This is the month of September 2021. And so, I would like to welcome all our network members and business associates to the 2021 “ember” months.
In normal circumstances, businesses should be booming at this time of the year. There would be lots of demands for goods and services. And there would be lots of supplies. The joyful and merry atmosphere would set the pace for a Christmas reunion of family, friends and townspeople. It is one period our people value because it also gives them the opportunity to assess their performance, to note how well or how badly they did during the year, and to plan for the coming year and its projected harvest.
But these times are not normal, unfortunately.
With the scourge of the coronavirus pandemic which swooped on the world like a plague from the blues and literally decimated millions of people across nations, our people have suffered economic deprivation but above all insecurity of lives and property, even in Eastern Nigeria.
The incessant menace of the so-called unknown gunmen and security officers killing young people in the South Eastern states of the country call for a deeper and more humane approach to the social problems of our people because the situation is greatly affecting business at all levels in this part of the world.
The incarceration of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and the order of the IPOB for every easterner to stay home every Monday in protest against the detention of Nnamdi Kanu are all impacting on the business advancement of our people. But we are glad that this week, the IPOB rescinded the sit-at-home-every-Monday order so that our people can get about their businesses seven days a week if they so choose.
As it is always said, tough circumstances always call for tough remedies. While our people wait with patience to know which angle the federal government will take in dealing with this and several other challenges to its leadership, we will try and sustain business, which is the life wire of the average Igboman, by more effectively using the internet to determine the scope of demand and supply among our people.
And this is where we exactly need Imo State Business Link Magazine. It is an advertising medium where your products and services are clearly brought to the attention of the world unambiguously. It is a business directory that will point you where to get what you want. All the contacts you need are there, from phone number to address. The magazine features Business News, where readers can access the latest developments in the business world. It features Health News where you can find the most important information on how to keep safe. We know that only a healthy man can do business. So, we take health issues seriously. It features Education News for the benefit of young-adult family members of our readers and network members. Here they know about the latest trend in the education sector. And then, there is the Commentary, the official position of the magazine on any issue of importance to our Business Community. The Publisher also informs us on his monthly column where we would be heading toward in that month and in the months to come.
One of my observations is that network members are not sufficiently utilizing the facilities we have made available to them to make their presence felt within the community. Some even say they have not had any responses from anyone in the network regarding their goods and services. But it is not the first time I am saying this. You need to upload advertisement about your business on both the Group Face Book and the Group WhatsApp at least once a week for people to keep abreast. Many members are not doing that. Only a few in the “Architects & Property Developers” category are doing that.
So, I will encourage others in Boutiques, Computers & Accessories, Consultants, Dry Cleaners, Electronics, Health, Interior Decoration, Painters & Paint dealers, Restaurants, Security Services, Supermarkets, Travel & Tourism and others to come up more frequently by using our social media platforms more regularly. In such a way, you will get noticed and engaged.
Imo State Business Link Magazine is planning to upgrade before the end of the year, by installing an app that would trace phones visiting network members’ platform on the website. So, whenever someone visits your platform on the website, you can trace the visitor through his phone and call him or her back for a business chat.
We are doing all this in order to improve the working habits of our people. But we also need the support of network members. Recently, I slashed the yearly subscription of member businesses on the ordinary level to N5, 000 believing that no one would complain after that. Despite my willingness to come up half way with the expenditure we incur running a unique magazine like this, many members are still finding it difficult to pay the annual dues of just N5, 000.
So, during our board meeting last month, we decided that 2021 will be the end of the years of benevolence. Any company or business that fails to pay its dues by December of this year will not enter 2022 with us. And this is not a threat. It is a promise.