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This is a list of top 20 most used android apps in Nigeria for the first quarter (January to March) 2021. We hope to make this a quarterly list to show the android apps Nigerians use or download the most within every 3 month period.

  1. Palm Pay – The fintech app that enables users pay bills, get airtime etc apparently benefits from the fact that it comes pre-installed in most Transsion owned phones (Transsion owns Tecno, Infinix phone models).
  2. Opay – Opay came into Nigeria a few years ago with fanfare launching its all in one app that featured try-cycle, bike hailing, fintech etc. Now mostly used as a bill payment, funds transfer and related financial activities app Opay continues to maintain strong usage in the country especially with its mobile money, POS agent network.
  3. Whatsapp – The world’s number one messaging and chat app continues to feature heavily in the lives of millions of Nigerians. It is a surprise it is not the top ranking android app in Google playstore.
  4. Truecaller – The Caller ID app has seen more adoption by Nigerian android users in recent times.
  5. Opera mini – The minimal data consumption browser app continues to be used by many Nigerians especially with the cost of data. This shows that lots of Nigerians are still very conscious about data consumption.
  6. Facebook Lite – Facebook Lite is the smaller, data friendly version of the world’s largest social network. It is not surprising that Facebook Lite is well used in Nigeria given that the internet coverage is still not strong enough in many parts of the country.
  7. Tiktok Lite – The video based social app that became wildly popular in 2020 also has the poor internet friendly version – Tiktok lite. Little surprise that lots of Nigerians also have it on their phones mostly due to weak and costly internet bundles.
  8. Audiomack – Audiomack is a free music sharing and discovery app that has quietly become increasingly used in the country by Android phone users. It distributes quite a lot of songs from Nigerian artists.
  9. Whatsapp Business – The business version of Whatsapp meant for business owners to engage better with customers has good adoption as many small, micro small enterprises use it as primary mode of engagement on social media.
  10. Zoom – The video conferencing and meeting tool became highly popular as the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent shut downs took prominence in 2020. It continues to be heavily used for remote business meetings.
  11. Snapchat – Snapchat is the multimedia messaging app that saw a fairly decent usage among younger Nigerians and appears to continue featuring in lots of android phones.
  12. Smart Security – The phone cleaner, booster and defender app that comes with many Transsion owned phones
  13. Memory Cleaner – This is a phone speed boosting and junk removal app that comes by default with many Transsion owned phones.
  14. Instagram – The heavier version of the second largest social media app sees enough use to make it in the top 20.
  15. Xender – The file sharing app appears to be popular enough among Nigerians
  16. Telegram – Telegram apparently stakes a claim to being the second most used chat/messaging app in the country
  17. Pi Network – A new kind of digital currency that allows you grow your holdings and digital assets in a wallet
  18. Jumia – Nigeria’s top ecommerce site appears to see some usage of its app in Nigeria
  19. Boomplay – Boomplay is a Transsion affiliated music discovery and sharing app that comes with many newer models of Transsion owned phones
  20. Facebook – The heavier version of the world’s largest social network brings up the rear in this Top 20 most used Android apps ranking

This ranking is curated from Similarweb Mobile app ranking of all Google Play free apps.

Talk about passion, L. C. “Buckshot” Smith may just be the world’s oldest policeman at 91. Smith drives around in an  unmarked police car, but everyone in Camden, Arkansas and earned his popularity by working more than four decades for the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department, where he went by his childhood nickname “Buckshot.”

After 46 years as a deputy, he retired — for only five months. He said he didn’t have any fun during those five months. “I don’t hunt. I don’t fish.”

So he went back to what he knows and loves best – policing

Over the course of his career, Smith said he has “taken more people home than I’ve taken to them to jail.”

“He does not want to retire. In his words, to me, he’ll retire when the good Lord tells him to,” said chief Boyd Woody.

source: CBS News

A 54 year old man from Croatia, Budimir Buda Sobat, set a world record for the longest time breadth held underwater. He spent 24 minutes and 33 seconds underwater without coming up for air – that’s longest than anyone else has ever lasted.

This massive feat was achieved in a swimming pool, in the town of Sisak, under the supervision of doctors, reporters and supporters.

He spent a few minutes hyperventilating on pure oxygen, to increase body oxygenation before spending close to half an hour face down in the pool without coming up for air.

A few years ago, Budimir gave up on his passion, bodybuilding, and embraced static diving, soon becoming one of the world’s top 10 static divers. He managed to break the 24-minute barrier three years ago, but this weekend he broke his own Guinness Record (24:11), by spending an insane 24 minutes and 33 seconds underwater.

This is known as static apnea, a discipline that requires that the respiratory tract be immersed, with the body either in the water or at the surface. The current world record before Budimir’s attempt sits at 11 minutes and 54 seconds, held by Branko Petrovic, in Dubai in 2014. However, that is the unaided version of the challenge, whereas Šobat’s is a different variation where divers are allowed to breathe pure oxygen for up to 30 minutes prior to the attempt, to increase body oxygenation.

Although the pure oxygen clearly makes a huge difference, as evidenced by the time difference between the two records, 24 minutes and a half is still an insanely long time to spend underwater without coming up for air. It requires years of preparation and training the body to pump oxygenated blood at a very slow rate through the body, as we as to retain oxygen for long periods of time.

Budimir Buda Šobat has always been inspired to push the limits of what is considered physically possible by his 20-year-old daughter, Saša, who has been battling cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy since childhood.

source: Odditycentral

An Alpha-Jet belonging to the Nigerian Airforce is reported missing after losing contact with radar in Borno State during an interdiction mission in support of ground troops.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet who disclosed this in a statement Thursday, said the mission was part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North East.

According to him, the loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08 pm on 31 March 2021.

“Details of the whereabout of the aircraft or likely cause of contact loss are still sketchy but will be relayed to the general public as soon as they become clear. Meanwhile, search and rescue efforts are ongoing.

More details later

It is common sense that if you want to be rich you should listen to rich guys. There is always a lot to learn from millionaires and billionaires who have made their own wealth.

We have put together some simple and relevant advice from a few billionaires on how to improve your finances, earn/make more, save more.

  1. Buy in Bulk – Mark Cuban

“It’s so hard to make a return on regular investments that […] you’re better off buying two years’ worth of toothpaste when it’s on a 50% discount. There’s an immediate return on your money. That’s real savings that you get to put in your pocket.”

2. Find your passion, find something you believe in – Oprah Winfrey

“You become what you believe. You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed.”

3. Be a Cheap Bastard, Save! – Chris Sacca

Don’t spend your money! Instead, he advises you to pinch your pennies and have your priorities in order for the long haul. “Being a cheap bastard now means so much more freedom and choices later,”

4. Have a Lifeboat – Reid Hoffman

You have Plan A, which is a your current plan, the business you’re trying to launch or the job you’re working at. It’s your plan to move up in the world.

Then you have a Plan B, your backup plan; it’s what you’ll switch to if you get out of Plan A. Maybe your Plan B is a side project you’ve been working on, or other jobs you’re thinking of applying for. But your Plan B should be flexible. You should be open to pursuing multiple opportunities or having a variety of backup plans should your Plan A fall through.

5. Have an Emergency Fund Set Aside – John Paul Dejoria

“Before investing or starting a company, make sure you have enough money saved for at least six  months to pay bills or anything else that might come up financially,”

6. Understand that Entrepreneurship is a High Risk Path – Dustin Moskovitz

Entrepreneurs often work long, grueling hours and there’s very little glamour to it, he said. According to Moskovitz, a surer path to wealth is joining a later-stage company and helping them grow it. You’ll have a better chance of getting a high salary and achieving financial stability.

 

After a 2020 of little travel (mostly due to the corona virus pandemic) Nigeria’s President Buhari has once again left the country, to the United Kingdom for medical checkup according to officials from the Presidency.

We took a look at President Buhari’s travel history since he was elected President in 2015. He has spent close to 500 days outside Nigeria on one trip or the other. That’s over 1 year, 3 months of his entire almost 6 years in office.

Here are some of the notable foreign trips and countries President Buhari has visited.

2015

  • 3rd July (Niamy, Niger) – Conference on Boko Haram
  • 4th July (Ndjamena, Chad) – Official visit
  • 7th-8th July (Germany) – G7 Invitation
  • 12th – 13th July (South Africa) – 25th AU Summit
  • 19th – 23rd July (Washington, USA) – Official visit
  • 29th – 30th July (Yaounde, Cameroon) – Official visit
  • 2nd – 3rd August (Cotonou, Benin) – Independence celebration
  • 7th September (Accra, Ghana) – Official visit
  • 14th – 16th September (Paris, France) – Official Visit
  • 24th – 29th September (New York, USA) – 70th United Nations Assembly
  • 26th – 30th October (New Delhi, India) – India Africa Summit
  • 22nd – 24th November (Tehran, Iran) – Gas producing countries meeting
  • 30th November (Paris, France) – Paris club meeting
  • 4th – 5th December (Johannesburg, South Africa) – China – Africa Summit
  • 10th December (Benin Republic) – President Kerekou’s funeral

2016

  • 8th January (Benin) – 11th meeting of River Niger linked countries
  • 17th – 20th January (Abu Dhabi, UAE) – high level meeting on weapons
  • 26th January (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) – meeting of African leaders
  • 27th – 29th January (Nairobi, Kenya) – official visit
  • 2nd – 4th February (Strasbourg, France) – official visit
  • 5th – 10th February (London, UK) – Holiday
  • 18th February (Egypt) – Africa summit 2016
  • 22nd – 27th February (Mecca, Saudi Arabia) – official visit
  • 27th – 28th February (Doha, Qatar) – OPEC gathering
  • 14th March (Equatorial Guinea) – official visit
  • 30th March (Washington, USA) – high level meeting on Nuclear
  • 11th – 14th April (Beijing, China) – official visit
  • 13th – 15th May (London, UK) – meeting on global war on bribery and corruption
  • 6th – 19th July (London, UK) – sick leave
  • 8th Aug (Chad) – swearing in of President Idris Derby
  • 27th – 28th August (Nairobi, Kenya) – Tokyo gathering on Africa
  • 13th – 16th October (Germany) – official visit
  • 14th – 18th November (Marrakech, Morroco) – UN meeting on climate change
  • 5th – 7th December (Senegal) – global meeting on restoring peace in Africa
  • 13th December (Gambia) – ECOWAS meeting

2017

  • 7th January (Accra, Ghana) – Swearing in of President Nana Akufo
  • 12th January (Gambia) – ECOWAS peace parley
  • 13th – 14th January (Mali) – France Africa summit
  • 19th January – 30th March (London, UK) – Holiday and sick leave
  • 7th May – 13th August (London) – sick leave
  • 17th – 21st September (New York) – 72nd UN General Assembly
  • 21st – 25th September (London) – Holiday
  • 18th – 22nd October (Turkey) – official visit and meeting of developing countries
  • 24th October (Niamey, Niger) – ECOWAS meeting on single currency for West Africa
  • 28th November (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) – 5th EU Africa summit
  • 11th December (Paris, France) – meeting on climate change
  • 18th December (Niamey, Niger) – 59th independence day celebrations

See more of President Buhari’s travels since elected President in 2015.

 

The Presidency recently announced that President Muhammadu Buhari will be going to London on a medical trip, news that lots of Nigerians took with mixed feelings – considering how many times he has embarked on a foreign trip for medical reasons.

Here we have chronicled all the times he has jetted off abroad for one medical reason or the other since he first became President in 2015.

On June 6 2016 Buhari left Nigeria for his first medical vacation. He was away on a 10-day medical trip to London to treat an ear infection. He extended his trip by 3 days to rest, returning on June 19, 2016.

On January 19, 2017 President Buhari left Nigeria to the United Kingdom on medical leave, returning on March 10 after spending 51 days out of the country!

On May 8, 2017 Buhari travelled to the United Kingdom for medical attention and was there till till August 19, 2017. This time he spent a whooping 104 days, a record which surpassed that of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

On September 21, 2017 he travelled from the US to the UK for medical purposes and returned to Abuja on September 25, 2017.

On May 8, 2018, four days after returning from the United States where he met President Donald Trump Buhari returned to the UK for medical reasons and returned on May 11, 2018.

On April 25, 2019 Buhari travelled to the UK for what his office called ‘a private trip’ which lasted for 10 days.

March 30, 2021 President Buhari jetted off to London for medical checkup after having barely travelled out of the country in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Officials did not state how long he was going to be on the trip.

 

 

On Friday 5th February 2021 Nigerians faced the news of a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria to banks in the country informed them that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges are prohibited.

In the circular the apex bank further instructed the banks and other financial institutions to identify persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure those accounts are closed immediately.

See the circular below

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Circular to banks and financial institutions banning cryptocurrency transactions

Now What Does this Mean to the Fledging Community of Nigerians who have been Actively Trading and Investing in Cryptocurrencies?

Lots of permutations currently fly in the face of this sad development. One thing is sure, it is a decision that threatens to take the country back to the ‘stone age’.

According to information on Binance, Nigeria is the country with the highest volume of cryptocurrency trading in the whole of Africa and second in the world (behind only the United States of America). This invariably has attracted the interest of government who as usual, act as to suppress what they do not understand.

This decision affects not just individuals’ ability to fund their cryptocurrency wallets and withdraw their cryptocurrencies to their bank accounts, this decision by the Central Bank also affects a lot of startups in the cryptocurrency space. Some of those whose operations will be impacted or are already impacted by this include

  • cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Luno
  • fintech apps that have cryptocurrency trading/exchange as significant parts of their operation: eg Patricia, Buycoin Africa
  • payment processors/solution providers such as Flutterwave (they power significant cryptocurrency to bank transactions for exchanges like Binance)
  • and a host of other financial technology companies including savings/investment apps that only recently added cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum to the investment products they offer the public

This is significantly causing a ripple in the financial world and lots of people are already exploring their options.

Short term, some of the effects of this decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria, may include;

  • increase in peer to peer transactions in cryptocurrencies
  • this will result in further shortage of foreign currency flow through the normal channels the Central Bank is accustomed to
  • This may also trigger an increased interest in crypto currency as more people act to put away their money from the reach of the government
  • already as a result several exchanges have stopped the ability to fund one’s wallet/account to purchase cryptocurrencies
  • We also believe, if not reversed, the decision may also impact on the growing prospects of the fintech space as it may greatly affect several companies whose operations are significantly affected

We will continue to monitor this space and look at options for anyone to continue to participate in the cryptocurrency revolution.

There are basically two naira to dollar exchange rates today in Nigeria – the Central Bank/official exchange rate and the “black market” exchange rate.

For a lot of people who are unable to source dollars from the Central bank and banks they resort to the Bureau De Changes (BDCs). Naira to dollar exchange rate at the BDC and peer to peer markets are significantly higher than the official rate.

If you have the need to purchase or sell dollars you obviously will want to keep tab of the exchange rate for the day as they vary and move depending on perceived demand and supply. Besides keeping abreast of currency exchange rates can be one of the ways to save some money by not overpaying when buying/selling dollar.

So here are different ways to keep track of the exchange rates;

  1. Google: To get the official/CBN dollar exchange rate simply open Google on your device and type ‘dollar to naira’ to see the current exchange for today.
  2. AbokiFx: Abokifx is a website that curates and tracks the different exchange rates, Naira to Pound rates, Naira to Euro rates. On Abokifx you can check to see the BDC rates, ATM rates as well as forex market news.
  3. NGNRates: At NGNRates you can find current Naira to dollar, pounds, Euro, Canadian dollar rates etc. You can also use the Currency converter on the site to convert any amount to your desired currency

This is an update version of our popular post on bank ussd codes for money transfer. Today, money transfer by USSD codes have become almost normal as every bank quickly joined the band wagon after GTBank had launched its successful USSD code for money transfer, airtime topup etc.

With the bank USSD codes anyone with a bank account can now do a lot of things without stepping into the banking hall eg transfer money, buy airtime, pay bills.

So we bring you the update USSD transfer codes for all major banks in Nigeria. Look for the USSD code for your bank and the steps on how to use them below;

GTBank USSD Money Transfer Code

To initiate transfers to a GTBank account, simply dial *737*1*Amount*NUBAN Account No# e.g. *737*1*1000*1234567890# from the mobile number registered with the Bank.

For transfers to beneficiaries in other Bank’s, customers should simply dial *737*2*Amount*NUBAN Account No# e.g. *737*2*1000*1234567890#. Customers will then require the last four digits of their GTBank Naira MasterCard or a 4 digit authorisation code they set up, to authenticate each transaction.

The *737* USSD code service is available to only people with Guaranty Trust Bank (Gtbank) accounts via the mobile phone number registered with their bank account. Daily transfer limit is N100,000.

Access Bank USSD Code for Transfers

To do transfers to an Access bank account, simply dial *901*Amount*Account Number# eg, *901*10000*1234567890# from the mobile number registered with the bank account. Then authenticate the transfer with your transfer security code which is the last 4 digits of your BVN number.

To do transfers to othe bank beneficiaries, customers should dial *901*2*AMOUNT*NUBAN Account Number#.  This incurs an N80 charge.

Zenith Bank USSD Code for Transfers

The Zenith bank transfer code for customers sending money to any bank account in Nigeria is  *966*Amount*Account Number# (e.g. *966*1000*1234567890#). This should be done from the registered mobile number linked to the account. Then follow the on screen prompts to complete.

Daily transfer limit is N100,000

First Bank USSD Code for Transfers

To transfer money from your First Bank account to any bank account simply dial *894*Amount*Account Number#, select beneficiary bank, confirm amount, beneficiary name, and enter your 4 digit pin, then select account to debit. Customers can transfer up to N100,000 daily

UBA USSD Transfer Code

To send money to a United Bank for Africa (UBA) account dial *919*3*account number*amount# eg *919*3*1234567890*1000#. Follow the prompt and enter your correct PIN.

To transfer to other bank accounts (non UBA accounts) dial *919*4*account number*amount# and follow the prompt to complete the transaction. The maximum daily transfer limit is N150,000.

FCMB USSD Transfer Code

To transfer funds from your FCMB account dial *329*Amount*Account number#

To transfer money to other banks from your FCMB account dial the following code *389*214#. Follow the instruction on your phone screen to complete your transaction or Dial *329*Amount*Account number#

Ecobank USSD Transfer Code

To transfer money via your Ecobank account follow the steps below;

Dial *326# with phone number that you used to open Ecobank account; Enter the account number of the recipient and select the bank, Confirm the full details of the recipient, Enter your 4 digit pin to authorize transaction.

Polaris Bank USSD Transfer Code

To make transfers from your Polaris account dial *833*Amount*Account Number# from your phone line registered with Polaris Bank  and follow the on screen prompts. Or you can also dial *833*3#, select account to debit and follow the prompts.

Fidelity Bank Transfer Code

To make transfers from Fidelity bank account dial *770*Account number*Amount#. Select beneficiary bank name, enter your transfer pin to complete the transaction. or dial *770# to start and select transfers.

Sterling Bank Transfer Code

For Sterling bank to Sterling bank transactions dial *822*4*AMOUNT*ACCOUNT NUMBER#. You can transfer up to N100,000 per transaction and a maximum daily limit of N500,000.

For other bank transfers you can dial *822# and select transfer to other banks and follow the prompts.

Wema Bank Transfer Code

To transfer from Wema bank account dial *945*NUBAN Account Number*Amount#.

Or dial *945# and select transfers then follow the prompt.

Stanbic IBTC Transfer Code

To send money from Stanbic dial *909*11*Amount*Account Number# for transferring to other Stanbic IBTC account;

For transferring to other banks dial *909*22*Amount*Account Number#

Jaiz Bank Transfer Code

To make transfers from Jaiz bank you can dial *773# and follow the prompt to select which transfer you wish to make.

 

The top 20 Nigerian website rankings is back with the September 2020 edition of the Top 20 Websites in Nigeria. We research and rank top 20 Nigerians websites.

So if you ever need to know which websites are visited mostly by Nigerians this is the list to follow.

Criteria – A website must be partially or fully Nigerian owned or operating majorly in Nigeria to feature.

We update each month so you see who has moved up or down.

  1. Bet9ja: In a show of the vast popularity of betting in Nigeria Bet9ja leads in the Top 20 Websites in Nigeria list for the month of September. Est. Global Monthly visits – 78 million
  2. Nairaland: The ever relevant, undying online forum comes up third in the most visited Nigerian website list. With over 2.5 million members the forum continues to dominate the online community/forum niche for local websites. Est. Monthly traffic – 27 million
  3. Betking: Another betting site in the Top 50 Websites in Nigeria ranking. Est. Global Monthly visits – 25 million (over 95% of that comes from Nigeria)
  4. Punch: Punch newspapers is the highest ranked media/news site on this month’s list. Punch records an estimated 16.9 million visits
  5. Sportybet: Sportybet is a sports betting website which almost half its visits and operations from Nigeria. Est. monthly traffic – 13.5 million visits
  6. Vanguard: Vanguard newspapers shows the appetite for news in Nigeria becoming the second news website in the top 20 Nigerian websites list. Est. monthly visits – 12.1 million
  7. Jumia: Jumia leads the ecommerce space as the most visited website on the overall most visited Nigerian website list. Jumia has estimated 10.9 million monthly visits
  8. Lindaikejisblog: The popular gossip and gist blog continues to power strong keeping a place in the top 20 Nigerian websites list with an estimated 8.5 million monthly visits.
  9. The Nation: A national newspaper website, the Nation makes the top 20 Nigerian website list with an estimated monthly traffic of 8.25 million visits.
  10. Legit NG: Formerly Naij, Legit has quickly grown to become one of the leading news sites in Nigeria. Est. monthly traffic – 7.5 million
  11. PremiumTimes: PremiumTimes built its online reputation as a news site on breaking news and deep investigative stories. Est. monthly traffic – 6.8 million visits
  12. Dailypost: Another news site on the top 20 list, Dailypost has an est. monthly 5.4 million visits
  13. The NetNaija: The NetNaija is an online information/news portal offering everything from news to music downloads. Est. monthly visits – 4.9 million
  14. NairaMetrics: A business/financial news and investing information website, NairaMetrics has carved a niche for itself in a difficult area and we are glad to welcome them to this list. Est. monthly traffic – 4.7 million visits
  15. Yabaleftonline: Yabaleft, as the site is popularly called, is an entertainment, comedy and viral content website. Est. monthly traffic – 4.5 million visits
  16. Google NG: Google.com.ng is the Nigerian extension of the popular search engine. Surprisingly, lots of people use that instead for their online searches. Est. monthly traffic – 4.3 million visits.
  17. Jiji: Jiji is the second ecommerce website in the Top 20 list. As a classifieds website Jiji obviously leads in this category with estimated 4.2 million visits monthly (almost 80% of which comes from Nigeria)
  18. Naijaloaded: Showing the continued interest of Nigerians in music/music downloads, Naijaloaded makes the list with an estimated monthly traffic of 4.2 million visits
  19. Betpawa: Betpawa brings up the rear in the number of sports betting sites in the top 20 Nigerian websites list. Est. monthly traffic – 3.3 million visits
  20. Nairabet: The first local sports betting site has seen better days and now does estimated 2.8 million monthly visits to bring up the rear on this month’s list of top 20 Nigerian websites.

Honourable Mention

Tooxclusive: A music discovery/download and entertainment website, Tooxclusive has est. monthly traffic of 2.7 million visits

What We Can Learn from the List of Top Nigerian Websites in September 2020

  • Sportsbetting is as popular as ever: After the break on sporting activities worldwide caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Sportsbetting is back as one of the biggest online activities indulged in by Nigerians.
  • News and gists remain attractive: With the ongoing Big Brother Naija TV show and almost a constant availability of hot gist within the entertainment and political industry, Nigerians continue to spend a lot of time consuming news and entertainment information as can bee seen by the domination of news/entertainment sites in this month’s list
  • Music Downloads are still going strong. Maybe lots of Nigerians don’t pay for music? (as may be seen from the presence of several music download sites)
  • Significant ecommerce activity: The presence of Jumia and Jiji in the list shows that a good deal of ecommerce still goes on in Nigeria.

Sources researched in the compilation of this list include Similarweb and Alexa.

If you are going to go all the way through the process of applying for permanent residency through the Canada Express Entry program the least you can do is be prepared. Gather all the information you need to improve your chances.

We look at 5 important things you could do to help improve your chances of succeeding and getting invited to apply for Canadian permanent residency;

  1. First, Take a Realistic Assessment of Your Potential Score

So let’s assume you have a first degree, have at least 2 years work experience, you do not have a sibling or parent living in Canada etc, the Canada Express Entry program is a point based system. Each of the key areas such as education, work experience, language ability, siblings in Canada, work experience in Canada, job offer from Canada and more have points. So for each box you tick you accumulate points. Checking for an estimate of your score (based on the current qualifications you have) is a good way to start your express entry application as it helps you identify how much gap you need to close. In the Complete Canada Permanent Residency Guide we show you via video how to take a quiz on the immigration site to find out your current score based on the parameters you have.

2. Understand How the Points System Works and the Cut Off Scores

So continuing from number 1 above you need to understand not just how points are allocated but how selection is made and what cut-off scores mean. So for every draw that is held (the draws for Federal Skilled Workers program is done every two weeks except once in a while where that is interrupted to hold the Federal Skilled Trade draws) there is a cut-off score.

The cut-off score is usually the score of the lowest applicants selected from the pool. So let’s assume 3,500 applicants are selected from a draw, they will usually selected the top 3,500 applicants with the highest score (from top to down). The score of the 3,500th person selected is the cut off score. So as someone intending to succeed with your application you should always check at least the last 3 draws to compare what the cut off scores are. This is what you use as a benchmark so once your CRS score matches or exceeds the usual cut off scores then you are sure to be selected in the next draw.

So let’s say you check the last three draws (as at the time of writing this article a draw was held this week and the cut-off score was over 470) and the cut off scores are 464, 461, 471. Get the average of the 3 scores which should be 465. This should be the minimum score you aim for.

3. Create Your Express Entry Profile (and then upload your profile as soon as possible)

Time counts in the Express Entry program. For every draw when there is a tie of 2 or more people having the same lowest score (cut off score) for selection the system picks the candidates based on who created their express entry profile first.

So you see why every day you spend in procrastination costs you.

Get your academic documents verified, Take your language tests and set up your profile as quickly as possible. If you need help Our Complete Canada Permanent Residency Guide will show you every step.

4. Ace Your Language Tests

For some candidates who do not have things that can give them points like having a sibling in Canada, having Canadian work experience, getting a job offer from Canada etc the language tests become important. Hitting the top band of your language tests (IELTS or CLB for English Language) can earn you up to 34 points which will significantly boost your CRS score. Same goes for the French Language tests. We advise you prepare hard for the language tests and try to get the highest band of scores. (Check out The Complete Canada Permanent Entry Guide for tips on preparing for IELTS)

5. Know What to Do If Your CRS Score is lower than previous cut-off scores

Like we said earlier you need to compare and benchmark your CRS score with the cut-off scores in recent draws because those cut-off scores are the minimum score you need to have to stand a chance of being selected. So if your CRS score is much less than the cut-off scores how do you improve your scores so you can get in the selection range?

Some of the things you can do include;

  • getting a job offer from a registered organisation in Canada. Depending on the NOC of the job (the Complete Guide shows you videos of how to get the NOC of a job in Canada) you could get additional between 50 and 200 points if you show a valid job offer from Canada. The higher the job the higher the point with management level jobs getting you points closer to 200. Getting a job offer from Canadian organisations is not easy but we show you ways you can do that. If you succeed it helps your total CRS considerably.
  • Improve your education: If you selected one degree as your current educational status you can get additional points by acquiring recognised diplomas or certificates to increase your education level to two or more degrees/diplomas. Diplomas are any post secondary education certificate recognised by the Canadian immigration authorities. We showed in the Complete Guide some diplomas and certifications you can prepare for and take the exams in 3 months to boost your education level to the next band and improve your score. If you have a Masters degree of course it becomes easier as you simply select the Masters degree level which gives you considerably more points than the one degree level and the two or more diplomas level. We explained this more in the Canada Guide here.
  • Taking additional language tests; If your score is low and you can do the extra work, take additional language tests and aim for a high score. If for instance you have very good score in English language test (eg IELTS) you can do the French language test (either TCF or TEF). If you score high enough that could give you an additional 34 points.

Ready to kick ass in your Canada Express Entry application? Get the Complete Canada Permanent Residency Guide

This is not a doomsday post, we are just saying it as it is. The way things look and the fact that the Canada Express Entry program officially ends in 2021 expect 2020 to be the year of the Canada gold rush. You know how lots of people like to leave things till the end period.

So what does this mean for you or for anyone intending to migrate to Canada?

Simple.

More competition in the pool. It will become tougher to get invited to apply for permanent residency (In case you are wondering what the Canada Express Entry program means and how you can start the process yourself I suggest you get the Complete Canada Permanent Residency Guide here).

Things that point to a gold rush for Canada in 2020;

  • Worsening economic situation: For a lot of people the economy bits harder and it’s only natural they will try to escape to better climes. Every year already some of the best professionals leave (doctors, lawyers, engineers, IT specialists etc). The outlook from some quarters/experts on economic matters indicate it isn’t getting better soon, so…
  • Career/Employment Prospects: Many young people are increasingly getting frustrated at the lack of employment opportunities. It’s normal news now that millions of graduates are not in employment while a lot more are under employed. This naturally points to a greater exodus to Canada in the next year.
  • Standard of Living: Even people who earn decent salaries and appear to live comfortable middle class lives are jumping ship to Canada and other places like the UK. Why? For this set of people it is more about the quality of life and standard of living in the country. Everyone looks for better of course.

If you are considering joining the Canada train it is important to be fully equipped with all you need to know to stand a chance of succeeding. We have compiled a Guide (with 8 videos) to show you or anyone who wants to start their Canada Express Entry application, how to go through all the stages and succeed. The Complete Canada Permanent Residency Guide covers all you need to do, mistakes to avoid, breakdown of costs so you can plan better and more importantly how to ensure you get a high enough CRS score to stand a good chance of being selected in the draws.

It is ideal for you whether you are a novice (who barely knows much about the Canada Express Entry program) or you are already aware of how it works but still need quality insights and information. Learn how to get permanent residency in Canada here.

There will always continue to be the argument on whether college or university prepares the average individual for success in the real world.

Of course college has its uses. There is abundant theoritical knowledge on almost any discipline you can think of. Still I hardly know of any successful fellow who made success based only on what he/she learnt at the university. There are many things college doesn’t prepare you for;

1. Networking: Funny how our universities do not deem it fit to develop a very practical curriculum on interpersonal relationships and networking. The benefits for the average graduate will be enormous. Many leave college still shy and unable to connect effectively with people that will link them faster to their ambitions. If you’ve been to a typical Nigerian higher institution you will have enough academic workload on your hands that you may really not have time to learn the skills that matter later in life (networking included).

Joining clubs with focus and involving in students unionism all helped me learn how to relate and meet up with people but it wasn’t easy. You did all that at your own peril or risk. So what it means is that to learn people skills you have to mix and interact, rack up meaningful relationships especially with people higher up the ladder than yourself. If the colleges would teach that most of our young people will have a tool that will serve them well in business and career.

2. Selling: Have you noticed how many graduates have the phobia for selling anything even themselves. In the past two years I had interviewed quite a lot of graduates for positions within my new company and found one alarming thing; All of them didn’t want to be put where they’ll have to sell anything to anyone or convince anyone to buy anything.

How the hell are you expecting to be paid if you don’t want to sell. All companies make money by selling something and those who are willing and prove to the company that they can sell and pull in the profits have an edge over any others any time any day. I watched appalled as all of the job seekers I interviewed dodged from any marketing or sales related job. Everybody wanted to be in the office pushing papers and generally doing nothing. We had enough office staff but very little marketing guys who could help double or triple revenue. It was not acceptable.

How do our universities not teach students how to sell. Selling is vastly important.

– When seeking a contract you sell yourself and your company to the client
– You sell yourself to the Interviewer, trying to convince him to hire you
– You sell yourself to investors asking them to invest in your startup or idea
– You sell yourself to that pretty girl you met in the banking hall because you want to date her
– You sell yourself to your boss at that’s why you always want to impress and get that raise or promotion you need so badly.

All we do everyday is sell, sell and sell some more.

How better we will be if our colleges and universities can teach us how to do that.

3. Fundraising: Getting funded is one of the biggest challenges to small and medium scale businesses and tech startups in Nigeria. The funds sit in bank vaults but are extremely difficult to get hold of. I wish I had a course (something like Funding 312) when I was in college probably taught by an established businessman who had to raise his own funds and not by a white haired, stooping professor of Business Administration whose only experience in running a business was at age 9 when he helped his mum sell groceries.

If experienced business gurus and CEOs were to hold fundraising and capital sourcing classes at least one semester for each student many graduates would have had it easier going into business for themselves and giving birth to the ideas that run riot in their minds.

4. Money Management: Yes, we made money while in school or at least I made money in school but then I spent it as fast as it came sometimes even faster so I had to be in debt some of the time. A class in practical money management (not the lame financial management classes taught by lecturers that were even broke as they taught) would have done me and lots of others a world of good.

Sometimes you don’t need millions to start a business and grow it big. If you were taught how to bootstrap and form a lean business that will go on to make you serious money I bet you would have been further on the road than where you are right now. Same as myself. But pity we had to learn the lessons ourselves the hard way.

5. Rejection: Does our colleges teach one how to handle rejection and not be bogged down by it. It matters because you are going to be rejected many times in your life before you get that ‘Yes” that makes all the difference.

Look at what college doesn’t teach you about rejection;

– That girl you had a serious crush for rejects you, how do you handle it?
– They don’t teach you what to do when your job application gets rejected 25 times?
– Do they teach you what to do when 12 banks and 5 private investors turn down your request for funding?
– Do they teach you how to handle the rejection of two investors on whom you had all your hope for funding your Startup company?

I could go on and on. These are things that matter and everyday many young bright people get discouraged by several rejections. Wouldn’t it be nice if they taught you in college how to prepare for and handle rejection.

6. Failure: The University/college is probably the worst place to learn about failure. There they treat failure like a plague. If you fail it seems you have done something terrible. Assuming you were an A student and suddenly you failed 2 courses. Classmates and friends would keep discussing it. How did he fail? That guy afterall, doesn’t know as much as we thought?

That is why many students cheat. They are so afraid to fail that even after they leave school they can’t work on actualising their ideas because they are afraid of failing. They are scared of what their parents, friends, relatives will say if their first business failed.

They are scared of hearing things like,”I warned you to get a job, Now see how useless you are,” “You threw the whole money away, punk head!” “You are good for nothing, go get a job”

Wouldn’t it be nice if the college system was changed so that failure doesn’t become an anathema but something to learn from and progress. What if colleges focus on helping students handle failure instead of creating entities that end up so afraid to even give a speech for fear of failure.

7. Creativity: In college, I hated it when a lecturer in one of my engineering classes insisted on having us solve his problems in a particuar way. One other man gave you questions to which you must write the answers as exactly as it was in his notes. They simply did all they could to turn us to robots.

The lack of creativity in our schools is scary. And I guess we are paying for it with the quality of graduates that come into the labour market every year.

If you have ever interviewed graduate job seekers you will understand why there is an urgent need to revitalise our colleges and universities.

8. Managing Others: Management is a course in most colleges but that is not what I mean. If we were taught how to get people around us to work in harmony towards achieving a common goal we would have had a better head start in business and life generally. Management of people is an important skill we should have been taught in college but unfortunately we were just taught theoritical management principles and jargons that really do not equip one for the real world out there where the struggle can get rough and everybody is inherently selfish.

If these eight things were taught in college many more people would have been better prepared for business and career success.

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If you are running a new business (with most likely very limited funds) the success of your first few hires will play an important role on the speed at which your young startup business progresses.
Big companies and businesses are always on the lookout for great talented workers and the reality for a young and inexperienced business entrepreneur is that he/she will have to battle with the bigger companies for the available talents in the job market.

To develop a smart recruitment strategy for your young company you have to be aware of the challenges you face in your bid to get in quality staff and team members.

Do You Have the Finance to Be Competitive Enough?

While it may not take much to hire for such positions as receptionist, clerk, personal assistant etc the fact remains that for your young company to grow faster and produce better products and services you will eventually need to hire star quality performers in such areas as programming/design, engineering, business development etc and you will find it very difficult to hire the super performers your company needs at low cost.

Unless you come across a generous investor at the early stages of starting your company chances are that you may not have the resources to offer the sort of wages to attract real top talents to your startup. That is a problem you should be aware of. Still you will not be doing your company any good by settling for low quality workers that you can pay little.

Does Your Location Matter?

Previously as an up and coming inexperienced entrepreneur I never agreed that location was that important in today’s technological business environment. However when I started my first company a technology services firm in a town not known for harbouring great talent I had a firsthand experience on how difficult it can be to attract good employees who will be willing to leave their location to come work at a quiet, sleepy town. The town was and is still behind technologically.

In as much as I and my partner saw an opportunity there to bring in quality ICT services, break new ground and reap the rewards we soon discovered how difficult it was to get good lieutenants with the right skills to help us build the company. For our job adverts we mostly got people who lived far away from our business location. As a young, self funded company we didn’t have the funds to help them relocate or even pay the kind of wages they expected. While we received applications from some candidates who lived in the town they were not of the quality we wanted and lacked many of the skills and experience we were looking for.

These and some others are the questions you must consider if you are intending to hire and grow your business as quickly as possible.

How Then Can You Increase Your Chances of Hiring Great People Even With the Limited Funds Your Company Has

Recruiting is one of the toughest jobs of being an entrepreneur or founder. You either hire people who help your company/startup grow faster or you get people who slow down your company’s progress or even, at the extreme, halt it.
Here’s how you can make sure your recruitment of your first few employees becomes a success;

Get a Clear Picture of Who and What You Want

Before you ever put out word or place any advert for vacancy be sure to sit with your team or partner and write down who and what exactly you are hiring

For instance as a small company you might need a receptionist who will also double as customer assistant and answer calls from customers. You will have to decide what exact position or job title you will be putting out. Remember that a job title can give a perceived bigger or lower value to the prospective employee and thus affect the expectations they will have of you as the employer including salary demands. Once when we wanted to hire a front desk officer who would also act as secretary we advertised a job title that somehow gave candidates the impression that the job would pay more than it actually was. As a result we got mostly overqualified applicants who we couldn’t pay.

A job title conveys the importance the prospective employer attaches to the job. Some titles will attract under qualified persons while certain titles will draw the attention of the kind of people you need.

Be Clear as Possible on the Requirements and Responsibilities

It is very often that I see entrepreneurs putting out job adverts that do not have clear eligibility requirements. Very scant summary of requirements might attract applications from very unqualified candidates. On the other hand putting out very high and sophisticated requirements will scare away some good candidates you might have got otherwise. The key is to strike a balance between the ideal candidate descriptions you wish for and the average qualifications and requirements you need to get a good, if not star employee.

Advertise Creatively

Creative job advertising is a blend of online and offline non-conventional methods. To get the word out there about your job positions you may place your jobs in proven job sites to get the needed exposure. Let colleagues and associates be aware that you are hiring. If your company has a facebook and twitter account be sure to share the information on the vacancies open in your company. One good thing about these social media platforms is that users who read your information can easily share and retweet to their connections and help spread word about your vacancy.

Interviewing Prospective Candidates

One mistake most young entrepreneurs make is to assume they have read all they need to know about the job interviewing process. The truth is there is more to a job interview than just asking the right questions. You have also to watch out for the right signals from the prospective candidates. Most times a candidate’s attitude during interviews will tell you a whole lot more about them than their answers.

Some candidates will give you all the right answers they have been trained to provide during interview situations so you will need the ability to look beyond the answers and look at the characters of the persons you interview.

Paul Eze is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ngcareers a top job search and employment site in Nigeria used by thousands of employers to reach prospective candidates. Follow him on Twitter @paulemekaeze

Trading in the stock market can be really challenging as well as fruitful at the same time. The key to making money from the stock market lies in the patience you have, the knowledge you gather and experience you gain while investing in the stock market. If you are a newbie to the world of stock market, you will have to invest a good amount of time in how the stock market works and understand its terminology, before you go ahead and invest your money. Investing the time to learn about the stock market and its various aspects will help you in the long term to reap the benefits of the stock market.

The stock market has been there for centuries and it is certainly going to be there for as long as the financial world exists, so there is no reason for you to be impatient or volatile in trading. Take your time in understanding as well as gathering the knowledge of the stock market trading before you put in the real money to start trading.
The first thing that you need to do before you enter the stock market is to understand its terminology.

This will help you understand the language traders, brokers, relationship managers and others involved in the stock market talks. Without this knowledge, it will be hard for you to go ahead and deal in the stock market. Once you have accomplished that, you can join one of the many sites that allow you to trade in real time with virtual money. You do not have to invest any of your hard earned money to trade in these accounts but the experience you will get will be real. This will help you know how things work in the stock market and this first-hand experience will help you deal better when you are investing your hard earned money in the stock market. Knowing the signs of bull and the bearish market as well as knowing how to follow the trends and the flow of the market is very essential to know when to sell, when to put the stop loss and when to entry and exit from your positions.

There is absolutely nothing that can guarantee hundred percent safety or profits in the stock market but all these essential knowledge building steps that you take, will help you minimize the loss while maximizing the profits. Keep yourself updated with the latest happenings in the world of stocks, never invest more than you can afford to lose, evaluate your trading strategy from time to time to find any loopholes and improve it further, sign up with free stock trading tips websites providing tips on a regular basis, read stock market magazines, listen to what the experts have to say, follow the stock market gurus and never ever follow any stock market tip blindly.

After you have followed the above steps and is confident to put in your hard earned money into the stock market, the first thing that you need to keep in mind is that the stock market is not a place where you should want to make quick money, even when the world says so. You will earn quick money for sure, but do not get carried away. Know when to call it a day. If you have lost a good amount today, do not invest more money to balance it out. Most of the people make such mistakes and end up wiping their bankroll completely. If you have made good profits today, do not think of doubling or tripling it just because the market is bullish. Stay calm and in control.

Diversifying your portfolio is also very important when investing in the stock market. Have scripts of small, medium and large enterprises in equal amounts. Check the fundamental financial standings of the company you invest in. Fundamentally strong companies will never close down and thus, the chances of you losing it all are also very scarce. Diversifying your portfolio adds that much needed harmony to your investments and keeps you safe.

The stock market has many different kinds of trade happenings like equity, commodity, Forex, futures and derivatives, short sales and so on. Do what you know best and do not experiment with your hard earned money. If you feel the need, expand and gather your knowledge about such trading options and then only go ahead and invest your money on it. Make the habit of investing in long positions than short positions. Short term trades are very risky generally, but when you have bought shares of a good company on the capacity to hold it for long, rest assured you are going to make good profit out of it in most of the cases.

So, if you are really keen on investing in the stock market, keep the above mentioned points in mind. Slowly but surely, you will start making consistent profits out of the stock market and this will help you gain confidence to invest smartly and more accurately.

Lance Margolis is a financial market analyst, and an alumnus of Ivy League University where he obtained his degree in Business Management. JG Wentworth serves as his inspiration to succeed. Join him on Twitter @MargolisLance.

For the past few weeks we have researched and studied browsing habits of Nigerians online. We sought to know what Nigerians search for most on the internet.

Is this article useful?
You can bet. Information marketers and bloggers will find it useful to have the information about the most searched things online by Nigerians. In compiling this report we did not take into account single word searches like “2go” “Facebook” etc. We, rather, wanted to find out the sort of information (How to’s) that Nigerians seek most online.

Note also that this report is not complete in its entirety as we will still continue our research and effect any changes we discover along the way. We also give credit to the following site/organizations through which some of our research was carried out:

a. Google.com
b. Nairaland.com
c. Facebook.com
d. Twitter.com among others.

And now, the list.

Please note that we do not compile in an order of importance or most searched,. We just let you have the list and do whatever you wish with it.

1. Job Vacancies/Opportunities: the relative success of many job sites in Nigeria attest to the fact that thousands of Nigerians go online everyday seeking information on available job openings. They type in several phrases depending on the job they want. You see phrases like, ‘engineering jobs in Lagos, accounting jobs in Nigeria’ etc.

Also, many search for web address of known recruiting firms, oil companies’ banks and telecom companies. When government agencies like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) advertise for recruitment thousands of people go online to search for details and application process.

Job vacancies is one thing Nigerians will continue to search for online for sometime to come given that unemployment has continued to be a huge challenge to the country.

2. How to Make Money/Income Online: this is a particularly popular search term for Nigerians. As the internet opens more and more in Nigeria, thousands dream for a life where they work on their computer for a couple of hours per day and get the dollar cum naira rain to live the life of their dreams. For many however they soon realize how difficult it is to make money online in Nigeria. Nigerians search to discover best ways to make money online without much stress.

3. News: depending on the latest occurrences in the Nation’s political or sporting sector (these two are the most eventful parts of Nigerian’s lives) Nigerians go online to search for more information. News sites like 234next.com, Vanguard and sports sites like goal.com are very popular in Nigeria for this purpose.

4. How to Get Overseas Scholarship: the craze to go abroad by Nigerians did not start today. And it is not about to end. Undergraduates and graduates all seek multiple ways to escape the country and study abroad to presumably have access to better life with the degrees they’ll acquire abroad.
The search for overseas scholarship and educational opportunities include a wide varieties of country; Canada, Malaysia, US among the most common searches.

5. Where and How to Get Laptops, Phone Accessories and Other IT Gadgets: do we need to say more on this? As the latest gadgets and tools appear many Nigerians search online for information on these gadgets and tools and how to get them.

6. Computer/Mobile Phone Cheats: many young Nigerians want to browse the internet with their mobile phones for far cheaper costs or even for free. Hence, the search for phone cheats to enable free or low-cost browsing. The same applies to the computer.

7. Sports: the country has some of the craziest fans of the English Premier League, Spanish League and UEFA Champions League.
Every transfer window in Europe brings plenty of searches by Nigerians who wish to keep up to date on latest sales and acquisition of players by their favourite dubs.

Nigerians also search for match results and issues concerning Nigerian football.

8. Answers to Term paper Questions, Project Topics & Other Academic Questions:
This consist a reasonable percentage of searches conducted by Nigerians on the net.

9. Free Stuff: yeah, Nigerians love free money, free browsing, free tips on how to get a woman to like you and stuffs like that. So they search for free things. When I started out as a blogger I searched for many free tips to help improve my blog.

10. Online Dating: the last but not the least. Curiously, many young Nigerian are into searching for online dates with the opposite sex.

Do you have any other ideas? Lets us know about it through the comment box.