Board game experts have predicted large scale growth for the Nigerian board game industry in the coming decade, beginning from 2020.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the experts stated this as part of the panel discussion at the just concluded 2019 African Boardgame Convention (Ab Con) in Abuja.
Ab Con is an annual gathering of board game enthusiasts from around the world to discuss ways to improve the industry and network over gameplay.
Speaking on the topic ‘Analysing the growth of the board game industry in the last decade’, speakers Kenechukwu Ogbuagu and Joy Sani noted that the industry has achieved sizeable growth in the present decade.
Ogbuagu, who is the creative director of gaming company NIBCARD games, said that the Nigerian board game industry had been able to achieve great milestones such as producing more made-in-Nigeria games.
He also noted that the opening of the first games café in Nigeria by NIBCARD was another major highlight for the industry.
According to him, the next decade will see more players enter the industry in various capacities to contribute their quota to building it, adding that it will be massive because of the power of collaboration.
Ogbuagu advised guests to key into the sail of the industry, especially at this point where a lot of pioneers are needed in various sectors as the industry blossoms.
On her part, Sani said that the industry has thrived on the power of community and needs that same power to expand in the coming decade.
“The beauty of board games is its ability to build people together in some of the most amazing ways. It is easy to find a community with board games and this has added its expansion.
“I believe that we can do more with it and double the energy for the coming decade. It has been amazing to watch our growth up till this point,” Sani said.
NAN reports that the 2019 convention also featured the unveiling of some Nigerian games, children chess competition, and live game demonstrations.https://nnn.ng/experts-predict-massive-growth-for-nigerian-board-game-industry/
COVID-19: 41 countries to feature in 2020 NIBCARD Games online convention
Participants from 41 countries are expected to feature in the 2020 online version of the World Largest Tabletop games convention slated for between Oct. 22 and Oct. 25, the Nigeria Board Games (NIBCARD) has said.
The creative director and owner of NIBCARD Games, Mr Kenechukwu Ogbuagu said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ogbuagu said that 2020 edition of the games would be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that over 41 nations would be exhibiting their talents and anyone interested in playing tabletop games could join for free.
He said that in 2019, over 200,000 participants took part at the 4-day convention in Essen, Germany.
The director said that the board would be releasing the first of it `Village War Games’ themed after the Igbo mythology, folklore, history and fantasy.
“We will also be releasing the `Battle of Adrica Expansion;’ it is a make-believe battle that could have happened if the Berlin conference for the scramble of Africa in 1884 wasn’t successful.
“We are also releasing our educational games and puzzle; all of which are designed and made in Nigeria hence creating economical value.
“ Spiel Digital will be an opportunity to show what we do to a bigger audience,” he said.
NIBCARD Games is a Tabletop Games publishing, production and promotional company as well as Tabletop games designing and manufacturing company located in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Games started in 2013 after securing Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registration.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Analysis: Experts say Turkish-Russian differences surface in Libyan conflict
Russian top officials postponed a visit to Turkey at the last minute on Sunday, highlighting their differences on the Libyan conflict, where the two countries have taken a lead in efforts to find a solution to the oil-rich nation’s near decade-long conflict, analysts said.
Meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu planned in Istanbul will take place “at a future date,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, a day after announcing that the two ministers were set to come for talks.
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow separately said the two sides are “actively working to support a settlement in Libya.” No reason has been mentioned for the cancellation of this meeting where Libya was supposed to be the main focus.
Experts think that recent gains in Libya by Turkish-supported forces lay at the core of tensions amid statements from the United Nations that warring sides had begun new peace talks.
“This last minute cancellation is the signal of problems in Libya where Turkey has upped it stakes after recent battle victories on the field. It seems that Turkey’s hand is stronger than before compared to Russia,” Oytun Orhan, coordinator at the Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM), told Xinhua.
Ankara and Moscow support opposing sides in civil wars in Syria and Libya. Ankara is providing military and diplomatic support to Libya’s United Nations-recognized administration, the Government of National Accord (GNA), while Russia backs rival militia commander Khalifa Haftar.
In Syria, the Russian-backed government aims to retake northern province of Idlib from Islamist militants, while Turkey has vowed to never let that happen, sending thousands of troops there to protect its national interests and avert a new influx of refugees on its soil.
“Turkey doesn’t seem ready to any concessions in Libya where its hand is stronger now with battleground gains around the strategic town of Sirte,” indicated Orhan.
Russia, on the other hand, he said, is trying to force Ankara to a compromise in Libya by using the Idlib card, organising air raids against Turkey-backed forces positions in northern Syria, Orhan stressed.
“There is an ongoing arm wrestling between Russia and Turkey in Syria and Libya,” argued this expert, emphasizing that he doesn’t expect these tensions to simmer in both war theaters into a direct confrontation.
In recent months, Russia and Turkey have taken the lead in efforts to find a solution to Libya’s crisis, hoping in the process to carve out spheres of influence for themselves in the North African nation.
Turkish support for the GNA has allowed it to turn the tide and repel a year-long offensive by eastern-based renegade commander Khalifa Haftar, which Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt back.
The postponed Istanbul talks were supposed to broker a deal which would pave the way of a ceasefire in Libya.
This is not the first time that Russia and Turkey have attempted to broker a ceasefire in Libya, but this time with the United States showing interest to support its NATO ally, Turkey, in the oil-rich nation.
In January, GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Haftar visited Moscow as part of Russian-Turkish efforts to secure a lasting ceasefire. However, Haftar, bolstered by his battlefield successes at the time, refused to sign the agreement.
The Moscow meeting was followed a week later by a separate summit, this time hosted by Germany.
Turkey’s prime motivations for entering the war in Libya was a contentious maritime border demarcation agreement it signed with the GNA that expanded its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the resource-abundant eastern Mediterranean.
Several European nations have opposed Turkey’s Libyan ambitions. France escalated over the weekend its stance towards Ankara in Libya, saying that it is “acting in an unacceptable way by using NATO, and France cannot tolerate this.”
Observers think that both Ankara and Moscow have to make concessions at further stages in Libya to secure their gains and prevent an escalation of tensions that would be detrimental to both sides.
“Conditions have drastically changed in the Libyan theater since January and it’s very obvious that Turkey and Russia should engage in a new round of talks if they intend to renew their joint commitment for peace and stability of Libya,” political commentator Serkan Demirtas told Xinhua.
The GNA, backed by Turkey’s military and drones, remarked this expert, is continuing its advance to gain the control of Sirte and al-Jufra airbase. It wants to expand its control along the shoreline and around the Oil Crescent to further consolidate its military gains. It won’t likely stop until these objectives are met.
Nevertheless, Demirtas insisted that a renewed Turkish-Russian political dialogue seems to be the best solution to reach peace in Libya. “Just like in Syria, there is no military solution to the Libyan question either,” he added.
Use public affairs to mitigate effect of COVID-19 on organisations — Experts
Some experts have advised corporate organisations to use public affairs personnel to mitigate unexpected developments caused by the negative effects of COVID-19.
They gave the advice during a webinar hosted by Re-Ignite Public Affairs with the theme: Managing the Public Affairs Function Post COVID-19.
The session was moderated by the Group Managing Director of CMC Connect Limited (Perception Managers), Yomi Badejo-Okusanya.
Speaking at the webinar, Sade Morgan, Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, said that COVID-19 had really challenged a lot of companies to work differently with stakeholders.
“We have seen a lot of changes in the way we work, Nigeria has gone digital, which in a positive way has brought about a lot of efficiency.
“This crisis has particularly put corporate affairs at the heart of businesses, because we are the ones trying to secure business continuity in different ways.
“We are delivering communication again on various internal engagement platforms to keep organisations motivated,” Morgan said.
Concerning government relations, she said organisations needed to understand that the government could not do it all.
Morgan said that public affairs’ role was to ensure that government had full visibility of what was going on and drive business continuity, thus keeping economic activities going
Also, Olufemi Awoyemi, Chairman, Proshare Nigeria, said that public affairs function was now the number one priority for any organisation or practising firm that was providing services.
“Public affairs functions cannot be over emphasised because there will always be a board coalition of the private sector which allows organisations to step up to the importance of palliative.
“It is the public affairs sector that birth the private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), he said.
Commmenting, Ade Adefeko, Vice President, Corporate and Government Relations, Olam Nigeria, said there was need for the private public affairs sector to understand government agencies to be able to design appropriate strategies in engaging them.
Also, Emeka Oparah, Vice President, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, Airtel Nigeria, charged public affairs managers to collaborate and coordinate more during this challenging period to motivate businesses.
“This period shoud teach public affairs personnel to engage, exchange contacts and resources in order to be able to network with the right people.
“We need to understand organisations and people to be able to articulate business issues seamlessly,” he said.
Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Experts urge more awareness on mental illness
The Head, Clinical Psychology Department, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos State, Dr Tayo Ajirotutu, on Wednesday called for more awareness on mental illness in Nigeria.
Ajirotutu made the call, as the lead presenter, at the inaugural virtual meeting on suicide, organised by the ‘Suicide Is No Solution’ (SIN), a Non-Governmental Organisation, in Ibadan.
The theme of the meeting is “Talking Suicide 1.0: Causes, Signs and Prevention”.
Ajirotutu said that death by suicide had been on for decades and generations but that it had become a serious issue in Nigeria in the past four years.
He said that the issue skyrocketed during this COVID- 19 pandemics, adding that there was the need to increase the education and enlightenment tempo on suicide amongst Nigerian citizens.
Ajirotutu said that individuals, with suicidal tendencies and signs, must be referred to experts.
He noted that religious organisations and schools should train counsellors on the required skills to counsel people with depression.
“Suicide begins with thoughts and behaviours and it is the second leading cause of death, especially among the youths.
“The signs include someone either talking about killing himself, feeling of hopelessness, loneliness and rejection or having no reason to live as well as low self-esteem.
“Financial factors, traumatic reasons, prolonged stress, relationship and education issues, inability to meet targets, issues at work, home or religious organisations are other causes of suicide,’’ the psychologist said.
While commending the SINS’ initiative, Ajirotutu warned that the issue of suicide could not be confidential as family members and mental health experts must be involved.
“If you want to kill yourself, identify why you want to and look for another way out rather than taking your own life.’’
Also speaking, Dr Stella Bassey-Okoronkwo, a US-based Psychiatrist, said that mental health awareness was one thing Nigeria must go all out to make more people know about it.
Bassey-Okoronkwo said that mental illness existed and people with such must be given the right counselling and recommendation.
“People struggling with depression, drug abuse, alcohol use disorders and anxiety have a higher incidence of contemplating suicide in the United States
“We lose over 800,000 people yearly globally to suicide and we lose a lot more during late spring and early summers in the United States,’’ she said.
Bassey-Okoronkwo, who is Medical Director, Centre for Emotional Health, Virginia, the United States, listed the warning signs to look out for in persons attempting suicide.
Such signs are the persons’ inability to express their feelings, disrespectful, more destructive, withdrawal from family, drinking excessively, aggressive, low energy and being more impulsive and reckless.
The psychiatrist advised that when any of the warning signs is noticed, such a person must be referred for counselling.
Also, Mrs Funso Adegbola, a lawyer and founder, The Vale College, Ibadan advocated for a repeal of the section of the law that stipulates prosecution for attempted suicide.
She called on psychiatrists association, health professionals, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and interest groups to join hands in ensuring the law was repealed.
Adegbola said that individuals, who attempted suicide, should go for mental rehabilitation and not prison.
She also suggested that the shortage of psychiatrists in Nigeria should also be addressed.
While contributing, Mrs Idy Toye-Arulogun, SINS’ Project Lead, said the meeting aimed at reducing suicide to the barest minimum by increasing awareness level and a better understanding of suicide amongst Nigerians.
Toye-Arulogun said that the meeting had helped to educate SINS’ volunteers and people on the causes, signs, and prevention of suicide.
Mrs Ajoke Okonu, who contemplated suicide at 16, said she fought the thoughts since she was four-years-old, but that she did not commit the crime for the love of her mother.
“I wanted to take my life as a result of my parent’s broken marriage.
“I was physically abused, molested and when I could no longer hold it, I held the knife in the kitchen several times but my mother’s love held me back,’’ she said.
Mrs Ibiyemi Faturoti, the co-Founder, LePhare Consultants, urged anyone contemplating suicide to know that there was someone out there who cares and ready to help.
Faturoti said that suicide should not be considered as an option during life’s struggles.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the discussants agreed that the government, at all levels, should ensure that schools have at least one psychologist on their staff list.
They added that the staff should be a counsellor and mental health practitioner.
They also agreed that religious bodies should create a mental health unit, manned by mental health experts at their religious centres to reduce the rate of suicide in the country.
The discussants said that the law, punishing individuals who attempted suicide should be reviewed.
They said that such individuals rather needed care and support, and not prosecution.
They also said that there should be adequate training for counsellors in schools and religious organisations to manage youths, especially those with signs of depression that could lead to suicide.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/experts-urge-more-awareness-on-mental-illness/