Renminbi: Nigeria’s New International Trade Currency

It is no longer news that Nigeria has entered into a bilateral agreement to swap currencies with China for international trade purposes. In this piece, I intend to introduce you to the Chinese currency, the Renminbi.

Renminbi (RMB) is the official currency of the Chinese. Renminbi literally means, ‘people’s currency’. The Yuan, often used loosely as China’s currency is actually the primary unit of the renminbi. The relationship between renminbi and yuan is similar to the relationship between Britain’s Sterling and pound, the former being the official name of the currency and the latter being its primary unit. Other units of renminbi are the jiao and the fen mathematically represented below as:

1 yuan=10 jiao

1 jiao=10 fen

1 yuan=100 fen

The People’s Bank of China, China’s monetary authority issues and regulates the supply of renminbi. On October 1, 2016, the currency was included in the IMF’s special drawing rights basket making it a global reserve currency for the first time.

RMB is legal tender only in mainland China, but not in its Special Administrative Regions of Macau and Hong Kong. Even though both of these offshore China regions do not transact with the currency, it can be easily exchanged for the Hong Kong dollar and the Macanese Pataca. However, individuals and businesses can keep bank accounts denominated in RMB in both regions.

To be continued…

Advertisements

Look for Your Mentees

No vision can be fulfilled during the lifetime of a visionary which is why identifying successors should form a pivotal aspect of executing your vision. From Bible evidence, it must be God’s idea, even in the family, for parents to mentor their children in the carriage of the family legacy.

As John C. Maxwell noted, ‘No one is ever successful without successors. ‘ And no matter what you currently do, there are people on our journey that ought to be your mentees.

But in Africa, leaders often do not take the time to look out mentees, let alone train them. And when they do mentor it’s often not with the right motives. Poor succession planning is the number one reason why African businesses rarely last three generations.

Looking actively for mentees is the sole responsibility of leadership and not vice versa. Jesus, the ultimate leader, went after his mentees; picking a vast array of men and women from all works of life to be his apprentices.

The Bible is strewn with this idea from Jacob the patriarch to David the king, strengthening my belief that it is God’s will for leaders to train and appoint their successors, and not leave it to chance.

If you have achieved any level of success in life, maybe it’s time to start passing the baton of your vision by deliberately picking out someone to mentor. That’s the secret to great leadership.

As Dr. Myles Munroe said, ‘To become a great leader you must be able to mentor leaders that are greater than yourself.’

POOR- Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly

Several years ago…in fact the very first time I recognized God speak to me, part of what He said that day was:

The greatest resource in the world is people. Invest in people.

The people around us–wherever we find ourselves– are our opportunity. And how you take this statement can draw a line to demarcate what side of the divide you fall into–whether you are rich…or poor.

A great preacher once said that the secret of success is to find a human need and reach out to meet it. Success is not in the vaults of a central bank or in the deep recesses of the earth where oil and other minerals are dredged. Success is with people; lodged in their needs.

Think about it, people around you need capital; need food; need housing or a place to do business. They need groceries, water, a place to workout…or someone to teach them a skill. And maybe you are the person to meet their need if you’d just take a deeper look at them when you pass by in traffic, at work or in your neighborhood.

When next you pass by someone, catch yourself and look him or her in the eye. See the opportunity if you can and if you can’t, just salute the divinity in that person and move on. But never pass over people as if they are nothing because to do so, is to settle yourself behind the divide of that line that reads POOR.

Poverty is not the absence of money but the absence of ability-the ability to recognize opportunities.

Little wonder someone came up with a meaning for the acronym, P-O-O-R to be Passing Over Opportunities-Repeatedly.

Leadership By Affiong Ene-Obong 


Leadership is about YOU. It’s about the responsibility you have towards yourself; the legal right and moral obligation to engage in a task without recognition, reward or applause. When there are no expectations, reward or applause and your goal can be achieved with and for others, you are a leader.Leadership is characterized by your attitude- your perception to life and lives of others which has absolutely nothing to do with your position in your environs or the society at large.

A man is not just a male or human being, one who displays the qualities of strength, courage, valor, husband, father, boyfriend or any other attribute peculiar to the gender as leadership isn’t associated with gender, leadership is solely dependent on responsibility.

A leadership trait can be discovered in a person through the behavior-Its behavior that determines if the person can execute tasks (responsibility) that would shape the lives of others not the desire to be powerful or famous.

Leadership revolves around four components:

• Person – the individual who is determined to take up responsibility based on the legal rights and moral obligations without fear or favor which largely depends on behavior (actions or inactions) and perception.

• People- the humans making up a group who have common interest play a vital role in our quest to engage in a task. They watch the individual to ensure he or she engages in the task effectively to produce an end result. A leader must be prepared for criticisms, appraisal from time to time as he climbs the leadership ladder.

• Process- a leader must evolve and enjoy every step as he climbs the leadership ladder

• Performance- a leader must execute his actions taking cognizance of his actions and inactions at every stage. Failure and risks are inevitable but perseverance and believe are key.

A leader must have the heart of a dove; display meekness in every way even when people criticize or spite the individual. However, the leader should apply wisdom and tact when executing his or her responsibilities. A leader must have the skin of a rhinoceros; thick skinned and not a leopard that changes its skin.

Energy management should be a leader’s primary task; He or she should be able to multi-task to execute what he believes could shape lives and change the world.

No one is born great. We strive to be better based on our believes and experiences

One true fact remains; there are no great leaders, there are great principles

One question we should ask ourselves is, ‘’If you are leader, would you want to follow yourself?’’

Affiong Ene-Obong is a lawyer, writer, poet and artist. She holds a Law degree from Babcock University. She is member of the Association of Nigerian Authors; Rivers State chapter, a member of the Sea View Poetry Club and member of Sisters’ Interact Network; an NGO aimed at helping women actualize themselves.

Her first book, ‘A Life Called Forever’ is a collection of inspirational poetry beautifully written to inspire, impact and transform lives. She spends her free time reading, writing, researching, learning new skills.

Her articles have been published in The Redeemed Christian Church of God magazine and B.A.B.E.S. Redefined Magazine; an insightful magazine which focuses on addressing the wholeness of women and by extension, the men who value and respect them.

Her poems have also been published on various blogs and websites. She is a polyglot, polymath and purpose driven. She is currently working on her second book; a novel which is centred on giving children with special needs love, roots and wings. She writes flash fictions, essays, short stories and poems.

Her works which centre on courage, hope, strength and encouragement has been described as inspirational.

She earnestly desires to inspire, impact and transform lives, fulfilling God’s purpose.

Affiong Ene-Obong resides in Nigeria with her family.

 

Never Question God’s Love

Sometimes, we put out our faith for something. And for every intent and purpose, we even get to a point where we know how it is going to happen; this thing we are believing God for.

But then, it doesn’t happen as planned and we are tempted to get offended. Don’t! 

In that hour, it is time to worship God; to recognize that God’s love for you cannot fail; to reaffirm in your heart your unwavering trust in the love that God has for you.

The Bible declares that we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Faith may fail according to the Bible but God’s love for you never fails.

Never question God’s love for you! Worship Him, don’t complain…

The Measure of Intelligence, Redeeming Nigeria from Moral Precipice and the place of Public Policy

Intelligence is often measured by way of standardized IQ tests which in a sense, is parochial. I bring up this argument in my recently published book, The Code: A Simple Story about Raising Great Women. And while I broach the subject of how we measure intelligence from a broader perspective; as a means truly understanding the strengths of our girl-children in order to harness it, my underlying premise aligns with the popular quote, often attributed to Albert Einstein which says:

‘Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’

How true! In my book, I devote a chapter to the eight original intelligences as described by Harvard professor, Howard Gardener in his book, Frames of Mind, adapting them to parenting; how moms and dads share the responsibility of understanding which of the eight their children have high quotients in, as means of helping these kids develop until they reach some sort of genius.

The eight intelligences, more popularly referred to as the Theory of Multiple Intelligence include;
· Linguistic intelligence (word smartness)

· Logical-mathematical intelligence (number/reasoning smartness)

· Spatial intelligence (picture smartness)

· Bodily-Kinaesthetic intelligence (body smartness)

· Musical intelligence (music smartness)

· Interpersonal intelligence (people smartness)

· Intrapersonal intelligence (self-smartness)

· Naturalist intelligence (nature smartness)

If you look very closely at the quick definitions I put in parenthesis beside the eight intelligences, you may agree with me as to the veracity of my argument. Simply put, people are smart differently and standardizing the measure of intelligence in for of IQ tests is nothing short of an anomaly. We just aren’t smart the same way. Some people are word smart and others are music smart. Even music maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti alluded in part to this phenomenon when he said;

‘Book sense different from belle sense’

That said, I have been studying a rare form of intelligence, called Moral Intelligence; a smartness of right from wrong. And while this article makes no judgement as to political views or religious leanings, a recent piece of legislation regarding granting amnesty to economic saboteurs in Nigeria perturbed me into writing this piece and raises the question as to whether there are morally intelligent people in the country’s political leadership.

As with all intelligences, I hypothesize that moral intelligence is both inborn and can be honed. And that in creating a society that is morally intelligent, the government, by way of its education and national orientation policies can emphasize moral instruction as a means of improving the overall moral intelligence average of the country.
Without doubt, some people are morally smarter, without the input of any religious or moral instruction while others aren’t. We have all come across the truthful hedonist or the degenerate religious leader who fails to practice what he preaches. The multi-dimenionslism of human beings speak to one thing: People can in character lead double live based on their moral smartness. And so policy makers, in public and private sectors, have the onus of looking for ways of measuring and funneling  the moral intelligent  into leadership…by way of robust human capital development policy.

Effort is King


No matter how smart or talented you are, effort is king. You may not be gifted or talented and yet, you may become super successful, particularly if you make up your mind that no one would outwork you in your chosen vocation. 

Frankly,  most people would discard talent because it is no indicator of success. There are far more talented failures in the world than people willing to put in the time and effort that bring results. 

In my line of work, people are quick to praise results over effort forgetting that there could be no results without it.

Then, there’s religious confusion about effort and its value. In Christianity, there’s the ‘faith vs works’ debate which has let many people accuse Christians of being sloppy with their work–which in part, I can familiarize with. But this ought not to be. Part of being the light of world entails having an extraordinary work ethic. 

In his letter to the Corinthian church in the Bible Paul mentioned* how his extraordinary work ethic was a product of grace–labouring more than his contemporaries–and not the opposite. 

But today, certain people lazy around with the idea that God’s grace is some kind of gift that requires they do little to achieve a lot. Nothing could be more a departure from the truth as this.

Certain, effort, clarity and perseverance are parallel truths on the pathway to success but of the three, effort is king.

*1 Corinthians 15:10