In many ways, 2020 was very unlike the years before it. The coronavirus pandemic that invaded the world like a swarm of locusts felled men and women in their hundreds and thousands. Shops closed for months. Schools were shut indefinitely. Social distancing became a law. And so were regular hand washing and face masking. People were warned to stay home to minimize the possible spread of the virus. They lived with the pain of being locked up in their homes for weeks and then months. They were agitated. They were angry. But what could they do? Who would they fight?
At the home front, Nigerians had to battle with even more complex issues. The youths of the entire country were for once united across tribes and religious affiliations as they marched through the streets of major cities in protest against police brutality in their EndSarsProtest#. In the north, bandits and their political co-conspirators made kidnapping routine. Of special concern was the frequent kidnapping of hundreds of students from their schools. Travelling by road from the Federal Capital, Abuja, to any part of the north became a major risk. Even distinguished royal fathers were not excluded in the kidnapping menace. Literarily, darkness overtook the country in broad daylight. Touted globally as the world’s poverty capital, despite its glamorous oil and several other mineral wealth, Nigeria began to slide towards being recognized as a failed state. All this was made possible by an entrenched attitude of official corruption.
Even when government said it was fighting corruption, it wasn’t doing so the right way. If the legislators had the goodwill of their constituents at heart, they would enact laws that would ensure that working families are paid on time and not owed any salary arrears. But they criminally refused to enact any such law so that workers would be tempted to fiddle with public funds and so create an avenue to enable senior public office holders siphon millions of pounds into foreign bank accounts.
But as I have often advised my clients and business associates: always look for the good in every bad situation. The severity of the virus infection, the prevailing hazard of travelling by road and the financial insecurity of the average Nigerian worker cannot be underplayed. But the conditions they created also gave room for other scopes, other possibilities. For example, to be able to cope with the challenges of Covid 19, it became absolutely necessary for businesses to relocate online. Because of movement restrictions, many people who could not go to work had to work from home. Many who could not go shopping had to order for their needs online. Delivery services became all important overnight. Many businesses like Jiji, Konga, Jumia and Imo State Business Link Network began to register more members and participants. Business men and women were encouraged to follow up business trends via Zoom. And all these events are what brought us to where we are today.
For many Nigerians, a magazine that triples as an online business directory, advertising agency and news vendor must be quite an amazing one. And not only that! We have Group Face Book and Group WhatsApp Forums where our network members interact, exchange ideas and are able to patronize each other’s business across categories. But what could be even more amazing is that there is no other magazine in the world like Imo State Business Link Magazine. We are a brand. We are the first of its kind anywhere in the world. And it is a thing of delight that this intellectual innovation is coming from Africa. We should be proud of our achievements.
With all the new ideas, all the business ‘vaccines’ we are injecting into our website and social media forums in 2021, it is our expectation that network members would help make our efforts worthwhile, first by ensuring they upload information on their businesses at least 2 or 3 times every week on our Group WhatsApp and Group Facebook platforms. In such a way, more people will come to notice and identify with their businesses.
Business strategies are changing for good across the world, and our people must not be left behind. That is why everyone should know about Imo State Business Link Magazine, use it daily and talk about its usefulness.
We believe that 2021 would be a better year than its predecessor. But we must not relent in our prayers for greater yields in the year, knowing that only the best is good enough for us. May 2021 bring better health, more prosperity and God’s abundant blessings to us all.
Welcome to our 2021 edition. We are here for you.