Serial digital entrepreneur and Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh has donated the sum of 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) at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos on Thursday, November 18, 2021, with the cheque presentation ceremony held recently at the corporate headquarters of Zinox located in Gbagada, Lagos.
Ekeh was honoured 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 organization of all Information Technology professionals, interest groups and stakeholders in Nigeria, is geared at creating the much-needed resources and backing to support research and innovation in Information Technology. 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, Chief Launcher at the event, commended the Executive Council of the NCS for birthing 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.
Ekeh revealed that his grant would see the immediate release of the sum of N20 million for the fund and subsequent annual donations of the sum of N10 million respectively in the next three years. He also 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 serial 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.
‘‘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,’’ Ekeh stated.
Instructively, the 2021 edition of the NITMA awards organized by the NCS saw Zinox emerge one of the award winners at the event, claiming the much-coveted pioneer Technology Company of the Year gong.
The award marks 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 the ICT ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa. Interestingly, the latest award comes on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the company.
Zinox turned 20 on October 10, 2021.