Chairman of Zinox Group, Sub-Saharan Africa’s most integrated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) conglomerate, Leo Stan Ekeh has charged the youth to rise up to the challenge and cause a positive disruption which will alter the course of the nation’s destiny and usher in an era of sustained and inclusive progress.
The serial digital entrepreneur delivered this charge at the 12th graduation ceremony of the prestigious Bridge House College held at the Muson Centre, Onikan – Lagos recently.
In attendance at the event was the former Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Sarah Adebisi Sosan, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ray Kyles and Ms. Ngozi Edozien, among others.
According to Ekeh, who featured as the Chairman of the occasion, the nation is in dire need of a next generation of digitally advanced, entrepreneurially-minded youth who will question the status quo and lead Nigeria out of the woods. Urging the graduating students to leverage on the privileged education they had been exposed to at the College in pushing the boundaries, he disclosed that the second half of the 21st Century was a pivotal one as it would usher in a lot of changes in the global order.
“Today, you are privileged to be armed with a sound educational background from Bridge House College. Many of us were not as lucky as we barely finished our studies. The quality of education you have received here equips you with common-sense and practical situational references which will aid many of you build successful businesses. It is not available in Europe as their circumstances differ from ours.
“The internet has today given every one an open space or a level playing field to create wealth. I see among you a generation that has the potential to alter Nigeria’s destiny. Many of you here will achieve in one year what some of the most successful entrepreneurs in my generation took over 30 years to put together. You have the exposure, the platforms, the energy and, most importantly, certified intelligence to deliver the new Nigeria mandate of a successful economy.
“Things are changing in the global system. In the second half of the 21st century, it will make more sense to have just one kid. A nanny will possibly earn as much as a medical doctor then. It is a reality because the world is transitioning and will reward skill, style and content. For the males among you, you will marry a woman and not keep her as a slave but as an equal partner in progress. And as for the ladies here, I don’t see women who will aspire to become First Ladies but Presidents; female Presidents.
“I believe so much in Nigeria. Although I have offices in Dubai and other foreign countries in which we retain digital hubs to roll out to other nations of the world that appreciate our capacities, Nigeria still remains the biggest market for us. Many years ago when I returned to the country and encountered the analogue system of publishing, I embarked on the task of transitioning the country from analogue to digital with the introduction of Desktop Publishing and Computer Graphics. Since then, we have continued to transition from one platform to another and it is up to your generation to cause the positive disruption that this country needs to take its rightful place in the global order.”
Counselling the graduating students to step forward with boldness and a mind-set to make a difference, Ekeh declared his support for those students who are knowledge-hungry as, according to him, everyone in the current century must invent something that adds value to the society and enhance the profile of his or her family.
“You only require quality education like you have started with and humility, and you become a global citizen,” Ekeh advised.
In line with this, multiple award winner and best student in Physics and Biology, Ms. Serena Omo-Lamai was asked to name any laptop of her choice in the world – a device which the Zinox Chairman made a commitment to source and have delivered to her. College Ambassador, Olu Muyiwa Yusuf also received a gift of a laptop from Ekeh for his efforts as the representative of the students.
The well-attended event which featured presentation of certificates to the graduating students also saw deserving ones rewarded with special prizes and awards for their academic feats.