Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh has committed the sum of over N500 million towards a novel initiative to create jobs and promote peace in Imo State.
Ekeh, a native of Mbaitoli in Imo State, announced the contribution during a quarterly Stakeholders Meeting/Luncheon hosted by the Imo State government recently.
The session, which was held at the Government House in Owerri, the Imo State capital, had in attendance Governor Hope Uzodinma, the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, members of the expanded State Executive Council, as well as serving and past Imo State House of Assembly members and representatives from the National Assembly. Also in attendance was President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor, former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim, elder statesman Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, legendary singer Onyeka Onwenu, as well as traditional rulers, members of the clergy and academia and other distinguished sons and daughters of Imo.
Speaking during the event, Ekeh, who was the Chairman on the occasion, asserted that the 21st century is a knowledge economy which demands a new attitude and mindset. He added that hard work, brilliance, humility and a firm belief in God are essential ingredients for success, even as he revealed that Imo state is blessed with a number of youths with these qualities.
Using himself as an example, Ekeh held that if he could achieve so much from nothing, certainly the current crop of young people in the state are better exposed, more brilliant and in a better position to achieve even more.
The digital entrepreneur explained that the N500 million fund would be utilised in establishing a finishing school which would polish fresh graduates as well as the unemployed, equipping these beneficiaries with world class skills that would transform them into highly sought-after prospects that can compete with their peers globally. He added that the products of the school would become more marketable and would secure gainful employment in Nigeria and abroad, while also adding that he would sourceresource persons from around the world to mentor the beneficiaries and equally re-train their trainers.
Ekeh, who seized the opportunity to sue for peace in Imo State, also appealed to all aggrieved parties to forgive and forget the wrongs of the past, even as he urged them to join forces with the current administration to restore the glory of the state. In addition, he called on the media to exercise some restraint in their reportage and to refrain from unfairly portraying the state in bad light as a hotbed of insecurity.
‘‘I am not a politician and I will never be one in my lifetime. But nobody can convince me to fight against my state. Imo State belongs to all of us. We need to join hands with the current administration and whoever is in power to develop the state for our children and unborn generations,’’ he stated.
Further, Ekeh called on other well-meaning Imo indigenes at home and in the Diaspora to support the government and to join hands and commit to the latest project by volunteering to sponsor a minimum of five beneficiaries across each town through the finishing school. He added that the project would commence with the best qualified five per town until every unemployed graduate is re-trained in Imo state.