”

Facebook’s announcement came as it works to redefine its purpose, led by Zuckerberg who toured the US this year to better understand what people want out of the social network.

“We realize that we need to do more too,” the 33-year-old said in a recent interview with CNN Tech.

“It’s important to give people a voice, to get a diversity of opinions out there, but on top of that, you also need to do this work of building common ground so that way we can all move forward together.”

The firm’s new mission statement says it seeks “to give people the power to build community.”

Zuckerberg’s message was echoed by Naomi Gleit, a vice president at the internet giant, who credited the millions of small communities emerging within Facebook for helping drive growth.

More than a billion people take part each month in Facebook “groups” — built around everything from sporting interests to humanitarian projects, she said in an online post on Tuesday.

For Gartner analyst Brian Blau, Facebook appears to be striving to become “more of a community company than a technology company.”

He noted that Facebook’s role in last year’s contentious US election — during which social networks were awash in misinformation — may have been a motivating factor.

Founded in 2004, the social media behemoth hit the billion-user mark five years ago.

“These billion levels are significant milestones; and certainly it is a lot of people around the planet,” said Blau. “It goes to show the power of community, and how people are naturally drawn to each other.”

In the latest move to deepen its reach, it revealed Monday it is starting production on high-quality television series and gaming shows to be broadcast on its platform.

Working with a small group of partners, Facebook hopes to start putting out episodes of its forthcoming series by the end of the summer, Nick Grudin, the vice president for media partnerships, told AFP.

Facebook’s initiative follows similar moves by Netflix, Amazon and the online television platform Hulu — a joint venture by Disney, Comcast, 21st Century and Time Warner — who have thrown themselves into content production, as have YouTube and Apple, although on a more modest scale.

Reported by AFP

World’s 1st ATM IS 50

The world’s first Automated Teller Machine (ATM),a technology which brought transformation in the way people obtain and use cash, on Tuesday clocked 50 years.

According to the Mirror, the world’s first ATM was unveiled by Barclays at its Enfield branch in North London on June 27 1967.

As a tribute to the golden anniversary, Barclays transformed the ATM at its Enfield branch into gold, added a commemorative plaque and placed a red carpet in front for its users.

The original ATM was the brainchild of Scottish inventor Shepherd-Barron, and was commissioned by Barclays to create six cash dispensers, the first of which was installed at Enfield.

English actor Reg Varney, who starred in the British TV comedy show “On The Buses”, was the first person to withdraw cash from the new machine.

The ATM was designed to transform people’s ability to manage their finances by giving customers access to cash outside bank branch opening hours.

Despite the rise in other new technologies such as online and mobile banking, the ATM remains popular 50 years on.

Now there are an estimated three million cash machines across the globe with some 70,000 cash machines in the UK alone which dispensed 175 billion pounds in 2016.

This month also marked 30 years since Barclays introduced the debit card to the UK, on June 3 1987. (NAN)

Meet 22 Year Old Nigerian That Survived In The Sahara Desert

Adoara, not real name, the Nigerian woman who survived 10 days in Sahara Desert
A 22-year-old Nigerian woman attempting to migrate into Europe via the harsh Sahara Desert survived after being abandoned by traffickers for 10 days.

The International Organisation for Migration said the woman, given the nickname Adoara, was the only female among the survivors of a rescue mission on May 28.

“She left Nigeria in early April hoping for a better future in Europe.

“There were 50 migrants on the pick-up truck when it left Agadez for Libya, but only six are still alive today,” Giuseppe Loprete, Niger Chief of Mission for IOM, said.

Recounting her ordeal, the Nigerian survivor said: “We were in the desert for 10 days. After five days, the driver abandoned us.

“He left with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours, but he never did,” she recalled.

During the next two days, 44 of the migrants died which persuaded the six left to start walking to look for help.

“We had to drink our own pee to survive,” said the woman now in an IOM camp in Niamey, Niger.

She had left Nigeria with two close female friends, who both died in the desert.

“They were too weak to keep going,” she sadly remembers. “We buried a few, but there were just too many to bury and we didn’t have the strength to do it,” Adaora adds.

“I couldn’t walk anymore. I wanted to give up,” she recalls.

Two other migrants carried her until a truck driver picked them up and took them to local authorities who then alerted IOM staff in Dirkou in the Agadez Region of north-eastern Niger.

By the time the six survivors reached IOM’s transit centre in Dirkou, Adaora was unconscious.

She received medical assistance, and once recovered, she gave a detailed account of her experience to both the authorities and IOM staff. Two of the other migrants from the group went back with IOM staff and the authorities to find the bodies and identify the victims.

After having received medical assistance at IOM’s transit centres in both Dirkou and Agadez, Adaora is currently recovering at IOM’s transit centre for migrants in Niamey, awaiting her imminent voluntary return to Nigeria.

Adaora says she had no idea what the route was going to be like, otherwise she would have never left Nigeria. Going back, she wants to continue her work as a nurse. “I think it’s important we all assist each other when we are in need,” she says.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it rescued no fewer than 600 people since April 2017 through a new search and rescue operation that targeted migrants stranded in Sahara Desert.

The UN migration agency, however, regretted 52 migrants, mostly from The Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, died over the period, according to its statement on Tuesday.

“We are enhancing our capacity to assist vulnerable migrants stranded in Northern Agadez, towards the Niger-Libya border.

“Saving lives in the desert is becoming more urgent than ever.

“Since the beginning of the year we have been receiving frequent calls to rescue victims who embark on this route‎,” Giuseppe Loprete, Niger Chief of Mission for IOM, said.

On June 9, another 92 migrants were also rescued through an IOM search and rescue operation; among them were 30 women and children.

More recently, 24 migrants were taken to Seguedine, where one died on arrival.

“Among the 23 survivors are migrants from Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. It was not clear for how long they had been walking in the deserts of central Niger.

“They had been in a group of 75 migrants in three different cars, eventually abandoned by smugglers during the journey north,” Loprete said.

IOM said it had recorded 52 deaths since it launched a new project “Migrants Rescue and Assistance in Agadez Region” (MIRAA) in April.

The project will last for 12 months, and aims to ensure the protection of migrants in hard-to-reach areas while also strengthening the management of migration by the Government of Niger, it said.

MIRAA is complementary to the larger initiative “Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism” (MRRM), which aims to bring together in one mechanism a wide range of services and assistance for migrants, including assisted voluntary return to their countries of origin and reintegration once they return.