Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman, Zinox Group, has donated N50m to an Innovation and Development Fund set up by the Nigeria Computer Society, NCS.
Ekeh announced the donation on behalf of Zinox during the 2021 National Information Technology Merit Awards, NITMA, held recently in Lagos. The cheque presentation was done later at the corporate headquarters of Zinox located in Gbagada, Lagos.
Ekeh was honored in 2011 with the pioneer IT Personality award of the association for his incisive entrepreneurship and positive disruption in the tech sector.
The Innovation & Development Fund, set up by the NCS, the umbrella organisation of all Information Technology professionals, interest groups and stakeholders in Nigeria, is geared towards creating the much-needed resources and backing to support research and innovation in IT.
Furthermore, the fund, which was officially launched at the NITMA awards, is to aid start-ups in transforming their ideas into working systems for national development.
Speaking while announcing his donation, Ekeh commended the Executive Council of the NCS for the idea of an innovation hub that would incubate start-ups and foster the spirit of creative genius which abounds in Nigeria’s increasingly tech-focused youths.
He revealed that his grant would see the immediate release of N20 million for the fund and subsequent annual donation of N10 million respectively in the next three years.
He appealed to other stakeholders to support this initiative to ‘‘train our brothers and sisters who shall lead globally certified multinational companies in the second quarter of this century which is almost here with us.’’
The Zinox boss, who reiterated his oft-repeated assertion of technology being the only profession in the world that can transform the child of poor parents into the richest person in the world, noted that the global economy is today dominated by tech giants, a fitting demonstration of the relevance and predominance of technology as a determinant of true wealth and the prosperity of nations.
The digital entrepreneur further expressed confidence that through the Innovation & Development Fund set up by the NCS, Nigeria would be in a better position to unearth raw tech talents who could emerge as certified global dollar billionaires in a few years’ time.
He said: ‘‘There is hardly any business in the world today that you can run without technology. If you look at the list of the top five most valuable companies in the world today, technology companies dominate.
‘‘Nigeria is blessed with millions of smart kids and what many of them need to emerge as global billionaires is that little support which we are contributing to at this occasion. I wish to commend the NCS leadership for coming up with this brilliant idea which I am sure will make a huge difference in the lives of our tech-savvy youths and the future of this country.’’
Instructively, the 2021 edition of the NITMA awards, Zinox emerged as one of the award winners, claiming the much-coveted pioneer Technology Company of the Year trophy.
The award was another addition to a long list of local and international honours and recognitions earned by the company in its two decades of exceptional leadership and disruptive dominance in ICT inn Sub-Saharan Africa. The latest award comes on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the company. Zinox turned 20 on October 10, 2021.