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Ekeh, Zinox boss, intervenes in Imo State with N1 billion

Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh has declared a three-year interest free loan of N1 billion to petty traders and small and medium businesses in Imo State.

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Ekeh and Ihedioha, Zinox

Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh has declared a three-year interest free loan of N1 billion to petty traders and small and medium businesses in Imo State. Ekeh, a native of Imo State, disclosed the intervention is to reduce hardship, stimulate business activities and give hope to the majority of the people in the state.

Further, Ekeh launched an educational support project for indigent but intelligent students of the state to enable them acquire proper university education. For this, Ekeh set up a non-interest revolving loan scheme of N500 million.

He made this disclosure at the flag-off/groundbreaking of the construction/rehabilitation of rural roads by the Imo State Government. The event, which held on Tuesday, August 27th at Ubomiri, Mbaitoli Local Government, had in attendance, the Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha. Also in attendance were traditional rulers and partner agencies from the World Bank and French Development Agency (AFD).

Indigent students will benefit from the revolving loan scheme to further and complete their education. Graduates from the scheme will also be exposed to employment opportunities.

Subsequently, the graduate-beneficiaries will be expected to refund the loan once they are gainfully employed at zero interest. This will ensure the sustenance of the scheme and allow others to benefit from it.

[READ MORE: Aviation sector to contribute over N1.2tn to Nigeria’s GDP by 2020]

First Class graduates will be exempted from repayment of the loans as a reward for their sterling performance. Conversely, students whose grades drop to third class will be ejected from the scheme.

Ekeh believes that in the next 10 years, the interventions and the government’s commitment in these respects will reposition Imo state as the envy of all. Additionally, the serial digital entrepreneur revealed that Imo State is being used as a model. He disclosed that if it works, the efforts will be replicated in more states in Nigeria.

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The Zinox boss equally donated 20 laptops and a set of printers to the Imo State Government.

“I am very sure other well-meaning Nigerians will borrow the same strategies to replicate in their communities. This is not the age of free money and bad wastages. The 21st century is the age of privileges and opportunities.

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“Nigerians must imbibe the culture of earning a living and paying back so that others can benefit. Cash is not inexhaustible. What I have done is use myself as personal collateral in addition to putting up some of my assets to try and bail out a percentage of my people.

“Indeed, if it works, the multiplier effects shall be far-reaching. If they fail me, it is a disaster but that is life. I have done the same in the ICT sector in the last 15 years with over N10b and it is still working. Most successful people in the world did not receive cash from their families so how did they become globally successful?”

Ekeh, a global advisor to Microsoft, revealed that he has not slept in his mansion in Owerri in the past six years.

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“Each time I visit home, I often leave depressed. This is because of the state of things and the money I have to spend to help out those in dire conditions. With these interventions, I am confident that things will take a positive turn soon,” he affirmed.

In his speech at the event, Gov. Ihedioha expressed appreciation to Ekeh for the humanitarian and noble gesture, even as he expressed pride in the Zinox Boss.

“Imo State is proud to have a son like Leo Stan Ekeh. I am aware he put up some of his assets in order to raise the funds for the projects he has announced today. May God continually bless him for all that he does for humanity.  I am hopeful that other well-meaning Imo indigenes will join us to rebuild the state.”

Speaking at the event, Chief Victor Emeto heaped encomiums on the Zinox boss.

“Leo Stan Ekeh is the next to God not just in Imo State and our town Ubomiri in particular. He carries all our responsibilities from school and church building and maintenance to raising nursery schools in every church.

“He has an annual budget for every church in the community and does not limit it to Catholics only. Same with the education of our children and electricity. What is more disarming is his humility and quietness with which he does these things.

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“In fact, he picks every phone call from anybody from this town, no matter how small. Any time he is home, he sits on the floor with us to discuss our problems.”

Also lending his voice was the oldest man in the Ubomiri community, Nze Moses Duru.

“Chief Leo Stan Ekeh is God-sent to Imo State. We are aware he supports other states in Nigeria. That is why we continue to pray for him and he does things without making a noise.”

Nze Duru ended by disclosing that Ekeh was equally responsible for facilitating the electricity in the village.

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[READ ALSO: GTBank’s Segun Agbaje shares his thoughts on CBN’s loan policies]

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    FirstBank hosts webinar to sensitise individuals and businesses on staying protected in the information age

    The virtual event is scheduled to hold by noon on Friday, 16 April 2021 with the theme,  “Staying Protected Amidst the Pandemic Chaos”.

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    First bank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank

    First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider has announced a webinar to sensitise individuals and businesses with useful information on being protected in today’s digital age.

    The virtual event is scheduled to hold by noon on Friday, 16 April 2021 with “Staying Protected Amidst the Pandemic Chaos” being the topic to be discussed at the event. Registration is ongoing for the event via the link https://firstbanknigeria.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PUnqA7enTMG8o0OfOaWxlg

    Today’s world, largely referred to as the digital age has been influenced by information technology which has optimised the way we carry out our individual and business activities.

    However, the current age has been marred by illicit activities like identity theft, internet fraud amongst many others which poses a risk to the safety of individuals and businesses. Attending the webinar will have participants knowledgeably equipped with vital information that will ensure they make informed decisions, thereby promoting their safety whilst staying protected against possible risks and malicious attacks.

    Tope Aladenusi, Chief Strategy Officer & Cyber Risk Services Leader, Deloitte West Africa; Confidence Staveley, Cyber Security Evangelist/ Founder, Cybersafe Foundation and Harrison Nnaji, Chief Information Security Officer, FirstBank will lead the discussion at the event.

    Speaking on the planned Webinar, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of FirstBank Group noted that “the world as a global village is associated with not just benefits but also risks of cyberattack and for individuals, businesses and governments to make the best out of the digital and online opportunities, they need to be deliberate in protecting themselves against cybersecurity threats”.

    He further noted that, “in today’s digital age, which the pandemic has accelerated the embrace, cyberattacks are occurring at an alarming rate across the world. As such, no individual, business or government entity with digital and online presence is immune to cyberattacks; and the financial, physical and legal implications of an attack can be significantly upsetting.’’

    In concluding, he enjoined everyone to participate in the forthcoming webinar as it is a viable opportunity to stay informed whilst being abreast with current trends that are pivotal to promoting safety in today’s world that is driven by information technology”.

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    About FirstBank

    First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 126 years.

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    With over 750 business locations and over 86,300 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

    The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on FirstMobile platform.

    Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

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    FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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    Audiomack partners Slum2School to support the education of students from underserved communities

    These funds will go towards supporting 38 learners with tablets in the virtual learning program.

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    Moving music forward means empowering the next generation of creatives. In that spirit, Audiomack will be donating $5000 USD worth of tablets and headsets that will support the Slum2School initiative in Africa, which is a volunteer-driven development organization empowering underserved children in slums and remote communities with quality education, entrepreneurial skills, and psychosocial support to enable them to realize their full potential and become social reformers.

    These funds will go towards supporting 38 learners with tablets in the virtual learning program which was designed to combat the impact of COVID-19 on education in disadvantaged communities in Nigeria.

    Speaking about the initiative, Charlotte Bwana, Head of Business Development and Media Partnerships for Audiomack Africa reiterated Audiomack’s commitment to empowering its host communities. She said, “While the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted all aspects of our lives including the education sector, we recognize the increased gap on children from underprivileged communities as they are unable to access quality education and learning materials. This donation demonstrates our efforts to bridge this gap because we are committed to fostering a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.”

    Also commenting, Otto Orondaam, Founder of Slum2School Africa said, “We are glad to collaborate with Audiomack who shares in our vision to transform the society by empowering underserved children in slums and remote communities with quality education. We also call on individuals and organizations to support this cause and help make an impact in Nigeria’s educational development”.

    This donation comes on the heels of Audiomack donating to Girls Who Listen and Pretty Girls Sweat for Women’s History Month.

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