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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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NYCN thanks Buhari, Hails Youth and Sports Minister’s Initiative on the Establishment of the National Youth Investment Funds.

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NYCN Thanks Buhari for approving 75 Billion Youth Investment Fund
NYCN thanks Buhari, Hails Youth and Sports Minister’s Initiative on the Establishment of the National Youth Investment Funds.

The National Youth Council of Nigeria led by its President, Amb. Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubo has commended the Honourable, Hon. Sunday Dare for his innovative resourcefulness that has resulted in the establishment and approval of the N75 Billion naira National Youth Investment Found (NYIF) by President Muhammadu Buhari.  

The Minister, ably represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Gabriel Aduda, while receiving the National Youth Executives at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, noted that the NYCN has taken a bold and commendable step to thank Mr President on the establishment of the NYIF.

Sokubo Presents Letter of Commendation to the Honourable Minister of Youths and Sport, Mr. Sunday Dare

He stated that the Memo on the establishment of the fund was thoroughly debated and it enjoyed an overwhelming support by members of the Federal Executive Council.

This gesture is to enable the teeming population of the Nigerian youth to be economically motivated for sustainability.  

Mr Dare added that it is important to go beyond empowering the youth into investing in the youth of Nigeria with a common pulse that supports entrepreneurship and small businesses as well as provide the environment for youth to fly with their ideas.

He stated that the 75Billion naira will come in three trenches between now and 2023 nothing that Mr President has given directives to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning alongside the Central Bank Governor to source for the money.

According to the Minister, the Ministry through the Technical/Steering Committees that shall be put in place,which will include the youths, shall be working on modalities to enable Nigerian youth have access to the fund and pay back within a short period with not more than 1 digit interest rate.

He implored the youth to come up with innovative ideas that could lead to wealth/job creation and which can as well achieve any of the 9 cardinal goal of the present administration.

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The President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Amb. Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubo, in his response, expressed gratitude to the Honourable Minster whose supervision in the youth constituency has recorded massive positive developments including the National Youth Investment Fund recently approved by Mr President.

Sukubo noted that Nigerian youth have experienced a breath of fresh air and hope is kept alive owing to the visionary foresight of the Minister for the growth of the youth of this country.

‘To all my fellow Nigerian youths, it is a new dawn for us, the sound of hope echoes in the air. The long awaited dream has become a reality and I can testify that there is a song of joy in our lips, he said.

In his vote of thanks, the Hon. Commissioner for Pan Africa Union in Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Oladele, thanked President Buhari for the economic empowerment by creating this National Youth Investment Fund for the Nigerian youth and other programmes of the ministry on social media to keep the youths off the streets.

He however made a call to the President to kindly direct all youths related activities and programmes scattered in other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to be redeployed and warehoused in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for proper coordination.  

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100 billion probe: NECSO’s, VYO’s pass vote of confidence on NEDC

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north east development commission
100 billion probe: NECSO’s, VYO’s pass vote of confidence on NEDC

100 billion probe: NECSOs,VYOs pass vote of confidence on NEDC

Members of the coalition of North East Civil Society Organisations (NECSOs) and Voluntary Youth Organisations (VYOs) have passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the North East Development Commission(NEDC).

The members passed the resolution during a World press conference held in Abuja on Monday

The NECSO’s and VYO’s were led by Comrade Adam President Northern Youth Association of Nigeria (NYAN) and Comrade Haruna Abdulsallam Conference of Civil Society Organization (CCSO)

They group called on the National Assembly to tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians for misleading the general public by alleging that N100 billion was misappropriated and diverted from the North East Development Commission (NEDC) within one year of its existence.

They particularly enjoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Rep. Ndidi Elumelu, who moved the resolution for the probe of the NEDC, to equally publish an apology letter in one of the reputable national dailies.

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Comrade Adam said Elumelu’s action had created unnecessary, avoidable confusion and distraction on the attention of the leadership of the commission with a malicious allegation against the organization.

We believe that NEDC has performed credibly well and still contributing immensely to infrastructural and socioeconomic development of the north east region.”group said

“The coalition described the action of the lawmaker as a smear campaign against the Commission and to the north east which according to them will eventually fail in its entirety

“We wish to emphasize, categorically,that the resolution was also an attempt to smear and dent the image of the commission’s leadership and by extension the north, despite the fact that the commission. had performed beyond expectations, the group said

They appeal to legislators to concentrate their energy in their constitutional role of law making and oversight functions, to enhance transparency and accountability in governance

“They also emphasized that the management of NEDC has maintained a harmonious relationship with the House of Representatives Committee on North East Development Commission.

They added that when the allegation came up, the leadership of the commission approached the law makers and admonished them to quickly investigate the lingering issue to ensure that Nigerians have first hand information about how the commission is been manage .

“Our investigation has revealed that the NEDC never receive or get up to N100 billion allocation, since its inception to date and wonder how the NEDC spent what it doesn’t have.

“Comrade Haruna Abdulsalam elaborated that the NEDC was inaugurated in May 2019 and did not get funding or allocation till in November, 2019.

“Members of the coalition collectively dismissed the allegation of high handedness in the process of contract award in the commission.

“We see these allegations as a direct attack on the leadership of the commission for their refusal to favour company of some law makers in the award of contract executed by the commission.

“It is on record that all the contracts awarded by the NEDC were subject to public procurement act and other due processes, with a view to upholding the anti-graft crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“The NEDC is an open commission, anybody can go to the organisation to verify the facts rather than resorting to blackmail and character assassination.

‘The NEDC operates TSA Account since its inception and all its funding pass through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“This clearly shows that all contract process and expenditure of the commission are subjected to the Governing Board of the commission which has the mandate to give all neccassary approval

” So we cannot imagine how somebody will unilaterally withdraw the sum of N5 billion to procure anything as alleged by the House of Representatives

“We are aware that in September 2019 during the North East Security Conference held in Maiduguri, Borno State Capital, a communiqué was issued and one of the recommendations and resolutions of the security conference was that, the commission should assist to buy vehicles for the security agencies.

“This is to make their Job easier and enhance their operational efficiency.

“Our investigation reveals that a presentation was made and and the board approved, thereafter channeled to the appropriate procurement processes and eventually, vehicles were procured and distributed to the security agencies.

“The coalition, therefore, passe a vote of confidence on the management of the commission under the leadership of Alhaji Mohammad Goni Alkali who has been working tirelessly to ensure that the commission discharges its mandate effectively.

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#BBNaija: Praise Slams Ka3na for ignoring him during the day but coming to him at night (Video)

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Praise and Ka3na

#BBNaija: Praise Slams Ka3na for ignoring him during the day but coming to him at night (Video)

Praise and Ka3na, first couple to have sex in the #BBNaija Season 5 Show

One day after housemates Praise and Ka3na were caught having an intimate time under the duvet, Praise slams Ka3na.

Praise felt Ka3na was ignoring him said to her; “Day time you behave as if you don’t know me, but during the night you like me”

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The two housemates who have children outside the reality show were caught pants down having sex on Friday in the Big Brother house after engaging themselves in a naughty truth or dare game.

Few days ago, Katrina who is married to a 64-year-old man was seen counting condoms in the house before engaging in the act.

Praise and Ka3na are the first lockdown housemates to be caught in the act.

Watch the video below…

 
 
 
 
 
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Praise to Ka3na: “Day time you behave as if you don’t know me…but during the night you come to me”… 🤣🤣

A post shared by Tunde Ednut (@tundeednut) on

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