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by Elizabeth Ayo-Vaughan - Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 12:21 AM
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ABP is one of my best courses really. It's deep thinking logical nature  makes you think more than just the surface. Demonstrates real managerial skills that will really be used  in real life. Anyway....

Wrote my ABP take home exam on Saturday. We were given 24hrs and my anxiety kicked into full gear. Adrenaline flowed nonstop until 22 minutes to submission.  It was nerve racking for me. The email the night before the exam made sent by the examiner made it worse. "Calm down", "Anxiety" and "...not rocket science" in one email showed that there was danger up ahead. So I had to brace myself. It had been a while I pulled an all-nighter. 

I think it was the most brutal case I may ever come across (for now. The case in the MIPC competition are not even this bad)  but it was a wonderful experience really. It took 6 hrs to finally figure out what the issue was and the calculations. Then it came to writing of the case to drive my point of continuing the project. I believe I had everything right or so I think. The wait is the problem. I am not very good at letting things go especially when I cannot control the situation. Some things do not come easy for me and writing exams that test memory and how well you understand the teachers point is not my thing. It renders my line of thinking invalid just because we do not think alike and also because you do not agree. 

Anyway, I cannot wait to be done with semester one and LBS so that I can have my  life back. 


Thank God for a bottle of wine by the seaside on Sunday evening, I felt like myself again. ABP took everything in me that I do not want to ever take that course again.  Blessed Guadalupe, E dey your hand. 

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[ Modified: Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 12:22 AM ]
 
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by Obidi Nwachukwu - Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 8:39 PM
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“School exams are memory tests, in real-world no one is going to stop you from referring a book to solve a problem.” ― Amit Kalantri, 

It was 9 am on Saturday 12th September 2020, the question and answer booklet was uploaded on the e-learn. The exam would start by 9 am on Saturday and ends at 9 am on Sunday 13th September 2020. My initial reaction was, no matter what I will be through before 9 pm the same day.

The time was now 3 am the next day and I was still trying to help the protagonist take the $1.6b investment decision. The worse now happened, my inverter went off and I could not put on the generator at that time because it will inconvenience my neighbors. I slept off and woke up by 6 am.

I started from where I stopped and completed by 8:15 am. I was not comfortable with what I wrote I felt it was not convincing enough to make my case, I wanted to start all over again but it was late.

I submitted my work at 8:30 am, went to bed, and slept off till 5 pm. I woke up took my bath, brushed, and eat my breakfast. Hahahaha.


 
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by Uchenna Onyenakasa - Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 8:26 PM
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The security man at the centre where I receive nourishment was sacked. This centre is the best place anyone can work. He is treated with respect, dignity, and care. Placed on health insurance with his family. But it was just discovered that he has been stealing diesel meant for the generator daily.

A family I know very well just sacked their nanny. When you visit this family, unless you are told, you will never know that this woman was a nanny. She had access to everything everyone in the family had access to. Everything! On so many occasions, the wife of the house kept asking her husband if he took money from her bag. This has gone on for years. If not for the attitude of the husband especially on that inner guarantee that he never took such money from the wife, it would have caused a problem for them. One happened that the wife could not contain anymore. She asked her husband twice and her husband insisted he did not take such money. She never suspected the nanny. Never!

She decided to set a trap (which I would not bore you with), and the nanny was caught red-handed.

Why do people you have given so much care and love still go ahead and do things that you cannot imagine they will do? Why do people who have so much still steal?  Why are most of the persons prosecuted for corruption in our country rich and comfortable? Why do we get betrayed by people we trust so much?

We are created good. However, our nature is wounded. This wound is what is sometimes called concupiscence - the inclination to Sin. Apostle Paul understood this fact when he exclaimed: What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. But we cannot say because we have this inclination and will therefore have to give in to it. We will also not be able to resist the pull to do what we do not want to do if we do not take some necessary steps.

We need to first acknowledge that we have this tendency; that we can be the worst of all men if not for the Invincible Hand, using the things around us to hold us up. This acknowledgement should be manifested in asking for help; the grace to always chose and do what is right.

Effort should be made in training ourselves in the act of doing right. This can be done by trying to deny ourselves of little things each day; even sometimes denying ourselves of what we have right to; eating a bit of what we do not like, delaying to drink water a few more minutes even though we are thirsty, controlling our eyes and not looking at that beautiful lady/man that just passed, waking up at a set time, etc. These little and willing denials train our will, strengthens our self-control and reduces our constant yielding to that inclination to do what we do not want to do.

We may shoulder at the security man, the nanny or those we hear of, but we can and will be worse if we do not ask for grace, constantly train our will and deliberately avoid occasions that can lead us to do things we know we should not do.

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[ Modified: Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 11:47 PM ]
 
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by Olaoluwa Afolabi - Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 7:45 PM
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I think I am poor at summaries. Hence, I tend to have a large essay. That brings me back to Alusaf Hillside Project, a case study I had for Analysis of Business Problem examination. In light of doing better with summaries, I like to make this blog about the summary of the Alusaf Hillside Project case study. 

Summary

With prices at all-time lows toward the start of 1994, South Africa's sole primary Aluminium maker - Alusaf - is thinking about building the world's biggest greenfield smelter, with a capacity of 466,000TPY at Richard's Bay. Rob Barbour, the Managing Director of Alusaf, was confronted with whether to continue with the plans.

In 1994, Alusaf was the only Aluminium maker with a 170,000TPY in South Africa. In 1993, Alusaf's revenues were $220.2m, which was an increase of 1% from 1992 figures. Alusaf recorded a profit of $8.4m in 1993.

The prices of Aluminum towards the start of 1994 were at a record-breaking low of about $1,110. In 1991, global costs remained at $1,300. Several global factors contributed to this uncertainty such as the Soviet military machine in the 1990s, excessive production by the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as a general glut in the global Aluminium market.

South Africa as a nation produces 200,000TPY of which Alusaf delivered 170,000TPY from it; the remaining 30,000TPY is made by the secondary producers. South Africa exports totalled approximately 100,000TPY, of which 20,000TPY were semi-fabricated products and 80,000TPY were ingots.

Escom, South Africa's power utility tried to uphold the new facility plans by offering 680MW of electricity to Alusaf they keep the Bayside and the new facility plan. The 680MW of electricity they offered was influenced by the push back Alusaf gave to Escom based on smelting viability and potential shutdown.

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I actually do hope it is a good summary and I like to thank you for reading. 

 
Picture of Virtue Joseph
by Virtue Joseph - Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 7:15 PM
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Lately, it started dawning on me that as you lay your bed, so you will lie on it. The outcome of my life depends on me. I am in charge of my life and bears the full responsibility of what it becomes. But life is replete with challenges. How can I navigate through all these challenges and still be my best? How can I make a difference in my world amid the fears, limitations, negatives? I realized it all starts with determination.

Determination to push on when it gets tough. Determination to 'Do It Afraid'. Determination to deny me A to get B. Determination to get up early, commune with God and meditate on His word before resuming other daily activities. Determination to exercise my body and eat right when I want to relax and eat what my taste buds desire. Determination to read those books on Product Management, Finance, Marriage, when my flesh does not feel like it. Determination to study my MBA materials when I feel like sleeping. Determination to say No to that mouth-watering investment when I do not have peace about it. Determination to be joyful when the circumstance is depressing. Determination to encourage someone else when I need encouragement. Determination to bless someone else in need even when it's the last resource in my hands. Determination to love the unlovable and forgive the ones that have hurt me. Determination to remain humble and respectful. Determination to Say No to the things I have to Say No to and YES to the ones I have to say Yes to for destiny fulfilment.

Without making a decision to be determined in making the right choices, life will give me what it chooses and not what I desire. I know that what life chooses is far from what my desires are.

 
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by Ogbonne Adesoji - Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 5:19 PM
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It is the beginning of another school year and due to the uncertainty of the status of the country regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, my children's school have resumed online pending when they are comfortable enough to resume physically.

This time around, their time table is more robust and as such they are spending more hours with the computer. 

My rant today is not about whether or not it is healthy for them to stare at the computer for that long but more about the fact that our laptop share is not working this time. 

We only have two functional lap tops at home and before now, they would have finished school before I would need it so the sharing worked.

However, I have two exams coming up on Saturday and I need my laptop(where I have all my school materials) more. 

What do I do? I cannot tell stories on Saturday!

 
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by Jane Ngene - Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 8:41 AM
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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/20/business/supply-and-demand-isnt-fair.html?referringSource=articleShare

At first, when I saw the title of the article, it didn’t make sense to me why the law of supply and demand is not fair as I felt the law was normal and fair as well.

Considering the situation in which the writer talks about the law of supply and demand being unfair, I completely agree. That is the case of an emergency. In emergencies, the law of fairness should supersede the law of supply and demand for essential goods.

For instance, in this pandemic, the law of supply and demand will make it possible for only the rich to afford essential goods like masks and hand sanitizers, leaving the not so privileged to their faith. The question then is – is it only the rich that deserve to be saved from the pandemic?

In Nigeria, price gouging was also witnessed in this pandemic especially in the early period. Example, a small bottle of hand sanitizer was sold for N16000 in a supermarket within my neighbourhood.

The article goes further to discuss the relationship between fairness and sustainability. A business that sees an emergency as an opportunity to make a kill is likely playing in the short term. This is because customers will not be happy to patronize the company when the situation being taken advantage of is over. On the other hand, businesses that behave fairly will likely retain customer’s loyalty after the emergency. Therefore, fairness in business leads to sustainability.


 
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by Ejiro Karieren-Oluka - Monday, 14 September 2020, 9:47 PM
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Moving from one house to another can be exhausting, I always thought it fun until recently. Over the past 12 years I have stayed in 5 different locations in Abuja, moving from one district to the another, although I was single most of that time but with a family of four it has become an herculean task.

I am moving into the first house I have to extensively renovate, a close friend saw the level of work carried out and exclaimed if I had purchased it. I mentioned it was for the comfort of my family not that of the Landlord.

 
Picture of Ogbonne Adesoji
by Ogbonne Adesoji - Monday, 14 September 2020, 7:44 PM
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I had never written a take home exam before Saturday and I was not sure how to feel about it. I got up late so I rushed into the bathroom for a quick bath in case we would need to be addressed before the exam.

Apparently, there was an email with instructions already so all I needed to do was connect to my e-learn whenever I was ready. The danger in this is that you could relax believing that you had all the time in the world. In fact, I scheduled to go for a friend’s wedding so in my mind, I would get it over quickly and then go have fun.

When I eventually sat down to read the case and analyze it, I began to get the sense of a serious decision to make. The more I tried to figure out the best judgment to make the more confusing it became.

I tried the analysis from the angle of what rate of return I can expect from the investment but I did not have enough data to support it. I tried to look at the pricing and demand of the product and made some conjecture.

Time seemed to be flying by quickly. It was already 3pm.  Considering that the wedding venue was far from my location, the possibility of attending was dashed. My brain was all over the place. The future of Alusaf was in my hands, so it was imperative that I made the right decision.

I finally realized why I am doing an MBA on Saturday. I had sent my children to their room. My husband left for the wedding without me. I was all by myself in the living room and the solution of this matter was resting squarely on me. Making this decision was very critical and felt very real to me. This is exactly what all the faculties have been saying to us in more ways than not.

The role of the manager entails that you will be faced with very difficult situations like this, and when you do, weigh all options, use all available data to arrive at the solution.

The exam was difficult but I was happy at the end of the day because it was practical enough to prepare me for similar situations in the future. I hope I made the right decision for Alusaf.

So long ABP!


 
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by Efe Rhima - Monday, 14 September 2020, 5:23 PM
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Alusaf was South Africa’s only primary Aluminium producer with a 170,000 tpy capacity in early 1994. In the preceding year, the company generated about $220 million in revenue and made $8.6 million in profits. Aluminum was a versatile metal, valuable in a wide range of applications (Packaging, Building materials, automobiles and other products) for its strength and light weight. Overtime it was substituted for steel as this reduced weight by 50% with no significant loss in strength. Two major components needed for the manufacturing of aluminum is electricity and alumina. In 1994 worldwide production of primary aluminum approached 20 million metric tons. After the collapse of the Soviet Union (Soviet Military Machine) in early 1990’s Russia and some Commonwealth of Independent States flooded the world markets with aluminum leading to a 1.5-2 million tpy of excess production which made the prices to drop significantly due to the glut. In early 1994 the price reached its all time low of about $1,110 as against $1,300 the product sold for 2 years ago. South Africa produces 200,000 tpy (tons per year) from which 170,000 tpy is produced by Alusaf, and the balance of 30,000 tpy is contributed by the secondary producer market. The country exports 100,000 tpy of aluminium annually (80,000 tpy ingots, 20,000 tpy semi-fabricated material) in 1994. Also, domestic Consumption for semi-fabricated aluminium products was 130,000 tpy, of which 30,000 tpy of this is is imported. By mid-1991, Alusaf was considering shutting down its Bay Smelter plant because the business not being economically viable due to prevailing market conditions and cost of productions. Escom, South Africa’s electrical power utility, initiated discussions of HILLSIDE PROJECT with Alusaf mid-1991 giving them an offer to reduce power rates on long term basis (25 years) if Bayside Smelter plant was retained and another plant opened. The new plant to be constructed was projected to be the worlds largest greenfield primary aluminum smelter with a capacity of 466,000 tpy.
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