Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Group, a frontline Nigerian technology company, has advised government to provide the sustainable foundation for education rather than giving N250,000 to every Nigerian youth corper as part of strategies to build a new digital workforce for the economy.[blockquote right=”pull-right”]“Today, China has become the workshop of the world not necessarily because labor is cheap but because she has a well trained and knowledgeable work force. 75% of the world’s software businesses are outsourced to Indian companies because her citizenry have been motivated to control the production of software globally” the Zinox Chairman says calling on policy makers in Nigeria to borrow a leaf from both countries if the dream to join the world’s top 20 economies by 2020 is to be realized.[/blockquote]
Ekeh calls for priority attention be beamed on the need to invest in the ICT sector in the interest of digital natives and immigrants while underscoring that the idea being canvassed that each youth corper be given a lump sum of N250, 000 after their service year to enable them start a business, though laudable “was like placing the cart before the horse.”
According to him, “what the Government should do is to create new and solid foundations for education by providing appropriate ICT infrastructure in schools.”
Ekeh, who sees the new “Y” Generation as the one that will lead Nigeria, not only in commerce and industry, but also in governance. Without this quick solution you can see Nigeria as dead on arrival in the new age, the technology entrepreneurs says in what refreshes a previous clarion call.
Ekeh reckons that IT should drive the teaching and learning processes in schools – beginning with the learning environment, the instructional materials, the resource centers, and the e-libraries.
“IT driven education would come cheaper than analogue education and create access and pre-occupation for the millions of children who come to schools from poor homes. These youths are already tech savvy by the time they leave school. All we need to do is put together a scheme that ensures that every graduating student is empowered with a laptop. This should apply to all graduates from universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education. The idea would be to harness the energies of a new generation of Nigerians through the vital tools for change. Only a deliberate and systemic empowerment of the youths can ensure that Nigeria participates gainfully in the unfolding knowledge economy”, he adds.
Ekeh noes that China and India have joined the list of world super powers by investing heavily in the development and penetration of ICT.
“Today, China has become the workshop of the world not necessarily because labor is cheap but because she has a well trained and knowledgeable work force. 75% of the world’s software businesses are outsourced to Indian companies because her citizenry have been motivated to control the production of software globally” the Zinox Chairman says calling on policy makers in Nigeria to borrow a leaf from both countries if the dream to join the world’s top 20 economies by 2020 is to be realized.
Government should invest at least $2.5b on the empowerment of digital natives and immigrants, young and middle-aged persons selected purely on the basis of their proficiency in Information Technology, he says noting that such investments would yield more dividend in the long run than many of the white elephant projects that are being proposed today.
Ekeh says the time to act is now while observing that one of the greatest challenges militating against development in Nigeria today is the absence of structured manpower.
According to him, current entrepreneurs across the globe are mentally weak because they have watched the wealth built over many years diminish substantially.
“So, there is no excitement to create new wealth. Nigeria can take advantage of the lull to catch up with leading developing nations of the world. At the end of the global depression, a new set of smart wealth creators shall emerge and shall create wealth with the speed of light and dwarf the achievements of current entrepreneurs”, he adds.