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Chain Reactions Africa bags multiple awards at LaPRIGA

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One of Africa’s leading Public Relations and Integrated Communications Consultancies, Chain Reactions Africa, has once again demonstrated its industry prowess in the public relations and integrated marketing communications space by emerging winners of a quintuplet of awards at the recently held Lagos Public Relations Industry Gala & Awards (LaPRIGA) 2023.

The 8th Edition of the LaPRIGA Awards tagged, ‘The Game Changers’ organised by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), had its podium of lights and colours welcoming the distinguished delegation of Chain Reactions Africa five times to receive five deserving awards at a colourful ceremony held on Thursday, 21st December 2023, at the MUSON Centre in Onikan, Lagos.

Chain Reactions Africa emerged as winner of the ‘PR Agency of the Year’ for the firm’s admirable professionalism, management of key accounts, employing global best practices and processes for a bouquet of communications campaigns, and most importantly, delivering some of the most exciting PR-led campaigns in the year under review.

The firm also scooped the ‘Best in Risk and Crisis Management’ category for effective use of Public Relations to manage crisis at the highest levels of the corporate sphere and public governance; just as its mastery of framing political campaigns where it came tops as ‘Best in Political Communication’ category for skillfully engineering consent and influencing political choices on behalf of clients which included the “Greater Lagos Rising Re-election Campaign” for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State in the last governorship elections.

Chain Reactions Africa further showed versatility and class by clinching the ‘Public Sector PR Campaign of the Year’ for the firm’s outstanding campaign to promote the launch of the Lagos Blue Line for the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).

The highlight of the LaPRIGA awards night was the crowning of the Managing Director/Chief Strategist of Chain Reactions Africa, Israel ‘Jaiye Opayemi, who doubles as the President of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), as the ‘PR Practitioner of the Year’ for his enviable leadership of a dynamic organisation with impeccable profile and quality.

Over the years, Opayemi has consistently pushed the limits of what is possible in the industry through grit, passion, professionalism, and a consistent industry clarion call to practitioners to consistently raise the bar of excellence in public relations practice to gain the respect of clients.

The ceremony had twenty award categories with Chain Reactions Africa unilaterally leading this year’s collection with five. Others are ‘Special Honorary Awards’ and ‘Lifetime Achievements Award’ bestowed on individuals and institutions who have distinguished themselves through their contributions and support to the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.

Commenting on the LaPRIGA Awards recognitions, the MD/Chief Strategist of Chain Reactions Africa, Israel ‘Jaiye Opayemi noted the importance of these honours to the firm as a brand, on the industry, and the nation.

“The award recognitions are evidence of our hard work, commitment and discipline to the Public Relations and Integrated Marketing profession where we do a brave brand of consulting.

“The greatest honour any professional can receive is the honour bestowed by your own peers. It is a true reflection of where and how you stand in the fierce game. As a consulting firm, Chain Reactions Africa is sincerely grateful to the leaders and members of Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the LaPRIGA Awards Committee and all stakeholders in the Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communications space who recognise the brave works we are doing for our clients.

“To all winners, I congratulate you, and to all nominees, being nominated is evidence of the fact that the great works you are doing got onto the measuring scale in the first place. I celebrate you and I am proud to be in your community,” Mr. Opayemi said.

“Being audaciously strategic is at the heart of all we do. It is etched in our DNA. We love those clients who allow us the space to do extraordinary works and give expressions to our brave thinking to be different in managing their brands. These awards are for you. To my amazing tribe of creative rebels at Chain Reactions Africa, these awards are the gratifications your souls need for all your hard work and sleepless nights. These awards are however the reminders that we need to be relentless and do more,” Opayemi added.

The LaPRIGA is a prestigious high-profile award that recognises excellence and celebrates practitioners in public relations practice in Nigeria. LaPRIGA has evolved into what public relations practitioners fondly refer to as ‘the Oscars of the Public Relations Industry in Nigeria,’ adding new colours, dimensions and values by recognising best accomplishments in public relations and reputation management in Nigeria.

With these awards, Chain Reactions Africa has demonstrated admirable industry dominance. Earlier in the year, in far away Lusaka, Zambia, Chain Reactions also scooped the SABRE Africa Award’s ‘Corporate Image Certificate of Excellence’ recognition for its ‘Momentum Campaign,’ a campaign executed for Cellulant, a flagship payment solution company in multiple markets across Africa. Same recognition was earned by Chain Reactions Africa for its contributions to the ‘The NaijaHighlandah Challenge #TNH’ by William Lawson’s, a Scotch Whiskey brand, in the ‘Marketing to Consumers’ session. Chain Reactions Africa also earned Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State the ‘CEO of the Year’ in the SABRE Africa Diamond Category for his use of the tools of public relations in his 2023 re-election campaign. This category is for Corporate or Political CEOs who allow the use of public relations in communicating their works.

In September 2023, Chain Reactions Africa also emerged as the Outstanding PR Agency of the Year and its MD/Chief Strategist, Israel Jaiye Opayemi won the Outstanding Leadership Award in Public Relations at the 2023 edition of the prestigious Marketing Edge Brands and Advertising Excellence Awards held in Lagos.

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NASENI lauds Gov. Idris for allocating land for Agric. Institute construction

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The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, (NASENI), has commended Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi for donating 10 hectares of land to the agency for the construction of an Agricultural Machinery Development Institute in the state.
The Director of Procurement of the Agency, Dr Muhammad Aliyu, gave the commendation after formal allocation of the land to  NASENI by officials of state government on Sunday in Birnin Kebbi.
Aliyu, who thanked Idris for providing the land at a choice area, explained that the  project would commence within the next two weeks.
H e assured that all engineering, architectural, civil and electrical designs had been completed.
”We have the bill of quantity ready and every approval needed from the government for the project has been obtained,” he said.
The director affirmed that funding for the project had been captured in the 2024 appropriation bill already assented to by  President Bola Tinubu.
”We will start with what we can accommodate this year and we will continue next year.
“We have funds to begin the basic infrastructural construction,” he assured.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Alhaji Dahiru Zaki, who led other state government officials to hand over the 10 hectares of land to NASENI, explained that the land was earmarked for the agency in 2022 for the construction of the agricultural machinery center.
”The machinery center is to serve as a Regional Office for the production of agricultural equipment and we are happy that today, we have handed over the land to NASENI.
“I believe that Kebbi was selected in the North-West region because of its huge potentials in agriculture, particularly rice production and other crops,” he said.
Zaki expressed appreciation for the governor’s  kind gesture to the agency, tailored to provide job opportunities to youths and further bolster agricultural production in the state.
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Lassa Fever outbreak at Army Hospital sparks response 

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The recent outbreak of Lassa fever at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, prompted a collaborative response with Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) and Federal Ministry of Health.

Prof. Reuben Eifediyi, Chief Medical Director, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, and lead of the response team, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), confirmed that Lassa Fever was responsible for the death of three health workers and one patient at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, (44 NARHK).

Four of the six blood samples from suspected cases at the hospital sent to the Bayero University Teaching Hospital, Kano, were confirmed for Lassa Fever.

While 25 close contacts of all the cases were being monitored and were placed on prophylactics (preventive medication). 

Eifediyi said that the outbreak resulted in the deployment of a specialised emergency response team, which was made up of experts in Lassa fever management and infection prevention.

He said that though there were initial challenges, including inadequate resources and staffing, the response team successfully contained the outbreak through real-time laboratory testing, isolation, and treatment of confirmed cases.

“Real-time PCR testing was conducted, leading to the identification and treatment of confirmed cases.

“Three confirmed cases were successfully treated and discharged, with no further fatalities, “ he said.

He said that the incident underscored the importance of effective partnerships and rapid mobilisation of expertise in addressing public health emergencies.

He said that health workers at the hospital went through training on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), measures.

He recommended structural improvement, staffing, training, equipment provision, and hygienic measures.

He also made recommendations for capacity building and the establishment of a biosafety molecular laboratory at the hospital.

 Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents or contaminated persons.

Its symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain, chest pain.

In severe case, there are unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body openings.

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Why some airlines are avoiding Nigeria’s airspace – NAMA

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Many airlines are avoiding Nigeria’s airspace because of difficulties encountered in communication with air traffic controllers, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) confirmed on Sunday in Lagos.

Its Managing Director, Mr Farouk Umar, told newsmen at Ikeja that the agency was consequently eyeing more investments to rejuvenate the communication systems to match emerging air traffic trends.

He explained that there was the need to improve the weak communication system, which had been demand-saturated as the industry grew and more routes were opened.

He said huge investments were required of the Federal Government as more routes opened needing more stations to have signals to cover the entire country.

He added that the presidency recently budgeted N40 billion to address some of the issues at the airports, but the money had not been accessed.

Umar assured that as soon as money was made available, the agency would tackle critical safety challenges at the various airports.

“The entire communication network has been re-designed to ensure that every blind spot is covered because if one system fails today, air traffic controllers would not notice.

“We realised also that our radios are working well and well-positioned and we have addressed the challenges we met on ground, but then, we are still having issues.

“The issues have nothing to do with our radios, but with electricity supply which had been a national challenge that government had been working assiduously to fix.

“We have decided to deploy solar energy to some of our facilities to complement electricity supply from the national grid and from generators so that they can function well,’’ he said.

Umar noted that the International Civil Aviation Organisation frowned at even a second’s blackout at any airport and Nigeria could not afford to flout the regulation.

“For an average electronic system, the lifespan is about 10 years. Most of the communications electronics at the airports have been working for the past 15 years to 20 years. Their performance would be below standard, expectedly.

“We are replacing some of the equipment and we have done almost 80 per cent. The contractors are still working, however,’’ he assured.

Umar also told newsmen that Terminal Control Centres (TRACON) were still having challenges because since 2014, there had not been enough spare parts to fix the obsolete equipment there.

“The Federal Government has approved the modernisation of the TRACON system. 15 per cent of the fund has been paid and we are hopeful that more installations will start soon.

“We are also hopeful that at the end of it all, the system will go back to optimal performance,’’ he said.

Umar lamented that NAMA had been charging airlines N11,000 as navigation fee per flight since 2008 when fares for local flights were N16,000, whereas airfares had risen to N150,000.

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