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COVID-19: Global Businesses Hampered as Top Companies Bans Business Trips

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In the act to keep employees safe and healthy, Amazon and other big companies bans business trips though they’ve dealt a gut punch to a travel industry already reeling from the virus outbreak.

The cancellations and travel restrictions are a major blow to business travel, which makes up around 26% of the total travel spending, or around $1.5 trillion per year, according to the Global Business Travel Association. The association estimates the virus is costing the business travel industry $47 billion per month. In a recent poll of 400 member companies, the group found that 95% have suspended business trips to China, 45% have cut trips to Japan and South Korea and 23% have cancelled trips to Europe.

The Seattle-based online retail giant has told its nearly 800,000 workers to postpone any non-essential travel within the United States or around the globe. Swiss food giant Nestle told its 291,000 employees worldwide to limit domestic business travel and halt international travel until March 15. French cosmetics maker L’Oréal, which employs 86,000 people, issued a similar ban until March 31.

Other companies, like Twitter have told their employees worldwide to work from home. Google gave that directive to its staff of 8,000 at its European headquarters in Dublin on Tuesday. Major business like the Geneva International Motor Show and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, have also been cancelled.

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On Tuesday, Facebook confirmed it will no longer attend the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, which is scheduled to begin March 13. And the 189-nation International Monetary Fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank, announced they will replace their regular spring meetings in Washington — scheduled for mid-April — with a “virtual format.”

Michael Dunne, the CEO of ZoZo Go, an automotive consulting company that specializes in the Chinese market, normally travels from California to Asia every six weeks. But right now, he’s not planning to cross the Pacific until June.

“With everything at a standstill, I do not feel a sense of missing the action, but there is no better catalyst for business than meeting people in person.” Dunne said.

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The president of Brooklyn Brewery, Robin Ottaway cancelled his trip to Seoul and Tokyo last week. He has indefinitely suspended all travel to Asia and also just canceled a trip to Copenhagen that was scheduled for March.

“I wasn’t worried about getting sick. I’m a healthy 46-year-old man with no pre-existing conditions; my only worry was getting stuck in Asia or quarantined after returning to the U.S. And I’d hate to be a spreader of the virus.” Ottaway said.

“It’s a big deal,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst in San Francisco who estimates that airlines get 55% of their revenue from business travelers, since they’re more likely to sit in pricier business or first-class seats. On a long-haul flight to Europe or Asia, a business-class traveler can be five times more profitable than someone in coach,” Harteveldt said.

Figures from the Airlines Reporting Corp. indicate that airline ticket sales fell about 9% during one week in late February, compared with a year earlier. Hotels are also worried about declines in business travel. In the U.S. alone, hotel bookings for business travel were expected to reach $46.8 billion this year.

According to Phocuswright, a travel research firm, through Feb. 22, San Francisco saw an 11% decline in hotel occupancy, according to STR, a hotel data company. AT&T, Verizon and IBM were among the companies that pulled out of the city’s RSA cybersecurity conference, which began Feb. 24.

 Luke Sorter, owner of Pavel’s Yogurt spent last weekend agonizing over whether his company should attend Natural Products Expo West, a major industry gathering in Anaheim, California. “Backing out of industry events can be a tough call for businesses” He said.

Sorter spent nearly $20,000 on conference fees and travel expenses, but then rumors began circulating that nearly all the major retailers he was hoping to pitch were pulling out.

“This was going to be our big push to make some sales and open up some new accounts, and we were really disappointed because all of the major buying groups had pulled out of the show,” said Sorter, whose San Leandro, California-based company pulls in about $1.2 million to $1.5 million in revenue per year.

On Tuesday, Expo West announced it would be postponed until a later date.

“I was relieved because it just didn’t seem safe to put 50, 60, 70,000 people in a building together and the whole show is predicated on sharing and sampling food and handshakes, and person-to-person interaction,” Sorter said.

Some experts say it’s smart for companies to curtail travel before things get worse. Worldwide, 92,000 people have been sickened by the virus and 3,100 have died.

 “If you knowingly put your employees in harm’s way during travel, you can be held responsible for their injury or their death,” said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, which advocates for corporations and governments that hire travel management companies.

In some cases, workers themselves are demanding a halt to travel. The pilots’ union at American Airlines sued last month to make the airline stop flying to China. American agreed to suspend flights to mainland China but initially tried to keep serving Hong Kong. Pilots wouldn’t do it. “When pilots began reporting nervousness about going to Milan and flights were less full, American suspended that service much more quickly”, said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union.

In some cases, companies are also asking employees to cancel meetings with outside visitors to cut down on the risk of transmission. In a memo sent to Ford Motor Co.’s nearly 200,000 employees Tuesday, Ford CEO Jim Hackett asked employees to meet with suppliers and others by phone or virtually. Ford also said only the most critical travel will be approved for employees through March 27.

In Nigeria, it’s a reverse scenario; the members of the House of Assembly suspended work for themselves while the employees in the National Assembly attend to visitors in their absence. What a country we find ourselves in where the leaders care less of the employee’s welfare- putting their selfish interest first before anything else. Though the global businesses are losing sales, I applaud their wise decision on the temporary ban for business trips. This shows the rare virtue of empathy in their leadership style.

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2023 Presidency: Youth Support Group gives Governor Yahaya Bello 14 days ultimatum to join presidential race or risk nationwide protest 

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2023 Presidency: Youth Support Group Gives Yahaya Bello 14 days Ultimatum to declear interest..

The coalition of youth support groups, under the name of “Governor Yahaya Bello to President Yahaya Bello’’ (GYB2PYB), has issued 14 days ultimatum to Governor Bello to declare intentions’ joining the 2023 presidential race or risk a nationwide protest

The group made their position known in a letter of invitation to contest 2023 presidential race submitted to Governor Bello at the Kogi State liaison office in Abuja on Friday

Ambassador Oladele Nihi Director General GYB2PYB said that Governor Bello has what it takes to provide purposeful leadership and good governance if elected as President in the 2023 General Elections.

“He will offer the right leadership, as he is interested in the good of Nigeria. The GYB2PYB Youth Movement is not a selfish Agenda, but an effort to project him, to market him, and to sell him to other Nigerians.

“We have searched the length and breadth of our country and found that Governor Yahaya Bello, a young man who has given women and young people the platform to be the drivers in their own affairs, will perform well if elected into the exalted office.

“The GYB (Gov. Yahaya Bello), style of leadership is what we need in this country, the leadership of a government of the young people by the young people and for the general wellbeing of all Nigerians.

“Over fifteen million Nigerian young men and women have signed a request letter to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, calling on him to accept to contest the position of the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.

“We believe Governor Yahaya Bello to be a detribalized Nigerian. He will stamp out Nepotism from our country, and he will handle the intractable security problems of our country.

“Because he is a young man, he will engage the women and the young men in governance and make them critical stakeholders in the affairs of the country. We believe that he is a good brand that we can sell.

We urge Nigerian youths to take the message nationwide, that Governor Yahaya Bello will handle security; he will ensure Women and Youth Inclusiveness in governance, erase all forms of ethnic and religious bias and bring massive Foreign Direct Investments into the Country.

Right now, we need a leader that can hold our country together. We are saying that the person is Governor Yahaya Bello. I believe that the challenge is to have a good leader to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who has tried his best. We should begin to identify somebody to take over from him and do a fantastic job.

We will make it impossible for GYB to say NO, because he holds it to Nigerians to participate in the election. It is a patriotic duty we are calling on him for. He is a man who believes in the progress and development of Nigeria, he has no choice than to accede to our request. He should come out and offer himself for the leadership of this country at this time. We are calling on him to serve. We are confident that he will come out and run for the presidency.

Recall that the group had sometime last year predicted that 2023 would be a youth political revolution year in Nigeria, saying it planned to build early structures among youth groups, to network towards possible and inevitable takeover of leadership.

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The GYB2PYB, expressed regrets that Nigeria, with a population of more than 200 million people, 75 per cent of which were youth, said it was disheartening that less than one per cent of young Nigerians are currently included, appointed or elected into leadership positions in the country.

It said the group was set to change the narrative come 2023

“We decided to search for three qualities; a young person with capacity politically and financially, one who is already in the political system/power block and who has the track record of youth engagement and inclusion in governance, as well as appointments, requirements we found in Governor Bello,’’ it said in a statement.

Hon. Bar Medina Anako, Special adviser intergovernmental affairs and State focal person, Nigerians in diaspora Commission received the group on behalf of the Governor

Barrister Anako has assured the group that Governor Bello will surely respond to their letter of invitation asking him to join the race within the next 14 days as demanded!!

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THE MESSAGE OF THE HON. SPEAKER OF NDIGBO YOUTH PARLIAMENT (NYP), RT. HON. RIKKI CHINEDU NWAJIOFOR, ON ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY.

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NDIGBO YOUTH PARLIAMENT

Armed Forces Remembrance Day; The Heroes of Our Land!
“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”
—Douglas MacArthur.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”, opines Albert Einstein. Suffice it to say that the spirit cum the zeal to serve selflessly and pour out oneself profusely in service, for the good of “a neighbor” and betterment of the nation at large, is a worthwhile life. Such a life depicts a Patriot and a Nationalist.

Today, the 15th day of January has been dedicated as a day we remember and pay homage to the selfless and unquantifiable sacrifices our armed forces made and still make for us as individuals and for the nation at large. Today is a day to honour all those brave Men and Women who have served or are still serving their country with bravery, dedication and self-sacrifice.

Yes, they put up selfless sacrifices for us; keeping awake that we might sleep and giving their lives that we might not lose all the things we love. As we sleep peacefully on our beds, our “Gallant Men and Valiant Women” stand on guard, ready to give their lives for our freedom. They keep awake in the bush, in cold weather, on high sea, to make sure we sleep and snore peacefully. They are separated from their families and loved ones so we can be united with ours. They lay down their lives that we might live.

As a country, they give up themselves that we can be united and have our sovereignty upheld. According to Barrack Obama, “the soldier’s courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms.” In all these their invaluable sacrifices, we need to appreciate them. We need to let them know that we are grateful. Buttressing this further, Harry S. Truman asserts; “our debt to the Heroic men and Valliant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. We will never forget their sacrifices.”

Yes, we should never forget their unflinching and unwavering loyalty and love for our beloved nation; we should never forget their unquantifiable sacrifices.

An epitaph on a soldier’s grave reads:
I did my duty,
I paid the supreme price,
I pray you’ll remember,
My sacrifice.
My life was short,
I did my best.
God grant me peace,
In my eternal rest.

What a heart-rending epitaph! Yes, they wish that we forget not their sacrifices. “The labours and sacrifices of our Heroes past shall never be in vain”! Let us remember to extend helping hands to their widows, widowers, bereaved siblings and orphaned children. They are in that condition today because their loved ones laid down their lives that we might enjoy the company of our own loved ones.

May God strengthen and bless all our military men, comfort the families of those who lost their lives for our sake and grant blissful rest to our departed Heroes. We are proud of you!!!

“A true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him”.
G.K. Chesterton.

By: Rt. Hon. Rikki Chinedu Nwajiofor.
Speaker, Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP).

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Police recovers the genital organ of 6-year-old girl mutilated by ritualists in Bauchi

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Police recovers the genital organ of 6-year-old girl mutilated by ritualists in Bauchi

The Bauchi Police Command has recovered a genital organ suspected to belong to the 6-year-old girl mutilated by ritualists in Jamaare Local Government Area of the state.

Police recover genital organ of 6-year-old girl mutilated by ritualists in Bauchi

Recall that two suspects Abdulkadir Wada Haladu, 19, and Adamu Abdulrauf, 20, were arrested in connection with the crime. Wada was nabbed in Mararraba, Nasarawa State where he voluntarily confessed to the crime.

Spokesperson of the command, Wakil, who confirmed the development in a statement on Wednesday, January 13, said a bottle containing the suspected genital organ (complete Vulva; Libia Majora, Libia Minora and clitoris) was recovered in the house of one of the suspected ritualists, Abdulkadir Wada Haladu.

Police recover genital organ of 6-year-old girl mutilated by ritualists in Bauchi

Other items recovered include two knives, three bottles containing native medicine.
One carton containing some native dry medicines tied inside polythene bags, one dry animal skin, two Islamic native black boards, one calabash, one hoe, and two locally made Disks.

Police recover genital organ of 6-year-old girl mutilated by ritualists in Bauchi

 

 

 

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